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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Groove Tube #77: Revenge's Justin Hartley is the first Hottest Hunk of the Season

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

TV Series of the Week: Revenge
"Fear" (Episode 45/September 29, 2013)

Hottest Hunk and Favorite New Character of the Week: 36-year-old Justin Hartley (Passions, Smallville) as Victoria's long-lost son Patrick, who can wear only a towel in every episode if he so desires (I know I do).

Hottest Hunk of the Week Runner-Up: A shirtless Joshua Bowman as Daniel.

Best Opening Scene of the Week: A flash-forward to Emily falling into the ocean after being shot twice while wearing a wedding dress on a yacht. The show then took us back to two months earlier.

Best News of the Week: No more Initiative (which pretty much ruined last season).

Favorite New Character of the Week Honorable Mention: Karine Vanasse as Daniel's friend, Margaux LeMarchal (the actress was my favorite stewardess on ABC's short-lived series, Pan Am).

Best Entrance of the Week: Nolan parachuted into Emily's Memorial Day party.

Most Devious Plot of the Week: Emily poisoned Conrad and made him believe that he has Huntington's disease.

Worst Kiss of the Week: Jack kissed Emily - but he then said he doesn't feel anything for her.

Best Threat of the Week: Jack told Emily to finish her revenge by the end of the summer or he will reveal her true identity.

Best Exit of the Week: Emily blackmailed a blackmailing Ashley into leaving town (and the series).

Best New Word of the Week: "Davenported"

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: Aiden returned to destroy the girl next door - Emily - with Victoria's help.

Grade: A (after its disappointing second season, the the series appears to be back on the right track with many intriguing storylines and a new handsome hunk - but I am sad that Emily and Jack are no longer friends)

2) Glee
"Love, Love, Love" (Episode 89/September 26, 2013)

Best Reconciliation and Engagement of the Week: Kurt and Blaine.

Best Marriage Proposal of the Week: Blaine's performance of "All You Need Is Love" with a little help from his friends and other glee clubs.

Best New Jobs of the Week: Rachel and Santana are now waitresses at a Broadway diner.

Best New Job of the Week Runner-Up: Sue Sylvester is now the school's interim principal after framing Figgins, who was demoted to janitor.

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week Honorable Mentions: Nurse Jackie's Peter Facinelli as Rupert Campion, the director of the Funny Girl revival, and Ioan Gruffudd as Paolo, an actor whom I assume is playing Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl.

Best Musical Number: Kurt and Blaine's duet of "Got to Get You into My Life".

Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Rachel and Santana's diner performance of "A Hard Day's Night".

Best Musical Number Honorable Mention: Blaine, Sam, Jake and Ryder's performance of "I Saw Her Standing There".

Grade: A (I love the music of the Beatles, so I'm not surprised that I enjoyed this first of two tribute episodes to the "Fab Four")

3) Parks and Recreation
"London" (Episodes 91/92 - September 26, 2013)

Best Marriage Ceremony of the Week: Upon learning that his girlfriend Diane is pregnant, Ron proposed, and they were quickly married (I like them as a couple).

Best Diet of the Week: A much slimmer Andy informed Ben that he lost 50 pounds by just giving up beer (in real-life, actor Chris Pratt lost weight for his starring role in the upcoming Marvel sci-fi epic, Guardians of the Galaxy).

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week: Peter Serafinowicz as Lord Edgar Covington, the amusing new benefactor of Ben and Andy's non-profit.

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week Runner-Up: Henry Winkler as Dr. Saperstein, the father of Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa who wants to crush Tom by putting him out of business.

Best Twin Siblings of the Week: The hilarious Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa (and actors Ben Schwartz and Jenny Slate really do look like they are related).

Grade: A (I adore this sitcom, but it only attracted 3.3 million viewers for its hour-long season opener. Meanwhile, 18.9 million tuned in to its timeslot competitor, CBS's The Big Bang Theory, which I've never watched. Oh well, to each their own)

4) Betrayal
"Pilot" (Episode 1/September 29, 2013)

First Impression: I wasn't planning to watch this new ABC drama about an extramarital affair, but I decided to give it a look. And the pilot episode kept my interest enough to tune in again next week. Also, the two leads - Hannah Ware and Stuart Townsend - certainly make an attractive couple (and I've liked him ever since the 2000 film, About Adam).

Best Opening Scene of the Week Runner-Up: A flash-forward to Sara being shot. The show then took us back to six months earlier.

Best Return of the Week: It's been a long time since I've seen actor Henry Thomas in anything - and it's been 31 years since E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial made him a star.

Best Love Triangle and Luckiest Girl of the Week: Sara, who is caught between two hot guys - her husband Drew and her married lover Jack.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Runner-Up: Sara learned that Drew will be the prosecuting attorney and Jack will be the lawyer for the defense in a high-profile murder case.

Grade: A

5) Once Upon a Time
"The Heart of the Truest Believer" (Episode 45/September 29, 2013)

Hottest Hunk of the Week Honorable Mention: Sean Maguire as Robin Hood (he replaced actor Tom Ellis in the role).

Best Exit of the Week Runners-Up: Henry's kidnappers, Greg and Tamara, were killed - the former's shadow was ripped from his body by the mysterious Shadow, while Mr. Gold crushed the latter's heart after she was shot with an arrow.

Favorite New Character of the Week Runner-Up: Peter Pan, who befriended Henry by pretending to be a former Lost Boy.

Most Amusing Film Reference: Neal informed a confused Mulan that a movie was made about her.

Grade: A- (I really liked that the show didn't have any flashbacks except for Emma giving birth to Henry at the beginning - I hope this continues this season)

6) Nashville
"I Fall to Pieces" (Episode 22/September 25, 2013)

Cutest Assistant Candidate of the Week: He wasn't given a name, but Juliette slept with him (and he was played by actor Jon Berry).

Cutest Ex-Lover of the Week: Brent (Derek Krantz), whom Will wasn't too happy to see again.

Most Miserable Character of the Week: Deacon pleaded guilty to driving under the influence - even though Rayna was the one driving during their accident.

Best Flashbacks of the Week: We got to see Rayna and Deacon in their younger days.

Worst Rejection of the Week: Scarlett turned down Gunnar's marriage proposal and moved out.

Best Secret of the Week: Peggy didn't tell Teddy that she miscarried their baby.

Most Juvenile Behavior of the Week: Gunnar burned his and Scarlett's couch.

Best Musical Number: Scarlett and Gunnar's Bluebird Cafe performance of "Why Can't I Say Goodnight".

Grade: B+ (I'm so happy to have this show back again, but the season opener was not its best since Rayna spent most of the show in a coma and Deacon was in jail. Thankfully she woke up and he was released by the end of the episode)

7) Modern Family
"Suddenly, Last Summer" (Episode 97/September 25, 2013)
"First Days" (Episode 98/September 25, 2012)

Best New Opening Credits of the Week: Since all the kids have grown up, it was time to film a new one.

Best Engagement of the Week Runner-Up: Cam and Mitchell

Best Line: "I always get a whistle when I wear shorts" - Cam to Principal Brown after he is offered the gym teacher position.

Best Line Runner-Up: "Never let her go" - Phil to Luke after he learns that Carly - the girl Luke likes - brought over the film, Dirty Dancing.

Grade: B (this season I'm not reviewing Modern Family - or any other sitcom - every week, but I will feature the show occasionally and let you know how I think it is doing)

8) The Goldbergs
"The Circle Of Driving" (Episode 1/September 24, 2013)

First Impression: This new ABC sitcom is a 1980s version of The Wonder Years (a 1988-93 ABC sitcom that was set in 1968-73) - but far more shrill and not nearly as good. It's a very loud show with lots of yelling, but some families are like that. And comparisons to The Wonder Years can't be helped as both sitcoms feature adult narrators of one of the kids - Patton Oswalt is the voice of the youngest Goldberg, Adam, who annoyingly films his family on a video camera. The Goldbergs is actually based on creator Adam Goldberg's real-life family, whom he video-taped while he was growing up. So that's the premise of the show - and I didn't hate the pilot episode. In fact, I really liked the scene between Murray Goldberg and his eldest son Barry as they sang along in the car to REO Speedwagon's 1985 hit, "Can't Fight This Feeling". Also, I enjoyed the performances of the three adults of the series - Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as dad Murray, 79-year-old George Segal as grandfather Albert, and the fabulous Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911!) as mom Beverly, who pretty much steals every scene she is in. So I plan to give The Goldbergs a few more episodes to see if they can become a family worth spending time with each week.

Grade: C+

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