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Kerry Washington Makes a Fierce Case for More Kerry Washington: The 10 Best TV Episodes of the Week

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | November 4, 2013 | Comments ()


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1. Boardwalk EmpireBoardwalk Empire is one of those well-crafted dramas that simmers for much of the season, but three or four times a year, storylines come to a head and provide for explosive episodes. This week’s was most certainly one of the explosive episodes, not only because Richard Harrow returned after a three-episode absence, but Michael Shannon is finally being well utilized. He crushed it this week, finally transforming into the character we’ve wanted to see all series’ long.

2. Masters of Sex — In its freshman season, Masters of Sex has been nothing short of phenomenal, turning out great episode after great episode with surprising consistency. This week, the Showtime series managed to wrap the episode’s theme around clitoral versus vaginal orgasms, and it worked splendidly.

3. The Good Wife — There was plenty to love about this week’s episode of The Good Wife, but the thing that I loved most was the fact that it’s not going to be a season where Alicia just comes in and wins. Florick/Agos may have gotten the better of Lockhart Gardner last week, but this week, Peter put the screws to Alicia. Better still, there are no pity parties. Diane gets her dream stripped away from her, she sheds a tear in the bathroom, and she comes out swinging. It’s so evenly matched in terms of character sympathies and flaws that it’s almost impossible to pick a side, but right now. #teamwill

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4. Parenthood — Anyone that’s ever had to give up their beloved car for a minivan (i.e., “go shopping for a vagina”) will no doubt appreciate this week’s Parenthood, especially the way that Crosby gradually came to appreciate the utility of the vehicle. THEY ARE REALLY PRACTICAL. Kristina’s debate speech was also terrific, as was the reunion between Sarah and Amber, and that last second twist was a gut puncher.

5. Saturday Night LiveSNL makes an appearance here because Kerry Washington salvaged a few bad sketches, and transformed the good sketches into great sketches. No SNL is never perfect, but there was enough good in this week’s episode to outweigh the bad, and make Washington the most unexpectedly delightful host since Jon Hamm’s first outing.

Still, I’m a little annoyed with this line from Rolling Stone:

Kerry Washington managed to make a fierce argument for the inclusion of black women on SNL simply by being so damn good in every sketch. If her secret agenda was to show SNL viewers what they’re missing, well… Olivia Pope, you’ve done it once again.

The implication there is that Kerry Washington was good on SNL, and Kerry Washington is a black female, ergo all black females must be good on SNL, which is reductive and no better than saying that Justin Timberlake makes a strong case for more white males on SNL, which is a dumb argument. Should there be black female cast members on SNL? Absolutely! But not because Kerry Washington was great and therefore representative of the entire demographic, but because SNL should have more diversity, more voices, and more talented comedians.

If Washington were made a major fixture on the show, that’d be great, too.

6. The BlacklistThe Blacklist has gotten by on James Spader’s charm for most of the season, but there’s an Alias-like arc that has become unexpectedly compelling. The resolution to the mystery behind Attractive Generic Brunette’s Husband will almost certainly be disappointing, but for now, it’s wildly intriguing. Another episode like this week’s, and I might actually look up Attractive Generic Brunette’s name.

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7. Scandal — As if this show couldn’t get anymore absurd, we found out that the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President had a secret love child, who her mother raised as her sister, and that Olivia Pope’s lover, the President of the United States, killed Olivia Pope’s mother under orders from Olivia Pope’s father. I have no idea how this show continues to work, but it does. No show has a bigger ball sack, and no show tries to cram as much into it.

8. Trophy Wife — This week’s Halloween episode wasn’t any better or worse than previous episodes of the series, but in a bye week for most sitcoms, here’s a shout-out to the consistent, delightful best new family sitcom of the season, which received a full-season order on Friday (along with The Goldbergs).

9. The Walking Dead — Another slower-paced episode that alternated between two supply runs — one for food, and another for medicine — helped to develop the characters, but besides the small bomb dropped at the end of the episode concerning Carol, the plot didn’t do a lot of advancing. If Michonne flashed that smile more often, the zombie hordes would die of joy.

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10. The LeagueThe League edges out American Horror Story this week because it was a Rafi episode, and Rafi episodes are like 22-minutes of one-liner heaven.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Sara_Tonin00

    I think the thing with Kerry Washington is that she was great, and showed how much "use" there was for a black woman on the show - what a great gap there's been.

    It would be fantastic if Kerry Washington became an elder of SNL with repeated visits a la the Baldwin.

  • Cree83

    Re: The Good Wife, I want there to be a way that both Alicia and Diane win, but Will.... I don't know. That dude has always walked a fine line, managing to make a bit of sleaziness charming, but he's been leaning closer and closer to just plain sleazy.

  • kirbyjay

    I agree. I love Alicia and Cary, but I also like Diane. Will, on the other hand, no. I also didn't like his and Alicia's tryst and his swappin spit with this new weirdo is nauseating. I watch The Good Wife for the cases and the firm, not Will Gardner's bedroom romps.
    While the whole Alicia/Lockhart Gardner split is kinda sad, it really makes good television.

  • J4Sho

    I thought Will's escapades made him look sad and pitiful in an over compensating kind of way. I hope that is what the writers intended.

  • Kerry Washington vs Danai Gurira?

    Go.

  • bastich

    I'll have the ceremonial fighting-pillows ready for them in a bit....

  • Guest

    In sandwich eating contest? Because both are way too thin.

  • Bananapanda

    She's very thin on Scandal but looked healthier on SNL. That header pic is clearly photoshopped. I tend to lose weight when I'm working a lot so she might be like that too.

  • Guest

    I hope so, she just looks way too thin in some of her public appearances as of late.

  • thatstrangewoman

    That'll pass, since she's pregnant.

  • mairimba

    No Leathal Weapon 6? That was the best half hour of comedy all week!

  • Art3mis

    I don't know why Elementary never gets any love around here. This week's episode was fantastic.

  • Guest

    I second that Elementary deserves more Pajiba love but last weeks episode was far from fantastic.

    Plus I`d say at least 4 of the shows on this list only made it because there was no Brooklyn Nine - Nine, New Girl, Mindy or Bob`s Burgers last week.

  • logan

    i agree the show keeps getting better. As to why it gets no love here its because Cumberbatch is a Pajiba fave.

  • pajiba

    That, and honestly, because I'm always so behind on TV that I usually catch Elementary on Monday night, after this posts.

  • Case closed.

  • PDamian

    Sweet Jeebus, that "What Does My Girl Say" video made me happy. I think I've watched it about 10 times now.

  • competitivenonfiction

    I'm confused, didn't Rafi die? I wasn't exactly happy to see him die, but I also kind of was. He was, as always, hilarious this week though!

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Rafi died a year from now. Expect his funeral next season.

  • competitivenonfiction

    Somehow this makes some sense. Kind of? I think?

  • mairimba

    Rafi died at the end of the Rafi/Dirty Randy episode which was a year after he stole Kevin's Brian's car. The next episode starts when Kevin Brian discovers his car was stolen by Rafi.

  • logan

    I guess Kerry is the Pajiba "IT" girl of the moment. I'm not complaining.

    Yet.

  • Truly. But I've liked her ever since "SLAMMIN' outfit. SLAMMIN'." so it's nice to see her on top.

  • Guest

    At least until the Newsroom returns then it will be Munn again.

  • John G.

    If so, we riot!

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