Monroe: “Halloween for us? Come on, that’s, like, bigger than Christmas. There’s a long Wesen tradition of an All Hallows’ Eve midnight Woge – running through the woods, scaring the crap out of villagers. Literally, sometimes.”
This episode of Grimm gets a Hispanic twist as a child abduction points to the legend of “La Llorona” – the woman in white. Valentina Espinosa joins the team as an expert on these serial kidnappings.
NBC has finally revealed when Community will return – February 7! What I hate about this announcement is that the show will be going back to competing directly with ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory in the Thursdays at 8 time slot, as well as American Idol and the CW’s highest-rated drama, The Vampire Diaries.
The Thursday night comedy lineup for NBC will then be: Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, and new show 1600 Penn (30 Rock will have ended and Up All Night will be on hiatus). No word on when midseason comedy Save Me will make an appearance.
Other midseason NBC news:
New drama Deception (formerly Infamous) will take Revolution’s plum Mondays at 10 slot in January while the futuristic drama goes on hiatus. It will air after The Biggest Loser (Revolution and The Voice will return in late March).
Smash will start its second season on Tuesday, February 5th at 10 after Parenthood wraps up its season in January. This move actually makes me more likely to watch the show, as I usually don’t have any broadcast shows to watch in that time slot. I liked some things about the show during its first season, but hated others. The music, however, kept me watching.
ABC has ordered 9 more episodes of The Neighbors and Scandal, bringing them both to 22-episode full seasons. No word on the fate of new dramas Last Resort, 666 Park Avenue, and Nashville yet.
NBC has decided not to pick up The Farm, a Dwight-focused spin-off of The Office. The planted pilot episode will still air as a standalone episode of The Office. And the midseason drama Infamous now has a new name – Deception.
The network did order 3 more episodes of struggling sophomore comedy Up All Night – but there’s a twist. After an extended winter hiatus, the show will return in the spring for its final 5 episodes as a multi-camera show, complete with a live audience. NBC seems to be favoring multi-camera shows this year – canceling Animal Practice while still airing (so far) Guys With Kids, putting Whitney on Wednesdays while keeping Community in limbo, and canceling single-camera Next Caller. Also, while they still have two new single-camera comedies lined up for midseason, they’re losing two single-camera shows with 30 Rock and The Office ending.
Many networks altered their schedules thanks to Hurricane Sandy. CBS aired repeats of its Monday comedies and a special weather update at 10. The CW aired repeats of 90210 and Gossip Girl instead of the planned originals. And NBC is preempting Go On and The New Normal on Tuesday.
And while there’s been a ton of pilot news lately, most of it is pretty nebulous. One pilot order that caught my eye was sci-fi thriller Mila 2.0. Deadline shared that the potential show is about “a young woman who discovers that she is a Mobile Intel Life-like Android, Mila, an experiment in artificial intelligence created by the U.S. government and her scientist mother, who kidnapped her when she was found to have human emotions.” The pilot will be based on the upcoming book Mila 2.0 (pre-order here!) by debut author Debra Driza.
Great episode! It kind of reminded me of early Angel episodes, which I’m sure was helped by the guest star appearance of Julie Benz, who played Darla on both Buffy and Angel.
This episode starts out with the brothers taking out a baddie that needs to be electrocuted. Only problem – when Dean zaps him, they’re both standing in the same puddle of water. The shock causes Dean to have a heart-damaging cardiac arrest, and the doctors only give him weeks to live.
Dean’s actually pretty resigned about the diagnosis (I guess with his choice of occupation, he has to figure something will get him sooner or later), but Sam is determined to find a cure for his brother. He tries to contact their dad (I’m liking the guy less and less – not even coming when your son is dying?) and calls up all the contacts in their dad’s journal. One of them points the boys to a faith healer. Dean is skeptical, but Sam convinces him to go, and Dean is healed by the blind pastor.
But Dean sees a shadowy creepy old man as he is healed, and when he finds out a local man died of a heart attack around the same time as the healing, he begins to question whether the “miracles” are something darker. After matching up other healings to other deaths, Dean and Sam figure out that a Reaper is at work here, possibly bound by the pastor to do his bidding.
They do some investigating and find out it’s the pastor’s wife who is meddling in black arts and choosing victims based on their immorality. Dean’s snooping around puts him on her hit list, but Sam is able to save the day by destroying her talisman, and the Reaper takes the person who has bound him for so long.
What could have been just an episode about hypocritical church people gets a different spin by the presence of Julie Benz’s character, Layla. Dean is initially attracted to her, but is thrown for a loop when he finds out she has an inoperable brain tumor. (She’s there with her mom, so it was easy to assume the mom was the one who needed healing.) Stopping the Reaper means that Layla will die in a few months. I loved her and Dean’s conversation at the end of the episode, where she tells him that if you’re going to have faith, you can’t just have it when the miracles happen, but when they don’t, too. And Dean admits he’s not the praying type, but he’ll pray for her.
The episode differed from the previous creepy episodes, in that it was more of a mystery with few spooky moments. I would have enjoyed a few more twists, but all in all, this was an excellent episode.
How I Met Your Mother has cast a lot of Whedonverse stars over the years, but this one, reuniting Willow and Oz, takes the cake. Even better, Seth Green will have scenes with his former Buffy co-star Alyson Hannigan! The episode will tentatively air December 10th.
I’ll admit, I braced myself a bit for this episode. Arrow couldn’t keep being this awesome three weeks a row, right? Wrong. This episode was just as good as the first two, and maybe even a little better. One distinctive way the show is improving: the voiceover didn’t annoy me. Not once.
In addition to our villain of the week, Deadshot, we get a new reoccurring character, Felicity Smoak (pictured above), played by Emily Bett Rickards. She’s an IT whiz whom IMDb says will be in at least 4 more episodes this year. Smart, funny, and a compulsive babbler? I approve.
Deadshot is a methodical sniper who poisons his bullets and tattoos the names of his victims onto his body. We get a glimpse of the name “Andrew Diggle” on his body and find out later in the episode that Dig’s brother is dead. Doubt that’s a coincidence. Also, that makes him less likely to be a one-episode villain, so did Oliver’s arrow actually kill him? We saw it go through his monocle-like scope, but could that have slowed the arrow down enough so it only would destroy his eye, not kill him?
Okay, Thea spilling the beans about Tommy and Laurel to get back at Oliver was not cool. And she didn’t even apologize later (was she so wasted she didn’t remember?)! And right after that sucker punch, Oliver comes across the club owner (who hates him) and gets actually punched. I love that Tommy stood up to the bouncers in defense of Oliver even though he knew he didn’t stand a chance. And Laurel coming to their rescue with her “self-defense class” moves (yeah, right) was priceless. I also liked how she knew Oliver well enough to figure out he already knew about her and Tommy. Much as I like Oliver and Laurel together, in this episode I preferred the Laurel/Tommy pairing.
We get some more island flashbacks in this episode, where the hooded man who shot Oliver cares for him and insists he only shot him to save him. Oliver isn’t buying that, of course, and runs when he gets the opportunity, only to be caught in a trap. The hooded man cuts him down, and later we see heavily-armed men checking out the trap. So far, aside from Oliver’s rescue off the island, the flashback clips seem to be relatively chronological – I’m wondering if that will continue.
I think Oliver’s idea to build a club over his lair is the perfect cover – but he’d better make it really hard to get into the basement. Because anyone who sees blueprints for the building is going to know there is a basement down there. I also loved that Quentin Lance actually took Arrow’s advice about Deadshot’s planned attack. Yes, it made sense that other auction bidders would be targeted, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction toward a begrudging partnership between the detective and the vigilante.
And wow, the ending! Dig runs after Oliver (after seeing his mom and little sister to safety as requested), only to get hit by a stray bullet as the archer and hit man fight. Arrow takes him back to his lair to get the herbs that he’d already used as an antidote when he’d been the one struck by a poisoned bullet early in the episode. When Diggle wakes up, Oliver is standing there in full Arrow gear, sans hood. He greets his bodyguard with a simple, “Hey,” and the episode ends.
While it’s surprising that Oliver revealed his vigilante alter-ego so early in the show, I think it’s more of a testament to Dig’s skills and keen eye. Oliver wasn’t going to be able to keep his secret for much longer with how well Dig did his job. So rather than make Dig seem unintelligent, the writers have set things up for him to be a valuable ally.
We finally have our first new cast member announcement for S.H.I.E.L.D.! Ming-Na will play Agent Melinda May, a soulful but somewhat damaged soldier, pilot, and weapons expert. I’m still hoping for more Whedonverse alums to join the pilot, though.
Ming-Na played Dr. Chen on ER, Senator Wen on Eureka, and Camile Wray on Stargate Universe, but her voice may be more familiar than her face: she voiced the title character in Disney’s Mulan!
Well, the people who mentioned this was one of the better episodes of season one were right – I enjoyed this episode more than any of the previous ones. Interestingly, it was the first episode after the midseason break, which fits well for change to the holding pattern we’d been stuck in (Sam wanting to find their dad, Dean wanting to carry on their dad’s mission).
“Scarecrow” picks up with the duo right where the last episode left off – the call from their father, John Winchester. He wants the guys to stop looking for him, and he gives them info on another job. But Sam has finally had enough. The call came from a payphone in California, and that’s where he wants to head, not a small town in Indiana where road-tripping couples disappear yearly. He gets out of the car, grabs his gear, and starts walking. Surprisingly, Dean lets him go and drives away, leading to a refreshing change of format for this episode.
Sam comes across a fellow hitchhiker named Meg, and the two later meet up at a bus station and share “not wanting to live up to family expectations” stories as they wait for their bus. She seemed like more than a random one-episode character and I thought I’d seen the name come up before on Supernatural sites.
Dean arrives at the town in Indiana, but his direct approach in asking about the previous year’s couple leads to the sheriff escorting him out of town. He comes back and rescues this year’s couple from a creepy animated hook-handed scarecrow made out of last year’s victim (recognizable by an arm tattoo). Dean realizes how much easier this would be with Sam along, and he and his brother talk on the phone and make up, though Sam still plans to go after their dad. Dean even admits he respects the fact that Sam is willing to buck his father’s orders. (Yay for a well-acted scene! Interesting that the actors had a better connection in two separate places during one call than they had in some previous entire episodes.)
They figure out that the deaths are likely a ritual sacrifice to some sort of pagan god, and Dean finds a nearby professor to help him with determining which one. Only the professor is in on the ritual, and since the other couple is gone, Dean and a niece of one of the townspeople are kidnapped to be the sacrifice. Sam gets worried when Dean isn’t picking up his phone, and instead of getting on a bus with Meg, heads to make sure his brother is okay. He arrives just in time to rescue Dean and the niece, but the scarecrow grabs her aunt and uncle instead. The three burn the sacred tree fueling the god, preventing future animated scarecrows.
Sam tells Dean he doesn’t want to chase revenge for their mom and Jess, or go after their absentee father. He’s going to stick with the person he cares about who is right in front of him – finally moving from a begrudging/reluctant companion to one who will stick with Dean through thick and thin (hopefully!). I’m glad they finally brought that part of the show to a rest – the push-pull of leaving/staying was getting annoying.
And they started a far more intriguing story arc, as the final scene has Meg having the guy who picked her up pull over, then slitting his throat and collecting the blood in a chalice, which she uses to “call” her “father.” Yep, Sam was the safer choice of hitchhiker to pick up. We only hear Meg’s side of the conversation, but she’s unhappy at not being able to dispatch both Dean and Sam on her timetable.
So this episode had a lot of things going for it – change in format, start of new story arcs, and an interesting local bogeyman of the week. After “Asylum” seemed to have an endless amount of “wander in a creepy area and wait for something to jump out at you” moments, it was nice that this episode kept them collectively under 5 minutes, even with 3 separate scenes. This is the kind of episode I was looking for when I started the show. No, it’s not perfect, and I’m still longing for more of a Scooby Gang a la Buffy, but I genuinely enjoyed it and am actually looking forward to the next episode.
Okay, when I was making the photo collage for this week’s poll (favorite scary show), I had no idea the random freaky-looking Supernatural image I grabbed would turn out to be from the very episode I ended up watching the same evening! And it was one of Supernatural’s more creepy episodes, which made me regret deciding to watch it so late at night. Ah, well, onto the review!
I bookended watching the episode with two other shows I’m having a hard time getting into (but people/buzz keep telling me I should like), Doctor Who and Arrested Development. I figured perhaps an iffy episode of Doctor Who would make Supernatural seem better by comparison, but I happened to watch one of the most heartfelt episodes – at least so far – of the British show (“Father’s Day”). So it didn’t do Supernatural any favors, but I still thought “Asylum” was pretty decent.
It’s a fairly simple “evil spirits, find the body, salt and burn” episode, set in a creepy asylum. Far too much of the episode seemed to be characters wandering around the place, waiting for ghosts to pop out of any corner (or having them dart around behind the characters’ backs). Both the two cops that visit the place at the beginning of the episode and the two teens caught inside with the brothers later on seemed pretty cardboard – though I did like that the girlfriend knew how to use a shotgun.
As usual, this show rests on the relationship between Dean and Sam, and I am seeing signs of improvement in that area. The scene where Dean pretends to be an annoying reporter, and Sam makes him leave so he can bond with the cop and get answers was humorous. I also liked that Dean knew not to give the spirit-addled Sam a loaded gun – no tearful “I knew you wouldn’t shoot me” moments here.
The good son/rebel son dynamic is getting a bit old, though. As is the tug-of-war between looking for their father and hunting creatures (especially since creatures always win). At least there seems to be some movement on the father end (now that we know he’s just avoiding them) with the phone call at the end of the episode.
Watching this right after an episode of Doctor Who really helped me see the parallels between the two shows and why I’m having trouble getting hooked on both of them. Both have two characters traveling around in a specific vehicle putting their lives in danger saving people from otherworldly attacks. Doctor Who has more reoccurring characters so far, though Supernatural will eventually have more. The visual effects are better on Supernatural, but the storylines are more varied on Doctor Who. I like Dean and Sam better (though only marginally) than the ninth Doctor and Rose, but I know the British dynamic will change in later seasons, while I’m “stuck” with Dean and Sam for the duration of the American show.
My favorite shows, however, tend to have five or more main characters and be set in the same location. Everything from Community to Buffy to How I Met Your Mother to NCIS to The Vampire Diaries fits that mold. Maybe that’s why I never really got into Tru Calling (not enough main characters) or Revolution (characters scattered and on the move).
Anyhow, this was a decent episode of Supernatural, one of the better ones I’ve seen so far. I just hope it doesn’t give me nightmares (remember to not watch future episodes late in the evening!).
It’s nearly Halloween, and while we’ve recently had a poll on favorite Halloween episodes, this week we’re going to look at scary shows! Whether the shows are all-out horror, or just have select creepy elements, you get to vote on which ones are your favorites, from the classic Twilight Zone to the brand new 666 Park Avenue!
You might have noticed we’re launching the poll on Tuesday instead of our normal Monday Madness slot. I’m doing this as an experiment. Since poll voting seems to go down on weekends, I thought it might be better for polls to end on Monday nights instead of Sunday nights, to give fans a final weekday to promote their show. We’ll see how that goes, and if you have any ideas for a catchy phrase to use for our polls if we decide to make that move permanent, please mention it in the comments!
This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 10 of your favorite spooky shows! Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will make it into the top 10! Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Get creative!
I know there are shows missing from the list, so please nominate shows I’ve overlooked! I’m being pretty loose with the term “scary” in this poll, but everyone has different levels of tolerance for suspense, gore, creatures, and surprises. If you’re not sure a show would fit, nominate it anyway!
Want more of a say in which shows make it onto the poll each week? (Shows on the initial list do have better odds to make it into the top 10.) Be sure to follow me on Twitter or like TV Breakroom on Facebook, since I usually ask for nominations before the new poll. Please help out with nominations! There are only so many shows I can watch personally, so I’m counting on you to fill me in!
Without further ado, here’s the poll! Voting ends around 1AM October 30th.
Which is your favorite scary TV show? (Choose up to 10!)
Lots of TV news today! After airing only two episodes, Arrow has been picked up for a full season (additional “back nine” episodes ordered). Fellow CW newbies Beauty and the Beast and Emily Owens, MD have been given three additional script orders.
Fox has given two additional episode orders to both New Girl and Raising Hope, bringing their totals to 24. This could be a likely indication that Ben and Kate, which has a shortened full season order of 19 episodes, could be replaced by fellow sibling comedy The Goodwin Games at midseason (probably late winter or spring).
In cable news, Homeland has been renewed for a third season, and BBC America’s Copper has been picked up for season two. Titus Welliver has dropped out of the TNT pilot The Last Ship, and Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) has been tapped to replace him. Baldwin will play second-in-command to Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy). The Last Ship features the crew of a naval destroyer after most of the earth’s population has been destroyed by a global catastrophe.
This week’s “Previously On” clips seemed to indicate we’d get some movement on the Renard front – both with the effects of the potion and his relationship with his brother. Unfortunately, things still seem to be progressing very slowly. Now I’m just hoping we get some major developments for the midseason finale.
Just about all of broadcast TV’s new fall shows have aired at least two episodes now, so I think it’s time for a look at which ones soared, which ones got off to a rough start, and which ones nosedived. I’m dividing this list up into several groups so you can get an idea of what my preferences and interest levels were going in.
Shows I Haven’t Seen and Never Plan To:
Out of the 20 new shows that have debuted so far, the list of those I haven’t seen is pretty small: 7. I hate country music, so Nashville was out. The rest (Made In Jersey, The Mob Doctor, Partners, Emily Owens MD, Chicago Fire, and Vegas) I wasn’t interested in for one reason or another. One is already canceled, two more aren’t far behind, and none of the seven shows has been a breakout hit. I feel pretty happy with my choice not to watch them, and expect maybe 1-2 to reach a second season (not holding my breath, though).
Shows I Never Planned to Watch but Did See the Pilot:
For two shows, I checked out the pilots knowing I’d never commit to watching the show. It was easy to tell from the previews that 666 Park Avenue wasn’t my type of show, but I had a chance to watch the pilot early as a TV blogger, so I tried it out. It seemed well done, but I didn’t enjoy it. The New Normal I watched out of a morbid curiosity to see how awful it would be, and aside from one or two heartfelt moments, it was utterly terrible. I didn’t laugh once.
Comedies I Thought Would Be Awful but Didn’t Mind:
Another show I got a chance to watch early was The Neighbors, which wasn’t as terrible as the previews made it out to be. I’ve seen the first two episodes, and might watch more if I’m caught up on most of my other shows and in the mood for a comedy. Guys With Kids I didn’t intend to see, by my siblings said it was pretty good, so I watched a few episodes. Both shows are more family-oriented comedies, which usually bore me, and I don’t really laugh during them, but I like having extra comedy shows to watch on dreary days.
Comedies I Like but Wouldn’t Cry Over Their Cancellation:
Every new comedy not in the above lists fits in this section. Many of them are great, but I haven’t gotten attached to any comedies so far this season. That’s probably a good thing, as Animal Practice has already been canceled. Go On is probably the best of the lot, and I expect it will return for a second season, but The Mindy Project (my pilot review here) and Ben and Kate (pilot review here) are far from out of danger despite their full-season orders. These shows are heartwarming and humorous, but they’re not laugh out loud funny. Plus, none of the characters grip me in that “I would hate to see them go” way. It could come with time, and I’ll keep watching these shows until they get terrible or get canceled.
Dramas That Didn’t Wow Me In Their First Two Episodes:
Revolution was hyped to be awesome, Beauty and the Beast was critiqued to be terrible. I was disappointed by Revolution’s pilot, but enough was done right that I gave the show another episode. When Miles was still the only character I enjoyed watching, and the rest of the show failed to interest me, I decided to stop watching. It’s too bad, because from the premise it seemed like exactly the type of show I would enjoy.
I just watched the second episode of Beauty and the Beast, and really noticed the terrible, terrible dialogue people were complaining about in the pilot (my review of it here). I so want to love this show, but the writers are making it very hard. I’m still not sure if I’ll watch a third episode. I want it to pull a Vampire Diaries and start getting really good after a few episodes, but I don’t know if there is enough backstory for the mythology of the show to grow. Also, in the second episode, several procedural issues bugged me (Don’t uniforms clear buildings? Are detectives allowed to be present during the autopsy of someone they killed?), and Cat had a sister appear out of nowhere. The first episode got good ratings for the CW, but the second quickly dropped, so it might not get time to improve. Might be better to replace it with the midseason Cult, to bring over Matt Davis (Alaric) fans from The Vampire Diaries. (I know I had no plans to watch the show, but after marathoning through The Vampire Diaries, Matt Davis has become one of my favorite actors, so I definitely plan to give Cult a few episodes to impress me.)
As I was writing this, I kept thinking, I wonder what Revolution and Beauty and the Beast would have been like with Joss Whedon in charge? Can’t wait for S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Dramas I Love:
The three drama shows I was most looking forward to turned out to be the ones I loved most this season. My favorite pilot episode, Last Resort (my review here), hasn’t quite lived up to its potential in subsequent episodes, but it still keeps me glued to the screen almost every minute. Its low ratings don’t signal much hope for renewal, but ABC shows regularly do poorly in that timeslot. ABC did order 2 more scripts for the show, so it’s unlikely to get pulled from the schedule immediately (I was starting to worry about that), but that may be just to give the show some sort of resolution. All the same, I’ve tried to temper my attachment to the show and just enjoy it while it lasts.
Elementary (my review of the pilot here) has been just as awesome as I hoped. I’ve been completely won over to the idea of a female Watson, and it’s been nice watching their friendship slowly grow over the past few episodes. Both annoy each other like crazy, yet their respect and admiration for each other is beginning to build. The cases seem to have an extra twist compared to most crime drama shows, which fits well with the need to bring in a consultant. I’m really sorry for the people who have a hard time understanding Jonny Lee Miller’s brisk British accent, but I feel the speed helps convey Sherlock’s fast mental process. Oh, and the opening credits are amazing:
Last but not least, Arrow has been amazing so far. While the pilot (my review here) had a good deal of the plot revealed in preview clips and therefore wasn’t quite as engaging, the second episode (my review here) had everything I was looking for: great action sequences, insightful character moments, and hints at series-long mythology-building. The second episode got the exact same excellent rating as the first (double that of typical CW “steady performers”), so I’m looking forward to this show being around for a while.
Three great dramas. Three good comedies. That’s my haul from broadcast TV’s new fall shows, and I managed to find a show I liked on every single network. I think 3, maybe 4, will stick around for a second season.
Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes and ABC have decided to let the show end after finishing up this season’s thirteen-episode run. Sister show Grey’s Anatomy will get two additional episodes, however.
ABC is also giving Castle one extra episode this season, while comedies Modern Family and The Middle have been granted two extra episodes. They’ve also ordered two additional scripts each for struggling new dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue.
Fox also has joined “extra episode Friday,” bumping The Mindy Project’s recent full season order from 22 to 24 episodes. While many have anticipated the network would pull low-performing new drama The Mob Doctor from its Mondays-at-9 slot any day now, Fox recently announced the show would air 3 out of 4 Mondays during November sweeps.
As I mentioned earlier, Animal Practice has been pulled from NBC’s schedule and replaced by Whitney. There’s still no news about when Community will return – I’d expected to hear something by now, so I’m beginning to fear it won’t return until midseason. I’m also starting to get a sneaking suspicion that NBC knows how rabid Community fans get when something happens with their show, and are using the uncertainty to build buzz. Further cementing the idea that they want this schedule change to increase anticipation for new episodes, this awesome clip was released the day the season premiere was supposed to air: