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Monday, October 7, 2013

The Groove Tube #78: I've been Scandal-ized

Welcome to 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: Scandal
"It's Handled" (Episode 30/October 3, 2013)
"The Secret is Out" Special - October 3, 2013

Best Kiss of the Week: Cyrus locked lips with his reporter husband James.

Best Triangle of the Week: Olivia, Fitz and Mellie, of course.

Best Bitch of the Week: Kate Burton (Richard Burton's daughter) as the very religious Vice President Sally Langston.

Worst Father of the Week: Olivia's daddy, Rowan Pope (wonderfully played by a scenery-chewing Joe Morton), the "Command" (i.e. head) of the B613 program who had Jake thrown in "the hole" at the end of last season for disobeying an order. And in the season opener, he tried to send his daughter away with a brand new identity - but she didn't go.

Best Scandal of the Week: Olivia was identified as Fitz's mistress (after he had her name leaked to the media).

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: Cyrus and Mellie made it look as if White House employee Jeannine Locke was Fitz's real mistress, and Olivia took the young woman on as a client.

Grade: A (this delicious political drama is not an easy show to jump into because there is so much going on. I watched an episode last season, but I just couldn't get into it. So when ABC wisely featured a special recap of the first two seasons last week - to help us Scandal novices catch up - I tuned in and became familiar with all the characters and the many twists and turns of the show. And I give the special a grade of A+ for explaining everything so well. I now consider myself "Scandal-ized" and a new fan, and I'll be reviewing the series each week)

Below you can watch Scandal stars Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn on The View on May 14, 2013.

2) Nashville
"Never No More" (Episode 23/October 2, 2013)

Hottest Hunk of the Week: A shirtless Will in boxer shorts!

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week: Juliette was a guest on Conan O'Brien's talk show.

Biggest Jerk of the Week: Oliver Hudson (Goldie Hawn's handsome son) as Jeff Fordham, the new CEO of Edgehill who pisses off both Juliette and Rayna.

Best Confrontation of the Week Runner-Up: Rayna angrily confronted Jeff after he stole Will from her new record label.

Best New Rivalry of the Week: Juliette was not thrilled to meet Jeff's new client, 19-year-old Layla Grant, who was the runner-up on a reality-singing competition series.

Best Expression of the Week: The one Juliette made when Layla sang one of Juliette's songs during Jeff's party.

Grade: A

3) Witches of East End
"Pilot" (Episode 1/October 6, 2013)

First Impression: I enjoyed the first episode of this new Lifetime drama about four witches living in a small town. And it's nice to see so many familiar faces in its large cast, including Julia Ormond (Mad Men), Rachel Boston (American Dreams), Eric Winter (GCB), Mädchen Amick (Twin Peaks), Virginia Madsen (Sideways) and Jason George (Sunset Beach).

Hottest Hunk of the Week Runners-Up: Eric Winter as Freya's fiancé Dash and Daniel Di Tomasso as Dash's younger brother Killian.

Best Triangle of the Week Runner-Up: Freya, who is torn between two brothers - Dash and Killian.

Best Bitch of the Week Runner-Up: Virginia Madsen as Dash and Killian's mother Penelope.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Runner-Up: Joanna was arrested for a murder she didn't commit.

Grade: A

4) Revenge
"Sin" (Episode 46/October 6, 2013)

Best One-Night Stand of the Week: Nolan is back to being gay as he spent the night with a handsome hunk.

Grooviest Guest Star of the Week Runner-Up: James LeGros as Father Paul, a former Grayson Global executive who later became a priest. The actor has previously appeared in such films as Living in Oblivion (1995) and Scotland, PA (2001) and on HBO's Girls (2012).

Worst Family Dinner of the Week: Victoria's introduction of her long-lost son Patrick to her family did not go well.

Worst Indecent Proposal of the Week: Margaux removed her clothes in order to seduce Daniel - but he just picked up her dress and handed it back to her.

Best Confrontation of the Week Honorable Mention: After Jack told her the truth about Declan's death, Charlotte angrily confronted her father.

Grade: B+

5) Glee
"Tina in the Sky with Diamonds" (Episode 90/October 3, 2013)

Best Commercial of the Week: Santana's yeast commercial was amusing.

Worst Bitch of the Week: There always has to be a bitchy cheerleader on Glee - first there was Quinn, then Kitty, and now Bree.

Favorite New Character of the Week: Singer Demi Lovato as Dani, a lesbian waitress at the diner who kissed Santana.

Favorite New Character of the Week Runner-Up: College student Penny, whom Sue hired as McKinley High's nurse - and Sam developed a crush on. She is played by Phoebe Strole, who is Lea Michele's friend from the Broadway musical, Spring Awakening.

Best Nickname of the Week: "Samgelina Jolie" - Sue's nickname for Sam.

Best Interruption of the Week: After dumping Sam as her prom date, Tina's performance of "Revolution" deserved to be interrupted by the school bell.

Best Carrie spoof of the Week: Bree arranged for a bucket of red slushie to fall on prom queen Tina.

Suspend Your Disbelief Moment of the Week: Tina looked like a million bucks after her friends quickly wiped off all the red slushie that was dumped on her - but why didn't she just go to the school's locker room and take a shower?

Best Non-Surprise of the Week: Of course, Rachel was cast as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl.

Best Line: "I feel like I’m on Smash, Season 1" - Rachel (I thought it was funny).

Most Confusing Musical Number: Why did Ryder, Marley, Jake and Unique perform "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at their prom? This just seemed very odd to me.

Best Musical Number Honorable Mention: Sam develops a crush on her, singing "Something".

Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Dani and Santana's duet of "Here Comes the Sun".

Best Musical Number: "Let It Be" by pretty much everyone in the cast.

Grade: B+ (I enjoyed last week's Beatles episode more, but this one still had some good songs and a new love interest for Santana)

6) Super Fun Night
"Anything for Love" (Episode 1/October 2, 2013)

First Impression: Everyone else seems to hate this new ABC sitcom created by and starring Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), but I liked it enough to watch another episode or two. It's not a great show by any means, but Wilson did make me laugh as Kimmie Boubier, a girl who just wants to have fun. I also thought Lauren Ash and Liza Lapira as Wilson's friends and Kevin Bishop as her quirky British boss were amusing. So hopefully Super Fun Night will become more fun to watch.

Grade: B-

7) Once Upon a Time
"Lost Girl" (Episode 46/October 6, 2013)

Most Amusing "Crotchover" of the Week: Click here to read more about the pop-up promo for the show's Wonderland spin-off, which was the most talked-about moment of the episode. Personally, these annoying pop-up ads make me NOT want to watch the series they're promoting.

Best Confrontation of the Week: Snow White cut Regina's face with the fake Excalibur sword.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Honorable Mention: David didn't tell anyone that he had been seriously wounded with a poisonous substance called Dreamshade during a fight with The Lost Boys.

Grade: B- (I found this episode kind of boring - especially Rumpelstiltskin's storyline - and am I the only one missing Storybrooke? Hopefully they won't be spending the entire season in Neverland)

8) Betrayal
"...Except When the Bear is Chasing You" (Episode 2/October 6, 2013)

Most Awkward Meeting of the Week: Drew introduced Jack and Sara in his office, unaware that they're already intimately acquainted.

Grade: C (nothing much happened in this dull episode until the last few minutes when police arrested T.J.)

9) Sean Saves the World
"Pilot" (Episode 1/October 3, 2013)

First and Last Impression: So Sean Hayes is back in an NBC sitcom without Will, Grace and Karen. He does have the lovely Linda Lavin, who is able to deliver a few mildly amusing quips as his mother - but it's very difficult to hear them over the incessant and irritating laugh track, which punctuates almost EVERY line with some fake chuckles. Unfortunately, there is very little to laugh at in this painfully unfunny sitcom, which wastes the comedic talents of Hayes, whose gay single father character is like a bumbling Lucy without an Ethel. He and Lavin deserve a show much better than this dismal disappointment as do supporting cast members Thomas Lennon (whom I loved on Reno 911!) and Megan Hilty (who is probably longing for her days on Smash - except for her lame Season 2 storyline featuring guest star Hayes). I think the only person who can save this sitcom is "Jack McFarland", who could play "Sean's" long-lost twin brother - and who never needed a laugh track to make us giggle. Until that happens, I won't be tuning in again.

Grade: D (a sitcom that tries to make us believe that a studio audience roared with laughter at the line, "It's like sitting on a pile of baby seals," deserves an F, but Ms. Lavin does not)

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