Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Week in TV: 28/04-04/05

This is my ranking for the TV shows I watched last week (tread carefully, spoilers abound):

11. Bad Teacher: "Daddy Issues" (Season 1 Episode 2)


It is sad that the titular character in a tv show about a "sexy, foul-mouthed divorcée who becomes a teacher to find her next husband" (according to Imdb), she has already learned two lessons in two episodes. A good sitcom can do the learning thing right such as Parks and Rec and an inoffensive sitcom can get away with the no-learning thing (Friends or Happy Endings). Why then, is Bad Teacher so bad at this? Ari Graynor is again, quite good but with such a stale script not a lot of good can come up. The secondary storyline about online dating was not only tremendously outdated but also poorly executed. Some of the actors are quite bad (I'm looking at you, Charlotte York-MacDougal-Goldenblatt) but I like some others like the student teacher whose name I'm unaware of. Still, this pretty much sucks.

MVP: Ari Graynor, but she deserves better.

10. The Simpsons: "What To Expect When Bart's Expecting" (Season 25 Episode 19)

Speaking of dated storylines, in this week's The Simpsons we have a gay horse. Will & Grace did that like fifteen years ago. And it was funnier. The first part of the episode was better with the enthusiatic art teacher and Bart's first steps in voodoo. But in general this just feels uninspired. The show is going to have at least another season but I'm not sure it's such a great idea.

MVP: The couch gag, really beautiful and witty.

9. Glee: "The Back-Up Plan" (Season 5 Episode 18)

And we have yet another Oscar winner in Glee. Shirley Maclaine plays a wealthy producer who wants to make a star out of Blaine. Suck it, Kurt! Also, how in earth do you choose a One Direction song to perform in front of someone who once did peyote with Joe Kennedy? Maclaine is not bad in the part but it is a little sad to see her slumming this hard. Meanwhile Mercedes decides to plagiarize the trailer for Begin Again and records music out of the stiffness of a studio. She wants Santana to duet with her on her album but Warwick thinks that having her completely unknown high school classmate as a hook might not be the best idea. And still it is ridiculous because Santana is the best so I'm conflicted because of Glee. Rachel meets the Dean of Greendale to test for a TV show for which she is woefully unprepared. But because she is Rachel, they are going to develop a show around her no matter what. Wouldn't it be cool if the show was called Glee and all of the characters played themselves and everything got so meta that Abed would explode? Well, Abed exploding would not be cool, because I like him. But we don't have to worry, I'm sure the idea for the show will be terrible and uninteresting.

MVP: Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez. Period.

8. Modern Family: "Sleeper" (Season 5 Episode 21)

This was not a great episode but I like Mitchell's storyline with everyone ignoring and forgetting him. Phil's antics get too much on my nerves to be enjoyable and Cam was even more irritating than usual. Gloria trying to put color on her baby  was quite weird. As was Jay entering Stella in a dog contest. And how many more times can they do the thing where a character is talking about something and it's phrased in such a way that it sounds as if they have just discovered gay sex. Are we homophobic yet? Nevertheless, Ed O'Neill sells it well but come on, enough is enough.

MVP: Jesse Tyler Ferguson who is quite funny playing the victim.

7. Orphan Black: "Mingling its Own Nature with It" (Season 2 Episode 3)

Even though this week was less crazy and the clones were apart from each other, I really liked this episode. Sarah takes Kira to her father (Daario from GoT and quite yummy, truth be told) and ends up the episode trying to kill Rachel's lapdog in a cliffhangery fashion. Helena is hilarious interacting with the religious freaks. Cosima is still boring but at least she discovers there was another (nine already?) clone but she is dead already due to the clone disease. And finally Alison is a mess. Her musical is opening and she is going to the valley of the dolls so hard that she actually falls off the stage. I would really like for all the clones to get together and kick-ass but as long as they keep the stories this interesting I'm cool with it.

MVP: Tatiana Maslany playing Alison but also Helena.

6. New Girl: "Dance" (Season 3 Episode 22)

New Girl is a weird show. Sometimes it just doesn't come quite together but when it works, it works. And this episode worked a lot. I loved Jess's enthusiasm with the dance and the whodunnit with shark-girl and also Jess and Coach being friends. I really enjoyed Cece trying to make her past look cool by sounding bad. I would love to share a salad with Nick. I liked Winston trying to prove he does not suck all the sexual tension out of every situation and succeeding since he has a Bieber-effect on prepubescent girls. I even tolerated Schmidt. Go figure...

MVP: Hanna Simone as Cece was very funny but I wish we could see her boyfriend again.

5. Galerías Velvet: "La Visita" (Season 1 Episode 11)

Well, you can start forgetting about that Nicole Kidman movie opening Cannes because Grace Kelly has already arrived and she is in Velvet. Nevermind that the actress looks or sounds nothing like the princess of Monaco, those are just pesky details. Especially because I want Raúl's collection to succeed and if that involves royal shenanigans, so be it. Luckily, Don Emilio is all right and he is not going to die although Patricia is so good in his job that he should be sick a while. Meanwhile, Luisa finds out she is pregnant. Is it her husband's or the dead-client-that-blackmailed-her-into-sleeping-with-him's? We also have two will they or won't they couples. First, Rita and Pedro which I hope end up together and then, Doña Blanca and Maximiliano, who I also wish end up pairing up. Clara dabbles in the modelling world with disastrous and hilarious results and Ana is given an opportunity to start designing her own dresses. But the most important storyline is the one concerning Alberto and Cristina. She asks him (in a wonderful naive version of Truth or Dare) why he moved to London. He says that it was because of a girl his father did not approve of and he lights up talking about her while Cristina looks in horror.

MVP: Manuela Velasco as Cristina, not only for that last daunting look but also for her line reading "We have to be one hundred per cent honest".

4. Grey's Anatomy: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (Season 10 Episode 22)

Apart from the ovbiously fake Zurich backgrounds, this episode was awesome, it was even named after a Taylor Swift song. I was more than a little wary when I learnt that Burke was guest-starring. I never really liked the character and these kind of stunts never pay off. But thankfully, I was wrong. It was worth it just to hear Cristina tell him that he doesn't want him. Even if that's not what he meant either. She is married to medicine, to cardio and now, to growing hearts in jars. I really don't want Sandra Oh to leave. She is in my top 4 favorite characters (Meredith, Callie and Addison complete the quartet) and she has been so good through everything. I loved the silly little plot with Callizona, I just love them when they're happy. And Jackson and April story was somehow tied up if only because he is the best man ever. I wonder which resident they're kicking out. But, you know, not too much. And I'm not sure I like Derek's sister sticking any longer. But we shall see.

MVP: Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, nailing both the lighter stuff ("His mama took your eyebrows") and the heavier things (Her "You're Leaving" pretty much killed me).

3. Game of Thrones: "Oathkeeper" (Season 4 Episode 4)

I think I say this every week but I'm really scared about Daenerys. I don't want the former slaves to revolt against her. She is so cool. She fights injustice with justice. Duffy can keep mercy, thank you very much. I also wonder why so many important characters have died and Sam is still alive? He is insufferable. And I dislike the White Walkers too. We don't need zombies everywhere, especially if the CGI is going to be this poor. Over at King's Landing we find out that Lady O. had something to do with Joffrey dying. I don't like that she is willing to let Tyrion carry the blame. Tyrion rules. Over at Sitcom Spinoff Alert, Brienne and Pod go away from the capital to look for Sansa and keep Jamie's honor. This is going to be so much fun!

MVP: Let's give this one to Emilia Clarke who is always strong and I suspect she is going to be forgotten at the Emmys.

2. Mad Men: "Field Trip" (Season 7 Episode 3)

Betty is back! And she's being catty about a bra-less teacher, drinking cow milk and being generally terrible to her adoring son. God, I've missed her. Over in L.A. Megan seems to be going crazy and Don flies out to be with her. He ends up spilling the beans about losing the job and she calls it quits. I really hope we haven't seen the last of Megan. I love the character and Jessica Paré. After returning to New York, Don asks Roger for his job back and Roger tells him to go to the office on Monday. Roger does not let everybody know and we suffer one of the most painful scenes in ever. Don arrives at SCP and he doesn't belong. A very hateful person is occupying his office, the creative nobodies treat him like an equal and everything is terrible. In the last scene of the episode, the partners meet and a very cold Joan lists all the requirements for Don to get the job back (I love Hendricks here!). Surprisingly (for me, at least), Don says yes! He is back! Everyone is back!

MVP: January Jones as Betty. She is perfect at capturing the duality of the Betty that believes she wants to be a perfect mother and the Betty who actually does not give a fuck about the smallish people living under her roof.

1. Hannibal: "Naka-Choko" (Season 2 Episode 10)

If a couple of years ago you'd have told me that a TV show based on a character done to death was going to be the best thing since sliced bread I would not have believed you. And alas, here we are, and shit is getting real. In happy and completely bonkers and unexpected news, Will has embraced his killer instinct and is helped by Hannibal to create a work of art with a dead body. In sadder news, Will is real crazy and kills Freddie. I liked her! Sad face. But still, if her death only serves the purpose of Hannibal playfully saying to Will in the kitchen: "You slice the ginger", it will have been worth it. Michael Pitt appears and he is amazing as yet another crazy person (those abound, both in this show and in his filmography) who is training pigs to devour her sister. Said sister (whom I already love) has sex with Will while Hannibal and Alana are going at it and we get this scene where the latter two and Will are having a threesome. As my boyfriend said, it was the two men who should have kissed to drive the message home but I guess that was too much. Vincenzo Natali, never go.

MVP: Dancy and Mikkelsen. They are (short of Jon Hamm) giving the best performances by leading actors in a drama series and they are not going to be nominated at the Emmys. That is simply unfair. They are superb and their (quite homoerotic) chemistry is palpable.

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