Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year End 2014: Started from the bottom now we're here

The last two years in which I've written a TV top ten list (i.e., the only times I've ever done it), I ended the post with a question, or even a dare. The first one was "Whattaya got, 2013?" and holy shit, 2013 responded with perhaps the best year of television drama the small screen has ever seen. And then last year, I closed my top ten post with the suggestion, "Top that, 2014. I dare you." And dare I say that...2014 might have done just that. It's easier than ever to find quality shows with so many new outlets for programming, and that only makes it more difficult to parse down my ten to twenty favourite TV shows of the entire calendar year. But I've carefully selected the ten shows I feel represent the best in television for 2014. And those shows will appear to you by clicking the "read more" button below!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year End 2014: Close, but no cigar

The annual best of the year series continues with a look at my "second ten" for the year in television. Much like with last year's second ten, almost all of these shows would be top ten worthy in a lesser year of quality programming, but given how many outlets we now get "small screen content" from, it seems unlikely we'll ever get another slow year. But hey, no complaining from me! (Just ignore any time I tweet about how hard it is to keep up with everything currently airing, like the two or three episodes of "Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder" currently sitting on my DVR which will be lucky to be watched even before they both return at the end of January).

To the list!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Year End 2014: My favourite TV episodes of the year

Do not adjust your picture, this is indeed a new entry over here on the ol' Blogspot! I continue a grand holiday tradition here at the blog (shut up, three years can be long enough for tradition) by kicking off  my year end series for 2014 with a list of my favourite episodes of television from this calendar year.

The list is extensive but still probably by no means definitive (I definitely slacked on keeping good tabs on it in the fall), but is still a reflection of some of the small's screen specific highlights over the last twelve months.

The full list after the break!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 Emmy nominations post-mortem: Ugh, Emmys, go wait in the car until we're done TV-ing

     Mindy Kaling of "The Mindy Project" and Carson Daly of
     "The Voice" announce the nominations for The 66th
     Primetime Emmy Awards in North Hollywood on Thursday
     (July 10) morning.

The most wonderful time of the year in television is that special Thursday morning in July when reporters and critics on the TV beat (at least the ones located on the west coast, where most television is produced) are awoken at 5 o'clock in the morning to hear two semi-famous television people read off most of the major nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards. Some of these nominations are downright infuriating. Some of them are completely unexpected and pleasant delights. And the rest are somewhere in between, the recognition you'd expect to see but aren't jumping up and down about (partly because you're so tired).

But after about an hour, you start to realize that those three categories don't really exist simultaneously - rather, they are the sort of "Five Stages of Emmy Grief" that one goes through when they are forced to process a prestigious voting body showering recognition on works of art they feel passionate about on a very limited amount of sleep. On Thursday I found myself turning into Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons" and tweeting things like "Worst. Nominations. Ever." and "Really Emmys? Really," but with time to really take it all in I've realized that the nominations this year aren't really any worse than other years, nor should I continue to react with such haste in future years. The Emmys are at best a compromise, often paying dues to the quality programs that are simultaneously popular while tragically ignoring the ones that are not. Such is life. The process for nominating and organizing categories is so very, very broken, but this is not the place to suggest alternatives, nor am I the person to suggest them. What I am the person for is being annoyed and complaining or using too many exclamation points when I like things. Oh, and of course, what I hope is at least a vaguely knowledgable sense of the history, voting patterns, and other weird tics of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

So if you're down with that, let's go category by category for opinions, predictions, and other crap. And if you missed my hypothetical ballot from Wednesday, click here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

My hypothetical 2014 Emmy ballot

It's time for me to once again fill out a hypothetical Emmy ballot for the 2013-14 TV season! I always have fun doing these, but they can also create such a challenge in years where there's just so much good television (and these last two TV seasons have in no way been lacking for quality). So let's see where my preferences lie this year!

Of course, you'll notice that when the actual Emmy nominations are announced tomorrow, they will look nothing like the nominations I've listed below. That's because the Emmys are BAD and WRONG, but such is life. Also, something odd happened this year in terms of categorization - two of my favourite shows, Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" and Showtime's "Shameless," have submitted themselves in the comedy categories after seasons in which both were unequivocally dramas. Initially I worried this would affect how many nominations I would give each, but I think instead I'm just going to ask you to disregard the "comedy" and "drama" split below entirely. After all, it is and always has been (for example) "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series," not "Funniest Supporting Actor".

Recognition ho!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Upfronts 2014: BREAKING: Shows renewed, others canceled; some move time slots

     The cast of "The Good Wife" at CBS's upfront presentation
     on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. I've already forgotten what
     exactly Alan Cumming sang and danced to, but no doubt it
     was amusing.

Time for my annual long-winded, overly complicated, and of course very late blog post in which I outline the 2014 upfront presentations, in which all the major television networks (and The CW) present their new fall schedules in front of advertisers in New York City. Below, I'll be breaking down the new network schedules, occasionally including unfair gut reactions to non-representative cutdowns of not-for-air pilots or hypothesizing as to the success or failure of a lineup. And as usual, wherever possible, I'll be hyperlinking to a trailer for new shows whenever they are listed (and when their YouTube trailers are not geofiltered).

Let's do this.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hey, where'd you go?

Of my four or five dedicated readers, I'm guessing at least one of them has been wondering, "hey, didn't this blog used to be updated regularly or something?" The answer to that questions is: yes, kinda.

And it still will be! But now, probably even less often. I'll still likely be posting Emmy predictions/analysis or whatever here, and my year end lists, and anything else I deem should be filed under "old man yells at cloud" rather than actually published somewhere where people could accidentally see it. But I'm also focusing on some writing ventures elsewhere at the moment. For the past six weeks, I've been covering a really fun reality competition show on TBS called "King of the Nerds" for Rob Has a Website. Here are the links to the blogs I've written:

- Episode 3: "King of the Nerds": 5 Reasons Why Zack Belongs in the Reality Villain Hall of Fame
- Episode 4: The 5 Poison Numbers of "King of the Nerds"
- Episode 5: A Debatably Low-Key Week on "King of the Nerds"
- Episode 6: Titanic Missteps in the "King of the Nerds" Penalty Box
- Episode 7: Pay Your Respects at the "King of the Nerds" Memorial Service
- Episode 8: "King of the Nerds" Sprints to the Finish - And Faceplants (Again)

And in the meantime, I'll be blogging periodically about TV over at the new Post Show Recaps. Come check us out!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A(nother) rant against Global, and my frustration with the current landscape of Canadian television

     The stars arrive Sunday (January 19) night for "Global
     Presents The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
     Live Asterisk".

If you happened to have stumbled across these parts this time last year, you might remember me laying in to Global TV, truly a perfect shining example of Canadian television, for absolutely shitting the bed with regards to their telecast of the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. For viewers like myself watching on the east coast, the first 40 minutes of the broadcast (or roughly one third of the show) were spent watching a rerun of an ancient home renovation show called "From the Ground Up with Debbie Travis" while Global flashed a crawl on the screen telling us the SAG Awards would start soon*

(*Just as soon as the network frantically tries to figure out why they were not getting a signal of the show into the country).

Well this year, in a horrifying feat of spectacular trainwreckery, Global managed to outdo themselves.   Now credit where credit is due, they did manage to air the entire show this year (or so I am led to believe), which might make those two hours the most successful broadcast in the network's history. But this year they decided to air the show on a delay of 24 hours - the awards were presented, and aired on American cable channels TBS and TNT, last Saturday (January 18) night, while Global opted to air the telecast on Sunday (January 19) night.

Leaving aside the fact that, as someone pointed out to me on Twitter, E! carried a live red carpet pre-show on the Saturday night anyway (someone high up in an office at a Canadian broadcaster really did just decide at some point that we're all stupid and everyone else has run with that idea for years if not decades), the decision to delay the show by a day is really baffling to me. The idea was tossed around that Global didn't want to compete with CBC's broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada," but to me that's a much preferable form of ratings competition than CTV's Sunday night broadcast of the NFC championship game. Global said in a statement that they were delaying the SAG Awards to air them on a night that was more convenient for their audience - which either means they felt it was more convenient to ensure their audience they would see the entire show this year (not a good reason in any way to delay the telecast), or decided that because we as idiots are used to seeing such an event on a Sunday night (or that there are more of us around to mindlessly gawk at them), we won't mind that the winners will have been known for 22 hours beforehand.

Global's continued butchering of the SAG Awards is just one symptom of a larger problem for Canadian TV nerds like myself, and it's this: yes, we get all (or at least most) of the programming we know and love - but we have no way of watching it in a non-bastardized form.