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Monday, May 20, 2013

The Groove Tube #72: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (but I like Joan and Peggy, too)

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: Mr Selfridge
Episode 9/May 19, 2013)
Episode 10/May 19, 2013)

Best Break-Up of the Week: Victor ended his affair with Lady Mae and refused her belated offer to help him open his own restaurant.

Worst Break-Up of the Week: Henri and Agnes' romance ended when he resigned to take a new job in New York City (I'm sorry to see his character leave the series).

Best Renewed Friendship of the Week: Agnes and Victor found their way back to each other (I like them together - but I also liked her relationship with Henri).

Most Surprising Plot Twist of the Week: Miss Mardle was shocked to discover that her longtime lover, Mr. Grove, was engaged to Doris Miller.

Biggest Cad of the Week: Mr. Grove, who suggested to Miss Mardle that they continue their affair after he marries Doris (she wisely refused).

Saddest Death of the Week Runner-Up: Former employee Miss Bunting - whom Selfridge refused to write a reference for - committed suicide by falling in front of a train.

Most Humiliating Scene of the Week: Selfridge and Lady Mae were ridiculed by the new play starring Ellen Love.

Worst Exits of the Week: A tie between Henri Leclair and Rose Selfridge (who took her children back to America).

Grade: A+

Overall Season Grade: A (one of the best new series of the season - and it even made me a fan of Jeremy Piven, who gave an outstanding, Emmy-worthy performance. The entire supporting cast was amazing as well - especially Frances O'Connor as Rose, Aisling Loftus as Agnes and Katherine Kelly as Lady Mae, who sadly won't be returning for the show's second season in 2014)

2) Nashville
"A Picture from Life's Other Side" (Episode 20/May 15, 2013)

Most Surprising Plot Twist of the Week Runner-Up: Jolene shot Dante to death.

Saddest Death of the Week: Juliette was devastated to discover her mother dead from an overdose.

Worst Break-Up of the Week: Scarlett broke up with Gunnar.

Best Line: "It would've just been cheaper for you to go to AA like every other addict" - Juliette's snarky remark to her mother after Dante demanded $10 million for the sex tape.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: Maddie finally learned that Teddy isn't her father after finding the paternity test results in her mother's closet.

Grade: A

3) Modern Family
"Games People Play" (Episode 95/May 15, 2013)

Best Line: "He's a lying, scheming little sneak. That's my son" - a proud Gloria about Manny's behavior

Grade: A (all three storylines - Phil's family RV drive, Lily's gymnastics competition and Jay and Gloria's Game Night "snub" - were funny)

4) Bates Motel
"Underwater" (Episode 9/May 13, 2013)

Cutest Real Estate Agent of the Week: Matt Bronstein (played by 35-year-old Matthew MacCaull), whom Norma hit with her purse when he couldn't give her her money back for the motel property so she could move to Hawaii.

Best Pot Cupcake of the Week: The one a cute trimmer named Gunner (played by Keenan Tracey) gave to Emma, who ate it.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Runner-Up: Jake threatened to kill Norma unless she gave him the money that Shelby owed him.

Grade: A

5) Mad Men
"The Crash" (Episode 73/May 19, 2013)

Best Transformation of the Week: Betty is blonde again and looking fabulous.

Best Tap Dance of the Week: Ken Cosgrove's amusing tap dance after he received an "energy" shot of speed.

Worst Flashbacks of the Week: I'm not a fan of Don's flashbacks to his teenage years in a brothel.

Best Book of the Week: Sally was reading Ira Levin's 1967 novel, Rosemary's Baby.

Most Bizarre New Character of the Week: "Grandma Ida", a burglar whom Sally discovered in Don and Megan's apartment.

Best Kiss of the Week: Stan Rizzo kissed Peggy - but she later saw him having sex with another girl.

Groovy Music of the Week Runner-Up: Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66's version of "Goin' Out Of My Head", which was playing on Sylvia's radio.

Groovy Music of the Week: The Mamas & the Papas' "Words of Love" played during the closing credits.

Best Line: "On what street corner?" - Betty's snarky response when Sally said she earned her own money for a miniskirt.

Grade: B+ (if it hadn't been for Don's dull flashbacks, I would've given this trippy episode an A)

6) The Office
"Finale" (Episodes 200 & 201/May 16, 2013)

Best Wedding of the Week: Dwight Schrute and Angela Martin became husband and wife - and Phyllis carried Angela down the aisle during the ceremony.

Best Guest Stars of the Week: Joan Cusack and Ed Begley, Jr. as Erin's biological parents whom she was reunited with.

Best Return of the Week Runner-Up: Ryan and Kelly, who were reunited.

Best Return of the Week: I'm happy that Steve Carell made a surprise return as Michael Scott, who was Dwight's best man.

Grade: B+

Last Words: After nine seasons and 201 episodes, The Office finally closed its doors - and I liked the series finale. The sitcom, which began on March 24, 2005, found its groove during its second season when its supporting cast of characters became more prominently featured. But after manager Michael Scott left at the end of Season 7, the show just wasn't the same - even though I did enjoy Oscar's secret affair with Angela's husband (played by Dynasty's Jack Coleman). So here are my five favorite episodes of The Office (in chronological order):

1) "Casino Night" (Episode 28, Season 2 - May 11, 2006)
Jim reveals to Pam that he is in love with her, and they share a kiss.

2) "A Benihana Christmas" (Episodes 38/39, Season 3 - December 14, 2006)
A disagreement within the Party Planning Committee leads Pam and Karen to create their own Christmas party, separate from Angela's.

3) "Dinner Party" (Episode 66, Season 4 - April 10, 2008)
Michael and Jan invite Jim, Pam, Andy and Angela to a dinner party, which doesn't go well.

4) "Stress Relief" (Episodes 86/87, Season 5 - February 1, 2009)
Dwight stages a fire drill during which Angela attempts to save her cat Bandit by throwing it through the ceiling.

5) "Secret Santa" (Episode 113, Season 6 - December 10, 2009)
Andy gives Erin "The Twelve Days of Christmas", including twelve drummers drumming.

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