Favorites of 2013: TV Ships and Friendships

This is the big one–the one with our favorite TV ships and friendships/partnerships/bromances/what-have-you of 2013.

Ships

Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

ship_oliverfelicity

Felicity: You killed again, and I am the one who put you into the position where you had to make that kind of choice.
Oliver: He had you, and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.

All three of us are big fans of Oliver and Felicity. They complement each other really well, they have great chemistry, and they deeply care for each other. And they’re just so pretty together. —Kerry

Danny Castellano / Mindy Lahiri

{The Mindy Project}

ship_mindydanny

Mindy: “You should get the Philadelphia roll. Danny says it’s amazing, it’s his favorite.”

Mindy: “Haven’t you ever had to do something because of work?”
Jason: “Yeah, sure, I just went to my boss’s kid’s graduation, but that doesn’t mean I’ve memorized her favorite sushi order.”

These two snuck up on me. I love their bickering, their friendship, and the way that they seem to be in love with each other without even realizing it. —Kerry

Monroe / Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

ship_rosaleemonroe

Monroe and Rosalee’s romance could have seemed shoe-horned into the main narrative, and the differences in their upbringings could be overlooked, but the evolution of their relationship was natural, and they are confronting their contradictory natures in a way that’s both realistic and believable. —Moff

April Ludgate / Andy Dwyer

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_andyapril

“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

This is probably the relationship most would have believed would fail, but it hasn’t. The love and support they show each other is unique and genuine. —Becca

Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

ship_barneyrobin

Barney: “Our wedding is gonna be legendary.”
Robin: “No ‘wait for it?'”
Barney: “I’ve got you, I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Who knew they’d make it all the way to the neverending wedding weekend? The writing isn’t doing them any favors (they keep having to spin their wheels as the writers try to fill the entire season with pointless shenanigans) but they’re still growing into a supportive, if unconventional, couple. —Kerry

Jemma Simmons / Grant Ward

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

ship_wardsimmons

F.Z.Z.T. is the episode I started shipping these two together. It is also the episode I finally started to like Ward. The scene where Ward mocks himself and Jemma corrects him sealed it for me. Plus: height difference. —Becca

Kensi Blye / Marty Deeks

{NCIS: LA}

ship_kensideeks

Deeks: “I’ve never had a girl give me her knife before. Does that mean we’re official?”
Kensi: “You know sometimes a knife is just a knife.”

Ah, one of the great ‘will they, won’t they’ partnerships of the police procedural world. As much as I continue to hold out hope Eric Christian Olsen will one day return to Greendale, I can’t put into words how pleased I am Kensi and Deeks have finally taken the logical next step. —Moff

Joan Watson / Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

ship_belljoan

Bell [to Sherlock]: “Where’s your better half?”

Bell and Joan have always had a unique chemistry; Bell initially liked Joan better than he liked Sherlock, and Joan always had a deep respect for Bell’s talents as an investigator. This season, there was a one-off line where Bell complimented Joan in her bulletproof vest, and suddenly, it felt like there was something there. It’s never overt: even when Joan brings him meals after his injury, it’s played as Joan just being a nice person. I won’t be mad if they never date, but I think they’d be great together. —Kerry

Ryan King / Carrie

{Go On}

ship_ryancarrie

Ryan: “I know we work together, and that’s weird. I don’t know what I want. I just- I just want it to still be a possibility between us.”
Carrie: “You’re right, it’s complicated. We work together… I quit. Ball’s in your court.”

The show got canceled, but before it ended Carrie kissed Ryan and told him the ball was in his court. I would like to believe this May/December romance actually worked out. —Becca

Ben Wyatt / Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_benleslie

“Your heart is in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”

They’re married! They’re still amazing together! And sometimes I go back and watch the early seasons, where Mark Brendanowicz calls Leslie a dork and treats her enthusiasm like it’s an annoying little quirk, and I get really, really, insanely happy that Leslie found someone who loves that about her. —Kerry

Rumplestiltskin / Belle

{Once Upon a Time}

ship_rumbelle

“You were the only one who could ever see past it… past the mask of the monster.”

While the Charmings have already had their somewhat happy ending, it feels like Rumplestiltskin and Belle will never get theirs. The pairing is beautiful, but it is hard for them to catch a break (especially after the winter finale). —Becca

Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

ship_harveydonna
Harvey: “You and Stephen, it bothers me. I know it’s not fair, but it does.”
Donna: “Good.”

I just want them to be together and happy. Is that too much to ask? —Kerry

Friendships

Shawn Spencer & Burton Guster

{Psych}

friendship_shawngus

Shawn: “I think we should call the police and let the chips fall where they may.”
Gus: “You’re talking like a real white guy right now, Shawn. Brothers don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I will not rot in a cell. You said we were in this together!”
Shawn: “C’mon, man. You know I’m gonna bake you a cake with a gun in it.”

Their friendship has only gotten better over this past year. Gus supported Shawn during his breakup with Jules, and Shawn learned to share Gus when Gus started a serious relationship with a woman. —Kerry

Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson {Elementary}

friendship_joansherlock

Joan: “You named a bee after me?”

Best partnership on TV. But, you know… besides all the other partnerships we have listed here. —Kerry

Team Arrow (Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak)

{Arrow}

friendship_teamarrow

Felicity: “What are you doing?”
Diggle: “Calling 911.”
Felicity: “Digg, wait!”
Diggle: “We can’t wait!”
Felicity: “How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone’s gonna find out Oliver is the vigilante!”
Diggle: “It won’t matter if he’s dead! Felicity, we can’t save him!”
Felicity: “I know! You’re right. We can’t.”

They all have their own special friendships with each other, and they work well as a team. It will be interesting to see how dynamics might change when/if someone else fully joins the team. —Becca

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

friendship_ichyabbie

The friendship has grown so quickly in just a few episodes. It is a strong friendship, and their camaraderie is enjoyable. —Becca

Sarah Manning & Felix Dawkins

{Orphan Black}

friendship_sarahfee

Felix: Sarah.
Sarah: What?
Felix: Um, just don’t die… ’cause your first funeral was just agonizing enough.

Felix has endured a lot (Sarah’s threatening ex-boyfriend, obstruction of justice, countless police interrogations, and oh yeah, all of that clone stuff) and he’s still deeply loyal to Sarah. That’s what family is for, right? —Kerry

Samantha Shaw & Root

{Person of Interest}

friendship_rootshaw

While former government agent Shaw hesitates to give anarchist hacker Root too much free reign, the morally dubious Root’s willingness to take immediate action appeals to the trigger-happy Shaw. —Moff

George Altman & Noah Werner

{Suburgatory}

friendship_georgenoah

The news of Alan Tudyk no longer being a regular on Suburgatory depressed me. I found George’s and Noah’s friendship was one of my main highlights for the show. In some ways, they don’t appear to have a lot in common, but the time they spent on screen together were some of the best moments of the show. —Becca

Ron Swanson & Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

friendship_ronleslie

Ron: “You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful.”
Leslie: “Okay, weirdo. Let’s go.”

He walked her down the aisle. Twice. He also punched out a jackass at her wedding. Leslie, in turn, organized a beautiful wedding present for Ron: an intricate trip up to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. It moved Ron to tears. —Kerry

Lance Sweets & Seeley Booth

{Bones}

friendship_boothsweets

Dr. Lance Sweets and Agent Seeley Booth have grown from bickering antagonists to friends and coworkers who trust each other’s instincts. —Moff

Ryan King & Steven

{Go On}

friendship_ryansteven

Ryan had his support group, but he also has his best friend, Steven. Steven was still the one who understood who Ryan was, and wanted to be there for him. In my head, they are still the best of friends and double date together (Ryan with Carrie and Steven with Lauren). —Becca

Quentin Lance & Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

friendship_lancefelicity

Oliver: “Felicity…”
Felicity: “Already on it.”
Lance [amazed]: “How the hell can she do that?”

Felicity and (former) Det. Lance have had only a few instances where they’ve worked together, but I think future episodes will reveal their values are more in line than they currently realize. —Moff

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Favorites of 2013: TV Characters

Merry Christmas (or as Penny from Miranda would say, “Happy What I Call Christmas”) to all of our dear readers who celebrate the holiday. Today is all about characters, so here are our favorite TV Characters of 2013!

Abbie Mills and Jenny Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

char_abbiejennymills

Jenny: Corbin said, that one day, you’d be back. When you were ready. Asked me to find a way to forgive you. I said I didn’t think I could.
Abbie: I’m sorry that it took me so long to find you.

The Mills sisters, despite being estranged for years, manage to make working through their past issues while saving the world look manageable. That they’re quicker witted than their male counterparts is simply a bonus. —Moff

Alice Morgan

{Luther}

character_alicemorgan

Yes, she may be a murderer, but her loyalty to Luther is wonderful. She is an intelligent woman, and she always makes an episode of Luther even better. —Becca

April Ludgate

{Parks and Recreation}

char_aprilludgate

“Leslie said it was a ‘come as you were in the nineties’ party, I assumed it was the 1690s.”

April has slowly grown up over the past few years, and it has become more obvious over this last season. She still has her Keep Away demeanor, but the loyalty she has for her friends is genuine. —Becca

Carlton Lassiter

{Psych}

char_lassiter

“I have one speed, and it is full throttle.”

Lassiter is finally a happy and well-adjusted adult, thanks in large part to Juliet and in small parts to Shawn and Gus. He’s more relaxed, open-minded, and willing to compromise than he was when we first met him, and he’s become an even better cop thanks to Shawn forcing him to stay sharp. —Kerry

Diane Buckley

{Trophy Wife}

char_dianebuckley

“Oh, relax, it’s just some light catfishing.”

The wives of Trophy Wife are sort of like the Hogwarts houses: who you relate to says a lot about your personality. Most people seem to favor Jackie, the second ex-wife of leading man Bradley Whitford, but me, I’m a Diane girl through and through. (I’m also a Hufflepuff, if you were wondering.) She clearly loves her kids, but she also wants the best for them. She is passionate but calculating, strong but practical, and above all, she gets stuff done. —Kerry

Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

char_donnapaulsen

“If you were ever lucky enough to have me, you wouldn’t want to share.”

This season of Suits did some not-so-great stuff with Donna, but she still came out of it looking classier and stronger than any other character on television. —Kerry

Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

char_felicitysmoak

“Never meet your heroes, right?”

It says something about an actor when a one-time appearance turns into a recurring role. It’s even more remarkable when that actor goes from recurring to series regular. The quirky, bright IT girl has won several hearts, saved countless lives, and helps humanize Oliver Queen. —Becca

Jemma Simmons

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

char_jemmasimmons

“I can’t be a part of your bad-girl shenanigans. I like following the rules and doing what’s expected of me. It makes me feel nice.”

When the show started off, the focus was on Fitz-Simmons, but the show gradually began to separate them. Now they are Fitz and Simmons, and Simmons has my heart. The episode “F.Z.Z.T” made me cry (which I hardly do) because of the way Elizabeth Henstridge plays her role. —Becca

Joan Watson

{Elementary}

char_joanwatson

“I think it’s sad that you’ve given up. I think you have a lot to share, if you cared to. I shouldn’t be the only one who knows you.”

Joan Watson set herself apart from traditional representations of the World’s Greatest Sidekick in season one, but she’s quickly becoming the fulcrum around which the show revolves without being anyone’s girlfriend, wife, mother or mistress. That’s nice to see both for Dr. Watson and for a woman in a mostly male ensemble. —Moff

John Diggle

{Arrow}

char_diggle

“I’ve been meaning to tell you, it really weirds me out to no end the way you refer to yourself in third person like that.”

Any scene with Diggle in it is a good scene. —Becca

Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

char_leslieknope

“No one achieves anything alone.”

It’s difficult to picture a scenario in which Leslie Knope doesn’t top my list of favorite characters. —Kerry

Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

char_marcusbell

Sherlock: “Have you always been this observant? I’m asking that quite sincerely. I was wondering if exposure to my methods had helped you in any way.”
Bell: “Actually, before you came along, I had never closed a case before, neither had the rest of the department. Most of us were thinking of packing up, leaving, letting the city fend for itself.”

Bell is such a great detective that Sherlock has taken to referring to all other detectives as “Not Bell.” Two of my favorite episodes of Elementary are Bell-centric ones (“Details” and “Tremors”) and I always look forward to his one liners to Sherlock. —Kerry

Oliver Queen

{Arrow}

char_oliverqueen

“The world doesn’t work anymore. It broke a long time ago, but it was like you were the only one who noticed. That makes you angry, and you’re afraid that that anger is going to burn you up inside if you have to live in the world one second longer knowing that you could do something to fix it.”

Oliver’s really come into his own since Tommy’s death, choosing now to save the city through non-murderous means. He still lives two (sometimes three) lives but now that he’s more removed from Laurel, he’s more three-dimensional and sympathetic. He’s still struggling to trust people, and thanks to the flashbacks to the island, we’re starting to realize why. —Kerry

Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

char_robinscherbatsky

“I’m Sparkles, bitch!”

I love Robin, and I relate to her so much this season. I just wish we didn’t have to see every excruciating hour of her wedding weekend, but hey, that’s not her fault. —Kerry

Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

character_rosaleecalvert

Rosalee Calvert may have started as a one-off, but the decision to make her a series regular was inspired: She’s a source of wisdom, knowledge and reason on a show that routinely asks its audience to suspend disbelief. —Moff

Sara Lance

{Arrow}

char_saralance

“No woman should ever suffer at the hands of men.”

Sara Lance managed, in a handful of episodes, to make a memorable impression as a variation on a classic comic book character normally inhabited by her sister, Laurel. But Sara made the role of Black Canary her own, and I can’t wait to see her return to Starling City. —Moff

Sarah Manning

{Orphan Black}

char_sarahmanning

“Art, if you’re hearing this, you found a body. It’s not Beth. It’s me. My name is Sarah Manning and you’re about the only person I trust to figure the whole thing out.”

Sarah is the most practical and level-headed of the clones, focused solely on keeping her daughter, Kira, safe. I think she’s my favorite because her main instinct is survival. She’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. —Kerry

Slade Wilson

{Arrow}

char_sladewilson

“I’m sorry… for not telling you how I really feel.”

Former A.S.I.S. agent, island survivor, unlucky in love, and that accent? What’s not to love?! Kerry

The Cannon

{Back in the Game}

char_thecannon

“No, Gannons, we inflict pain, and then we laugh!”

Rude, brash, drunk, and definitely not in touch with his feelings, The Cannon was an oddity on TV this season. There was no one quite like him, because while he said and did all these terrible things, he knows it’s his fault that he’s unhappy. He clearly loves his daughter and grandson, so I’m sad we won’t get to see what happens with them. —Kerry

Tinker Bell

{Once Upon a Time}

char_tinkerbell

“I may have lost my wings, but I haven’t lost my dignity.”

There hasn’t been a whole lot for me to love on this season of Once; I was never a fan of Peter Pan in any of its various forms, so the idea of a whole arc set in Neverland made me wary. I especially dreaded the introduction of Tinker Bell, because I was sure this show would ruin that sort of complex female character. While this Tink has a backstory firmly entrenched in the Enchanted Forest, she still manages to be the best side character to join the show this season. The actress who plays her, Rose McIver, deserves most of the credit. —Kerry

Later today… Our favorite supporting characters from movies!

Double Whammy!

**This post contains spoilers for the two most recent episodes of Parks and Recreation, “Filibuster” and “Recall Vote.”**

After a long and Voice-filled hiatus (which didn’t work, if you were wondering; Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show did not post better ratings after having a Voice lead-in for three weeks, so it’s time for NBC to go back to the drawing board if they want those shows to prosper) Parks and Recreation came back with two new episodes last Thursday, both of which were wonderful in their own unique ways. Since they were originally supposed to air separately, and not as a one-hour special, I’ll tackle each of them separately.

“Filibuster” centers around a birthday party that Leslie is throwing for Ben. We have no idea which birthday it is for him, but we do know that it’s an early-90’s themed party because, I kid you not: “It’s his favorite era.” It ties in perfectly with the worlds most boring kink: he has a “thing” for women in skates. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been too surprised by this theme. This is the same guy who played “Whoomp There It Is” at his mayoral inauguration when he was eighteen. Maybe it’s because I was a preschooler for the early 90’s, but I don’t see the appeal. All I remember is terrible fashions and earwiggy music. But Leslie never meets a theme that she doesn’t make amazing, even if that theme seems weird and sorta lame.

wyatt ben can't jump

Unfortunately, the Wyatt Ben Can’t Jump party is in full swing at Pawnee Skateland (which really means that four of his friends are skating, two of them are playing an arcade game, and one of them is running around buying stuffed bears… cool party, bro) when Leslie finds out that Councilman Jamm is trying to push through a last-minute vote to ban the former Eagleton citizens from voting. It’s in her best interest to let them vote, since she saved a lot of their jobs, but, well, I’ll get to that in a minute.

Leslie is forced to filibuster in order to delay the vote while dressed in unflattering overalls and roller skates. She’s not allowed to sit down or accept help from the audience, and she has to talk the entire time. Easy peasy, except she’s unsteady on the skates, so she sits to take them off, earning her a strike. Jamm bangs a gong, much to Councilman Howser’s ire, but it’s totally worth it because Councilman Howser really nailed his side-eyes.

I stopped in the middle of writing just to gif this, because it needed to exist.

The citizens of Eagleton show up to support Leslie during her filibuster, but after Chris (dressed in amazing acid-washed denim) thanks them for supporting her in the recall, they inform him that they want to retain the right to vote so that they can vote Leslie out and vote a former Eagletonian in. Chris and Ben get the info to Leslie (which earns her another strike, thus another gong strike, thus another epic Howser side-eye) which sends Leslie sprialling. Ultimately, she decides to do the right thing and fight for every citizen’s right to vote in the recall election, even though it means she’s pretty likely to lose. She succeeds in filibustering, dumps a pitcher of margaritas over Jamm’s head, then runs off for an epic bathroom break. The storyline ends with her finding out that Ingrid (Kristen Bell) is the nominee to run against Leslie in the recall.

“She’s dancing around like she’s a character in one of those Peanuts cartoons.”

(I guess I don’t know how recalls work, or maybe they work differently in Indiana, but I thought Leslie was just getting voted out. Usually there’s a separate election to vote someone into the recalled seat, which Leslie would not be running for. Maybe Ben/the writers worded it that way for the sake of clarity?)

The B plot was Andy’s 19-hour visit to Pawnee to see April. They’re delighted to see each other and they even attend Ben’s lame party (even though April claims to have thought it was a 1690’s-themed party and dressed up as a Pilgrim), but the twist comes when it’s time for Andy to leave. The taxi only makes it two houses down the street before it stops, Andy jumps out, and he leaps into a dumpster.

 

It turns out Andy has no idea what he’s doing in his job, and it terrifies him. April reassures him that everyone’s basically faking it until they make it, and it’s a really sweet reminder of how their marriage works and how great it is. It’s also nice to see them overcoming the distance. April and Andy married so young that it would be easy for this show to play on any perceived immaturity and take a negative stance on young marriage, especially over long distance, so this is truly refreshing.

There are technically two other minor plots, both of which are great in their own ways. The first is Ron and Donna playing the hunting game at the arcade. Donna discovers that Ron is a sore loser, easily frustrated by his inability to shoot the fake deer. He takes her out to do some real hunting, during which they have a great exchange:

 

As they eat the animal Ron shot, Donna asks if he wants to go back to the party and work on winning the game. The episode closes with both of them standing at the game, long after the party is over, and Ron finally beats the game and lands in the top score list. After he tells Donna that his initials are private, she suggests he just put in three random letters. Ron’s letters? “A.S.S.” Proof that men never really grow up.

This is your reminder to watch Orphan Black.

My personal favorite part of this episode is the return of Tatiana Maslany as Nadia, Tom’s temporary girlfriend. She’s leaving for Rwanda soon, which has Tom freaking out because he likes her so much, so after she suggests that he win her a big stuffed bear by playing skee ball, Tom is determined. Unfortunately, there’s a sub-plot of Ann, dressed as Blossom, running around buying bears and talking about being an adult. (It’s storylines like these that make it painfully obvious why Ann is getting written off the show… if there was really nothing better for her to do, then I guess I shouldn’t be so sad that she’s leaving.) Ann walks up to Tom with the bear in her arms, yammering about how she taught herself to make out on her old bear (and that’s what she wants for her unborn child?) and Tom freaks out, because obviously Nadia’s going to forget all about him in Rwanda if she doesn’t have a giant teddy bear to remember him by.

Nadia is pretty awesome. Outside of being portrayed by Tatiana Maslany (which is a huge part of her appeal) Nadia only compares to Lucy on the scale of Tom’s Girlfriends. Lucy was never embarrassed to be dating Tom, she was always his partner in crime, and she clearly enjoyed spending time with him; Nadia’s the same way, only better, because she also keeps him on his toes. They work together to steal the bear from Ann (Nadia even yells “Suck it!” as she roller skates away) and then Tom adorably and shyly asks Nadia if they have a future after she gets back. She trolls him at first (“Eeegh… clingy…”) but after he backpedals, she relents and says, “Of course I’ll call you!”

Then Ann steals the bear back because really, what else is Ann going to do?

Bye, Tatiana. We hardly knew ye.

“Recall Vote” is about, well, the recall vote. Long story short: Leslie is recalled. It was actually a surprise for me, I think because I hadn’t given the actual recall a lot of thought even though it’s all anyone’s been talking about for the last few episodes. But the votes were stacked against Leslie and it shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.

She doesn’t take the news well. She arrives the next morning in sweats and a Garfield “I hate Mondays” shirt while she eats a Paunch Burger. Ben and Ann, having formed the Leslie Knope Emotional Support Task Force, scramble to help Leslie recover, but the fact is, where Leslie is capable of unbridled happiness and sunshine and rainbows, she’s also capable of deep depression. Losing her city council seat is no small thing.

Chris asks if Leslie’s considered her concession speech. Of course she has, she hands him her speech and he reads it aloud: “Eat my shorts, jabronis. Knope out.”

Ben tries to refocus her attention on the haunted house–Did I mention it’s Halloween? Yeah, it’s Halloween, never mind that it’s November 14th, thanks a lot NBC–but Leslie decides to go fall asleep on a bench in the courtyard. I won’t lie, I was a little envious of her in that scene, she looked so peaceful passed out on her stomach on a concrete bench.

Meanwhile, Tom’s dealing with the fact that Rent-A-Swag is going out of business thanks to Dr. Sapperstein’s “Tommy’s Closet” which is doing really well across the street. Dr. Sapperstein’s lawyer offers Tom a buy-out, and Tom takes a couple of days to consider it. He curls up on the bench in Ron’s office with a blanket and a “hot chockie” as he whines about his business, and Ron says, “If there was something I could do for you, I would. Maybe you should try taking a walk, out of my office.”

Then in an unprecedented second episode with a Ron/Donna storyline, Donna comes in screaming about how Ron is “in Bloosh!” Bloosh is apparently a weekly lifestyle email written by a Pawnee woman who lived in someone’s pool house in L.A. and came back with the sense of entitlement that goes along with that. It’s actually really funny, especially once we meet Annabel herself, who is basically GOOP with better hair. (Yeah, I said it.) Apparently Annabel GOOP loved one of Ron’s rocking chairs and declared it “THE must-have item of the season.” Ron, predictably, is nonplussed, but when Tom begs him to follow through with the Bloosh piece so that Tom can try to get Rent-A-Swag into the issue, Ron reluctantly agrees.

He goes on Pawnee Today with Joan Callamezzo, who is starry-eyed for Annabel GOOP. Ron’s horrified by the entire fiasco, asking Tom, “Did that woman call my chair ‘delicious’?” Later, at a pretentious and neon blue party, Annabel GOOP is trying to persuade Ron to mass produce his chairs. He explain that his chairs are so quality because they are hand-made, then he tries to divert her attention to Tom. She’s not interested in Rent-A-Swag for this issue, and tells him that maybe he can make it into her spring catalog. That’s too late to be of any use to Tom, and Ron patently refuses to mass-produce his chairs, so Annabel GOOP declares the party over. “It no longer is… it was.” That’s okay, Donna’s stocked up on the free swag from the party.

Tom and Ron share a drink back at the office as Tom jealously says, “People are dying to give you their business, and you didn’t even take it.” Ron says the only thing that’s important to him is his name, he will never be willing to sell it. But Tom is willing to sell his name the next day, when the lawyer says that the name of the store is non-negotiable. Tom asks for an extra $20,000 for the name, plus 5% of the profits from the store, and then tells the camera, “Ron said there’s nothing more valuable than my name, but he’s not a businessman. I am. And now, I have seed money for my next venture. I sold out, baby!”

Leslie, dressed as Buttercup from The Princess Bride, listlessly hands out candy at the City Hall haunted house before she’s ushered out by Ben, dressed as Westley, who takes her to a bar. They get drunk and stupid together as Leslie shouts that they’ve both already peaked. She drags down Ben with her (he wonders if he peaked at 18) and they both decide to get tattoos at the pawn shop with the creepy guy who tried to buy Ann at Jerry Larry’s Fart Attack fundraiser. They narrowly avoid the diseases they would’ve undoubtedly gotten when Ann arrives just in time to drag them out of there.

Ann sits Leslie down and makes her read a letter in order to face the hard facts: in 30 days, she will no longer be a city council member. “But I am Leslie Knope. I am more than a city counselor. I am an unstoppable force of energy. And I will use those days to work as hard as I can.” Ann points out that Leslie has a lot of projects to finish up in her last month in office. I’m really gonna miss Ann.

 

The sweetest storyline is the one where Chris is working hard to cheer up April, who is missing Andy on their favorite holiday, Halloween. He tries multiple times to make her smile, but she is not receptive. “I’m sorry. I’ve failed you, both as a scary monster, and a friend.” I’m really gonna miss Chris, too. April later thanks him for trying so hard, and admits that if Chris is going to work so hard to cheer up a friend, he’s going to make a great partner for Ann and a great father to their child. (Ann and Chris’ costumes are really cute, too: she’s Red Riding Hood and he’s the Big Bad Wolf.)

The episode ends with Leslie giving her jabroni-less concession speech. Later, Ann explains, “She is like a toddler, bouncing back from a nap” before Leslie reappears with a list of things to do, as well as two pumpkins carved with their likenesses. Is there anything Leslie can’t do?

I’m curious about what’s going to happen for Leslie next. Her last month in office will take us through to the winter hiatus, so hopefully come January, we’ll see Leslie tackling something bigger and better than a city council seat. I don’t know where she can go from here at this stage, but I can’t wait to find out.

I’m really loving the bit that Jerry is now Larry; even Chris sticks to it, as he calls him “Larry” multiple times in the episode. Poor Larry Gengerch.

Gin It Up!

**This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Parks and Recreation, “Gin It Up,” as well as light spoilers for the series Orphan Black.**

Those Parks and Recreation writers, they sure know what they’re doing.

Last week, beautiful tropical fish Ann Perkins broke the news to Leslie that she and Chris were considering moving out of Pawnee. Leslie’s reaction, while in character, made for a bummer of an episode. (That’s a scientific term, by the way: bummer of an episode.) I found myself dreading this week’s episode as Thursday drew closer, because there’s nothing quite as depressing as watching a sad Leslie Knope. It’s like disappointing Annie Edison, which as we all know, is akin to choking the Little Mermaid with a bike chain.

I shouldn’t have dreaded this at all. I should’ve trusted those Parks guys. I won’t ever doubt them again. What did they do that was so great, you ask? They brought in Tatiana Maslany! And who is Tatiana Maslany, you ask? Well:

Yeah. You’re a little bit in love with her right now, aren’t you?

If you aren’t familiar with the show Orphan Black, well, I’m not judging you, you have a lot going on in your life right now. I understand that it’s on your To Watch list, and you’ll get to it as soon as possible. It’s cool! In the meantime, I’ll just tell you that Tatiana Maslany plays multiple unique characters who discover they are clones. It’s fantastic, and more to the point, she is fantastic.

So basically, we Orphan Black fans were Tom Haverford when she appeared on our screens.

We identified with Tom when he fell instantly in love with Nadia, the beautiful Doctors without Borders representative from Indianapolis, who is trying to reserve a park for free vaccinations. And we completely understood when Tom busted out a fake British accent, because he panicked when he realized that Nadia was out of his league.

Unfortunately, Tom’s antics freak out Nadia, so he uses “the most powerful weapon I have: bureaucratic incompetence” to try to keep her in Pawnee. He even offers to make daiquiris and busts out DJ Roomba. Somehow, even when Nadia says mean things (like “I hope you all get West Nile”) she’s still charming. And Tom is still smitten with her.

At the end of the episode, April does Tom a solid by telling Nadia that he is into her. Nadia decides that Tom was kind of romantic, and that she doesn’t have anything to lose since she’s leaving the country in two weeks, so she asks Tom if he wants to go out with her. Tom, adorably, says, “Yes, please!” And there was much rejoicing!

Oh right, there were other storylines in this episode, weren’t there? Actually, the Tom/Nadia storyline was the C plot, despite what I would have you believe with my enthusiasm.

We revisited the Recall Leslie Knope storyline this week, and Leslie had a brilliant strategy for counter-campaigning: Printing out “Don’t” stickers. That way, the signs will say “Don’t Recall Leslie Knope,” and she only had to pay for stickers instead of signs! (Of course, her original plan was to print out question marks along with it, because she wanted to make the signs say “Recall Leslie Knope? Don’t.”)

Meanwhile, Donna accidentally sends out an explicit tweet from the official Parks and Rec Twitter account. The media hilariously picks up on “Twitter Watergate,” you know, until they can find a snappier name for it. Leslie and Donna deal with the fallout, but not without some collateral damage: Councilman Jamm reveals some less-than-favorable tweets from Donna’s personal Twitter account about Leslie. This causes Leslie to spiral with worry that she annoys people.

Beautiful rule-breaking moth Ann Perkins is noticeably missing from this episode, presumably to dull the pain of last week, but Chris Traeger is still around, spreading sunshine and happiness as he assists Leslie with her anti-Recall Knope campaign. He tells Leslie that her passion and enthusiasm is bound to rub people the wrong way every once in a while. It’s the sort of thing we’re going to miss when Chris is gone. Leslie and Donna apologize to each other, but no apology is complete without Leslie giving someone a basket of their favorite lipsticks and nail polishes, each individually wrapped.

 

The other storyline revolves around Ron and his lack of a real will. (His current will is a handwritten note that says, “Upon my death, all of my belongings shall be transferred to the man or animal who has killed me.”) This concerns Ben, since Ron is a newlywed with two stepdaughters and a child on the way. He makes it his mission to make sure Ron gets a notarized will to support his family. In the course of events, we find out that Ron is loaded… so loaded that he only needs to leave his kids 5% of his fortune for them to live comfortably. There’s also a particularly sweet scene where Ron tells Ben that he and Leslie are his second choice to raise his kids, should something happen to him. His first choice? Ralph Piakowski, the 90-year-old maitre’d at Mulligans Steakhouse. And he’s not joking.

The rest of the episode involved April sticking question mark stickers all over everything. As you do.

 

Hmm? What’s that? Oh, you want me to end this post with a stellar gif of Tatiana Maslany? Well if you insist!

Top 5 Anticipated Returning Shows

I wish I could put Community on this list, but according to NBC it is TBD right now.

5. Once Upon A Time (Sept. 29, ABC at 8 P.M.):

While the show is definitely not one of the best out there, and the sophomore season had major problems, I’m still anticipating the third season. Once Upon a Time in some ways started the deeper friendship I have with the two other mods of this blog. We all knew each other because of Community, but our friendship grew stronger from watching Once Upon a Time together. It is always fun to dissect a show with someone, and with Once there is plenty of material to use.

Hopefully the third season will be better than the second. Last year, the creators secured the rights to Peter Pan mid-season, which made them like kids in a candy store. The potential of characters and stories were wrecked. What happened to FrankenWolf, Pinnochio, or Belle as her own character, without Rumple, as storylines? There was a point during the second season where there was a glimpse of a Belle and Ruby friendship, but Meghan Ory, who plays Ruby/Red, suffered because the creators’ attention span was short.

 Fortunately for Meghan, she will be starring with the gorgeous Josh Holloway on the new CBS show, Intelligence.

The writers have also stated they are doing only two story arcs this year. This fall’s continuous episode run will contain the first arc. Let us celebrate that we won’t get two episodes and then have to wait three weeks for a new episode. The pacing should be better this way. Also, the writers should have a better idea on where the fall and then winter arcs are going. Here’s hoping for some continuity.

Another reason to look forward to the third season is because Jane Espenson is still a writer on the show; I genuinely love the episodes she writes. They are full of plot, and we get a great depth from her stories.

Finally, the actors make the show watchable, especially when you have an urge to yell at where the story is going. For me Lana Parrilla and Robery Carlyle are the two best actors on the show, and the show would be lost without them.

Oh. I also watch for Robert’s face. I find it extremely attractive.

Sexy with sass.

4. Castle (Sept. 23, ABC at 10 P.M.):

How is Beckett going to respond to Castle’s proposal? Well, that question was answered during last night’s sixth season premiere.

I have been hooked on this show since season one, and a major part of that has been Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard “Rick” Castle. The man is so lovable. It has been great to see his character development on this show. For the first two seasons, he had the characteristics of a man who was probably never going to grow up, but slowly started to grow up during these past five seasons. (Don’t get me wrong, he was always a great father to Alexis, but his character needed to mature.)

I then fell for the show with the rest of the characters. I love the cast, and I believe it is one of the better ones on TV. There is not a character on the show who I dislike.

Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic, is a great opposite for Castle. She is a great cop, who is smart and doesn’t put up with Castle’s behavior when it starts to go into childlike territory. Beckett is an awesome person. She was able to recreate Rear Window for Castle when he broke his leg. I really love the their dynamic: It may not be His Girl Friday, but I would put the two of them together with some of the great screwball couples. Just don’t ask me to call them by their shipper name.

Then we have the bromance of the show between Detectives Esposito and Ryan, played by Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever, respectively. It is a beautiful relationship. I love that they have had their ups and downs, from points where they have each others backs to those where they don’t want to talk to each other ever again.

However, they quickly make up, and the bromance slowly becomes great again. I also love that these two are their own individual characters. They have very different voices, and they each bring something to the show.

Then there is Lanie Parish, played by Tamala Jones.  She is excellent at being Beckett’s best friend and will always have her back, especially when someone has wronged Beckett.

She is also the kind of person you would never want to cross because your life would not be pleasant. The writers have also created an intriguing, but not too intrusive, on-again-off-again relationship between her and Esposito, which I find enjoyable.

Finally, one of my favorite dynamics is Castle’s family. Castle’s daughter, Alexis, played by Molly C. Quinn, was first introduced as the responsible one of the family. Throughout the show’s , she has loosened up without losing the traits of being a smart, capable young woman. The relationship between Castle and his daughter is beautiful, and is one of my favorite father-daughter relationships on TV because I feel a deep connection between the two with no animosity.

 We also have Castle’s mother, Martha Rodgers, played by Susan Sullivan. She is a lover of the arts, but I feel she knows how a family works. In my opinion, she gives some of the best advice to both Castle and Alexis. I love the flair she has.

This show is beautiful from its cast to the writing, and if you are not watching it, then you should be, because you are missing out.

3. Parks and Recreation (Sept. 26, NBC at 8 P.M.):

Ron Swanson is with child. That should be enough of a reason to watch this show.

Of course, there are other reasons why you should watch this show, like great cast, smart writing, fantastic acting, and gif-fable staging.

Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope, is a big reason why Parks and Recreation is amazing. She is this beautiful, amazing human being, and the world would be less awesome without her. She is the reason why Leslie Knope works, and why the character is so lovable.

Then there is Adam Scott, who plays Leslie’s counterpart, Ben Wyatt. Generally, watching Ben Wyatt turns into a ‘look at his face’ on both my Twitter and Tumblr timelines. He is the lovable nerd, and loves Leslie so much, which makes him more lovable.

I have already mentioned him, but Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, is one of the greatest characters on TV right now. It is going to be interesting to see him become a father, especially when the mother is played by Lucy Lawless.

One of my most favorite characters is April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza. The relationships she has with the other characters are some of the best. She and Ron have a kind of father-daughter relationship. They hardly show emotions, but you can tell they love each other through their nonchalant style.

It is always great to see scenes of Leslie and April together. They seem like polar opposites; however, as the seasons have gone by, it is becoming more apparent that maybe they are not so different. Sure the personalities at first appearance throw the viewer off, but as time goes on I’m finding more similarities between the two: The love they have for the people they love and are both slowly climbing up the political ladder. (Can you imagine April as President?)

Last but not least is April’s relationship with her husband, Andy Dwyer. I love their relationship. At times it seems so carefree, but there is a great depth in it. I love how each of them support and have faith in each other. They make their relationship work, and people should think again if they think this relationship will not last. It is a very beautiful relationship.

There are MANY reasons why someone should watch this show, and if these reasons haven’t sold someone, they should at least watch for Retta’s character, Donna Meagle. She has game.

2. Elementary (Sept. 26, CBS at 10 P.M.):

I was in my English class last year when I mentioned that CBS was making their own Sherlock show, and I had a girl tell me, “We do not mention that show.”

This immediately increased my interest in the show, because I wanted her to be proven wrong about this show, and she was. She still may not recognize this show, but this show has grown into its own, and is loved by many. That’s what I love about the Sherlock adaptations; they are their own and they all work. For me it is like reading a book: No one is ever going to have the same take on a story as another person.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have a great dynamic. Their relationship has grown into something beautiful, where she was only his sober companion in the beginning to being his friend and partner at the end of season one.

Lucy Liu makes an excellent Watson because she doesn’t put up with Sherlock’s arrogance.

                                     

I loved her when she was facing Moriarty, and how she was the one who proved she was not just Sherlock’s “mascot.” She was the one who figured out Moriarty, and was able to take her down.

This show is also awesome because they decided to combine the two characters of Irene Adler and Moriarty. The last two episodes of the first season were emotional, and I fell in love with the idea of having Sherlock’s nemesis also being the woman he loved. It put him in a vulnerable situation, and Miller played it incredibly well. Props also have to be given to Natalie Dormer: The way she played both characters was superb, and I hope we revisit the storyline again.

Another reason why I’m looking forward to season two is meeting Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, who will be played by Rhys Ifans. I’m anticipating what the dynamic will be like with him and Miller as well as Liu. With Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock, Mycroft’s interaction was mainly with Watson’s new wife. We hardly saw anything between Mycroft and Sherlock, with the exception of a few minutes of them trying to prove who was smarter.

Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes, with Martin Freeman

In the BBC version, Mycroft plays the big brother looking after a younger, sometimes infantile brother. I want to see how different the relationship will be.

Did I forget to mention that I am attracted to Jonny Lee Miller’s face and his voice? Because I am. His face helps make my night great.

Finally, Clyde. I know Moff would feel a little remorse if I did not mention Clyde the Turtle, and how we all look forward to seeing the little green guy every time he appears on screen.

1. Arrow (Oct. 9, CW at 8 P.M.)

Arrow is an AMAZING show and quickly became one of my favorite TV shows of the year, especially after I was slightly disappointed with some of the other shows I watch. Where they let me down in some areas, Arrow only became better as the season went on (especially after they were able to lose Oliver’s narrations).

This show is in no loss of the FEELS department. The first season finale proved that. TOMMY!

One GREAT thing about this show is they know when something works, they keep it. Manu Bennett (one of Kerry’s favorites), who plays Slade, is now a series regular. This means we will get more good Island stories. The Island stories are great, and are sometimes even better than some of the storylines happening in Starling City. Give me Oliver Queen, as played by Stephen Amell, on the Island over a flashback of Oliver and Laurel any day of the week. The only bad thing about the Island are Amell’s wigs. Let us all gather together around a bonfire and burn those things.

They have also made Emily Bett Rickards’ character, Felicity Smoak (who is QUEEN by the way), a regular for season two.

I LOVE that a guest character, who was possibly recurring, quickly became something more and joined the Arrow team. She is this quirky girl who is very intelligent and knows how to stand up to Oliver and his really awful lies. (That man cannot lie when it comes to her.) Felicity Smoak is AMAZING, and I can’t wait to get more of her, especially if that includes backstory.

One of things that worked splendidly was the Arrow team. The show got better once David Ramsey’s John Diggle joined Oliver. Diggle is an amazing character, and a really great counterpart to Oliver. His expressions alone are priceless.

Felicity made it even better when she joined the team. The three of them as a team is something magical, and leads to some of my favorite scenes.

Felicity and Diggle are a great balance to Oliver’s broodiness, and he would be lost without them.

Have I mentioned the eye candy on this show? What more can I ask for? (Besides Laurel showing expression or actually crying.)

Of course we watch for the plot.