With an episode containing dual Becca proxies, epiphanic revelations, a rap battle, and a multitude of breakthrough moments, Rachel Bloom’s remarkable musical comedy wins Monday once again. While it’s hazy as to where it could possibly pick up from all the crazy changes laid down in … Continue reading Monday’s Best Reviewed: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
It’s Leap Day, when anything can happen, yet it’s a pretty ordinary day on the TV schedule. However, there are great programs running from charming lawyers with a sense of shade to a faux news vanguard to the return of a superhero and his huge … Continue reading What to Watch: 02/29/2016
As Jane flirts with an action that would theoretically necessitate the show to alter its title (and no she’s not changing her name to Bob), the critical raves roll in. Jane and Jonathan are getting closer on Jane the Virgin and it helps lead “Episode Thirty-Four” to a TV Fanatic’s 0.1 shy of a perfect score. Better Call Saul‘s lead character continued to con in his first days on the job at Davis & Main, and reviews are consistently above average. As for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, while there’s a general agreement among the blogs that Rebecca has gone a bit far off the deep end and it’s a dangerous plank, but that the unique musical comedy is still a lot of fun. The X-Files finale, on the other hand, landed with a thud as the word “mess” figured in pretty much every review.
Monday, February 22nd’s Best: Jane the Virgin (9.96/10)
In a complete episode that centered around Jane attempting to lose her virginity — and in the process render the show’s very title a lie — Jane the Virgin pleased its fans and sent reviewers into the vapors. Kathryn VanArandonk of Vulture opened with: “This is a great episode for Our Beloved Narrator. This is a fun episode for Tiago, Time-Traveling Feminist. This is a surprisingly satisfying episode for telenovela action sequences. This is an excellent matchup for Jane and Petra. This is a no-holds-barred, cards-on-the-table, heart-stoppingly good episode for #TeamMichael.” TV Fanatic’s Amanda Steinmetz raved “Episode Thirty-Four” “showcased all the wonderfully delightful aspects this series brings to television: heart, humor, and a heroine who manages to be relatable even when thrown into telenovela levels of storytelling.”
The Rest of the Night:
Better Call Saul – 8.5
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – 7.7
Supergirl – 7.5
The Magicians – 6.9
The X-Files – 5.8
X marks the spot of this Monday, as we’ve got the maybe final finale of The X-Files, textastraphe aftershocks on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the continuing tales of Saul Goodman, a man whose universe has been dotted by multiple buried treasures.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend [CW, 8p]
Maybe all is not lost when Rebecca finds a way to spend time with Josh following the great texting (and fondue) debacle of 2016.
The X-Files [FOX, 8p]
Ok this is it Scully, are you going to go find your baby or what??
Better Call Saul [AMC, 10p]
Last week Saul flirted with Kim and giving into the conman life, before ultimately selecting the big job and the road more traveled. Let’s see how that first day at Davis & Main, behind his coveted cocobolo desk, goes.
ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:
- It’s hard to go wrong with Jane the Virgin, following CEG on CW and rooting on(?) the courtship of Jane & Jonathan.
- Syfy’s The Magicians has been steadily improving, and it’s hard not to be intrigued by tests called “The Trials.”
- CBS’ generally decent Supergirl promises battles between good and evil and administrative assistants, so there’s that…
- If your tastes match Idiotsitter‘s Gene and her birth mother Michael Hitchcock, then Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules is the show for you.
As long as Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are airing and generating such genuine emotional content (while not sacrificing the comedy at their core), I suspect the CW will be owning the Monday version of this feature with the two shows trading off. Each had arguably its best episode to date with awkward kisses, triumphs, and unravelings galore. Meanwhile, in sci-fi land, The Magicians scored by far its best grades, Supergirl continued to soar, while The X-Files failed to live up to its original (or its prior week’s quirky madness). Also, it was a night of hashtags, but we’ll get to that…
Monday, February 8th’s Best: Jane the Virgin (9.1/10)
Everyone’s talking about the sweater kiss — oh, and Rogelio’s impassioned moments — on JtV. TV Fanatic hashtags it, and enjoyed the “brand new level of awkward.” Kathryn VanArandonk at Vulture notes how hard it is to “give the audience what it wants and do interesting, new work,” observing the show has “done so with aplomb.” The AV Club‘s Oliver Sava gives the show the lowest grade of the night and still opens with “Is there a network television series on the air right now that is as consistently excellent as Jane The Virgin?”
The Rest of the Night:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – 8.8
Reveling in all its protagonist’s stories coming to a head as she tries to weather what the musical number’s band argues should be hashtagged either #textmergency or #textastraphe (or #messageocalypse) requiring a #textcuse or #textplanation, AV Club issues an “A” and declares “There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing something that’s perfect for the first time.”
The Magicians – 8.7
The once eagerly anticipated adaptation of Lew Grossman’s fantasy series finally earns its initial excitement last night, with IGN lauding the show for “taking big gambles that are paying off.”
Supergirl – 8.3
Reviews for the Woman of Steel were a bit more mixed. Vulture‘s Joshua Rivera dubbed it a successful spin on a story “widely accepted as one of the Best Superman Stories Ever,” while Caroline Siede at AV Club believes the titular character shines as usual, but that this episode furthers a laundry list of concerns about the show including how “its various romantic threads are tiresome at best and creepy at worst.”
The X-Files – 7.5
The X-Files remains a bit of a disappointment, but not an outright failure. For example, Zack Handlen of AV Club loves a lot of it, but is “not sure exactly how to explain how little I care about Scully and Mulder’s child.”
It’s a night full of comedies and dramas, including the latest opening night for a former Daily Show correspondent, for so let’s not waste time:
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee [TBS, 10:30p]
It’s hard to bet against any Daily Show expat given a new show — particularly true for the faux news juggernaut’s longest-tenured employee, Samantha Bee. Her first episode sets her rapier wit on Jeb Exclamation Point. Granted, it’s an easy target right now, but do you seriously have any doubts she’ll bullseye that son-of-a-pres.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend [CW, 8p]
Rebecca accidentally text Josh, making second-hand shame first-hand “OH GOD NOOOOO.”
A Ballerina’s Tale [PBS, 10p]
Nelson George directs this behind-the-scenes look at the career of Misty Copeland, who transcends barriers by becoming the first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Prepare to be all in your feels.
ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:
- Following on the heels of this season’s best episode to date (a Jose Chung-esque classic over-the-top monsterfest), Mulder & Scully investigate an otherworldly political assassination on this week’s X-Files on FOX.
- For shows that have been solidly hitting their mark these days, there’s the heroic Supergirl on CBS, the unabashedly silly Angie Tribeca on TBS, and the gently inspiring Jane the Virgin on The CW.
- The NBC one-two punch of Superstore and Telenovela have elements that hint at better shows. Could this be the week they get it together? Magic 8 Ball doesn’t want to be pinned to an answer here, but it guesses its sources would likely say no.
- Lucifer on FOX and The Magicians on Syfy offer a bit more promise, but haven’t really earned faith based on their initial episodes.
- The Bachelor‘s on his usual rose-givin’-out trip on ABC, if you like that sort of thing. Millions do.
A busy Monday of reviewable shows and, with one glaring exception, yesterday’s television was well-received. The X-Files second offering after its decade-plus hiatus earned much better reviews than its pilot (expectations can be a…). Syfy’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular novel series The Magicians was welcomed with an absolute thud, and the lowest grade we’ve seen yet (in two whole days of tracking). Lucifer‘s buzz was so blah that I could only discover one review of it. However, the day was owned by shows with female heroes.
Monday January 25th’s Best: Jane the Virgin (9.2/10)
Terrific use of Gramma “Glamma” Rita Moreno, honest emotions, and a host of secrets revealed helped earn the generally beloved drama Jane the Virgin best of night with “Chapter Thirty-One.” Vulture loved the manner the Jane stories — her starting a role as TA and her sleep-training her son — are “woven together” by basketball. TV Fanatic called Rogelio’s tender exchange with his mom “a lovely, unselfish choice for the character.” AV Club harbored some reservations, but commended the “small victories” as necessary for “finding ways to bring more emotional honesty to the sweeping, telenovela-inspired moments.”
The Rest of the Night:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – 9.2 (but a lower 9.2)
The most adventurous show on television was eked out by a decimal, as CEF‘s Winter Premiere earned high praise — the highest from AV Club who gave it props for “mostly stick[ing] with what works: a funny song, jokes that come out of left field, lots of awkwardness, and the occasional moment that punches you right in the gut.”
Supergirl – 8.5
This surprising superhero story flies on — with IGN touting it as a “dark, emotional episode,” “a good, if heavy-handed, bit of television.”
The X-Files – 7.8
The ballad of Mulder & Scully 2.0 rebounded on its second episode in two nights, or as AV Club put it, it got “some of its groove back.”
The Magicians – 5.9
Pans all around for the debut of the awaited Syfy series, including Vulture‘s disappointed observation that fans will want to “take [their] dog-eared copy of Lev Grossman’s arch, explosive novel and toss it into a water square at your closest welters pitch,” due to the show’s tonal disconnect from its original, YA cult fave source. Although they did give it a relatively hopeful 3 out of 5 stars.