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Last Week in TV - Week of Sept. 28 - Episode Awards and Review

Welcome back to Last Week in TV. Not sure about you, but I found the new shows to drag a bit compared to last week's surprise power punch of Scorpion and How to Get Away with Murder. Nothing grabbed my attention as well, but a few had potential so we'll see in the next 2 weeks how they fare. The nominated show this week, however, really wowed me. I have never read the Outlander books, but I am assured by those who have that the series is a faithful following. All I know is that it is one of the best examples of cinematography and music selection on TV right now. The story is pretty gripping as well. I encourage you to check it out if you like historical dramas at all, even if the two I reviewed were not the best episodes. As always you can nominate a show by filling out the simple 2 part form below. All shows are picked at random by a number generator. No need to nominate shows I am already reviewing weekly. Until next week, don't forget to comment on your shows and happy TV viewing!

Nominated Show:

Outlander - 1.07-1.08 - The Wedding/Both Sides Now

Outlander is visually stunning from the title sequence to the wide shots. It's not just the time traveling scenes either. Even those in the 1940's provoke a great sense of setting, tone, and mood. I'll admit I don't know much about Scottish history, given I took Irish history instead. However the sense of history feels right to me and the violence and nudity seem appropriate to the age. It rarely feels gratuitous, except in the first episode I'm reviewing. Of course. The premise is that Claire Randall, an English woman from the 1940's, magically transports to 1740's Scotland where she comes under the protection of MacKenzie clan. The Scottish and English are still reeling from the Glorious Revolution and in conflict with each other, so Claire is in a tight spot from both sides, who both consider her a spy. In these episodes, Claire must marry Jamie to be protected from rape and torture by her husband's ancestor, Black Jack Randall. Claire obviously has mixed feelings about becoming a bigamist. Jamie is more concerned about not raping her and Claire being his first. Sadly, this is my least favorite episode of them all. It primarily chronicles their wedding night in great depth and contains more nudity than most of the other episodes put together. It does nothing to move the plot along and I got so bored I started reading e-mail during it. Not my type of episode and thankfully not the only one to review. Episode 1.08 was better. For one it included something I've been wanting to see from the second episode - the perspective of Claire's husband in the 1940's. The show has been remarkably one sided so it was nice to see how he was coping with the disappearance of his wife. To sum up, it's not well. Also the main characters were back on the road again, which allowed for more action and then…a major turning point.

Series So Far: A-
1.07: C-
1.08: B+

Best Scene - Claire almost outwits Black Jack Randall before he catches her in a lie
Best Reason to Watch - Claire is a complicated and well-written protagonist
Most Intense - Claire kills a redcoat about to rape her
Least Needed - an entire episode devoted to the wedding night
Best Parallel - Claire in the 1740's running up one side of Craigh Na Dun while Frank, her husband in the 1940's, runs up the other side
Biggest Kudos - the cinematography unit and everyone in charge of the musical score
Best Quote - Jamie: "I'll thank you to take your hands off my wife."

New Shows:

Selfie - 1.01 - Pilot

My Fair Lady has never been my favorite musical and I've never read Pygmalion, so I went into Selfie skeptical. Generally I have problems with Henry but in this case Eliza was a disaster of a character…at first. She was your typical attention-mongering, social media witch with little to offer the audience, which was basically the point. If the idea is that both characters need each other to reform into better people, then they both have to start off at ground zero, right? Probably not as much as this series does. Eliza in the beginning is pretty hard to believe. No one is that vapid or socially clueless. Luckily in the course of 24 minutes, there were signs of hope. Will it be enough? Only a couple more episodes and ratings will determine if the show itself gets a makeunder.

Grade: C+
Ranking - 3
Prediction - cancelled, maybe pulled early

Audience - anyone who likes to mock social media addicts

Best Reason to Watch - progress is made almost immediately / Eliza is immensely quotable
Best Character - Charmonique
Best Visual - everyone in the elevator looking for a cell phone signal while Henry mocks them
Best Bonding - spontaneous Lady Gaga karaoke and I don't even like Lady Gaga
Biggest Huh? - If this woman is on a plane with luggage, why doesn't she have something to change into instead of wearing airplane blankets?
Most Apropos - Henry lives in a glass house. Bet the proverb comes up sometime in the series.
Best Quotes -
1. Eliza: "Come on. I just want to change my image." Henry: "You mean be a better person." Eliza: "Or that."
2. Eliza: "I was praying that the whole company forgot about my epic fail or at the very least was willing to make like Elsa and let it go."
3. Eliza: "When Siri is the only person who's there for you, it kind of makes you realize that being friended is not the same thing as having friends."

Manhattan Love Story - 1.01 - Pilot

Manhattan Love Story made me laugh but it also made me cringe. Probably the biggest problem I have with this comedy is the set up that makes it unique. I'm not a fan of the voice over. Usually it adds little to the story, but in this case most of the dialogue is inner monologue. You can't get rid of the voiceovers with this story structure. On the plus side, Amy, the sorority sister, makes for a great character. She's bossy and a control freak, but she adds needed humor. Her husband and the leads are less engaging, but they all have potential to make the audience care if they would stop making the men louts. If this were a light TV season, I would probably give this show more of a chance to grow on me but I'm overloaded as is.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 3
Prediction - cancelled before the bucket list ends

Audience - people who like romances and voiceovers, because there are a lot of them

Best Reason to Watch - it's one of the few new comedies I actually laughed during
Best Character - Amy
Worst Date Ever - when your date starts crying, it is not going well
Best Big Gesture - knocking off 2 of a woman's bucket list in one date
Worst Plot Device - character stream-of-consciousness
Best Quotes -
1. Peter: "I think the woman you set me up with is insane. She's a good speller though."
2. Dana: "I have been rewarded for my mediocrity." Peter: "Today you are an American."
3. Dana: "Fist bump, the handshake of douche bags."
4. Dana: "You owe me a pair of shoes and a tetanus shot."

Stalker - 1.01 - Pilot

When a pilot begins with a young adult female getting burned to death by a masked man, it's a good bet the show will rely on horror film shocks and torture porn to reel in their audience. It's the same hackneyed plan The Following used and you know how much I enjoyed that. In fact, this show might have been conceived before The Following fell off in ratings. It even had someone crawling up through the rug a la The Following's creepsters coming from the walls. The idea that the new detective is a stalker himself makes me wonder if they will have The Following's level of incompetence as well. Add to it the other lead, who is being stalked, and the show gets unduly complicated. In all honesty if I hadn't already been burned (no pun intended) by The Following, I would give this show a bigger chance based on Maggie Q alone. Instead I found it to be alternately shock thrills and boring for the most part. Still it's nice to see Maggie Q kicking butt again.

Grade: C-
Ranking - 2-
Prediction - Hard to tell at this point. It'll depend on how much it falls in the next 3 weeks.

Audience - people who liked The Following's violence wrapped up in Criminal Minds' tone

Best Reason to Watch - Stalking is rarely covered in police procedurals so it's an interesting twist.
Best Scene - Beth threatens Perry
Best Character - Beth
The "Welcome Back" Award - Maggie Q, formerly known as Nikita / Elisabeth Rohm, whom I last saw in Law & Order
Most Sympathetic - Eric, who proves that not all stalking is romantic in nature
Worst Plan - Shooting someone covered in gas next to someone else covered in gas. The whole room had to be filled with gasoline fumes so the spark from firing could have ignited them all.
Best Quote - Jack: "You don't like me." Beth: "Don't be silly. I'm sporadically rude."

Bad Judge - 1.01 - Pilot

This show is not charming and barely funny, so as a comedy it doesn't work for me. I have no patience for bratty kids on TV and even less for adults who behave like children. It's hard to believe after Bad Teacher failed last season that they even greenlighted this as a pilot.  Still there are some pluses to work with. Tedward Mulray, the bailiff, is entertaining and the most likely to make me laugh. Then there was Ryan Hansen, who formerly played Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars. His character was over the top but with the potential to be lovable. It could go either way. Even Rebecca could improve if they toned her down a little. In the end, this pilot felt like a bunch of caricatures instead of characters. It needs to grow up fast.

Grade: D
Ranking - 2-
Prediction - Cancelled before season's end. (You can thank me for not putting in the pun I desperately wanted to use here.)

Audience - Those who like R-rated comedies but want to feel good about it.

Best Reason to Watch - the wacky sentencing
Best Character - Tedward Mulray
Biggest Tool - Barlow and in this show that is saying something
Least Sympathetic Plot - I have little sympathy for bratty kids even with sad back stories. This plot did nothing for me.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Ryan Hansen.
Best Quote - Boyd: "We were just re-enacting a case scenario." Tedward: "Yeah, case. I know that case. I've seen it late night on Cinemax."

A to Z - 1.01 - Pilot

This show wins Most Exposition in a Cold Open hands down. It also oozes "meet cute" and charm. In fact I could see this as a movie, but I'm having a hard time seeing it as a TV show. There is only so much of destiny and soul mates a show can take unless it has Once Upon a Time in its name. They also need to slow down the pace.  (Yes I, the queen of pick up the pace, said slow down.)  Having them jump into a relationship at the 24 minute mark is bold, but it makes Zelda's character wishy washy. If she's not allowed to be a cynic, it will defeat the appeal of her character for me. Plus this episode was one-sided in favor of Andrew's creepy stalking ways. If his idealism is always the highest truth, then I will part company from this show quickly. On the other hand, Zelda's bestie reminds me of Beth on Chasing Life and if they pattern her more like Beth they will have a winner. She has a lot of potential. I also really liked the background music in this so whoever is doing the score should be congratulated. The idea of a matchmaking company trying to NOT create successful relationships cracks me up too. Sadly nothing else did in this not-so-funny, but definitely charming comedy.

Grade: C
Ranking - 2
Prediction - We don't get to Z. If we get to J, I'll be shocked.

Audience - People who like romantic comedy movies, especially those with a destiny theme. If you liked Serendipity, this show's for you.

Best Reason to Watch - the Lea Thompson scene at the end
Best Character - Zelda
The "Welcome Back" Award - Lea Thompson and hover boards
Worst Motivational Speaker/Boss - Lydia, who actually made me laugh
Worst Wingman - Stu, who is more likely to chase people off than help someone get a date
Biggest Rookie Mistake - moving way, way too fast. Andrew needs to back the heck up. It's a first date and he's talking about their future. I would run too.
Worst Reason to Date Someone - having his co-workers cyber stalk you. That's not cute; that's creepy.

Gracepoint - 1.01 - Pilot

Gracepoint is one of those newfangled things they are calling a limited series. What that means is anyone's guess but my gut says it's just an extended mini-series. Then again, I think of Sherlock as made for TV movies instead of seasons so take that as you will. I was most excited for this series because of David Tennant, the best Doctor Who I've seen. In the end, he was the least compelling part of the pilot. It was the tone that was the real winner of the night. They did a good job of setting up how close everyone is in the town in the couple of minutes it took the dad to walk down the street and then somehow made the beach town feel claustrophobic, which adds to the story. What didn't work was the constant use of slow motion even for things that did not need it, making the episode feel even longer than it was. I expect there to be a certain amount of setup in a good mystery, but I do hope that the pace accelerates now that everyone knows a child was murdered. Since it is only 10 episodes long, I expect to stick around to find out.

Grade: B
Ranking - 5
Prediction - since there are only 10 episodes, they will all air especially since it's on FOX

Audience - mystery lovers

Best Reason to Watch - the foundation is set for a good mystery with plenty of suspects
Best Character - right now, the mom but I have a feeling this will change every episode
Best Use of Slow-Mo - when the mom first learns they found a body on the beach and starts running
Worst Use of Slow-Mo - every other time so that's about 1/3 of the episode
Most Intense - when the dad sees his son in the morgue
Biggest Douche - besides of course the killer, the reporter who stole the dead kid's stuffed animal from his memorial is a grade A douche
Best Cliffhanger - Ellie's son deletes his texts and computer hard drive before being questioned by police
Best Quote - Ellie: "He's…um, he's from the city." Jack: "Sorry to hear that."

Weekly Shows:

Resurrection - 2.01 - Revelation

Resurrection was a surprise hit for me last year. The pace was turtle slow but I was engaged in both the characters and the mystery. This premiere continues in much the same vein. I'm still baffled by the returned and I hope we get some answers on that front soon. Added this year is a government conspiracy, which could go either way. Better yet is a returned Martin Bellamy. I suspected as much when he awoke with no memory but I am glad we didn’t have to go long in order to confirm it. I wonder if Jacob senses something wrong, although he didn’t say anything before which is fishy. It also challenges the water and Arcadia theories . Best of all though is the new returned, Henry's mom. She was ice cold in 24 and I kind of hope she is in this one as well.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the mystery behind the returned
Best Character Interaction- Henry and his mom
Best Twist - Martin is now one of the returned
The "Welcome Back" Award - Michelle Fairley, who recently was terrorizing Jack Bauer as Margot Al-Harazi on 24:LAD
Biggest Surprise - When Margaret slapped Fred. It surprised me so much, I jumped.

Sleepy Hollow - 2.02 - The Kindred

Sadly the parts of this episode were a whole lot better than the sum. In the end, they didn't get anywhere and actually ended up worse than they were at the beginning. Irving is now attached to Henry, the new sheriff doesn't believe them, Jenny's locked up again, there are more monsters roaming around, and Katrina is still in Abraham's clutches. It was score 100 for bad plans and 0 for any practical results. I agree with Zach, my podcast partner. We are right back to where we were in season 1. I don't expect them to win battles right now, even with Sleepy Hollow's accelerated pace, but I would like them to think through their plans before jumping into them. Make another monster -sure there can't possibly be any side effects on that one. Stay with the delusional guy who thinks you actually love him so you can spy on him - why not? I'm sure he'll share all his plans to bring a demon to earth with you. He's crazy, not stupid. The only ones with common sense tonight were Jenny and Irving, and he's debatable. You never sign anything without reading the fine print, especially in your own blood. I'm blaming the pills they gave him.

Grade: B

Best Plan - Captain Irving puts the horseman's head in a safety deposit box
Worst Plan - Ummmm, all of the rest of them
Best Reaction - Jenny when Abbie finally agrees to raise the Kindred with Ichabod
Most Wickedly Cool - Headless' horse with its fiery eyes
Best New Word - Franklinstein
Best Return - Headless' head
Biggest Lesson Learned - Just do everything Jenny says. If she says it's a stupid plan, it is.
Most in Need of Seeing a Horseman - New Sheriff, and very soon please
Biggest Shock - freaking bats
Best Twist - Henry is Irving's new lawyer
Worst Plot Device - recapitations
Most Ludicrous - everything still works in the tunnel
Best Quotes -
1. Abbie: "We've never been in this section before. You sure you know where we're going?" Ichabod: "Unquestionably." Abbie: "It's nice to know that even a man from the 18th century won't ask for help with directions."
2. Ichabod: "These people entrust you with their fortune. Yet you cannot entrust them with a simple inkwell."
3. Ichabod: "Leftenant, you must trust me when I say that I have not forgotten our duty as witnesses, but I do have another duty, to my wife. I intend to honor them both."

The Blacklist - 2.02 - Monarch Douglas Bank

Again The Blacklist was better on the rewatch. We got some questions answered like who was stalking Elizabeth and the team. We resolved the kidnapping of Red's wife and Berlin was sent packing, hopefully for good. All in all, that's a winning trifecta. Plus we got a return of Mr. Kaplan. Woo hoo! Still Mondays are overcrowded and I tend to like The Blacklist better in marathon anyway, so I think this one is going to hiatus unless Mondays get suddenly barren again.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Lizzie proves that Red means a lot to her as well by unfreezing Berlin's assets
Best Awww Moment - Elizabeth apologies to Ressler and says he did a great job
Best Surprise - the grandmother baker is also an arm's dealer
Best Reaction - Red when Berlin sends his ex-wife's tooth to him / Red blows on Berlin
The "Welcome Back" Award - Mr. Kaplan, who is always a positive addition to the story. In fact, bring her back more.
Most Nonchalant - Red casually kills the guy who moans
The "One Smart Cookie" Award - It may not have worked but pretending to go out the window was a great plan, Naomi.
Best Vocabulary - Red uses bailiwick in a sentence. I'm not sure I've ever heard that on TV before.
Most Over the Top - Berlin, who makes Red seem positively subtle
Best Save - Samar Navabi, who might be the best new addition to any returning show yet
Best Quotes -
1. Red: "Shhh. Listen. Hear that? That's the sound of your checks bouncing from here to St. Petersburg, from Bangkok to Mozambique."
2. Red: "I hope it's been worth it. What a terrible waste of time, blood, money, and in the end, for what?" Berlin: "Revenge. That's my passion." Red: "Revenge isn't a passion. It's a disease. It eats at your mind and poisons your soul."
3. Cooper: "What you're telling me is that we've totally lost control of this situation. Reddington and the witness are gone. Berlin gone. Red's wife gone. Can any of you tell me one thing that we've got going for us at this point?" Aram: "Coffee machine still works. Um."

Scorpion - 1.02 - Single Point of Failure

Scorpion is my favorite new show of the season so far. It combines action and time sensitive problems so every episode feels like a movie adventure, but it also focuses on a group that is starting to feel like family. I love how in this episode even Gallo seems to be a part of the group and not just the government overlord. Giving him a back story was a good plan because it helps humanize him not only to the audience but also to the members of Scorpion. I also like how this episode allayed one of my fears, which was that Paige would be just gathering a paycheck. It seems like she's going to be mom to all and that's the hardest job of them all. The show falters from large logic leaps, but it is still the most fun ride out in TV land right now.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Walter tells Sylvester that he is the bravest one of all
Best Reason to Watch - again another race the clock rescue, this time to save children / the group is starting to feel like a family - all of them
Best Aww Moment - Walter's sister Megan pulls the fire alarm to keep him out of trouble
Most Nonsensical - Why do they insist that Sylvester memorize all the names on the list when they could just as easily use a phone and take a picture of them? You know, like regular people.
Biggest Huh - Why are any of these people surprised when Walter suggests they break in to steal records? They have all done shady stuff for much less.
Best Use of Intuition - Gallo, who knew that a father of a dead girl lost the most
Best Quotes -
1. Gallo: "Your Trojan horse is a 2 for 1 sub coupon."
2. Toby: "Well rappers may have 99 or so problems but misplacing paychecks is not one of them."

Gotham - 1.02 - Selina Kyle

While I liked this episode better than the pilot, I am not sure that Gotham is for me. It still drags in places. I hate that everyone except Gordon and Barbara are corrupt. I still don't know what the heck is going on. However, I liked the plot of this one better and the less Bruce Wayne time the better so far. Selina is by far the most interesting kid in Gotham and she even got something to do this episode. Yeah! Not sure about her ability to gouge people's eyes out though. Blech! People really have a penchant for hands-on violence in Gotham. Overall I liked the crime of the week plot, Patti was fascinating to watch even though I have no idea who she is in comic lore, and Fish of course stole every scene she was in. Have to hand it to Gotham for its strong female roles. Now if only they could make me care about anyone here.

Grade: B-

Best Cliffhanger - Selina tells Gordon she saw the real killer
Best Reason to Watch - tie - Patti, the psycho kidnapper, and Fish, the mobster club owner
Most Annoying Character Interaction - Gordon and Harvey, whose bickering is overplayed already for me
Most Likely be Diagnosed for Split Personalities - Alfred, who mood swings faster than anyone I've ever seen
The "Welcome Back" Award - Carol Kane!!! I haven't seen her in years. Oh the Taxi and Princess Bride memories. Also Lili Taylor from Almost Human and Kyle Massey from Cory in the House. Seems like all kinds of people want to be a part of this Batman revival.
Biggest Criminal - right now I am betting on the Mayor more than the Dollmaker, Fish, or Falcone.
Most Disgusting - eye ball gouging
Best Quotes -
1. Falcone: "I never lose sleep over my enemies. It's my friends that keep me awake."
2.  Fish: "I knew I'd regret killing you as soon as I gave the word, but you know me. I'm feisty."
3.  Harvey: "Cut the cr**. We have a warrant to search the premises. We know what you're doing." Quillan: "Then you know some boring stuff then."

TBBT - 8.03 - The First Pitch Insufficiency

This was the best Big Bang Theory episode I've seen in a long time, mostly because I both laughed and awwed in it. Usually I don't do much of either anymore and I'm on the verge of dropping it to marathon it later. Still Penny and Leonard acknowledging that in many ways their relationship doesn't make sense and Leonard saying that they will get through it together was a needed heart moment. Howard and the pitch was pure genius. I loved everything about it from Bernadette getting frustrated at his windup routine to the Mars Rover slooowly trekking to home plate. I don't think I've laughed so hard in this show in ages.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Penny and Leonard
Best Scene - Penny and Leonard admit they are worried about their relationship
Smartest Plan, Kind Of - Having the Mars Rover deliver the baseball to home plate….albeit very, very slowly
The "I'm with You" Award - I was yelling at Howard to throw the ball right with Bernadette. There's only so much stretching one can watch.
Best Cameo - Mike Massimino
Best Quotes -
1. Leonard: "It's nice to see a busy couple keep the spark of bureaucracy alive." Sheldon: "Ignore them, Amy. They're just jealous because they'll never have a relationship as good as ours." Penny: "Isn't this when he says bazooka or something?"
2. Sheldon: "It's called parallel play." Leonard: "Yeah, toddlers do that." Sheldon: "Not as well as we do."
3. Leonard: "Marriage is scary. You're scared. I'm scared, but it doesn't make me not want to do it. It…it just makes me want to hold your hand and do it with you."

SHIELD - 2.02 - Heavy is the Head

This episode was better than the premiere for me. It started off quickly and kept a steady pace. May did not get to kick butt (always a bad choice) but she was integral to Coulson and following Creel. Ward was AWOL altogether which is better than another Ward and Skye scene. Fitz seems to be slowly getting better and Mac is a good addition to the team. I hope he stays and does not turn out to be evil. Not so sure about Hunter though. I love his snark but hate how his recklessness keeps putting everyone in danger. Learn from your mistakes, sir. While many fans probably cheered for Raina's return and the introduction of Skye's dad, I was meh on both. Raina tends to annoy more than anything and I am already sick to death of Skye as an O84 storyline so I don't hold out much hope for her dad, even if he is the superb Kyle MacLachlan.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Coulson vs. Talbot
Funniest - Coulson, whose quips cracked me up tonight
Least Helpful - Hunter
Best New Character - Mac
The "Poor Baby" Award - Fitz is getting this award every week until he is no longer frustrated by his new limitations
Least Interesting Plot - Skye's dad
Least Believable - I have watched too many genre shows to believe that Hartley is dead. I expect her to pop up again before the season's up.
Least Welcomed Back - Raina
Best Quotes -
1. Hunter: "Once we have Creel, I'll be in the wind…or 3 sheets to it."
2. Hunter: "Life can be a mean drunk that way. Never knows when to stop punching
3. Coulson: "The reality is I don't have a fleet of helicarriers or Quinn jets or thousands of agents at my disposal anymore. We're lucky we still have our George Foreman grill."

Forever - 1.03 - Fountain of Youth

In the end, this whole show is based on Henry and Abraham's relationship. It doesn't matter what the case is, although this time it was interesting. It doesn't matter what the flashbacks are, although I enjoyed those too. It's all about Henry and Abraham. So when they have great scenes together, I am going to like the episode. This one was a winner. I like how Abraham is constantly trying to get Henry to really live and this time he led by example. While I think it is nuts to start skateboarding on a half pipe instead of working your way up to it, I do love how free spirited Abraham is. The little asides of their past together like the bike riding tidbits add a lot too. Mostly though I like how much Abraham cares and thinks about Henry's future even when Henry does not himself. This relationship works because it is so close and the role reversal of the child out-aging the parent. I can't wait to learn more about these two.

Best Scene - Abraham tells Henry he worries about what's going to happen to Henry after he dies
Best Reason to Watch - Abraham and Henry's relationship
Most Disgusting Twist - the EMT guy harvesting human brains and then people unknowingly drinking powdered brain
Worst Idea - Abraham going down the half pipe. Start slow and then get big, buddy.
Best Idea - While I am sure that this show will eventually go the romance angle if it lives long enough, I really like that neither of the two leads are interested that way in each other. It makes it different from other cop shows.
Best Quotes -
1. Abraham: "Sometimes I worry. I mean I think, 'Who's going to take care of you when I'm gone?' And by the way, you should know me better than that. I'm a doctor's son. You think I'd be taking any of that hokum. I asked them so many questions, they had to trot the chemist out to explain it to me."
2. Martinez, to Henry as he's smelling the sidewalk: "Hey Henry, this is weird even for you. What are you doing?"
3. Henry: "Well I…uh, I realize that glaucoma and sciatica must seem very glamorous to you, but just because you can't grow old that doesn't mean you can't evolve." Henry: "Well what would you have me do?" Henry: "If I had your condition…everything."

NCIS: NO - 1.02 - Carrier

I was hoping for something that would make NCIS: NO stick out from the rest of the cop procedural carousel this week, but it was pretty much same old. I like that the team hangs out together and Pride did get more Gibbs-ish on the suspect, but mostly it was interchangeable with the others. The setting won't be enough to keep interest if we don't get attached to the characters soon. They aren't annoying or frustrating, thank goodness. They're just so meh it hurts. They are the toast of breakfast - enjoyable while you're eating it but 5 minutes later you've forgotten all about it.

Grade: C

Best Reason to Watch - lots of NCIS cameos and plague is a different case of the week
The "Say What?" Award - Bubonic plague? Does that even exist anymore? Who knew?
NCIS Cameo - Leon Vance, Tony DiNozzo, Carol Wilson, and Abby Sciuto
Worst Spoiler - I'm not one to complain about spoilers because I figure if you don't watch when it airs, it's your own fault. Others disagree with me, which is why IMDb should probably not have a picture of Pride hauling the killer out as their picture for the episode. Just saying.
Best Quote - Tony: "Trash collecting. Who knew there'd be a Fred Sanford element to my very special career?"

The Goldbergs - 2.02 - Mama Drama

Heart and laughs abound in this episode, which is everything I ask for. I was particularly empathetic to Murray because I hate traffic with a passion myself. Even on short drives the other drivers on the road irk me to no end. Still the highlight of the episode is Beverly finally drawing the line in her defense of her kids. I love how she told Adam the truth - that he was a chorus-bound singer, not a star. It showed great growth and I love that Erica was there to ease Beverly and Adam into the transition. It's these kind of moments that make me root for all the Goldbergs and make me care about the characters even more.

Grade: A-

Funniest - Murray yelling at traffic
Best Awww Moment - Beverly tells Adam she will never stop believing in him
Best Character - Erica
Best Character Interaction - Beverly and Adam
Biggest Mistake - Adam lets Beverly get involved in the school musical
Most Empathetic - Murray. Hey, traffic is the bane of my life too. Pokey little puppies (PLIPs) suck.
Best Quotes -
1. Adam: "I was the greatest 30th apostle at the kid's table the world has ever seen and it felt great."
2. Beverly: "I know how much you want this and I want this for you, but sometimes you just got to be Todd the Apostle."
3. Barry: "You love me more than you hate traffic."
4. Pops: "I think this is about Barry." Murray: "Oh please, it is not." Pops: "It's obvious you want to be here with him." Murray: "Well I…I do miss the moron a little. Hockey was our thing." Pops: "Then just sit in traffic already. It's that simple." Murray: "Traffic is non-negotiable." Pops: "Murray, sometimes you have to do things you hate for the people that you love. Like how I'm here with you now."

Black-ish - 1.02 - The Talk

It's hard to tell who was more uncomfortable in this episode - Dre or me. Let's just say that neither of us wanted to deal with the sex talk, which is why it surprised me that I laughed so hard. I can relate to his pain. As a self-proclaimed prude, I love that the male is the prude in this family. It's a rare thing on TV. Less funny but equally relatable is the idea of a parent being so into their own headspace that they don't really listen to their kid. I've been there too, minus all the self-congratulating Rainbow was doing.

Grade:  B

Best Reason to Watch - Dre's increasing discomfort with Andre's oversharing
Best Character Interaction - Dre and Pops. These ending scenes with them are always the best thing about the episode for me.
Least Necessary - I am not sure why they even have twins on this show. They haven't added anything yet.
Best New Catchphrase - Morgan Freeman-ing
Best Music - Let's Talk about Sex, when Dre is avoiding his son so he doesn't have to talk about sex anymore
Best Quotes -
1. Pops: "I mean I listened to her. I gave her some generic advice in a deep, soothing voice. I Morgan Freeman-ed."
2. Dre: "Finally son, when it comes to movie dates, never pick a movie that will make you cry. That means no urban coming-of-age stories. The brother always gets shot at the end."
3. Jack: "Mom, we're wondering if we could talk. You know 'talk' because…" Rainbow: "Not now. I'm trying to be a good mom who listens better."
4. Pops: "Son, listen to me. Don't get all up in this having open dialogue with your kids hoopla. It's not natural. Show me one place in the Bible where a kid talks."

Red Band Society - 1.03 - Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

I liked this episode of Red Band Society, but I had to knock down the grade because they did the worst thing imaginable. They added a freaking love triangle. Really? Ugh! I like Leo; I like Jordi; I like Emma. Now I'm going to hate them all. Love triangles are the hallmark of bad writing these days, like the go-to Mad Lib formula for stock drama, the most clichéd of all TV clichés. Good thing Nurse Jackson and Kenji added some sanity . As for Jordi's mom, the verdict's still out. She could add an interesting new wrinkle or she could just raise the emoangsting. Here's hoping for the former.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - still Nurse Jackson
Best Scene - Kenji calls Nurse Jackson on being a masochist
Best moment - Nurse Jackson walks back into the conversation when Brittany mentions the doctor's tie scheme
The "You have GOT to be Kidding Me" award - Kara has sex in a hospital while wearing her monitors. Even braindead idiots know that's a terrible plan.
Worst Plot Device - and now we have a love triangle. Great!
Most in Need of a Spanking - Kara, who wore my nerves thin this episode
Best Negotiator - the little girl who made Kara braid her hair
Best Quotes -
1. Jackson: "Sweetie, it will be a cold day in hell before I apologize to anyone for doing my job."
2. Jackson: "Your second drug test is today at 4 o'clock and if your pee doesn't come back cleaner than a Mormon variety show, it will be a ding against you getting a new heart, which is why you are not leaving this room until the little man comes around with the pee jar."
3. Dash: "Seriously, are you two starting a cancer boy band or something, man?"
4. Kara: "Wait. Are you going to call my parents?" Jackson: "Silent and no, I'm not going to call your parents. I met your parents. They're a bigger pain in my a** than you are."

How to Get Away with Murder - 1.02 - It's All Her Fault

I am so confused. So very, very confused. From what I gather, Keating is trying to get her husband arrested for the co-ed's murder. Wes is screwing his neighbor, who has something to do with Keating's husband being dead. Everyone is a liar and there are more potential murderers on this little campus than there are in all of Detroit. Does that about sum it up? Oh and they keep getting scum off who should be in jail. No one in this show is remotely likeable. Good thing the mystery is so intriguing. I continue to like the flash forwards, just not ones I've already seen even if they show that Wes is a conniving little liar who lies. The interspersing of various times is getting confusing but so far they add to the story instead of detracting from it. If that continues, it might be the first time the structure of a show keeps me coming back for more.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the complex story line
Best Scene - In a litany of intense scenes, it was a small one that stood out most for me. I liked when Laurel went to Bonnie to ask if she was only there because of Frank and Bonnie tells her to concentrate more on proving herself in the present instead of worrying about how she got there.
MVP - Laurel, who gets a murdering scumbag off by proving he didn't murder his second wife
Creepiest - Max, who seems to relish reliving his wife's murder.
Worst Plot Device - recapitation of the same clips we saw last time with slight variations
Best Plot Device - interspersing different times
Best Quotes -
1. Nate: "I'm done with your crazy."
2. Rebecca: "I'm not an idiot and you're not a lawyer."
3. Nate: "What do you want from me? You won your case, got laid, so how else can I be of service to you?"

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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