Netflix continued to be the place to be for television these days.
I finished binging 13 Reasons Why this week. The thirteenth episode of this show was as uncomfortable as I have been watching a fictional story in a long time. It was brutal. The scene where we see Hannah slitting her wrists in the bathtub was so realistic and emotionally powerful that I had to turn away. With this being juxtapositioned opposite Clay confronting the counselor (which was tear-inducing in itself), the episode was unbelievable. There were some nitpicks that I had with the series, but, overall, I think this was about as effective of a series on these topics as you are going to find.
Then, Netflix dropped the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 series this past Friday. Fourteen episodes following in the original MST3K footsteps of focusing on old time bad films, providing a riff over top. I found out about this from the RiffTrax guys at their performance of Samurai Cop this week and I was happy to get a chance to see it. Now, since each episode is an hour and a half and has 14 episodes, it is not an easy binge. I have seen the first four episodes and they were entertaining. New star Jonah Ray embraces everything that MST3K did and our villains, Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, are really charming. I hope to see the remainder of these episodes as I go.
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown had a huge event this past week on YouTube as well. It was called the Free4All and it was based loosely on the WWE’s Royal Rumble. The two-part video was hosted by Schmoe Kristian Harloff and John Campea. The show featured five competitors at a time answering movie trivia questions. After five questions, the player or players with the lowest score was eliminated, only to be replaced by new competitors. The rounds continued until 35 different players entered the fray. Competitors included such notable players as Dan Murrell, reigning Schmoedown Champion John Rocca, Mark “Baby Carrots” Ellis, “The Beast” William Bibbiani among many others. The best moment of the show was when Marc Andreyko was able to eliminate Murrell, Rocca, Bibbiani and Drew McWeeney all in one round in the biggest shock of the show. In the end, the player who drew number 34, “The Inglorious One” Samm Levine was able to win the Free4All. Levine, an actor who did appear in Inglorious Basterds, now has the opportunity to go after any title of his choosing. In the post show interview, Levine indicated that he would be going after the winner of John Rocca and Mark Reilly championship match up scheduled for next week. The Free4All was a tremendous show and shows just how creative the Collider show has become.
Saturday Night Live went live in all time zones across the United States this past Saturday for the first time ever. Tonight Show host and former SNL alum Jimmy Fallon hosted the show and it saw the return of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.
By the way, as I am typing this Match Game is on and has Martha Stewart among the stars. Alec Baldwin just said that Martha looks “like she is a hostage.” Line of the night!
Scandal had a “what if” episode this week. What If was once a Marvel Comic where the Watcher would look into a parallel universe and tell the story of something that happened differently than it did in the real Marvel Universe. The same thing happened on Scandal (except for the Watcher thing). We saw what would happen if Olivia had not fixed the election for Fitz. Scandal has always had some kind of weird fixation on Olivia and Fitz, despite the fact that they are the WORST couple ever on television, so, of course, at the end of this What If episode, these two enablers wound up together. This felt like a filler episode that really wasn’t worth the time.
Bates Motel had a great moment this week as former Sheriff Alex Romero arrived back at the Bates Motel with his intention of getting revenge on Norman. Unfortunately for him, he did not find Norman there, since Norman had been arrested for the murder of several people in town. Of course, he did find Chick, who was typing his book in the cellar, in the room that Norman had constructed for his mother’s dead body. As Chick spoke romantically about the fate of Norma, Alex put a bullet in his head. That was a fantastic moment of TV for the week and setting up the ultimate showdown between Alex and Norman.
Agents of SHIELD continued its awesome new story arc inside the Framework. We met the Patriot, a part of the resistance, and we saw how evil this Doctor “Leo” aka Fitz really was as he gunned down Agnes despite Simmons’s insistence that he would never do it. Rumors are floating around that Agents of SHIELD will receive a fifth season despite talk of cancellation all year long. Hopefully that is the case since this show has been consistently awesome all year long.
Even more awesome- Feud: Bette and Joan. The FX show from Ryan Murphy is exceptionally excellent every week. Susan Sarandon has been great as Bette Davis, but Jessica Lange is absolutely brilliant each week as she loses herself into the role of Joan Crawford each episode. Lange becomes Joan Crawford and brings such humanity to the role that you understand and relate to Crawford no matter what rotten thing she may be doing. This is the best I have ever seen Lange, even better than her amazing roles on American Horror Story. Feud: Bette and Joan is magic and if you are not watching it, you are truly missing something special.
Next week: the return of Fargo on FX. FX is the network that is challenging Netflix as the network with the best shows. Also on: Trial and Error’s finale, Agents of SHIELD, the penultimate series episode of Bates Motel, Rocca vs. Reilly.