The Goldbergs Season 5 Episode 14 Review

It's time for an NFL-inspired Goldbergs in the show's return. This one is a love note to the Philadelphia Eagles, recent Super Bowl champions and Philadelphia's best football team. And also their only football team.

It's 1980-something, so the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle is all the rage. The Goldbergs don't like that very much. So Barry and the JTP decide to remake it. But since they're holding a football in it, Beverly decides to ruin their fun. So very Bev-like. She also gives Adam a haircut with her new Flowbee, which can only really end one way. It's all part of her Bev-olution, which includes buying everything under the sun from QVC. Murray doesn't like this very much. He does, however, like her idea to make her own QVC product. This shocks both Bev and Pops, who don't believe that he's even capable of being supportive. This is definitely justified doubt. Meanwhile, Barry is sad that he can't join the football team, but he's given a great gift in the form of Beverly's newfound dream. That dream is a horrific jean jacket that is the ugliest thing I've ever seen. QVC ignores her million calls, so Murray decides to send them to Erica at college. Erica tells Murray that they suck, but he's adamant that they'll be successful. Back in Barryland, Barry goes to Coach Mellor to join the football team. He joins the team, but he's horrible. Like, really horrible. So Mellor puts him on the bench.

Barry's moping about being put on the bench, so sports expert Adam cheers him up by telling him that really, he's the star. He's not at all correct, but it makes Barry happy. Bevware is failing hard, because the jackets are ugly as sin. Murray, once again, is the otimistic one. Somehow. He tries to give them away at the furniture store, but nobody wants them. At school, the football team is busy singing a catchy song, which the coaches are somehow not thrilled about. Mellor tells him that he's not the star of the team, and that this is real life, not some sports movie. Barry storms out, with no support from the team. Elsewhere, Murray and Pops lie to Beverly about making a bunch of money, but she finds out it's a lie when a buzzkill from the thrift store describes, in great detail, how horrible the jackets are. Beverly is devastated, and it's really sad to watch.

Adam gives Barry a pep talk, once again trying to make him into a sports star. Barry is motivated by this, and he heads to the football game. He inspires the team to get out and play, and they break into song. Still, Mellor won't let him play. Barry doesn't really care, he's a champion in his heart. Kinda like how Beverly is a champion in Murray's heart. Speaking of Murray and Bev, they make up and the Bev-olution is back on track, but Bevware is pretty much dead. Rest in peace Bevware, you were amazingly awful.

Wrap Up:
This was an enjoyable episode for sure, but it wasn't one of my favorites this season. I did love Beverly's storyline, though. It was great to see Murray as something other than the antagonist for once. To see him as supportive husband was really great, and something all too rare for this show. Those jackets really were hilarious to look at, and I would buy one because they're just hilarious. Barry's storyline, meanwhile, wasn't as good. It was fine, but I wasn't thrilled by it. At times, it just dragged on, and I wanted to go back to the Bev storyline. I appreciate why they did it (Fly Eagles, Fly!), but it just fell a bit flat for me. Still, it's far the worst storyline we've seen on the show this season.

My Score: 8/10
My Grade: B

Modern Family S9E14 Review

One problem that the Olympics cause for shows is that they can't air Valentine's Day episodes close to the holiday. Modern Family ends up airing one this year anyway, just two weeks after the day.

S9E14 "Written in the Stars"

At the start of the episode, Jay is about to put his Valentine's Day into action, but it's lame so Claire and Phil stop him. He ends up taking a page out of their book, and the two have a roleplaying evening. Gloria is very over-the-top as she explains her background to a bartender, and it is very funny. The two run into an issue when someone who works at the hotel thinks that Gloria is a prostitute, which leads to a funny scene where Jay and Gloria prove that they are married.

Phil and Claire's Valentine's Day leads them to watching Joe for Jay and Gloria, which leads to some creepy moments, as Joe wants Claire to be his Valentine. While I did not like the idea for this story, especially considering how Manny has also been quite creepy before, the young actor Jeremy Maguire was actually funny. He has really gotten a lot better this season, with many enjoyable moments. The way that Phil convinced him to not go after Claire was a really sweet scene though, so this story wasn't as bad as I was dreading it would be.

Mitch and Cam unintentionally end up ruining Luke's Valentine's Day, as the badmouth him in front of his date. It's enjoyable as Mitch and Cam express how they don't want to spend their Valentine's Day around Luke, and then realize what they did. The best part, however, is when they take Luke to convince the girl to give him a chance, and their intensity ends up scaring him off. This story felt a little bit typical for a Modern Family story, but it was still really enjoyable.

The weakest parts of the episode dealt with Haley's date for Valentine's. The date goes to the obvious places, as the professor realizes they might not be right for each other considering their differences, and she realizes how much more he has done with his life than she has with hers. However, these things end up not really mattering to them in the end. I'm sure they will at some point in the (hopefully very) near future, but not today. Meanwhile, Alex interprets a phone call from her professor as him asking her to come, and is disappointed when she sees that Haley returned to him. That layer to the story seems unnecessary, and is just sad for Alex.

Two of the stories tonight were really good, and not just season 9 level, but actually very enjoyable and funny. While creepy Joe and the Dunphy daughters weren't as good, at least the former story had its moments, and the latter wasn't awful. All together, I would say this is one of the better season 9 episodes, and I actually enjoyed it.

Score: 7/10

What did you think of "Written in the Stars"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Speechless S2E14 Review

After a long break due to ABC's Wednesday line-up doing a week of unusual scheduling then taking some time off, some of it due to the Olympics, Speechless is finally back. This week is a big one for J.J, as he turns 18, but doesn't feel like the adult he now legally is.


J.J's eighteenth birthday is here, so Kenneth takes him to do the things that you can do when you turn 18, aside from the things on Maya's list of things he can't do. This is fairly enjoyable, but J.J. realizes that his experience of being an adult doesn't really measure up to other people's. He leaves his birthday party in the middle of it, and the whole thing feels very reminiscent of last season when J.J. ran away. At least this time it's a little different, as Kenneth is the one that talks to J.J, unlike how last time Maya went with him. The scene where Kenneth stops Maya from going is very funny, the relationship between the two of them is always entertaining for the show to explore, and Minnie Driver is absolutely delightful here, as she often is. In the end, J.J. realizes that to be treated like an adult, he should act like one, and his parents give him some extra space, making the garage his man-cave.

The other two DiMeo kids have stories that have to do with dating. Ray's story deals with a complication in his relationship with Taylor, that complication being an attractive exchange student that is staying with her. The story is fairly typical in premise, but it winds up being interesting, as Ray tries out some of the moves that Jimmy had used, and things get out of hand. While I enjoyed this story, I was disappointed with the way it ended. After another girl kisses Ray, he tells Taylor, and the two have a very typical sitcom break-up, that, as usual, feels forced.

I liked Dylan's romantic story better than Ray's. The wrestling coach tries to get her to join the team, but she isn't interested until she discovers a boy she is interested in is on the team. Things seem to be going well for her from there, until a dilemma arises, the two of them are in the same weight class, so only one can wrestle for the team. It's a funny moment where Dylan insists that she will gain weight for this boy, not lose weight, but that turns out to have been his plan as well. There is a hilarious line here delivered by the wrestling coach, who admits he likes wrestling with decisions as well. In the end, despite Dylan winning, the two end up together. I like that this wasn't just an episodic story, but one that will continue.

This was a fun episode, and I especially liked Dylan's story. Each of the three stories had their funny moments though, and it had plot progression for the younger two kids, as one's relationship started and another ended.

Score: 8.5/10

What did you think of "E-I-EIGHTEEN"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday Cable Ratings 2/27/18: Unsolved Tops All Other Scripted Shows, Highest USA Premiere in Years

Below are the Top 25 programs on cable on Tuesday, 2/27/18. Items of note include Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious BIG on USA, The Detour on TBS, and Married at First Sight on Lifetime.
(Note: Click any show with its name in green or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)
18-49 Viewers
Viewers (mil.)
WWE SmackdownUSA0.862.69
Cuse of Oak IslandHistory0.713.02
Real Housewives of Beverly HillsBravo0.651.74
Fixer UpperHGTV0.562.80
Street OutlawsDiscovery0.541.44
Street OutlawsDiscovery0.531.40
The ChallengeMTV0.50.84
Curse of Oak Island (Special)History0.471.98
The Haves and the Have NotsOWN0.432.02
House HuntersHGTV0.411.85
NBA: Wizards v. BucksTNT0.411.09
America's Next Top ModelVH10.390.83
The Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC0.372.95
The DetourTBS0.361.00
College Basketball: Miami v. NCESPN0.361.05
House Hunters InternationalHGTV0.341.64
Married at First SightLifetime0.330.87
NBA: Clippers v. NuggetsTNT0.330.80
HannityFox News0.332.89
Ink MasterParamount0.330.73
My Big Fat Fabulous LifeTLC0.311.00
Pardon the InterruptionESPN0.310.81
The Last WordMSNBC0.292.29

Highlights Below the Chart:

The Daily ShowComedy Central0.240.84
The Ingraham AngleFox News0.242.33
Drunk HistoryComedy Central0.230.43
The FostersFreeform0.230.54
Erin Burnett OutFrontCNN0.180.85
Morning JoeMSNBC0.141.10
The Lead with Jake TapperCNN0.140.90
Deadline: White HouseMSNBC0.131.22
Another PeriodComedy Central0.130.29
Velshi & RuhleMSNBC0.10.86
At This HourCNN0.10.59

Tuesday TV Ratings 2/27/18: This Is Us, NCIS & The Flash All Return Down (UPDATED)

Finals Update: The Voice (+0.1) and Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (+0.1) adjusted up.
18-49 Ratings
Viewers (mil)
8 PMThe Voice2.4/1010.77NBC

The Middle1.2/55.17ABC


Lethal Weapon1.0/44.14Fox

The Flash0.7/32.08The CW
8:30 PMFresh Off the Boat0.9/43.23ABC
9 PMThis Is Us2.5/99.71NBC


LA To Vegas0.7/32.37Fox

Blackish (R)0.7/32.58ABC

Black Lightning0.5/21.62The CW
9:30 PMThe Mick0.6/21.91Fox

Modern Family (R)0.6/22.20ABC
10 PMChicago Med1.4/67.27NBC

NCIS: New Orleans0.9/48.16CBS

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World0.6/22.09ABC

The Middle S9E15 Review

Now that the Olympics are over, regular programming is back, and that includes The Middle. There are two bigger things with this week's episode. One is Sue's 21st birthday. The other is that Axl and Hutch head to Kenny's wedding.

S9E15 "Toasted"

The Hecks are all headed out at the start of the episode, going three separate ways. Frankie plans on bringing the "blue bag" (which is now orange), which other members of the family object to, but the funny twist is that no one ends up bringing the bag. Frankie is going to celebrate Sue's 21st birthday with her. Sue and Frankie get drunk, and behave like typical drunk sitcom characters. When they run into Sean, he acts as the adult. Unlike Aiden, Sean takes control of the situation, and takes care of drunk Sue. This proves how Sean is better for Sue than Aiden. Sue and Sean thankfully end up a step closer to being together, as Sue breaks up with Aiden.

Mike reluctantly takes Brick to a Planet Nowhere convention, where he complains about everything. When he doesn't like Mike's attitude, Brick texts Frankie, who texts Mike. When the two get home, Mike tries to take away something that Brick likes, realizing that taking away his phone won't do anything, and there's no point in sending Brick to his room. This is a funny scene, especially when Brick says that there isn't much that he cares about. In the end, Mike ends up breaking the light-bulb in the microfiche, and Brick convinces Mike to take him back to the convention by reminding him how many things he has from the Colts, so that Mike will be less critical of the Planet Nowhere memorabilia he wants.

Axl and Hutch head to Kenny's wedding, and along the way they contemplate whether or not they are grown-ups. They find it strange that they are old enough to have a friend that is getting married, but find reasons to assure themselves that they are not grown up. They wonder about what kind of people would be at Kenny's wedding, and assume that it will be small. However, a text from Kenny tells them that 600 people will be there. Hutch and Axl each come up with what they would say about each other if they were the one getting married, which is a nice moment, showing how much the two of them have grown. At the end, they discover that most of the attendees of Kenny's wedding are online. I wish we had gotten to see more of this wedding than just this brief moment, as we only got a second of Kenny.

This wasn't the strongest of Middle episodes, but it wasn't a bad one either. Each of the stories had their moments, though I enjoyed Frankie and Sue's story the least, as it fell into some typical sitcom tropes, but I am glad that progress was made in the Sue and Sean story. It was nice to see Hutch and Kenny again, though I would have liked more Kenny.

Score: 7/10

What did you think of "Toasted"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

‘Good Girls’ Review: Pilot (Season 1 Episode 1)

Retta, Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman ("Good Girls") | NBC

Good Girls is aggressively vying for a place in criminal herstory. Created by The Family's Jenna Bans and featuring a team of outstanding TV talents, NBC's new midseason offering is a female-centric crime dramedy that stars Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Mae Whitman (Parenthood), and Retta (Parks and Recreation) as three moms who turn to bad behavior in order to salvage their lives and families.

Hendricks takes on the role of Beth Boland, a mother of four and committed wife to her less-than-faithful car dealer husband Dean (Matthew Lillard). After discovering that her co-pilot of two decades is cheating on her with his young employee Amber (Sara Paxton), an emotional breakdown and a reawakening of her senses leads to yet another disappointing discovery: Dean's been hiding the family's financial situation, and it's not pretty. Beth rightfully begins to reassess her compliance with the rule of men that has dictated her entire life.

Annie (Whitman) is Beth's younger sister and the mom to a gender non-conforming child, Sadie (Izzy Stanard). With a minimum wage job at the local Fine & Frugal supermarket and a better-off ex-boyfriend preparing to sue for custody of Sadie, Annie finds herself in a position where she could lose everything. She appears very loving and accepting of Sadie, despite having little to give her. Ultimately, she is determined to protect her low-income family by any means necessary.

Our final leading lady, and perhaps the most inspired casting choice of all, is Retta as Ruby Hill. Ruby is Beth's best friend and the protective mother of an ill daughter, Sara (Lidya Jewett). Without the means to pay for medical treatments that could cost upwards of $10K, Ruby is frustrated with the system at large and feels as though no one is doing their best for her daughter. She has a loving husband in Stan (Reno Wilson), which is a deviation from the other two characters' male relationships. Where Beth and Annie have problems with men in their personal lives, Ruby is seemingly dismissed by the men outside of her family. One of the most impactful scenes of the pilot is when Beth exhaustingly pleads time and again for a doctor's attention to her daughter's health. Retta is able to capture the emotional intensity of these scared, frustrated, and helpless moments so well. At the end of the day, with Beth and Annie on board, Ruby is ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill her obligations as a mother.

All this desperation leads these characters to robbing Amber's store for $30K and splitting it three ways. The good news is that the ladies got that $30K quite easily. Toy guns in hand, they manage to navigate their way in and out of the "one-time" job using Annie's familiarity with the store. The bad news is that it was actually closer to $500K when they counted the stolen money at home, give or take thousands. Determined to figure out a better solution soon, the women divide the money and plan to sit on it. Until they don't. Annie almost immediately spends nearly $100K on a Porsche and electronics, Beth bribes Amber with $5K to leave her husband alone, and Ruby commits the $10K+ for high-end hospital bills. Clearly, this shows they have no experience budgeting stolen cash, as well as poor decision-making skills that will inevitably get them into more trouble as time goes on. Shortly thereafter, they are let in on the secret that the store has been compromised by a cartel and is deep into money-laundering. They are visited by the guy in charge, Rio (Manny Montana) who demands that the stolen funds be returned. When they explain that they don't have all of the money, a season-long arc is established: Annie, Beth, and Ruby must continue to lie, cheat, and steal to pay back what they owe.

There are several additional complications introduced in the pilot. First, Stan informs Beth that he's been accepted into the police academy, which will make her participation in the illegal behavior more troubling. In addition to this road block, Annie's super identifiable "all you need is love" lower-back tattoo becomes her personal hell when her creepy boss Boomer (David Hornsby) reveals that he recognized her during the robbery and demands sexual favors in exchange for his silence. What starts out as an attempt at blackmail turns into attempted rape; that is, until Beth comes out of Annie's shower and threatens Boomer. The situation escalates into a violent fight, resulting in Boomer claiming that he would tell the police everything he knows. It's an edge-of-your-seat final scene, as you don't quite know how far the characters might go to try to stop the truth from getting out. Ultimately, Boomer lunges at Annie and Beth and trips, falling head-first into a glass table and looking all too dead.

Line of the Week: "She's an atheist who enjoys a jaunty bow tie."
Good Girls has a pretty entertaining pilot on its hands, and the stakes feel real. Although it shouldn't rub people the wrong way any more than past male-led crime dramas, the serious subject matter and tone might throw some unsuspecting viewers off. While its dramatic edge can't compete with AMC or HBO, it's not as comedic and network-friendly as some of the marketing material may have led people to believe. The casting almost promises something else, though what is given is good on its own. While Retta is primarily known as scene-stealer Donna "Treat Yo'Self" Meagle on Parks and Recreation, and Whitman is highly regarded for her recurring role as Ann on Arrested Development, the Good Girls pilot resides largely in a dark place that asks these actors to do a lot of heavy-lifting. The redeeming part in all of this is that these actors manage to pull it off more than they do not, especially Retta and Whitman. They each have their moments to lighten the mood with a quip or a reaction, but their earnest commitments to the characters' panic, frustration, and fear of their families being threatened – before and after the robbery – make the pilot pretty compelling to delve further into.

A strong selling point of the show is its sheer timeliness. Good Girls comes at a point in time when there's an active climate of female empowerment and movements like Time's Up. It's refreshing to see a female-led crime drama such as this on network television, and it's perhaps all the more resonant because of its parallels to the reckoning going on in the nation. That's not to say that the concept is mind-blowing in its originality, that it avoids every cliché, nor that the series is the next Breaking Bad by any stretch of the imagination. It's not, and if we're being honest, the exceptional cast is the primary reason to watch the show. It's also just fun to imagine the possibilities that could come of a few suburban moms thinking they're a bunch of Walter Whites. These women are doing it for themselves – no matter what the men in their life say – and, as of now, the men are on the sidelines while our protagonists figure out the next move. There's certainly a positive vibe about women aligning their power in this show, even if it's focusing on criminal behavior. I'm guessing that the empowerment of women will continue to be an intrinsic part of the Good Girls fabric going forward, and I endorse it. I endorse it fully.

The pilot does unfortunately burn through the planning and execution stages of the robbery quite rapidly, which might pose some story and pacing problems. Instead of the instant time jump between present day and three weeks prior to the robbery, I would've preferred some more deliberation of the crime before they all committed to it. It goes from 0 to 100 in terms of packing in a robbery, experiencing new luxuries, bringing in a cartel, pushing attempted rape, and ending up with a fairly significant death all in 44 minutes. It's highly entertaining, but perhaps a bit too much too soon for a show that already seems to have capped creative potential. There's likely only so many felonies they can commit before the premise tires itself out and they're no longer "good" girls... right?

Nonetheless, the rise and fall that these women experience as they get more than they bargained for is sure to be an intriguing ride. The chemistry between Retta, Christina, and Mae is palpable and worthy of viewers' attention, though the topics here might prove to be a bit much for NBC's audience.

Grade: B

What did you think of the 'Good Girls' Pilot?

Created with PollMaker

Monday Cable Ratings 2/26/18: Final Space Does OK, UnREAL Has a Pathetic Return

Below are the Top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 2/26/18. Items of note include the series premiere of Final Space on TBS, the season premiere of UnREAL on Lifetime, and The Alienist on TNT.
(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)
18-49 Viewers
Viewers (mil.)
WWE EntertainmentUSA1.13.25
WWE EntertainmentUSA1.093.41
WWE EntertainmentUSA1.012.88
Love & Hip HipVH10.921.80
Love & Hip Hip MiamiVH10.891.64
Street OutlawsDiscovery0.671.78
Teen MomMTV0.621.08
Street Outlaws (Special)Discovery0.581.52
Vanderpump RulesBravo0.531.35
Street Outlaws: MemphisDiscovery0.471.33
The AlienistTNT0.451.73
College BasketballESPN0.411.21
College B-ball: Duke v. VA TechESPN0.411.36
American Dad!TBS0.370.73
Pardon the InterruptionESPN0.330.81
The Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC0.323.03
The Daily ShowComedy Central0.320.98
Kids Baking ChampionshipFood0.321.14
HannityFox News0.312.94
Tucker Carlson TonightFox News0.293.06
Siesta KeyMTV0.290.49
James Patterson's Murder Is ForeverInvest. Discovery0.281.09
Pawn StarsHistory0.281.24
House Hunters InternationalHGTV0.271.31

Below the Chart Highlights:

The Ingraham AngleFox News0.272.55
Final SpaceTBS0.260.48
Pawn StarsHistory0.261.28
The Last WordMSNBC0.242.41
Erin Burnett OutFrontCNN0.20.83
The Lead with Jake TapperCNN0.140.77
At This HourCNN0.130.63
Movie Night with Karlie KlossFreeform0.130.32
Velshi & RuhleMSNBC0.110.95
Morning JoeMSNBC0.111.06
Deadline: White HouseMSNBC0.111.21