Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/5/15 – 4/11/15

Good:
Better Call Saul: Season 1, Episode 10

I wish I could pull scams like this

Where: AMC
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Because Breaking Bad (aside from the title) wasn’t just a great show about someone losing total control over their sanity and actively ruining the lives of those around him.  Better Call Saul, for the moment, is about a man who is actively trying to do the right thing but keeps getting put back into a life that he wanted to escape.  It is like when an ice cream shop opens up between a Planet Fitness and a Weight Watchers, but with more sibling rivalry and less people saying things about a “no judgment zone”.

I would watch anything the lead writer/creator (Vince Gilligan) came up with at this point.  If they announced that they were doing an adaptation of the white pages, the yellow pages boring little brother, I would watch it.  He would find a way to make it about sex, guilt, high stakes something or another, and ending up on the wrong side of the law when all you want to do is find out why so many people have S starting their last name.

Bad:
Olympus: Season 1, Episode 2

Acting is hard

Where: SyFy
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Not everything that the SyFy channel puts out is pure gold, or even Sharknado 2: The Chronicles of Sugar Ray.  Most of the time the things that they produce end up being less like Battlestar Galaticta, or even Zombie Nation if we are being honest, and more like watching a Sliders marathon where it only shows the second to last episode in the series over and over again.  Olympus leans more towards the later seasons of Eureka (like a normal Sliders marathon, but with everything in reverse order and not from the same season), in that it will probably have devoted fans but manage to be successfully—and rightfully—hated by everyone else, than really expecting it to be good or not constantly on a green screen.  It even has the weird, “none of this will ever matter” feel that was well established as a foothold when SyFy decided that if anything lasted more than three seasons they were completely allowed to reboot their universe, once a season.  Towards the end Eureka managed two reboots in one season, say what you want; not caring that hard what your fans think takes effort.

Take everything you saw in an HBO preview of Rome, or The Tudors or old timey show like that, not watch the show proper, and then make it about Greek Mythology, which you also know almost nothing about—you would get the pilot episode here. If I had to guess I would say that Olympus was cast at a Comicon based only on what people where wearing, then expected to bring that custom as they had no budget to supply anything addition–aside from bedsheets.  The main character’s (Tom York) weapon is a rope, not Michelangelo’s grappling hook from the latter seasons of TMNT, a rope with nothing on the end of it. Not even a knot. No one makes fun of him for this. He also doesn’t have a name.  Not in even a cool way, like he was abandoned traumatically or something else Batman worthy,  it literally sounds like they just couldn’t think up a good one in time for filming, made an B.S. excuse, and went with it.  Things like this really make me wonder if I could just walk into their SyFy headquarters and just pitch whatever and have it picked up for two seasons.  It is like they are in some kind of strange Brewster’s Millions gamble with all their Galaticta money.

Good:
Mad Men

It is like they are having a Scooby Doo off

Where: AMC
When: Sundays at 10:00 PM
Why:
It isn’t that Mad Men tries to outline what manly men should be, or even that it has what an acceptable life in the 60s probably resembled.  I am not even sure about how much of the stuff that they depict on the show is historically accurate after a certain point.  What I am sure about is that the show is just riveting; each of the characters in it are self-absorbed in such a specific way that they have created a little world that only exists for themselves, a place that others only ever really visit.  It is great to see, though, as these people fumble through their own issues while trying to deal with whatever is thrown at them.  Oddly the key to the best writing in the show is that no one ever really seems to know what someone else is doing until they either see it or it is explained to them, because story telling.

There are two shows on TV that are able to take yearlong breaks, mid-season, while not losing viewer ship or even changing the number in front of that series.  That said it is also the most annoying thing to ever have been done, it has only ever been done on AMC, and even the box sets for Breaking Bad refer to each part of that season differently.  It takes Don Draper (Jon Hamm) sized testicles to pull a stunt like that and think that it is “for the best.”  That would be like me trying to explain to my dog that it would be beneficial for it to learn to brew beer for me, because I am not sure which one of us would get less out of that conversation.

Bad:
The Comedians: Season 1, Episode 1

It would have been funnier if Pussy Riot wasn't a real band

Where: FX
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM
Why:
I don’t even dislike this show that much, but man Billy Crystal got super old.  It is like someone found the least attractive statue made out of miscellaneous gum pieces, of him, and motorized it to act. It is a toss-up on the last thing I saw Billy Crystal in, either City Slicker 2 or some random walk on roll that Robin Williams got him.  If those references make me seem old, just remember that he was in his 40s when he was doing those, and that was probably a good 20 years ago.  It still creeps me out that Hollywood seems to keep people in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber and only allow them to have two set ages ever:  Age introduced and super creepy “what the hell happened to your face and mind Clint Eastwood” old.

Crystal plays himself across from Josh Glad, who before this I think I had a super vague idea of who that was (and am still unsure if I am thinking of him or Jonah Hill). The show is dry, awkward, and about making a series of poor life choices that end up making you committed to a project you hate.  There are also all these subtle nods to the way that the world works inside of “the business”, which I am sure would be way funnier if I was part of that circle; which is oddly a new trend that seems to be emerging in more niche comedies and only makes me want to stop watch to discourage people from doing it more.

Best:
China, IL: Season 3, Episode 1

Everyone loves you baby cakes

Where: Cartoon Network
When:  Sundays at 12:00 AM
Why:
I love China, IL.  It is hard to explain to pretty much anyone my depths of love for this show in any manner that doesn’t just seem to be completely insane.  It is a show that is about a public college that has stopped caring so long ago that the only thing that can make most of the professors even feel emotion is belittling and demoralizing every student in their class.  Within the first 60 seconds of the show (intro included) one of the pupil has the nickname “flip flops” forced on them, and while the current week is only the second episode, they have refused to refer to them as anything else since that moment forward.  In my mind that is how roll call is done in the class.  I want to go there.  In my dream they hire me to teach English.  We would only watch subtitle anime.

Did I mention that Hulk Hogan is The Dean, and 95% of the time I don’t know if he is acting or if someone just hung out in the bushes around his house and recorded random things that he randomly states—kind of like what they did for the last couple of years for Ebert.  Side note, I would love to have a computer program that I could make Hogan say anything I wanted.  We would be best friends.

Worst:
The Big Bang Theory: Season 8, Episode 20

Everyone hates you, WIl Wheaton

Where: CBS
When: Thursdays at 8:00 PM
Why:
I don’t even hate The Big Bang Theory for the same reasons that everyone else does; I could care less about them making nerd culture more accessible to the masses, I don’t think that the forced insertion of marketable catch-phrases is either annoying or draws away from the characters, and screw everyone that says it wouldn’t be funny without the laugh track.  Watch 10 minutes of M*A*S*H without the laugh track; it was the greatest show on television and still needed to remind you it was a comedy about tragedy. No, the problem is that the show the people writing it have forgotten what it was about to begin with, becoming so lost that even if they had a map to get back they would probably end up at a Donkey Show with a robotic version of a racist Jerry Seinfeld.

Recently the actress that “played”, I guess, the voice of Howard’s (Simon Helberg) mother (Carol Ann Susi) passed away in real life and the show managed to –for all intents and purposes—respectfully kill off the character so no one else would play her.  The issue is that I think that the people who write the show might be sociopaths who learned emotions from watching monkeys fight over abandoned children at the zoo.  It isn’t situation that is wrong or messed up, but the way that everything is written around it that feels stilted and dumb, as if the showrunner (Chuck Lorre) was hoping an episode of That 70’s Show might break out instead.  Then recently Howard had an unknown half-brother (Matt Bennett) show up for, and this is understating it, very close to no reason.  That doesn’t matter though, since they only share half a genetic code, were raised by two polar opposing people, and had the exactly opposite gendered role models they were clearly destined to end up almost exactly the same.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 8/11/14 – 8/17/14

No shit. It's back,

Good
Wilfred: Season 4, Episode 9&10

Who doesn't want to hang out with a surly dog?

Where: FXX
When: Over, forever
Why:
Wilfred is the story of what happens when Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) decides that his life is just, just awful and that he should kill himself.  Sadly he borks the entire thing up and instead of dying just starts to see his neighbor’s dog as a man in a dog suit (Jason Gann).  From that point forward the series is a constant back and forth with Ryan’s (Frodo Baggins) belief in Wilfred, the dog, is really only an animal or something more.  It is also one of the few examples of an episodic show that truly needs to be watched in order to have even the remotest idea of what is going on at any given time. Did I mention that it was possibly one of the funniest show on TV?  It is.

I love this show, and half of these two episodes would have made one amazingly wonderful ending to a fantastic show, the other half is kind of this middling attempt at explanation of some of the greater mysteries that found their way in with the most mundane and boring ways possible.  The problem with the ending boils down to the show runners trying to leave things open to interoperation on just what Wilfred is or is not, but that premise doesn’t ever work when you lead someone by the noise to one of the destinations, point at it, tell them what it is, and say the choice is yours.   It might feel like a stupid complaint, but yes, after four years I do kind of want what Wilfred is spelled out for me with as little mystery involved as possible.

Bad
Falling Skies: Season 4, Episode 8

Yeah, the show kind of sucks now

Where: TNT
When: Sundays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Falling Skies had one really good season when it first started.  It has now proceeded for three more seasons, each season attempting to distance itself ever further from those that came before it—it has now gotten to the point where it impressive that characters still have the same name, let alone remember interaction that took place more than 10 minutes before. It is like every character in the show is the guy from Memento, but with aliens and the guy from ER.  Seemingly at the end of every season the resistance (humans) find a way to beat back the invading aliens in such a manner that they are sure to win with one final, well placed pushed—hopefully taking place during the next series.  Then the next season starts and three throw away sentences are used to explain why that thing they had only ever worked that one time.  This is just like SeaQuest all over again, down to the fact that Stephen Spielberg was involved until halfway through he managed to make it through a script and put an end to that.

This episode was about… something.  I think the entire point was that you would normally file this under character building, but for a show that is normally so based on the action with the more plotting scenes being done when they aren’t fighting for their lives—although sometimes during—it seems out of place the more slow paced episodes they have; this season has been full of those.  It is weird because the episode before this almost felt like a return to form as a handful of main characters died in a deceive battle, and now everyone has promptly forgotten that they were cast on the show at all. If you wanted to watch of people pretending to be dirty in a torn down city that is totally a set this is the episode for you.  I would try to recount what happened, but I remember about three things and every single one of them seems to be more boring than the last one.

Good
Adventure Time: Season 6, Episode 16

Yeah, do your thing Joshua!

Where: Cartoon Network
When: Thursday at 7:00 PM
Why:

For the last, seemingly, couple of months the series has been pretty Jake and Finn light.  Normally that is fine, but that is also normally when they only do one episode at a time without the main characters.  I won’t even go so far as to call this an entire season’s worth of that kind of episode, as we eclipsed that some time ago. Sadly it feels like it has been roughly half the season since I have seen something only centered around the boys and their much better adventures.  I understand that the show itself has grown well beyond the scope of how it originally started, but in the same breath that also doesn’t mean that I am going to enjoy Treetrunks regardless of how many times they try and make seem super interesting.

That all being said, Joshua is the man.  If they decided that entire arches of the show were just going to be devoted to him being awesome and basically a Don Draper Dog that fights demons I would be more alright with that than another episode like the week’s before “Princess Day”.  Every time people even casually reference Finn and Jake’s parents most of the “baddies” in the area just slowly walk away like they just remember they left the stove on in an enclosed area near a child.  It isn’t even the normal “more interesting stuff probably happened in the past” level like Billy, most of the time you get full on Joshua flashback of him casually returning demons to hell while he records a memento for his kids.  This episode is pretty much no different, but instead focuses on the odd series of events that led up to Jake’s birth.

Bad
The Last Ship: Season 1, Episode 8

This show... Is awful

Where: TNT
When: Sunday at 9:00 PM
Why:
The last ship is a show about a Navy vessel sent out days before the true start of the worst plague ever.  Personally I would have liked it if the show had stopped there and just forced the crew to rebuild humanity with the limited means and resources left on the boat—bonus points awarded for them knowing almost nothing about the virus and figuring it out as crew members die, adding tension to the show.  Instead they have a doctor hitching a ride from the word go attempting to create either a cure or vaccine and ruining the pace of an otherwise wonderful, and potentially riveting, end of the world experience.  Did I mention that there are also Russians, and for some reason it appears that the only training videos they ever saw were Rocky IV and the original Red Dawn edited with the Americans dialog either cut out or replaced with a snarling animal.

This episode takes every ounce of tension that has built up since episode one, with Russia V. America, and finally makes everything come to literal blows.  The problem is that instead of feeling like some kind of well thought out Tom Clancy thriller it feels more like middle a schooler’s reenactment, although they only managed to stay awake during the exciting parts of a cable edited version of the movie.  Also all main characters seem to be immune to death and bullets.  The moment that a new member works their way into a speaking part it is a safe, if not assured, bet that they will die in a couple of episodes; if not that one they first acquired a name.  The worst part is that they try to make me, in particular, feel bad about this random person’s death.  Truth be told about a quarter of the way through most episodes I start check my mail on my phone and only look up every couple of minutes.  I guess if it was intended to be the show you watch while you catch up on Facebook or play a handheld game it succeeds fabulously.

Best/Worst
Storage Wars: Season 5, Episode 20

You can actively see everyone confused and annoyed.

Where: A&E
When: Tuesday at 9:00 PM
Why:
Storage Wars is one of the few reality shows on Television that I have yet to decide how fake it is.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that some things that happen in it are faked, trumped up, or randomly staged so that something will happen during the episode—the problem is that I can’t really decide how much of it is a setup is up.  All of that said they do a pretty good job of hiding the production crew during the filming and kind of make you feel like a voyeur.  I have seen almost every episode, and since I have little to do to make my life interesting, I have watched to see if I could find a boom mic or random person with an ear piece in the audience or randomly stepping into show upon, oddly you almost never see it.  The one exception to this is when Barry showed up late, walked through the production crew to craft services where several were actively eating, and then grabbed an intern to help him bid his.  This was also the exact moment that Barry became, and will forever stay, the best member of the show.

This one episode managed to not only shows almost every single member of the crew, but also make me repeatedly question my stance on the realness of the show.

Dave (Hester) has been off of the show for about two years, or seemingly 500 episodes if you follow how often A&E seems to put new ones out there, after he basically decided that it would be a good idea to start spouting out accusations directed at the show that paid him, and then promptly sue the show for “wrongful” termination.  Needless to say he was taken off the cast list faster than a cheetah on Adderall trying to get out of a bad relationship.  That made him suddenly appearing back on the show less shocking and closer to appalling.  This is the man that went out to the media and said everyone he worked with was not only a liar and a cheat, but that the women on the show had fake breasts, breasts bought by the producers to get better ratings.   Even if the show dropped the charges and I was actively getting beers with the husband of the woman I said fake boobie things about, I don’t know if I could show up to work with them with that dumb smile on my face.  This is also only the drama from previous shows, he later started a screaming match with the auctioneer—something that is akin to telling a referee of a boxing match that his mother gives better blowjobs than his wife, but his sister is the real pro.  Even if he lets the match continue the other guy is getting away with stabbing you.

Not only was the screaming match awkward and possibly the least scripted thing ever produced on the show, but you could tell that it had been going on longer and longer as more and more people with ear pieces started making their way actively into the shot.  At one point the camera starts to shake and the boom falls into view and you can just tell that they are asking if they should really be shooting this or just calling the cops before actual violence breaks out.  It was wonderful and terrible and I kind of think everyone I know should totally watch this.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/7/13 – 4/13/13

No, a week will not go by that I don't bring her up

Last week was a weird time when nothing was really on.  That led me to being entirely harsher on shows that I am normally pretty favorable with, probably out of the thought that I need to make this article at the very least seem symmetrical.  This kind of had the effect of the bad not being as bad as they normally are and the worst being more of a disappointment than anything.  Don’t worry, the good shows where still amazing.

Good
Community: Season 4: Episode 9

I wish all drug memories were like this

Where:  NBC
When:  Thursdays at 8:30PM
Why:
It is a puppet episode, where everyone is puppets. I have mentioned before my love about how Community is just willing to commit to a bit so well that it makes it magical.  This is one of those episodes.  Not to be outdone in anyone’s mind as the best one of these types of episodes, this show continually amping up how increasingly good it is getting, Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld) makes an appearance as a former Greendale Student/Mountain Man.  Did I mention that everyone is puppets?

So the plot of the episode is that everyone took a handful of hallucinogenic berries and started telling all of their deepest, most terrible secrets.  As puppets.  It is kind of hard to take anything as dark and terrible when you have a puppet version of that person talking about how they abandoned their children in a fit of unfounded Cosby grade jealousy. Also, I don’t know if it is just me knowing that Chevy Chase annoyed the show runners a ton in the down time and actively noticing that he isn’t in the show as much or if I am just digging in my mind to justify some of the useless knowledge that I keep locked in there.  Did I mention Puppets? PUPPETS!!!

Bad
Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 2

Nice rack...  Of breasts?

Where:  HBO
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
Exposition.  This show loves the stuff.  Normally it is done over the course of well nuditied women or people talking while they cut each other apart with swords.  This was more one of those “sit down and talk” episodes and not the other, more breasted one.  I don’t know if it is the conversation itself or the mixture of fear that it seems that everyone has during the simplest of questions that can make this stuff boring.  When you spend three minutes dancing around the fact that you think someone is a torture making, monster breathing, masochist who also is fond of eels (natures evilest creatures), regardless of how well the line is delivered you have stopped caring at the fifth “he is my king”. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best kind of “bad” episode because it probably means the next episode has twice the topless murder.

Also, Margaery (Natalie Dormer) looks creepily like Michelle Trachtenberg in this show.  To the point that while I was writing this article I started looking up here name by going to “Buffy” on IMDB because I was pretty sure it was Trachtenberg, who played Dawn on that show, who was in Game of Thrones.  Turns out that I was entirely wrong.  Who knows, I guess we can hope for some of the good old fashioned ultra-violence with a touch of Penthouse and pretend it counts for both actresses.

Good
Archer: Season 4, Episode 13

"Unless I am misreading you..."

Where:  FX
When: Thursdays at  10:00 PM
Why:
Because it is Archer.

This is the second part of a two part episode, Sea Tunt. Basically involving Cheryl’s (Judy Greer) brother (Eugene Mirman) and his entirely botched attempt to save the world from an eco-friendly underwater lab, which is also filled with deadly nerve-gas missiles capable of hitting every major city.  Part 1 was a reunion of Bob’s Burgers voice actors taking place on Archer.  That and the entire thing ended by basically not only leading into SeaLab but also making the captain from that show voiced by Jon Hamm.  I don’t know if I could make fan fiction that would be better than that.

This episode focuses mainly on the adventures of, what the show is quickly painting as, the worst any-amount-of-cover spies that have ever been as they go underwater to a better animated, newer, Sealab.  Granted that it seems that anyone who can stand upright for any period of time is capable of passing the field agent exam for this company.  The fact that I would watch this show if it was just two people screaming at each other for half an hour kind of adds to the fact that that is exactly what this normally ends up being.  Also that I guess that ISIS only hires highly emotional damaged people to help the mischief. Did I mention Jon Hamm in this episode?

Bad
The Office: Season 9, Episode 19

I 100% want to do this now

Where:  NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:30 PM
Why:
This is like what watching Casey at the Bat must have been like, but instead of a classic poem we watch all of these perfect set ups go completely ignored.  The worst part is that Dwight (Rainn Wilson) seems to be having this crazy and amazing hijinks filled caper involving a paper sale while the rest of the cast moans and whines about stuff that I am not interested about when people I know and love discuss with me, and the real life people are funnier at this point than any actor on The Office.  If it wasn’t for Dwight and Clark (Clark Duke) being some kind of amazing and psychic comedy due I am sure that this show would be half an hour of weird, dry humor, followed by Jim (John Kraninski) looking disapprovingly at the camera.

The sales call that Dwight makes involves him heavily drugging Stanley (Leslie David Baker) and literally dragging him to the meeting.  There is some really strong banter back and forth between the aforementioned Dwight and Clark, but besides that it is all terrible.  It is like the writer’s idea of comedy has quickly turned into 15 minutes of writing about how dumb Andy (Ed Helms) is with a camera crew filling the rest of the time following some of the cast around as they adlib. I kind of long to drive to the set of the show and just scream out my window how terrible they should all feel about what they did. I guess if they couldn’t come up with that extra 7 minutes they would just fill it with flashbacks and call it “documentary footage” again.

Best:
Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 1&2

The best reason to watch

Where: AMC
When:  Sundays at 10:00PM
Why:
I am not a smoker, but the constant amount of tobacco consumed during half an episode of this show makes me feel like I should pick it up.  Bender was entirely right when he said that it made him look cool.  If the government ever really wanted to understand why young people pick up that terrible and nasty habit they just need to look at Mad Men.  They aren’t Americas greatest generation, as I think some news reported called those that fought in WW2 that, but they are the most hardcore and awesome.  If we could live but a fraction of their glory through the course of our lives it would be a success.  We cannot.

For a show that is about an Ad agency in the 60’s Mad Men oddly gets away with not making any ads.  If this show was used as a documentary on how a standard beans promotion is put together we would all walk away thinking it was done by drinking and cheating on our wives with slightly less attractive women. This episode is basically about catching up with everyone since the time skip that took place between seasons.  For those of us who aren’t really familiar with the period there are vague clues given through news broadcasts as to the amount of time passed, like that really means anything to anyone born after 1975 though.  It basically comes down to an episode that nothing much happens, but it is written so well it doesn’t matter, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is my personal hero.  I would, and have, watched him in anything.

Worst:
Shameless: Season 3: Episode 12

Who hasn't had that day.

Where:  Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
I am going to be really petty right now and fully admit that Shameless ended up here because I expect better from it.  Much like a teacher flunking you on a test because you didn’t live up to their impossibly high standards of life, I am doing the same thing to this show.  Why?  Because it seems that the show runners have been slowly pushing us to not only care about Frank (William H. Macy) but want to add a bunch of heartwarming things in an attempt to make us feel emotions, besides “HOLY SHIT!”, about any of the characters in the show.

It seems like there is an active attempt to make anything that happens in the show have a lasting sense of purpose or meaning.  Granted, it has been three seasons of one crazy thing leading directly into another; that doesn’t mean that a single one of them ever really impact any of the characters after it is directly over.  At one point during this season Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) comments that he finds out his father is gay and it doesn’t matter because everyone else is too busy digging up a body from their backyard.  For me this has double meaning as both those things have pretty much been forgotten about as well as one of them not really mattering at the time, even though it kind of should have been huge.  Oh well, I guess you can just kill off some characters and make an impression that way.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV February 3-9

Since last week had the Super Bowl and drove all the sane shows into this week it seems only natural as a starting point of one of the lazier articles on both this site and on TV in general. This is where I point out the highlights, and low lights of things that happened last week on TV.  Why only those?  Because I watch several dozen shows a week and talking about them all would be entirely too long and painful for everyone involved.

Bad
The Office: Season 9 Episode 15

Oh, Andy went native?!? Of course that zany guy did

Where: NBC

When: Thursdays at 9

Why: Earlier in the season Andy, the person who is poorly replacing Steve Carell, decided that he should leave his job and sail to the Bahamas with his alcoholic brother.  That was supposedly three months ago, also known as the entirety of the season.  Besides very minor reminders every other episode that that had been a plot point the entire show has moved on and is kind of about something else at this point. Sure, it is a weird point in the season where several mini-story arches are all kind of either concluding at once or attempting to start, it still felt like an attempt to make drama out of situations that could basically resolve themselves if ignored.

I know that everyone involved with this show knows that it has gone on too long, I really do, but this is the last season and I was kind of hoping that something interesting would happen.  Besides Dunder Mifflin’s ownership being bounced around like a drunken college girl’s lady parts at a frat party the show has pretty much been floundering for a thread to follow for years.  It was weird that the show almost became watchable again when it was reduced to the original cast, save Steve Carell, and everyone just kind of went along with their odd little lives.  I guess I can still just count how many episodes are left before it is over forever.

Good
Archer: Season 4 Episode 4

Air quotes are always code for "caring"

Where: FX

When: Thursday at 10

Why: Archer is always good for a laugh, or eight.  Oddly it is one of the few American shows that can be both entirely random and have nothing to do with the last episode, and still have some kind of cohesive plot that carries it through from week to week.  Also I am pretty sure that this is clear to anyone who comes to this site but the character of Archer, and his real life voiced and personal counterpart John Benjamin, are my person hero in all things.  Take that James Bond/Sean Connery.

So Archer’s mother got married during the season break, and as any man baby Sterling pretty much hates the guy.  If I told you that there was a bonding moment between the two the only acceptable response would be something like, “Four episodes in? That took a while.”  Somehow they not only made the entire thing work but made it seem like it was the only logical way for things to end up.  Oh Archer, why can’t you be on every night instead of Leno?

Best:
Community:  Season 4 Episode 1

All for a "History of Ice Cream" college class

Where: NBC

When: Thursdays at 8

Why: I love Community.  At one point it was easy enough to describe as, “That smart funny and witty show on NBC that isn’t 30 Rock,” but I guess that Highlander was right and there really could only be one.  Thankfully it seems like they made the right choice and the world can go back to Greendale, for at the very least a half season, and hopefully either be renewed or peacefully concluded.

If you need a reason to watch the show it is simple enough to point out, it is like if all of the fantasies on Scrubs were the normal things that happened on the show, and the fantasies ended up being weird and Frank Zappa levels of bizarre.  References are normally anything from the Cosby show to obscure particle physics relationship jokes.  I would recommend if you haven’t seen any of the show starting at the beginning and forcing your way through most of the first season.  It is the only show that has holiday specials almost every season, and they do something amazing for each of them.  From zombies that exist in their world to a Claymation special, it is really worth watching.

Worst:
Dual Survival: Season 3 Episode 6

Bugs: Better than stitches

Where: Discovery Channel

When: Friday 10

Why: The hippy guy who doesn’t wear shoes didn’t die.  This show was only really good toward the beginning when neither one of the “experts” trusted each other and were convinced that their actions were either going to getting them killed or waste valuable supplies.  Also I am aware that most of these shows are beyond staged as it would be hard to ever be in real danger with a massive film crew following you everywhere, but most of the show has started feeling like the two of them are more annoyed at the Kraft Services table not being set up than they are about whatever hell hole they are in.

If given the choice between fending for myself in the wild with these two guys, or taking the severely overweight, out of shape, and agoraphobic Stark and a random hobo we found I would probably take Stark and the hobo.  Worst case scenario with that group is that we die after eating the hobo due to some kind of transient person disease, if I went with the other two I would probably get lectured constantly about the importance of eating protein and using my shoelaces for stuff.  Thanks, but I would rather die weirdly than suffer through a lecture on the importance of mother Earth.