The Sound of Music Live! Was a Thing That Happened
The hate-watching event to end all hate-watching events, this NBC Christmas extravaganza paired True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer with personified Wonderbread Carrie Underwood. Try as Laura Benanti and Audra McDonald might, the live production was beyond redemption well before the network decided it was a good idea to give swastikas a good 20 minutes of screen time. Bonus points for the cheesy set design, inconsistent accents, and total lack of acting ability on its supposed lead’s behalf.
Dan Harmon Debuted a Show That Isn’t Community
It’s called Rick and Morty, and it’s basically an R-rated version of Adventure Time. Debuting this past Monday on Adult Swim (where else?), it’s the animated story of a mad scientist and his dopey, school-aged grandson. There’s also an envious dad voiced by Chris Parnell, Rick’s horse heart surgeon daughter, and Summer, the generic teenage older sister. Like all Harmon productions, it’s caustic and a little bit sweet, balancing trippy inter-dimensional visuals and absurdist touches like Principal Vagina with acid one-liners and earnest rants about the value of real-world experience over soul-deadening formal education. The pilot’s available for free online, and it’s worth a watch.
Homeland Gets It Together
There’s nothing like a show that’s been lagging for the first two-thirds of its season busting out a good old-fashioned action episode. The run-up to Brody’s mission this week ramped up tensions to the point where we actually felt invested in his attempt to cross the border into Iran (hard to do when a show’s gone as far off the rails as this one). Even though the character should have died episodes ago, we’re still curious to see where Brody ends up in this installment’s final two episodes. Kudos to the “Good Night” writers for an unusually focused episode.
Sherlock Screws Up
Big time, getting Detective Bell shot in this structural shakeup for Elementary. When Holmes’ callous actions land an ex-con back in jail, he attempts to take revenge, only to have Sherlock and Watson’s colleague selflessly jump in and take the bullet. We find out all this through Sherlock’s courtroom testimony and various flashbacks, exploring the very real consequences of the protagonist’s antisocial tendencies, which are often played for laughs. Sherlock adaptations are always at their best when they make viewers question the detective’s charming jerkishness, and “Tremors” is a high point of a chronically underrated show.
Danny Breaks It Down on The Mindy Project
To Aaliyah, which redeemed an otherwise terrible episode of an otherwise mediocre season. We’re rooting for Mindy, but maybe that upcoming hiatus is for the best…