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Opie Is About to Scorch Some Earth and The 10 Best TV Episodes of the Week

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 21, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 21, 2011 |

I’m not going to bother with an entire honorable mentions list this week, but I will touch on a few points about shows that didn’t make the top ten.

  • First, are there really four episodes of “Dexter” left this season? And did it really just get renewed for two more seasons? If someone were to ask you right now if they should watch “Dexter” from the beginning, how many seasons would you tell them to keep going before they stopped?

  • I was a bit disappointed that, after mostly ignoring Fat Mac’s fatness all season, they finally got around to explaining it and it was a somewhat underwhelming episode. I hope there’s a better episode ahead about how Fat Mac loses the weight.

  • I quit “Hell on Wheels” midway through last night’s episode. It’s not that it’s a bad show, it’s that the characters aren’t compelling, the story isn’t engaging, and it moves really slow. Oh, wait: Maybe it is a bad show.

  • I’m glad to have “Psych” back in my life after taking a season off, but this week’s episode reminded me why I took a season off.

  • “Revenge” is mellowing out, and without the introduction of new character with whom to take revenge on each week, it’s beginning to feel a little stale.

  • I’m quietly continuing to watch “Man Up” even though I panned the pilot and the damn reason is Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) who I’ve hated in everything he’s ever been in. Except this. I don’t know why. But the show has been pulled from the midseason schedule, so there’s not much reason to continue now.

  • I have noticed that on “Up All Night,” they have managed to successfully tone down Maya Rudolph’s character. It’s a more consistent show now. I liked it this week, as well as “New Girl,” just not enough to break the top ten. Likewise, “American Horror Story had a good week, but the top ten was too strong to contain it.

    10. Community: An incredibly ambitious, creative, and well executed episode that featured a brilliant Dean Pelton impersonation by Joel McHale. I did not, however, find the episode all that entertaining.

    9. Boss: This was the first real episode of the season that didn’t end with Mayor Kane rising above an issue. Just as it looked as though Kane would salvage his office, they pulled the rug from beneath him. The nosedive is turning into a spiral, and I don’t know how they’re going to pull out of this mess. I can’t wait to find out.

    8. Happy Endings: Dave’s hair was the highlight in this week’s episode, plus a very special two-second appearance by Busy Phillips that made many of us long for the return of “Cougar Town,” which has been pushed back until late Winter/early Spring. Bastards.

    7. Parenthood: That was a classic parenting tantrum, and everything about it was real and honest and brilliant. In another subplot, Adam’s new hot secretary kissed him, and while I think that Adam is maybe possibly the most perfect husband this side of Coach Taylor and that he said the exact right thing the next morning (“I love my wife”), he still shouldn’t have put himself in that position. Should he tell his wife? That’s a hard one, although his wife had the scene of the week when she dressed down the bully that was taunting Max.

    6. The Good Wife: This investigation into Will Gardner is getting messy with Wendy Scott Carr aboard, and I have no idea what’s going on with this Dana/Kalinda/Cary sex triangle. Are they just screwing with each other’s heads? I also appreciated that Lockhart/Gardner lost a case (and ultimately, for good reason): Losing a case every once in a while builds some uncertainty around the cases of the week.

    5. The League: You have not lived until you’ve looked into the soul of Jeff Goldblum while he’s plowing Sarah Silverman over a table during a break from the Thanksgiving meal.

    4. Homeland: The Sunday night cable dramas used to be the highlight of the week, but now with “Dexter” and “The Walking Dead” limping through their seasons, “Homeland” is the best thing going. Right now, I’m confused as hell, but it’s a lot better than being bored to death.

    3. How I Met Your Mother: This is what it feels like to see Barney heartbroken? I don’t like it, folks. I don’t like it at all. Not nice, Robin. NOT NICE.

    2. Sons of Anarchy: [Spoilers] Opie is about to lay some shit down on Clay, and I cannot fucking wait, people.

    1. Parks and Recreation: What are you folks calling it? Beslie? Leslen? Whatever it is, it’s back on. Can this show contain two fantastically adorable couples? If any show can, it’s “P&R.” But if Ann and Chris get back together, the show may crash beneath the weight of its sweetness.

    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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