Tune In / Tune Out: Week of Oct. 19, 2013

“Lull” is a funny word. It sounds so close to ‘dull,’ which is silly because lulls aren’t always dull – unless they’re in TV land. It’s the third week of October and November sweeps are still at least a week off, so our picks (and pans) this week are a little sparse.

Tune IN

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: This week’s episode was written by Game of Thrones writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, and that’s reason enough to watch it. If that doesn’t entice you, how about the idea of watching Charlie transform into a genius while the rest of the gang is outsmarted by a rat? – Kerry

The Tomorrow People Full disclosure: I missed the second episode because I had out-of-town visitors and, really, TV kind of pales in comparison to hanging with people you only get to see maybe once a year, if that. But I’m so glad I decided to tune in again this week. (It was a toss-up between this and a new episode of Nova on PBS about how things are made.) I was particularly impressed by the choice to focus on Cara’s background, especially as it hinged on successfully turning an overused trope on its ear. There are thematic similarities between this show and its lead-in, Arrow, but the approach is different enough that it doesn’t feel like watching the same show twice. – Moff

Tune OUT

Castle: It kills me to say so, but this episode was a total mess. When the only bright spot of a sixth-season episode is your guest star (Chuck alum Joshua Gomez) and not the main relationship, the friendly banter between friends, the case, or the quips, then you have a real problem on your hands. Adding insult to the sloppy police work, lazy case building, and questionable methods for dealing with insane people, the episode ended with Beckett actually buying into the idea of time-travel. Why does it seem like the writing staff just doesn’t care anymore? – Kerry

Once Upon a Time: Robert Carlyle and Lana Parilla often are called out for carrying so much of the episodes they’re in, and that praise is well deserved. But this is a show with an ensemble cast, and with the kind of uneven writing they’ve been given thus far this season, it’s not surprising there will be dud episodes because whoever is the focus cannot be expected to carry the entire episode themselves. Yet, that is exactly what happened this week, and, frankly, that is a first or second season problem; it’s not something a show should still be struggling with three seasons in. – Moff

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