Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 5/5/13 – 5/11/13

Don't worry short round, I want to nail her too

So I would have loved to include Doctor Who on the list, but it turns out that they included one of the most annoying teenage girls ever in the script.  Long time readers of the site will remember that I went off on the pilot episode of the Sarah Jane Chronicles because they also had the world’s most annoying British teen as a co-star.  It is like they managed to freeze that awful child and thaw her out to be a stereotype of some kind at the drop of a hat.  I kid you not, the child walks directly into the middle of an armed military base and yells, “I am bored! Entertain me!” to soldiers that were trained to kill.  Also in the future. On another planet.  That child should be murdered just so it doesn’t ever get the chance to reproduce.

Good
Warehouse 13: Season 4, Episode 12

I know! I am impressed nature is still a thing too!

Where: SYFY
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Warehouse 13 is at its best when it is trying to explain away weird events that happen with everyday items used by special people that somehow produce magic.  It is a world that tries to use science and technology to detect and capture these artifacts by, I don’t know… purple stuff?, but always ends up simply explaining everything as a special kind of juju that people just have and really good dumb luck.  It is like every urban legend that was ever told came to life and it is the job of these unfortunate few to track down the items that are pretty much destroying the world.  In the first few seasons it was odd because it seemed to be more about positive items have negative effects on, IE a pill that makes you really smart but you fall into a coma in under a week, but now it just seems to be focused on jerks getting their hands on items able to destroy some of the fly over states. Sort of like the X-Files doing monster of the week stuff before it became all about black oil and hybrid humans.

This week was about a guy who got a device that could create earthquakes, because I think some guy in the past had a lamp and was way into dirt or something.  Instead of using that for profit he decided that the best use would be eco-terrorism, because if the current climate has taught us anything it is that anything with the word terrorism is treated favorably.  Probably one of the more forgettable episodes, but in all honesty this show is because when it does what it knows, and what it knows is zany excuses to write comedy and not treat the audience like morons.

Bad
The Simpsons: Season 24, Episode 19

No one would blame you, you live in the Simpsons

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8:00 PM
Why:
The Simpsons is, at this point, known for having episodes that start with something and quickly use that to move on to forgetting about everything else that has ever happened.  This episode is the worst possible example that that I can think of for that.  It starts with Moe (Hank Azaria) attempting to kill himself, then he decides that since he failed at that he should make whiskey.  You read that correctly, the show opens with an attempted suicide.  Not only do they repeatedly make light of the fact that he clearly has all kinds of unresolved issues, something that the writers attempt to make us think that a new suit will fix, they also go out of their way to make it known that when you are ugly everyone will think you are homeless.

I will honestly go so far as to say that this episode doesn’t end with nothing changing, if anything it is an overall loss for Moe who ends up in a much worse emotional state then when it started.  If telling a person who is actively trying to hang themselves that they have something to live for, only to take it away violently and tell them that they are not worth that experience the next logical step is for them to head right back to the noose. Sure, they try to candy coat that fact with Moe stating at the end that he wasn’t going to follow through with the act “today”, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t emotionally one step away from kicking the chair out again.  This is officially the worst episode since Lady Gaga was involved.

Good
Adventure Time: Season 5, Episode 19

James. Fucking. Baxtor.

Where: Cartoon Network
When:  Monday at 5:30
Why:

James. Baxtor.  He is a horse that rides around on a beach ball saying his name over and over again.  I think the entire reason for him being a thing is to make people smile, which is cool if you are into that kind of thing.  When he done entertaining and calming people down he folds his ball into a hat and trots away.  Guy seems to be pretty cool.  It isn’t even like he asks for cash or a reward or something.   I am pretty sure that is what Good Guy Greg does, but only with more being a bro about it.

Sadly the episode it more about Jake (John DiMaggio) and Finn (Jeremy Shada) trying to figure out how to be impressively happy and upbeat for everyone, just like James Baxtor.  Granted I think that is probably the best use of their time, but who wouldn’t rather just kind of hang out and watch what a horse does for like 15 minutes.  This horse even entertains people.  Just saying, that would have been a cool episode too.

Bad
How I Met Your Mother: Season 8, Episode 23

I would cry too.  This show has gone on for 5 too many seasons.

Where: CBS
When: Mondays at 8:00 PM
Why:
You know what would be entirely wonderful if this show could do?  Move on past the entire Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) thing and just come up with anything else.  I get it, you based the entire premise of the show on a handful of plot ideas and have had trouble changing it into anything else.  It is hard to do a show about your cast growing up and growing old because most people don’t think that is any way funny, unless you have the guy from Superbad writing and directing it—that would be too awesome for TV though.

This is the episode that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) becoming BFF’s with Robin’s father (Ray Wise).  I think that it is great that TV still thinks that people can marry into a family and just instantly become fast friends with their in-laws.  I have been married to my wife for five years and I am just now starting to think that her father doesn’t think I am going to either murder her for life insurance or lead her into a life of destruction and heavy metal.  Who knows, maybe he just thinks that I am playing a long con and is starting to act nice so he can discover my secrets.  My point is that I don’t think that anyone, ever, is or can be fully comfortable with in-laws as you are basically stealing something from them that they hold dear (or should).  But I guess no one ever said that How I Met Your Mother was realistic.  I mean, those kids haven’t aged at all; I know for a fact that the daughter is like slammin’ hot now too.

Best:
Community: Season 4, Episode 13

From what I gather this is everyone's reaction to Chevy Chase

Where: NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:00 PM
Why:
So this was basically filmed as the last episode ever of Community and as far as anyone knew, until the morning after it aired, it was.  All of the weirder lose threads that had been kicking around the show, from alternative time lines to Chang, managed to wrap themselves up in some of the most psychotropic colored paper mankind has ever seen. Also Pierce (Chevy Chase) actively manages to be used so little and cast in such a negative light that it is almost as if the writers of the show wanted everyone to know that he had left production.  To say that his inclusion in the episode felt bitter and vindictive is an understatement.  One of the lines basically was along the lines of, “Why didn’t you include me?!?” “You said you didn’t want to be included!”

So Jeff (Joel McHale) manages to finish college a semester early by taking every single blow off class known to man, he also ends up getting a degree in Education which seems like something that they don’t let you be a lawyer if you have.  He then claims that he is going to start a private practice, which just seems like something that most people would avoid going to given a choice. That would be like me choosing a Doctor that decided it would be easier if he got a degree is juggling instead of surgeoning.  Also, I am pretty sure that as long as you pass the bar you don’t even need a degree.  This entire story seems to be falling apart on me.

Worst:
The Big C: Season 4, Episode 2

She is only smiling because other are unhappy

Where: Showtime
When: Sundays at 10:00 PM
Why:

Please note that I am not even going to fain an attempt to be nice:

Fuck this show.

No really.  Cathy (Laura Linney) seems to be completely unhappy with anything in her life if she isn’t dying.  So it is no surprise that she opts to stop doing chemo.  Look, everyone knows that you feel like a steaming pile of shit that was just vomited by some kind of neo-nazi after having massive amounts of cancer killing drugs dumped into your system—that isn’t my problem.  My problem is that the show acts like she is the only person in the world that has her life together and the only person that can put everyone else’s idea of things straight.  Her brother is an unemployed, homeless, bipolar lunatic that I think has a drug problem, and is well fucking round compared to her. I am almost entirely positive that the only reason this character is happy when she is dying is because people feel obligated to listen to her completely stupid and self-centered ideas.  This isn’t, “I am going to die, so breakfast for dinner always.” this is, “I am dying so my husband needs to find a replacement wife while I am alive.” kind of stupid and unfounded pushing.  This is the kind of stuff that I would be thankful if this last season was simply her son putting a bullet in her head and the trial after where he is found to have done man-kind a favor.

Andrea (Gabourey Sidibe) is basically bullied into making the world’s dumbest dress for Cathy to be buried in, which is not only creepy but is the kind of thing that you carry around with you for the rest of your life and tell someone when they are getting too close and you want space.  Not only is this girl clearly eating her pain away while she watches the family that took her in and supported her fall apart, she is watching a woman who has tried to step in for her mother ask her the most terrible and inappropriate things you can think of over and over again.  It would be like Stark asking me if it was cool if I hung out and watched while he took a dump in a bag to save for later.  Sure, there are probably an endless list of terrible things that I owe him for in my life that he could almost force me to do that, but I am pretty sure that not only would our friendship never be the same and I would have something I could tell my wife that would make her leave me.

The Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/14/13 – 4/20/20

Super hot, Sci Fi, Nerd?  Sure...

Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Community, Warehouse 13 and Doctor Who currently on so there isn’t really a ton of things to complain about.  That isn’t true as this is probably one of the more negative lists that I have complied.  Why?  Because this week it just felt like more of the good shows were just slow or forgettable episodes, and more of the normally bad episodes where aggressively annoying and punishing to my delicate sensibilities.  Also there wasn’t that much on last week, something that I hope will change by the writing of this article next week. Let’s hope.

Bad
Family Guy: Season 11, Episode 19

Look kids! Humor!

Where:  Fox
When: Sunday at 9:00PM
Why:
Stark: You always slam on Family Guy.  You hate that show.

When my friend, and fellow blogger, said these words to me I kind of tried to stray away from making fun of the show as much as I could.  I mean, who wants to be predictable about their vitriol?  I want people to look at this and think, “He really just dislikes a wide swath of things.  When he likes someone I guess we should watch.”  This is the kind of conversation that I have with myself when I think about what I want this article to be.  Then I decided, screw it, Family Guy is really bad and I might as well complain about it.

The idea that started, and quickly was abandoned by, this episode is that the guys were going to go to a Montreal strip club for some crazy stripper time.  Unfortunately they live when the plane crashes and we are forced to sit through another fifteen minutes while the two archetype friends are rescued and Peter is forced to wander into the wilderness with thoughts of finding help.  He, of course, goes wild and is unable to return to his normal life.  I remember when this show doing cut-aways to non-related events was different and endearing, kind of like who you smile when your “specially abled” cousin thanks you for something.  Now it is basically a Simpson’s clone for a slightly more stoned audience, sort of like all of the friends you don’t talk to from high school any more.

Good
Nurse Jackie: Season 5, Episode 1

Seen here: Edie Falco's O Face

Where:  Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
Nurse Jackie is a show about addiction, how it affects your life, the people around you, and the lengths that you are willing to go through to continue on that destructively tasty path.  About a nurse, named Jackie (Edie Falco), who basically runs an emergency room.  Everyone trusts her, doesn’t question her on anything, and is willing to give her all kinds of crazy pain killers because that is just the way that hospitals are run, by throwing as much medical grade heroin at people as they can.  Love triangles form, children are traumatized, and marriages end.  Most shows feel like they mature as they go because of writes understanding the character better, but this almost has felt like it needed that floundering arch so the main characters could grow a functioning person.

If I am to believe the premise of this show, women do not want you acknowledging their birthday after they have reached a certain age.  Also, if they have spent a large chunk of their life addicted to various substances it only reminds them of home much of that time they either weren’t responsible for, don’t remember, or feel terrible about; possibly all three seeing as how it seems this show paints addiction occasionally like a never ending spring break.  For Jackie it seems that telling people to ignore the day, on the day, once isn’t enough and is constantly bombarded with well wishes; which is different from the real world because most people would just say something impossibly rude and then not speak to you ever again, and also try to poison you and/or get you fired.

Bad
American Dad: Season 8, Episode 15

Silly, that isn't how you use a donkey

Where:  Fox
When:  Sundays at 9:30PM
Why:
I really like American Dad.  For a while there a couple of these articles that didn’t go up, almost all of them listed my undying love of American Dad.  The show has decided it no longer cares what anyone thinks and it just going for it in a way that you could only expect out of a hero in a teen movie goes after the prettiest girl in school before realizing that his neighbor really loved him and was hot all along. Recently they have been on some kind of hot streak of amazing hits and talent; something that only seems fair to compare to early Chilli Peppers’ albums, or all of Henry Rollins career.  With that intro I think that you should be just as disappointed as I when this wasn’t nearly as good as it has been for the last couple of years.  It almost felt like it was an episode being held over from the first three seasons.

Normally you would be expecting something insane, possibly involving some kind of magic or science flavored substitute, to be a main plot point; this week we got to listen about how Stan (Seth McFarlane) doesn’t enjoy the fact that Francine (Wendy Schaal) has the world’s mildest and possibly most well-known, and Britishly endorsed, sexual kink—spanking. Recently it has felt like the show has been trying to distance itself from painting its character as white and bland as they can manage in stupid events passed over by Family Guy, but I think I just described this week’s episode pretty thoroughly.  There are even points in the plot that it feels like a return to recent levels, but then it slaps that laugh out of your mouth with stupid.

Bad
How I Met Your Mother: Season 8, Episode 21

I am sure that is how all the actors feel about the show now.

Where:  CBS
When: Mondays at 8:00PM
Why:
I think that most of us who have attempted to watch this show have been on a journey of ups and downs that closely resemble an epileptic piloting a hot-air balloon.  Back when it started it was about a man looking for love, then—after a couple of years—it was about how that guy suddenly turned really creepy and accused every woman stupid enough to sleep with him into “the one”, now it is about Eore as a real person and how terrible he is at dating.  The show has stopped being “funny” and started being more about people thinking that it is ok to laugh at other people’s depression and failed/terrible attempts to find meaning in life through others (yet never pointing out that it really just seems unhealthy).  It has basically been 8 years of watching your friend go through a really bad breakup and just never getting over it.

So Lily (Alyson Hannigan) gets a job offer to go to Rome and help her boss pick out art.  She refuses because she thinks that it will make everyone in her life miserable.  Turns out that she is pretty much the only person that thinks that way, as her husband Marshall (Jason Segel-aka the best person in the show) thinks that it sounds totally amazing in every way possible.  So, instead of being dragged through the ever increasingly deep depths of Dante’s journey that is Ted’s quickly unraveling mental state, we get to watch two people think they know what is best for each other without speaking to the other person.  Look, we were all in fifth grade. We all were forced to read Gift of the Magi during Christmas. We get it.  You know what that story taught me?  Surprises suck.  Let people know what you want in life.

I personally want a new video card for my computer, or a Wii U, on the off chance anyone was wondering.

Best:
Doctor Who: Season 7, Episode 9

Spooky!  And a little sexy

Where: BBC
When: Saturdays at 6:15PM (GMT)
Why:
There are classic Who episodes.  There are the ones that you watch and talk about with your friends because it was the first time that the weeping angels, or River Song, appeared.  The only real argument most Who-vians ever get into is how well they have aged along with other such episodes; people don’t really talk about the stories that fall between those watershed moments.  In all honesty I think that a handful of those are the best thing about the show.  I will take a random, and probably not over all plot important, forgettable tale that is well written over any battle with Cybermen or companion goodbyes.

When you boil down this episode is a ghost story with dreamy British accents and a loveable cast with pretty good comic timing.  Given that description it is either Monty Python or Doctor Who, and luckily for us it turned out to be the latter.  This episode does away with all of the recent, “this isn’t were we are going! Zany!” plots and puts everyone exactly where they want to be, in a haunted house.  I am not spoiling anything when I point out that, of course, this is an alien and not a ghost and, of course, they fix and make better.  The way that there was even an attempt to drop subtle lines in about this season’s overall plot was nicely done as well, and not the normal Steven Moffat hitting you over the head to make sure you see how everything fits.

Worst:
The Simpsons

Oddly enough, guest starring Wanda Sykes

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8PM
Why:
I am impressed that the handful of people that read this article haven’t made comment about my failure to include this in the listings in one way or another.  I might even go so far as to say that, for all intents and purposes, The Simpsons is so bland and forgettable that everyone pretty much has just forgotten about it and moved on with their lives.  I would like to think that the entire point of this article is basically me proving to the world that I refuse to accept things and move on, and choose the least noble path of openly judging them for what they did to man.

From start to finish this basically feels like a reject Valentine’s Day episode, but only entirely less interesting because it can’t be passed off as either novel or good.  Marge (Julie Kavner) has finally had enough of Homer’s (Dan Castellaneta) repeated attempts to kill and or maim everyone on the planet and, hopefully, starting to think about a devoice; because if Family Guy has taught us anything it is that a bad relationship based on fear and obligation is the handicap ramp to comedy.  Also Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) decides that he can finally win over Lisa (Yeardley Smith) by acting like an abusive husband at all times.  But it is The Simpsons, which means that nothing will change by the time that the credits roll so the act of watching it has the same lasting effect as if you decided to drink paint thinner instead; you might live through it, but you will feel sick after and wish for that time back.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: February 10th – 16th

Last week contained Valentine’s Day, and because there is nothing that people love doing more than sitting around, at home, with their date and watching TV instead of being romantic in the hopes of getting laid, almost every show ran some kind of holiday special.  I am sure that the core audiences of these shows are single men crying themselves to sleep, so I am sure the suicide rate got a little bump this year from NBC alone.

Bad
How I Met Your Mother: Season 8 Episode 16

A Star Wars reference! GET IT?!?!

Where: CBS

When: Monday at 8 PM

Why: If someone had a child when this show started I can imagine them putting them to sleep at night telling the tale of “How, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ wasn’t awful once.” I think that there is probably a personal threshold for everyone, and this is a good litmus test on the individual definition of “Bad”, to point out when this hit that disappointing point; although I think we can agree when they actively started making up reasons to not introduce the mother we kind of all started zoning out.

I normally watch TV with my wife, as some of the odder things on this list will attest to, and I have a way more difficult time dropping shows than she does.  I think that I could explain that this episode as Ted “dating crazy” isn’t even one of the better story arches this season, but instead will just say that my wife stood up and walked out of the room in the first several minutes of the show. She was also the person who introduced me to this show and was its biggest supporter for years.

Good
American Dad: Season 8 Episode 11

"Wait, I didn't ask, can you talk?"

Where:  Fox

When: Sundays at 9:30

Why:  American Dad is the honey badger of TV, it just doesn’t care.  I have said this a lot in the past, and will continue to say it until this show turns towards the Family Guy ways, but the more that this show acts like whatever happened last episode doesn’t matter at all is probably the best route it can follow.  From randomly killing off characters and simply having them magically alive to doing a full stage play instead of a show American Dad managed to go from a watered down animated sitcom to one of the best things on TV.

Sure, this episode involving one of Rodger’s personas getting married might not have been up to the standards I have been holding the series of late; that still wasn’t enough for me to not entirely enjoy it.  Between the non-talking panda bear priest and the puppet show to explain plot holes I love the way that this show isn’t afraid to swing for the fences with every joke that they make, even if they aren’t all worth remembering.

Bad
Family Guy: Season 11 Episode 12

Ewww.... Meg's boobs.

Where: Fox

When: Sunday at 9 PM

Why: You know that feeling that you think the rest of the world gets something that you don’t? Family Guy is like that except for wondering how anyone still thinks that this show is amusing.  It seems odd that a show that was once heralded as being possibly the best and most outlandish thing on TV is now struggling to hold onto relevance.  I am pretty sure that the entire collection of active fans is teenagers that hate their parents and smoke entirely too much pot.

Not to miss out on the chance to have an easy episode this week’s is a collection of tales for Valentine’s Day.  To say that almost all of these sounded like old abandoned story lines that were pulled out and slightly retooled with a theme of a special day would be making it sound like there was effort in this show at any time in the last five years instead of its actively slide into heroin needle lined garbage.  The longest of the forgettable stories seems to be the one about Meg getting a liver stolen, which should say where the series is when not only the majority of the plot revolves around Meg but it is also pretty much the only good part.

Good
Archer: Season 4 Episode 5

Tentacle Rape Porn, when you don't know how else to make fun of Japan

Where:  FX

When: Thursday at 10

Why: Read some of the descriptions on the tubs behind Archer.  Beer is directly below the plastic tub containing acid.  It is Archer that is why it is on the good list.

Best:
Community: Season 4 Episode 2

Weirdly Annie is twice as hot on this show as she is on Mad Men.

Where: NBC

When: Thursday at 8 PM

Why: Because while everyone else was doing Valentine’s Day to be festive Community thought that they should just go ahead and do Halloween special instead.  They might have only been given a half season, which sucks for a show that normally runs the length of a college year, but they are actively making the most of it.  At this rate the Christmas episode should be this week, or soon, which is awesome because that has a habit of being one of the best of the season.

The gang goes to Pierce’s (Chevy Chase) mansion after receiving a distress call from him.  It quickly turns into a haunted house adventure, which is awesome because throughout are just amazing paintings of Chevy Chase from the 80’s.  True to fashion there are several giant references to events that never happened on the show, but sound like massive plot points that would have been nice to have seen.  Oh Community, please never stop being a thing.

Worst:
Once Upon a Time: Season 2 Episode 13

The, "You are lucky the check cleared!" method of acting

Where: ABC

When: Sunday at 8 PM

Why: I hate this show and don’t know why I continue to watch it.

 If I didn’t feel like the article was running long, and stupidly late, this week I would have said something about Californication this week and how Jorge Garcia (Hurley from Lost) was a drug dealer who accepted blowjobs.  While I hope that turns into something of a recurring gig for the guy he is also over on Once as a giant with a heart of gold.  Yeah, Once Upon a Time is such a deep show that it literally is just characterizing the most famous cast member as, “what if Hurley was… A GIANT!?!”

I would make an attempt to talk about what happened in the series, but since most of them are either fall into either A) not enough content for a half an hour show, or B) almost filled with plot, I feel like I can just say that this entire episode could be skipped and you would miss nothing important in the series ever.  Considering that this show actively seems to be weighting more on the A selection of things it might be safer to simply drop it, save the hour, and read Wikipedia the next day.

Spoony Bard Podcast: Episode 49: Zombies I Guess

In this amazing episode Stark and I start off talking about older PC games, how much computers suck, how old we are, and dial up modems.  We then ramble on for two hours about things ranging from Diablo 3 to what random anime stark wants us all to watch but we all will forget the name of as soon as he stops saying it (I know I did).  Don’t worry, we even have new story time for those of you who used to enjoy the horse porn tales of days past.  I would be lying to all of you if I said this pod didn’t have a little something for everyone, I don’t know if that something is a good thing that would be enjoyed or not, but you can’t really complain with this turn time on things.

[powerpress]