Commenter Shout-Outs: Your Recent Thoughts on Shows That Deserve More

Welcome to Commenter Shout-Outs! It’s been an absolutely banner week for commenting, with nine stories clocking over 100 comments each. More comments means more quality means more Shout-Outs! So strap yourselves in as we embark upon this cosmic journey into the realms commenting excellence.

This week, we offered yet another Quick Question that produced hundreds of thought-out results: What TV shows deserve more love from critics?

Many of you howled your love for Teen Wolf, MTV’s freshman supernatural series.

bluemystique was one, and gave a few other shows credit where credit’s due:

I agree about Teen Wolf. It’s suprisingly good writing, suprisingly well acted, but not so suprisingly hot actors. It in a way reminds me of The Vampire Diaries… it doesn’t get nearly as many accolades, perhaps because of the audience it targets or something, but after all the talk of True Blood being so fantastic, honestly, Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries are right up there on that level, in some ways dare I say even better. And this is from a somewhat True Blood fan. Should be taken more seriously.

I don’t know if it’s fair to say this but can I say NCIS? Outside of this year especially it kills in the ratings but doesn’t get all that much talk despite being … more a truly great show. For whatever reason it dominates its night but gets outshone and put on the back burner by critics because they’re too busy talking about Glee. Great cast, great chemistry, great writing, great characters.

Parenthood. Seriously great show with realistic portrayals of family that doesn’t get nearly enough attention IMO.

Leverage. I don’t get how there isn’t more talk about how awesome this show is. And most of the USA shows… while critics seem to enjoy Psych and White Collar (a personal fave), In Plain Sight is/was a delight, and Suits was one of the best new series of the summer. They found their niche of dynamic duos and they kill it nearly every time.

selbot had this to say about HBO’s Enlightened:

Honestly, I think Enlightened is the most interesting thing to show up on TV in ages. It is not the best, nor is it the most fun to watch, but it is really doing something different than everything else out there. I generally hate Laura Dern, and her character is rather unlikeable, though I find her really relatable, but to me, this show is a brilliant portrayal of the failure of the American Dream to fulfill us. I think that the characters, regardless of how successful (Krista) or unsuccessful (Tyler), they all share an emptiness that I think resonates with people like me who feel like there’s more to life than this ad culture tells us we want. I love more that this show is really trying to get the viewer to reconcile Amy’s utter wankiness with her genuine desire to better herself and the world around her—it’s actually imparting some humility to the viewer. This show is actually making me contemplate philosophical ideas, inspiring me to rethink how I approach issues in my life, and crazily enough, open up my heart. And believe me, I’m a grumpy girl. Pretty rad, if you ask me. Watch it with an open mind, and maybe you’ll get a sense of what I mean.

Oh, and I totally live for The Vampire Diaries.

Hey, we ALSO live for The Vampire Diaries! Speaking of, Price’s penultimate TVD photo recap of 2011 is currently being installed in the Guinness Book of World Records Museum under a huge banner that reads, “MOST EPIC-EST PHOTO RECAP EVER.”

Similarly epic was DarkerElena’s breakdown of the family lineage on the show. So much obsessive care was put into this scripture, we just had to include it in its entirety:

Since some of the commenters are having a difficult time grasping the lineage:

There were nine in the Original family:

Mikael and Esther—parents

Niklaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Heinrich, and three others unnamed.

Niklaus was born of his Mum (Esther) and the man of a neighboring family who happened to be Werewolves, which makes Mikael NOT his birth father. We can assume that is why Mikael hated Klaus and treated him so dismally in their human years.

One night, Klaus and Heinrich snuck out after dark to watch the Werewolves turning. As a result of this, Heinrich was killed, which prompted Mikael and Esther to go a bit batshit. They went to the witch, wanting a spell to make them stronger or just as strong … more as the Werewolves. Witch said no. Esther, being a witch herself, took over and crafted the spell that turned them into Vampires—thus making her the ORIGINAL WITCH.

The downside to her spell was nature itself keeping balance. They couldn’t be given this massive power and have no repercussions, hence sunlight burning, the flowers around the white oak negating their ability to compel, and the white oak itself being able to be the only wood to kill them—in addition to the whole having to live on blood for the rest of their immortal lives thing—but with Klaus, being half werewolf (therefore not fully human), these negative consequences had no effect, making him all powerful.

How I feel the Petrova line comes into play is this (this is my speculation):

To negate Klaus’s ability to transform into a wolf and make all his Werewolf abilities dormant, a sacrifice had to be made, and since slaves were allowable at that time, I’m thinking Charlotte Petrova was one of theirs and therefore the first to be sacrificed. (During this period in history, using blood was a BIG thing in witchcraft—it still is to this day but not as widely used.)

Charlotte Petrova’s blood was what was used to bind Klaus’s curse and therefore could be the only blood to break it and back in the day they had no knowledge of doppelgangers. (/end speculation)

Therefore, when it became knowledge that we are repeated at some point and time in the future, the Petrova line was hunted down in order to break the curse—which would give credence to the time in between the doppelgangers… Charlotte >> Katherine >> Elena.

If Elena dies before having a baby, the Petrova bloodline will end and therefore the chances of a doppelganger being born will die as well.

Now, flashing back to Klaus killing Esther… with Mikael’s treatment of Klaus his whole life, and Esther allowing it, it’s safe to assume that Klaus is going to have abandonment issues (not allowing family to leave him—they stay with him or they die to be carted about in a box with him). Esther, never standing up for Klaus and allowing Mikael to be a bastard to him was painful enough, but at a point when Klaus was finally stronger than Mikael and was finally able to stand up to him without fear, Esther took that away by repressing his Werewolf side. Klaus is going to see this as just another betrayal from his Mum and so it’s understandable that he kills her.

Mikael’s greatest downfall is his pride. After Heinrich and the spell Esther cast, Mikael went on a rampage and killed half the village so it would be easy to understand why the Original children would believe that Mikael would kill Esther—she committed the ultimate betrayal to his pride back in the day by cheating on him and then giving birth to a child who would bear a constant reminder of her infidelity and salt for the wounded pride.

The three unnamed siblings… they were alluded to when Rebekah said ‘they went off on their own’ but that she and Elijah remained with Klaus and made their pact.

Hopefully this cleared up the confusion for those of you who were lost.

Thanks, DarkerElena!

In our first Throwdown, Once Upon a Time vs. Grimm, Tim pitted this fall’s dueling fairy tale dramas against one another in a to-the-death steel-cage match.

ruthles100 sees Grimm’s so-called shortcoming as its biggest asset:

People seem to hate the fact that Grimm is part cop show, but really that’s a great idea. So many shows where it’s good vs evil in a Supernatural way either have to get a cop on their side or face being arrested. The Winchester brothers are always getting in trouble with the law and have to pretend to be FBI agents to get on a crime scene. In Charmed I believe there was a cop involved… (that show was awful). Buffy was okay cause when she killed vampires they disappeared into dust. In Teen Wolf the sidekick’s dad is a cop, etc. etc. In Fringe and X Files it was FBI agents exploring the paranormal… and although I don’t really want to put Grimm in the same category as these two pieces of televisual genius, it’s the same in that they won’t have to keep running from the law or lying their way onto crime scenes. Don’t get me wrong… I love Supernatural but the number of times they have managed to escape from prison… I think their faces would be plastered all over the FBI’s most-wanted board.

Also, lots of shows have shaky beginnings. Sometimes it’s not ’til halfway through the first season that things really start getting good… I can’t help it… I tend to stick up for the underdog….

“Televisual genius” is now our new favorite expression.

overit argued that both shows need to be put to bed:

I cannot believe all these fans of EITHER show. They are both bad! First of all, the premise of both is just overkill in a genre that is already overfull. I don’t care about werewolves, vampires, zombies, or Snow White anymore. Can’t we get something new?! Every show this year is just a rip-off of other shows that were new and refreshing when they debuted, but are now being copy-catted to death. Grimm has terrible writing, and with the exception of Silas Weir-Mitchell, even worse acting. Once Upon a Time is… well I just don’t care about what is going on in fairy tale land, and it’s way too pat for my taste. I hope they both get canceled.

bluemystique countered with a great argument for how everything is really derivative of something else:

I respect your opinion and I get your point to some degree… but you point out an “original premise” for a show these days and I’ll come up with another show that it was loosely based on. Seriously… please guide me in the direction of a show that’s original and is based on something that has NEVER been done before. I’d love to see it. In the age of every possible crime show and legal show imaginable, reality shows galore, played-out period pieces (my apologies to Pan Am, Mad Men, and if they existed Playboy Club fans), remakes of old school shows (Hawaii Five-0, that godawful Charlie’s Angels, and thankfully they had the decency to drop Wonder Woman before it ever aired), and yes even werewolves and vampires… I’ll take the fairy tales. It’s relatively fresh given the alternatives. Nothing is original anymore… but I give them kudos for settling on modernizing fairy tales rather than sticking to the norm of legal/medical/crime dramas/procedurals, or jumping on an overdone fad (vampires/werewolves/period pieces). As someone who was a skeptic at the notion of them even tackling the subject matter I give them kudos. Even though, in my opinion one show far exceeded the other.

Our survey of the worst new TV characters of the 2011 season was, not surprisingly, a hot topic of conversation.

sodapopgirl721, a loyal Glee fan, jumped right on-board the Sugar Motta Hate Train with us:

I love that A, you put sugar on this list and B, acknowledged how godawful Lauren Zizes was. I mean it wouldn’t be Glee if they didn’t offend somebody, but why do they insist on trolling around a character with “self-diagnosed Asperger’s?” For one, you wouldn’t diagnose yourself with that and that’s not how someone with Asperger’s would act. Especially now that Santana is in Shelby’s glee club and can walk all over Sugar, what is the point of her character? And whose bright idea was it to name her “Sugar” in the first place? Sugar, Sunshine—characters can still be memorable without having stripper names.

hueyf said:

I think you went too easy on Allen Gregory.

Considering we called the character a kid “we want to drop a 10-ton ACME anvil on,” it’s safe to say hueyf is not a fan!

Finally, this was a tumultuous week for the Oscars, which saw producer Brett Ratner leave in a puff of controversy, then lost a host in Eddie Murphy, then gained Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal as their replacements, ensuring the show won’t push the originality envelope. But for a moment there, there was a chance that the Academy would do something truly exciting with the opportunity. You guys had plenty of ideas as to how it could:

becksdakex offered two of the strangest suggestions ever, yet we kind of love both of them:

I say Don Rickles!!! Would be so fun to watch him make fun of everyone in his loving way. Always wanted to see him host a show like the Oscars. Have him with a younger sidekick who can keep up…… sad that I can’t think of anyone.

If I can’t have Don I would like to see Bruce Willis do it, funny, charming, and can sing.

Yippee-kii-yay, Mother Oscar!

fernkelsey suggested:

Zooey Deschanel!

And while we love New Girl, we couldn’t help but chuckle at this hilarious reply from AydinTurgay:

Right. That’s just what we need. More Zooey Deschanel. There’s nobody else in the entertainment industry, so she must have all of the jobs, right? Have a show, a Christmas album, record confusing music for Winnie The Pooh (?!), do commercials… not like there’s anybody else who’s looking for a job.

I’m sorry, but if we all thought that Anne Hathaway’s mugging and posing was uncomfortable, picking someone else who is not a professional comedian would be a huge mistake. She’s not funny—she’s cute, and that’s not what Oscar audiences are looking for. Not to mention the internet backlash of her over-saturation in media is slowly making her the second-most polarizing figure after Whitney Stevens.

To which fernkelsey responded, adorably:

Haha sorry I really am in love with her though lol.

You’re not alone, friend.

Phew! That was a big one. Thanks, everyone, for your fantastic comments. We’ll see you here next week!

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