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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Groove Tube #79: I'm bewitched, bothered and bewildered by American Horror Story: Coven

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
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (Episode 31/October 10, 2013)

Best Flashbacks of the Week: Olivia remembered her difficult relationship with her father and how she first learned about his true occupation as the head of the B613 program five years ago.

Best Scandal of the Week: Olivia represented White House employee Jeannine, who was framed by Cyrus and Mellie to appear to be Fitz's secret mistress - and Fitz later admitted to having an affair with her in exchange for Jake's release.

Best Cliffhanger and Best Return of the Week: Olivia was surprised to find an injured Jake at her door.

Grade: A+ (it was a delicious hour of drama)

2) Glee
"The Quarterback" (Episode 91/October 10, 2013)

Absent Friends of the Week: Brittany Pierce and Quinn Fabray did not appear in this tribute episode about the death of their friend Finn Hudson.

Best Return Runner-Up and Best Hair of the Week: Puck, whose hair has never looked better.

Saddest Scene of the Week: I shed a few tears during Kurt's scene with his father and Finn's mother in Finn's bedroom.

Saddest Scene of the Week Runner-Up: After Santana apologized to her, Sue admitted that Finn would have made an excellent teacher (again, I shed a few tears).

Saddest Scene of the Week Honorable Mention: The final scene in which Will finally cried while holding Finn's school jacket.

Most Amusing Pamphlets of the Week: Emma gave a self-absorbed Tina three helpful pamphlets - It's Not All About You, When to Stop Talking and Wait, Am I Callous?

Best Confrontation of the Week: After learning that Sue ordered Finn's locker memorial be removed, an angry Santana called her a bitch and pushed her.

Best Musical Number Honorable Mentions: Rachel sang Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love", and Puck performed Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender".

Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Past and present members of New Directions sang "Seasons of Love" from the musical, Rent, at Finn's funeral.

Best Musical Number: Mercedes sang "I'll Stand By You", which Finn sang in a first-season episode.

Grade: A (anyone who didn't shed at least one tear during this episode must have a heart of stone. I thought it was a dramatically effective way to say goodbye to Finn and actor Cory Monteith. The next new episode will be on November 7, featuring the music of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga)

3) Parks and Recreation
"Doppelgängers" (Episode 94/October 10, 2013)

Grooviest Guest Stars of the Week: A tie between June Diane Raphael (TV's Burning Love) as April's Eagleton counterpart Tynnyfer, Billy Eichner as Donna's counterpart Craig, and 69-year-old Sam Elliott as Ron's counterpart Ron. I've been a fan of Mr. Elliott's since he starred in such films as Lifeguard (1976) and The Legacy (1978).

Best Line: "She's the worst person I've ever met. I want to travel the world with her" - April about Tynnyfer

Grade: A (I recently had dinner with two different friends, and I was happy to learn that they both watch this hilarious sitcom as well. Sadly, judging by the show's low ratings, we are among the few who do)

4) American Horror Story: Coven
"Bitchcraft" (Episode 26/October 9, 2013)

First Impression: I loved the first two seasons of this horror anthology series, but it took me a while to warm up to the premiere episode of the third season. I was more disturbed than entertained by Kathy Bates' monstrous character, and I was disappointed by the all-too-brief appearances of Lily Rabe and Frances Conroy (but hopefully we'll see more of them in the future). However, once Jessica Lange's Fiona arrived in New Orleans to help her daughter with their school for young witches, the episode improved - and I liked Zoe and Kyle's scenes together (and, again, I assume we will be seeing more of him, despite his unfortunate death). With such a talented cast - led by the fabulous Ms. Lange - I'm hopeful that I will enjoy the third season as much as the previous two.

Most Evil Bitch of the Week: Kathy Bates as wealthy socialite Madame Delphine LaLaurie, who tortured her slaves in 1834.

Worst Sex of the Week: Zoe Benson (played by Taissa Farmiga, the younger sister of Bates Motel's Vera Farmiga) had sex with her boyfriend, causing him to die from an apparent brain aneurysm.

Best Cameo Appearance of the Week: The always delightful Frances Conroy briefly appeared as Myrtle Snow, the eccentric head of the Witches Council who brought Zoe to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans (a safe haven for young witches).

Cutest Frat Boy of the Week: Zoe became acquainted with Kyle Spencer (Evan Peters) at a frat party.

Best Witch of the Week: Jessica Lange as supreme witch Fiona Goode, who sucked the life out of a scientist.

Sloppy Little Witch Bitch of the Week: Fiona called Madison this after the young girl used witchcraft to destroy a bus carrying poor Kyle and his frat brothers who raped her.

Best Revenge Sex of the Week: Zoe and her killer vagina had lethal sex with the injured frat boy (in his hospital bed) who drugged Madison's drink and instigated her gang rape.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: After Nan heard a distracting voice coming from under the concrete, Fiona had the ground dug up and discovered a coffin containing Madame LaLaurie, who was still alive, having somehow survived being poisoned in 1834 by voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.

Grade: A-

5) The Walking Dead
"30 Days Without an Accident" (Episode 36/October 13, 2013)

Scariest Scene of the Week: I enjoyed watching the walkers fall through the decaying ceiling of the grocery store.

Most Pointless Storyline of the Week: I didn't care for Rick's encounter in the woods with the woman whose husband had become a walker. It just didn't seem to amount to anything.

Most Disturbing Death of the Week: Beth's boyfriend Zach was killed by walkers in the store.

Best Teacher of the Week: Carol is secretly teaching the children how to use weapons to kill walkers.

Best Smile of the Week: Michonne finally seems happy!

Best Cliffhanger of the Week: Carl's ill friend Patrick collapsed and died in the showers and became a walker.

Grade: A- (the fourth season opener of AMC's horror series was great - except for Rick's dull storyline)

6) Nashville
"I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now" (Episode 24/October 9, 2013)

Best Return of the Week Honorable Mention: Sexy record producer Liam returned and agreed to help Rayna finish her album.

Best Couple of the Week: Rayna and Liam slept together.

Best Divorce of the Week: Rayna and Teddy finalized their divorce.

Worst Vocal Cords of the Week: Poor Rayna can't sing because the intubation damaged her vocal cords.

Worst Daddy Issues of the Week: Deacon's father was a mean drunk.

Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Scarlett sang "Waitin'" during the showcase.

Best Musical Number: Will sang Gunnar's song, "What If I Was Willing", during the showcase without his permission.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Honorable Mention #1: After Juliette performed a concert for a wealthy couple, the husband Charlie kissed her - and she kissed him back.

Grade: A-

7) Once Upon a Time
"Quite a Common Fairy" (Episode 47/October 13, 2013)

Most Boring Location of the Week: I'm tired of watching everyone walk through the forests of Neverland.

Best Location of the Week: The colorful fairy flower garden.

Best New Character of the Week: I enjoyed Rose McIver's performance as Tinker Bell.

Least Favorite Character of the Week: Peter Pan is beginning to grate on my nerves.

Best Complicated History of the Week: Regina and Tinker Bell's.

Best Surprise of the Week: Mulan is a lesbian! Who knew? But it was sad when a devastated Mulan learned that Aurora - whom she is secretly in love with - is pregnant.

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Honorable Mention #2: We saw that Robin Hood has a lion tattoo on his wrist, which means that he is Regina's true love.

Grade: A-

8) The Goldbergs
"Mini Murray" (Episode 3/October 8, 2013)

Best Mother of the Week: I adore Wendi McLendon-Covey, who is the scene-stealing star of this sitcom as Beverly Goldberg.

Grade: B+ (this amusing episode featured young Adam Goldberg going to see the horror movie, Poltergeist, instead of the film his mother chose for him - Disney's The Great Mouse Detective)

9) Revenge
"Confession" (Episode 47/October 13, 2013)

Hottest Hunk of the Week: A shirtless Patrick, whom Nolan invited to his housewarming party.

Gaydar of the Week: Am I the only one getting a gay vibe from Patrick - especially during his scenes with Nolan? Or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.

Best Devious Duo of the Week: It was revealed that Emily and Aiden are scheming together behind Victoria's back.

Best Line: "Together we're going to unravel and destroy that little bitch" - Victoria to Aiden about Emily

Best Cliffhanger of the Week Runner-Up: Emily was shocked to discover that Conrad and Father Paul were in a fiery car accident on their way to the police station, where Conrad was finally going to confess his crimes and clear David Clarke's name. Conrad survived the crash, but the priest appeared to be dead.

Grade: B+

10) Witches of East End
"Marilyn Fenwick, R.I.P." (Episode 2/October 13, 2013)

Best Smile of the Week Runner-Up: The handsome Eric Winter as Dash Gardiner.

Grade: B+ (this series is very easy to like - and Mädchen Amick is always fun to watch in whatever she does)

11) Betrayal
"If You Want the Fruit..." (Episode 3/October 13, 2013)

Last Words: I liked the first episode of this new ABC drama, but then the writers kept the two leads apart for the next two episodes, which sapped the sexiness out of the show. And I hated Sara's annoying fantasies/dreams/visions of Jack this week - and I just don't care about the central murder mystery about a character whom I never got to know. Finally, the most interesting character at the moment is Jules, the young lesbian who asked out Jack's daughter. Meanwhile, main couple Sara and Jack - as well as her husband Drew - are all attractive but kind of bland, which is an accurate description of the series as well. I won't be tuning in again - and hopefully someday ABC will find another worthy show for this Sunday night time slot.

Grade: D for dull (hey, maybe ABC could bring back Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts in GCB - I still miss that show).

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