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.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/28/13 – 5/4/13

Mythbusters at their best: Breaking things

So Mythbusters makes it come back, and I am here complaining about everything else.  Quickly, without judgment as I still don’t even know how I feel about this episode, I would like to say that I both enjoy this show and thought that it stopped being a show two years ago.  It turns out that instead of gracefully bowing out they brought it back and are planning on bringing more guest stars, also known as the worst episodes, in to do more awful myths that no one believed in the first place.  Also, on the off chance that you are wondering, they disproved the jet car thing, finally, and there was very little of the “build team” (mythbusters junior) this time around.

Good
Community

Not check IMDB forums.  Will be frightened by braces conversations...

Where: NBC
When: Thursday at 8:00 PM
Why:
Abed (Danny Pudi) makes a family tree, styled after the web of insanity from A Beautiful Mind, of chance encounters by the group for the previous year before they all decided that they would go to Greendale.  Basically it is the events leading up to the first episode, in much the same way that Muppet Babies was a show about how Kermit and Miss Piggy always had a non-standard abusive relationship between two awesome tasting food groups.  It is like seeing the origin stories of the world’s most boring super heroes who only have the power to discuss other heroes, sort of like what the DC universe would be like if Kevin Smith wrote it.  This of course turns the entire group against each other, but only so long as it makes the audience feel better when they finally come back together afterwards by learning about their differences and how important growth is—just like the aforementioned Muppet Babies reference during a Gonzo based episode, but this has more of Annie (Alison Brie) looking stupid hot even though she has braces on.

The only complaint that I have about this show is that the rest of the cast is constantly surprised that Jeff (Joel McHale) used to be a completely shady lawyer.  It wasn’t even that long ago that he was getting drunken Englishmen off of reckless endangerment charges for money instead of moral reasons; this isn’t like trusting a reformed criminal who has done their time, this is a man who for all logical reasons has been presented no cause to change besides the friendship of a rag-tag group of educational failures.  No one, save the Dean (Jim Rash), is the same person that they were at the start of this show four seasons ago.  That complaint aside the show was more about how far everyone had come than worrying about the now versions of them bitching about closure.

Bad
Bones:

Wait. 1 Bullet did that?  Sure it wasn't... Face... AIDS...

Where: Fox
When: Monday at 8:00 PM
Why:
Because I am so tired of Pelant (Andrew Leeds) and every story that they try and force down the audiences throat about how evil he is and how science is the new Harry Potter.  Most of the time the show manages to conclude the evil villain BS in a under a season, two if they are really having a hard time coming up with story lines, but at this point they are pushing three, if not four, seasons using the same mechanics to make us freak out about computers and how people can track us/destroy our lives if they want.  I love that the theory that it is creepy when it’s just some guy doing whatever, but it is neat and science when a cop does it.  Because I guess it isn’t an invasion of privacy, or at the very least an expectation of privacy, if it is a “good guy”.

Because this is the last episode of the season it needed to be some kind of cliff hanger, because nothing attempts to force a studio to renew a show faster than not letting the world in on how things resolve.  Since that has never worked in the past, but people keep doing it, we pretty much have that same exact thing happen here.  If this had been any other episode it wouldn’t have had cyborg Dumbledore Pelant pulling the strings and would have just been a normal murder thing, also we would have been left with a warm feeling about Booth (David Boreanaz) and Bones (Emily Deschanel who is oddly Zoey’s sister) getting together and about to start a family.  Too bad that this is modern TV with a show that is getting later in its run, because that stuff just cannot be allowed to happen anymore until they get a movie deal.  I am willing to bet money right now that in the first two episodes of next season they admit to each other what has happened and have some kind of stupid and secret/private wedding.

Good
Modern Family

Something about covering that section of her face....

Where: ABC
When: Wednesday at 9:00 PM
Why:
I always feel like when I talk about Modern Family I am doing it some kind of stupid and terrible disservice. It is like trying to describe an analogy to someone who doesn’t have the internet, sure they might understand what you are getting at but they aren’t able to get distracted by porn along the way; that was the entire point! The show is slowly getting away from any plot points that involve the children, which is good because it feels like one of those times that people are telling cute kid stories that you just don’t get because you don’t have children and hate people that do; but it also is weird because they built the five of them up to be characters who kind of just seem to be shoved into the background at this point—namely Alex (Ariel Winter) who doesn’t seem to have more than 3 lines of dialog in the last year.

This episode is about Cam (Eric Stonestreet—who has an amazing last name) and Mitchell (!) (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) trying to teach their daughter, Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who is quickly becoming the best part of the show), about the importance of being truthful and honest.  It sounds dumb, but it also resulted in Haley (Sarah Hyland) dressing up as the sexiest Tooth Fairy ever seen outside of the oddest frat party kegger.  There is also something about Claire (Julie Bowen) wondering if being a stay at home mom is really all that she should do with her life, but considering that most of it is filled with penis joke it is really hard to take that as a plot thread.  Although with that in mind I guess I can’t describe anything Always Sunny does as “story”.

Bad
The Simpsons:

Pictured here, future meth addicts. Even Flanders.

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8:00 PM
Why:
So Reverend Lovejoy (Harry Shearer) proves to be so terrible at his job that the guy above him, in whatever denomination it is that town worships, comes in with a new priest to replace him.  This being the Simpsons the next logical move is for him to take up selling hot tubs, because I guess that when you leave a job that you aren’t good at the next step is to take a job that showing up sober is considered a B- grade in the grand scheme.  The confusion, for me, comes in the fact that I never really saw him “quit” his job makes me kind of think that he is either trying to ride two paychecks until someone notices and boots him out, or whatever religion he practices has some weird “forever” clause much in the same was as the Crypts and Bloods.

There is also something about Homer (Dan Castellaneta) being a deacon or something, because if it doesn’t directly involve the core group of people it simply cannot be an episode I guess.   I think that it is kind of bad that all of the more recent episodes are blurring to the point that I can’t even remember if there was another odd plot about Marge (Julie Kavner) or not.  When your show has successfully became the kind of bland that people in the 50s in Canada would speak up about it being hallow maybe it is time to, at the very least, shake things up every now and then on the show.  Instead we get boring and forgettable garbage I hate watching every second.

Best:
Doctor Who

The look of happy surprise

Where: BBC
When: Saturdays at 6:15 PM (GMT)
Why:
Because while it probably wasn’t the best episode, even of the season, it had these moments that I just simply loved.  The Victorian take on Sherlock Holmes, “Madame Vastra” (Neve McIntosh), both being a woman and a lizard is possibly one of my favorite plot points of the recent series.  Her “Watson” assistant, Jenny (Catrin Stewart) while not Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) hot manages in her own right.  Also, the on the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) face when she rips off her clothing to have some kind of leather judo suit on is awesome.  Very, “Not what I was expecting, but I will take it!” which is almost the motto of the show since Moffit took over.

There is seemingly some kind of poison, or disease traveling around the north of England that is turning people red and then painfully killing them.  Granted, it is kind of annoying that this was another one of those “not where I meant to end up, but adventure!” episodes tropes that are getting really annoying at this point.  I know that it is kind of a long standing thing, but it isn’t like the Doctor doesn’t get into trouble when he just goes on vacation—why can’t they just do more of those episodes.

Worst:
The Big C:

HAWKEYE!!!

Where: Showtime
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
Why:
The Big C is about Cathy, (Laura Linney who is terrible in everything) a woman who is diagnosed with cancer and decides that she hates her entire family.  Normally this kind of thing would be interesting or zany or at the very least enjoyable, it is none of those.  Instead we are treaded to one of the most annoying people on the planet pushing her beliefs on everyone else, all the while using the fact that she is going to die as an excuse to be a total and insufferable jerk. For the first three season her husband, Paul (Oliver Pratt), stood by while she cheated on him, spent every penny of their savings, and stopped just short of killing a young couple; when she was told that she was going to live he decided to leave her after she pushed his mentor, literally, under a bus. As I am writing this I kind of realized it hard to be funny about something you have active disdain for.

Last season ended with her swimming away with a random fisherman to live a peaceful life in the tropics and presumably die a quiet and peaceful death.  It turns out that none of that happened, probably because it would be too hard to conclude inside of a season, and that it was simply the cancer returning and attacking her brain.  If the before descriptions sound like something that you may not want to sit through, this is basically the same crap just cranked up—she has been told that she is dying, there is nothing that she can do, and now it seems that she wants the entire world to know just how miserable she is.  The only redeeming thing about this show is that Alan Alda plays a doctor, and even that makes me sad because Hawkeye is getting old (my heroes should forever stay young and witty).  M*A*S*H forever!