Weekly Roundup May 3-May 9

Weekly Roundup

In today’s edition –  a day late and a dollar short – we check on Veep and the two FOX comedies that ended their seasons this week, have quite a lot of feelings on The Amazing Race and can’t really give a good roundup on either finale dates or events because there’s too much going on.

  • Orphan Black: Yes, I know I include the show every week, but out of the things I watch, it sticks with me the most. Things that happened this week? We found out the identity of Kira’s dad – Cal Morrison, played by the ubiquitous Michiel Huisman. [Nels note: is it just me or is this guy everywhere these days?] After that discovery, Felix felt out of place, and broke my heart in the process. We were introduced, via video diary, to another clone, who suffered from the same respiratory illness as Cosima. We also find out she died a few days prior to Cosima’s discovery. Alison fell off the stage on the opening night of her community theater play, after she overdosing on alcohol and pills thanks to her guilt over Ainsley’s death. Helena was forced to marry the creepy Prolethean guy, which obviously won’t end well for anyone concerned. I can’t wait to see how these things keep evolving next week.
  • Tony Hale, Dan Egan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Courtesy of HBO

    Tony Hale, Dan Egan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
    Courtesy of HBO

    Veep: I’d been waiting till episode five to comment on the show. I’m really liking this season; Selina’s start to her campaign has been good fuel for storylines – the trip to Clovis was great, for instance, as was the episode with her candidacy announcement. Truly, each episode has had something great. As Dietrich Bader’s character Bill Ericsson noted in Sunday’s episode, her team is full of not-very-competent people, but I still love them all. I am not even surprised Dan was the (rebound) chosen campaign manager, but we will see how long it lasts. The scene in Selena’s office was oddly hot and also very disturbing. Selena’s admission that she’d “rather be shot in the f—– face, than serve as VP again”? Not only was JLD’s delivery fantastic, but that she admitted it out loud was just funny. And the new, ‘one-dick pony’ candidate (with Ericsson as his CM, now) should bring some interesting dynamics to the Selina-Chung-Maddox race. I’m so glad I caught up with this show earlier last month, because it’s gold and I couldn’t imagine my Sunday nights without it.

  • Reality Roundup, TAR edition: sigh. Farewell, the Cowboys… I really liked you. This was a fun episode of The Amazing Race. Getting to Seville didn’t seem hard, but the Cowboys, departing second, managed to get lost on their way to the airport, having missed the exit the first time. This silly mistake made them miss the direct flight. (I’d say that played against them; their getting lost is a thing they do, so it was ultimately going to cost them.) Roadblock wasn’t hard (shaving a balloon, without making it explode, in a minute). Detour was fun: you had the choice of “Run with the Bullz” (where they dressed up as a bull plastic ball, then ran through a maze and had to learn a sentence – A matador never thinks about his own death – while being hit by other “bulls”) or “Spanish Steps” (where they had to or learning a flamenco dance and then perform it.) The former was fun and well-lit, though inaccurate geographically (I’d have said this fit Pamplona, in Navarra to the north, much better); the latter had a bit of a dull choreography. All teams but the Blondes chose it. Then, we had the U-Turn. Dave (you know, the one who keeps pulling the “I’m OLD!” card when adversity, or bulls, hit him — Dave, you’ve chosen to race, shut up, that’s not an excuse!) and Connor couldn’t U-turn anyone; Leo and Jamal could. While I dislike it, I think they made a smart move by u-turning the Cowboys, and that cost them the leg. (Meanwhile, Jamal’s knee injury cost them second place. Will it affect them next week? I hope not, because they might be the only team I’m kind of rooting for.)
  • The Mindy ProjectMindy is a show I don’t love as much as others seem to do (ditto with New Girl) but I’ll admit it: I really liked the finale and that mix of You
    Mindy and Danny (Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina). Courtesy of FOX.

    Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina
    Courtesy of FOX.

    Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. I know that Mindy and Danny wasn’t a pairing they had originally wanted to explore, but it seems as if the show seems more focused when it’s exploring their attraction than when it’s with Mindy’s boyfriend of the week. I really like that they are both “older” people who are looking for the one, not wanting to waste their time for much longer (after all, the show is about a successful woman who wants to be lucky in love). Danny is one of the best (if not the best) developed characters on the show and Chris Messina does a wonderful job with the material. The episode is still very Mindy (aka inconsistent in tone, lots of rom-com references, marginal use of any secondary characters) and yet, I still liked its flow and how momentous the whole thing felt for the characters. Things worthy of mention: the quick scenes were used very well, Mindy’s 22 outfits, the use of the Empire State (the elevator thing kind of killed me). The show’s slowly improving and finding its groove, so let’s hope the Mindy-Danny relationship grounds it even more. (It’s been mentioned before but the Firewall and Iceberg podcast has a nice and much critical discussion on this.)

Odds and ends

  • Good lord, he’s truly everywhere: Hello, Michiel Huisman. It was nice to see you in both Game of Thrones and Orphan Black this past week. Looking forward to more of you. [Nels note:  SEE! Told you! He played Liam on Nashville too the past two seasons.]
  • Best Musical Moment: Mindy Project‘s use of “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen in the “running towards your love” climatic scene was marvelous. The audience knows how much Danny loves Springsteen, so having it play in that scene (which also includes Danny getting hit by a taxi instead of avoiding it) was pretty special. And here‘s how they cleared it (plus some other good questions answered).
  • Performer of the Week: I know this is something I say every week but there are so many deserving honorees. But damn, is Chris Messina good. The Mindy finale saw him be great at physical comedy – with that hilarious Bradley Cooper 20-piece suit – but it also highlighted how great he is at dramatic scenes – the ladies’ bathroom scene at the clinic was such a good showcase for him. For the resident grumpy member of the cast, there was a lot of emotional work there, and he was great. Plus, the aforementioned “running towards your love” scene, ending with a climatic lovers’ meeting at the top of the Empire State building was also very special. I kind of can’t wait to see what The Mindy Project brings us in September – with what I hear will be a shorter, 15-episode season… I do know that Messina will be great, though.
  • Reality Roundup, Idol Edition: Alas, I didn’t watch it this week. But 1) making them perform three songs is pretty hard; I thought that the “dedications” part wasn’t in the plans last week but… who knows. 2) I mostly liked Jessica, though not as much as the rest of the internet seems to love her. As for the couple of things I didn’t mention last week: Caleb’s comments are just so what I’d expect of him. I’m not surprised, but it’s terrible and something that didn’t affect him in the grand scheme of things whatsoever. (It’s obvious TPTB want a Caleb/Jena finale.) Alex and Jena voting no took some guts; I know there’s no way to put a good spin on it. However, as I said last week, I’m glad it happened, though it would have been interesting if the results would’ve been the same. Anyhow, for me, this is the right top 3.
  • Lamorne Morris, Jake Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Damon Wayans Jr., Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield. Courtesy of FOX

    Lamorne Morris, Jake Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Damon Wayans Jr., Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield.
    Courtesy of FOX

    Actors Showrunners that Become Directors… or my chance to ramble about New Girl: Liz Meriwhether, New Girl’s creator and showrunner, directed the finale. She did an okay job? The finale did not feel like one and there were several things off. I have been so disappointed by this season (and haven’t watched most of the second half) that I don’t know what to think. Direction-wise, this episode felt off at times, which is understandable if it was her first time ever behind the camera. Writing-wise, I’m not feeling it: it was entertaining and fun, but not as much as this show is used to. There’s been a lot of talk about Nick and Jess lately, and how the writers might have ruined the show with their relationship drama. Look, the show’s often been unfocused; it’s one of its charms and its most frustrating qualities at once — as with Mindy, secondary characters often disappear or have nothing to do. In a way, Nick and Jess’ attraction gave a direction to the show last year and I don’t think the writers knew what they wanted to do with them as a couple: I don’t think the characters were allowed to grow as much as they should have? I can’t put my finger on it, but I think Fienberg and Sepinwall’s discussion on the topic is interesting. (Also, nice synergy with the Zooey Deschanel-designed Tommy Hilfiger line, New Girl. It was a nice showcase of some of those pretty dresses.)

  • May Sweeps: The people in Starling City are possibly wondering why someone’s trying to destroy the city every month of May, and I feel like a bunch of characters from other shows would agree with that – as I mentioned a couple of weeks back. Speaking of which, last week’s Arrow was good (again) but I can’t wait to see the finale. Tidbits: Lisa and Malik got married on Suburgatory in a pretty funny episode (I’ll miss that show). Leonard and Penny finally got engaged on TBBT, and so did Rumple and Belle on OUAT. According to TVLine’s Sweeps Scorecard, there’s been almost as many first-time hooking up/kissing/saying ILY couples as there’ve been been people altering their job status one way or the other. Too much going on!
  • Notable Dates to Keep in Mind: After a couple of weeks off, Bones returns to FOX this Monday with its penultimate episode this season (8/7c) . Buzzy Penny Dreadful premieres on Showtime on Sunday at 10/9c. As for finales, most (not all) of the networks’ shows are ending this week, so my recommendation is that you check this very useful calendar out.
  • The Hunger Upfronts Games: As you might have heard, networks are deciding what goes on their schedule next year and what does not. As a result, many things are being cancelled, while others are being renewed. Sunday morning, Pacific time, will have NBC unveiling its schedule; and from Monday onwards networks will be presenting those schedules to advertisers. Anyhow, if you want a handy list of what’s been renewed or cancelled, click here — they also have links to detailed descriptions of what’s been picked up, and that’ll be more complete by next week, when we have trailers.

… is a young graduate student that has been way too passionate about television ever since she was little. While she insists she doesn’t have a specific type of show, they all usually have strong but flawed lady characters, some derivation of the stubborn friends-in-love/friends-to-lovers trope, and they all make her yell at her tv a lot. She just wishes she had more hours in the day so she could actually write about this.
You can usually find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and at cassidy at thankyoulizlemon.com

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