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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Groove Tube #64: Mike Vogel checks in to A&E's Bates Motel

Welcome to The Groove Tube, a weekly recap of the highlights (and lowlights) of some of the scripted TV shows I'm watching (in order of preference):

TV Series of the Week: Bates Motel
"First You Dream, Then You Die" (Episode 1/March 18, 2013)

First Impression: This contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film, Psycho, shows us what life was like for 17-year-old Norman Bates before his mother died and he began killing people. It's an interesting and original concept that definitely intrigues me - and 21-year-old English actor Freddie Highmore and the lovely Vera Farmiga (whom I've liked ever since the 2002 film, Dummy) are both excellent as Norman and his mother Norma.

Hottest Law Enforcement of the Week: White Pine Bay's Sheriff Alex Romero (played by Lost's Nestor Carbonell) and Deputy Zack Shelby (played by Pan Am's Mike Vogel).

Most Disturbing Scenes of the Week: After being raped by Keith, the disgruntled former owner of the motel, Norma stabbed him to death.

Grade: A

2) Dallas
"Ewings Unite!" (Episode 19/March 18, 2013)

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week and Best Line: Joan Van Ark as Valene Ewing, who accused Sue Ellen of trying to steal her estranged husband, Gary, and confronted her with this delicious line: "Once a bitch, always a bitch."

Favorite Dead Bitch of the Week: It's a shame that the writers decided to kill off Cliff Barnes' crazy half-sister, Katherine Wentworth, whom I always enjoyed on the original show.

Best Cameo Appearance of the Week Runner-Up: Barry Corbin (who played Maurice on TV's Northern Exposure) as the executor of J.R.'s will.

Best Will of the Week: J.R. gave a bottle of scotch to his alcoholic brother Gary and his dove hunting gun to his sister-in-law Ann.

Most Amusing Conversation of the Week: John Ross's sexual innuendo-filled conversation with Alison Jones, the married head of DCT, before they became lovers.

Best Confrontation of the Week: Harris Ryland wasn't too pleased to learn that his mother Judith had frozen his bank accounts, and she ended up falling down the stairs during a struggle with him.

Worst Father of the Week: Cliff told his henchman to go ahead and blow up Christopher's rig even after learning that his pregnant daughter was on there.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: The rig explosion puts almost the entire cast in danger.

Grade: A (another great episode with lots of soapy drama).

3) The Walking Dead
"This Sorrowful Life" (Episode 34/March 24, 2013)

Tense Scene of the Week: When Merle set off the car alarm, attracting walkers to Michonne, who was tied up. Fortunately, they both survived.

Best Proposal of the Week: Glenn gave Maggie a ring that he took from a walker, and she said, "Yes." How sweet.

Saddest Scene of the Week: A devastated Daryl had to kill his brother Merle, who became a walker after the Governor shot and killed him.

Grade: A (an emotional episode with an outstanding final performance by Michael Rooker as Merle)

4) Glee
"Guilty Pleasures" (Episode 83/March 21, 2013)

Best Theme of the Week: This week New Directions performed their musical guilty pleasures.

Worst Break-Up of the Week: Rachel and Brody (I like them together).

Hottest Man Whore of the Week: Brody

Best Web Series of the Week: Brittany's Fondue for Two with McKinley High's biggest bitch Kitty and Brittany's fabulous cat Lord Tubbington.

Most Surprising "Fanilow" of the Week: Sam, who performed Barry Manilow's 1978 tune, "Copacabana".

Most Embarrassing Moment of the Week: Rachel and Santana discovered that Kurt sleeps with a boyfriend arm pillow that he has named Bruce (I could never be that lonely).

Most Annoying Guilty Pleasure of the Week: Tina dressed up as Vicki the robot from the 1985-89 syndicated sitcom, Small Wonder.

Best Guilty Pleasure of the Week: Sam, who realized that he was Blaine's guilty pleasure (it's too bad Sam isn't gay because they would make a great couple).

Best Musical Number: Blaine and Sam performed the 1984 hit, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", by Wham! (Blaine's other guilty pleasure).

Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Jake's performance of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative".

Best Musical Number Honorable Mention #1: Blaine's performance of Phil Collins' 1984 hit, "Against All Odds".

Best Musical Number Honorable Mention #2: Rachel, Kurt, Santana and New Directions' performance of ABBA's 1975 song, "Mamma Mia".

Best Confrontation Runner-Up and Duet of the Week: Rachel and Brody's performance of Radiohead's "Creep".

Grade: A (I enjoyed this entertaining episode of groovy musical numbers)

5) Once Upon a Time
"Selfless, Brave and True" (Episode 40/March 24, 2013)

Best Return of the Week: The handsome Eion Bailey as August/Pinocchio, whom Mary Margaret discovered - now completely wooden - in a trailer in the woods.

Worst Fiancee of the Week: Neal doesn't have a clue that Tamara is a killer who is only using him to get her hands on some magic.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Honorable Mention: It was revealed that Greg/Owen and Tamara are lovers!

Grade: B (I was kind of bored by August's Hong Kong flashback)

6) Revenge
"Victory" (Episode 39/March 24, 2013)

Worst Couple of the Week: Nolan and Padma - and whatever happened to Nolan's ex Marco? I thought this potential love triangle might be interesting, but instead it's been a big disappointment.

Worst Reference of the Week: Conrad calling Jack his campaign's "Joe the Plumber" (so I assume that he is running as a Republican, which isn't a surprise).

Worst Exit of the Week: I liked Emily's foster brother Eli, who left town.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Runner-Up: Emily learned from Mason Treadwell that Victoria gave birth to - and gave up - another son when she was 16.

Grade: B- (too much Padma - but I'm intrigued by Victoria's other son)

7) Smash
"Musical Chairs" (Episode 22/March 19, 2013)

Asshole of the Week: Jimmy continues to be an unlikable jerk - except when he's singing.

Worst Storyline of the Week: The Liaisons production featuring guest star Sean Hayes (but at least the show closed, allowing poor Ivy to escape from this bad storyline).

Best Cameo Appearance of the Week: Seth Rudetsky (as himself), the host of Seth's Big Fat Broadway on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.

Craziest Decision of the Week: Karen quit Bombshell - in which she would have made her Broadway debut - to appear in Off-Broadway's Hit List.

Best Musical Number: Hit List's new opening number, "Rewrite This Story", performed by Jimmy and Karen.

Worst Musical Number: Liaisons' "Ce N'Est Pas Ma Faute (It's Not My Fault)" was painfully unfunny.

Grade: C+ (this disappointing season makes me wish that creator Theresa Rebeck was still writing the show - but I will keep watching until the bitter end because I do care about and like most of the characters. And I will predict the storyline for the final episode: Ivy vs. Karen for the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award - and Bombshell vs. Hit List)

8) The New Normal
"Blood, Sweat and Fears" (Episode 19/March 19, 2013)

Grade: C (I found this episode about David and Bryan's interest in alternative birthing options kind of boring. Also, I found it odd that John Stamos was a guest star as Jane's co-worker/love interest Bryce, but Ellen Barkin's Jane was M.I.A. And why did the writers feel the need to give Rocky a baby? Was it to soften up her amusingly abrasive character? If so, I think this was a mistake)

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