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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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.

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.