Skip to main content

TV 2014

I might have watched fewer TV shows this year than ever before. I certainly lost the thread on many that I was watching. It wasn't for lack of interest necessarily...I just made a choice to watch sports or read or do something else instead. Still, there are some shows that I thought were great...

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Michael Schur took everything he learned from launching Parks & Recreation (I'm rewatching the show now and those first 6 episodes were not great) and applied it to getting this show out of the gate. The show came out swinging in the second half of the first season with "Pontiac Bandit"as its first episode of 2014 (a great episode that just had a sequel) and continued to throw comedy haymakers all year long as the second season got underway. This is a top-notch cast (Andre Braugher as the straight-laced Captain Holt is the best) performing material that is truly funny. The jokes aren't just jokes either (though there are plenty) - much of the humor comes from character and they have established the characters very well in a short amount of time. If you haven't given the show a chance, you really should. It's great.

2. The Flash - I was worried about this one. The Flash is one of my favorite comics characters, albeit the Wally West version instead of the Barry Allen one. Still, I always liked Barry too as well as the universe of the comic - the Rogues, the Cosmic Treadmill, and so on. I am happy to say I have not been disappointed in this show. It's so good. Grant Gustin is perfect as Barry; Jesse Martin does fantastic work as Joe West; and Tom Cavanugh is marvelous as the creepy and enigmatic Harrison Wells. Oh, and Carlos Valdes frequently steals the show as the nerdy and gung-ho Cisco Ramon. The show does the speed sequences very well and is building not only its own world but referencing the DC Universe. This season is already great and I can't wait to see where the show goes in the coming years.

3. Bob's Burgers - The Belchers are the best. Your own favorite may vary (mine is Tina) but as a unit, this is my favorite family on TV. Sure, the show is always funny. There are many funny shows. How many of them give us an episode like "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl?" That particular episode has two competing musicals (Die Hard and Working Girl, natch) and is so smart and hilarious. And that's just one episode! I was late to the party on this show and still have a bunch of episodes I haven't seen. That makes me happy.

4. Fargo - Here was another show to be skeptical about. A TV show based on one of the Coens best movies (The Big Lebowski is their best), how would that even work? Well, it worked by them taking a small part of the movie and spinning a new tale that had the same feel as the movie but stood as its own story. Allison Tolman was fantastic as Deputy Molly Solverson and Billy Bob Thornton brought the strange menace of Lorne Malvo to life. The rest of the cast, from main players like Martin Freeman and Colin Hanks to more supporting ones like Adam Goldberg and Keith Carradine and Bob Odenkirk were all fantastic. This is a 10 episode gem.

5. 24: Live Another Day - Look, I'm as surprised as you are. It's not like I was a die-hard fan of 24. Heck, I didn't even watch it until Season 5, which I loved. That made me go back to earlier seasons but I quickly got burned out (made it through Season 1 but I don't know that I saw all of Season 2, or Season 6). So, it had been a while. For whatever reason, I decided this 12 episode season would be a good one to try and reconnect with the series. I was right. Everything I loved about the series was there - the break-neck action, plot twist after plot twist, a bit of improbability about the whole endeavor. Kiefer Sutherland did his Jack Bauer thing but I also thought Yvonne Strahovski was great as Kate Morgan. In fact, I liked it so much that if the show comes back again, I will definitely watch. Oh, as a bonus I also got my wife hooked on the show and it was her first 24 experience.


Popular posts from this blog

Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
4. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (5) - last played on 3/13/16
6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
8. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 8/3/16
10. Centre For Holy Wars/The New Pornographers (2) - last played on 1/27/15
12. Girls and Boys (Pet Shop Boys 12" Remix)/Blur (3) - last played on 2/28/16
14. Hard To Find/The National (25) - last played on 2/12/17
16. Metal School/Spoon (17) - last played on 1/20/17
18. I'm in Love (With Arthur Dove)/Portastatic (8) - last played on 7/29/16
20. Simple X/Andrew Bird (4) - last played on 5/1/16

5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…