<i>Girls</i> Finally Got Great Again… And It Only Took Until the Season Finale

Who could have guessed we'd be here? Who could have guessed that Season 3, which got off to such an ugly and joyless and borderline unwatchable start (if anything ever trumps "Dead Inside" as the worst episode of Girls ever, I'll be legitimately surprised and horrified), would end on such a touching and effective and funny note? If the fairytale Season 2 finale felt like a lame cop-out (which it was), then last night's Season 3 finale "Two Plane Rides" brought the show back down to earth where it belongs. It was bittersweet series of endings, to say the least, for Hannah and Co. But in your 20s, those are far more common than those elusive happy endings, anyway. Certain things about "Two Plane Rides" felt rushed, which is really too bad considering they could have cut the bullshit from earlier this season to make room for compelling story lines like Jessa's complicated request from Beadie to Shoshanna's understandable meltdown. For the first time in a long time, Girls has not only left me wanting more, but put me back in these girls' corners. Well, except for Marnie. Marnie is the worst.

<i>Parks and Recreation</I>:  This Is Not a Liam Neeson <I>Taken</I> Scenario

"Galentine's Day" (Part 2, technically) is the reason why I watch this show. I had a smile on my face throughout the entire episode and was pleased that they found a way to service every single character in one half hour, without sacrificing the funny. This one might end up in my top ten list of episodes, and not just because of Andy determining that he was "Goofus"… but that sure didn't hurt.

Crisis: What We Have Here Is Yet Another Hostage Situation

by Angel Cohn March 17, 2014 6:00 am
<I>Crisis</I>: What We Have Here Is Yet Another Hostage Situation

When we first watched this pilot last summer, we saw it alongside the similarly themed Hostages and this show was the far superior debut. It had some interesting twists and turns plus the added bonus of putting Gillian Anderson back on our TV sets. But after suffering through Hostages, and seeing how poorly it all played out, the idea of committing to more episodes of another show that is predicated on a kidnapping is a pretty big pill to swallow. (Note: spoilers for last night's twists below.)

<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: All in All It’s Just Another Bee in the Wall

Has there ever been a more adorable sight on Parks and Recreation than that of Ron Swanson cooing at his adorable infant son John Middle Name Redacted Swanson? What's that, you say? Ron has a son? Yes, that ever-so-secretive Ron and his wife Diane had their baby and Ron, much to the horror of Leslie, told no one. Unfortunately, it wasn't all cute mini-Swansons: there were also mass bee stings and Leslie getting a black eye. That said, all those instances (as well as an oft-repeated Tom storyline that might actually work this time) lead to something positive in the end… which is probably the first and last time I'll ever say bee stings did anything good for anyone. Damn you, bees. Here are the highlights from last night's light, but effective episode "The Wall":

<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Moving In With Your Own Roommate

I can't believe I'm saying this, because I haven't said it in a while, but I actually kind of loved last night's episode of New Girl, "Sister 3." Maybe it's because unlike so many other things on this show, a story line had a definitive expiration date and therefore could not outstay its welcome (or, in this case, Abby could not outstay her welcome). It also probably helped that it felt more like the Season 1 and 2 characters we fell in love with. Nick acted like a weird manchild hobo, Jess was a quirky neurotic and Schmidt pronounced things funny. Hell, I even thought they made good use of Cece and Coach, which is the rarest rarity of them all. Winston, on the other hand, was sadly as pathetic as ever. The episode found Abby and Schmidt shacked up, much to the horror of Jess, who decides she and Nick have to catch up with them. She asks Nick to "move in" with her, and the two find out pretty quickly that living together isn't quite the same as living together separately. So, in honor of that mistake, here are the do's and don'ts from "Sister 3":

Those Who Kill: It’s Dead Boring

by Ethan Alter March 4, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Those Who Kill</i>: It’s Dead Boring

Proof positive that sometimes it takes truly talented people to make something deeply mediocre, A&E's new crime drama Those Who Kill premiered last night after the network's surprise hit Bates Motel, marking the return of ex-Big Love star Chloë Sevigny and veteran scribe/producer Glen Morgan (whose credits include The X-Files and The River) to series television. If this was really the best they could come with, though, maybe they should have extended their sabbatical another season.

Mixology: Kill It With Fire

by Aly Semigran February 27, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Mixology</i>: Kill It With Fire

Screw Mixology. Screw Mixology and its misogynistic, chest-thumping, dick-measuring, outdated, mind-blowingly unfunny and downright offensive take on sex and dating in your 20s and 30s. The concept may be unconventional by traditional sitcom standards (ten strangers at the same New York City bar having various interactions in one single night), but the execution is as lame and stupid as anything you've ever seen on television. I'm still seething.

About a Boy: We Give It About Five Episodes

by Ethan Alter February 24, 2014 8:00 am
<i>About a Boy</i>: We Give It About Five Episodes

Not since CBS's Great Alex O'Loughlin Campaign of 2007-2010 has a network invested as much effort in making an actor "happen" as NBC has with David Walton. The actor's relationship with the Peacock dates back to 2006, when he had a supporting role on Heist, that creatively-named heist series that vanished after five episodes. Roles on such short-lived "Wait… that was a TV show?" series as Quarterlife (which premiered online before moving to terrestrial television), 100 Questions and Perfect Couples followed, eventually culminating in 2012's Bent, an ensemble comedy starring Walton, Amanda Peet and Jeffery Tambor that NBC felt so confident in, they burned it off over the course of three weeks in March. If nothing else, at least they're giving Walton's latest series, About a Boy -- based on the 2002 Hugh Grant movie and the 1998 Nick Hornby novel -- a prime post-Olympics berth on its way to an inevitable cancellation.

<i>Girls</i>: The Highs and Lows and Everything In Between of “Incidentals”

Boy, when Girls gets something wrong, it gets it so wrong, but when it gets something right, it gets it so right. Case in point: the soaring feeling you can get breezily walking through the streets of downtown Manhattan when everything in your life briefly, inexplicably falls into place and/or the crushing defeat that can surprise the hell out of you during what was supposed to be a routine trip to get frozen yogurt. Life in New York City changes on you on a dime, and sometimes you're zipping through Times Square having just heard the best news of your life, and other times you're carrying a pizza with you after having been dumped in Brooklyn.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Everything Old is New Again

by Aly Semigran February 18, 2014 11:32 am
<i>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon</i>: Everything Old is New Again

I must admit something right off the bat: I've never been the biggest fan of Jimmy Fallon as a late night talk show host. I know, I know, that's like saying puppies are overrated and ice cream is a sub-par dessert. I'm of the minority and I realize that. Let me clarify that I actually thought Fallon's Late Night was a fun, hip (The Roots rule all!!) and modern (the guy knows his viral-friendly audience) show, but Fallon's interviewing style of fawning and giggling over every single guest always hit the wrong nerve with me. Again, I realize that Fallon doesn't have the gravitas as Letterman, nor the politics of Stewart and Colbert, but I like my hosts more edgy and daring than agreeable and starstruck, and the squeaky-clean Fallon most certainly ain't that.

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