Fug File: Fug The Show

Fug the Show: The Astronaut Wives Club, “Launch”

Because this show stars Hot Neighbor Wade and involves period costumes, which means it is right in my wheelhouse. That said: I have my doubts that this was widely watched by Fug Nation, so we’ll see if these recaps have a life. Having noted that, boy do I have a lot of notes. This show — which is based on the Lily Koppel book of the same name — was apparently slated for last summer, was then pushed by ABC, and has all the hallmarks of being noted to death by the network. I didn’t wholly dislike it — the outfits are good, and some of the performances were appealing, and you have to give a pilot a LOT of leeway — but (a) it has way too many characters in it (which I understand is historically accurate, but look to Wolf Hall as a brilliant way to weave a casts of hundreds in and out of several one hour episodes) and (b) like TWO YEARS of NASA drama (astronaut selection/training) get telescoped into this one pilot. Which seems…like an insane story-telling decision. If you want to start your story at the moment where this episode ends, start there and use flashbacks, because we were asked in this episode to feel a LOT of feelings that you really only feel if you’ve gotten to know a character for more than 20 minutes.  ANYWAY. Let’s get into it. I warn you that Hot Neighbor Wade (of Hart of Dixie fame) has literally one line tonight.


Fug the Show: “The Royals” season finale

Ted remains unfired — but Ophelia is not so lucky, and neither are some pistols.


Fug the Show: Nashville, season 3 finale

This episode was weirdly unsatisfying to me, I think because every story seemed so telegraphed by the time we actually got there — with the slight exception of Will’s, which has always been one of my favorites even when it’s repetitive. But I think the real problem I had with it was the lack of proper musical numbers. I don’t know where I would have PUT them, necessarily, but I do think this show runs the risk of letting Empire run rings around it when it comes to threading in buzzworthy songs. So when the music limps and the stories limp…

I mean, we spent a LOT of time having dreams with Deacon:


One minute he’ll be lying in repose, enjoying a sunny day, and the next he realizes he’s in a shallow grave being buried — or he’ll have an anxiety dream about surgery, etc. It makes sense that he’s nervous about the transplant surgery, but we get it. I am not sure I needed more than one of these in the episode. Cut one and let him sing with Maddie for what he might be worried is the last time, and let them both cry. Or, better, let Maddie write him a song about how much he means to her, and let them both cry. Whatever. If you’re going to pretend to kill Deacon, take hard aim at my heartstrings. REALLY GET AFTER IT.

Juliette comes home from another all-nighter at the studio and has this facial expression to offer her baby:

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Fug the Show: The Mad Men Series Finale, “Person to Person”

First of all, apologies for the minor delay in getting this to you; I know every other publication in the world had their Mad Men pieces up on Sunday night, or yesterday. But Sunday was my birthday and I took a few days off, and I very much appreciate everyone’s patience and hope you all still want to talk about Sunday’s series finale. As we discussed last week, I personally came into this with no expectations. But I loved it; I thought it was beautifully acted, and, for me, wholly engaging and totally satisfying. Never have I cried in two consecutive Mad Mens. And so our final methodology is that I am going to discuss each character in the order that I feel like talking about them. Well, almost. I of course want to talk about Peggy the very most, but it seemed wrong not to end on Draper, god bless him, and the Peggy and Don plot was — as it was meant to be — extremely intertwined there at the end. Will this be the year Jon Hamm finally gets his Emmy? I’ve never seen anyone do such good work against nothing more than the handle of a landline phone.


Fug the Show: Scandal recap, season 4 finale

I read somewhere that Shonda Rhimes says she quite likes writing herself into a corner and then giving herself the summer to figure out what the hell to do about it. Of course, last summer she wrote Columbus Short into a corner in case he needed to be fired (which he did); this season, she wrote a couple other people into a box, so we’ll see whether it’s sealed over the summer or if she leaves open the flaps.

Last week, Rowan posed as a billionaire interested in donating to Mellie’s campaign. Which is not that useful in the end because THIS week is the election and it all happens in what feels like twenty-four hours.


Nonetheless, Mellie loves people who flatter her, so she devours his abject praise of her genius and looks quite beautiful doing so. I was surprised for a second that she’d never seen him before, but — even though at this point it feels like B-Overt is the worst-kept secret in the universe — I forgot she doesn’t know anything about anything. You know, it might even surprise me MORE that Fitz didn’t just tell her. I get the vibe from him that he’s a crappy secret-keeper, the kind who would be like, “Oh, no, totally, I will take that to the grave,” and then spill it to whomever is brushing her teeth next to him that night.

Rowan, by the way, picks “Damascus Bainbridge” as his pseudonym – because… he fancies himself the cradle of civilization? – and somehow nobody thought to themselves, “Wow, those syllables in that order are MADE the HELL UP.”

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Fug the Show: The Royals, episode 9

This show was originally developed around a YA retelling of Hamlet, so I guess the visions of King Simon are finally an attempt to play into the source material (other than naming a girl Ophelia). It makes sense: Mark Schwahn LOVES an informative coma; just not normally one that’s informative to anyone other than the person who’s knocked out in the hospital.