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The Big Bang Theory 10×10 ‘The Property Division Collision’: Unexpected Break

Just when you thought this was just an episode of The Big Bang Theory about Sheldon and Leonard facing the emotions that came with saying goodbye to one another as roommates. Instead we got Stuart the mooch back and quite the ending to that; what appeared to be the b-plot but was obviously the more life altering one.

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The Goldbergs 4×08 ‘The Greatest Musical Ever Written’: Lasagna

Half of my high school existence was spent in theater but I was never as passionate about it as Adam on The Goldbergs. While I would’ve been happy far in the background of something like Phantom of the Opera, this kid was living for it – too bad his brother wasn’t. While Barry was figuring out a way to sabotage his brother’s endeavor, Erica was trying to escape her mother’s Home Economics class.

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Fresh Off the Boat 3×06 ‘WWJD: What Would Jessica Do?’: Costco

As if I couldn’t love Jessica from Fresh Off the Boat anymore, she showed her major appreciation for Costco this week. Of course it came with some heartache as she lost her shopping buddy to a higher power. While she was dealing with that, her other sons were trying to make the boring cereal taste good, and her husband was struggling with his new, bright smile.

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The Walking Dead 7×06 ‘Swear’: Faith and trust

I thought that The Walking Dead was going to take my “diverse communities” idea only so far.  Alexandria.  The Hilltop.  The Kingdom.  The Sanctuary.  That’s already quite a bit to juggle.  So how much more does The Walking Dead think it can chew off?  Does Gimple really think that adding another community to the mix is going to work?  I mean, I could be proven wrong, and Oceanside could be a fascinating take that is a great addition to the overall story, but as of right now, nothing has coalesced at all.  Everything is so separate from each other that it’s going to take a whole lot of heavy lifting to bring it all together. Read more »

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The Walking Dead 7×05 ‘Go Getter’: Change in leadership

I can appreciate what The Walking Dead is trying to accomplish with its approach this season, even if the central conflict is so flawed as to undermine the whole thing.  These first eight episodes, thus far, have attempted to show us how different communities operate, how they come into conflict with one another, and how different visions of society produce different civilizations and outlooks on conflict with other civilizations.  There is a TON of interesting commentary to mine from this approach, and even if the commentary is only glanced at, it makes me optimistic to see that Gimple and Co. is at least attempting to look at and communicate this commentary.  But what I’m looking for is those moments of breakthrough, when that commentary really shines through, when the show has something really important that it effectively communicates. Read more »

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Scream Queens 2×06 ‘Blood Drive’: Villains Unite

Last week I was worried that by introducing several tertiary characters as cannon fodder, Scream Queens would slow the plot down. But this week’s episode was hilarious and informative, allowing the plot to advance several steps ahead by revealing who was the Green Meanie. Or at least who was one of the Green Meanies.

The reveal that there is more than one Green Meanie in the hospital is a great idea. It allows the audience to feel like the show is making progress, but it allows the show to keep some of its secrets. There’s still the huge question of who the extra Green Meanie is, and why they’re killing patients.

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The Last Man on Earth 3×07 ‘Mama’s Hideaway’: Weirdo Family

For the past couple of episodes, we’ve watched as Melissa began to spiral out of control, undone by the fact that she killed a person. The buildup finally paid off as Melissa, unable to cope with herself, decides to leave the group. It’s a good way to bring her whole plot to a head, and to show just how far she’s gone from the rational person she was in the first two seasons.

Whether it’s a cry for help or she really wants to leave the group, her absence is upsetting. The show was building up to Melissa doing something drastic, and this definitely counts. Not only is she clearly mentally unwell, but as Gail’s plot proves, it’s dangerous to be out by yourself in this world.

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The Big Bang Theory 10×09 ‘The Geology Elevation’: Rocks…

When Burt wins a huge grant it’s safe to say that Sheldon is not happy a geologist has taken a prize where “genius” is in the title on The Big Bang Theory. While he has to learn to deal with jealousy, Howard is busy trying to figure out whether or not a toy he made once upon a time is offensive or not.

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Photo from the episode "A Shot Heard Around The World"

Chicago PD 4×07 ‘300,000 Like/Shot Heard Round the World’

There are too many things to discuss, where do I even begin. This two-hour mid season finale is jam packed with tear inducing, heart string plucking events. One of which is that we are loosing Antonio to Chicago Law which is bittersweet. Although fans can still tune in every week to get their Dawson fix we won’t be seeing him with the team anymore. However, we will be seeing Officer Kim Burgess upstairs.

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The Goldbergs 4×07 ‘Ho-ly K.I.T.T’: The vegetable thing

Another year, another Thanksgiving on The Goldbergs, and another year that we get to watch Murray and his brother learn to love one another a little more. This year no one could’ve guessed that Adam’s obsession with Knight Rider would lead his father and uncle to bond and then quickly dissolve, but it did. While that was going on, Beverly had to learn to share her holiday with another cook in the kitchen.

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Source: Hulu

The Mindy Project 5×07 ‘Revenge of the Nurse’: Happy hundredth

The hundredth episode is a major milestone for any television show. It proves they’ve been successful enough to make it to such a huge number of episodes. Normally shows go all out to celebrate and display all the talent that got them to one hundred episodes.

While The Mindy Project does celebrate in a way – they bring back a few of Mindy’s ex-boyfriends – the episode spends most of its time seriously focusing on the main character’s flaws. It’s an odd choice for the show’s hundredth episode, as very little celebration happens, and instead Mindy’s relationship with Ben is in serious danger.

It’s an odd choice to make, as just last week Mindy seemed to have accepted her relationship with Ben, even choosing him over Danny. It seemed to solidify that Mindy was growing as a person and attempting to make healthier choices. Now this week she seems to make a 180 and instead becomes petty.

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Scream Queens 2×05 ‘Chanel Pour Homme-icide’: The cannon fodder has arrived

When we last left the C.U.R.E. Institute several weeks ago, the doctors/nurses/assorted personnel had just suffered a huge shock. Poor Special Agent Denise Hemphill had been murdered, with Chanel #5 critically hurt. The show had been building up steam with deaths of important characters like Chad Radwell, Denise Hemphill and the plot was moving along quickly. However, this episode laid on the breaks.

The show unfortunately slowed down as Chanel and Dean Munsch decided to recruit several more Chanels, hoping the Green Meanie would take these poor people as bait and leave our main characters alone. These characters are simply cannon fodder. These characters can get killed off by the Green Meanie without impacting the story. However, it’s actually really disappointing to see the new Chanels.

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Fresh Off the Boat 3×05 ‘No Thanks-giving’: Family trees

Eddie made a very important point this week on Fresh Off the Boat. 8th grade doesn’t matter. Even his principal and parents could see how right he was but at the same time, can you give a 14-year-old that much power. While they were dealing with that, they were also dealing with the idea of leaving Cattleman’s to their sons, and grandma was freaking out over the Garfield float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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The Walking Dead 7×04 ‘Service’: Abuse and violence

I usually spend my review griping about some facet of The Walking Dead, whether it’s the characters, the plotting, the dialogue, Negan, or all of the above. It’s possible, well, more likely than not, that I’m going to do some of that in this review. But why not start off positive? You know what I like about the last couple seasons of The Walking Dead? The way they’ve been splitting episodes up, isolating locations by keeping an episode focused on a singular one, has been a great way to at least keep the series from becoming excessively muddled. The second episode focused on The Kingdom, the third episode focused on The Sanctuary, and the fourth (extended) episode focused on Alexandria and the Saviors. While no one episode was exceptional, at the very least, this singular focus has kept the show from descending into something truly awful. Read more »

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The Last Man on Earth 3×06 ‘The Open-Ended Nature of Unwitnessed Deaths’: A little hope goes a long way

When I first starting reviewing The Last Man on Earth, I did not count on it making me cry so much.

This week’s episode was a tearjerker, with the characters attempting to come to terms with the death all around them. Lewis was mourning Mark, his presumed dead partner; Tandy was still dealing with the grief of leaving a sick Mike; and Gail was attempting to avoid adopting Carol (at Carol’s insistence), because she had already lost a child.

Gail revealing that she had child who died (though not by the virus) isn’t surprising. I saw the revelation coming from the moment she refused to sign Carol’s adoption papers. However, it is still heartbreaking, and explains a lot about the way Gail acts.

It’s smart writing that Carol is the one to make Gail care again. Carol has always been the one eager to make the group feel like a family, and she legitimately loves everyone in the crew. It’s hard to make anyone, even Gail, resist loving Carol. Mary Steenburgen and Kirstin Schaal knock it out of the park in this episode, as they fall into the roles of mother and daughter, while arguing about whether to become mother and daughter. Steenburgen in particular is great, from her actions with Carol clearly indicating she’s been through sullen mother-child fights before to her heartbroken grief when she talks about her child.

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The Big Bang Theory 10×08 ‘The Brain Bowl Incubation’: Baby fever

Well, this was an unexpected turn of events on The Big Bang Theory. It seems like for weeks Raj has been standing so far in the background that he’s basically on another show BUT finally they gave him an actual storyline that didn’t depend on anyone else. Oh yeah, it was a love interest too! While Raj was meeting a new lady, Sheldon was hoping to make a baby. Wait, what?!

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Photo from the episode "Skin in the Game"

Chicago PD 4×06 ‘Some Friend’

A young girl is found dead in a famous athlete’s home. As the team unravels the case a horrible tale unfurls. The sixteen year old, Maya Collins, is a teen runaway turned prostitute. Was she murdered by her abusive pimp, or by a violent john? No she was pushed and accidently killed by the man who was trying to save her from a life of prostitution and violence.

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The Goldbergs 4×06 ‘Recipe for Death II: Kiss The Cook’: Gimbels

Action movies were all the rage in the ‘80s as they were this week on The Goldbergs as Adam and Murray found something they could bond over. So much so that dad even shelled out money for his son to make his own. While they were making feature films on a “high budget,” Erica was experiences mall makeover montages with Beverly – until things went sour.

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Source: Fox

The Mindy Project 5×06 ‘Concord’: Moving on

It’s finally here – the weekend of Danny’s clearly doomed wedding, and it should be no surprise to anyone that Mindy is clearly upset. She has a successful business, a caring boyfriend, and a sweet child, but she’s still shaken. Danny, who she previously thought was the great love of her life, is getting married to another woman. And she’s hearing his voice in photographs. You know, like any sane person would.

In this episode, Danny represents all of Mindy’s worst impulses. When she attempts to keep from interfering in his wedding, the Danny in her head wants her to regress back to her old behavior. She very nearly crashes his wedding before she comes to her senses, thanks in part to a call from Ben.

If Danny represents bad impulses, then Ben shows how far Mindy has progressed. A calm, kind, and understanding partner, Ben gives Mindy her space to deal with the wedding in her own way. He also lets her know how much she means to him, and tries to make sure she’s coping with the pain of Danny’s wedding. The end of the episode, where Mindy rejects Danny’s call and tells Ben she loves him, feels like another step in character progression. She’s moving away from the drama that she had with Danny, and is attempting to have a more stable relationship.

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The Walking Dead 7×03 ‘The Cell’: No escape

What unnerves me most about The Walking Dead, at this point, is how the writers and producers don’t really understand what makes the show good or what makes it bad.  For a long, long time, they’ve been teasing Negan as this gamechanger, this force that is going to upend the series and make it into something spectacular.  Negan is supposed to be awesome.  Negan is supposed to be terrifying.  Negan is supposed to be exciting.  And it’s not even that frustrating that he’s not really any of those things.  It’s to be expected that The Walking Dead doesn’t know how to create characters.  What’s really frustrating is how The Walking Dead thought that Negan would be SO spectacular, completely lacking any self-awareness or understanding of what makes the show decent. Read more »