Jekyll goes bad, Ivanka kills and Mary J Blige does hair—TV This Week

 

Another week of betrayal, laughs and libel has passed on network TV and there’s plenty to discuss. Starting with Robert Carlyle’s weird haircut and working our way down, here are some highlights from this week’s television releases.

Sunday night began with ABC’s Once Upon A Time forcing us to sit and watch as Rumple-Gold-skin gave himself a down-feather taper fade (honestly, I can’t find any other words to describe the destructive haircut he gave himself in that tiny ass mirror). He was interrupted by The Evil Queen and Mr. Hyde, who stopped by to retrieve a cameo necklace that belonged to Mary, the love of Hyde/Jekyll’s life. Before leaving, the Evil Queen makes a promise not to hurt Belle (but if you took that seriously, you’re a lost cause among primetime viewership).

The night’s flashbacks reveal the birth of Hyde (via Jekyll’s chugging of a serum to separate oneself from the Freudian Id), Rumple’s disastrous hand in Jekyll’s experiment, and the fatal fall from a window that killed Mary. In an interesting twist of events, it turns out that Mary’s death was the fault of Jekyll and not his evil counterpart. The crime is, however, pinned on Hyde and its believable because…well he’s “evil.”

In the end, it’s Jekyll who was the evil one; he even went as far as targeting Belle for revenge against Rumple for “ruining” his experiment. In the end, Jekyll is killed. But a HUGE game changer is unearthed when Hyde automatically dies as well. The conclusion? In order for any evil copy to die, the original must die first. Yikes.

FOX ended the night on a laughing note with Family Guy, recounting Quagmire’s fall from air-pilot turned gigolo to full blown prostitute (booty shorts and hooker heels included). And because Seth Macfarlane never fails us, Peter was there to play the part of Quagmire’s pimp, Big Pete. He was also apparently there when Donald Trump was on the Access Hollywood bus. Additionally, the episode showcases Brian’s adventures as a working man and Stewie’s success in ruining that for him (by rupturing his hernia and then performing surgery on it with home improvement tools).

The week progressed with ABC’s The Middle on its new Tuesday night timeslot. The latest episode followed Sue on her first day of college classes—or so she thought. It turns out her financial aid was dropped because she didn’t fill out the FAFSA (*ALWAYS remember to fill out your Financial Aid paperwork every year!). No worries though, because in the end it was Mike who secretly pulled his funds from a local company to pay her tuition (Mike Heck is the dad most of you never had). Brick’s inability to swallow a pill was also highlighted in this episode, but quickly resolved after Frankie rear-ended a truck so hard that it forced him to swallow.

Of course, all glory on Tuesday night goes to Scream Queens on FOX for its hilarious use of classic horror tropes and, above all else, Niecy Nash. The episode picked up minutes after the death of Chad Radwell, with Chanel Oberlin already dressed as Jackie Kennedy and ready for dramatic mourning. But by far, the best part of the morgue scene was Denise Hemphill’s long speech recounting her love affair with Chad.

After Denise and Munsch consult Hester about the killings, they decide to have a Halloween party to lure the killer to the scene, since the hospital has a history of murders on Halloween night. Hester was let out that night and she did some knifing of her own, dressed as Ivanka Trump.

It turns out Chad Radwell left his entire fortune to Dean Doctor Munsch and that really didn’t sit well with Chanel O. But even worse for her, Chad’s ghost openly admitted to loving Denise during a session with an Ouija board. And to top it all off, Chanel has to deal with having blue skin as a side effect of the colloidal silver given to her by Dr. Holt (naturally, she goes to the Halloween party as Smurfette).

When a ton of costumed party goers come into the hospital with an unknown ailment, it’s up to Zayday and Holt to find out what’s plaguing them. And after some research (and a tip about apple bobbing from some chick dressed as Snow White), they come to the come conclusion that someone poisoned the apple bobbing water at the party these patients came from; that person is the Green Meanie.

Amongst all the craziness, Chanel #5 gets caught up between crazy Hester and the Green Meanie, who stabs her from behind. Coming to her rescue is Denise, who suffers from some unwanted defibrillation at the hands of the Green menace (one of the funniest lines in this episode: “You didn’t need to do that! My heart is fine!). We’re left to decide whether Denise is dead or not; I’m hoping she isn’t.

 

ABC’s Wednesday night winner, Black-ish, continued its streak of social-comedic genius by tackling the predicament black men are put in when faced with the daunting presence of lost little white girls in elevators. The ability of this show’s writers to tackle the issue of black public image and actually make it funny is worth more than applause. And with the addition of rich white boys blasting trap music from a convertible (while throwing dabs around like class-action lawsuits), this show just continues to get better. The episode also featured Bow’s struggle for the attention of her children, which she solved by playing hard to get (at least now we know that tactic works for something).

How To Get Away With Murder rounded out the week’s best episodes, with the ABC drama continuing the suspense surrounding Annalise’s burning house and who might have died inside. My guess is Frank, how about you?

Annalise finally went to an AA meeting, but decided she hated it; even after Mary J Blige gave her an inspiring speech while sewing in her weave (this scene actually happened. Television loves to squeeze MJB into random things nowadays for reasons I can’t explain). We see a vulnerable side of Annalise after Wes comes to check on her during a binge drinking session; despite her stubbornness, she’s obviously a hurting woman who needs support.

Meanwhile, Bonnie meets up with Frank and eventually sleeps with him at a motel. After he leaves her in the morning, she has a breakdown in that same motel, without closing the door behind her. I don’t like Bonnie.

We also find out that the loud asshole from Annalise’s active lawyer class is responsible for those “killer” flyers from two episodes ago and that Michaela’s mom is white. But the biggest piece of information shared with viewers that night? The dead person from the house fire is a male (Am I right about Frank!?). Placing bets now; the man from the fire is the father of Laurel’s baby.

Have any thoughts about what aired this week? Comment below or share this post with a fellow TV glutton and return next week for some more reading.

 

 

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Junior is the next Obama, Depressed Kim Fields and the search for Frank Delfino—Wednesday and Thursday Night Recap

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Illustration by Mya Carmichael

ABC is at its best on Wednesday and Thursday nights and it’s all because of Black-ish and How To Get Away With Murder (if you don’t agree with me, then I’m guessing you’re also excited about iPhone 7’s lack of a headphone jack). Both shows failed to disappoint this week, with Black-ish’s perfectly timed political commentary and HTGAWM’s continuous delivery of suspenseful plot twists and turns.

This week, Black-ish began by reminding us of an unfortunate truth; Barack Obama is on his way out of the White House. The sentiments of black people across the U.S. were summed up perfectly in Dre(Anthony Anderson)’s corny slideshow presentation, which we all know he has (too much of) a knack for. But what I really appreciated about the beginning of this episode was its mini history lesson on black suffrage and why having a black president was such a huge deal.

As usual, Dre’s emotions drive him to do something radical; this time he’s set on making Junior the next black president, starting with his high school election. His passions only grow more fervent when he learns that Junior may end up being the first black student president in his school (I’ll have you know that I was the first black student in my school to wear flannel so much that it annoyed white people. Now that is an accomplishment). Their election strategy? To use Junior’s blackness (by digging through his suburban exterior) to win the vote; because at the moment, being “black” is considered pretty cool (until the cops show up), am I right?

After that backfires, Dre decides that Junior should take the white guilt approach (following some hilarious commentary with his co-workers). That doesn’t work either, but in the end, Junior does win the election on his principles alone. His prize; an SGA up to its knees in debt and illiterate teachers. Sound familiar?

While all this was going on, Diane (Marsai Martin) was helping Grandma Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) discover her real political alignment, because her usual “just voting for the Democrat” won’t cut it this time around. As usual, Jenifer Lewis absolutely floored me with her comedic timing. Apparently, tripping in her kitten-heels at the polls was the reason she accidentally voted for Buchanan (hear that Hillary? Take those damn ½ inch pass-the-offering-plate heels off). After taking the political ideologies test, Ruby finds out that she’s actually conservative (I mean, she said “make America great again” while taking it, so…).

Hiding in the cracks of this wonderful episode were all kinds of allusions and social commentary about the black vote and our influence over politics in general. It’s a definite win for Wednesday night comedy.

Thursday night saw the continuation of #WhosUnderTheSheet, How To Get Away With Murder’s latest season mystery surrounding the body that has just been pulled out of Annalise(Viola Davis)’s burning house. The opening scene shows Oliver’s struggle to cover Annalise’s tracks (so it appears?) and our leading lady being booked in jail.

Flashing back 6 weeks, we see Annalise running into that board member from the last episode (I like to call her Depressed Kim Fields) who wanted to suspend her for the new “killer flyers” controversy. This holds little importance in the scope of the episode; I just wanted you to know that the board member looks like a depressed Kim Fields.

In class, after a terrifying daily quick-fire question session, Annalise decides that Michaela is the head of the next class case surrounding a creepy nerd named Solomon who is accused of killing a girl he found unconscious. The thing is, even though Solomon didn’t kill the girl, he is a totally disgusting guy who did kill a different girl named Janey. After finding out about his previous murder, Annalise is plagued with the totally unethical decision to keep his involvement quiet in order to work out a plea deal for the current case. And even then, Solomon the creep is still upset about having to go through with any jail time. For that, Annalise slapped the piss out of him and I applauded.

On top of this week’s case, Annalise is still on the search for Frank after he sniper-shot Wes’s dad. To assist with the manhunt, she sends Laurel (Karla Souza) out to meet her rich, scary father (who apparently works with a billion dollar telecommunications company, but reminds me more of a Cuban mobster). Laurel’s relationship with her father is already skewed, but things get more challenging when he asks for her to sign a shady business deal before he works on locating Frank. She eventually comes around after a few bouts of inner conflict and random aggressive Spanish speaking.

Meanwhile, Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and Asher (Matt McGorry) head to Atlantic City with the newly broken up Conner and Oliver and things are as awkward as they should be. My guess is that both parties will be happily shacked up by the end of this season, although I also guessed that Bonnie would be the one dead this season and she’s (unfortunately. Very, very unfortunately) not according to flashbacks. In terms of relationships, there is also Wes’s new girlfriend Meggy. However, because her name is Meggy…we’re just not going to talk about her.

A few other important things to note about this episode:

-Laurel has contacted Frank already, but Annalise has no idea

-Michaela’s ex-fiancé is engaged again

-After taking the plea deal, Annalise is making positive headlines again

-Oliver discards a phone from Annalise’s office underneath an ambulance outside

A second body has now been pulled from the wreckage of the burning house and it has a pulse.

 

For more recaps just keeps scrolling through the website and/or come back next Tuesday and Thursday for new posts.

Regina can’t win, Frank Sinatra’s restaurant Jr., and no love for New Girl—Sunday and Tuesday-ish Night Recap

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Illustration by Mya Carmichael

This week in network TV began with a few unsurprising episode arcs on ABC’s Once Upon A Time and FOX’s Family Guy, with Regina (Lana Parrilla) still suffering at the hands of her past and Peter Griffin exploiting his children (#SaveMeg2016). FOX also followed up with a new episode of Last Man on Earth on Sunday night and New Girl* on Tuesday night. (I hope you enjoy the misplaced illustration of Munsch; there was no Scream Queens this week.)

The second episode of OUAT’s sixth season began with the other Regina (Evil Queen. The useless one. Still here.) breaking into the real Regina(who the writers hate, apparently)’s cemetery vault. Once inside, she steals a heart (later revealed to belong to the Count of Monte Cristo) that will make it easier for her to further screw with Regina’s life. Zelena (who was watching her baby during this?) came along because of how desperate she is for a loving sister. Again, both need to lay off those apple martinis.

Meanwhile, Granny’s diner-with-a-crusty-motel-on-top is overrun with unplaced commoners from the “Land of Untold Stories” who have no idea what a jukebox is (made clear by a man aggressively yelling that he, in fact, does not know what a jukebox is). Things get interesting when the Count (who is now under the control of the Evil Queen) appears to Henry in the diner for half a second before disappearing, which you all know I love to see happen during crucial scenes. After a short flashback to fairytale land, or as I like to call it, the “Land of Hella Green Screen Ballrooms,” it is revealed that the Evil Queen made a deal with him that entailed giving him the revenge he desired in return for killing Snow White and Prince Charming.

The most important part that the Count plays in this episode is reaffirming how much Regina has truly changed. She makes it her mission to prove to him that revenge really won’t make him happy in the end. Unfortunately, her evil half has plans to make her fall right back into the old scheme of things. After a terribly executed split screen standoff (the Queen looked like a piece of construction paper. Come on ABC!) and the necessary killing of the Count to save Snow and Charming, the Evil Queen threatens Regina with the promise that she will eventually go back to her old ways. In slight affirmation of this, Emma closes out the episode by sharing that the person from her death-shake visions could possibly be the Evil Queen…or Regina. That is yet to be discovered by viewers.

Family Guy made the night a little brighter by throwing us into some more McFarlane antics, starting with Stewie and Brian’s restaurant deal with the late Frank Sinatra Jr. The trio’s plan goes perfectly, except for the fact that Sinatra allows every costumer to eat for free and tanks the restaurant’s finances in the process. So in other words, forget what I said before. Fortunately, the storyline did include a jazz-style song highlighting the restaurant’s best qualities in a way that only Family Guy has mastered.

The episode’s other storyline centered around Chris’s success as a pitcher on his high school baseball team and how his loveable idiot father turned it into a hustle. Things ended on a positive note though, as they usually do, with Chris overcoming the sabotage of Peter’s friends and winning the state championship. Plus, there was a Chris-winning-things montage so everything was worth it.

Sunday night came to a close with Last Man on Earth picking up right where the last episode ended; the mad dash away from Pat’s rage of insanity. In the midst of flooring it in their escape vehicle, Todd actually ended up running right over Pat (an important detail I left out in the last recap of Last Man).

The gang seeks refuge in what appears to be Cher’s old house, as confirmed by the presence of her corpse, cheek bones and all, in the master bedroom. The main conflict, however, is shifted to Todd’s struggle with killer’s remorse after Tandy discovers Pat’s (maybe) dead body in the road. Upon his discovery, Tandy does with the body as I usually do with appliance manuals, discarding it directly over bags of old trash.

In the hopes of relieving Todd of his guilt, Tandy lies and assures him that Pat is still alive; he goes as far as to write on Cher’s living room walls with blood (the most pathetic and hilarious of all his attempts is a staged death scene with a stuffed hazmat suit). Of course, Tandy has to eventually admit that Pat was in fact “killed” by Todd’s driving—or so they thought. After discovering that their boat is missing, the group visits Pat’s trashy resting place, only to find…well, not Pat. Dramatic cliffhanger.

And that’s the first half of the week! From now on, cumulative recaps will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays! If you like what you’ve read so far, leave a comment, share this post, or click back in a few days for more content.

*I have actually—yet again (remember that lazy list I threw together last week?)—disrespected New Girl. I was too busy eating a half melted Twix over my trashcan to even watch the episode. Sorry Zooey.