Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 3/24/13 – 3/30/13

Doctor Who is back! Also other shows happened!

Good
Regular Show: Season 4: Episode 20

Baby Ducks FOR THE WIN!!!

Where: Cartoon Network
When:  Mondays in the evening.
Why:
Regular Show is pretty much about every slacker that you know in their 20’s working a dead end job that will never have any options for advancement. Also they are all talking animals.  Also they work at a park that I think is some kind of magic because weird and crazy things keep happening there.  I don’t know if it is the stream of 80/90’s references backed by licensed music that makes this show special, or if it just the fact that the two main characters in it just seem to take random things happening as an everyday event.

This episode is about how big of jerks geese are, and while that is true I don’t know if most of them ever form into a giant Voltron like monster to prove the point of dominance. Regular Show is basically a conversation had with a friend to make each other laugh, then turned into a cartoon to share, because I don’t know how the writing meetings go if it isn’t.  This might be one of those things that has to be experienced to be understood, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching all four full seasons.

 

Bad
Family Guy: Season 11: Episode 16

Because you shouldn't expect any better

Where: Fox
When: Sunday at 9PM
Why:
You know when one of your friends is so far ahead of the curve on something that when they are finally proven to be right it is hard to admit to them?  It is like someone telling you to duck half a minute before you get hit in the head with an iron brick made of monkey poop.  You kind of want to be mad at them because it is entirely easier than admitting that you are a moron for not taking the advice or at the very least looking.  That is kind of how I feel about South Park because they pretty much described perfectly the writing process of Family Guy.

12 Angry men satire.  Mayor West.  Assorted racist cast stereotypes as jurors .  I just described THE ENTIRE EPISODE.

They are either randomly generating as many plot points as they can or the lead writer had a stroke and everyone just writes down whatever non sequitur flies out of his mouth.  Possibly someone has the most interesting case of Tourette’s and only screams out cultural references.  Thinking about the possible methods used to make an episode of Family Guy has proven to be stupidly more interesting than even watching it.  I am pretty sure that can only mean good things for the quality of the show.

 

Good
Modern Family: Season 4: Episode 18

Children make me feel that way too

Where: ABC
When: Wednesday at 9PM
Why:
Modern Family is the closest thing that I have seen to Arrested Development since that show went off the air forever ago.  In the past this would have been called a dysfunctional family, but it is kind of hard to say that because everyone in the family still talks to one another and isn’t accusing one of the other people of some kind of terrible crime that never took place.  Maybe that just speaks to the way that I think everyone’s extended family has at the very least three people that could be a star on either the Jersey Shore or Jerry Springer.

The majority of the episode is based more around Clare (Julie Bowen) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) attempting to flip a house.  Probably a forgettable and kind of simple story arch, I kind of expected the show to pull a Simpsons and forget this ever really began; turns out no, they are better than that.  It is weird; this show taken as a single episode never feels like it is ever that impressive, almost like it is constantly skating around the edge of genesis.  Taken as a whole it is probably one of the best shows on right now if only because it remains dedicated to its characters and plot, even if some of it isn’t nearly as good as the odd conversational responses they slip in.

Bad
Storage Wars: Season 4: Episode 3-4

Where: A & E
When:  I am sure there is a marathon going on at this moment
Why:
I have been told that Storage Wars has started an epidemic of people going to these auctions, spending their life savings and thinking that they are going to be leaving with dozens of boxes full of both cash and gold.  I think that the producers of the show became scared by the prospect of lawsuits and decided to start showing more and more people that most of the money on these auctions are made by the cast stocking their second hand stores with sub-dollar store items.  That might sound fun, but it means that we get to sit through a lecture about how much a used and filthy garage door opener is worth.

Before I continue to talk about how boring it is to watch people get really excited to find power tools in the bottom of a plastic container that is mainly someone’s shattered dreams, I have to say that the added layer to all of this is when someone loses their shirt over the same garbage.  At one point one of the rarely seen guys bids several thousand dollars for a locker that only has old, possibly wet, cardboard boxes and soiled, possibly bedbug riddled, mattresses; later in the episode you see him lose his mind that he isn’t going to make his money back on any of it.  I guess that at that point it almost becomes worth it to watch someone talk about how even cheap plates turn a good profit if you can then watch someone who has no idea what they are doing spend too much money on literal trash and then pay his employees to tell him he is a moron.  It would have been cheaper and more efficient if he had just mail ordered a wood chipper and thrown collectable pewter figurines at it.

 

Best:
Bob’s Burgers: Season 3: Episode 18

Please notice the dentures

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8:30
Why:
A while ago Archer did an episode that took place in the Bob’s Burgers world, which wonderfully worked because it had H. Jon Benjamin (who voices both characters) basically doing one character doing the impression of another.  I have talked about the show on the site before, briefly skirting around directly bringing it up, but it was pretty much a weak week allowed this to easily jump to the front of the group.  I am pretty sure that me watching it the morning before writing this problem helped the quality of me judging it as well.

Linda (John Roberts) uses the restaurant being fumigated as an excuse for her to drag the entire family to see her parents that are residing in Florida.  Straight forward enough, but add in the fact that her parents live in a swinger community and she spends the entire episode freaking out and having visions of naked old people having weird and disturbing sex.  It isn’t that this episode does anything beyond the realms of what another episode might in the ways of set up or line delivery, it is just that it seems to sink deep into the pit of what Bob’s Burgers does well and allows it to wallow in all the flavor.

 

Worst:
Once Upon a Time: Season 2: Episode 18

Behold! PLOT!

Where: ABC
When: Sundays at 8PM
Why:
I kind of bring up Once in a roundabout conversation at the very least one time on the occasion that I decide to produce one of these, so it only makes sense that when I have gone out of my way to catch up with the series it was probably going to make the list of terrible things that I hate.  For all of the praise that I lap on any other show for continuing odd story lines, for good character development, or for anything else that even resembles something that is positive, this is the other side of that conversation.  I haven’t disliked a show more since I wrote about the entire first season of the Walking Dead while drunk.

Sure, the entire premise of this show as well as large plot points are entirely stolen from the amazing comic book series, “Fables” but that didn’t mean that it had to be terrible; the show made that choice on its own.  This episode mainly follows the holes in Pinocchio (Eion Bailey) as he fills in most of story shaped holes in his past with his adventures in turning into poorly CG animated wood which is about as dull as it sounds.  There are other plots that are scattered throughout the episode but by large they seem to be more about women pretending to be pretty princesses than something interesting.  The show feels less “fairy tales in the real world,” and more “this is what a five year old girls think adult life is like”.

 

Special Case!
Doctor Who

Look at her, she knows she is slammin'

Where: BBC
When: Saturday 18:15 (Some weird British time)
Why:
It isn’t fair for me to include Doctor Who in the normal weekly update.  It really isn’t.  I have been in love with this show since it came back on the air years and years ago.  I have entire friendships that I am pretty sure are entirely based off the fact that we both completely agree that Doctor Who is an utterly amazing show and that it should totally be on every week, always, and never end.  It is a zany Sci-Fi adventure, comedy, drama, sometimes romance that is done with British accents.  That is the kind of thing you want when people act out your life story.

The director, Steven Moffat is probably my least favorite writer that has taken on the show since it came back.  It isn’t that he is boring, but it seems like if there aren’t seven different kinds of fires that he wants people running around and putting out that he just doesn’t know what to do with his characters.  I am quickly coming to terms with the fact that I don’t really dislike Matt Smith (11th Doctor) as much as I once thought, and just dislike the way that he has been written.  Although I can’t really complain about the choices of companions as Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) is possibly the single most attractive member of the cast ever.  I guess we can all just hope she goes the Bill Piper route and has an entire show just based around her being naked.

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.