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2010 Primies: Best Shows

By on Feb 9, 2011 in The Primies | 0 comments

Because it’s already February of the next year and I’m feeling sheepish, let’s just speed through this! Here is the pantheon of shows which, in my opinion, made television a bit more divine in 2010. (Note: I have not yet seen Boardwalk Empire or Downton Abbey—forgive me.) Mad Men (2010: #2) Lost (2010: #3) Breaking Bad (2010: #1) Modern Family (2010: #7) Community Fringe (2010: #8) Parks and Recreation The Good Wife The Buried Life...

2010 Primies: Best Episodes

By on Jan 23, 2011 in The Primies | 0 comments

It’s often hard to remember all of the television I watch every year, but some episodes make themselves impossible to forget. The following hours or half-hours of television were exemplary in some way, whether it was for the writing or the direction of the episode; for the way they ended seasons or, in some cases, entire series; for their plots or subplots; for the emotional toll they took on the viewer; for the way they broke the mold and parted with tradition; or sometimes for just one scene or performance in particular. Lost “The End” (Parts 1 & 2) … for providing an unexpected, moving, and controversial finale sure to keep fans talking, dissecting, and criticizing for years to come. Grey’s Anatomy “Sanctuary/Death and All His Friends” … for the tensest, most emotionally-draining two hours of television this year. Breaking Bad...

2009 Primies: Best Characters

By on Dec 25, 2009 in The Primies | 0 comments

Because it’s the end of the year (and of the decade), every TV critic is releasing best-of lists. And I am no exception, though small-potatoes I may be. Ergo I announce the First Annual Primie Awards! And the first category honors the 15 characters whom I appreciate most, in descending order of awesomeness. Frankly, the shows below would just be suckier without them! Sue Sylvester (Glee) When Sue swaggers onscreen in one of her splashy tracksuits, you know that she’s say something both wildly inappropriate and gut-bustingly funny. The malicious comments she deploys in her jihad against McKinley High’s glee club almost makes you root for her. Played by Jane Lynch. Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation) The reluctant supervisor of Pawnee’s parks department had a breakout season that had him facing off with his domineering ex, presiding over the breakfast buffet at a...

41 Shows Reviewed in 140 Characters or Less

By on Dec 23, 2009 in Inanities | 1 comment

Note: The following post first appeared as an article by the same name in The Climax, Hampshire College’s newspaper. Also, some of these micro-reviews may exceed 140 characters—my bad! I am a student of television. Writing television scripts is my Division III [a senior project, in Hampshire speak]. So I have no shame in the fact that I watch all of the shows below religiously. I study the craft, folks. That’s a lie—I am ashamed of some of them, but I’m feeling forthright in my fourth-year-ness. Anyway, I only assumed that I couldn’t review all my shows for The Climax before I graduate. And then it occurred to me: I could review each in 140 characters or less. (Arbitrary number, I swear.) 24 Some seasons fire on all cylinders, and some make you want to shoot yourself in the kneecap. But I’m still a fan of the Bauer Power Hour. 30 Rock Is Tina Fey God? Even if not, this show is in...

High Expectations and Higher Education

By on Sep 2, 2009 in Previews | 1 comment

2009-2010 New Series Preview, Part 4 I was prepared to love Community, NBC’s latest venture into single-camera comedy. The premise is funny: a fake lawyer goes to community college to become legitimate and ends up becoming a fake Spanish tutor in a study group full of misfits. The actors (like Joel McHale and Chevy Chase) are all well-cast for their roles. The humor is, for the most part, fresh and unexpected. (For example, a slighted study-groupie tells the lawyer, “I thought you were like Bill Murray in any of his films, but you’re more like Michael Douglas in any of his films.”) And to top it all off, there’s no laugh track.  But for some reason, I only liked it. Incidentally, I can actually speak with authority about this show, because I have seen the first episode. (Being the minor-league TV critic that I am, I jump at any chance to preview new shows....