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.

(April Fools) Video Games is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

  1. Women have rights and video game don’t respect ideals

Wake up, AMERICA

Name one person that has ever been a lead in a video game that was also a women.  You can’t.  You also can’t name someone that was transgendered that was even IN A VIDEO GAME.  That is because the moment that you start to make video games you become part of the machine.  You don’t care about the feelings or rights of others, you only want money and to make sale.

  1. Video Games is not ART and can’t be

Does this look like art?!?

Art is something you go to school for.  It isn’t something that you can make in your parents basement with a couple of friends in your free time.  Ebert beat cancer, but he couldn’t beat into gamers heads that their hobbies didn’t matter.  Things that matter are well made movies, like the ChiPs TV series  and paintings of things that are hard to look at and difficult smells.

  1. No one Famous Likes Games

The most famous man in the world

We all know that the famous are trend setters and do everything correctly.  They are the best of everything in America.  The only way that you could be better would be to be European, or better yet! Bruce Jenner! Not only do no stars ever play video games, and we know because there has never been a single picture of oen of them EVER WITH ONE but the entire hemisphere of Europe has outlawed them so much that the tax makes one game cost almost 10 times as much as over here.  They have made all drugs legal in their wisdom of gay marriage, but they refuse to let games be discounted.  Isn’t America backwards?

  1. IT IS A wastE OF TIME

Who Ever this GUY is IS RIGHT

There is nothing that can be made better by sitting in front of something else.  You can’t learnt, you cannot built, you cannot even build a relationship with someone of your own sex.  The only thing you can do is avoid others while being fed messages from a source that claims to be interactive, but I have proven it is not!  All the freedom it expresses to have is simply different shades of grey, you are only their to devour the message that the MAN is forcing you to pay for.  An average new game for the newest system, the Wii, costs 15 dollars!  That isn’t even the upper limit!  Games can cost as much as a new car!  Why?  So you can devour the self hate that is vomited by a single thought organizism.

Go to college instead.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 3/15/15- 3/21/15

Anne's boobs

I have been anything but devoutly faithful about doing this article.  If anything it is probably one of the bigger regrets that I have about the site—not keeping up with this.  Well let’s see how quickly we can change that by going out and doing some writing on a weekly basis and posting things on this site again!  Woo internet things!

Good
Bob’s Burgers: Season 5, Episode 15

CHINCHILLA!

Where: Fox
When: 7:30 EST on Sundays
Why:
This episode had a chinchilla in it.  Not only did it have one, it basically revolved around the little guy.  Longtime fans of the site will not only know that I am a huge fan of the creatures, but I also own one and think he is just the best.  This episode also has a chinchilla, and while not nearly as central to the plot as it should have been, that was brought up almost entirely through the episode as the pivotal character it is almost worth letting slide– we all know it should have been 30 minute of a chin cam.  Who knows, maybe I am a little too fond of the concept of chinchillas and upset at their lack of presence in our society to fairly judge this episode.  On the other hand, no. I am not.

I love Bob’s Burgers, even when the show is bad it still manages to be just a little something for me to look forward to at the start of a week, like a smiling face beaming at me and reminding me that life isn’t always as terrible as I keep telling myself it is.  That said, this episode would have been wonderful if the show didn’t always seem so concerned about what was going on with the entire family during every single showing.  Take, say, this time; everything would have been perfectly fine if it had been mainly focused on the children/chinchilla escape escapades.  Instead we had a weird date that we got to watch Bob awkwardly screw up, and then save.  Thankfully there was a chinchilla.

Bad
The Flash: Season 1, Episode 15

Sadly this was the most interesting image I could find of the episode

Where: The CW
When: 8:00 PM EST on Tuesdays
Why:
I enjoy watching TV while I play video games.  There is a logic behind this that many people don’t really back me up on, understand, or think is “a good use of my time.”  My theory is that there are a ton of games that I like that there is nothing really but dead periods and repetitive actions over and over and over and over and over again, and while I enjoy those— in the same way that I am pretty sure that Pavlov’s dog loved getting that treat when he rang the stupid, delicious, bell—there is always the feeling that I kind of want the other half of my brain to be doing something that only ever requires less than the remaining portion.

Thankfully every show from the CW pretty much fully fits this bill, and The Flash just happens to be the most super hero, DC based, clearly marketed to the late teen early 20s demographic, one that I can stomach.  It is weird that the show will go from trying to explain away super villains and ultra science to the thin line of romance that must be walked when you are both a super hero AND painfully handsome.  It is odd that the moment that people are placed into a series of well-lit environments how they seem to lose so many of their interpersonal skills that most people developed around the same time that they were fumbling around in the dark at a party trying to make out with their middle school girlfriend.  Maybe that is why all sitcoms have people that just can’t seem to get together, they never had a dark enough area to let their pre-teen selves get all the angst out.

Good
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 2, Episode 13

Yeah, I get that

Where: ABC
When: 9:00 EST on Tuesdays
Why:
I think I know why people gamble.  The feeling and the rush that you get when you allow something really stupid to go on for entirely too long and it pays off in amazing and really undeservingly spectacular ways is rewarding.  Agents has been just that, borderline painfully terrible for a good chunk of the first season as you could watch it flounder around trying to find its weird fish/lizard legs while it learned to walk, now it is almost like a real show that you can proudly admit to your friends that you watch and pay attention to plotlines and everything—and not even do it sarcastically or because, you know, Marvel.

This season has even managed to be a double shocker as it started off twice as strong as the last season finished and continued to find ways to improve the show by following the less learned from last time of “people don’t like to watch boring things.”  They were even kind enough to, during the annoying mid-season break thing that all the cool shows are doing now, replace themselves with half a season of Agent Carter — which ended up being so much better than the show that it was emulating.  The worst part is that now that Carter is on break and we are back to watching S.H.I.E.L.D. I get to be reminded that, while still one of the better regular shows on TV, the show based in the 50s that is supposed to be the kid brother to it not only managed to get the actual stars (plural) to back to be main characters, they also managed to be way more watchable.

Bad
Workaholics: Season 5, Episode 10

Remember when I was in stuff?

Where: Comedy Central
When: 10:00 PM EST on Wednesdays
Why:
Workaholics is a show that grew on me in a way that I really wasn’t expecting.  At no point in my past can I look back and say when I started to enjoy it, mainly because I can’t ever seem to find an episode that I liked.  It is the sum of the episodes together that I found enjoyable, for some stupid “I enjoy watching bad movies,” kind of way.  It is the show that you watch and think was way funnier three days later when you are imagining it and your memory manages to insert better, funnier, handsomer actors into it.  It is basically every Jack Black movie that has ever been, which is odd because Nacho Libre himself had a part this season.

This episode was based around the concept of bar trivia, and mainly its focus on the 80s.  It also has to do with the repeated attempts for one member of the group to grow up and maintain a job where they do not have to constantly run scams to consume food between paychecks, but that is quickly forgotten because no one wants to deal with issues and adult thoughts.  Not only is it impressive how every single time the trio manage to hang onto their– what I am assuming are– below minimum wage job, but how Anders (Anders Holm) continually manages to brown noise just enough to land interview after interview for better jobs.  I am sure the formulaic nature of the show will never allow him to achieve that victory, but I guess one can always dream.

Best:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2, Episode 19

You mean ice cream trucks can be fun AND murder?!

Where: Fox
When: 8:30 EST on Sundays
Why:
You know that show that you watch and snippets just keep popping in your head throughout the week making you smile?  For me that is Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  I picked up the show because one of my wife’s friends made a stupid remark about it being the funniest and smartest show that has ever been on TV (and we all know that is Community), and for some unknown reason I felt like I needed to prove her wrong by watching the entire first season in one sitting.  I think there was both logic and more to that plan, but it kind of fell apart pretty quickly as it managed to rocket up to Community levels of amazing in the first handful of episodes.  That super worries me because everyone knows we can’t have good things for long on Network TV.

The core concept is that you take an episodic cop show and make it star the guy from the “Dick in a Box” SNL skit.  I would love to say that there is more addition involved, but it is really just as simple as basically taking talented, funny people and allow them to be morons in front of a camera with lines written by funnier, more talented people who are probably less good in front of the camera.  That said, this is a terrible episode for anyone who is not already devoted to the show to jump in on; between the random in jokes and the plot this time revolving around a story arch that has been happening for the entire season (19 episodes), this is not the one to tell people that they should start with.  That said, it is a great pay off for those of us who may have picked this up around the start of the year and have been riding high as this season continued on. Also, I have learned that the first four hours of living in an ice cream truck are nothing but glamorous, even when kidnapped.

Worst:
Community: Season 6, Episode 1 (and 2)

That does look amazingly fun

Where: Yahoo! Screen
When: 8:00 PM on Tuesdays
Why:

Not only do I love Community, and feel that it is awesome that it has come back in any form at all, but am kind of super excited that these aren’t even bad episodes that are airing.  The problem with this episode(s) is that you can basically tell that the people that are left are the ones that are never going to leave the show, regardless of how little funding it is given or how few episodes they are allowed to make per season.  Core members of the cast have been picked off one by one due to being a complete and total ass (Chevy Chase) or because they managed to make a surprising second non-serious career suddenly worth mentioning on The Today Show (Donald Glover dancing around with a Grammy Nomination placard, I assume).

I understand that the show is quickly approaching the point where it has been on forever (even though many people have attempt to make that otherwise) and that normal people do tend to leave a job after half a decade for green pastures or simply because they are getting bored of people loving them for no reason.  That doesn’t mean that any of the episodes where a new character is introduced directly after can ever feel like they are anything less than forced, and even though Community managed it slightly better than most shows could have—it still feels they just want you to stop noticing that Smithers was once black.

Double Special Secret Worst:
Top Gear: Season None, Episode Not Airing

James May, the only person with something nice to say!

Where: Inside our hearts
When: Maybe always now
Why:

I have spoken of Top Gear before, at length.  It is a British show about cars and adult men who do some of the stupidest things that they can possibly manage to do with a car at any given time.  It is estimated, via the Top Gear wiki, that the show gets around 750 million viewers.  That basically means that one in ten people on the planet are watching the show.  There are tons of other stats that you could throw out, but it is pretty much easier to say that the show is unobtainablly huge and as such one of the hosts has gotten in enough trouble (for the second time this season[but after a long series of times in his life]) to get the show cancelled; even though there are episodes that have been filmed and are ready to go.

Jeremy Clarkson does stupid things, very often.  Things come out of his mouth on such a regular basis that it is mildly amazingly that he hasn’t managed to insult enough countries to cause a war.  At the start of this season he and the entire cast almost got lynched over a license plate on a car he was driving, directly after/before (I am unclear on the exact timing of it) that he was put on –what Americans would call—a final warning for using a racist slur.  Now he has managed to get the show pulled from the air while the BBC investigates an “incident” he was involved in, and by “incident” I mean that he punched a producer in the face for their not being any hot food at the ready when they showed up at a hotel.

Keep in mind that most of the information that is known, in anyway, about what happened is so third hand at this point that it is almost worthless; but this is what appears to have happened:  After doing some kind of event that required driving across England the three stars showed up at the hotel they would be staying at rather late at night, there was no food for them at all.  Clarkson lost his collective shit and went off on the producer that was responsible, it escalated, it is rumored he punched the guy.  All that aside I am happy to report that we do know for a fact that James May was black out drunk while the entire thing was happening.

Since I started writing this the BBC has decide to not renew Clarkson’s contract, meaning he is gone.  The problem then comes in that (James) May and (Richard) Hammond have repeatedly and publicly stated that they won’t do the show without him.  The thing is, that isn’t even really a bargaining chip for them; the man literally invented the show.  Top Gear was a thing before (Jeremy) Clarkson, kind of, but he changed the format, style, and everything about it in such a way that until last year he owned all those things–at which point he sold them off to the BBC for about 75 million dollars.  Make of that what you will.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 3/31/13 – 4/6/13

Sorry, I just needed a picture of her, again, this week

Doctor Who continues to be airing, although this week it won’t really hit the list because it kind of ended up being forgettable and kind of bad; almost like they forgot how plot works.  It started off really strong and even featured the best/hottest new assistant that he has had since the last one.

It is also a weird time for TV because most shows are either ending their season, or ended it (good bye fan favorite punching bag Dual Survival),  and all of the new shows are things that are sure to be cancelled the moment that anything good really comes back on the air this summer.  This basically means that this week is probably going to be a lot more pedantic than I want.

Good
Parks and Rec: Season 5, Episode 17

"I am feeding your eagle.  He is STARVING"

Where: NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:30PM
Why:
Parks and Rec is an acquired taste.  It has The Offices brand of awkward, not sure if I should laugh, humor mixed in with the thinking person’s taste of 30 Rock.  Like most shows halfway through a decade, Parks and Rec has pretty much lost the thread of what the show was about when it first started.  It isn’t that there aren’t explanations or transitions along the way, but going back and watching the first season with friends feels weird as most of that stuff has been resolved and forgotten about.

Ben (Adam Scott) returns to his home town to receive the key to the city, even though he single handedly did everything but burn everyone’s jobs to the ground it during his mayor-ship.  He is unable to receive it in person, though, because it is discovered that he has kidney stones and is taken to the hospital and medicated.  Honestly the rest of the episode is fine, but all that I really learned is that I would watch a half an hour, weekly, show just about him being on morphine.  ADD + non-sequitur = comedy cold.  Honestly my only real problem with this episode is that there wasn’t more.  Remember staying home from school and watching the Price is Right? You’re pretty.

Bad
Californication: Season 6, Episode 12

Don't worry, the finale didn't make me want to get out of bed either

Where: Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:30
Why:
I love Californication.  It is about as masturbatory a show as a writer can want.  Considering the fact that most people that decide that they are going to use written words as their canvas are by definition introverts it is a little nice to have a show where one is an extrovert that everyone unreasonably loves.  It isn’t a show about a guy getting a girl; he did that before the first season started.  This is a show about a guy getting pretty much every girl that has ever lived and making them want more.

With the rare exception of season 5 it doesn’t seem like Californication knows how to either start or end a series, but rather aims to have a really strong middle section.   This time it began with Hank (David Duchovny) in rehab, which for a show about a guy who drinks, does drugs, and has sex with pretty much everything, seemed like a bad thing.  This entire last episode is about him longing for his ex, Karen (Natascha McElhone), which as far as I can tell is exactly the most annoying direction that they could have taken the plot.  The worst part is that he already has, to steal one of Stark’s terms, “best girl” Faith (Maggie Grace) ready to spend a lifetime supporting him through his rock and roll/writing/banging out women lifestyle. Just kind of annoying that this show likes to put Hank’s life on track to something interesting just to have him decide that he wants to chase after the woman that disapproves of everything he does.  I think I will just have to come to terms with the fact that Hank Moody wants to be miserable always.

Best:
Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 1

Ok, there are boobies AND dragons

Where: HBO
When: Sundays at 9 PM
Why:
More like Game of Boners, right?  Right?  Hello?

You have a show that is about violence and nudity and people wonder why it is the most pirated thing on television.  I guess that would make more sense if you consider that the political structure of each military campaign is more complex than J.R.R. Tolkien’s notes for all of The Lord of the Rings, and half the time people hold secretive grudges from years ago that may not have ever been explained fully during the shows run.  Oh, and at times it kind of feels like you need to start learning a second language to fully grasp what is going on.  But I guess there are still the boobs and murder, so I guess the barrier to entry is lower than I thought.

A bunch of stuff happened, most of it made me feel like I should have re-watched the last two seasons to figure out why any of it was important.  At one point someone said something about Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) killing his instructor and my only response was, “wait, when did that happen?” Still, the show is written brilliantly well and shot in such a way that it makes everything else in the universe seem filmed on poop garbage, the garbage of poop.  I am pretty sure that the only reason most of the people who watch this is that when you figure out one thing that is going on you feel amazingly smart; like what God must feel like when He makes puns.

Worst:
The Office: Season 9, Episode 18

Seen here: What NBC has done to the most loyal fans

Where: NBC
When: Thursdays at 9:30PM
Why:
Have I ever talked about The Office in a positive light on this site?  If I have it hasn’t been for stupid amounts of years. The fact that this show has been allowed to run its course without even the hint of cancelation just sort of leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  This is the same channel that has repeated tried to get rid of Community and at several point Scrubs.  I am pretty sure that the only reason this is still on is because one of the cast members has some photos of someone high up in NBC.

After about a decade of the film crew taping everyone in the office they are finally releasing the documentary. This causes everyone to realize that they have both broken laws while being taped as well as had massive and life changing secrets (sometimes sexy secrets) exposed at their workplace.  This is the first time that I have felt like the show might have had “something planned” in the way of concluding the series, although that seemed rather short lived with any of the subplots that were introduced during the course.  It is strange that we are 18 episodes in and it is just not starting a story line that could easily have inspired an entire season.  I guess that after 9 years of people filming you and doing nothing with it would sort of just give you the feeling that nothing will ever come of it, but really, half of them waved to the film crew after they were done cheating on their wives.

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.