Sunday, January 31, 2010

SNL- Hamm & Bublé

When I think back to last season's episode with Jon Hamm all I can remember from it is Jon Hamm's John Ham. A year from now I'm pretty sure the only thing I'll remember from this week's episode is Hamm & Bublé. While last year's clever sketch on Hamm's name was just that, clever, this season's variety took things to the next level. It wasn't only a great idea, it also had substance to it and was performed extremely well.

Hamm does dominating yet gracious extremely well and it seems to me that Michael Bublé does everything well. Besides being able to sing with the best of them, Bublé showed once again that he's got the acting chops to go toe to toe with the best. When I say once again I am of course referring to his one episode guest stint on Las Vegas back in 2004 where he played himself.

Back in that episode of my favorite Josh Duhamel tv show, Bublé played himself as a confused performer. He didn't want to sing at the wonderful Montecito Resort & Casino, but rather do stand up comedy, spin plates on top of sticks and of course mime his infamous Bublé in a Bubble. Of course all of these silly ideas were just his way of pranking the terrible Mary Connell who deserved every bit of it.

I found it fitting that at Hamm & Bublé he would also not be doing his normal singing act, but rather a ventriloquist act followed by a one-man show about William Faulkner. Not only did Bublé play extremely frightened very well in this sketch, but he did it while singing the wrong words to his song "Haven't Met You Yet" with such ease.

The rest of last night's episode was rather dull in my opinion. Sure there were little snippets here and there that gave me a chuckle, not excluding the addition of the Brendan Fraser Special Clap in the Cold Open, but everything was just obvious and not very funny. 1920's Party, New Senator and Court Stenographer were pretty pointless sketches in which they chose to just put Hamm in a familiar situation and failed to find a place for jokes in any of them.

The only other sketch of the night that got me going was Bar. Not for the fact that they brought back the Closet Organizer commercial from earlier in the show, (although I did really like that they did that) but for Will Forte's response to Jon Hamm's statement, "Gin & tonic, hell of a drink."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Night Lights- Injury Limp

Midway through Injury List I started thinking to myself that recently Friday Night Lights just hasn't been that great. Maybe I over-hyped it in my mind, or maybe it has trailed off since the greatness that was the first season, but this year just hasn't been that satisfying.

My initial thought was that the story telling just wasn't anything to write home about, and that the great characters are the main thing holding it together. If you substituted average characters into these plots it would be a sub-par show. The Coach Taylors, Tim Riggins and Matt Saracens of the world may be the reason that nothing that interesting has happened as of late.

Chatting with T-time about this fact, he brought to my attention that the first season might have been that much better because it had such a great story to start with. It was your prototypical sports story, based on the book Friday Night Lights and had plenty to work with. I mean the star quarterback goes down, gets paralyzed, and the team rallies behind the backup QB and wins the Texas State Championship. How are you going to surpass that as a story? Well in my opinion they haven't. What else can you do? Have them lose. Well they did that, now they've run out of sports stories.

Until they get to season four where they have a terrible team and can now use this God awful East Dillon team as a new type of sport story. The winless schmucks that take down the might Dillon Panthers and end their season. The Lions may beat the Panthers at the end of this season, or they may lose, but my major point is that they haven't done a good job at making this story line prominent. Their ability to showcase a great story has been lost. They have come back to a football plot once in a blue moon this season. When they end up beating Dillon at the end of the year, it's not going to feel as satisfying because there hasn't been nearly enough build up.

It seems as though they have been putting much more effort into the side characterization stories. These minor stories of the series have never been fantastic, but the high quality of all of the characters have usually improved them. I've always loved Coach, Riggins, Saracen, Julie, etc. And although I detested many characters over the years (Street, Lyla, Tami) they all have evoked certain emotions, albeit mostly hatred, in order to improve their own plotlines.

Maybe it's that they've run out of good stories, or maybe its that the new characters aren't up to snuff, but recently things haven't had the same feeling. I have definitely grown fond of newcomer Becky Sproles, but I could care less about what is going on in Vince, Luke or Jess's lives at this point. All three come across as dull.

Other Thoughts

-Have they always been terrible at sports related stuff, because this week's aberration was so laughable. Luke limps off of the field after enduring yet another blow to his badly bruised hip. When the coaches take a look at it, they see the ginormous bruise and are outraged. Coach T asks, "What the hell is that?!?" And the assistant coach responds, "It's a hip flexor. He's done. He's out for the season."

First of all, the hip flexors are a group of muscles in the body, not an injury. Sure that's semantics, but if you're not a sports announcer you usually don't say it's "a knee" when someone tears their ACL. Secondly, just from looking at a bruise, this guy knows that Luke has severely strained or torn his hip flexor muscles? I don't think so. I know the show likes to skip past the ins and outs of football as of late, but how bout a little screen time for the kid dealing with this injury instead of saying "hip flexor, out for season."

-I loved Tinker finally getting some nice speaking lines.

-I loved longtime head of Secret Service Aaron Pierce coming back as Landry's dad. I also loved the awkwardness between Jess and Lance's family, especially when the mom asked how she was liking O'Bama as President.

Here's hoping the final two episodes end in a bang.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Poolies Watch- The Kellie Pickler Award

The Kellie Pickler Award is given each year to the best female contestant on a reality competition series. Just like last year, the nominations are looking bleak again in 2010. I can't even field 10 ladies at this point. Last season's champion, Sugar Kiper, is back for Survivor Heroes vs. Villains but I'm not looking for her to repeat. So far the only contestants I have truly enjoyed were Jordan Lloyd on Big Brother for her ridiculous stupidity and Joanna Krupa on The Superstars for her ability to yell and scream at Terrell Owens (and question how he is a professional football player).

Have Performed Well
Jordan Lloyd- Big Brother
Joanna Krupa- The Superstars
Kristi Leskinen- The Superstars
Monica Padilla- Survivor Samoa

I hope none of these jokes earn a spot on the ballot. Laura Crosby was a decent enough girl, but didn't make it longer than one or two weeks on Big Bro. Meghan from Amazing Race was actually annoying at times, but okay at others. I didn't like Laura Morett at all on Survivor Samoa, but could see others maybe enjoying her style. And all the Fab Five did on Talent was tap dance, but it was pretty sweet.

Didn't Do Much
Fab Five- AGT
Laura Crosby- Big Brother
Laura Morett- Survivor Samoa
Meghan- Amazing Race

Hopefully some talent will come out of Idol and the second editions of Survivor and Amazing Race, but things are looking bleak. The Poolies Committee might have to get rid of the Kellie Pickler Award and make the Terry Fator Award co-ed because these females just aren't cutting it lately.

If there is anyone out there from other shows (Top Chef, So You Think, Apprentice, etc.) let me know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Peyton Manning the Card Player

It takes a pretty momentous occasion to get me to blog about a sporting event these days. Sure when my favorite athlete on my favorite team wins his fourth NFL MVP award, I'll write something up to proclaim my love for him. When that same team wins the AFC Championship and is on their way to their second Super Bowl in four years I'm not that inclined to post. But, when said favorite athlete dissects the (stat-based) best defense in the league in a fashion that seems eerily familiar, The Kid gets inspired.

I am not alluding to Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas or any other great quarterback of years past. Peyton Manning's stunning performance from yesterday's championship game was oh so similar to the day Brett Maverick had when he sat down to play poker with Annabelle Bransford, Angel The Spaniard and the rest of the card players in Crystal River.

Just as Rex Ryan and the rest of the J-E-T-S were running their mouths the week up to Sunday's game, Annabelle seemed to never shut up, while Angel and the young gunfighter seemed to think they easily had what it took to take out Maverick in this game of cards. In order to be allowed into the game of five card draw, Brett had to promise to lose for at least an hour. While watching the game yesterday it seemed as though Peyton and head coach Jim Caldwell made a similar promise to the New Yorkers. We promise that we will lose, for at least an hour. And they did, 17-6.

Just as Maverick explains (after taking pot after pot from the fools) he was simply learning their tells while losing. As Angel, Annabelle and the gang stole pots from Brett, he simply smiled and waited until he had enough information to take them all for all that they were worth. This is exactly what Peyton did to the Jets. As he was rushed and blitzed from all angles, he never panicked. He merely took the sack when he needed to, stayed patient, and figured out exactly how the Jet defense was playing him.

After falling to the ground on his own a few times, instead of fumbling or throwing picks like the quarterbacks before him did against the Jets, Peyton turned things around as he ended the first half with a 58 second drive that brought the Colts within four points, at 17-14. While Maverick figured out that Annabelle twirled her hair when she was bluffing, Peyton similarly figured out exactly how to slice through the vaunted Jets D by getting the ball in perfect position for Austin Collie to make three easy catches on his way to the endzone.

Angel continued to shuffle his front cards to the back and his back cards to the front and Maverick kept on getting richer. Come the second half, Peyton took advantage of the corner backs that couldn't cover, lighting up the defense by connecting with Pierre Garçon on a total of 11 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. All in all Peyton took over the game and routed the Jets, 30-17, finishing with 377 yards, three tds and no picks.

Now don't get me wrong, the parallels aren't all there. No one came in during the middle of the game and threatened to kill Peyton if he didn't throw some interceptions, which then led to a huge fight in the parking lot where Peyton beat up seven dudes with weapons. But hey they can't all be winners kids.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Catching Up- Breaking Bad

So here's the thing. A couple years ago when everyone was talking about the two new AMC shows that were fantastic, I tossed the comments aside because the shows were on AMC. As the past couple years have gone by, not only have I become a big fan of both Mad Men and now Breaking Bad, but it seems that a lot of the great tv is coming from cable networks. Not just pay cable, but also basic cable like AMC and FX. Although I have enjoyed Mad Men, obviously not as much as the rabid Sterling Cooper fans out there, it is not anywhere near as good as its AMC counterpart. The first two seasons of Breaking Bad were fantastic and I'm looking forward to the third installment beginning in March.

The first question I had to ask is why Bryan Cranston? Since I never watched Malcolm in the Middle, I knew Cranston as the two Tims. Dr. Tim Whatley from Seinfeld and Doug Heffernan's neighbor Tim in King of Queens. Don't get me wrong, I though he was hilarious as both characters, but what was on his imdb resume that made him the choice for the character of Walter White? This character that begins the series as an soft spoken, awkward high school teacher with no charisma and turns into a hard as they come, big time drug dealer with a temper that could hurt people. Wherever they found this in him, I'm glad they did, because he has been the perfect man for the job thus far.

The maturation of Walt throughout the first 20 episodes is the most interesting aspect of the series. As he starts out with his goofy haircut, glasses and silly looking mustache, I thought to myself (as do the rest of the characters on the show) that there is no way this guy can become a drug dealer. I mean look at those sweaters he wears! But sure enough, the dude gets cancer, shaves his head and evolves into one of the toughest dudes I've seen on television.

There is one moment when this stands out to me the most. It came in the penultimate episode of season one. After Walt's partner Jesse (who I really love as a character) gets beat the snot out of by drug lord Tuco, Walt decides he is going to go make a visit to this Tuco and get done the drug deal that Jesse couldn't finish. Jesse, myself, and I assume the rest of the audience are thinking to themselves 'what the h-e-double hockey sticks is this guy thinking? How is he going to pull something like this off?

Walt had changed. As he walked into Tuco's drug layer he had the look in his eye. He was getting this done. I still had no idea how he was going to do it, but he was going to do it. While it looked like more meth for Tuco, Walt had concocted a type of explosive that could theoretically destroy the entire building. With a quick toss of a piece of it at a window, Walt blew out every single window in the room. As he stood with more of this concoction in his hand, he demanded from the drug king pin all of the money that he deserved and from then on everyone in the drug game in the ABQ respected the one they call Heisenberg.

Although most of this review is going to be about Walter, because he is the most interesting character, that is not to say that he is my favorite. Jesse Pinkman is easily my favorite character on the show. Unlike Walt, he never has moments where I want to slap him for being lame. Jesse is an idiot at times, a complete addict at other times, but he's always sweet and is completely lovable. And for that reason, Walt stays with him time and time again. Gus, the owner of Pollos Hermanos and a big time dealer that buys from Walt, asks Heisenberg why on Earth would he work with a screw up like Jesse. And although it's not the answer that Walt gave, the reason is because he loves this kid. He treats him like the son he wished he had. I'm not saying Walt has something against his own kid, but for some reason he hasn't been able to give Walt Jr. the fatherly love he deserves. Through thick and thin, Walt Sr. has been there for Jesse and watching them grow on each other throughout the first two seasons has been nothing less than magic.

The writing/directing technique that I love most about Breaking Bad is the way they use the cold open on many occasions. I know there is a word for it, but I can't remember what it is, when you start the episode with something that will happen at the end and then skip back in time. It's done on tv and movies all the time, but I can't remember the specific word for it. Unlike the one episode of Flash Forward this technique was used, Breaking Bad (like Not Our First Rodéo) uses it perfectly. Flash's opening sequence was a gun shot that was heading for a main character's head. It was way too obvious that that character was going to die, so why even use that? What Breaking tends to do every time they use this technique is show you an event that is so ambiguous that you are left wondering what the heck the scene is and how in the world are they going to get there.

Going back to the aforementioned season one ep, they started out the episode with Walt walking away from a building in the ghetto with sirens on in the background. Now that wasn't very climactic at all, but it got me wondering how was he going to get himself into that situation. As he got closer to going to Tuco's place it made more and more sense. After he blows up the building and leaves with all his money, walking away from the building in the ghetto, it's that much more satisfying.

The only disappointment I had with the strategy is that they used it for the entire season two, and the pay off wasn't very good. They started the first episode of the second season with the cold open of Walt's pool with a burnt pink stuffed bear and sirens in the background. When nothing happened with that story line in the entirety of the first ep, I realized they were foreshadowing the end of the season. They used that cold open again in ep 4, ep 10 and the season two finale. In the end it was Jane's dad being bad at his job and making two planes collide. A pink stuffed bear was obviously on one of the planes and fell from the sky and landed in Walt's pool. Yeah sure a plane crash is a big deal, but not in how it relates to the main characters of our show. Kind of a let down.

With Skyler kicking Walt out of the house, Hank getting back on the hunt for Heisenberg, and Gus finding out Walt's brother-in-law is in the DEA, and Jesse in rehab, there should be many complications for Walter H. White come season three.

Favorite Characters

1. Jesse Pinkman
2. Hank Schrader
3. Walter White, Sr.
98. Walter White, Jr.
99. Marie Schrader
100. Skyler White

Friday, January 22, 2010

Comedy Night Done (Almost) Right

You have not had one of your best seasons to date, you leave off the fall slate of episodes with a sub-par Christmas ep, you come back from a one month, 11 day layoff and you throw up over all your viewers show a clips episode? What is wrong with the people at The Office? Last night's two hours of comedy on NBC was great in my opinion except for the glaring whole from 9:00-9:30 when they decided to show mediocre what they thought were some great clips of Office past. What it did was simply get me angry at them and have a worse impression of how this season has gone so far. Is it now an inaccurate view of the sixth season? Maybe, but that's not gonna stop me from taking it out on the Scranton people come Poolies season.

Elsewhere on what is supposed to be Comedy Night Done Right, we had great showings from all three (a bit of a first). Between Pierce's fantastically timed gay jokes at Troy's dancing on Community, Andy Dwyer single-handedly making Parks and Rec a must-watch, and 30 Rock borrowing the fictitious curse word, "vondruke" from an old Will Ferrell SNL sketch it could have been a comedic night for the ages. But no. The people at The Office had to ruin it with the most fillerific of episodes I have seen in a good while.

As I re-watched Community trying to remember all of Pierce's fantastic quotes, I realized that this episode may have been Chevy Chase's best performance since Vegas Vacation. Truly fantastic. Did he say anything last night that wasn't hilarious? I don't think so.

Pierce Quotes

  • "You know when I was 30 people used to wish that I was dead to my face! That's called respect."
  • "That's ridiculous. Obviously it's a guy."
  • "Jerry Rice?? Ahh, I liked him."
  • "Tea for two? There are five people."
  • "Ohhh, plot twist."
  • "Culturally, it's unacceptable, but it's theatrical dynamite!"
  • "And such a creative way to tell the world you're gay."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fantasy Survivor- Heroes vs. Villains

With the new season of Survivor set to premier on February 11 it is time to draft. It will be the third All-Stars season of the series, this time labeled Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Although it seems that their idea of a villain is not the same as mine, I'll take it anyway. Neither Russell Hantz, who manipulated his opponents in order to please the audience, nor Coach Wade, who made up ridiculous lies to inadvertently please the audience, are villains in my book. Never-the-less they are both back for this All-Star edition of Survivor. Shot in Samoa, the same spot as last season, and right after the last season finished, it should be interesting. None of the contestants will have any idea what Russell H is about, but seeing how sad he was when he lost season 20, it doesn't seem like he made it far enough to win H vs. V.


Old things
Points for Advancing: 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, etc.
Reward: Group: 4, Individual: 10
Immunity: Group 8, Individual: 20
Labeled Leader: 10
Make to Merge: 8
Votes against you: -4

New things
If you get chosen to sit out you get none of those challenge points.
Find Hidden Idol: 10
Successfully Use Idol at Council: 20
Unneeded Use of Idol at Council: -10
Cause Jeff to Stop Challenge: -10
Exit Due to Health: -20

Lost things
Man sh*t
Back stab
--in both cases the line is too blurry to decide when one of them actually occurs.


Two separate drafts. One for Heroes. One for Villains.
I picked the names out of a hat and it came out: Jaydon, Mags, Lar, me.
Therefore Jay will get to choose whether he wants first pick of the Heroes draft and last pick in the villains or vice versa. I will get first in the one he doesn't choose and Lar and Mags will be in the middle for both.

My team name this season will be Redwood Original after my favorite biker gang.

Follow draft picks at @quietpool, @jaydonthedon, @1mags, and @larrington_bevy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Poolies Watch- Terry Fator Award

The Terry Fator Award is given each year to the best male contestant in a reality competition series, as honored by the Poolie Voters. With a second season of Survivor chock full of all-stars and American Idol finals still on the horizon, I don't see more than five of these current nominees staying put. Of the top five that I like to stick around, Jeff and the Russell's should be confident in their performances. Each demonstrated both the ability to play their respective game and the ability to entertain me in the process. With Russell Hantz coming back for Heroes vs. Villain and Jeff rumored to be on this spring's Amazing Race, they both have chances to win this thing.

Those With a Chance
Jeff Schroeder- Big Brother
Nota- The Sing Off
Russell Hantz- Survivor Samoa
Russell Kairouz- Big Brother
Terrell Owens- The Superstars

The rest of these guys are highly unlikely to make the final cut, but it's nice for them to get noticed among those that performed well this summer/fall. Flight Time has the best chance to sneak in if no one from the spring version of The Amazing Race does anything well.

Not Likely
Beelzebubs- The Sing Off
Bode Miller- The Superstars
Brian- The Amazing Race
Casey Turner- Big Brother
Flight Time- The Amazing Race
John Fincher- Survivor Samoa
Zev and Justin- The Amazing Race

Anybody else deserve a look? Any good cooks out there from Top Chef?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chuck- Levels of Awesomeness

In Chuck vs. Operation Awesome we got the second straight episode that featured Captain Awesome in a major role. I started asking myself if this was going to start being a major trend, but as this ep started to unfold it seemed less and less likely that Devon was going to be primarily involved in any spy business from here on out. I personally wish that wasn't the case. This dude is, for lack of a better word, awesome. The past two episodes he has basically played a studly version of Chuck from season one. A normal guy thrown into the middle of the spy game without any knowledge, but ends up helping out somehow.

Who does this Shawsy think he is? A 24 boss? Just as the head of CTU never knows how things work, Shaw tries to come into The Team and shake things up. Let's just let Chuck try to take on three bad guys by himself? NO Shaw, that's not how things work around here. Thankfully Sarah, and even Casey, have to much love for Chuckles to go by his rules. On this Team they always help each other out when one of them lures bad guys to the Buy More.

I love it when they end episodes with an entire group get together. Like with Jack Bauer, seeing Sarah and Casey in normal situations is great. With everyone eating dinner at Chuck and Morgan's new place (formerly Ellie, Awesome and Chuck's place) it felt a lot like Casa Walsh part deux. Also great to see Shawsy real jealous of their pseudo-family. Am I going to like him at any point?

Other Thoughts

Loved how Chuck labeled Awesome's two watches...Good guys. Bad guys.

The exchange after Chuck takes out a bunch of bad guys with his guns.
Awesome: "You're incredible. Is that your spy training?"
Chuck: "Duck Hunt. Nintendo."

The more hardcore spies like Shawsy and Casey they bring in, the more Chuck-like Sarah gets.
Sarah: "Sometimes it helps knowing you have something to lose."

Monday, January 18, 2010

24- Showing Respect to Mr. Bauer

Last night we began viewing the eighth longest day of Mr. Bauer's life. The first thing I need to mention is that I wasn't left with any spark after this two-hour season premier. There was something to the beginning of last season that had a fire to it and got me extremely excited for the rest of the season. Maybe it was the fact that they took a year off and it was great to have it back, or maybe this season's just not going to be as good, but I wasn't left as excited this year when the clock hit 11:00 p.m.

Having said that, there were a lot of things I liked about the season premier of 24. After the cold open hits us with some random dudes shooting at each other, we get to see what I (and the people of Tropic Thunder) like to call Simple Jack. This is when we get to see Mr. Bauer doing normal every day things. The only other time we really get to see him act this way is the beginning of season one when he's at home with the first Teri and Kim. Sure in season 5 he is eating breakfast with Tami Taylor, but he is doing it under a false identity and he's hiding out from people. Not the same. In season 8 we get to see a once gain retired Mr. Bauer relaxing with his granddaughter, the second Teri, watching some cartoons. The whole relaxed atmosphere makes the change that much better when he has to turn his killing face on.

We're now in New York City, which is a great change of scenery. If there is something that got stale from 24, and it wasn't the fact that they repeat story lines, than it was the location. There's only so many horrific things that can happen in Los Angeles. The skyscrapers. The jam-packed streets. The underground entrance to CTU NY. It's all a nice change of pace. The CTU NY inside itself is really cool looking.

Then we get to the new guy. Cole Ortiz, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr., is the head of field ops CTU NY. AKA the new Chase Edmunds. I like what I've seen so far from Cole. When he first hears that Jack Bauer is bringing in a guy with information about the hit on President Hassan, he simply asks, "Jack Bauer?" The subtle, yet surprised, nature of his reaction shows that he knows what that name means and unlike some that have come before him, Cole has a grasp of the historical relevance of what Mr. Bauer has done for this country. Then we get to the point where me continuing to call Jack, Mr. Bauer makes sense. Every time that Cole talked to Jack, he called him Mr. Bauer. The respect that he showed him was awesome to see. This is the kind of admiration that all young government agents should show Jack Bauer. And I might continue to call him that as long as Cole does. When the chopper lands on the roof and Cole meets Mr. Bauer for the first time he again simply state, "It's an honor to meet you, Mr. Bauer."

The man getting everything done (or not done) at CTU NY is Brian Hastings, played by Mykelti Williamson. (Update: I can't believe I didn't realize this was Bubba Gump at first)  I love how wrong he has been about everything so far to start the season. I also love how confident he has been in everything he has done and said during the first two hours. Incompetence like this, we have not seen from the head of CTU since Lynn McGill.

Chloe is back. She is at CTU NY for some bogus reason. Something to do with Morris. This is the one thing that got me angry during the premier. This is just too coincidental. Chloe just happens to be working in New York now that Mr. Bauer is here. I much would've rather seen Mr. Bauer get twisted up in the situation in New York and then have him call her in because she was the only one who could help out. She was the only one to get things done the right way. Maybe bring her in for ep 3 or something. Just didn't have a good feel to it.

What did have a good feel to it was the partnership between Mr. Bauer and Chloe. Although she came in for season 3, it does seem like these two have been together for the entirety of the show. When Chloe makes her plea for Mr. Bauer to stay in New York, it was fantastic.
Jack. You've come to me for help many times, and I've never let you down. You've asked me to do crazy things, and I've always taken your side. Please. Help me. I can't do this by myself.
Anyway not the home run to start the season like we saw last year, but there is a lot of promise in what we have going on here. We get another two-hour dosage tonight before they go back into the regular time slot of Mondays at 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

SNL- Sigourney and Ting Tings

How terrible was that? Right up there with Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner for worst host of the season. As a matter of fact there have only been two good hosts out of the 12 we have had this year. SNL has really dropped the ball on finding people that will be funny or interesting to host the show.

The 12 people that have hosted this 35th season of Saturday Night Live have been Megan Fox, Ryan Reynolds, Drew Barrymore, Gerard Butler, Taylor Swift, January Jones, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Blake Lively, Taylor Lautner, James Franco, Charles Barkley and Sigourney Weaver.

Is this a joke? This is the group of a dozen celebrities that you think will make your show funnier? Gerard Butler was the only one that added anything comedic to an episode, and Joseph Gordon Levitt's monologue performance was worth the entire hour and a half of running time. The rest were brutal and mostly detracted from the performances of Hader, Armisen and company.

Not counting the Avatar sketch (which I skipped 'cause I haven't seen it yet) Weaver was the main player in at least four sketches and she was God awful in all of them. Grady Wilson is always bad, but she just made it worse. Ladies' Darts seems to be what they like to do when they have a terrible female host. Dress them up in old clothes and have them look stupid. Not funny. Kenan tried to help out in Disco Booty Junction, but Sigourney and even Wiig were brutal in this one.

Finally we had maybe the two worst near the end. Internet Buzz was all up to her to be funny and she failed miserably. Then there was her as a singer on a piano. As she butchered this sketch, I imagined Will Ferrell singing on top of a piano and acting like he was terrified of the height, and I almost started laughing during the sketch. Maybe from now on, when SNL chooses to put an unfunny host in the lead role of a sketch, I'll just imagine Ferrell or Chris Farley doing the sketch and I'll be able to find humor in it.

Top 5 Sketches

5. Riley- It was really slim pickings last night. At least every time he said B*ITCHHHHH I enjoyed it.

4. Update: Larry the Goose- There is just something about clever names that are a play on words that I enjoy. My favorite was President Quackery Taylor.

3. Ting Tings: That's Not My Name- I had heard their music before, especially Shut Up & Let Me Go, but there was something about watching these two perform that was very interesting. It was the exact opposite of when I first saw Lady Gaga perform on the Idol stage last year. In that case I was perplexed that this was an actual performance. With the Ting Tings, I was intoxicated by their little quirks that I had to watch the entire performance (usually on SNL I skip by the music after a minute or so).

2. Laser Cats 5- I always love Laser Cats, and 5 didn't disappoint. Not as good as the first two, but the James Cameron twist was nice. Speaking of the Avatar director...I was watching my Colts beat up on the Ravens last night and I watched SNL this morning and I thought James Cameron and Ravens' offensive coordinator Cam Cameron should be brothers. Their last names are the same and they both have white hair...thoughts?

1. Larry King Cold Open- Just fantastic. Too bad the rest of the episode was mostly downhill from this great start. Darrell Hammond's Jay Leno was great and when Sudeikus broke out his Letterman, I lost it. To me there are not many things in this world funnier than an outlandish David Letterman impression. Over the top and inaccurate, but hilarious.

Friday, January 15, 2010

30 Rock- James Franco's Pillow

How a show can be so inconsistent is beyond me. Last night 30 Rock aired back-to-back episodes, while The Office took a breather. In my opinion the 9:00 ep was fantastic and the 9:30 variety was awful. I'm trying to put my finger on how a show can be so different week in and week out.

As much as T-time may not like him, I think a major difference was that James Franco ridiculously outperformed Danny the robot as the main side character of the episode. In Klaus and Greta Franco played himself who had to fake date Jenna because he needed to hide his love for his human sized pillow, Kimiko. Whether it was the situation itself or Franco, the whole thing worked for me. Right down to the moment in the club when you don't know that Kimiko is there until the camera pans over to her, it works.

The other major story line of the ep was Kenneth working with Jack to erase the voicemail he left on Nancy's machine. Although it wasn't fantastic, it didn't have me wanting to slap myself, as some Kenneth moments do. Again there was not enough Tracy in the episode, but this definitely had one of the best ratios of comedy to amount of Tracy Jordan screen time in a while.

Black Light Attack was too much Danny the robot and too much weird Liz Lemon. Her plots have really been off and on for me. I was not feeling this ep at all and I think it mostly had to do with Danny the robot. The premise that this guy was super cool at the beginning of the half hour was really off base. When he turns into a loser after hanging out with Lemon, it doesn't seem that far off from where he started, so the fact that Jack gets turned off doesn't hit. They picked this dude up off of the street where he was performing as a giant robot. Jack would not want to be friends with this guy over Tracy.

Quotes of the hour

  • "You're being such a non-pillow right now!"
  • "Did you know paparazzo is single of paparazzi? Kimiko taught me that."
  • "I'm the actor James Franco, dammit, and I'm in love with and common law married to a Japanese body pillow!"
  • "Is it the body paint, or is Danny just glowing like a beacon of manly camaraderie?"
  • "What are you happy about? Did we get canceled?"
  • "When they were little, I threw them in the deep end of the pool. To get over their fear of sharks!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poolies Watch- The Johnny Carson Award

With all of the late night craziness that has been going on recently, I figured is was a good time to take a look at the Johnny Carson Award for best Late Night/Variety Series. So Leno at 10:00 p.m. didn't work, but who's gonna watch a late night type of show when they're not really ready to fall asleep yet. Isn't that what late night talk is for? As much as I've loved NBC over past five years, they're slowly starting to kill me. How could they push Conan out? Leno at 11:35, Conan at 12:05? That would never work for either guy. Why wouldn't Conan go to fox if that were the case? And if he does, why not go on at 11:00 and beat the crowd. Fox does their news at 10:00 so what is he taking the place of? Seinfeld repeats? I think it would be a good move.

The Johnny Carson Award has been upped to 10 nominees this year and it's not really fair that the rest of these guys are in a category with Saturday Night Live. It should runaway with the category and retain its crown.

League of its Own
Saturday Night Live

I could give or take any of the next five, although Letterman and The Soup would be towards the end of the group for me. Call me an idiot, but Leno's monologue does it for me every time. Conan could just do his silly dance moves and he'd be in my top five, and it has already been well documented that I now love the way Fallon cracks himself up during his show (not to mention his valiant attempt at a Saved by the Bell reunion).

The Pack
The Jay Leno Show
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
The Tonight Show
The Soup

I still have never gotten into the high brow comedy shows of Comedy Central. I have no desire to ever attempt to watch the Daily Show or the Colbert Report, but their reputations precede them so they receive nominations from me. Chelsea Handler is extremely off or on for me, but mostly off. And I've never enjoyed Kimmel, but he gets the nod thanks to Cousin Sal.

Hanging On
Chelsea Lately
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live

Are there any other sketch shows on tv these days? Anything else I'm missing?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

House- Three Good Stories

To have a quality episode of House these days, you need to have three things.  First of all you need a great Greg House story.  With how good his character is, we can't settle for just a good plot line.  Secondly, you need a good medical story.  In every normal functioning episode of House, the medical story, and the patients involved are a big factor in its quality.  If that part of the ep is dull, it's usually ruined for me.  And finally, you need an adequate team story.  This group of misfits have gotten so unappealing to me, that a simple, okay story line from the likes of Chase, Taub, 13 and Mike Tomlin can be part of a quality ep of House.

That was exactly what we got last night.  Sure it wasn't on the standards of the two-hour season premier in the nut house, but it was better than what they have been putting out recently.  The House story was classic.  Fantastic buddy comedy between Dr. House and Dr. Wilson.  House pretending to be gay with Wilson so that he can both screw with Wilson and try and get with the cute neighbor in apartment 3B was just awesome.  From the unveiling of the gigantic Chorus Line poster to the shirt he was wearing at dinner with the neighbor, it was all gold.  It all got even better when Wilson joined in on the action to get back at his crippled friend.  When Wilson showed up to the restaurant, pronounced his love for House and then proposed?  I lost it.

The medical story was good.  It kept my interest throughout the episode.  I wasn't even checking my google reader during this ep.  Nick Papageorgio was at first a drug dealer, but later we find out he was an undercover cop.  It was one of those times when the group finds out what the problem is with its patient, but also finds out that it is incurable and the patient dies at the end of the ep.  A rarity, but needed.  They can't save everybody.

And finally we had a decent team story.  Decent overall, great for these jamokes.  We had 13, Taub and Chase making Mike Tomlin feel like a jerk cause they make more money than him.  Little did he know that they were just finding ways to make it look like they were making much more money.  Ho hum, the team is pretty terrible.

One side note- House's pop culture references are still fantastic.  When his first attempt to ask Nick Papageorgio for the drugs fails, he screams at the top of his lungs, "GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!!" When that inevitably fails, he subtly claims, "It works for Jack Bauer."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chuck- The Relationship Within

For the first time in a long time I watched two hours of commercial-filled television last night. From 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. this Sunday evening, I endured the brutality that is viewing advertisements, because I want to see Chuck stick around so badly. On NBC these days nothing is safe, and after the near cancellation we had at the end of last year, I'll do whatever I can to keep it around.

Now on to the Chuck-tacular season three premier. My favorite part about the spy series is that deep at the heart of Chuck is just the complicated, strained relationship between a guy and a girl. All the comedy. All the action. All the spy stuff. It's all just auxilary material to surround what is a truly great, but stressful love story between Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker.

As I like to stay spoiler free, I didn't know how they were going to work the new functions of the series (Chuck's intersect 2.0) into the plot of the third season. The way they handled this first hour was great. In the way that Friday Night Lights was able create new storylines based on the fact that Coach Taylor is now the coach of a terrible football team, so too are Schwartz, Fedak and company able to get new ideas for the CIA clan in Burbank. Starting out with a down on his luck Chuck that can't get back into the spy game was a nice way to differ from what they've done in the past. I'm just sad they couldn't hold out for at least two or three episodes, because in the second hour we get back to the normal formula for an episode of Chuck (not that that formula isn't fantastic).

Other Thoughts From Chuck vs. The Pink Slip

I loved that within the first six minutes of season three, we get to be enthralled by the Chuck Triple Threat. The drama is flowing during Sarah's shpeal about wanting to runaway with Chuck, the action comes early when Chuck takes out a group of Czechs, and I cracked up when he explains to those same Czechs that it's pierogi time.

The drama in the air when Chuck turned Sarah down at the train station was ridiculous. I know it wouldn't have allowed for a good season three if he went with her and they lived happily ever after, but how did he turn down a life with Sarah to be a spy? What a nutbar!

Other Thoughts From Chuck vs. The Three Words

Every time that Carina and her fake fiance Karl said smushy I lost it. It was done much more subtly than in Seinfeld oh so many years ago, but it had the same effect.
"I love you Smushy," Carina. "Love you Smush," Karl.
I was really waiting for them to argue about which one of them was actually Smushy, but unlike Seinfeld and the Shmoopy episode, it never happened. 

To get through all the red lasers, Chuck should've done more break dancing. It worked for the Night Fox in Ocean's 12, why not for Chuck?

Disagreeing With Sepinwall Again
Whatever issues I have with the pace of that relationship, the rest of this "Chuck" sandwich was so filled with the things I love about the show that I don't want to fill this review with complaints. (That I went on for that long says something, I think, about how it's the one part of the show that isn't usually working like gangbusters.)
For as much as I love the Buy More guys, the CIA crew figuring out how to get the job done, and every other aspect of Chuck, the way that Chuck and Sarah's relationship keeps circling around itself is exactly what drives the show.  To be a fantastic show you need a relationship at the heart of it.  And where the main relationship in many shows goes from courtship to romance and then stays there to get stale, the back and forth action of Chuck and Sarah makes you sit on the edge of your seat every time there's a thought that they might actually make things work.  This courtship/shooting down (mostly by Sarah) is able continually occur because of the special circumstances that the characters are in (being spies for the CIA).  In any other show it might seem ridiculous that they never actually get together, or completely break up, but here it works, and here it is fantastic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

SNL- Charles Barkley

As Al Donnelly's chief of staff would say, do you know what people should call me when I'm not around? The idiot! My inability to realize that the late football game was going to push the local news back and therefore move Saturday Night Live past my DVR recording makes me quite an idiot. As I was only able to watch half of last night's episode on the television, it became a bit confusing to me about how good the ep actually was.

After I finished watching individual clips from the second half of the episode, my first impression was that Charles Barkley delivered the best episode so far in this 35th season of SNL. That's not to say that his performance was that fantastic, but he delivered his parts well and didn't detract from what were finally a good group of sketches.

Top Five Sketches of the Night

5. Basketball Commentators- Definitely not as good the original "That'll move the chains!", but this "Nothing but the bottom of the net!" version got the job done.

4. MacGruber- No matter the situation, I always enjoy the MacGruber clips. Although all of the MacGruber being a racist stuff was funny, they could've done the exact same thing with Kenan in Barkley's place.

3. Barkley Golf- Here Sir Charles showed his ability to do some physical comedy. Every time he showed a hitch in an every day activity it was great.

2. Reel Quotes- This was the one sketch that Barkley was the major source of the comedy. His deadpan delivery as the Block Busters manager who knows nothing about movies was great.

1. Scared Straight- Once again Scared Straight is on its way to going down as my favorite recurring sketch in SNL history. This week's version did not disappoint. Charles's ability to play Lorenzo MacIntosh's father made it so that he did not detract from Kenan Thompson's fabulous performance. (unlike Taylor Swift who dropped the likeability of the sketch in half).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Peyton Does It Again

My favorite professional athlete, and should-be comedic actor, received his second straight National Football League Most Valuable Player Award today. Peyton Manning now leads the NFL for most AP MVP Awards in the history of the league, garnering his fourth honor this year. Last year he won in a landslide and this year he was much closer to taking home all of the 50 votes. He actually got 39.5, compared to 32 a season ago. Drew Brees was the only other player with more than two votes, receiving 7.5.

Final Vote:
Peyton Manning- 39.5
Drew Brees- 7.5
Philip Rivers- 2
Brett Favre- 1

So somebody actually said "this Peyton/Brees thing is too tough to call, I'm gonna give them each a half of a vote"? That person should be out as a voter. I guess it's a tough job, but somebody else should do it from now on. If you can't decide on who deserves the award, you shouldn't be voting. I have more respect for the guy who voted for Chris Johnson last year. At least he made a decision. Speaking of, how does the guy who voted for Chris Johnson last season not vote for him again this year when he totaled over 2,000 yards rushing?

Last Year's Totals:
Peyton Manning- 32
Chad Pennington- 4
Michael Turner- 4
James Harrison- 3
Adrian Peterson- 3
Philip Rivers- 2
Kurt Warner- 1
Chris Johnson- 1

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Catching Up- Sons of Anarchy Season 2

I wasn't going to do a second post on Sons of Anarchy, but I figured it was about time I got back to my roots and made a character list for the series. But first, a bit about the second season of the FX action show.

Within the past two days I have watched the final six episodes of the second season (that's what six hours on a bus will allow you to do). I loved season two, but still enjoyed the first 13 episodes a bit more. What may have let it down a bit, is what will make it that much better come seasons three and four, etc. Where season one let the audience learn about Jax and Gemma mainly, the second season gave us an opportunity to find out who Clay, Opie, Tig, Bobby, Half-Sack, Juice, Chibbs and Piney really are. Both fantastic seasons, but it was the powerful moments of season one that give it the slight edge. This characterization will make us understand each and every one of the aforementioned Sons, and make every one of their future scenes more powerful.

When we lost Half-Sack at the tail end of the final episode, I was truly sad. Wasn't everyone else looking forward to the moment that the Prospect actually got "Patched In" to SAMCRO? I know I was.

Another thing I have to mention is the music. The music is so well done here. I believe it was the penultimate episode of this second season where they used a cover of the Stones' Gimme Shelter as the beginning montage. In itself it was a powerful opening. Not only did it strengthen the scene because of its sound, they lyrics also spoke to the action of the characters (hiding the loved ones in the clubhouse). When they brought Gimme Shelter back at the end of the ep, it was incredible. There have been many moments during the first two seasons of SoA that I have thought the musical decisions were fantastic.

Bring on season 3...

Favorite Characters

10. Alex 'Tig' Trager
9. Piney Winston
8. Chief Wayne Unser
7. Tara Knowles
6. Kip 'Half Sack' Epps
5. Bobby Munson
4. Jean Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz
3. Harry 'Opie' Winston
2. Filip 'Chibs' Telford
1. Jackson Teller

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Poolies Watch- Battle of the Network Stars Award

The Battle of the Network Stars Award is given each year to the best reality competition series of the season. So far the nominees look very similar to last year's inaugural Poolie Awards. My top three at the halfway mark are the same as in 08-09. Survivor was improved this season, thank to the likes of Russell Hantz, and it should have another surge in it this spring as CBS airs the Heroes vs. Villains version of the island competition. Idol is set to start next week and if replacing Paula with Ellen didn't work, I can see last year's champ losing its crown.

Front Runners
American Idol
Big Brother

The Sing-Off is one of only two new shows receiving nominations at this point. It was only on for four two-hour episodes, but they were four fantastic ones. I'm sure it won't make a run at the title this year, but if NBC brings it back for a longer season, I wouldn't be surprised to see it high atop the voting in 10-11. Top Chef continues to be a show that gets a lot of love, but I have failed to view. With not enough viewers on the Poolies Committee, I don't see it vying for the top spot.

Second Tier
The Amazing Race
America’s Got Talent
The Sing-Off
Top Chef

I've never watched The Apprentice, but know Jaydon enjoys it. There are also around that enjoy to watch people dance...Not me, but others. I tried So You Think last summer and couldn't get past the first two weeks. Superstars was simple enough to take in during the summer, but the production and Jon Saunders were pretty brutal.

Just Because
Celebrity Apprentice
So You Think You Can Dance
The Superstars

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Top Ten

As the winter hiatus is upon us, four months of the television season has passed us by. A lot has happened since The Perspective's November Power Rankings, so let's see where everyone stacks up at the beginning of 2010. These Bi-Monthly Power Rankings take into account both current and past performance. For example, although I have enjoyed Modern Family much more than 30 Rock this season, the NBC comedy stays on top of the ABC laugher because of its historical performance. Without further ado here are the Quiet Pool Perspective's January TV Power Rankings.

Top Ten

Rank. Show- (last time) down, green=moving up

10. True Blood- (9) Sundays on HBO
HBO has played some season one marathons as of late and it reminded me of how much better the second season of True Blood was. It's transformation from a vampire drama to a fantasy action series lifted it in the November rankings. The folks from Bon Temps won't return for a while, but I'm looking forward to what they have in store.

9. Big Brother- (8) Summers on CBS
Big Bro finished at the end of the summer, but it's performance has lasted in my memory. Russell Hantz's fantastic performance proved to be the best Survivor I have seen to date, but it still couldn't compare with any season of Big Bro. Survivor is just Big Bro's less detailed, less complicated little brother.

8. Modern Family- (10) Wednesdays on ABC
Easily the best new show of the year so far, Modern Fam has made another improvement in the rankings. The 2009 finale Undeck the Halls could have been reason enough for it to move up to the eight spot. Any of Manny, Phil, Jay or Cameron could be my favorite character on any other comedy this season. On a bit of a tangent, Manny and his "innocentes" spawned a bunch of practical jokes by me and my family this holiday season.

7. 30 Rock- (4) Thursdays on NBC
The show centering around TGS with Tracy Jordan has taken a big dip due to a lackluster at best start to the fourth season. I don't know if they aren't doing the same sorts of gimmicks as in seasons two and three, or if those same gimmicks just aren't working any more. Whichever it is, they need to do something if they want to stay at the top of the comedy game. The fact of the matter is that they need to get Tracy more and more air time. Maybe if Alec Baldwin retires from acting again (like he claims to be doing) this could happen.

6. 24- (7) Mondays on FOX
I am currently watching season five of 24 for the second time and it is quite fantastic watching President Charles Logan squirm during the first half of the season. Rumor has it that he will be back for the eighth season starting this month. It probably won't be a large role, but it's exciting none the less. Other rumors floating around are that this will be the final season of the real-time action series. If so, let's hope Jack leaves on a high note and mirks himself on the way out.

5. The Office- (6) Thursdays on NBC
Some of the use of the supporting characters hasn't been as good the past couple of seasons, but Michael Scott has yet to disappoint. The Scranton, PA paper boss (or co-regional manager now) has been as awkward and ridiculous as ever and it gets me every week. With David Wallace on his way out due to a buy out, I hope the new boss at corporate can bring a good, new dynamic to the show in 2010.

4. Friday Night Lights- (5) Wednesdays on The 101 Network
The Dillon, TX drama continues to impress me with its ability to work in new characters, while keeping the original characters so enjoyable. The ex-Panthers are slowly leaving us (Smash, Street, and now Saracen) but Luke and Vince have brought their own positives to the new Lions squad. The loss of Tyra and Lyla was less of a big deal because the combo of Jess and Becky are an improvement.

3. Chuck- (3) Mondays on NBC
Thankfully Chuck and his cronies will return earlier than previously announced, because I don't know if I would have been able to wait until March to see Mr. Bartowski with Intersect 2.0 in his brain. Starting this month with a two day premier, I believe Chuck will only get better as the lead character now will know how to do many ridiculous activities (like kung fu).

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm- (2) Sundays on HBO
This season has without a doubt put Curb in a class of its own as far as comedies go. Not one episode this season was I not completely impressed and in tune with what Larry David had to offer. The Seinfeld reunion plot of the season was the best running theme they've come up with so far. The Producers season (Four I think) was the next best idea. LD will now think about if he wants to make another season. We can all hope that he thinks of something good.

1. Lost- (1) Wednesdays on ABC
The final season is upon us. When Lindelof and Cuse announced that they were setting an end date for the mysterious island series, I was excited because it meant they were actually knew exactly where they were going with the show. The bad news is that now I am sad that I can see the final episode in the distance. I have steered clear of any articles relating to the last season of Lost, because I want to go in fresh and with hardly any knowledge of what anyone else thinks is going to or supposed to happen. I'm very excited.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- 20 Through 11

As the winter hiatus is upon us, four months of the television season has passed us by. A lot has happened since The Perspective's November Power Rankings, so let's see where everyone stacks up at the beginning of 2010. These Bi-Monthly Power Rankings take into account both current and past performance. For example, although I have enjoyed Modern Family much more than 30 Rock this season, the NBC comedy stays on top of the ABC laugher because of its historical performance. Without further ado here are the Quiet Pool Perspective's January TV Power Rankings.

20 Through 11

Ranking. Show- (last time) down, green=moving up

20. Greek- (15) Mondays on ABC Family
This series has to be ending soon right? They can't continue it without the likes of Cappie, Casey and Evan. And they have to be graduating come this spring season. Greek will return this month and if they keep highlighting Cappie and Dale it should stay in the top 20.

19. The Mentalist- (16) Thursdays on CBS
The only procedural to make my top 20, The Mentalist succeeds on the performances of its cast. Sure Patrick Jane is one of my favorite leading characters, but between Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt you always get plenty of laughs in what is a crime drama. As the show loses Charles Logan, who will return to 24 this spring, I'm curious to see how the new boss at the CBI fits into things.

18. Wizards of Waverly Place- (12) Fridays on Disney Channel
The Russo clan took a bit of a drop here, but was mostly because I gave Wizards too much love last rankings. The recent rise of Jonas also made me dial back how much I liked Wizards. The start to the third season has been good, but the Frankengirl episode ruined a lot of things for me.

17. Flash Forward- (HM) Thursdays on ABC
Here's the thing. Everyone I trust who watches television (Poolie voters) loves Flash Forward. Everything I read, on the interweb and the blogosphere, says it isn't any good. My two cents are this. It could be really good, but misses out by a smidge and therefore critics are trashing it. It's still a quality mystery show with a good amount of action.

16. V- (-) Tuesdays on ABC
Anna and her friends have only been invading Earth for four episodes, but they have made an immediate impact. As opposed to Flash Forward, V has done a better job (in less time) at giving their characters some substance. I can relate to Juliet, the Father and T-time (or whatever their names are) more than I have with anyone on Flash.

15. Survivor- (HM) Thursdays on CBS
Although he failed to win this season of Survivor, he single handedly moved it up my power rankings. Without him what would this season of the show have been? Terrible is what I'd say. His skills in the game, his cocky attitude, and his ability to tell the camera exactly what the audience wanted to hear made him one of the greatest reality contestants in a while.

14. 90210- (11) Tuesdays on The CW
While other shows have moved ahead of it, there is no discredit to the the West Bev soap. 90210 is gaining steam in its second season, no doubt due to the creator/writing change. The storylines have been better and the acting has been better (if you don't take into account Tristan Wilds). Naomi Clarke is the best female in Beverly Hills since Valerie Malone left.

13. Community- (HM) Thursdays on NBC
The Greendale Human Beings made one of the biggest jumps in the rankings. I couldn't allow for it to be too far behind the other top sitcoms. It has been that good. Although it doesn't have a big gun, a la Michael Scott or Tracy Jordan, the ensemble as a whole has been as good or better than The Office or 30 Rock this season. Even though Abed and Pierce are my personal favorites, everyone brings something to the table week in and week out.

12. American Idol- (13) Tuesdays on FOX
As we embark on the next installment of Idol, beginning this month, everyone should be worried. Sure everyone made fun of Paula and her drunken comments, but wasn't that half the fun? Sometimes I surprise myself when I state that I think Ellen is funny, but I do. Do I think she'll be able to take the place of Paula? That I am not sure of. And after a season with the crazy but fantastic Adam Lambert, Idol could be in for a let down in 2010.

11. Mad Men- (17) Sundays on AMC
Another big jumper this time around. At the last rankings it was 17 with only one episode left in the third season. That final ep wasn't the sole reason for this jump, but it was a good majority of it. As much as I have claimed that I'm not that into Mad Men, and I only watch it because everyone in the world says it's awesome, I really think that it has resonated with me. The longer I have been away from the ad men, the better the show gets.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Honorable Mentions

As the winter hiatus is upon us, four months of the television season has passed us by. A lot has happened since The Perspective's November Power Rankings, so let's see where everyone stacks up at the beginning of 2010. These Bi-Monthly Power Rankings take into account both current and past performance. For example, although I have enjoyed Modern Family much more than 30 Rock this season, the NBC comedy stays on top of the ABC laugher because of its historical performance. Without further ado here are the Quiet Pool Perspective's January TV Power Rankings.

Honorable Mentions

Show- (last time) down, green=moving up

Bored to Death- (HM) Sundays on HBO
Jonathan Ames and friends finished their short first season run a while ago and won't be back until late this year. It's hard to get a grasp on how good it really is, but what I've seen I've really enjoyed.

Californication- (20) Sundays on Showtime
Hank Moody and his girls recently finished their third season in fantastic fashion. Although Moody is a great character, the show itself isn't one that I can't wait to see week in and week out.

Eastbound and Down- (-) Sundays on HBO
Nobody knows when Kenny Power and crew will return to our television sets. Like Bored to Death, Eastbound only aired half a season to start its series run. Completely hilarious, but I'll hold back giving it higher praise until I can see them do it again.

Glee- (HM) Wednesdays on FOX
The singers come back on the air in April and will finish the season with nine more episodes. Although I hesitated at first, the dramedy/musical has won me over in a sense and I always look forward to the musical performances.

Gossip Girl- (19) Mondays on The CW
The boys and girls of the Upper East Side took a step forward this season when they highlighted Nate, Dan and newcomer Olivia, but kind of sputtered through the end of the fall season when Serena became the focus of the series.

Hannah Montana- (18) Sundays on Disney Channel
A fourth and final season will begin in 2010. Hannah has gotten better and better as Miley gets older and older. Her comic timing continues to improve, and Billy Ray has been a comic genius considering his absolute lack of acting chops.

House, MD- (14) Mondays on FOX
The story telling on House has fallen off the map for me. The season started on a high note with House in the mental hospital, telling more of a serialized story. Recently I have not looked forward to the same old procedural plots each and every week. Losing Kutner was brutal to the show and now without Cameron I don't see a return to the top any time soon.

Jonas- (-) Sundays on Disney Channel
The Jo Bros continue to rise up on my list of awesome dudes. I absolutely had my doubts going into my first viewing of Jonas, but the three brothers didn't disappoint when I watched most of the first season in marathon style one Sunday afternoon. Sure it is corny, but with my love of Danny McCoy and Las Vegas, you already knew I enjoy corny.

Parks and Recreation- (-) Thursdays on NBC
The Office-esque comedy came into its own in this, its second season. Amy Poehler has her moments, but it was the writers' ability to get Chris Pratt's Andy Dwyer into the Parks and Rec building after his broken leg healed. Now able to interact with all of the characters, Andy has proven to be a must see all on his own.

Sons of Anarchy- (-) Tuesdays on FX
The motorcycle gang action series just finished its second season on FX in December. Sure I've only experience half of the first season, but it shows so much promise that I'm giving it an honorable mention spot already. I only see Sons moving up as I continue to catch up.