“The Funeral to End All Funerals” | The Good Place
“This is the whole story. No one is beyond rehabilitation. Brent spent a year being an absolute diaper load of a human being, and the points total tells you that. But what that number can’t tell you is who he could have become tomorrow.”
The most unsurprising fact at this very moment is that throughout the final season of The Good Place, there have been far too many great scenes to choose from, and there was no shortage of great scenes in “The Funeral to End All Funerals.” Kristen Bell’s direction of the episode felt incredibly important for Eleanor because there’s not a single scene in the latest episode that didn’t feel like a punch in the gut in all the right ways. How this show manages to make me openly weep every single time is still so astonishing. For instance, Bell’s voice breaking while maintaining stoicism as Eleanor said “wake him up”, all the eulogies and how these merry band of misfits healed one another through the entirety of their journey? “The Funeral to End All Funerals” was a masterful episode, but we’re all still thinking about the scene right? You know the one, the one with all the Janets, another perfect performance by D’Arcy Carden and what it meant for humanity.
“Daisy” | Madam Secretary
Look at the gif above without crying, I dare you. It’s still hard to grasp that it’s the final season of Madam Secretary, but so far, the series has been delivering one strong episode after another, give or take a few minute mishaps. The second we learned that Elizabeth McCord was President of the United States, I couldn’t wait to see the moment where we’d see the reactions to her win. And it was the kind of moment undoubtedly well worth the wait. “Daisy” wasn’t an easy episode to watch, but without exaggeration, I openly wept from beginning to end, but absolutely lost it all during this final scene.
I don’t mean to turn this into a political post to discuss my own personal opinions — but this was the very reaction I’d expected a lot of us to have during the 2016 elections if we had elected the first female President of the United States. And perhaps that’s why I had such a visceral reaction to this episode because for a moment, it felt real, it felt hopeful, and it was executed with such heartfelt, palpable reactions you couldn’t help but choke up. The raw energy in the performances leaves much room for discussion, but simply put, it was remarkably moving in all the right ways.
“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” | Game of Thrones
Sometimes a piece of fiction could be so achingly shocking it pulls you away while driving you into a state of rage and disgust. But other times, there are moments of rare passion — executed so beautifully, it takes your breath away. And on a show like Game of Thrones where quiet serenity is far and fleeting, there’s something so hauntingly poignant about this episode, appropriately titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”. The end that’s near is expected to be dark and devastating, but I can’t help but marvel in the conception that this episode is what the entire show has led up to. (And maybe one day time will permit me write about the entire thing.) All the pain and suffering, the losses and the seemingly endless winters has all led to this moment of exceptional warmth. An episode filled with interactions so moving, it kept me up all night, and at the top of those gorgeously touching intimate interactions, the one I can’t stop crying about
hours days later is, Jaime Lannister knighting Brienne of Tarth.
March 24-March 30
“All That Hard, Glossy Armor” | The Magicians
As we approach Spring finale season, we get closer and closer to the best of what TV can offer. It began with a riveting episode of Madam Secretary focusing on the importance of vaccinations. A sweet episode of Black-ish reflecting on what it means to be selfless for the kids we love, and “key-smashingly” perfect belated Valentine’s day special of Superstore. But before The Magicians even aired their musical episode, I already had a great feeling I’d want to write about it, which I’m happy to report I was right about. Continue reading
“One Little Island Girl” | This is Us
It has been a week, darling readers, and considering today is Monday, I’m trying really hard not to talk about last night’s Oscars because we’re saving that for next week. (Thankfully, Katie’s got us covered with the one moment that we all can’t stop buzzing about, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s performance of their Academy Award winning song, “Shallow.”) Madam Secretary kicked off the week with a great return, Black-ish was delightful as per usual, The Magicians crushed our souls in an indescribably fantastic way. (It was so hard to choose between this episode and the one I went with. So hard. I can’t even explain.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine reminded us of what a fantastic team the 99th precinct is, and I’ve finally started Netflix’s One Day at a Time. Please don’t sleep on this show, darling readers — believe the hype, it deserves a renewal, and frankly, I’m so tired of fighting for the shows that we all ask for yet somehow neglect. The representation on this show is astounding, I’m not even caught up and I already know I’ll have multiple episodes I’d want to talk about in Year-End reviews. But for This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment, Beth’s journey on This is Us hit me the hardest.
January 27 – February 2
“Four Movements” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine
An eventful TV week kicked off with the emotionally packed Outlander season finale, and a solid episode of Madam Secretary. The Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place and I’ve been beaming since then. Riverdale wasn’t at its best, but it did give us some answers I wasn’t expecting this soon. And The Magicians not only reiterated that our sweet Julia Wicker is a goddess, but our favorites are one step closer to defeating the monster that’s governing Eliot’s body. However, it was unsurprisingly Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s heartfelt episode dedicated to Gina Linetti’s departure that takes the crown.
“Pandemonium” | The Good Place
It has been a week, friends, and almost all TV shows are back on our screens. (Waiting impatiently for Game of Thrones, Superstore, and Elementary.) On a side note, I’m still too devastated over the Saints’ loss during the championship games to even talk about it. Sunday’s episode of Outlander brought us one step closer to the finale. This is Us unlocked the mystery of Nicky Pearson, Black-ish gave us another great episode, Riverdale unmasked the Gargoyle King but not without giving us another killer to find. The Magicians premiered with an emotionally and frustrating episode. (I just want all my babies back together again is this too much to ask for!?) And Brooklyn Nine-Nine took us back to 1999 reminding us of the beautiful friendship between Jake and Gina. But it’s The Good Place’s season finale that left me a bawling wreck — absolutely no exaggeration.
“Separation Part II” | Madam Secretary
With the perfectly heartfelt premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place’s incredible return episode, TV’s a delightful place again that has me grinning from ear to ear. Last week’s show of choice, Outlander showed us the ramifications of Jamie’s actions and Brianna’s frustrations leaving us with another intriguing episode. But it was Sunday’s return episode of Madam Secretary that I can’t stop thinking about.
Madam Secretary is a special show, it’s the only drama that’s allowed to be 22 episodes long because it’s the one platform that highlights politics in the eyes of a character driven cast. And both “Separation” episodes did what TV at its best does — evokes something powerful by mirroring the world we live in today. Sometimes we need to escape the treacheries of the world with fiction and sometimes, we need fiction to scream about what’s happening because it’s crucial to bettering our lives. We can try to escape and disregard politics all we want, and I’m all for people stepping back if it’s too much to bear at times, but when children are separated from their families, our voices need to be heard. And the two-part story on Madam Secretary refused to stay silent.
December 30-January 5
“The Birds and The Bees” | Outlander
Welcome to the new year, darling readers. I hope you’re all well and that 2019’s treating you superbly so far. The TV season hasn’t fully resumed from the much-needed holiday hiatus, but that’s okay because I’m pretty sure Outlander would’ve taken the crown no matter what aired this week. These posts will be a bit more sporadic throughout the year, but they have not been retired — I just need TV series to step it up, y’know?
“The Box” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine
It’s been another stellar week into Spring TV with a sweet episode of When Calls the Heart, a gorgeous display of marriage on Madam Secretary, a meme-filled hysterical half hour of Black-ish, a haunting episode of The Americans, and an incredibly relatable episode of Superstore. (Especially for those of us who are multi-lingual!) But from the moment this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine concluded, I knew it’d be the most exquisite thing I’d watch all week.