Fug File: Fug The Show

Fug the Show: The Good Wife, season 6, episode 9, “Sticky Content”

Someone crawls out of the basement, someone drops from the top, and Peter gets his knickers handed to him. So yeah, BIG DOINGS here on the Power Suit Rankings. But let’s begin with a beloved old friend.

21. Joe Jr.


You might remember this strapping lad from While You Were Sleeping, as the neighbor of Sandra Bullock who constantly hits on her and then gets caught trying on her shoes. I thought you’d like to know he still gets paychecks. I personally demand a reunion.

Joe Jr. here is with the Chicago FBI. He opens the show by trying to convince Cary to turn on Lemond Bishop. He and Lana play Cary a tape of Bishop talking which is extremely choppy and drops out in parts, but with endearing phrases like  “He’s a white lawyer” and “He can’t just disappear” and “two to the back of the head,” and finally, “Okay, done, next week, make this end,” he posits that Lemond is planning to murder Cary. It is not an unreasonable assumption. But Cary is a loyal dude, so he refuses to believe the tape is real; the reason this play lands Joe Jr. in the Power Suit Ranking cellar is because a) his duds are a dud, and b) so, in the end, was his plan. Perhaps he SHOULD call Sandra (that movie was also set in Chicago, if I recall correctly), because she’d now have a WAY BETTER shoe closet in which he could frolic.

If you’re thinking Cary will be next, by the way, then that is your first whammy.

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Fug the Show: How To Get Away With Murder recap, season 1, episode 9, “Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me”

This episode is the fall finale, and yes, we find out who killed Sam — and yes, most of these screengrabs are terrible because it was all in murky lighting, and YES, there is an irritating over-reliance on replaying the bits and bobs we’ve already seen so that we’re SUPER clear where, say, Paris was, when Michaela was losing her engagement ring. The only piece they ignore is when the cop caught them lugging out the rug and Michaela smartened up and lied that Annalise’s mother had died. I’ve decided the writers regretted that piece and are pretending it didn’t happen (because it doesn’t mesh that well with Michaela falling apart again later, and also, that alibi is EASILY checked and they all would’ve been mad paranoid that Annalise would find out).

We begin in Annalise’s house, moments after she has told Sam that she ordered the DA to take DNA samples of all Lila’s teachers. Because for some reason the DA needs Annalise to suggest things to her, as if Annalise has done any actual good lawyering this whole season.


I enjoy the giant knife block right in between them. Very symbolic, as they are severing their tie right now. This fight is NASTY and an extremely unpleasant and off-putting way to begin the episode, because it’s chock full of unlikable people saying unlikable things. Annalise accuses him of killing Lila, and Sam replies that he’s not a violent man — a statement he will prove untrue IN SPADES this hour. Annalise decides to make the murder of a young pregnant woman about her, roaring that she’s just “the black woman on his arm” that he used as “window dressing” so that “everyone” would “see” that he’s “so great” (I decided to turn this into a Zagat review; right now Annalise’s argument gets only two stars for being self-pitying). She implies their marriage was a fraud and that he was always a creep and she was a trophy, and then he replies that he knows she didn’t turn him in because she was covering her own ass, because she is “pathetic” and “weak” and “pretending to be strong (and also her “marinara sauce” was “lumpy” but the “garlic” “bread” was “flavorful”).

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Fug the Show: How To Get Away With Murder, season 1, episode 8, “He Has A Wife”

My scribbled notes for Shonda Rhimes shows are always so crabby. Like, for Scandal: “Flashback to her explaining the idea UGH WE KNOW WASTE OF TIME.” And this episode had “COME ON” written all over the place.


We begin with them zooming in on Lila’s dead face, which as makeup jobs go really looks more like she fell asleep in a mud bath at her local spa. Then we cut to her LIVING face, from June of that year, where she and Rebecca are hanging out and doing drugs and doing the whole Unlikely Friendship thing. We periodically rejoin them through the episode in June, July, and August, discussing Lila’s lovelife and its progression, before she is unceremoniously throttled and then someone heaves her up a ladder and into a water tank and deposits her inside and I guess has the presence of mind to wipe up the crime scene and also enough brute strength to OPEN the water tank before hauling a human up into it.

Here in June, Lila is freaking out about whether she will wait to have sex with Griffin and then find out on her wedding night that his junk is enormous and doesn’t fit into her secret pocket. I… GUESS she could realistically be paranoid about that? But does anyone over the age of like 14 really have those thoughts? I’m honestly asking. Because this girl does not seem particularly naive. I’m unclear on whether she HERSELF is a virgin or just involved in a chastity pledge she is not keeping, but either way… let’s assume it’s the drugs talking. She then says, “I met a new guy. MR. DARCY.” And it sounds as lame coming out of her mouth as it does everyone else’s, except Rebecca’s, because she smothers it in the scorn it deserves. Again, this is June. In July, Lila tells Rebecca triumphantly that she and Darcy had sex and he couldn’t get enough, at which point he sends her the junk selfie, and they laugh at it. Dear Sam: Even people high on coke think your penis photos are stupid. And then in August, Lila is weeping because Sam wants to end it — “They never leave their wives” — and she is tempted to go show Annalise what she claims are rather a LOT of genital portraits.

My question is: Do we think Middleton University is on the quarter system, like UCLA and its brethren? It’s my understanding that isn’t hugely common outside the West Coast unless it’s a technical school. If it was, then okay, they’re in school. If not… I mean, Lila was having an affair with Sam, and it was during his office hours and while she was one of his students, so June and July and August don’t really make much sense. She’d have to have been in school all summer. Was he teaching summer school? Was school in session? Does everyone at Middleton live in Philly and just stay there year-round even when school isn’t in session, and go hang out with their old profs? And SERIOUSLY can we just discuss how the murderer got her up in the water tank? I want to see the crime scene again. I have questions. If the killer turns out to be Paris, I have SERIOUS DOUBTS about how she managed this alone.

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Fug the Show: Reign recap, season 2, episode 7, “Prince of Blood”

Oh, great.  Another episode about heresy.

But also ghosts, curses, incest, making out, Francis kicking Mary back to Scotland, and slapping so….on the whole, not a total loss?

We begin with the return of Princess Claude. She’s another bizarrely clothed woman, and the actress is kind of playing the role like she’s Helena Bonham Carter, not entirely in a bad way:


Did we meet her last season? As always, Fug Nation, I depend on you to fill me in.

This person did exist in real life, but she had a hunchback and a club foot. So not quite the same here, where she’s kind of a trouble-making floozy who sleeps with priests and talked Bash into hooking up when they briefly thought they were NOT actually half-siblings. In fairness, despite her hunchback, the real Claude DID have NINE children, so maybe she TOO was a sassy sexpot. I shouldn’t judge. (Her husband, Wikipedia tells me, had a dashing mustache, and one of her children had a wedding at which there was a “mock sea battle in the flooded courtyard of Palazzo Pitti,” and which would cost fourteen million pounds if it were held today. Her husband wanted to colonize Brazil [it didn't work]. I want to watch that show, too.) Anyway, in short: She’s bratty and worries that her mother doesn’t love her, and Catherine feels really bad about that but then also sends Claude away again because the dead ghosts of her own daughters who died as infants (??) (or whom she miscarried?) (regardless, they’ve undergone Soap Opera Rapid Aging to be about seven years old) have CURSED Claude and Catherine thinks kicking her out of Castle WTF will save her life. In case you’re keeping score: The ghosts are real, but no one has ACTUALLY been possessed yet.

In the grand tradition of Using Dining Room Blocking To Tell a Story About A Relationship, here’s Francis and Mary:


The State of Their Love continues in about that vein for the entire episode, the end of which concerns itself with a huge fight between the two of them about The Persecution of Protestants WRT Nobility v. The Power of the King, and Francis telling Mary to take her nosy face back to Scotland if she can’t handle the way he’s ruling his country (AKA poorly). This is all, may I remind you, because Francis doesn’t want to tell Mary that Narcisse outwitted him using a nursemaid pretending to be possessed by his dead father, and is now blackmailing him.

The Good:

1) At one point, Francis pretends he has “advisors.” (They’re invisible, I guess, but I appreciated the name-check!)

2) At another point, Francis and Bash agree that the best way to deal with Narcisse is to murder him, which, like, DUH. (As I’ve said here before, I would have been perhaps a bloodthirsty, merciless Queen.)


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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 7, “I’m Coming Home To You”

This week RAYNA DOES SOMETHING HUGELY QUESTIONABLE. I can’t believe it. Do I dare to trust it will have actual emotional fallout?

Also, we got a new song this week, and… I thought the whole point of Rayna’s new album was a fresh sound and creative direction, but apparently not, because this “bonus single” she churned out for Dancing With The Stars sounds like old-school droning honky-tonk. Remember in the pilot, when the show implied that Scarlett and Gunnar singing the Civil Wars song (well, in THEIR world, Scarlett wrote it) was going to be Rayna’s career solution? I wish that had actually HAPPENED.

However, this part of her performance will not disappoint:


Tendrils of joy, right there. This is what I sometimes will THINK I have achieved with my hair, when I’m not actually in front of a mirror. And then I accidentally pass by one and it’s just full-on tears of a clown.


For the completists, here is what Rayna wore on Dancing With The Stars, which is lovely on her and very sexy and ballroom-appropriate, but not doing much to hip up her image. There are times on this show that she wore slinky pants where I thought a frock was more appropriate, and frankly, here, I’d have gone with some leather pants and a better song. NO YOUNG PERSON is going to want to listen to this thing. It’s no one’s jam. It’s not even anyone’s jelly. It’s not even anyone’s fortnight-old compote that’s been left on the counter. It’s mid-tempo and swingy and called “Lies of the Lonely,” all about the things people tell themselves to get through another night alone, or somesuch. You might not expect that song to be Jaunty. You certainly wouldn’t expect someone to sing it looking like this:

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Fug the Show: Scandal recap, season 4, episode 8, “The Last Supper”

Just for fun — as an experiment — I’ve decided to do this recap as a ranking, somewhat a la The Good Wife. In this case, it’s a Suck Index, although that’s rather blunt so maybe it’s just a Worst of the Week scale. Because everyone is bad, but who is just meh, and who is SINCERELY THE WORST? Let me tell you, it was a tough call. I may have punted.

15. Mellie


Mellie is not as rotten-to-the-core as she’s been in previous seasons — although she’s a bit put-upon for someone who has authored some of her own personal demise, like faking a miscarriage for PR reasons — and this week, she is Taking Action, as you can see by her power-red outfits. They are red like her beating heart and the heat of her lust. Mellie is going to SEX YOU UP. If you replace the word “you” with “Jon Tenney.”


See, Jon here was finishing up at a function when his car blew up, which the government suspects to be the West Angola Liberation Front (not to be confused with the Liberation Front of West Angola, which prefers to threaten people with uncomfortably long hugs and a relentless stream of clickbait titled things like, “Someone Told This West Angolan That He Couldn’t Sing. His Reaction Will Make You Applaud”). Mellie was so scared that he’d been blown to unhumpable smithereens that she had to run to see for herself — and then she clears the room and jumps his relatively intact bones.


Later, right when you think he’s going to tell her it’s Too Late, or Not A Good Idea, Mellie tells him that she pulled away from him because he chose the vice-presidency over her — I believe this refers to him dumping her at Fitz’s douchey behest — and then when Jerry died she recoiled from everything and everyone. She tells him that she’s experienced losing someone prematurely,without getting to say and feel and do everything you want to, and that it sucks. “When that bomb went off, I woke up. My body woke up,” she says. Translation: She wants to reap the veep. And I for one think Mellie deserves a harvest.

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