Monday, December 27, 2010
I am usually a stuck up prick and shit on comedies in favor of dramas but somehow this year not so much. 2010 was a bit of a downer and I think comedy really hit the spot for me this year and I believe my list will reflect that. With no further ado, here they are in no particular order!
Community - I looked forward to this show every Thursday and was not let down once. Whether they were tackling a Goodfellas spoof or a zombie attack it was routinely the funniest thing on TV every week. If you don't like it I have to question your sense of humor.
Rubicon - Possibly the best drama on TV all year. A modern take on 70's conspiracy films that blew me away. Each week was more tense than the last. Unfortunately it was canceled, but as I have stated before, I am the kiss of death.
Sons of Anarchy - When I first heard that they were taking our favorite outlaws Éire bound I was a bit concerned. Kurt Sutter has never let us down, but visions of the Fonz water skiing danced in my head. It takes a BIG, BIG man to admite he was wrong. And I must admit, I am a big man. Nearly as good as season two (One of my top ten seasons of television period) and set up season four to be really cash in on the Shakespearian implications the show has hinted at since the first episode.
Terriers - Another amazing drama cut short by poor ratings. An amazingly well written show that guaranteed Donal Logue will never have trouble finding a job again. On the plus side, the season finale was a brilliant way to end the series so if you think of it as a mini-series it stings a little less. (PS- I am still the kiss of death)
Chuck - As a late-comer to Chuck I have to say no show is more perfect to take the gloom off of a shitty day. This show is just pure enjoyment in TV form. Great action, the perfect amount of comedy, and a perfect cast to carry it off.
Luther - I am not huge on cop shows. I measure everything against The Shield which usually means I am turning the channel fairly quickly. But Luther was different. Idris Elba played Detective John Luther in this British police drama. I have long had a theory that British actors are just flat out better than American actors and this show did nothing but make me feel absolutely accurate.
Southland - Speaking of cop dramas here is my favorite of the Post-Shield era. Regina King, Michael Cudlitz and Ben McKenzie comprise the heart of this must watch show. While I was furious at NBC for canceling this show at first it was clear that cable was the perfect home for this raw show after watching the second season.
Boardwalk Empire - File this under can't miss ideas. Buscemi starring. Scorcese and Terence Winter behind it. Period piece set in the Prohibition era. If I was writing this top list back in January I could have penciled this in then easily and I would have been right. The only surprise is that the episode directed by Scorcese wasn't even the best one (although it sure looked fucking great).
Breaking Bad - This is another show I came to late. I must admit I only watched this because I thought Bryan Cranston was HILARIOUS on the Adam Carolla podcast. Little did I know that he was an amazing actor. This show is one of the most original ideas on TV today and the writing is unbelievable.
Lost - What can I say? Some of us hated the finale, some of us loved it (count me in on that). But no television show owned 2010 more than Lost. In ten years no one will remember who won American Idol this year, but we will all remember the finale of Lost whether we liked it or not.
30 Rock - Constant as the northern star. In four and a half seasons 30 Rock has not put out one bad episode. That is the sitcom equivalent of Cal Ripken's streak. It may not have the watershed moments that Community has but it it is the Colt 45 of sitcoms, it works every time. BTW: On a sidenote, when Billie Dee Williams was questioned about making those commercials he responded: "I drink, you drink. Hell, if marijuana was legal, I'd appear in a commercial for that too." I forgive him for letting the Empire freeze Han Solo.
The League - Last year this show was the show I kind of liked but mostly watched because it was on after Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This year I feel like The League gave Always Sunny the "Now The Student Has Become The Teacher" treatment. As a player in a couple of fantasy sports leagues this show actually makes me want to be a bigger asshole to my opponents. What higher praise can there be?
Fringe - What the X-Files could have been if they hadn't thrown so many "Monster Of The Week" episodes at us every season. It is a shame that John Noble isn't getting more recognition this year for playing two completely different characters this season.
The Good Guys - No one watched it, period. I know one other person that watched it and my friends watch a lot of TV. Too bad because you all fucked up. This show was as much fun as anything I watched this year. Between Bradley Whitford's mustache and Colin Hanks amazing 80's Tom Hanks impersonation this show was a blast. Mix in great 80's rock and a Firebird and what more could you ask for? Sadly, also canceled.
Honorable Mention: These are the other shows I dig enough to watch on a weekly basis and also recommend: Detroit 187, Rules of Engagement, Treme, Childrens Hospital, Venture Brothers, Human Target and Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Monday, December 13, 2010
If I never see another crime solved by someone wearing a lab coat I will die a happy man. I can't fathom what the appeal is of these CSI shows.
The cop show is as old as TV itself. When done right it can create unforgettable characters like Vic Mackey and Andy Sipowicz. Flawed, yet heroic characters that we will still be talking about twenty years from now.
For my money cop shows are about interrogations, gun fights, and bustin' punks. Let's go ahead and skip the lab techs.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Though the bell doth toll for thou, you shall live on in the hearts of your fans Terriers. The dozens and dozens of us that tuned in weekly will sorely miss your scrumtrulescent writing. Tens and tens of us will grieve for the loss of a cast that was tighter than James Browns horn section.
Possibly the hardest part to swallow may be that your ratings were so low that I can't even blame FX. There is something comforting about the ritual of bashing the network when you lose one of your favorite shows. On top of it all FX President Join Landgraf sounds as bummed out as I am about the whole deal.
We have some small cause for celebration at least. Clearly this show is a first ballot shoe-in for the Deadwood Hall Of Fame (great shows cut short at their creative height). And the Terriers finale was a fantastic way to close out a tremendous story. I would like to think Hank took that right turn and he and Bret are getting into trouble as we speak south of the border as we speak.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Do not be flattered if you find out I am a fan of your TV show. I won't even think you are out of line if you tell me fuck right off. I might even understand if you punched me right in the mouth. I mean, after all, I am about to get you fired.
I have come to grips with my status as the Kiss Of Death. If I like your show, you are in deep shit. TV By The Numbers posts a Renew/Cancel list. Unfortunately for months I just thought the "likely to canceled" section was some sort of top ten list. OK, not really, but it easily could be mine.
Here are a few gems from the likely to be canceled or toss up pile:
No Ordinary Family
The Good Guys
Rubicon (already canceled, but I'm having trouble letting go)
Nearly every Fall show I watch is on the block. I would love to just write it off as "My taste is just too high brow", so I will.
But that is too easy. I prefer to come up with a more exotic explanation in scenarios where a simple one makes complete sense. I think someone out there has a voodoo doll of my TV remote and is just stabbing the fuck out of it. Whoever you are, please knock it off. You could singlehandedly be responsible for Two And A Half Men being a smash hit. Do you really want to live with that on your conscience?
Thursday, December 2, 2010
10 - If you haven't watched The Wire, for the love of god, this is your chance. (Seriously, get on that)
9 - Go through the archive here at DVR Assassin and bask in the warmth of my sharp wit
8 - Become a motherfucking yo-yo ninja
7 - Watch the news. Then smash head into wall to remove the depressing info you just put into it.
6 - Rent Santa suit. Dowse it in Vodka (optionally you can just guzzle it all for similar experience). Wander street bellowing HO, HO, HO. Call friends for bail.
5 - Read a book, at least I think they still make books. Might need to double check on that...
4 - Start a war with South Korea
3 - Re-watch a couple episodes of Friends to appreciate what a truly unexceptional show it really was
2 - Begin training for the impending zombie apocalypse. Necessary supplies: chainsaw, shotgun and a muscle car.
1 - Drink yourself into an eggnog coma and don't wake up until January.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Typically when I post a poll I can expect anywhere from 10-30 responses. This poll received well over 100 responses. In fact I have never had a poll receive more votes than this other than several I put up during the final season of Lost.
From that I feel it is safe to say that this show has a rabid audience. And I also would venture a guess that perhaps these magic Nielsen numbers are nowhere near as accurate as they would have us believe.
How can a show that is supposedly watched by so few people have such a huge following? This isn't like a network show where bad ratings consist of a still sizeable five million people. According to Nielsen ratings Terriers is doing 725,000 viewers on a good week.
Maybe I watched too much Rubicon, but something just doesn't add up here. Be that as it may, lets make sure we all watch Terriers tonight live and do whatever we can as fans to make sure FX gives this magnificent show a second season.
(If you are feeling really motivated it is never too early to start the email campaign and send a Terriers love letter to email@example.com. Keep it respectful and positive and we may even warm the hearts of those executives, or at least the intern who has to sift through those emails)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I guess after stealing thirteen colonies from Jolly Old taking a TV show should be no big deal. But when that show happens to be Top Gear, arguably the coolest show ever, it just doesn't sit right.
Despite my months of trepidation the American clone was far better than I expected. The challenges were fantastic and very much in the spirit of the original show. They wisely have decided to use the same visual style as the original as well.
Unfortunately, the magic of Top Gear is all in the hosts. With the exception of Adam Ferrara the Yanks really fell flat for me. Tanner Faost seems to have there personality of vanilla ice cream, which I can live with since he brings other things to the table like professional driving experience. Rutledge Wood on the other hand really brought nothing to the table. He simply was not funny, and without humor Top Gear is just another car show. And as someone who doesn't even know where the Speed Channel is on my cable box I hope they find the funny.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I like to think I provide a service here at DVR Assassin. And what could be of more help to the consumer than reviewing a 2003-2004 Showtime series that no one watched. In fact you can't even buy season two on DVD here in America (it is however available on Netflix Instantly).
If you've ever sat through something that you know you should hate and come out loving it that is Jeremiah for me. The action scenes are as clumsy as the worst Land Of The Lost episode. CGI is used in its most awkward fashion. And the dialogue can be very melodramatic at times. Good stuff right?
Jeremiah takes place in post-apocalyptic America, fifteen years after a disease has wiped out anyone over the age of thirteen. Despite what you might expect Pokemon cults have not taken over the world. Just good old-fashioned Mad Max style thieves and maurauders.
As the series develops you find out the evil government and military have survived in some base called Valhalla Sector and are, YOU GUESSED IT, plotting world domination. Or at least continental domination. Not quite the same ring to it though, so lets just go with world domination.
So why do I like this show so much? Theo Huxtable. Apparently after Malcolm and Eddie was canceled Theo hit the Mark McGwire workout/supplement plan. He is a monster now. And as an added bonus he uses his cable platform to drop motherfucker after motherfucker. And trust me, seeing Theo Huxtable saying Motherfucker is as funny as it gets.
If I wanted to describe this show in one tagline it would be: Post-Apocalyptic Series For Dungeons And Dragons Nerds. Trust me, sounds awfull;y specific but it fits. Just watch the intro below. It is lousy with flute, I can just see Gryffdor the Level 12 Dwarf dancing around the campfire to this thing. And if that isn't enough the characters on this show fucking love trench coats. I rest my case.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sadly it seems my offer to the President of AMC wash his Bentley every weekend has fallen on deaf ears. AMC has canceled its best show, Rubicon, after just one amazing season. I knew I should have offered to clean his gutters too...
Hopefully, the talk of DirecTV pulling a Friday Night Lights for Rubicon is more than idle chatter. If not I think Rubicon is a guaranteed first ballot member in the Deadwood Hall Of Fame. I just wish I had some idea what the hell else people were watching before Mad Men on Sundays.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
So what gives Murdock?? Who the fuck is excited for a Halloween episode on November 7th? In what world is this the best Fox can do? I know this is because of the World Series, but there has to be a better option here.
I am just spitballing here, but a quick check of the schedule shows that the lazy baseball players were not doing anything on October 29th. Further in depth investigation reveals this date is actually PRIOR to Halloween.
Also, please knock it off with the fucking robots when I am watching football. Seriously, enough is enough.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If nothing else Kanye answered the question "What will it take to get MTV to actually play music videos?" Apparently just millions of dollars in production budget and a 35 minute long mini-movie.
And of course these days MTV playing videos is such an event that we are treated to a rough interview by that clown Sway. How is THIS the one VJ that never gets fired?
All bitching aside I thought Runaway was an impressive display of Kanye's artistry. Hate him or love him he is one of the most gifted artists hip hop has ever seen. I was struck a few weeks ago with his appearance on SNL by his gift for visual imagery.
The message that Kanye West is trying to make is a little heavy-handed, but it was really secondary to everything else. For me the genre of music videos has always been about great visuals that enhance the music experience, and Runaway did that perfectly.
The color pallettes switched from vibrant to muted to WTF throughout the video and it was absolutely entrancing. There were several scenes in the movie that felt very cinematic, strange and wonderful. I'm sure purists would cringe at his claims that he was influenced by Kubrick, but I would say it was a game effort for a guy making a music video. I was laid up this weekend and watched a TON of television, and I didn't think about anything else I watched nearly as much as Runaway afterward.
The mini-movie featured nine of the tracks from Kanye's upcoming album and just as I am sure Kanye hoped, it has me excited for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The music sounded fantastic and I came away feeling that Kanye was on the verge of releasing one of the best mainstream hip hop albums in recent history. And even if he doesn't, he still got to make MTV show a music video, that has to be worth something.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I won't bore you with the details but last night I spent seven hours in the emergency room for a nasty bout of Cellulitis. (OK, that pretty much covers all of the details). And while I am very thankful for the help provided by the many nurses and doctors at the UW Medical Center, as well as the medical advances of the evil pharmaceutical companies of the world. There truly is one hero who stands out above all others. My Tivo.
Were it not for the security blanket that is my Tivo I would surely have continued to blow off going into the doctor and having my horrifyingly decomposing leg looked at. After all, there is no way I would miss Community and 30 Rock for something as silly as my health. Surely a man has to have his priorities in order, right?
Thanks to this marvelous miracle machine I was able to safely step away from my post as the DVR Assassin and head on in to the Emergency Room where my fucked up leg was promptly treated with all sorts of wonder drugs, heck they even gave me some vicodin out of the deal, SCORE!
Sometimes life can beat you up pretty bad. Its a mean world out there folks. But it's nice to know that when the going gets tough, the Tivo records Tough Guys. And not just the shit you tell it to either folks. This little bastard records shit it THINKS that you will like. Artificial Intelligence is here folks, and it is sitting right underneath my Blu-Ray player. And sure, it isn't flawless. Let's just say I made the mistake of recording Training Day on the Spanish HBO one time and now I get a pretty constant flow of Telemundo, but that is besides the point. Tivo is going to bat for me each and every day. The world would be a better place if we all tried to be just a little bit more like Tivo.
*This message has been brought to you by T.A.O.T.S.W.D.W.T.G.B.C.I.U.O.F.P. (The Association Of Tivo Shareholders Who Don't Want To Go Bankrupt Because Comcast Is Undercutting Our Fucking Prices)
Monday, October 18, 2010
I finally broke down and watched it. This show is the Wilt Chamberlain's 100 Point Game of Shitty Television. If this shows shittiness was converted into mustache form it would sit atop Tom Selleck's lip.
What exactly happened to us all that this show is getting good ratings? Were we collectively dropped on our heads as children? Have we traded in suspension of disbelief for suspension of cerebral cortex activity?
This show hammers every week and predictable sterotype/cultural difference joke/plotline you can imagine. Lecture from the Great White Man about the evils of arranged marriages. *Check* Awkward joke gone awry about someones turban. *Check* The Great White Man teaches his employees the evils of their Hindu ways and converts them all to Christianity. Not so fast! That's the season finale!
This show makes The Big Bang Theory look clever and inspired. Shit, it makes Jersey Shore seem intellectual. If you are reading this and you actually watch this show, I beg you, please take a long look in the mirror. It is highly possibly you have had an undiagnosed stroke in the last six months. Or you just might be a racist. Either way, you need some help.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
But I will let you in on a little secret, this IS The Event:
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I think I owe Michael Imperioli an apology. During six seasons on The Sopranos he was an afterthought when I discussed the merits of the show. After seeing the first several episodes of Detroit 187 it is obvious that he was damn near as great of an actor as James Gandolfini. Was I the only one who missed this?
Detroit 187 follows a pretty standard crime drama formula that manages to seem completely unique by way of its location. For anyone who doesn't know what a mess Detroit is check out this documentary on youtube then come back and watch the show. Detroit, once a city of two million people, is literally disappearing. Entire blocks are being converted into urban farms as one of America's greatest metropolis's is slowly reclaimed by nature as people flee its decaying corpse.
The show really hammers home what a terrible place Detroit is. During one scene two detectives looking for a shell casing on an overpass have to sift through spent rounds from several older shootings to find the 9 MM casing they are looking for. There are plenty of similar scenes that showcase the hell on earth that Detroit has become. But beyond the shock value of seeing Detroit (sorry, I live in Seattle, it is jarring to see this place) the show itself has a slick feel to it visually that makes it really enjoyable to watch.
The premiere episode drew a 30.6 share in the Detroit area. Doubling the rest of the networks ratings combined in that time slot. Ratings nationwide are a bit more iffy, but it is interesting to see how excited the locals are for the show. I don't know anyone here in Seattle who rushes home to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy. At least not because they are from Seattle, mostly just because they have poor taste.
The show does the viewer a favor and skips all of the boring forensics crap that bogs down shows like CSI. It just follows three sets of detectives whose cases often intersect when they aren't flat out working the same case outright. Detroit 187 also doesn't skimp on the action. Guns seem to come out every episode, just the way I like it.
While 187 may not quite be the next Southland, I think it may be the closest we are going to see for quite some time. And it will definitely keep me sated until we get Southland back in January.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Arriving with more hype than a Mike Tyson fight The Event has been a ratings disappointment so far for NBC. I'm still watching, and still on the fence. What do you guys think?
PS - Do me a favor and watch The Good Guys tonight so it doesn't get canceled.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
If there is one thing you can count on in television it is that Shawn Ryan makes good shows. As the creator of The Shield he already has the best cop show ever made on his resume. The Unit and Lie To Me are no slouches either.
Terriers follows Hank Dolworth (Donald Logue) and Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James) as two unlicensed private investigators. Hank plays a former cop who it seems at some point helped Britt turn his life around.
It would be easy for the comedy to overwhelm the dramatic elements of the show if done poorly but the writers have done a superb job of walking that perfect line. It is quite enjoyable to see Logue playing down his usual goofball characteristics and going with more of a bad ass this time around.
Unlike many shows there is no predicting where this show is going to take you from week to week. Our heroes might commit a felony or save someones life. Maybe even both in the same episode.
With all the hoopla for Boardwalk Empire and The Event Terriers arrived like a thief in the night to quietly steal the title of best new show. A highly enjoyable combination of humor and drama Terriers is another mark in the win column for FX. (FX is making a pretty serious move on HBO as the best network on television I might add)
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Now I don't consider myself a Family Matters expert by any stretch of the imagination. But that sure does seem awfully similar to this:
The resemblance is uncanny. Right down to the complete and utter lack of humor in either clip. I'm afraid in my attempt at levity I may have stumbled onto something here. Or maybe stumbled over something is more accurate since I just spent 20 minutes writing about two shows I can't stand. Damn it.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
As evidenced by "gems" like A Minute To Win It, NBC is certainly catching onto this trick. But the success of CBS goes much beyond that. The "Tiffany Network" has a slick mastery of marketing and promotion that NBC doesn't even come close to.
Here is a prime example. In an attempt to smash NBC's one time unbreakable grip on Thursday night sitcoms CBS has moved the creatively bankrupt ratings smash The Big Bang Theory to 8:00 PM on Thursdays creating what should be a huge showdown for both networks.
CBS handled this by blanketing the media with commercials, billboards, you name it. The night before the Thursday premiere the entire cast of The Big Bang Theory all appeared on Craig Ferguson in an entire hour of promotion for their show.
NBC eschewed a media blitzkrieg, tossed a few (admittedly great) commercials on during the Emmys, and then basically crossed their fingers. The bulk of promotion for Community seemed to center around the cast members Twitter accounts.
The frustrating thing about all of this is that NBC actually has some creative and intelligent programming, far more so than CBS. Community and 30 Rock are far superior to any comedy on CBS. Last seasons Kings was nearly impressive enough to fool me into thinking it was an FX or HBO show.
Obviously NBC can't force people to watch, but it would nice if they at least tried. I guess in NBC's defense I will say this, they pulled out all stops for Outsourced. A show that looks to cater to the lowest common denominator. At least they learned to dumb down their programming to compete with CBS on that level.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I'm not sure why I was so eager to check this show out. Ordinarily I see a CBS cop show and think "Maybe I would like that if I were twenty years older." Perhaps it is the return of Selleck's stache, the fact that Donnie Wahlberg has turned out to be a damn good actor, or just the fact that Bridget Moynahan is so fucking hot.
The show is a little on the formulaic side but gets by on charisma anyway. Selleck masterfully plays the fatherly authority figure role as Chief of Police Frank Reagan. (Also, I'm not sure, but it looks like he is banging Denis Leary's wife from Rescue Me, god Janet Gavin is a slut) Even better is Donnie Wahlberg as hothead Detective Danny Reagan. An Iraq Veteran who is just a bit intense.
Other than a somewhat cartoonish scene with the Mayor bullying Chief Reagan the Pilot was fairly well done. Many of the characters show promise and the the rest of the cast was good as well. I am also intrigued by hints of a larger underlying conspiracy plot line that could prove entertaining. But here is the real bottom line: If you don't watch Tom Selleck's Stache, the terrorists have already won.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Shit My Dad Says: B-
I really wanted to like this more than I did. It had a very "sitcommy" feel to it. And not in a "cutesy retro this is fun" way. More of a "crappy, CBS makes TV for old people" way. That being said Shatner was so much fun I am definitely going to keep watching it.
This show looked pretty much racist to me so I just went ahead and ignored it.
Hawaii 5-0: B
This show was a pleasant surprise. I was concerned that rehashing an old show like this was going to result in a shitty uncreative mess (see Knight Rider). Being on CBS did not exactly help with my concerns. But this was a REALLY fun show. Good action, good cast, good times.
As with any JJ ABrams show this one has a real slick look to it. I am a sucker for a good spy show and this is no exception. The relatively unknown leads (Boris Kudjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are quite good, alleviating my sole concern. The Pilot didn't blow me away but it showed a lot of promise.
Here is a little Community goodness to put a smile on your face going into the weekend.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Boardwalk Empire: A
What was likely the most anticipated show of the new season delivered big time. Great cast, fantastic sets, and a cinematic feel that would have fit nicely on the big screen. I am looking forward to watching Steve Buscemi play Nucky Thompson for years to come.
I had no idea what to expect from this show other than I knew I liked Donald Logue when he was on Life. Terriers is a splendid surprise, possibly the best new show I've seen so far this season. It has a great mix of humor and crime-solving that is easy to look forward to every week.
Running Wilde: B+
I am pretty sure I would giggle if Will Arnett was telling me I had cancer. This show gave off a great Arrested Development vibe. Things were a bit outlandish, and all the funnier for being so.
Raising Hope: B
I am glad to see Garret Dillahunt has his own show now. Only downside is he no longer will show up on every other show I like watching as the villain. Raising Hope was pretty funny and I will definitely stick around next week. It also has a touch of the wacky so it fits nicely with Running Wilde.
Detroit 187: A-
I'm going to give this my Southland fan seal of approval. I am not a fan of the CSI/Law And Order formats. This one was much more in the mold of Southland where you are immersed more fully in the gritty streets where all of the action is. Added bonus for the fact that it is interesting/horrifying to see what a hellhole Detroit is.
The Event: C+
The Event had by far the biggest promotional push going into this season. And so far I would say I found it to be the biggest disappointment. The premiere started slow (to be fair that is pretty common) and really only piqued my interest in the last twenty minutes. The nonlinear storylines seemed like a desperate attempt to remind us of Lost. That being said, it is a high budget sci-fi television show, so I will be tuning in next week.
No Ordinary Family: A-
I already said plenty about this during the sneak peek in August. To sm it up, I liked this show a lot. Click here for more.
Lone Star: C+
The early reviews on this show were glowing so I expected this show to really grab me. It didn't. The lead character didn't really suck me in. If you are playing a con man with two wives and a history of ripping people off, you'd better be charismatic for the audience to get behind you(see crooked cop Vic Mackey for pointers).
This was disappointing bad and I did not even expect it to be good. This show featured some of the worst dialogue I have ever watched.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I was intending to go with a The Event post and either hype it up or crap all over it but after watching it I think I am going to reserve judgment until next week. Started slow, threw some interesting stuff at you in the last 20 minutes. I was not blown away by the cast unfortunately. I mention this mostly because I've seen it billed by many people as a potential Lost replacement. Personally, I think that people underestimate how amazing the cast of Lost was, and how much of a difference that made.
Moving onto a show that did not fail to impress, season four premiere of Chuck. Anyone who follows this blog knows I never even watched this show until the readers voted for it in a contest to see what show I would try next. Clearly I am in your debt.
There are "better" shows on TV (Sons of Anarchy comes to mind immediately), but there is no show currently on that is more fun. The best praise I can give to a show is this, my day until 8:00 PM was one huge shit sandwich. Someone called me at 8:45 PM and asked how my day was. Without thinking about it I said "I'm having a great night."
The episode was impressive in its ability to cover so much ground in sixty minutes. The end run of episodes in season three are my favorite of the series so far and Chris Fedak got us right on track, hitting all of the notes that were working so well last year. If I had one complaint it would be that there looks to be a pregnancy plot line coming down the pike, never a good thing.
One of the most endearing things about this show is the fact that the writers are possibly even bigger nerds than I am. As a fun bonus Chuck Versus The Anniversary holds the new record for most pop culture references. Everything from Rocky IV to Seinfeld. And Harry Dean Stanton reprising his role as a Repo Man? Genius.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As the undisputed kings of outlandish humor I couldn't be more pleased than to see tonight's episode is labeled "Mac Fights Gay Marriage". Mac is something of a crusader, his previous causes including abortion (he is against it) and Dennis' moms vagina (he was in it).
If you haven't seen this show you are missing the wildest comedy to ever hit the small screen. Every episode is more out there than the last. Whether the gang is putting on a musical (yes they did) or solving the gas crisis (no they did not) things are bound to spin out of control and into the realm of the surreal.
Always Sunny boasts the best sitcom cast since Newsradio (before Lovitz ruined it). When Danny Devito isn't even the funniest guy on your show, things are going pretty damn good. There isn't a single weak link in the cast, every member has their moments.
And elevating the show from good to great is the brilliant Charlie Day (playing Charlie). Every time the show starts getting too far out there, he is right there to push it over the edge. If I were to pick the funniest guy on television right now it would have to be Charlie (no offense Tracy Morgan). Every time he comes onscreen I know laughter is soon to follow.
Hopefully if you are like me you have had this day circled on your TV calendar for weeks now. But if you haven't, then smarten up. You aren't likely to see a funnier thirty minutes all of this fall on network television.
Always Sunny In Philadelphia airs at 10:00 PM Thursdays on FX.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Well, if our vote here was any indication Community might just be OK this fall. Of course my highbrow writing style appeals to a more urbane segment of society and might skew the answers. Boobies.
Apparently my refusal to watch the Emmys meant I missed a few humorous Community spots:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I am a complete sucker for the Food Network. In a way the idea of watching cooking shows is a bit on the masochistic side. You watch other people cook amazing looking food, then you watch them eat it. Then you go to your fridge and make a hot pocket and wonder what went wrong in your life.
My hands down favorite show on the Food Network has to be Down Home With The Neelys. And sure, it helps that they are well renowned BBQ restaurateurs from Memphis. But the real show is in the barrage of sexual innuendo, over the top flirting, and overt sexuality in their kitchen.
You are not getting through an episode without Gina assuring Patrick that "she has his sugar right here". Honestly, you can't imagine just how over the top this show is if you haven't seen it. And the fact that they spend the whole time rubbing down meat and such just adds an extra level of dirty to the whole affair.
Speaking of Sex In The Kitchen:
Friday, September 10, 2010
PS - The Big Bang Theory isn't all bad, Jim Parsons is doing one hell of an Urkel impersonation. Apparently there is an Emmy category for that.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
1 - Sons of Anarchy
2 - Community
3 - Boardwalk Empire
4 - Fringe
5 - Always Sunny In Philadelphia
6 - Venture Brothers
7 - Human Target
8 - Eastbound and Down
9 - The Good Guys
10 - Chuck
I would love to have linked to promos for Human Target and The Good Guys but Fox is sticking with its time honored tradition of guaranteeing everything on its Friday night schedule gets canceled. Fifteen days from the season premiere and there is not one promo for either show anywhere on the internet.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Here are a couple of videos to honor the master of teen drama. As always, please ignore that he is at least thirty while filming these.
All this scene is missing is a KHAAAAAAAAAN!
I would have shot him....
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I keep waiting for the breakout character a la Dylan McKay, or the easy to root for good guy to fill Brandon Walsh's shoes. I would even settle for a lovable goof like Steve Sanders, but no dice here either. The cast just seems to lack the charisma of the original.
I don't believe this has anything to do with the quality of the actors either. Characters vacillate between nice and asshole with the flick of a writers pen. What should be a light and fluffy teen drama features disturbing and dark plots. How about a main character killing some guy while drinking and driving, then taking off and never getting caught. Fun times! Now lets get to the real question, who is Annie going to prom with?!
The original 90210 did its share of dark plots, but these developed later in the arc of the show. We had already become comfortable with the characters and it wasn't so jarring. Also, other than the yearly "Just Say No!" episode, you knew what to expect from these characters. Brandon Walsh wasn't going to save Kelli's life one week and then cock block Steve the next episode.
I guess this is just the society we are in now, everything gets ratcheted up to 10. Personally I like my teen dramas at about a seven. I don't want to stress out when I am trying to tune out. If the old 90210 was a nice cold can of Coca-Cola, the new one is Mountain Dew. And I fucking hate Mountain Dew.
Editor's Note: Ike Diamonds is a cranky old man.
Now THAT is more like it...
Thursday, August 26, 2010
A man finds a four leaf clover in his morning newspaper, walks to the window to see his wife one last time before he puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. And we're off. Rubicon is a conspiracy/spy drama baked in the mold of such 70s classics as All The Presidents Men.
Will Travers (James Badge Dale) is a brilliant analyst at an Intelligence Think Tank based in New York City. Haunted to this day by the death of his wife and son at the sight of the 9/11 attacks he lives a lonely and unhappy life. His whole existence is a world of codes and intelligence reports.
Events spin out of control when Will uncovers signs of a conspiracy and reports them to his supervisor and friend David Hadas (Peter Gerety). People start dying, men in black start following Will, and Will has no idea who to trust.
Rubicon sets a deliberate and relentless pace. In today's Mountain Dew world this show stands out like a neon light for all of its lack of flash. The story cooks in a crock pot rather than being fried in pan.
Visually the show has more dimly lit scenes than I have ever seen. It gives it a very old feel, which is enjoyable to watch. Same with the audio, entire scenes play out with little or no background music. It is amazing how much you notice the lack of noise while you watch this show.
AMC is on a hot streak lately, and this show might be the best one yet. It is still early, but so far I think Rubicon might give Mad Men a run for its money. Do yourself a favor this Sunday and tune into AMC an hour early when you watch Mad Men.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Watch Letterman try to make Leno cry on Monday. I read a rumor on-line that Leno made a stink about Brian Williams going on Letterman since he is a fellow NBC employee. Letterman takes it.... like Letterman usually does.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
If there is one fad I hope never fades away it is America's recent obsession with superheroes. No Ordinary Family plays like an adult version of The Incredibles. It has the great family dynamic, the cool super heroes, but ditches the silly kid crap. Or, to put it simply, it reminds me of The Fantastic Four.
The pilot does a fantastic job of running through the origin story without turning the first episode into a boring fact finding mission. It touches on all the necessary elements you would see in any comic book. Checklist time:
1 - Genesis of powers (beautifully far-fetched, as always)
2 - Awkward learning to deal with powers phase (ooops! I just tore the fridge door off!)
3 - Learn to kick ass
4 - Fight some fucking crime
But every sci-fi show lives or dies by its special effects budget, which fortunately appears to be no issue here. Not too spoil too much but their representation of a character with super speed is the best I have ever seen on movie or television.
Michael Chiklis picks up right where he left off on The Shield. Brimming with charisma and impossible to dislike he plays the patriarch, Jim Powell. Having traded in his badge and gun for a suspect sketching book he is still fighting crime even before his powers manifest. It is fun to see him playing a more sensitive and softer character after his tour de force run as Vic Mackey.
The rest of the cast is equally pleasing. Julie Benz (Dexter, Rambo, The Punisher) is beautiful as always as the driven mother, Stephanie Powell. I am surprised she took this role, from her previous work I assumed she had a minimum bloodshed clause in her contracts. Romany Malco (who I will always remember as R.O.M. of College Boyz fame) plays a great best friend to Michael Chiklis, as well as eye candy for the ladies according to a female friend. And hot off her big run on Entourage Autumn Reeser plays a co-worker to Stephanie Powell. I have had a crush on this girl ever since I first laid eyes on her on The O.C.
I personally cannot wait for this show to hit the air. So far no one has managed to make one of these superhero genre TV shows go the distance. (Smallville doesn't count, it sucks, and it relies on the built in fan base of Superman.) Obviously it is a little early to judge how this one will do over the long haul, but I think it looks promising. Plus, I never bet against Vic Mackey.
Catch the premiere September 28, 2010 @ 8 PM!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I am clearly a bit late on this one, but what a show. Not only is Denis Leary a far better dramatic actor than I expected, he actually writes nearly every episode. I guess I missed the memo that this guy is actually more than a B-List comedian.
I started this series three weeks ago and just blasted through over nearly six full seasons in three weeks, and all I can say is what a ride. First of all, this is the second most depressing show I have ever seen (Six Feet Under being the Babe Ruth of television depression) yet somehow mixes in enough comedy and action to keep me from slitting my wrists after a four episode binge.
Secondly, Leary can really fucking act. I loved him in The Ref (watch it every Christmas along with Scrooged, which probably means I need therapy), but I just thought he was being Denis Leary. I had no idea he had these kind of chops. I am a sucker for an actor who successfully conveys emotion without speaking and Leary has mastered this. On top of that he has that rare "Gandolfini" type charisma. He is so likable you actually root for him to get away with cheating on his wife or whatever despicable thing he is up to this week.
Third, it is a show about fire fighters. It is easy to resent most public servants. "This cop gave me a ticket." Or "Those lazy bureaucrats at city hall don't work hard enough." But let's face it, everyone loves a fire fighter. These guys are rushing into a burning building to save people at least a couple of times a year. I have never saved someones life before, and would be thrilled to do so just once before I die. It is a job that is purely about serving your fellow man, it is a beautiful thing that represents the best in man.
If you haven't watched this yet, the first three seasons are streaming on Netflix as I write this. Great cast, (particularly fond of Daniel Sunjata and John Scurti), fantastic writing, and just plain entertaining. Who doesn't want to see a bunch of fire and hot broads?
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
And here we have the video which "inspired" the Jersey Shore series:
Monday, August 9, 2010
First, let me start by saying that this assignment is bullshit, and that DVR Assassin is obviously run by Corky from Life Goes On. I have 13 channels, and when I’m not flipping through reruns of Family Matters, I repeatedly watch the scene in Teen Wolf where the guy whips his dick out. So, asking me to review a television show is like asking the one-eyed Sammy Davis Jr. to review a 3D film festival. However, after I read DVR Assassin’s article about how reviving the American Gladiators franchise would improve summer television, I concluded that nobody reads this shitty Web site anyway.
On that note, here I go…
My girlfriend and I are always looking for things to do together. Since she doesn’t enjoy continually watching Michael J Fox movies in an attempt to find accidental nudity (there’s also a scene in Back 2 the Future 3 where a kid points at his dick), our options are rather limited. With that said, we watch Criminal Minds because she has a schoolgirl crush on Dr. Spencer Reid. While I will admit that I wanted to hate the show from the very beginning, I didn’t think it would be as unpleasant as the time I had to see Tara Reid’s mangled tits in Body Shots. Unfortunately, it’s wretched and I have to suffer through it.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dr. Spencer Reid, he’s an incredibly good looking FBI agent who went to Yale at age 13 and earned three Doctorate's degrees by age 21. He has an eidetic memory, an IQ of 187, can read 20,000 words a minute, and has impeccable style. And if you think that he’s missing a couple of ingredients for making instant orgies, he also knows magic, which should always result in disappearing panties. If Criss Angel can date a Playboy Playmate, there is nothing stopping Dr. Reid from getting more pussy than an animal shelter.
Yet the show’s writers portray him as a dude who doesn’t get chicks. Throughout the course of the show, he reluctantly asked one girl out on a date. He got her number after he performed a magic trick for her. They never went out again. He had a crush on another girl, but she wasn’t into the fact that he saves lives on a daily basis, is incredibly intelligent, is rich, and has no real character flaws. Who can blame her, right? So, which Criminal Minds character actually gets laid?
You’d probably think it was the Derek Morgan, the well-built dude who takes his shirt off more than LL Cool J, and has eyebrows that look like tildes. Nope, he’s female kryptonite. It’s probably because he served on a bomb squad, played college football, and holds a black belt in Judo. Or maybe chicks just aren’t into 6-pack abs.
Your next thought might be that Hotch gets more ass than a toilet seat. Wrong again! His high school sweetheart divorced him because he’s handsome, a good father, and is passionate about putting murderers behind bars. Sorry, buddy!
The only character who is getting any lovin’ is Penelope Garcia, an overweight computer nerd that the show portrays as smart, funny, and sexy. Penelope dropped out of college and was on the FBI’s wanted list because she’s one of the world’s most dangerous hackers. In fact, she’s so dangerous that she’s not even allowed to travel to other countries. When she’s not eating or listening to goth music, Penelope enjoys playing medieval-themed online role-playing games (I’m not making this up).
Penelope is currently dating fellow FBI agent Kevin Lynch. Like all dudes, Kevin is attracted to fat chicks who listen to Marilyn Manson while playing World of Warcraft. For many years, he was searching for a girl who dropped out of college and hates to travel. When he saw Penelope, it was love at first sight. In several episodes, I’ve watched Kevin show up to Penelope’s apartment in the wee hours of the morning for a quickie. How romantic.
Sarcasm aside, the bad writing and unbelievable characters make Criminal Minds unwatchable. In many ways, it’s easier to believe that there’s an Asian dude who can teleport, or that Kristen Bell can make lightning come out of her fingers like the dudes from Big Trouble in Little China. But to believe that Dr. Spencer Reid has been on only one date in the past 7 years, or that Penelope Garcia is dating someone she didn’t meet online is simply too ridiculous for me to handle.
But creativity comes from not only an awareness of influences, but from a study of how they offend you. If it weren’t for Criminal Minds and other lackluster television shows, there would be no quality television devoted to its undoing. There would be no antiplots, miniplots, and archplots that make direction and story writing what it is. If I didn’t hate Criminal Minds as much as I do, I would never fully appreciate the brilliance of shows that are written by true writers.
I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I can’t stress how important it is that people take some time and think about the television they let into their lives. It’s a wonderful thing that millions of people watch shows like Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men. There are still several shows out there that “get it.”
Unfortunately, “getting it” seems to be the exact opposite of what is lucrative. As a result, we’re left with shows like Criminal Minds, House, Family Guy, Desperate Housewives, and The Jersey Shore. I’d SERIOUSLY rather watch 2 Girls 1 Cup for half an hour than have to watch any of the aforementioned shows. And that says a lot about the current state of television.
Again, I still think this assignment sucks, but I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on the shitfest that is Criminal Minds. If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about pissing in Jeff Davis’s car.