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.

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The Best Of This Week’s TV

It’s Sunday evening which means that you’re likely trying to avoid thinking about the work week that begins tomorrow. Sorry for reminding you about that. If you want to think about something different then why don’t you join me in looking over the best of this week’s television. Before we get to the crème de la crème, let’s take a look at this week’s honourable mentions:

Honourable Mentions

  • raf.pngGotham – for a sublime anti-relationship PSA.
  • Once Upon A Time – for making ‘Darth Vader’ a verb.
  • Supergirl – for extra-terrestrial debt-collectors.
  • Empire – for taking the drama level from soap opera to telenovela real fast.
  • Jane The Virgin – for all the gratuitous male shirtlessness.
  • Pitch – for continually being so well-written that it makes me angry.
  • Black-ish – for trying to pass Laurence Fishburne off as somebody in their twenties.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for not even slightly challenging my hatred of Westerns: that’s not a compliment by the way.

Show of the Week: Modern Family

Image result for modern family season 8 episode 7

There aren’t many sitcoms that can continue to make you laugh after eight seasons but that’s exactly what Modern Family is achieving episode after episode. I mean, a dead goat and Nathan Fillion? There’s no way that that isn’t comedy gold.

Seriously, Modern Family follows a simple formula with every episode but it hasn’t gone stale. The show remains hilarious but heart-warming; interesting but comfortably familiar. This week was just an example of how there is still so much to be learned about the wealth of characters that the show has.

One of the wonderful things about a show about family is that they’re always growing and developing. New members come in and some people leave but the core unit is always there.

This Week’s Worst: Arrow

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I adore Arrow and I think that this season in particular has been fantastic for the show which just makes this week’s episode even worse. It’s almost bad in a funny way.

The realistic, hand-to-hand combat fighting style is what really sets this show apart from the other superhero shows on The CW but this week missed the mark – literally. So many of the hits clearly did not land, a standout was Mr. Terrific flying backwards when he was just barely touched by Vigilante.

Other odd moments include the use of a teenager as paedophile bait; Oliver’s obtuseness as to the identity of the man behind the Vigilate mask; and we can’t forget the cringe-worthy voice modulation of Oliver’s new team.

The next time we see Arrow will be in the four-way DC crossover event and it will hopefully be back to true form.

What did you watch this week? Are you excited for the DC crossover event? 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

Did anybody else find that this week just generally had good television or have I just been riding that Doctor Strange high since Tuesday night? Either way, you know how this goes. Before we get to this week’s champion: The Show of the Week, we have to acknowledge some others.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for pitch tommy miller tv showBlack-ish – for making “The Purge” fun.
  • Gotham – for finally clarifying that character dynamic.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for ninjas.
  • Once Upon A Time – for bringing my favourite Disney prince to life and only kind of ruining him.
  • The Flash – for all of the awesome awkwardness.
  • Pitch – for making me care about baseball transfers.
  • Westworld – for… well: they know.

Show of the Week: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Image result for crazy ex girlfriend

This week saw the second episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s second season and it is already better than its first. As an upbeat, satirical, black-comedy musical television series it is certainly unique but it also has massive potential for being a trainwreck. Somehow they haven’t only avoided that but they’ve created a fantastic show.

The original songs are funny and enjoyable whilst being insightful and intelligent but most importantly: well-integrated.

If this show had been a rom-com movie then it would have ended at the season one finale. Season two is the rarely seen story of what happens after the credits roll. The characters still have fundamental problems and we get to see how they navigate their way through these issues.

If you’re not already watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend then I would strongly recommend it. It is the only thing of its kind currently on television.

This Week’s Worst: Modern Family

Image result for modern family halloween

It physically pains to say a negative word about Modern Family. The show has endured for seven seasons and in its eighth season it looked like it was only going to get better. This week’s episode wasn’t bad: I laughed a few times and it was a good story but it wasn’t great.

Modern Family has placed itself in the terrible position of having to constantly top themselves. This week just didn’t reach the standard that I’m used to from them but I’m fairly certain that this dip isn’t going to become a permanent thing.

What did you watch this week? Are you loving any shows that I think that I should check out? Let me know in the comments.

The Best of This Week’s TV

The CW heroes are back; Westworld and No Tomorrow premiered; and Pitch continues to be awesome. This was a good week in television but what was the best show? Before we get to that, I have to appreciate some of the runner-ups.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for westworldWestworld – for making westerns cool. It wasn’t easy, but you did it.
  • Arrow – for reintroducing quality fight choreography to network television.
  • Pitch – for keeping up an insane level of awesome three episodes in.
  • Modern Family – for talking about a presidential election without talking about the presidential election.
  • Gotham – for creating an episode that I actually remembered the plot of ten minutes later.
  • How To Get Away With Murder – for… well, it was just especially good this week. Props.

Show of the Week: The Flash

Image result for the flash flashpoint tv

The Flash came back strong in its Season 3 premiere. The much awaited “Flashpoint” was everything that you could have hoped for.

Something that I noticed last season with the Earth-2 story-line was that this show is very good at creating alternate timelines. It’s always fun and interesting to watch. Of course, the show has matured since its perpetually sunny first season but they still made sure that there were plenty of moments to laugh in this episode. The running ‘Kid Flash’ gag never stopped being entertaining for me.

Grant Gustin was fantastic – going from happy puppy to wounded puppy (let’s face it, he’s always a puppy) flawlessly and really selling the stakes involved in this new arc.

If you read my reviews last season then you’ll know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow but her brief appearance in this first episode has me optimistic that she could actually be enjoyable to watch this season.

Unfortunately we will not be able to see how “Flashpoint” has affected the wider Arrowverse but we can look forward to another episode of consequences next week.

This Week’s Worst: Once Upon A Time

Image result for once upon a time a bitter draught

Once Upon A Time is a tricky show to get right: it doesn’t hide it’s camp nature and that in and of itself is awesome. It’s essentially a fairy-tale for grown ups but it felt like they forgot the “grown ups” part this week.

In it’s sixth season, this show has explored almost all the stories that could make compelling television but they aren’t stopping. This week the gang faced off against the Count of Monte Cristo – I’m sorry, are you not intimately familiar with your 19th century French literature? – and it ended almost exactly how you thought it would.

I still have faith in this show but this week wasn’t its best showing, especially compared to everything else (and I’m including Gotham in that category).

What did you watch this week? Do you agree or disagree with anything that I’ve said? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Season premieres and season finales all happened this week: there was so much good stuff (and also bad stuff but we’ll get to that later) that it is very difficult to choose just one show to crown ‘Best of The Week’ so before we get there, let’s go through the honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for mr. robot posterAgents of Shield – for a season premiere which that took the show from aliens to Ghostrider – a wise move, but I kind of wish that their Ghostrider didn’t look like a badly constructed cartoon character.
  • Black-ish – for releasing the most entertaining 21 minute Disney World commercial that I have ever seen.
  • Modern Family – for still making me laugh in their 8th season.
  • Empire – for keeping me hooked on what is now essentially a high-budget soap opera.
  • Mr. Robot – for the most insane and beautifully filmed season finale that left me with more questions than answers.

Show of the Week: Pitch

Image result for pitch pilot

This week saw the series premiere of the new Fox drama, Pitch, and this had a lot of hype around it so I was definitely wary going into it. When you get as much media attention as this show did, you’re either going to be a disappointment or a phenomenon. So, did it live up to expectations? The answer is a resounding yes.

Pitch tells the story of the first female Major League Baseball player, Ginny Baker, and it has some of the themes that you would expect from this kind of story: sexism, dedication, triumphing against odds. Essentially, it has a lot of heart but it goes deeper than that. This is truly a character story and Kylie Bunbury does a fantastic job of presenting these strong emotions very subtly.

The entire cast was Pitch-perfect and throughout the pilot, seeds were planted to expand on some interesting story-lines. I wouldn’t be surprised if this show won this spot a few more times this season.

If you haven’t seen it yet then you should definitely give it a watch, I’m sure you will cry less than I did.

The Week’s Worst: Gotham

Image result for gotham

For me, Gotham stopped being good somewhere near the beginning of the second season. Some would argue that it went downhill a lot earlier than that (like, in the early development stages) but that seems unfair.

Whilst I’m being fair, I will say that if I was to grade this week’s episode in comparison to the episodes that were released last season, then this was pretty good.

Sure, every time Jim Gordon speaks I involuntarily cringe at the bad dialogue and maybe the story didn’t make the most sense in terms of character motivation. However, the fact that all of these people choose to live in this city makes me wonder if the logic within the show works differently to the one that I’m familiar with. Yeah, let’s go with that.

What did you watch this week? What did you love and what did you hate? Let me know in the comments.