Everything was back this week! Well, maybe not everything, but a good portion of my shows returned from their annoying hiatuses this week. There were so many wonderful moments on TV this week, I'm not even sure where to start...
Top Five TV Highlights From This Week: Rex the Trash Possum, Kevin Bacon the Pig, and Some Bipedal Guest Stars Too!
#5) Tina Majorino on Castle - It's pretty much my favorite thing in the world when actors from my favorite departed shows are featured on my current ones. The stars really aligned this week when Tina Majorino (tech-savvy sidekick Mac from Veronica Mars) guest starred on Castle (which, as I'm sure you know, stars Nathan Fillion from my other favorite cancelled show Firefly). This, of course, means I spent most of the episode smiling nostalgically and reminiscing about "the good old days" when Veronica Mars and Firefly were still on the air, and not at all paying attention to the actual storyline of the episode. (From what I can tell, someone got killed and Corbin Bernsen was involved.) And to think, this was only the second most awesome guest appearance by an actor from one of my favorite cancelled shows on Monday night...(see #1)
#4) The Good Wife - What wasn't to like this week? Cary vs. Blake on the stand! Kalinda was even more badass than usual! A hint of bridge-rebuilding between Alicia and Cary! Killer drug dealers! Kalinda slept with Peter! TWIST! (And, to answer your question, yes, all those exclamation points were necessary.)
#3) How I Met Your Mother's montage of Marshall's increasingly outrageous attempts to provoke his friends into mocking him - The gang had been going easy on him since his dad died, and Marshall did everything he could think of to get them to "take off the kid gloves," including growing a soul patch, blasphemously declaring that The Phantom Menace was the best Star Wars movie, and (my personal favorite) Rex the possum: "I found him in the trash. He lives with us now." Other notables from this week's HIMYM were John Lithgow as Barney's estranged father (how heartbreaking was their final scene together?), Barney's "Rotating Vietnamese Shame Wheel" (your guess is as good as mine), and the realization that Ted cannot pronounce the word "chameleon."
#2) Michael's proposal to Holly on The Office - Well, it wasn't his original idea of writing the proposal in gasoline in the parking lot and setting it (and inevitably himself) on fire, but his final proposal did involve a lot of fire. I loved that Pam stepped in and gathered everyone together to help Michael plan this big moment, since, as Pam said, "I've always felt we should be very involved in each other's personal lives in a very major way." When the time was right, Michael walked Holly past all the other Office employees (all holding candles) as she declined their marriage proposals (even Ryan's!), until she came to her desk (also covered with candles), where Michael got down on one knee and asked her to marry him...in his Yoda voice. By this point, the smoke from all the candles had triggered the sprinklers, which added the perfect note of wet whimsy to the moment. Holly accepted (also while doing her best Yoda impression), and everyone in the office rejoiced. Then Michael announced that he was leaving the office to go to Colorado with Holly to care for her parents. There couldn't be a more perfect way for Michael Scott (and Steve Carell) to exit The Office, but it won't be the same without him.
#1) Joan of Arcadia stars reunited on House - Sure, House's prostitute scooter chariot and remote control helicopter shenanigans were amusing, but the reason this episode was so fantastic was that Amber Tamblyn (who played the title character on Joan of Arcadia) and Chris Marquette (who played her love interest Adam) got to share the screen again. And it was glorious. Aside from the fact that I love both actors individually, and that they're both extremely talented, seeing them together reminded me of what great chemistry they have. During their hospital heart-to-heart, it was like they were Joan and Adam again, him with his teary vulnerability, and her with the tender looks of sympathy. It was almost like a deleted scene from Joan of Arcadia...until the end of the episode when we found out Chris Marquette's character was actually a serial killer. (Awkward.)
*This quote from Jeff on Chuck: "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, you can eat it." (In reference to Kevin Bacon the pig.)
*Community + Pulp Fiction
*The phrase "Stealth 'R' Us," as coined by Phillip the Special Agent on Survivor.
*Jay and the gays on Modern Family - Jay fit in surprisingly well with Pepper, Crispin, and Longines.
*Was that Fred Savage playing tennis on Mr. Sunshine?
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK (OR EVER): Fox renewed Fringe for a fourth season! IT'S A MIRACLE! Everyone should celebrate by watching Fringe live tonight on Fox at 9 pm! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go organize my celebratory parade in Fringe's honor.
#5) Rachel and Puck's Rendition of "Need You Now" on Glee - This may have been the only good thing about the post-Super Bowl episode of Glee, which was grossly disappointing, save for this beautiful Puckleberry duet of Lady Antebellum's hit song.
#4) Ted and Zoey on How I Met Your Mother - I wasn't initially a fan of Zoey's character (played by former House star Jennifer Morrison), but this week's episode won me over, and she actually might be my favorite of Ted's love interests since he and Robin broke up. The way Marshall orchestrated their getting together (after overcoming some obstacles, such as her broken marriage to The Captain, Ted's attempts to push her away, and her hot cousin, played by Katy Perry) only added to the adorable factor. I mean, how can you not root for a romance based on mutual friendship and awesome pranks like Zoey filling Ted's entire refrigerator with ketchup?
#3) Troy and Abed on Community - As adorable as it was the way Troy and Abed tackled the rom-com cliche of two friends competing for a girl's attention (with her choice to be revealed at the Big Dance, of course), we all knew that there's no one more perfect for Troy and Abed than Abed and Troy. When the sexy librarian picked Troy over Abed (and Abed graciously accepted defeat), Troy just couldn't get past the fact that she didn't want to be with Abed. When he asked her why, she pointed out that he talked about the Saw movies for two hours. (But as Troy pointed out, "there are eight of them, and they're two hours apiece, and the first one did redefine the genre.") Troy just couldn't be with someone who doesn't think Abed is as amazing as he does, so he left her at the dance to go find Abed. He hugged his friend and told him, "We'll find someone." Don't we all wish we could find someone as perfect for us as Troy and Abed are for each other?
#2) The Return of Raising Hope - Continuing with this week's theme of bromances, Jimmy met the man of his dreams at the super market: another young single dad! He put the moves on him, and actually managed to get his number. Unfortunately, Jimmy's phone skills are not exactly up to par, and it took him several tries (between which Virginia had to use her recorder to imitate the sound of pressing "1" to rerecord a message, since Jimmy was calling from a rotary phone) before he came up with a non-embarrassing message, which he didn't get to finish before Justin called back and said he'd gotten a missed call from their number. The boys made a play date for their kids, which was actually a play date for them while their respective sets of parents bonded over being former teen parents. Everything was going well until Justin asked Sabrina out, and then said he was "on deck" for after she breaks up with her boyfriend, even though Jimmy clearly already had dibs on being "on deck." The next thing you knew, they were wrestling in the living room. After all, boys will be boys.
#1) 30 Rock - Liz and Carol discovered the unfortunate consequences of the "double-edged sword" that is being in a relationship with someone just like yourself. Their mutual stubbornness resulted in an uncomfortable public confrontation on Carol's airplane, during which Carol (played by Matt Damon) got a little carried away with his authority to enforce Sky Law and actually drew his gun. It's hard to blame him, though, considering the disrespect of most of his passengers, who "think that 300 dollars and a photo ID gives them the right to fly through the air like one of the guardian owls of legend." (Apparently Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole had been the in-flight movie for several months.) Meanwhile, Jack and Avery were busy trying to flee Canada so that their baby wouldn't be Canadian. (Oh, the horror!) Willing to go to extreme lengths, they hitched a ride with John Cho, who generously offered them seats in his mobile meth lab. Unfortunately, they couldn't escape the Great White North in time, and Avery gave birth in a Canadian hospital, where they refused to take their money. Jack wouldn't accept this nonsense, and told them, "We will not be party to this socialist perversion. You will take our money." Hopefully Jack's daughter can overcome her Canadianness and still become president of the United States and "declare war on Germany like back when we were awesome."
So Beyond Amazing That It Surpasses Numeric Qualification: FRINGE. I can't even. Words are not enough. I just. Holy crapbaskets.
*The series premiere of Traffic Light...was actually good! Bonus points for their excellent use of Chumbawumba's classic song, "Tubthumping." (You know you love it.)
*Florence + The Machine performed "Cosmic Love" on Gossip Girl.
*The return of Clive Bixby on Modern Family.
*Jimmy Fallon was this week's guest judge on Top Chef.
*The montage of insanity of Ron and Tammy (guest star Megan Mullally) on Parks & Recreation, which involved Ron punching a glass window, corn rows, a spontaneous wedding, and getting arrested.
*Glee - Feel free to stop sucking anytime. Read all about my issues with Glee's disappointing return here.
It was a disappointing week in TV, but even so there were some great moments (like the entire episode of The Good Wife) and certainly some amusing ones (like most of Greek, Off The Map, and Top Chef). One thing's for sure: There was a lot of marine life featured on TV this week. Fish! Manta rays! Croctopus! Oh my! Here's the breakdown...
Praise Grilled Cheesus! The wintry hiatus weeks are finally coming to an end! And thank the TV gods, because I don't think I could survive one more week of nothing but Celebrity Rehab and reruns. I was so desperate for new episodes this week that I even watched the season premiere of Pretty Little Liars (under coercion, of course). Let's discuss the few shows that returned this week...
Last year brought us breakout hits like Modern Family, Glee, and the equally hilarious but terribly underrated gems Community and Cougar Town. This year, we got $#*! My Dad Says. A most unfortunate turn, I know, but even though this comedy season didn't bring us many outstanding new shows (though one newcomer did make my list), it was a great season for many returning ones. Let's review what top five comedy shows that tickled my funny bone (and plucked at my heart strings) in 2010...
This week's TV lineup featured a surprising number of hookers/porn stars (see House, Raising Hope, and arguably How I Met Your Mother), conspiracies (see Castle and Community), fake guns (see Modern Family and Community), and crying (see Modern Family, Terriers, and Cougar Town), which are always fun plot points. Throw in some exciting guest stars, and it was a pretty great week of television. Here's the rundown...
This week brought good news for some shows and ambiguous-but-probably-foreboding news for others. CBS surprised everyone by ordering full seasons of all five of their new series, including the critically scorned Twitter-based sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, Tom Selleck's new hit Friday night cop drama Blue Bloods, and Hawaii Five-0. The CW also announced which shows they'd be picking up for a full season: the eight season wonder One Tree Hill (the show that won't die), and freshman series Hellcats and Nikita. Notably absent was Life Unexpected, whose hopes for a full second season are not looking good. But let's move on to some recaps of this week's noteworthy shows, only two of which were mentioned above (yes, that was a shot at all the stupid shows that got full season pick-ups CBS and The CW)...
It was another week of great TV, darkened only by the news of what we'd all feared: ABC will be premiering their new reality competition Skating With The Stars this November, allowing them to continue wasting three hours of air time a week on has-beens and celebutantes making fools of themselves to music, even after this season of Dancing With The Stars has ended (God willing). If this premise sounds familiar to you, it's probably because it's nearly identical to Fox's Skating With Celebrities which only aired for one season in 2006. But by all means, please try it again, ABC.
But enough bad news, let's discuss the good news, namely the winning shows of the week...
First of all, let's have a moment of silence for a fallen TV gem: Lone Star, Fox's critical darling slash ratings vacuum, was canceled this week after airing only two episodes. Meanwhile, Outsourced and three Chuck Lorre sitcoms are still at large. Is there no justice? Let's not dwell on the negative, though. There were plenty of entertaining moments in television this week...