The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Saturday everybody, all of the shows returned this week which was amazing. There was DC crossover week; Agents of SHIELD finally resolved that cliff-hanger; and Pitch aired their penultimate episode. Obviously the biggest question is which was the best but before we get there let’s talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Phil electrocuted.pngAgents of Shield – for some sweet Doctor Strange tie-ins.
  • Modern Family – for proving that watching Ty Burrell get electrocuted never stops being funny.
  • Westworld – for managing to be objectively amazing yet subjectively underwhelming.
  • Pitch – for finally releasing an episode that didn’t stress me out or leave me an emotional wreck.
  • Black-ish – for elegantly dealing with some complex themes of identity.
  • Empire – for setting the standard for awkward family dinners.
  • Gotham – for the best episode since its first season.
  • Jane The Virgin – for catering to that burgeoning lapsed Catholic market.
  • Once Upon A Time – for confirming that nobody will ever carry a baby full term in this show.

Show of the Week: DC Crossover

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This week saw the first time in history that the DC shows on The CW – Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow – crossed over and it was perfect. Normally, this section is reserved for a single show but it is impossible to choose between the four episodes that aired this week because they all came together as one cohesive narrative. Separating them simply wouldn’t make sense.

When I heard that the main villain in the crossover was going to be aliens, I was less than enthused but I am happy to say that I was wrong to judge it so quickly. The aliens ended up being a very serious threat with believable motivations.

More than anything, I loved this television event because it felt like a massive pay-off for anybody that had been following these shows from the very beginning. Old characters were brought back; subtle nods were made to the wider DC universe; and they did an amazing job of analysing the relationship dynamics that form when you throw this group of people together.

The ending, with Oliver and Barry sat talking in a bar, felt like an wonderfully poetic way to wrap up the week. They were the two characters that began this wider universe and you were really able to appreciate that in how the wider team immediately deferred to them as leaders.

This Week’s Worst: No Tomorrow

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There’s no doubt that No Tomorrow has improved from when it first began this season but it still isn’t doing enough. The show has established what it’s about and at times it can be a fun thing to watch but it has no real bite to it.

It’s being sold as an hour-long dramedy when its story seems better suited to the half-hour sitcom format. With such a high-level of competition on The CW at the moment, I don’t know if this first-season show will be renewed next year.

Did you have a favourite episode from the crossover? Have you been watching No Tomorrow? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of the people out there who celebrate the holiday. If you’re in a country like mine where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this holiday just meant that there was very little television and lots of online sales. Anyway, back to the topic at hand: let’s talk about what showed this week. Before we get to the best, we have to talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • No Tomorrow.pngJane the Virgin – for Bruno Mars karaoke.
  • Gotham – for confirming that it gets a hundred times better when watched as a comedy rather than a drama.
  • Supergirl – for Alex: she’s quickly becoming the best part of the show.
  • No Tomorrow – for fuchsia houses and party crashers.
  • Scorpion – for farting superheroes that save California.

Show of the Week: The Flash

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I didn’t like Caitlin last season: she was boring and superfluous and I didn’t really understand what she added to the show. The only time that that changed was when we saw her Earth-2 doppelganger, Killer Frost. The people over at The Flash have clearly taken that to heart and this season we’re seeing Caitlin wrestle against her inner Killer Frost.

The Flash is good at heroes but their villains are often just a little bit too campy to be taken seriously or seen as genuinely threatening. With Killer Frost, Alchemy, and Savitar, the villains in this series have reached a new level of awesome.

Also in this episode, we were able to see Wally finally get his powers and all the Kid Flash fans rejoiced. They have been teasing this story-line for the longest time and we finally get to see it play out – in my opinion, just in the nick of time, because Wally was beginning to come across more like a whiny kid than a young hero.

Finally, dues must be paid to Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes who are two fantastic actors that are able to bring real emotion to what can sometimes be a light show.

This Week’s Worst: Westworld

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I have been praising Westworld since its first episode because it’s new and different and a very brave concept to invest so much money in, but as the plot unravels I am losing interest.

This is a show about robotics, artificial intelligence, morality, humanity, and so many other huge ideas. It does well exploring them but in the end I worry that it is more of a philosophical discussion than a compelling, narrative-driven show. Clearly there is a story, I’m just not sure that it’s as interesting as the concepts that it is trying to explore.

People were calling it HBO’s new Game of Thrones before it ever aired but by now I think that the world can agree that that simply isn’t true. Forgetting the completely different genres, Game of Thrones was always the sort of show that left you shocked and wanting more. Westworld is interesting and intelligent but it’s not addictive. I could stop watching it at any point and not care about what happens next.

Are you looking forward to next week’s four-way CW superhero crossover? Which of the shows is your favourite? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

The Cubs won the World Series and apparently that’s a really big thing, so yay? Mainly I’m just excited that we get Empire, Modern Family, and Black-ish back next week. Regardless, even with those shows missing from the usual roster it was a good week for TV. Before we get to the best and the worst, let’s talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for arrow season 5 episode 7Jane The Virgin – for that shameless The CW promo.
  • Once Upon A Time – for bringing to life a Disney hero that I thought they never would in Nemo (I don’t care if it’s the wrong one, Nemo is Nemo).
  • No Tomorrow – for finally finding its niche and showing what it’s really about.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – for an entire musical number based on trigonometry.
  • How To Get Away With Murder – for the most brutal verbal smackdown that I’ve seen in recent television.
  • Pitch – for maintaining its streak of bringing me to tears every episode.
  • Supergirl – for underground, alien fight clubs.
  • Arrow – for recovering the flashbacks, it was hard-going last season but they may have just saved it.

Show Of The Week: Atlanta

Image result for atlanta finale

Season 1 of FX’s Atlanta ended this week with a brilliant finale that solidified it as one of the best freshman series of this season. From its first episode, Atlanta showed that it was different to anything else on the scene: a dramedy about the Atlanta hip-hop scene could have taken a lot of different directions but I would never have imagined that one of those would be the show that I relished watching over the last three months.

This show never shied away from the darker elements of the lifestyle that it was portraying. Violence, drugs and murder were never off-limits and it was that honesty that made it so believable and really elevated the comedy.

In the season finale we watch our protagonist, Earn, search for a jacket he lost the night before but the reason that he is so frantically looking for it is not revealed until the end in what people are pegging as a “fairytale ending”. We see Earn reject two separate offers to crash at other peoples’ homes and then go to sleep in a storage space full of his own possessions.

Clearly this isn’t everybody’s idea of a happy ending but in watching how Earn’s situation has developed from the first episode in which he didn’t have a steady income or a home of his own, you can’t help but feel warm and happy for him.

For most people watching this show, they won’t be able to personally relate to Earn’s reality. However at the root of this show is a very human theme of just wanting to achieve something and to live a comfortable, safe life. The show has been renewed for a second series and I personally, cannot wait to see how it develops in the future.

This Week’s Worst: Legends of Tomorrow

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Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from the issues within the time periods that they visit. As a diverse group that travels through space and time, sexism and racism are themes that crop up again and again but they are never the focus of the episode.

This week Legends had an episode set in Mississippi during the civil war and the two black Legends find themselves trying to infiltrate the home of a slave-owner. Also, there are zombies (I don’t why). This was the show’s first foray into a really heavy topic. A slave woman was whipped; slaves were tied up in an outhouse and whilst they didn’t bust out the ‘n’ word, they really went for it.

Normally I would commend this from a network show but it just didn’t sit right with me. Unfortunately the weight of this episode was on the shoulders of Franz Drameh, a young and fairly green actor that I don’t think sold it. I could see what they were trying to achieve but I didn’t feel the emotions that they were clearly trying to evoke.

What did you watch this week? What’s your take on this week’s Legends episode? Did you watch Atlanta this season? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Flaky American television scheduling meant that there was no Black-ish, Empire, Modern Family, or Pitch this week but there was still plenty to watch. Obviously I am going to get to what the best thing that aired this week was but before that, let’s look at the honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for penguin riddler gothamGotham – for the most homoerotic episode in their history that still has me questioning whether it was intentional or not.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – for really taking advantage of the later time slot and creating some epic fight sequences with Ghostrider.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for trying with the CGI. It didn’t work but you tried.
  • Arrow – for bringing Diggle back: the show needs him.
  • How To Get Away With Murder – for a drunk Annalise and a Southern Michaela because who says murder can’t be funny?
  • Westworld – for making me appreciate the fact that I never experienced the Wild West.

Show Of The Week: Atlanta

Image result for atlanta the club tv show

Atlanta is a part of a new school of comedy that doesn’t try too hard to be funny. It deals with serious issues and can be intense at times but this was one of their lighter episodes.

As somebody who hates night clubs this episode spoke to me on a spiritual level and was full of plenty of laughs. I missed Donald Glover over the last few episodes and it was nice to have his character back in the mix but the way that this show floats around the different characters means that they have all been given the chance to develop and they can all hold their own story lines.

In this episode alone they dealt with prejudice, money, gender dynamics and violence. It was hilarious.

This Week’s Worst: No Tomorrow

Image result for no tomorrow

As this is a brand new show, I have given it three weeks to pick up but unfortunately it hasn’t done that.

The CW is usually very good at new content: shows like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend have unusual subjects and very strange structures but they work really well. I thought that this might be another one of those instances but it is not.

The premise of the show is that one man has discovered that the end of the world is coming soon and he decides to live like there’s “no tomorrow”. A woman with a crush on him learns about his idea and joins him in it although she doesn’t believe that the world is ending. Together they go through their bucket lists and check off things that they want to do before the world ends.

It’s an interesting premise but the actual show has zero direction. It is literally just these (typically attractive) people doing random things and making out a lot. There are some subplots but they aren’t nearly compelling enough to make the show worthwhile.

I can’t imagine that there’s any season arc past the world not actually ending but maybe they’ll surprise us all and their world will end. Because the show gets cancelled…

What did you watch this week? Have you started any new shows? Are you a No Tomorrow fan? Let me know in the comments.