Hermerica’s Top 40

I thought it would be fun to list all the shows I will be watching in the 2012/2013 season and rate them according to most enjoyable.  Please note, this list is in order of shows I most look forward to seeing and not in order of quality of show.  If anyone still tunes in to Let’s Rap, feel free to comment on the absurdities of my list and send in your own for comparisons.

1. Breaking Bad

2. Survivor

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

4. The Amazing Race

5. The Newsroom

6. Boss

7. Dexter

8. Community

9. Modern Family

10.The Good Wife

11.Downton Abbey

12.Mad Men

13.Big Brother

14.The League

15.CSI

16.Parks and Recreation

17.30 Rock

18.Episodes

19.90210

20.American Idol

21.Parenthood

22.The Office

23.Family Guy

24.Eastbound and Down

25.Boardwalk Empire

26.Louis

27.Cougar Town

28.Rules of Engagement

29.Celebrity Apprentice

30.Go On

31.Revolution

32.Glee

33.The Simpsons

34.Up All Night

35.The New Normal

36.Blue Bloods

37.Vegas

38.The Cleveland Show

39.Suburgatory

40.Don’t Trust the B

41.Two and a Half Men

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Revolution (Mondays at 10pm)

Apparently, J.J. Abrams’ newest attempt at replacing the void in our hearts left by the finale of LOST is doing well for itself ratings wise.

I watch Revolution, but I am not yet a confirmed believer.  I think the idea, character portfolio and cast is all in the right place, but the show needs to find its episode by episode groove.  In my opinion, things are moving too slowly.  The writers are being a little too cagey for their own good.  Through the use of flashbacks, the show has the ability to reveal a lot of interesting back stories and pre-black out events, without hurting itself in their present day.

The obvious dilemma is how to maintain their progress in finding out what caused the blackout without actually being able to remedy the power outage.  As soon as the lights come on, the show goes off.  Actually, down the road, I surmise they will find a way to bring back the power, only to be thwarted in some way.

At this stage, I consider this a show with potential, but slow out of the gate.  More needs to happen in each episode.  Right now, the formula is the main characters travel a distance on their way to find Danny (main girl’s brother), there is a short flashback of one of the side characters, a couple of short scenes involving the main bad guy (who has yet to do anything), a couple of scenes with Danny and Giancarlo Esposito and then a mild argument, where the main guy (uncle of main girl) threatens to leave the group, but stays.  Enough of this.  Let’s get some more intrigue going.

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NHL Strike

I am quite ignorant on this subject.  Me wanty hockey.

Anyone care to discuss – esplain – criticize?

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TAKEN 2

Now listen to me very carefully… this film is bonkers.

The writer had a very unique set of skills… skills that allowed him to make a movie without actually writing anything.  To be fair, there were a couple of pretty amazing, albeit implausible, trekking scenes (one including some swift map work).

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this movie – because I did.  I suppose the crew knew that with Liam Neeson running around Istanbul shooting people, the rest would work itself out.

The plot wasn’t quite as heady as the first installment (if that’s possible).  It was basically a revenge piece related to one of Neeson’s kills from Taken.  The only problem I really had with this one was that Liam encounter NO obstacles.  Sure, he had to shoot several randoms and (spoiler alert) he was momentarily captured, but nothing seemed to suggest he was going to lose in any way.  Spoiler – even his wife being captured (and re-captured) was lame – everytime Neeson found her, she’d be just waking up from a temporary state of unconscousness.

All that criticism aside, this film is quite watchable because it accomplishes its goals.  Liam Neeson on location killing bad guys and talking shit about his specialty at murdering these types of villains – check.

I’m glad I went to this and I will look forward to Taken 3 where, rumour has it, Neeson does the taking.

On a scale of Taken (7) and Unknown (7.5), I give this a 6.5.

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UnderWhy

With little dignity left, I’m now going to tell you about my undergarments.  For those of you who roll with me in person, you know I’m a fairly conservative dresser (not conservative like high collar, conservative like un-trendy).  Sure, I might go hog wild and wear stripes, but I usually stick to a block palette.  However, I like to wear bright and whimsical socks and underwear.  It’s my thing.  I never gave it much thought until my trainer decided a good distraction technique would be to mock me.  To his credit, it worked like a charm.  His move was to grab onto my socks and ribbit at me and call me Kermit.  I didn’t get it at first.  Then I realized that maybe wearing bright green socks at my advanced age was weird.  I also determined that I am a pedophile’s dream: the fluorescent and patterned underthings of an 11 year old but the body of a de-criminalized adult.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Why not.

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Frankenweenie

I would have seen this new Tim Burton just to support my original lady-obsession, Winona Ryder.  I am pleased to report that this black-and-white animated offering is a real gem.  A more personally touched Edward Scissorhands, this is clearly an ode to Burton’s own childhood.  In equal parts a coming of age of a destined filmmaker and relationship between boy and dog, Frankenweenie is successful on both fronts.

Victor is a young boy with few friends and big ambitions.  He uses all the household items not attached to the wall as props in his homemade films.  His best friend is Sparky, a beagle-esque (this is animated, sue me if I don’t know the breed) pooch who also stars and assists in the filmmaking.  Victor pours all of his attentions into his films, with a large dash of scientific inquiry on the side.

When Sparky is tragically killed (no spoilers, that’s what the movie is about) Victor uses the science knowledge gleaned from the no-nonsense new teacher, a modern version of Victor Price’s creator from EdSciss and triumphantly brings him back to life.  The rest of the movie chronicles Victor’s dedication to Sparky, the reactions from his parents and classmates, and the danger in abusing science too often.

Victor is richly drawn and he is surrounded by comical and empathetic key characters.  It is a simple tale of a young boy with a big heart, who is fortunate enough to have the nerdily required know-how to achieve his goals.  It really is a more Burton-centric Edward as it culminates in a scene identically reminiscent of Edward’s finale.

You probably won’t weep to the same degree as (I) did for Edward, but shed a tear you will.

Between Edward Scissorhands (10) and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (4) I give this an 8.

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Nashville: Series Premiere

This became my most anticipated new show for fall with the combination of Connie Britton and promises of soap trashiness.  It wasn’t quite the glorious entree I was hoping for, but dang it did hit the spot.  Britton, who I recently became obsessed with after my Friday Night Lights binging, stars as a Reba-esque country singing legend whose career is suddenly faltering with the emergence of genre hopping Taylor Swift-like new talents.  Such a talent is portrayed by Hayden Panettiere, a sultry, auto-tuned, nouveau pop deity, who will seemingly hump on anyone.

Ever since she ruined Beth and Phillip’s renewed romance as a wee tot on Guiding Light, I have never liked Hayden.  However, she competently plays this blend of aggressive sexpot and damaged little girl.  Giving her a junkie mother as a backstory is pretty obvious but she needs something sympathetic in her corner to temper her rudeness.  I feel that giving her three potential suitors within the first 30 minutes was too much (I’m counting Jonathan Jackson, who only glanced at her but we all know wazzup) and that will have to slow down.

As for Britton’s Rayna, I’m not yet convinced on why she let her guitarist/collaborator with whom she still partners to this day, get away.  They have explicitly said that they wish they had been with each other from the start.  Nevertheless, Rayna is paired up with a bland Eric Close whose character is being corralled by Father Rayna to run for Nashville mayor.  I haven’t decided if the Rayna-Mayor marriage was always by convenient design or if love bloomed long ago.   I wonder if this is what Gwen Stafani and that other No Doubt guy go through.  Rayna’s bluster, like Hayden’s arrogance, was brought down my daddy’s interference and diminishing of her success.  Ladies, you both have parentally inflicted demons.  Don’t fight.  You have so much in common.  Cue season finale.

I was mostly worried that the show would be too laden with country-fied musical numbers.  While there were actually more original songs dropped that I had imagined, I was surprised to find them quite entertaining.  Who knew.

I will now anoint Nashville with a season pass on my DVR.

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My Heart Will Go What

Today’s song of the day is dedicated to an LR reader who put the screws to me yesterday about the lack of new content.  This maniac contends that this is the greatest song of the 90′s.  While that may be overstating things, as we all know the greatest song of the greatest decade is either Ginuine’s ‘Pony’ or Bon Jovi’s’ Always’ or Guns N Roses’ ‘November Rain’, still, it’s a hot track.  And it makes for quality slow dancing.  And yes, I own this soundtrack.  In fact, I can see the CD from this very place I sit.

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End Of Watch

On a very rare day when I didn’t have specific movie agenda-ing afoot, I simply went the theater to see what was playing.  Is this how the other half lives?  Very liberating.  In any case, this new Gyllenhaal-Pena cop drama was the most convenient thing going.  With no intention of seeing it, nevertheless, I took it for a ride.  Whew.  This is a good movie. 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play beat cop partners with a camaraderie possibly more beautiful than Murtaugh-Riggs of yore.  They are best friends who can razz each other while also laying down the police force on the inner city streets of LA.  They are not detectives but they stumble upon a potentially huge crime den that guides the movie’s primary trajectory.  They shouldn’t be investigating but they are determined.

There are two unusual qualities that make End Of Watch a cut above.  First, the cops are not corrupt.  They are simply trying their best to quash gangland behavior and see the city become safer.  Sure, they bumble a little in their efforts, but it is not due to any endemic nefarious trait.  It was a nice change to see a movie with integrity filled cops that still manages to be suspenseful and highly charged with entertainment.  Second, Gyllenhaal’s character is taking a film studies class on the side (it is the arts requirement credit to his BA) and this enables an interesting shooting style.  His character wears a camera on his chest providing gritty and grainy footage of his actions that is integrated in with the steadier, more professional looking shots from the filmmaker’s perspective.

Bonus points for the gang actors looking (and possibly being) so real.

Cry factor: more than teary-eyed.

On a scale of Beverly Hills Cop (10) to Cop Out (2) I give this an 8.5.

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Gossip Girl: Season Premiere

Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on here?  This is not rhetorical.  Help me.  I diligently watched the scenes from last season preamble in order to gear up for the 10 episode final season.  However, I still can’t make head nor tail of it.  Someone even asked me if my inability to follow stemmed from losing the correct channel.  Oh no, I watched, maybe with too much contemporaneous Internetting, but I tried.

So Lola and Charlie, the girl who tried to assume Lola’s life and fortune, are now in cahoots.  I’m not sure what the end game is and I don’t remember why Charlie abandoned the cash money Lily offered to pay.  All I do know is the plan required Charlie to get close to Rufus, the only pure hearted character in the entire GG universe.  And within 45 minutes Rufus and Charlie were leg tangled humping, only to be seen by a visiting Dan.  WHAT.  Even if I understood Charlie’s motives, which I certainly do not, how could Rufus be so disgusting?  Moving on.

Remember when Lily married Bart but fell out of love with him almost immediately and attempted to leave him for Rufus, only to have Bart stage his own death rendering her an impossibly wealthy widow?  Well I do.  That didn’t stop Lily from instantly reconnecting with a back from the dead Bart, ostensibly with love and not ambition in her heart.  OK.

Blair and Chuck are taking a we want to ultimately be together but need time to explore our own interests break.  I think this is a waste of my time and will only ensure that one or both deviates with a no-name interloper for a three ep arc.  However, since there are only nine more hours to plod through, I forgive this, as my vindication is drawing near.

Dan was for a brief moment hot and un-lame last season.  I’m surmising it was the cast of Waldorf spell because he is back to being a dim bulb without her shining light.  Somehow he spent the summer in a writer’s nook with Georgina of all people.  Doesn’t she have a kid?  That isn’t Dan’s?  Where was it?   I mean he.

Does anyone else notice that Nate’s real life lip injury from last season has not improved?  As for his story, does he have one?

Last and certainly least, Serena was missing yet again and everyone had to pick up from their lives and run to her aid.  I find it strange that in a world of limitless communication tools, Lily couldn’t be bothered to send word all summer long.  Carrier pigeon anyone?  I mean, my mom texts, emails and calls me all day before I have a chance to respond to anything.  You’re alright kid.  At least you read this.  In any case, Serena was located living with a collegiate assumed identity happy as a lying clam.  All I know is Matt Camden was there.  And that was the only good thing to come of this.

If anyone can clear up my queries there is a reward available.  TBD.

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