Category Archives: Showtime

The Year of the Worst Series Finales

Fair warning: spoilers.

Series finales are always bittersweet. It means that a beloved show is coming to an end but now we don’t have to suffer all of those emotional traumas. Generally, series finales tend to be great masterpieces that tie all loose ends. This year, on the other hand, we were presented with rushed and just down right disappointing series finales. It seemed like as each show ended, you’d hear someone on the Internet commenting, “well this beats [insert show that recently ended] for worst finale ever”

Dexter

I’m going to get this one out of the way. I have not watched this show, but I plan on watching it one day. I’m not going to go into why it was terrible in fear that it will ruin something from the first four seasons. That’s when you’re supposed to stop watching Dexter, right?

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The End of ‘Californication’

Very rarely does a television show have the decency to wrap up the series in a timely fashion. Most choose to alienate their audience with shoddy, lifeless episodes and tired or ridiculous plots in hopes of prolonging the life of their ‘baby.’ It’s times like that where we should take a page out of Stephen King’s book  and “kill your darlings.”

That being said, Californication’s seventh season, airing in April 2014, will be it’s last. While I wish I could say it remains an untarnished series, I just can’t – but at least they were able to pull the plug themselves. What started as a heartfelt series about a tortured writer trying to get his wife and daughter back together as a family has turned into a circus of attempted shock value, almost insulting stereotypes, and a disintegrating interest from the audience for any of the core cast’s issues. It’s upsetting to see one of this decade’s most recognizable anti-heroes fall even further than the bar floor he was passed out on.

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Which Returning Show Are You Looking Forward To?

We’re trying something new at Wait! What’s a Dial? In the past, we’ve reviewed shows based on their trailers. However, now that we’re reviewing a lot of pilots, we want you to let us know what you think the upcoming season of returning shows will be like based on their trailers.

Homeland

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Episodes’ Season Finale

Jaimie Lapidus

It’s been an intense season of Episodes full of issues that manifested themselves in painful yet hilarious ways. On Sunday’s season finale, all those issues came to a head. The issues are starting to repair themselves in a way that’s very ungraceful, yet very funny. It worked quite well. The episode opened with another one of Beverly and Carole’s  exercise running sessions. This time, it wasn’t quite as repetitive, but the dynamic still isn’t very interesting.  Nonetheless, it did move the story forward. As Carole is venting about her job offer from Elliot Salad, she starts to realize she could never betray Merc, which doesn’t seem to make much sense considering he does very little to contribute to their relationship and has been a terrible boss.

Over the course of the entire season, Merc wanted to get away with immoral behavior. Carole watched it happen because she loved him. Carole especially laments the fact that he is still married to Jamie, who Carole considers to be a “saint.”  Beverly seems hesitant to concur that Jamie is a saint, but then admits that she knows about Jamie’s affair with Matt. The exercise session is a little more interesting than usual at this point. Instead of going over the same issues with Sean and Beverly as they do on every run, the focus shifts to gossip about Jamie and Matt. Now, the viewers have a reason to pay attention. Carole insists that she has to tell Merc about the affair, but Beverly begs her not to for fear of losing her job and Sean. Carole finally agrees to keep quiet after Beverly threatens to tell Merc about Carole’s meeting with Elliot. There was probably a better way to reveal the details of Matt’s affair to Carole. The scene was sloppily written with too much dialogue.

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Episodes: Beverly Tries Dating Again and Merc’s Job is in Jeopardy

Elliot Salad

In the first season of Episodes, the Lincolns’ marriage fell apart. Throughout this season, their communication has been awkward, yet they certainly bond over work and their mutual disappointment in Matt. As Sunday’s episode opens, Matt wakes up with Labia at his side and immediately puts his hands over his eyes in despair.. His remorse shows that he can show human qualities, but also has a personality that Sean and Beverly feel compelled to chastise repeatedly. Sean, Beverly, and Matt are able to enjoy each other’s company, even though at the main reason is to point out Matt’s shortcomings.

It’s very clear that Matt cannot take control of his own life. Sean goes into Matt’s dressing room and sees that Labia is in the room. He walks out quickly and calls for security, only to have Matt tell him that he brought her into work.  Once again, Matt cannot understand the consequences of his actions. Sean jokingly reflects fondly on the memories of Matt ruing the Lincoln’s marriage. Sean and Beverly seem to have a civil and enjoyable relationship within the work setting.  It’s been enjoyable to watch the Lincolns’ relationship evolve, but it hasn’t been smooth.

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Episodes: Matt Gains Weight And Beverly Tries To Move On

Episodes doesn’t have to have a complicated story in order to be funny. Sometimes the most innocuous issue exaggerated to the point where the story works extremely well. This was the case on Sunday night. The episode opens with Sean and Beverly in a meeting with Merc and Carole. Merc and Carole are their usual passive-aggressive selves and try to act as pleasantly as they can toward the Lincolns. Of course, Sean and Beverly know something is wrong. Carole asks them how they think the show is going even though they clearly don’t care about Sean and Beverly’s perspective. Beverly is smart enough to know that Merc and Carole are only asking so they can say what they think about the show.

Merc and Carole finally reveal that they are concerned that Matt has gained weight. Beverly seems hesitant to respond at first and then says that he might have put on a couple of pounds. This might simply be to appease the network, but it is unclear. Sean more obviously disagrees. He says that he doesn’t see any change in Matt’s weight. Beverly says playfully that Sean doesn’t notice those types of things. This behavior between Sean and Beverly is very curious. After Sean halted their sexual encounter at the end of last week’s show, it’s surprising they are able to so fluidly act like a couple and playfully chide each other. Commenting on personal flaws is not common for a professional relationship, especially in a joking matter.  It is hard to believe that they are so good at putting personal feelings aside. For some reason, they prefer to deny that they want to give their marriage another try. Of course, Sean is terrible at suppressing his pain and Beverly does not even try to hide it. The Lincolns’ dynamic proves that sometimes things are not better left unsaid.

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Episodes: The Lincolns’ Relationship Slowly Recovers

This week, Episodes was very blunt and was filled with both serious and absurd conflicts. The show opens with Matt entering his house late at night to find his stalker, Labia topless in his kitchen. He is shocked that she even found a way into his house. Labia has a very calm response to Matt’s anger. She is very aware that Matt does not like her, but she does not care. She is just excited to tell him that she made cookies. Labia still thinks of Matt as a childhood crush who kept her spirits up when she had cancer. She uses her cancer as a way to get sympathy from Matt. Matt tries to calm her down somewhat nicely. He explains that she had cancer, but she survived and is now healthy. Under the circumstances, Matt has no problem screaming at her to get out of his house. She then says that she would die for Matt. He acknowledges, almost regrettably, that she did not die. Finally, Matt threatens to call the police. Labia promptly puts her clothes on and leaves. The beginning was not particularly relevant to the rest of the episode, but it did a great job setting up Matt’s bitter attitude that he would have for the rest of the episode.

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Weekly TV Update: August 6

Each week we bring you stories from around the Internet that you might have missed.

Showtime ends Weeds and The Big C. The season finale of Weeds will air September 16. Date for The Big C have not been announced yet.

Comedy Central roast stalwart Jeffrey Ross offends with a too soon joke about the Aurora, Colorado shootings.

Nick Jonas may become a judge on American Idol.

According to The New York Post, Sharon Osbourne is quitting America’s Got Talent because NBC fired her son from Stars Earn Stripes.

Which new daytime talk show hosts will last? The Hollywood Reporter assesses the pros and cons of all the new daytime hosts.

Episodes: A Stalker, a Trip, and a Misunderstanding

After the end of last week’s Episodes, it looked as though Sean and Beverly’s relationship may be on the mend. However, the show is quick to demonstrate that none of the characters’ relationships are even remotely healthy. Sunday’s episode began with Matt and Sean in a diner as Sean starts staring at an attractive female customer behind them Sean urges Matt not to turn around. Of course, Matt proceeds to do so immediately. He then notices that the woman is Labia, his internet stalker. He can’t afford to be nonchalant as Sean asked. Instead, he is “very chalatnt.” When Matt confronts Labia aggressively, Labia mentions that Sean and her have been in touch on Facebook.  Matt had  told Sean to “unfriend” her but Sean doesn’t know how. Labia is weirdly accommodating  and explains to Sean how to “unfriend” people. She assured Sean that she would help him remove her as a friend by posting instructions on his Facebook wall.

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Episodes Takes A Dramatic Turn

So far this season, Episodes has been enjoyable, but relatively simple. When last week’s episode ended with Merc Lapidus taking a phone call at his own father’s funeral, it’s not surprising that the following episode would be a bit cynical. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. It just got darker than usual. In a way, it’s good for the show. It demonstrates that it can expand its tone. However, those who were looking to laugh without having to think will be disappointed.

The fourth episode of the season opens with Merc and Carole discussing the ratings of Pucks!, which have been steadily declining. This isn’t so much a well directed or well acted scene as much as it is a way to comment that they are in a show about a show.  When Carole says that she and Merc are always running into problems with the show’s that are failing, Merc quips rather angrily,”Why don’t we make a show out of it.” This is obviously meant to call attention to the premise of Episodes, but it doesn’t work well. The running joke continues to be  the network’s disdain at the success of an unnamed show about a talking dog. It can get a little old, but Episodes’ sense of good and bad television premises should be commended.

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