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Last Week in TV - June 22 - 28 - Episode Awards and Reviews

Hello and welcome back to Last Week in TV. I'm still frantically trying to catch up on old shows while watching all the pilots so bear with me. This week I concentrated on shows that had their finales while I was gone. Next week it's all about the marathon. Going back to usual, I watched nominated show Grey's Anatomy which was surprisingly funny. If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the 2 boxes below. Also if you are a Buffy fan and you have Skype, let me know if you want to join our Buffy Season 2 roundtable. Until next week, happy TV viewing.

Overall Awards:

Best Episode (Current) - The Last Ship - 1.01 - Pilot

This was the best summer pilot I have seen so far. I liked the pacing and the build up to the captain and crew realizing how bad things had gotten in the 4 months they were on lock down. The characters are compelling if not a bit stereotypical. Chandler and Slattery have a great dynamic even though they approach things differently. It makes every scene with them golden. I don't know why the Russians aren't planning to work with the US instead of attacking them, but it does lend an air of mystery to when they are going to learn of Quincy's double agent status. Mostly though I like how by making them a mobile yet isolated target, they have added an element to the somewhat tired outbreak scenario. In this it is a little like Helix, where the claustrophobia of the arctic circle added to the tension of the disease. I do have some concerns that The Last Ship can keep up tension and a good story when the basic story is avoidance and scientific research, but the pilot hooked me. I'm in.

Best Episode (Catch Up) - Enlisted - 1.13 - Alive Day

Very few episodes get an A+ from me but this was a perfect farewell love letter from the cast and crew of Enlisted to the fans. I will never understand how Enlisted was cancelled and so much garbage got renewed. Here's a show with so much heart, great characters, and more laughs than a third of the other comedies I watch put together. It's a perfect combination. This episode was the best yet, although Homecoming comes close. I always enjoy Enlisted best when they are united together in a worthy goal, and what could be more worthy than showing their commanding officer how much he means to them. Add to it the great continuity on Pete's PTSD and that fantastic beach scene and it's about as perfect as it gets. I will sorely miss you Hill brothers and all your comrades. You deserved better but I appreciate all the enjoyment you gave to me.

Best Action - Taxi Brooklyn - Opening Car Chase

Generally I am more for hand-to-hand combat over car chases, but this was not your ordinary car chase. Romba is a master driver who used to be the getaway driver for the French mob. His tight turns and reverse action made my heart leap. Nice shooting of this sequence too. It felt like I was along for the ride and it was better than any rollercoaster. I only wish that it had lasted longer because the rest of the episode was downhill from there. I can only offer the highest complimet to Romba though: You drive like Fiona Glenanne.

Best Entrance - Teen Wolf - Mystery Motorcycle Chick

Mystery Motorcycle Chick (Braeden) has a way with entrances. When we first met her she was rescuing Issac and using some sweet motorcycle skills to avoid the Alpha twins. She was great on a bike and good with electrivity. The next time we saw her, she was wielding a gun to rescue Derek and Peter from being electrocuted themselves. She is the ultimate female kick butt fighter. Still, my favorite entrance she has ever made came this week. Mostly because of the music that accompanied her. She rides up to Jungle by X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons. The lyrics of "Follow me into the jungle" and throbbing beat captured both the mission and the character, making the scene feel like a living creature. It was an awesom way to introduce a fascinating character. I cannot wait for her next high powered entrance.

Worst TV Trend of the Week - Bad Nostalgia 

There's nothing Hollywood likes better than a sequel, reboot, or refranchising. Summer blockbusters pride themselves on how many ways they can cash in on our nostalgia. TV is no different. From the umpteenth superhero story to updates on classic shows like Beauty and the Beast, TV is just as often in the recycle, reboot, release circle as the movies. This week saw the premiere of 2 shows born on a wave of decades-old nostalgia: Girl Meets World and Mystery Girls. The problem is that neither fill the spot original fans were hoping for. Girl Meets World may have Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World in it, but they are definitely not the focus. Topanga might as well not have been absent completely since she only gets a few lines. This is 100% a tween show so those watching the premiere with their own child had it better than those tryng to recapture their youth. In the same vein, Mystery Girls gave us the return of Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling, teaming up to recreate that 90210 magic. Except they didn't. This is a low-rent sitcom that played the two actors together as a gimmick. The problem was that it was the only gimmick. It's a one-note joke that plays throughout, stretching a 10 minute comedy sketch to 22 minutes. In Girl Meets World, what you saw in the pilot is what you get. This is no continuation of the Cory and Topanga romance. It's a tween show and if you approach it with that mind set, you'll find it more enjoyable. Mystery Chicks can only get better and I hope that the show fleshes itself out as they move beyond nostalgia.

Best TV Trend of the Week - Sassy Sidekicks

I am a huge fan of snark. Generally my favorite character in any given series is the most sarcastic one. Luckily this week showered us in snarky characters that steal the spotlight from the more earnest leads. By far the best character in Girl Meets World for me was Evelyn, the sassy subway rider. I have no idea why she's always on the subway at the same time Riley is. She could in fact be a stalker. Still she made me laugh in a way nothing else in the pilot did. I strongly support her quitting her job and making her living off of subway snark. Better yet, hire her as a teacher. It's not like they do anything else that makes educational sense on that show. In Young & Hungry, everyone who isn't part of the main love triangle sparkled. While Sofia wins the crown, she just barely nudged out Yolanda who came off with the best ending line of the week. Yolanda: "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow your roll. That's what got us into this mess." I picked Young & Hungry as my go-to comedy this summer strictly on Yolanda and Sofia's roles. Comedies weren't the only ones to throw in the snark. Sullivan's mom, Frankie, was a hoot on Taxi Brooklyn. From her wink-wink, nudge-nudge admiration of Romba to giving back in spades what Sullivan threw at her, she nailed the fiesty, still hot momma role and stuck out from the rest of the crowd in a typical police procedural. The last great character wasn't as much snarky as a straight up total witch, but she has definite snark potential. Lucia, the crazy junior mobster's sister, gave as good as she got and then threw out more. She straight up verbal slapped Johnny and took control of the room. I cannot wait to see just how impressive she is going to be as a villain.

Other Character Awards -

Saddest Character Death (Catch Up) - Ensign Baker (TURN)
Best Villain / Most Fascinating Character - Arika (Dominion)
Best Character Overhaul - Malia (Teen Wolf)
Most in Need of Spanking - Sammy (Tyrant) / Brenna (Chasing Life)

Nominated Show:

Grey's Anatomy - 1.01 - A Hard Day's Night (Pilot)

I did not want to review this show at all. It comprises of all the things I hate most about TV: soapy plots, endless romantic entanglements, shocking twists that become more unbelievable as the years pass, professionals who become more incompetent with every person they sleep with. That's exactly what Grey's meant to me. Granted it probably becomes that sooner instead of later, but I didn't realize how funny Grey's could be too. It has the kind of sarcastic humor that makes every show better, even tolerable. The highlight of the episode is most definitely Bailey. Her gruff nature is fun from the second she spits out the rules. I also love how hesitant Izzie is to wake her. I would be too. The woman is terrifying. Less interesting is Meredith sadly. As the main character, she is too neurotic already to be entertaining and the idea of a prolonged lust dance with Derek does nothing for me. Neither does her ailing mother, which comes as no surprise at all. The only thing that does is the interns didn't mention it when they were talking about her. Is it a secret? How could they keep it a secret? Anyway, I found this episode far more enjoyable than I thought it would be, but it did have pacing problems. About halfway through I thought we'd gone the whole episode and at 43 minutes long, that should not happen. I did appreciate that this is not ER, where half the purpose was trying to gross out the audience at every possible moment. In the end, I wish Grey's well. It's obviously successful to have lasted this long, but I've heard way too much about this show to ever think it would work for me as a long-term TV relationship. I enjoyed this little fling though.

Grade: B-
Ranking: 2

Best Scene - Bailey's rules / George and Meredith talk other possible career options

Best Quote - Bailey: "Rule #1 - Don't bother sucking up. I already hate you. That's not going to change."

Best Reason to Watch - surprisingly the humor. It is the biggest shock for me.

Most Promising Character - Cristina

Harshest Moment - Preston makes George tell a woman her husband is dead

Best Reason to be Terrified - Izzy has to wake Dr. Bailey, who wouldn't surprise me if she actually breathed fire

Biggest Douche - Alex, who is way too cocky and talks down way too much to the nurse for someone at his rank

Longest 24 Hours Ever - When we hit the 24 hour point, I thought the episode was almost over. I forgot they have 48 hour shifts.

Biggest Rookie Mistake - I avoid hospitals as much as possible but even I know you never make promises that someone will be okay. Even the most minor surgery can go wrong, and this guy's having surgery on his heart.

The "Um, Did I Stumble into an Episode of House?" Award - It's a medical scavenger hunt and everyone gets to play "What's Wrong with Katie?" My guess, the clue is her falling during rhythmic gymnastics…..And bingo, 5 minutes later I should be scrubbing up for OR. Medical dramas are like police procedurals.

Best Way to Take Down a Douche - Meredith calls out Preston's lack of doing his job when Dr. Webber questions him. It's probably not going to make her friends, but at least Preston taken down a few.

Least Effective - the voiceovers

New Shows:

Tyrant - 1.01 - Pilot

~~~Warning this review includes specific details of key story points. Do not read if you do not want to be spoiled.

Normally I rewatch each show before I review it for this column just to make sure I don't forget any key details and to give me time to think about it before I judge. However, I found Tyrant so disturbing I couldn't bear to watch it again, so here's the review about 20 minutes after it aired. Initially I was skeptical about a show on FX about tyrants. I knew it would be bloody and there was a high chance of violence the sake of violence. Quite honestly I am less squeamish about violence than I am about sex and foul language on TV but just like those, I need it to have purpose. I need it to enhance the plot or the characters and FX does not have a good track record with that. I expected torture and gunfire and graphic pictures of people blown up. I did not expect the episode to be one rape scene after another and I can't handle that. SPOILER - We first meet Jamal in the process of raping a woman, so I figured we'd gotten that unfortunate scene out of the way and could move on. Unfortunately, he is a serial rapist and it got worse from there. After watching him trail his new daughter-in-law into the bathroom, put his hands up her wedding dress and break her hymen with his fingers, I had enough. I felt disgusting even watching and 20 minutes later it is still branded into my mind where no brain bleach can reach it. I've hated some TV villains in my time but I've never had one make me feel sick to my stomach. Add in some justifiable outrage by people of Arab descent at how they are being portrayed and I can say this show is definitely not for me. There is violence for violence's sake and then there is pure brutality. I can live without either. It is a shame because I am strangely compelled by the family's fate now that they're basically being held prisoner in the country. Even still, I want nothing more to do with sanctioning this show, which is exactly what I would do if I were to keep watching. Nothing makes airing that scene okay. Nothing.

Grade: F
Ranking: 1

Best Scene - Doctor Son finally smacks his brat of a son, who doesn't seem to understand that they are about to get trapped in a dictatorship under a psycho tyrant. I actually wouldn't mind more TV brats getting smacked when they become obnoxious.

Best Quote - Doctor Son: "I told you we shouldn't have come."

Best Reason to Watch - Doctor Son is the only compelling character in the pilot. I am sure the newspaper reporter and a few others will step up as the series continues

Best Reason to Skip - violence for violence's sake and the fact that almost every character is about as clichéd a stereotype as you'll find on TV

Best Reason to Fast Forward - all the rapes

Biggest Twist - It is Doctor Son who starts off as the psycho as a child and not Jamal

Least Clue - Bratty Son, who is obnoxious from beginning to end

Least Common Sense - Good Wife, who keeps pushing her husband to reunite with his family. At this point I believe that she is not after the family money, but man is she an idiot. When your husband forsakes his family's palace, trust that there is a good reason for him not to return and leave it at that. If it weren't for the serial rapist king on the loose, I'd say you deserve being trapped in the gilded cage for a few days. No one deserves being there any longer.

Biggest Psycho - Jamal

The Last Ship - 1.01 - Pilot

Grade: A-
Ranking: 5

Best Scene - Chandler versus Slattery on the best course to pursue

Biggest Aww Scene (bad) - Benz kills himself once he's infected

Biggest Aww Scene (good) - Chandler gets a video message from his wife saying they are all alive

Best Moment - Jeter asks permission to salute Chandler

Best Quote - Chandler: "You don't really think the Cubs are still in it." Slattery: "It's the weakest division in baseball. We were 6 games up when we left." Chandler: "That was June and they're the Cubs." ~Hey, I'm from St. Louis. I have to choose the quote that knocks the Cubs.

Best Reason to Watch - It's an interesting take on an age-old story. I like the team together vibe and the isolation they face in discovering the cure.

Best Plan - Chandler decides not to risk going onto land and tells Scott to make the cure aboard the ship

Best Twist - Quincy is working for the Russians instead.

Most Heroic - Captain Chandler risks electrocution to get the engines going away from the nuclear fallout

Worst Plot Device - When bad guys can't shoot. 5 helicopters with armed men and missiles versus 2 guys on snowmobiles. There should be a clear winner here, but nope. Not the helicopters. They were losing before the ship came to help. I get that they wanted to keep Scott and the research alive to kidnap them, but surely killing the soldiers would have been the first step towards that.

Biggest Question - Why are they firing nuclear weapons above the ship? Surely there is a less deadly way to disable a ship. I can't figure out if they are trying to get the cure for themselves or trying to keep Scott from making one, period.

Best Speech - Captain to the crew before taking them away from land, telling them that they are the hope of the world

Girl Meets World - 1.01 - Pilot

I confess that Boy Meets World premiered while I was in college. I caught it a few times in reruns, but it was really about halfway through its run that I watched it in earnest. I liked that show, which got progressively deeper as it went on. It was a good comedy but not afraid to touch on darker stuff every now and then. That's what made it stick out to me. This understandably is more reminiscent of the earlier episodes. It's a good fit for tweens but for those wanting to live the glory days of Boy Meets World, it is bland with not enough of the characters we already grew to love, especially Topanga. Basically, if you like Disney's other TV selections, this is a good match. It doesn't have Hannah Montana's humor yet and it needs a dash more of Jesse's goofy charm, but my guess is it grows into its own. Just don't expect it to grow into Boy Meets World. This is its own show.

Grade: C- for nostalgia, B for tween
Ranking: 2

Best Scene - Corey tells Maya she goes too far / Riley tells Maya that she's not allowed to give up on their friendship

Best Quote - Corey: "You missed the moment to stand by your girl. You were so busy trying to be her, Riley, you forgot the best thing you could do for her is be you."

Best Reason to Watch - If you're nostalgic about the old show, it's Corey dealing with the same problems but from an adult perspective. If you're of this show's generation, it's the girls' relationship. If you're me, it's Evelyn the snarky subway rider. She makes me laugh.

Best Cameo - Mr. Feeney. It just wouldn't be Boy Girl Meets World without him

Most Ludicrous, Yet Funny - Farkle climbing Corey

Best Meta / Worst Metaphor - Corey's "make it your world" speech with Topanga saying they'll be right there / Still the whole "it's your world" thing was used about 732 times in the 22 minutes episode. There's meta. There's metaphor. Then there's cliché. By 10 minutes in, it just became tiresome.

Most in Need of an Educational Consultant - Is Corey the only middle school history teacher in this school? Now way they let Riley be on his team if he's not. Talk about future disasters. Also no teacher would assign 48 pages of homework and a 3 page essay over night. Not in this day and age of the Common Core and lack of parental support. Oh and by the way, the kid who would really be in trouble here is Farkle. Bringing sparklers into a school is already a violation. Lighting them is 180 days suspension or expulsion.

The Actual Biggest Mystery - Who names their kid Farkle? Did Minkus learn nothing?

Best Sass - Evelyn of the subway

Biggest Hmmm - Corey is an educator and Maya has been his daughter's best friend for years. How is he surprised that she has no one to help her with her homework and thus refuses to do it?

Taxi Brooklyn - 1.01 - Pilot

Taxi Brooklyn has all the trademarks of every other cop show you watch. There's the 15 minutes in anvil so you know the big clue and/or murderer. There's the tough as nails female cop with a history of attitude problems stemming from a deeply troubled personal life. You've got the snappy medical examiner. It also adds the non-professional police assistant a la Castle. There's really nothing that makes it stand out except the non-professional is an ex-con and he's one fantastic driver. Let's just say that opening car chase was sweet. I have no idea which way this show will go. It might be a case of the week procedural or it might focus tightly on Sullivan finding her father's killer. Either way, I'm way too booked for yet another cop show so this one goes to the Marathon Later pile.

Grade: C+
Ranking: 3

Best Scene - opening car chase

Best Quote - Sullivan: "My mother hates him. She begged me not to marry him." Romba: "You should listen to your mother more."

Best Reason to Watch - this is a fairly typical cop show premise. The question becomes whether it will be serialized or procedural.

Best Moment - Romba waves goodbye to Sullivan's mom

Best Way to Stop a Criminal - Hit him with your taxi of course

Worst Sign - If someone has to explain a joke to you, either you're clueless or the joke was terrible. Take your pick.

Best Character - Frankie, who cracks me up

Police Procedural Pet Peeve #1 - Why are you handling that evidence without wearing gloves? Urgh!

Most in Need of a New Title - This show really needs to be called Taxi Shrink.

#1 Reason Why You should Always have a Partner - Then you don't have to stop to arrest the accomplice when you're chasing the mastermind. Sullivan does it twice here. It's realistic but stops that good action.

Young & Hungry 0 1.01 - Pilot

I don't watch Top Chef, so I have no idea who that guy whose name they said 5 billion times is. Still, I really liked this pilot. The characters are amiable and there is a great appeal in Gabi, even if she is a bit ditzy. Not liking the whole love triangle right from the beginning, but Gabi comes off as someone I can root for. Of course she has nothing on Sofia and Yolanda though. To be honest, if these two scene stealers were not in it, the pilot would be kind of bland. They bring the tang to Gabi's sweet and it's a great combination. I don't really have a summer comedy yet, so this one gets prime billing for now. Let's hope it stays as charming as this pilot.

Grade: B+
Ranking: 5

Best Scene - anything with Sofia or Yolanda stole the show

Best Quote - Gabi: "I mean he's way out of my league. I'm like an expired Twinkie and the girl he loves is a fancy chocolate éclair." Sofia: "You're more like a ho-ho acting like a ding dong. Snap out of it, okay?"

Best Reason to Watch - the characters, while a bit stock, are charming

Best Character - Sofia and Yolanda

Best Reference - Sofia takes The Hunger Games very seriously

Mystery Girls - 1.01 - Pilot

It's another swing and a miss for nostalgia this week. I'm giving Mystery Girls one more episode to see if this is just the pilot blues, but really nothing happened in this episode. They spent most of their time hawking stuff on E-bay with about 35 seconds of breaking and entering. I guess I was hoping for a bit more mystery in this premise because there's not much more to recommend this show. It's all aboutthe gimmick of having Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling together again.

Grade: C
Ranking: 3

Best Scene - Charlie misleads Michael and milks it for all it's worth

Best Quote - Nick: "Charlie, I was in denial too but it was on TMZ and I'm pretty sure they fact check." Ha!

Best Reason to Watch - nostalgia

Best Character - Charlie

Most Over the Top - Nick, who really needs to be toned down a lot

The "I'm with Her" Award - Charlie and I both find the idea of Nick's grandma having a sex tape uncomfortable.

Marathoned Show:

Playing House (1.06-1.10)

I have a weird love/hate relationship with Playing House right now. When it is focused on the relationships, I love it. When it turns into all raunchy or stupid hijinks all the time, I hate it. Since the best thing is always, always the friendship between Maggie and Emma, it's hard to know why they choose to go off on wild tangents. They can tone things down a bit and still be as much fun. As of yet, no word on if there will be a season 2. If there is I will probably watch casually. If not, I will likely forget this show quickly.

Grade: Episode 6 - F / Episode 7 - C+ / Episode 8 - A- / Episode 9 - B / Episode 10 - A-

Best Reason to Watch - the fun, heartwarming relationship between Emma and Maggie

Best Episode - 37 Weeks because it had a lot of heart but it also made me laugh out loud (1.08)

Best Scene - Maggie tells Emma that she is always her family. Awww. (1.10)

Strangest Plotting - I don't know why they didn't end the series with the birth of the baby. It seems a more natural break than the christening.

Best Supporting Character - Gwen / Zach, both of whom make me giggle

Biggest Crazy - it all depends on the episode because Maggie and Emma seem to trade places

Most Surprising - Mark starts stripping on stage

Best Character Revelation - Tina's life is the basis of the Babysitter's Club books. Who knew?

Worst Episode / Worst Subplot / Biggest Overacting - The whole Bosephus thing, which was incredibly stupid (1.06)

The "It's Better Than Daytime TV" Award - Mark and Tina argue in front of the baby camera and Emma goes up to join them, making everything worse. Then add Maggie and everything gets crazy.

Best Literally Talking Off the Ladder - Emma gets Maggie to stop trying to paint her house at 37 weeks pregnant and 3 AM. This is the kind of scene that Playing House excels at. They should keep this tone.

Weekly Shows:

TURN - 1.09 - Against Thy Neighbor

Things heat up in the penultimate season 1 episode and it looks like the finale is going to be amazing. Not only are Ben and Caleb returning to Setauket with an army, but Mary knows that Abraham is a spy. While the former should provide the best action, it is the latter that will provide the fireworks. I only hope that they make Mary's side sympathetic because she has good reasons too. To throw her under the fan tour bus in order to justify Abraham's adultery would be a great disservice to both the character and the show. I am however willing to admit that I was wrong about not killing off Simcoe earlier. Now that Abraham and Simcoe have each other's measure, it is fascinating to watch them dance around each other and use the Major as their personal puppet. I like how Abraham has grown into himself as a manipulator in this instance. Still the best interaction for me was between Mary and Judge. I like how they are so close and yet he's not afraid to pull punches with her. It should be interesting to see if she is tempted to confide in him about Abraham's secret life. Speaking of the Judge, I never saw that bullet coming and it was the biggest surprise for me. So glad he is going to make it because the complicated father-son relationship is one of the highlights of TURN.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Abraham and Simcoe stand off

Best Quote - Simcoe: "This is just a formality as you said. You and I are merely players in a comedy whose ending has already been written, but by all means, continue the performance."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - Abraham and Anna's continued adultery

Biggest Twist - Abraham offers to act as magistrate in his father's stead. To be honest, I had forgotten that he studied law. Still trying to lose in a rigged court makes zero sense. These people are goners if you go through with it.

Best Actor - Simcoe, who promises to find the shooter immediately right to Abraham's face when they both know he ordered it and is framing people

Biggest Uh-Oh Moment - General Washington tells Ben to join up with General Arnold. As in Benedict Arnold. This is never a good sign. At least he has another few years before going full out traitor.

The "You Do Remember This is 1777, Right?" Award - Why is Hewlett surprised that a preacher has a gun? This isn't modern times. Guns back then were used for hunting food as well as defense. Everyone had one. It was like having a car today.

Most Sadistic - Simcoe, who killed Hewlett's horse. What did the horse ever do to you, you big sack of evil? I don't care that you are trying to spark the Major's support in your witch hunt.

The "You Know You've Chosen a Crummy Hiding Spot When…" Award - your toddler finds it within the first 60 seconds of being there

Best Character - Ensign Baker. He's just an all-around good guy who has had a hard life and tries to see the good in things even in a war. I hope you survive, Ensign. You are too good for the likes of Setaucket.

The "Hey, I'm with You" award - I totally agree with Caleb. The sooner Anna knows that Selah is alive the better for everyone involved. Ben, you are now talking too much like a politician.

The "If the Gloves Don't Fit" Award - Abraham gets Simcoe to physically prove that the ball that was lodged in his father could not have been fired from the reverend's glove. Brilliant move. Next play's yours, Simcoe.

TURN - 1.10 - The Battle of Setauket

While the "battle" of Setauket should be renamed the Talkfest of Setauket, there is much to love about this episode. It was slow in parts but we also got the massive freak out of Simcoe, who may actually be rabid. That scene alone was worth the watch. Even better was Mary finally confronting Abraham about everything. After their initial meeting, I feared she would hide her knowledge until next season. I am glad she didn't even though my favorite character paid the price for it. Rest in peace, Ensign Baker. You were much too good for these people anyway. I love how at the end Mary shows her true strength of character as well. Abraham ought to count his lucky stars he married her. Sadly we did not send Anna off with her husband. I'd rather see her at camp with Ben and Caleb then spend another second with the adulterous lovers. She will never be interesting until they get her away from Abraham. I am also unsure why they threw in Andre and Rogers at the end. It did nothing to advance the season and felt like a tag on for the next. Of which, I of course will be watching. Thanks AMC for the renewal.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Mary confronts Abraham about being a spy and Ensign Baker overhears

Most Terrifying Scene - Simcoe freaks out and kills Caleb's uncle

Worst Scene / Best Reason to Fast Forward - Anna jumps overboard, so we are stuck with yet another round of Abraham and Anna. How very, very annoying.

Best Quote - Mary: "I know how to clean up a mess."

Best Character Interaction - Abraham and Mary

The "Oh Baby" Award - Poor, poor Ensign Baker. I really liked you. Why can't they kill off the characters I don't?

The "Crazy Just Got Crazier" Award - Simcoe, who not only should be court martialed if he survives but better pray the Hewlett dies in battle too. Time for lobotomy. Or better yet, send him out to Caleb and let him take care of it.

Least Helpful Plot Device - Mary reads out loud so we too can hear the names in Abraham's spy book. Yet since we already know what's going on, she could read silently and we could just look over her shoulder.

Best Entrance - Selah Strong, who shoots out the new owner's tavern sign before kissing his wife

Best Turnabout - Anna goes on the offense about how they kept her husband being alive from her. I'd have mentioned the Simcoe thing as well and then thrown a punch.

Best Character - Mary

Growing Up Fisher - 1.12 - Madi About You

Another heartwarming and fun episode. I will miss this show next season when I'm stuck reviewing yet another raunchy pilot. The best part of this particular episode was the theme about letting people in your inner circle and how important it is to not only do for them but also let them do for you. It's a relatively heavy theme compared to most comedies but they did a great job of pulling it off without becoming too preachy. Madi and Mel were both douches in this episode, but came alive when working together to get Joyce's ring back. Better yet, they both got reamed for being jerks as they should have been. I care less about Henry's girlfriend issues but I did love the scene where Katie goes to Joyce for help with her hair. Let's face it. It's salon time with that disaster. Overall the heart is what always sells on Growing Up Fisher.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Mel apologizes to Allison for being a jerk

Biggest Awww Scene - Joyce and Mel take off their rings at the same time

Best Quote - Madi: "Oh Melanie, I'd tell you to let your hair down but your hair already let you down."

Best Revenge - taking away Madi's handicap tag when she isn't handicapped. Instead, she's a douche.

Biggest Sister Moment - Joyce and Madi cat fight in a bar over jewelry

Most Obnoxious - Mel, who overcompensates and comes off as a big douche / Madi, who is way, way beyond interfering.

Most Unlikely Pair - Mel and Madi working to get Joyce's wedding ring back

Biggest Misunderstanding - Mel drops Joyce's wedding ring in front of Allison and her yoga class applauds

Growing Up Fisher - 1.13 - Growing Up Fairbanks

I really liked the combination of heart and laughs that Growing Up Fisher had. It's sad that it is yet another victim of cancellation. While at first Joyce was too over the top for me and Mel was too jerky, they grew on me. The kids were awesome all along. This episode is one of my favorites because it showed Mel and Joyce at their best, helping each other through the difficult steps of divorce. I don't know if anyone has ever had as amicable a divorce as these two seem to have, but it is charming. So thanks Fishers and Runyen. It's been great watching your story.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Joyce pushes Mel and Elvis on a luggage cart to escape the mess Elvis made in the hotel room

Best Quote - Mel: "You know what? I'm going to give my kids an awesome family vacation just by being a kinder, gentler Mel. Mel Light." Principal: "All the Mel we love without the bitter aftertaste."

Best Reason to Watch - Joyce and Mel teaming up to put the hotel manager in her place and rooking it for everything they can get

Most Fun Terrible Accents - Joyce and Mel Fairbanks from the bayou

Biggest Sign You are a Terrible Vacationer - When your entire family is delighted NOT to have to go on vacation with you, it's a sign that you should vacation on your own.

Funniest Scene - Elvis trashes the hotel room and Joyce and Mel panic

Best Silent Parenting - Henry recaps exactly what he thinks Mel and Joyce are going to say

Biggest Aww Scene / Most Cordial Divorce Signing Ever - Mel and Joyce toast each other on their great parenting as they get ready to sign their divorce papers together

Most Awkward - Who has their first kiss with their parents and sister looking on? That's embarrassing.

Chasing Life - 1.02 - Help Wanted

Chasing Life has the heartfelt drama down and even some laughs to somewhat balance it. Now it needs to work on the pacing. Everything seems to be going in slow motion. Time to tell the family she has cancer. Time to start treatment. Time to stop dragging things out. And while we're at it, could we get more time with Beth and Emma? They are the reason I'm still watching.

Grade: C+

Best Scene - April and Beth bonding over coffee and cancer

Best Quote - Emma: "Why doesn't he use capital letters?" April: "That's how people text." Emma: "No, that's how people write ransom notes."

Best Reason to Watch - April's family (except Brenna) and Beth

Biggest Brat - Brenna and she's about to be deal breaker brat level

Worst Sign - Getting blind drunk on the second date may not leave the best impression

Best Way to Get a Guy to Back Off - Vomit on him

Best Welcome Back - Hello Cappie from Greek. You're looking good these days. Much better than the 80's look from Halt and Catch Fire.

Best New Character - Kieran

Chasing Life - 1.03 - Blood Cancer Sex Carrots

Ugh! This family drama has got to go. So does Brenna. And everyone involved needs to flee big time. Kieran, get out while you can because this is headed for statutory rape. Blech. Chasing Life goes into the Marathon Later pile due to uncontrollable melodrama and excess irksome characters.

Grade: C-

Best Scene - April tells Gerald that she has leukemia / Beth and April push each other to take risks

The "You Have Got to be Kidding Me" Award - Gerard died. Really?

Best Quote - Emma: "Decide after dinner. Either she goes or he goes and at the end of the night, only one of them will receive a rose." Sara: "What?" Emma: "Oh that's right. You don't watch reality TV. You read."

Best Kiss Off - Kieran calls Brenna out on being obnoxious

Biggest Train Wreck - dinner party with Sara's new beau. Between Brenna's brattiness and Sara being pushy, that guy should run for the hills.

Most Awkward - Brenna catches her mom making out with her internet date

The Welcome Back Award - Sam Anderson, who has guest starred on almost every TV show ever. Last seen as a dying Grimm.

The WTH Award - Listen I like Kieran, but if that guy is working at a tattoo parlor, then he has to be older than Junior Miss Brat here. She's in high school. No rape-y relationships please.

The "Oh Someone Smack Her Already" award - Brenna needs to be Gibbs slapped until she shuts the heck up.

Least Surprising - Leo has cancer too, which is what I suspected when Lawrence said he was off-limits last episode. It has the ring of melodrama that this show thrives on.

Dominion - 1.02 - Godspeed

This episode of Dominion was better than the pilot. Maybe it's because we don't need as much exposition and character introduction scenes or maybe it's because I find the back story more interesting. It's definitely not because there was a ton more action this time, because there wasn't. That's my biggest issue with Dominion. This a tale about angel warfare for goodness sake. Why is everyone chit chatting away? It's like the Talkfest of Setauket on TURN all over again. Let's face it. The two best scenes were Arika poisoning everyone in her party, which we didn't actually see, and Michael and Gabriel talking it out. I like you Dominion, far more than I probably should, but you've got to give me more than one measly 90 second fight per night. Still your characters intrigue me and your mytharc even more. I'll keepl watching you but time to ramp things up a bit. The stakes are remarkably low for a post-apocalyptic fight for world domination.

Grade: B

My Theory - Alex's tattoos were moving to say, "Go back, you moron."

Best Awww Scene - Claire says that if Alex leaves, she goes with him

Best Action - Alex fights the angel and deep fries her wings

Best Quote - Arika: "You can claim that you had no choice but to kill these women after you interrogated them and found they were in league with Gabriel. I will be absolved of any involvement and see to it that Evelyn makes no reprisals. Or after you failed to elicit a confession from Helena's sacred handmaidens, you flew into a rage and killed them. You'll be known as the person who singlehandedly started an all-out war with Helena, one that Vega will surely lose. The choice is yours, David."

Best Reason to Watch - developing the mytharc and some big surprises

Best Character Interaction - Michael and Gabriel

Best Reason to Fast Forward - angel orgy

Best History Lesson - Claire and her dad talk about the history of the V system

Biggest Snake? - I am still holding out hope that William is a true believer and somewhat innocent of his choices, but if I am right and he is not, his speech about serving Alex is colder than his father could dream of.

Most Vicious / Best Political Maneuvering - Arika, who kills all with her in order to make a deal with Wheele

Character Who Most Needs an Expanded Part - Noma, who kicks butt even in the short amount of time she is given

Biggest Twist - Riesen is having an affair with an angel

Biggest Surprise - Wheele was a televangelist

Biggest Douche - Drunk Alex, who should stay away from people until he sobers up

The "You Clean Up Well" Award - Bixby, who is now part of Claire's family

Perception - 3.01 - Paris

This episode was too bizarre for me, too wacky. I also have a harder time when the key players are separated by an ocean for most/all of the episode. While I did enjoy the Max and Paul subplot and I adore that both Kate and Donnie went to Paris to help Daniel, I am really glad they're all heading back to Chicago. It just isn't the same any other way. Also I am not a shipper and I hate adultery themes, but I am glad Kate and Donnie have come full circle. Donnie was a great addition to Perception so this seems to cement him more on the show. Plus this means that Kate and Daniel's friendship stays intact. Kudos!

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Max gets Daniel to come back but Daniel hangs up on him mid-call

Biggest Awww Scene - Donnie proposes to Kate….again

Best Quote - Drexler: "You'd be a lot easier to find if you carried a cell phone." Daniel: "If I carried a cell phone, the government could track me." / Daniel: "I'm in Paris so of course I'm being mocked by a mime. What a cliché."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - Miranda and Daniel's break up (both times)

Funniest Scene - the mime tells off Daniel. You know you're annoying when you cause a mime to talk.

The "Say What?" Award - Does France not have a way to track phone calls? Daniel got calls on his landline. Why not see who they came from? It's a start anyway.

The "Well Someone's Relationship is Back On" Award - Now I like Kate and I like Donnie, surprisingly. I just don't need to see them showering together.

Best Manipulation - Paul makes up a bogus op-ed piece and lawsuit in order to get the Chancellor to bring Daniel back

The "Say What?" Award - Dear FBI guy, if you are not a hallucination, you are making this pen drop off far too hard. Michael Westen, spy extraordinaire, says when using civilians make it simple.

The "Cover All Your Bases" Award - At this point, French police should arrest everyone and sort it out at the station."

Best Return - Daniel singing and playing piano. That needs to happen a lot more.

Perception - 3.02 - Painless

Now this is the Perception I've missed. Yes, the case was transparent and as hokey as a superhero's tights, but oh the humor. I laughed harder and more often in this episode than I did in almost every comedy I watched last season. You've got to love everything that happened in the superhero club. The dialogue was crisp and just when I thought we were going out on a laugh, we got that heartfelt speech from Donnie about wanting a real wedding. I'm still not sure about Daniel and mini-golf though.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Daniel bonds with Kayla through a closed door in front of Max

Biggest Aww Scene - Donnie wants to a big, fancy wedding

Funniest Scene / The "Do You Even Know Him?" Award / Biggest Shock - Paul tries to get Daniel to go miniature golfing to ease his broken heart. Say what? And then Daniel does? Have the aliens landed?

Best Quote - Ghost: "I will haunt you for all eternity." Kate: "I'm quaking in my boots, Casper."

Best Reason to Watch - all the humor

Dumbest Criminal Yet - Nicky takes himself out by running into a forklift before he can run 3 feet. What an idiot! / Ghost who posts where he's going to be patrolling on Facebook

Least Surprising - When you keep talking about the entire case resting on one star witness, you know there's going to be problems with that witness. Of course the girl recanted.

Best Engagement Ring Ever - Donnie slips a ring pop in the cereal. Points scored.

Biggest WTH Moment - Kate just ups and decides to get married on their lunch break. I think an MRI with Daniel processing the scan is in order.

The "Welcome Back" award - Nice to see you around again Dr. Nigel from Crossing Jordan even if you are a hallucination

Worst Sign - If you keep forgetting your wedding, you may want to stop rescheduling and start rethinking

Least Sympathy - The man who was raping, torturing, and forcing women into prostitution is dead? Good. I'm not sorry he's dead either.

Teen Wolf - 4.01 - The Dark Moon

Overall this did not feel like a Teen Wolf season premiere to me. Generally Teen Wolf is so jam packed of events and twists I can hardly breathe. This episode felt like 3-4 scenes stretched to fill time. There's the never ending rave, Scott gets tortured for half the episode, a recap of season 1 complete with retcon, and finally the crypt. It's a rare Teen Wolf episode when I think, "I wish there was more action." It's never happened for a premiere. Now I'm not saying it was a bad episode. To be honest, Malia of all people saved it. Her matter of fact statements made me laugh throughout and gave the episode a necessary lightness. I hope they allow her character to continue in this vein since I predict this season will be as dark as the last. Speaking of, I also loved the lighting here. I could see more than half of it, a Teen Wolf record. It was nice to see the cast's facial reactions. I also loved Mystery Motorcycle Chick's return. Her entrance to Jungle was fantastic, one of the best character entrances of the show. Her time with Scott was a highlight as well, along with Scott stretching his alpha muscles to roar away Skeletor. I'd like to see Scott hone his abilities more this season and grow as a leader. I'd also like that for Lydia, who did not come off as well here. I loved her banter with Stiles but I don't need to see her jealous about Malia. She's too strong a character. They need to let Lydia grow up. While smart and strong against Mama Fratelli when negotiating, she fell back to season 2 Lydia, all wide-eyes, hunched shoulders, and breathy voice, when they were alone. That's too juvenile for someone who has experienced what Lydia has. I'd like her to confront things on her own terms and harden up a little more. She can be scared but she needs to come off as less of a child while doing it, at least lifting up her head and not hunching her shoulders. Still she was better than Kira in this, who wavered from awkward to stalker to clueless. The drawn out goodbye to Scott and dancing were the most painful things I've seen on TV in a long time. Kira deserves better than getting all the pitfalls of Allison (tied to a romance, only developing her with Scott, etc.) but none of the can-do attitude.

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Scott roars away Skeletor / Malia tells Stiles that she would never leave him but she'd leave the others in a second

Best Quote - Lydia: "What kind of shape is sociopathic b**?" / Stiles: "What makes you think we came alone?" / Scott: "I think I scared it." MMC: "I think you scared everything."

Best Action - Kira and Malia kick henchmen butt (albeit with the silliest nunchucks on the planet)

Best Reason to Watch - Malia

Best Reason to Fast Forward - Kira, except when she's kicking butt

Biggest Change - Stiles has a brand new attitude and it is tough. When he said, "We don't like to lose," my jaw dropped.

Best Declaration of Love - Stiles will never abandon his Jeep. Ever. And I adore him for it.

Dumbest Plan - It's not the Mama Fratelli negotiation/break-in. It's the fact that all these hunting clans mark their bullets with special designs. Way to make it easier for the police to tie your murders together.

Dumbest Question - Scott to Malia: "Would you kill half a dozen people to get out?" Of course she would. She just said she's eat her own to survive. I doubt killing some shady people who were going to kill her would be a blip on the radar.

Best Character Interaction - Stiles and Lydia bickering

Biggest WTH Moment - Teen Derek

Best Fake Out - as Stiles and Lydia walk through the hallway, the mood screams that they are about to die but when they open the door, it is just a rave

Biggest Lesson - once again Teen Wolf explains the title. Once again, I don't care.

Graceland - 2.03 - Tinker Bell

This was a much better episode than last week because it not only advanced the plot but we also got to see Paige and Johnny break out a bit. Overall I think the bus line story works because there are so many aspects to follow and everyone gets a specialty. It also allowed for some great surprises. I never saw Paige getting stabbed coming and it shocked me. Graceland is good at that. I like that we got to see more of Paige here than we did in the episode where she was running point. Her concern over Lina was touching and I hope they follow that plot piece. Johnny's scenes were also great, not just the heart stopping duel. In fact, his fighting for respect of the house and Mike in particular makes for a great character arc and one a long time coming. He's been treated like the kid for too long, and in some ways his positive, pro-Graceland attitude has made him an easy target. I hope this season he gets to prove himself in the same way Mike did last season. Speaking of, yes Mike is still a douche. End of discussion about him. They backed a bit off Charlie and Briggs but they once again stole the night with their brief conversation. I like these two characters, both separate and working together, so I hope when this relationship inevitably blows up the fallout doesn't mean they cannot be partners sometimes. Then there's Jakes. Yikes is he a mess right now. I like that the loss of his son and his dream has him reeling but I wish some of his housemates would be a little more sympathetic. Even those that don't know about his son have to know that something went majorly wrong. Here's hoping he can lose himself in his work and not in the alcohol.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Briggs tries to talk Jakes down but Jakes closes off / Briggs comforts Charlie

Best Quote - Briggs about Mike: "So what do you think? Asleep? Dead? Indifferent?" / Charlie: "Mike, at some point you have to stop acting like you invented undercover."

Best Reason to Watch - both Paige and Johnny get meaty roles this time

Best Reason to Fast Forward - house politics and room roulette

Best Character Interaction - Briggs and Jakes

Biggest Douche - I'm thinking about retiring this category because it is ALWAYS Mike

Best New Character - Lucia, witchy sister of the crazy

Biggest Waste of Time - Zeke, right now. Why even introduce him if you're going to oust him in episode 3?

Best Call - Mike tries to pass off the choice between Jakes and Zeke to the house instead of making the call himself. Best decision he's made all season. Too bad the house chucked it back to him.

Biggest WTH Moment - that drug guy just up and stabbed Paige with no warning. What the heck?

The "Poor Baby" Award - Now Paige gets points for the sheer brutality of her wound, but I'm feeling for Johnny tonight. No one thinks he can do his job. When he does it, no one congratulates him. Plus he's had 2 people walk out of him without planning on saying goodbye. Add almost getting show and he's had a rough week.

Most Uncomfortable Bed - Mike and Briggs put Jakes on 3 rolling chairs. Seriously guys, the floor would be more comfortable.

Enlisted - 1.10 - Prank War

It's great to have Enlisted back on my screen although this one is a tad off its usual greatness. I still laughed, even hard sometimes but I wish the pranks were more clever. I did love Cody's jungle survival skills though. It was a great way to bring him into the plot. Other than that, it was good seeing the team back again. So sorry that this show got cancelled before it even had a chance.

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Sergeant Major Cody gets back at Schneeberger for being such a schmuck

Best Quote - Cody: "A thousand portable toilets cooking in the sun. It's like Satan's Easy Bake oven."

Best Reason to Watch - Derrick

Funniest Scene - the platoon gathering together after being pranked in their sleep

Best Screencap - Derrick's moustache

Biggest Yikes - That's a whole lot of Port-o-Potties

Best Subplot - Cody's survival skills in the "jungle"

Enlisted - 1.11 - The General Inspection

This episode was all about heart and it was refreshing to see the soldiers of Fort McGee finally succeeding. Their being misfits is great fun but every once in awhile you want them to really shine. This episode did that. I also loved Derrick's hot plate soup talent and how much Cody looked up to his mentor. However the thing that really sold this for me is how Perez and Randy bonded. It was nice to see them get a scene together. Even more so to see how excited Perez was to meet the general. Everyone was a slightly shinier them and it worked for me.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Derek hugs a surprised Pete

Best Quote - Randy: "I grew up with brothers. I learned to keep my enemies close but my snacks closer."

Best Reason to Watch - after the Bad News Bears of the Army, it is good to see Fort McGee and all its soldiers at their best

Biggest Awww Moment - Perez is happy with her General face time and Cody is ecstatic about his smile

Best Character Interaction - Randy and Perez

Best Hidden Skills - Derrick's soup making and Park's topiary

The "Poor Baby" Award - Sergeant Major Cody, who was so looking forward to his idol's inspection

Weirdest Thing Ever - the cast reenacts Donkey Kong, complete with music

Enlisted - 1.12 - Army Men

This is more like the Enlisted I adore. It had moments of great heart and yet I was laughing almost the entire time. Since Derrick is my favorite character, it helps that he had a meaty role in this episode. I like how he understands Sam's motives and he gets why Erin is willing to move across the country so her son can be with his father. Aww, poor Derrick's getting shafted in this. In the other plot, the best thing was Cody saying what I wish I could every time love triangles lift their ugly head. I would have gone with Gibbs' slap but power hose works just as well.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Derrick selling the others on the soldier superhero concept

Biggest Aww Scene - Derrick realizes that Sam has been breaking things so that his dad will come over / Erin tells Derrick that she may move to Washington so Sam can be near his dad

Funniest Scene - opening when Cody is reading the rules of a 3-day furlough to the company and it takes 35 minutes

Best Speech - Cody telling Pete and Randy to cut out the romance junk and help support Perez. Bravo sir!

Best Quote - Derrick: "On the upside, it turns out your house isn't cursed."

Best Reason to Watch - This episode was surprisingly emotional and it gave Derrick even more depth. Plus the montages made me laugh so hard I snorted. Generally I am not a fan of the montage, but this was great!

Most Likely to Break Out into a Disney Song - Surprisingly, it is not Randy. Instead Derek gathers some of the soldier to teach him how to "Be a Man." No he's not out to defeat the Huns, but he does want to prove he's as good as Erin's ex, Brandon.

Recapitation - Jill thanks Randy. Last episode. Still remember it, guys. No need to recap.

The "Say What?" Award - Did Randy just talk Pete into liking Jill? I'm not sure it works that way.

Most Likely to Backfire - Instead having his fellow soldiers teach him skills, Derrick just has them do the jobs for him. When something goes wrong next time, what are you going to do? Call in your staff?

Enlisted - 1.13 - Alive Day

Grade: A+

Best Scene - everyone joins Pete on the beach to encourage him to celebrate his Alive Day

Best Moment - Sergeant Major sees the ball they created in his honor

Biggest Aww Scene - Randy lifts up Cody in the An Officer and a Gentleman pose and helps him finish his dance with his daughter

Best Aww Moment - the brother head touch

Best Cameo - Lori Loughlin

Best Quote - Perez: "You know that's super weird right?" Randy: "It's not weird. It's brothers."

Most Stirring Speech - Cody

Best Tag Line - The Hill are Alive. So the grammar sucks, but I love celebrating Pete surviving an RPG with a picture of him in The Sound of Music.

Worst Plan Ever - physically acting out rewinding when you've been a douche. Whatever happened to the Apologize Bit. It works a whole lot better.

Most Primetime Wallowing - Derrick listens to Angela's Ashes. That would depress the heck out of anyone.

Most Likely to have a Future in a Spa - Randy. I was jealous of Cody getting the royal treatment.

Least Likely to have a Future in a Bar - Dobkiss, who creates a chocolate milk and gin punch.

Biggest Shock - Gumble and Robinson making out in the world's worst dance off

Best Music - Up Where We Belong by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. I will never say that is the best of anything again but it actually fits here.

Screencaps by TURN TV, Zap 2 It, Vimeo, Just Jared, TV Line, Daily TV, FOX, and Hit Fix.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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