The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/22 – 11/29)

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this week had a beautiful day, and I hope the start of the holiday season fills you with joy, love, and peace. 

A relatively light week in television started on Sunday with a beautiful episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine that introduced us to Terry’s new baby girl and Jake’s new goddaughter, as well as an episode of The Good Wife that featured Kelly Bishop coming to play with this talented cast of actors in a showcase hour for Diane. On Monday, big changes and huge revelations were in store for nearly every character on Jane the Virgin, and Castle and Beckett reached a place of honesty and understanding on Castle. In addition, Monday also featured the first part of the Dancing with the Stars finale, which concluded on Tuesday with Bindi Irwin being crowned the winner. Finally, Thanksgiving Day gave us the always entertaining Macy’s Parade, as well as one of my personal favorite holiday traditions: the National Dog Show.

It was hard to choose between the two most joyful moments I saw on television this week. On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the birth of Terry’s daughter and Jake’s first time seeing her showcased just how much nuance and subtle emotional depth Andy Samberg has brought to this role. And seeing the way the whole team came together at the hospital reminded me of Parks and Recreation, which is the highest compliment I can give a television show. It made me cry, which is a true sign of a winning TV moment.

However, nothing could top the beauty and vulnerability (and the tears) on display during the first night of the Dancing with the Stars finale. While the lovely Gissane over at MGcircles honored Bindi Irwin’s strength and spirit better than I ever could, I would be remiss without writing about why her freestyle touched my heart so deeply.

For many years as a dancer and dance teacher, I’ve seen the way dance can help people express emotions that are difficult to reach with words. And that’s what’s so special about what Bindi and Derek brought to the stage in their freestyle: They showed the world the way dance can bring healing, express hope, and move everyone who experiences it. But even more than showing the power of dance, that routine showed the power of positivity in the face of pain. Bindi suffered such a great loss so young, but instead of using that loss to turn her into someone cold and afraid to open her heart, she became a beacon of light—a symbol that life can be beautiful again even after loss, as long as we choose to find the beauty.

Bindi has become a true inspiration for so many—myself included. Her big heart shines through in her dancing, and her generous spirit is mature beyond her years. And Derek’s ability to honor those things that make her special in her routines shows just how brilliant he is as a choreographer but also how attentive he is as a partner. It’s been wonderful to watch him grow from basking in her light, too. We’re all better for having watched Bindi Irwin dance this season, and I’m certainly going to miss having her on my television each week.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

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11 thoughts on “The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/22 – 11/29)

  1. I really enjoyed this post not just because of my love for Dancing With The Stars, but also because of the meaning behind dance. As a dancer myself, I can relate to this story. Very nice to read.

  2. My shout out this week goes to The Walking Dead. Yes, it was the episode that revealed that Glen had in fact survived and episode 3 fate that left me in shock and tears, but what made the episode my favorite of the week was that it was actually the culmination of a day that has played out for 6 episodes brilliantly. It was the pieces of the day that went horrifically wrong (as is wont to do in a post-apocalyptic zombie world) coming together and bringing to light a reality that had served as a tension underneath the season. An us vs. them becoming a we as the Alexandria community became part of Rick’s group and the core group we as viewers have grown attached to over the past 5 seasons. In a season that really provided the isolation that comes from a world without modern technology and gave the viewer insight that these characters don’t know what will happen moment to moment. When people leave, you don’t know if they will return. The whole season laid this out over the course of 24 hrs and then last week provided resolution while doubling down that humanity, the will to live is intrinsically tied to hope. We have to believe otherwise why is it all worth doing? Why survive if not to have hope and in that hope have faith in the people you’ve encountered. Our lead Rick has stubbornly resisted this final piece because he has bore the burden of so many people’s survival. But what was awesome was in this episode that came full circle. And the people who Rick had always put his faith in had the strength to show him that the people of Alexandria were in fact ‘their people’ and that all of them were strong enough to collectively help carry them forward so they all have a chance of surviving. It was a great moment (granted short lived, because of course all hell broke loose for the upcoming mid-season finale this week) but it was a great way to set the mindset for what was to come next and because of that it was my favorite moment on TV this week.

    • I love that you always make me feel like I’m experiencing TWD right along with you. This was such a great breakdown of this episode, and hope any fellow TWD fans who visit this post enjoy reading it!

  3. I dont watch Dancing with the Stars on a regular basis, but I do have a special appreciation for it, and I think its one of the best reality competition shows out there. I think one of the things I love so much is seeing non-dancers discover something new. Every season is kinda like ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. What the contestants get out of it is different for everyone, but I think all of them get something out of it. Bindi took it to another level, and it was inspiring to see.

    Brooklyn 99 was also great. Jake is one of the best male characters on TV right now, right up there with Barry Allen.

    Speaking of Barry Allen, even though there was no new Flash this week, I just want to give a shout out to the last few eps. I think its worth praising that the male to female ratio they have had going as of late has been close to even, and despite Barry having some kind of romantic connection to 3 of the women and a close friendship with another, there hasnt been any cattiness or even much discussion about it at all. More of this on TV please.

    And my last shout out goes to Jessica Jones. I am only 3 eps in and I dont know if I will actually continue watching it because the villain is way up there on the creepy scale, but I love how many females there are. Oh we need to cast a doctor – female. Oh we need a lawyer – female. These are roles were the characters genders dont really matter for the overall plot, but I feel like they tend to default to men, especially if the main character is a female. Its sad these things arent the norm, but until they are, I am going to appreciate the shows that make an effort.

    • I’m glad to hear that about Jessica Jones because I’m planning on starting it soon! I also loved your thoughts on The Flash. I’m saving most of my thoughts on how awesome this season has been for my “Best of 2015” post, but I’m just enjoying every minute of it. And so much of that is because the female characters are just so well written and important to the story and much more than just Barry’s past/present/future love interests.

  4. OMG, I’m so truly honored you’ve featured my work in yours (writing that took a lot for me so this honestly means more than I can ever say with words.) And the fact that it’s from you means so much on its own. Thank you, Katie. And also I love that you chose this as well for the best thing you saw because I love reading thoughts and insight from an actual dancer! This is a gorgeous piece, friend! ❤

    • Thank you! And of course I wanted to mention your piece about Bindi and Derek. Honestly, it’s my favorite thing you’ve ever written and probably my favorite piece of fan-written material I’ve read in the last year. I’ve read it so many times this week. Maybe I should read it again tonight. 😉

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