Thursday, July 29, 2010

Big Brother- Can't Catch a Breakdown

Spoiler alert...Below are some thoughts on the third week of Big Brother 12. So watch the eps, re-conceptualize what a fighter means to you, and read what I had to say.

Matt- "The only two people I didn't want to get picked for the power of veto competition were Brendon and Rachel."

Big Brother is a reality television show. What is the point of reality television? To entertain us with the antics of really dumb people right? Well if that is so, this third week of Big Brother really got the point across. I was highly entertained by the stupidity put forth by Matt the doctor! CBS is absolutely right in giving him the moniker of "self proclaimed genius," because he is one of the dumbest smart guys I've seen.

Let's analyze what he did during his week of power as head of household. Matt's first order of business was to select two house guests to put on the block. Instead of putting up a strong player (Brendon) with a pawn, or putting up two contestants that are in the only known alliance (Brendon and Rachel), he goes with personal issues and vows to get rid of Kathy because she voted against him in the last elimination ceremony.

So he's not the first idiot to take this game too personally. But when you go around explaining to everyone (and America) that you are playing these house guests like fiddles, it's not acceptable. So he went against his fellow Brigade members' wishes to put up Brendon and Rachel. In the diary room he explained that he might think about putting one of them up if the Veto got used...but probably not because he was "sitting pretty."

Here's where things get interesting. After Brendon wins the Veto comp and doesn't use it, Matt all of the sudden starts complaining like a little baby that his master planned got ruined. Not just whining to his fellow Brigaders, but to America! To quote him, he said "My empire is crumbling. My master plan is destroyed." Excuse me?!? You may be able to pull one over on your house mates, making them think it was your plan to backdoor Brendon the entire time, but not us guy. We know your original plan was to get rid of Kathy. It was probably a terrible idea, but that was your idea.

Now that Rachel has won HoH again, Matt is going to continue complaining about the Brigade not being able to catch a single break. Seriously this guy is annoying. He's worse than CJ trying to convince people he's good at FIFA. Honestly the Brigade is catching horrible breaks. They're just not playing well at all. We just witnessed them screwing this week up by not putting up Rachel and Brendon. If we take a look back at week one we will see that Hayden was HoH and put Brendon and Rachel up for eviction. What happened there? The Brigade was convinced to get Annie out instead of one of the power couple. Two out of the three weeks you've had the upper hand. I'd call that catching some breaks.

Other highlights from inside the house

Lane and Enzo have both stepped their game up. Enzo has spit out a few good lines, while Lane was yucking it up with Britney. As the two of them replaced their voices with Brendon and Rachel to make fun of them, Lane got nostalgic for his role-playing days in Texas..."I love role playing. I've role played a couple times back in Texas. Mainly with horses and cows you know, wondering what they're saying and what they'd say to me."

Sometimes I feel like these contestants have never watched the show before. When Matt came up with the idea to keep Andrew in the house because he was starting to act crazy, Enzo and Hayden thought this was the most novel idea ever. I've only been watching for three seasons, but isn't that Big Brother 101? Keep the crazies in so that they have the target. Now I know it never happens, because it becomes a great excuse to get rid of that person, but it should.

Andrew went out with a bang as he got swept in the vote to leave the house. I've never seen someone pack so much into the slotted time to speak. Chelsia from a few years back might have been more cruel, but Andrew gets the award for most information spewed. Remember how sometimes people just say "I hope you don't vote me out. Thanks." Yeah simpler times.

Summer Poolies Watch- Drama

And so we round up the Summer Poolies watch with a quick look at what's been going on in the drama department. First up is the Dynasty Award for Best Drama Series and let's begin with a couple of sure fire nominees. I have no idea when Treme is going to air in 2011, but the three eps that we got in June, including 'All On a Mardis Gras Day' were fantastic. There has only been one Mad Men ep thus far, but it is a lock every season.

Other shows looking for a nomination: Entourage has been much more enjoyable this season, as Scott Caan has proven to be a wonderful addition. Jonas makes the switch to the drama category, and even though its revamped style isn't nearly as good as the first season, I love me some Jo Bros. Glee aired two eps at the end of season one in June, and if things don't get less annoying on that show, it might miss out on nominations. Then there is Hung and Pretty Little Liars. The first has given no real entertainment, while the second has been much better than expected (although still underwhelming).

The Dr. Doug Ross Award for Best Lead Character in a Drama is next up. Ari Gold (right) has one the supporting category two straight years, but it's about time to realize that he is a lead in this show. There are basically five leads. If I were to say who the two with the most screen time were, I'd guess E and Ari. Then of course there is Mr. Draper of Mad Men and a couple of French Quarter guys, in Davis McAlary and Antoine Batiste of Treme. If any of the Jo Bros stand out from each other, they could have a good shot at a nomination in a much easier category than the comedy one they were in last year.

Supporting characters. The Noah Hunter Award. With Ari hypothetically out of the group, I like Roger Sterling and Scotty Lavin of Entourage as my early favorites. Creighton Bernette and Albert Lambreaux of Treme also put forth good performances in June, but the big man won't be around next season so that limits his ability. Puck of Glee, although not as cool as I want him to be, has his moments and should be in the running for a nomination next year.

I'll be interested to see if any of the smaller female characters of Glee step up next year. The Veronica Mars Award already is packed with hopefuls, but Quinn Fabray (left) and Santana Lopez of the singing drama deserve some consideration. Of course they'll be competing with their teammates Sue Sylvester and Rachel Berry. My early favorite though? Annie of Treme. I just loved watching her take a beating from Sonny and then falling into Davis's arms. Macy Misa and Stella Malone don't get that much of a break from the category switch as it is just as tough over here in drama for the ladies. Others of note: Janette Desautel of Treme, Jessica Haxon of Hung, Lizzie Grant of Entourage.

Another category loaded with talent is the Marissa Cooper Award for the Character You Love to Hate in a Drama. I could fill this whole thing with people from Glee and The CW. Kurt, Emma, Mr. Shue, Mercedes, Artie, Finn...keep 'em coming from Glee. Then there are the category staples of Entourage's E and Mad Men's Peggy Olsen. I can't tell if I hate Sonny from Treme because he's so awful to Annie, or love him for it so that's a tough one. Others of note: Tanya Skagle of Hung, Dee Zee of Jonas, Henry Francis of Mad Men.

Episodes of note thus far would be Treme's 'All On a Mardis Gras Day', Mad Men's opener 'Public Relations' and maybe the most recent Entourage 'Tequila Sunrise.'

And there we have the Summer Poolies watch. I might come back in October for a Fall Poolies watch, but I might not. If any of you Poolie voters have any suggestions leave them here (although I know no one but Jaydon or T-time would).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Poolies Watch- Comedy

Before I get into chatting about the comedies that have been airing this summer, I'd like to give out a two-sided warning. If you are one of my readers that love the Disney Channel shows, continue on excitedly. If you are one of my readers that write off the Disney shows without ever giving them a chance, then stop here because Party Down is really the only other comedy that's been on the air so far this season.

Let's take a look at the big one. The Seinfeld Award for Best Comedy Series. The only series nominated last year that that has aired is Jonas and after a revamp of the show, I'm shifting it to the drama category. So who then who is vying for a spot thus far? Well Party Down is right there on the cusp, but it's schedule really hurts it for the Poolies. Six eps of the second season aired during last year's time frame, and then four more came out in June. With no third season in sight, it's hard to imagine a nomination for four eps.

So now we get to the Disney shows. Here is my current order of how good they've been since June 1st. 1) Sonny With a Chance. 2) Hannah Montana. 3) Wizards of Waverly Place. 4) Good Luck Charlie. Sonny has excelled thanks to the vast improvement of Demi Lovato and an awesome two-parter in 'Falling for the Falls.' Hannah is off to a good start in its final season, with the exit of Smokin' Okin coming as a pleasant surprise.

What else have I been checking out on the comedy circuit? TVLand's Hot In Cleveland and FX's Louie. Neither have done much for me. Even though Louie is getting rave reviews, it's all Mr. CK and his down on his luck character/personality is not funny to me. And then with Cleveland we have a 90s style sitcom, which I'm mainly watching for the appearance of Joe Jonas later this season.

I only have four dudes in the running for the Cory Matthews Award for Best Lead Character in a Comedy, but does anyone other than Larry David have a shot if Curb comes out before June 2011? Henry Pollard and his final four eps lead the way, while Justin Russo and Chad Dylan Cooper, from Wizards and Sonny, respectively, have had good starts to the season. Louie CK, who some feel is the funniest man in the world, rounds out the group.

The Arthur Spooner Award for Best Supporting Character in a Comedy has had more competition early on. You have a trio of Party Downers in Kyle, Ron and even Roman who wasn't as annoying to me this season. Robby Ray Stewart has kept up his obnoxious antics so far and should be able to secure a second straight nomination if things continue the way they have. Although Sonny's Grady Mitchell knocked it out of the park with his "coupon" lines, Max Russo of Wizards is the only other one with a chance.

Quietly becoming one of the toughest categories to crack, the Phoebe Buffay Award for Best Female Character in a Comedy is off to a good start. What can you say, but adult television doesn't know how to create funny female characters. They leave that to the kids shows. The triple Disney threat of Sonny Munroe, Alex Russo and Miley Stewart will most likely be my one, two and three next June no matter what else happens. Casey Klein of Party Down had a very good showing this season and should be in the running for a nomination. Then there is Lilly Truscott of Hannah and the Duncan girls of Good Luck Charlie.

Not much to hate so far in the world of comedy. One comes to mind though. Lydia Dunfree of Party Down. As a replacement for Jane Lynch's Constance, she annoyed the heck out of me every time she was on screen. Also a couple to hate from Sonny are Nico, who was nominated last year, and Zora who should have been.

And finally we have the 'The Dealership' Award for Best Comedy Episode. I've got two in mind so far. Party Down's 'Company Picnic' and the aforementioned 'Falling for the Falls' of Sonny With a Chance.

And next we will have a look at the early season drama doings here at the Pool.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Poolies Watch- Action

After just finishing up the the 2010 Quiet Pool Television Awards, let's take an early look at the 2011 Poolies. Two months of the season have already gone by and a lot has already happened. Sometimes these summer shows don't get as much recognition because they air so far before the awards are voted on, and sometimes it's because they're just not that good. Either way, let's take a look at what has happened so far in the action award categories.

First up is the Sopranos Award for Best Action Series. Now first up to mention are Breaking Bad and Justified, both of which aired their final two episodes of the season in June, qualifying for the 2011 awards. Both had fantastic endings to their third and first seasons, respectively, and currently sit at the top of the rankings. True Blood is the only other previous nominee to have aired so far this year. The first six eps of this third season haven't been as good as last summer's affair, but still a worthy candidate for sure.

Also on my radar for the Sopranos Award are Persons Unknown and Covert Affairs (right).  Persons is a mystery thriller that has been good but not great. I'm really curious to find out all the answers to why everything is happening, but the process isn't entertaining me right now. Covert Affairs airs its third episode tonight and I'm decently excited. On USA, I didn't have much hope for it, but the cast and the feeling of serialization won me over. Piper Perabo is extremely cute as the lead agent. Add Christopher Gorham from Harper's Island and Peter Gallagher, most known in my parts as Sandy Cohen from The O.C., and you have me on board.

I have viewed four other actions since June 1st...none of which have any shot at earning a nomination. The Good Guys is the best of the bunch, if only because there are a few funny Bradley Whitford moments that I can hear while I'm multitasking. I gave up on ABC's The Gates after a few episodes, dropped TNT's Memphis Beat after two, and would have already been finished with SyFy's Haven if it didn't take place in Maine.

Let's talk about some characters. Let's start with the Frank Pembleton Award for Best Lead Character in an Action Series. The two returning nominees are Raylan Givens and Walter White who finished third and seventh in 2010, respectively. Only two of their eps from last season should count, but next year should be more of the same for both of them. At this point I'm bumping both Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad and Eric Northman of True Blood to lead and putting them right in the thick of this thing. Anyone else have a chance? Maybe The Good Guys' Dan Stark for his humor if the category is light due to the lack of Losties. Also on my radar: Joe of Persons Unknown and Jason Stackhouse of True Blood.

So now we get to the newly named Desmond Hume Award for Best Supporting Character in an Action Series. Now that Lost is off the air I wanted it to be more represented in the Poolies, and since Jack and Sawyer split their award the past two seasons, I felt Desmond deserved the honors for dismantling the competition in 2010. Thanks to Jaydon for the tip, and no offense to Rome's Titus Pullo, but he was more of a lead character anyway.

Although we again lose the Lost favorites in this category, 2011 should be as crowded as ever for this award. I could make up a ten man list of worthy nominees just from what has aired since June 1...

  • Boyd Crowder- Justified
  • Saul Goodman- Breaking Bad
  • Andy Bellefleur- True Blood
  • Gus Fring- Breaking Bad
  • Bo Crowder- Justified
  • Auggie Anderson- Covert Affairs
  • Hank Schrader- Breaking Bad
  • Blackham- Persons Unknown
  • Lafayette Reynolds- True Blood
  • Art Mullen- Justified

Action has been depleted in good female depth the past two years. Ava Crowder is the only returning nominee to have taken the screen thus far, but she has some competition from her own show in Winona Hawkins, who made a late season push. Then you have Jessica Hamby and Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood. The latter was a nominee for worst character last year, but hasn't been nearly as annoying this season. I know it's only two episodes in, but Covert Affairs' Annie Walker is extremely fun to watch (and not only for aesthetic reasons). Also on my radar are Skyler White of Breaking Bad, Janet of Persons Unknown and Joan Campbell of Covert Affairs.

Who has ticked me off so far this summer? Well if it isn't those characters vying for a nomination for the Teri Bauer Award. Now that Bill and Sookie are out of my dog house on True Blood, there is plenty of room for newcomers. Where to find about True Blood? Tara Thornton and Franklin (left) have been equally awful, while Lafayette's new man Jesus is giving them both a run for their money. The Breaking Bad trio of Skyler, Marie and Walter White, Jr. are also always in the running.

And finally we have the 'Through the Looking Glass' Award for Best Action Episode. Both Justified and Breaking Bad's season finale's 'Bulletville' and 'Full Measure' are on pace to earn nominations. Both the Persons Unknown and Covert Affairs pilots were good and are on my radar. Nothing from True Blood has stood out yet.

So there you have it. An early look at the action awards at the 2011 Poolies. Next up is comedy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quiet Pool at TV Fanatic- Hung's 'Sing It Again Ray'

Along with the added bonus of reviewing Mad Men this week, I also did my weekly Hung review over at TV Fanatic this morning. Not as fun of a job, but the more I write about this series, the more interesting it gets. Just watching it is not nearly stimulating as figuring out what it is trying to do on a week to week basis.

In this week's episode of Hung, 'Sing It Again Ray,' Ray and Tanya help Damon fit in with some new friends, Ronnie and Jessica argue about babies, and just as the episode title explains, Ray sings it again...and again...and again.

Hung 204- 'Sing It Again Ray'

Quiet Pool at TV Fanatic- Mad Men's 'Public Relations'

The head honcho over at TV Fanatic, the one known as M.L. House, is off this week. What did this mean for me? A bump up to the big leagues. Today over there, I got to review the season four premiere of Mad Men. As a show I enjoy quite a bit more than Hung, I was extremely pleased to get the job.

Like myself, some of the Poolie readers have had a tough time getting into Mad Men. It is slow, and even boring at times, but watching the quality of writing on this show makes up for it most of the time. Things definitely started to pick up the second half of last season, ending with one of the best episodes of last year, the season three finale "Shut the Door. Have a Seat."

Season four's premiere was quite up to that level, but it was still fantastic. This week over at TV Fanatic I discuss how Don's talents as an ad man led to a strange irony, along with much more. A lot happened since we left the Mad Men crew, and a lot happened in this one hour of television. We see the new Sterling Cooper Draper Price working out of a make-shift office building, the new Draper family situation is explored for the first time, and Donald Draper learns a new way to sell both himself and the agency.

So whether you're a fan of Mad Men or just want to trash on it (or my review), head over to TV Fanatic. You can comment on how I don't deserve to write for such a good show, or just read some of the great quotes from this week's premiere episode.

Mad Men 401- 'Public Relations'

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sopranos Award- Best Action Series

Named For: Sopranos (HBO) 1999-2007
Awarded To: Best action series from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Chuck (NBC)

Place. Show (Network) Points (My Vote)

10. Dexter (Showtime) 0 points

9. The Mentalist (CBS) 1 point

8. Justified (FX) 4 points

7. 24 (FOX) 6 points

6. True Blood (HBO) 12 points (5th)

5. Flash Forward (ABC) 16 points

4. Sons of Anarchy (FX) 18 points (3rd)

3. Chuck (NBC) 20 points (2nd)

2. Breaking Bad (AMC) 23 points (4th)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Lost (ABC) 36 points (1st)
Here with his thoughts on Lost is Poolie voter, Larry...

There has been so much literature written about LOST it’s kind of annoying to put something together here.  I haven’t read everything out there, but it seems like there is an obligation in every write-up to give your thoughts on the final season/season finale (down on the season, loved the finale). Everyone knows what happened, so that’s all I really want to say about the actual show. I’d rather talk about what LOST did outside its time slot.

To say the show had a cult following would be misleading, because it was actually more intense. With LOST, more than any other show, you were either in or out. I love that. Outsiders hated when a LOST conversation broke out because it seemed like people were speaking a different language. If you found a random stranger who watched the show, you immediately had material to fill up an hour long conversation. Honestly, it’s one of the only ways I could ever enjoy a conversation with a stranger. The show would not have become a phenomenon without this passion. On the internet, the craze spilled over into what seemed like a thousand online forums and even its own wiki-like site.  The resources never seemed to end. You can’t help but appreciate that kind of devotion. Even a contributor to this site found inspiration from the show for his Twitter wallpaper.

So although I was down on the season as a whole, no show came close to entertaining me as much on and off the air. That’s why I voted for it and that’s why I think it is the best network television show ever. I have always said I am jealous of people who still haven’t seen it, because they have 120+ hours of entertainment sitting there, completely new to them. I can’t say that about any other show up for the award, so while this category is stacked, it really wasn’t that close.

by Larry Avitabile

Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Brother- Mean Girls Too

Spoiler alert...Below are some thoughts on the second week of Big Brother 12. So watch the eps, lie about your significant other's health status, and read what I had to say.

Britney- "I am so gonna miss sitting in the back yard and talking with you about how high waisted Kristen's pants are, and how skanky Rachel's dressing every day, and how annoying her laugh is, and all the things we could do with her hair extensions. It's gonna be really, really, really hard without you."

What an incredible end to an unbelievable week long performance by Britney. That has to go down as the best farewell speech of all time right? It was the best I've heard in the past three years, that's for sure. Not only did the Britney/Monet power house of comedy and awesomeness come out of nowhere in week two, it came out extremely strong.

They started out on Sunday just getting clips of them hating on every single person in the house. As I hate most people, it is great to here others hate on the terrible attributes of others. As Wednesday's ep came along the duo kept bringing the heat and stepped their game up a bit too with gems from Britney like...
"I don't usually just like to hang out with whores like for fun." And...
"Every time she wears a skirt I feel like STDs have gone airborn."
Then on Thursday Britney capped the whole week off with that fantastic farewell speech to her best pal Monet who got the boot and is the second contestant to leave the house.

As the great Pete Bell once said, "It doesn't matter what you do, God Damnit! It's how you do it!" Because if Natalie and Lydia were saying these same things last season I'd want to throw up or slap them in the face. There's something endearing about Britney when she acts like a complete jerk and she's going places for it.

And then there was the week that Matt had for himself. I'm a bit more confused by this situation. At first I wasn't a big Matt fan because of how bad he seemed to be at playing the game. But then he came up with the whole 'faking his wife's health status' thing.

You see one of my rules of Big Brother is that this thing is a game. Anything you do or say in the house is part of the game and in no way is indicative of how you may or may not behave in the real world. So making up some story that your wife has a disease in which she could lose her leg in order to gain sympathy from the other contestants is fine by me.

I love the effort by Matt, but dislike both the execution and the timing. It is way too early bro. He came dangerously close, like Brian a few years ago, of getting sent to the showers quickly for playing the game too hard, too fast. Again I'm fine with making up this story, it's actually kind of funny to me, but do it half way through the game. Don't shake things up so early on.

Secondly his execution while telling the story was God awful. He was smiling and laughing in telling to anyone who would listen. Show some different emotions if you want people to buy this as a sad tale.

Unlike Dan Gheesling from a few seasons back, who was controlling the game at one point, Matt merely thinks he is pulling a number on everyone by offering himself up as a pawn and then crying to Britney and Monet about it. He's lucky that getting called out on the whole thing didn't send him home right then and there. It's a good thing for him he has The Brigade on his side.

The Seinfeld Award- Best Comedy Series

Named For: Seinfeld (NBC) 1990-98
Awarded To: Best comedy series from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: The Office (NBC)

Place. Show (Network) Points (My Vote)

10. Bored to Death (HBO) 0 points

9. Rules of Engagement (CBS) 0 points

8. Jonas (Disney Channel) 2 points

7. 30 Rock (NBC) 6 points

6. Parks and Recreation (NBC) 10 points

5. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX) 12 points (4th)

4. The Office (NBC) 17 points (5th)

3. Community (NBC) 31 points (3rd)

2. Modern Family (ABC) 35 points (2nd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
43 points (1st)

Here with his thoughts on Curb Your Enthusiasm is Poolie voter, Tyson...

Everyone knows that Curb is funny, that it’s mostly ad-libbed, etc. So instead of talking about why Curb is so great I’m going to talk about why all the other candidates suck:

1. 30 Rock: We get it Tina Fey, you are awkward and like to eat. If I wanted to see old women talk about food I would watch the Oxygen network. Let’s move on.

2. Bored to Death: Now I’ve never seen a single episode of this show but according to Wikipedia it’s about a private detective in Brooklyn. Well I hate Brooklyn and now hate this show for being set there.

3. Community: This show seriously needs to get off Joel Mchale’s nuts. So he’s tall and has nice pecs, therefore every chick and dean of the college in the show wants him? Doesn’t Joel get enough positive reinforcement from the dude who wears the mankini on The Soup?

4. It’s always sunny in Philadelphia: Philly sucks…next

5. Jonas: Seriously why is this even nominated? Virgins are only funny when they are embarrassed by their virginity and trying unsuccessfully to score with hot chicks. No exceptions.

6. Modern Family: I used to like this show before I saw the cast eat a meal on Top Chef Masters. I hated every single one of them. Gloria even looked ugly. Also, all of the Manny Delgado hype needs to stop right now. Having a kid talk like an adult is not funny. Having Luke run into sliding glass door is. Moving on.

7. The Office: Please stop looking at the camera after you say something “funny.” It was endearing at first but now The Office is like the guy who calls someone a douchebag and then says “Am I right? Am I right?” No, The Office you are not right.

8. Parks and Recreation: How is this different from the office? You tell me, because I’ve never seen an episode.

9. Rules of Engagement: David Spade playing a heterosexual male? Why not just let Betty White play Rosa Parks…so unrealistic.

by Tyson Brazell

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dynasty Award- Best Drama Series

Named For: Dynasty (ABC) 1981-89
Awarded To: Best drama series from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Friday Night Lights (The 101/NBC)

Place. Show (Network) Points (My Vote)

10. Men of a Certain Age (TNT) 3 points

9. 90210 (The CW) 3 points

8. Greek (ABC Fam) 5 points

7. Parenthood (NBC) 5 points (5th)

6. Californication (Showtime) 9 points (2nd)

5. Glee (FOX) 10 points

4. Treme (HBO) 18 points (4th)

3. House, MD (FOX) 21 points

2. Mad Men (AMC) 21 points (3rd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Friday Night Lights (The 101/NBC)
29 points (1st)

Here with his thoughts on Friday Night Lights is Poolie voter Mags...

I’ve got a pretty big secret and I’m gonna spill it here.

This freaking show is really sweet. To prove my point I’m going to name a bunch of sick joints from FNL (in no particular order):
1. Football
2. Partying with your boys
3. Loads of cute shorties
4. Tackling
5. Tim Riggins
6. Lyla Garrity
7. The nerd ginger kid who’s kinda funny
Now you probably thought to yourself: ”That’s no secret, anyone who has seen the show knows all that stuff.” Here’s what you don’t know: I voted this show the winner for the 2010 Dynasty Award and I only saw the first 6 episodes of the season. So in order to congratulate the show and round out this post, I am going to predict what happened on the 2nd half of the season (in no particular order):
1. Football
2. Partying
3. Cute shawties
4. Tim friggin’ Riggins aka The GOAT
5. Lyla Garrity
6. State Championship
7. Lyla gets preggers
8. Nerd ginge tells a couple jokes
There’s no way to tell exactly what happened, but if I had to guess I’d say I’m pretty damn close. Congrats to FNL and Tim Riggins.

by Kyle Magnus

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Frank Pembleton Award- Lead Character Action

Named For: Frank Pembleton played by Andre Braugher in
Homicide: Life on the Street
Awarded To: The best lead character in an action series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: James 'Sawyer' Ford- Lost

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Patrick Jane (The Mentalist) 2 points

9. Jack Bauer (24) 7 points

8. John Casey (Chuck) 8 points

7. Walter White (Breaking Bad) 12 points

6. Chuck Bartowski (Chuck) 14 points

5. Jackson Teller (Sons of Anarchy) 18 points (3rd)

4. Hugo Reyes (Lost) 18 points (2nd)

3. Raylan Givens (Justified) 19 points (5th)

2. James 'Sawyer' Ford (Lost) 21 points (4th)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Jack Shephard (Lost)
32 points (1st)

My relationship with Jack Shephard has been a tumultuous one over the past five years. I was a Sawyer guy from the jump, so it was hard to be on board with Jack at the beginning. When I started watching the series with Lar and Mags, the latter was on the Sayid train and the former was the Jack guy. I wasn't really about either of them.

As the seasons went along, whether it was just hate building on indifference or the fact that he actually did get more and more annoying, my hatred for Jack Shephard grew fierce throughout seasons two to five. Now I know I wasn't alone on this because even though I placed him on last year's ballot for the Teri Bauer Award for the Character You Love to Hate in an Action Series, I was not responsible for any of his three total points.

Then came this final season of Lost. While Sawyer was the absolute stud of season five, he took a back seat to Jack as the season came to a close. Jack started the series as a guy who helped everyone survive out of necessity and although he seemed to grow more and more whiny and arrogant as the series went along, season six changed things.

He still wanted to help in any way he could, but at this point he didn't really know what to do. He who once was the man of science, had taken over for the late John Locke as the man of faith. He had faith that he had come back to the Island for a bigger purpose and he spent most of season six trying to figure out what that was.

This willingness to let others lead, and figure things out along the way, was what made him so easy to love in this final season. The character I previously was all about (Sawyer) clammered on about leaving the Island and really had no idea what was going on; therefore I lost a bit of respect for him. Jack, on the other hand, was ready willing and able to take on the challenge that was in front of him.

Don't get me wrong, he didn't lose any of the 'man of action' in him that made many love him in season one. Come 'The End' he started to figure out what he needed to do and took care of business as he pummeled the Man In Black on the cliffs, got the stopper back into the Glowing Cave, and wobbled through the jungle to find a nice place to die.

At the end of it all, seeing him smile once awakened in the Sideways Purgatory was one of the best moments of the show. I've watch it back three or four times now, and although there will always be a special place in my heart for Sawyer/Juliet, Jack reliving life in his mind might be my favorite part of the show. He did so much for all of the people in his life and in the end he saved one of the most magical places in the world from crumbling into oblivian.

I find it so awesome that this character not only goes out on top in the series, but also in the Poolies. As a once hater, I am now a Jack Shephard lover and wouldn't have it any other way. His place in history is set as he leaves the television airways as the holder of the Frank Pembleton Award at the 2010 Poolies. See ya in another life, yeah?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Cory Matthews Award- Lead Character Comedy

Named For: Cory Matthews played by Ben Savage in Boy Meets World
Awarded To: The best lead character in a comedy series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Tracy Jordan- 30 Rock

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death) 0 points

9. Dwight Schrute (The Office) 7 points

8. Tracy Jordan (30 Rock) 7 points (5th)

7. Jack Donaghy (30 Rock) 9 points

6. Charlie Kelly (It's Always Sunny) 13 points (4th)

5. Jeff Winger (Community) 15 points

4. Cameron Tucker (Modern Family) 18 points

3. Michael Scott (The Office) 20 points (3rd)

2. Phil Dunphy (Modern Family) 28 points (2nd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
48 points (1st)

Here with his thoughts on Larry David is Poolie voter, T-time...

Larry David's run in this category is similar to Shaq's in the early part of this decade. He dominates the field but when it comes to collecting votes for MVP, he is competing not only against the other characters, but against his own prior performances. It may not be fair to hold him to this higher standard, but it is the way of the world. We, as voters, look for reasons not to give the award to Shaq, to Jordan before him, and now to Larry David. We expect greatness and refuse to reward him unless he surpasses his own lofty standards.

Having said that, the highlight of season seven was the interaction between LD and Jerry Seinfeld. The pairing provided a glimpse of what must have been going on behind the scenes at Seinfeld for years. After witnessing the two of them discuss the minor details of human behavior, it's easy to see where many of the plotlines from two classic shows came from.

Even before that, Larry was having a season for the ages. We learned he knows all the words to West Side Story and that he enters names into his cellphone with descriptors such as Denise Handicapped. We watched him kill a swan, protest tipping and berate a 9-year old for over-texting. In the most exceptional Larry move of the season, he launched a Seinfeld reunion, involving all the stars of the show, in an effort to win back Cheryl. He began by attempting to break up with a cancer-stricken Loretta and ended with a hilariously-off attempt to play George. Everything in-between was gold.

by Tim Forcella

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Dr. Doug Ross Award- Lead Character Drama

Named For: Dr. Doug Ross played by George Clooney in ER (NBC)
Awarded To: Best lead character in a drama series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Tim Riggins- Friday Night Lights

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Adam Braverman (Parenthood) 4 points (5th)

9. Joe Tranelli (Men of a Certain Age) 5 points

8. Ben Epstein (How to Make it in America) 9 points

7. Don Draper (Mad Men) 10 points

6. Cappie (Greek) 10 points (3rd)

5. Hank Moody (Californication) 10 points (2nd)

4. Johnny Chase (Entourage) 13 points

3. Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights) 17 points

2. Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights) 28 points (1st)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Greg House (House, MD)
31 points (4th)

Here with his thoughts on Greg House is Poolie voter, Larry...

The differential on House: After completing his sixth year at Princeton Plainsboro last month, Greg House has cemented his place among all-time great television characters, because no character has done more with less. His employees are boring and unlikable, yet he manages to get the most out of them (best example: Chase and Wilson going speed dating with House). Only one other recurring character (Wilson) brings anything to the table, and even that is entirely dependant on his interactions with House. The procedural nature of the show doesn’t help either because it makes for a predictable plot (let’s get a quick CT and a lumbar puncture). The format worked for the first few seasons, but by season six (maybe even five) the repetitiveness has started to wear on people (how many times can the team test for sarcoidosis?). Normally this is a show I would have stopped following by now, but because of House’s character I still tune in. That’s what makes him great. It’s also nice to see a TV character hate everyone. It’s beautiful, actually.

House’s performance in season six parallel’s A-Rod’s 2003 MVP season with the Rangers (with House only lacking the Lance Bass-ian flamboyancy). A-Rod was clearly the best player in the league, yet his team managed to win less than half their games. House had a similar success rate, only managing a few memorable episodes this season. Maybe House’s team didn’t “win” enough, but at the end of the day this is an individual award, and he carried a show through its sixth season, where without him it wouldn’t have made two. If he somehow takes these other idiots supporting characters to the promised land (Dynasty Award), you might as well name the award after him.

by Larry Avitabile

Quiet Pool at TV Fanatic- Hung's 'Mind Bullets'

This week over at the TV Fanatic I discuss the ins and outs of Ray Drecker's relationship with his children in Hung. Unlike what I thought might happen after last week's review, I found so much to write about after 'Mind Bullets'. I guess I just have so many problems with most of these characters that I get carried away.

On this week's installment of Hung, Ray tries to connect with his kids, Jessica struggles with her marriage and the Lenore vs. Tanya battle continues. Sounds familiar.

So head on over to the TV Fanatic and read my review, check out the recap, or try to laugh at some of the quotes.

and now to the links...

Hung 203- 'Mind Bullets'

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Titus Pullo Award- Supporting Character Action

Named For: Titus Pullo played by Ray Stevenson in Rome
Awarded To: The best supporting character in an action series from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Tony Almeida- 24

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Arthur Mitchell (Dexter) 0 points

9. 'Chibs' Telford (Sons of Anarchy) 2 points

8. 'Opie' Winston (Sons of Anarchy) 4 points

7. Kimball Cho (The Mentalist) 5 points (5th)

6. Eric Northman (True Blood) 6 points

5. Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad) 16 points (4th)

4. Devon Woodcomb (Chuck) 17 points

3. Morgan Grimes (Chuck) 29 points (1st)

2. Benjamin Linus (Lost) 31 points (2nd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Desmond Hume (Lost)
41 points (3rd)

Here with his thoughts on Desmond Hume is Poolie voter, Jaydon...

Is there a LOST fan alive that doesn’t love them some Desmond? I’m sure there must be, there are no limits to human lameness. For the rest of us, Desmond was one of the greatest studs to grace not just LOST, but the medium of television.

Think back to the season two premiere. The inaugural season concluded with the first of LOST’s routinely excellent season finale cliffhangers. The hatch was blown open by dynamite. Locke and Jack peered into the abyss. We had no inkling of what would happen next. We could only assume by the ominous numbers emblazoned on the hatch that this was a Pandora’s Box situation. Season two picked up curiously.

We open on a computer screen with a flickering, beeping command prompt. A man gets out of bed, slides over to the computer and enters some unknown data. When he hits “execute”, we hear a shuffling sound. He chooses a record, Mama Cass’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music”, the soundtrack to his routine. He does dishes and laundry. Works out and showers. He makes a fruit shake. All this time, we never see his face. He injects himself with a mysterious solution and is interrupted by an explosion over head. He quickly dresses and arms himself, turns the lights out and investigates the disturbance with a scope rigged to a chain of mirrors. That chain flows all the way to… the bottom of the hatch. Minds were blown. This was perhaps the coolest introduction for a new character that LOST ever did. Immediately after this scene, Des played antagonist to our castaways. He quickly transitioned into a fan favorite and critical darling.

I think Desmond is beloved for many reasons:

1. He’s got a great personality. He’s good-hearted and brave but flawed, a time tested recipe for a likable hero. That awesome accent and his “brutha” catchphrase add to his likability.

2. His relationship with Penny stood out as arguably the most emotionally potent romantic pairing of the series. For me, only Sawyer and Juliet can be mentioned in the same breath as the Humes.

3. He had the best episodes. There were many characters that had strong eps. Desmond trounced them all. “The Constant” alone bests most other characters entire back stories.

4. Desmond was of vital importance to the mythos of LOST.

This last one deserves greater attention. No other character was as deeply enmeshed in LOST lore. The starting point alone is incomparable. Desmond caused the crash of flight 815 and brought the castaways to the island. Beyond that, he was responsible for the button in the hatch and used the numbers. He saw visions of the future and predicted Charlie’s death and was the recipient of the “Not Penny’s Boat” message. He was entangled with Charles Widmore, Eloise Hawking and Daniel Faraday. His consciousness traveled through time, a precursor to an entire season of time travel. He was thought of as special by everyone, including Widmore and the Man in Black. He was responsible for unplugging the energy at the source which led to the martyrdom of Jack, the vanquishing of MIB and the survivors final escape from The Island. He was used as the plot device that connected the earthly and ethereal realities.

Desmond essentially began, ended and reconciled LOST.

This award should be renamed the Desmond Hume Award for Best Supporting Actor in an Action Series. No offense to the lovable brute, Titus Pullo of Rome, but this change would honor subsequent winners in exponentially greater terms. Congrats, Des. See ya in anotha life brutha.

by Jonathan Stuart

Inception- Dreams Are So Much More Than Wishes

The heat in my non-air conditioned house got so bad last night that I was forced to take myself to the movies. So below are my Spoiler-free thoughts on Christopher Nolan's Inception, along with plenty of other nonsense.

First I'd like to note that this was really good. For a two hour and 22 minute movie, I did not once feel like it was moving slowly. Although it in no way deserves to be compared to Inception, Public Enemies, which I saw in theaters, was two hours and twenty minutes of falling asleep moments.

The idea was clever. The execution was fantastic. Leo's performance was great as expected.

Here's how I broke down the movie right afterwards, as far as organization. The first twenty minutes were there to eff your brain up. The next 40 minutes or so were the background and set up you needed to both understand what you just saw at the beginning of the film and what you were about to see in the rest of it. Then the final hour and twenty minutes worked as like a finale-esque double episode of television.

Those first twenty minutes or so were as confusing as all heck though right? It might not have helped that I went into this thing almost as fresh as possible. I can even remember watching the trailer with much detail. As they jumped around in time and space and consciousness and dreamspace throughout the beginning, it was freaking me out.* It was all worth it once I got a grasp on what was going on and how it was being done.

*The fact that it was the IMAX Experience didn't help with my freak out mode. This thing was awesome. My first IMAX experience with an actual movie. Gigantic curved screen...I felt like I was on Soarin' at Epcot during a couple of the trailers.

I'm not going to discuss specifics in this spoiler-free review, so I'll just say that the rest of this thing was done really well.

Most of the auxiliary characters didn't bring much to the table, other than being necessary to the final job. So just a few notes on the more notable players. For someone as highly touted as Leo is, I haven't seen much of his stuff. It's strange because I always love him when I do see his work. This was no different as I envied and sympathized for Cobb at different points of the work.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I've grown to love mainly because of his unbelievable 'Make em Laugh' performance during his Saturday Night Live monologue, was good in this. As Jack stated to me last night, "I could have played JGL's role." He was responsible for the one comedic moment of the movie (kissing Ellen Page and then stating it was "worth a shot"), but other than that he was as straight as they come.

Speaking of Miss Page. I liked her. I wanna say this was the first I've seen her. I never got to Juno because it was getting hyped so hard and most people I talked to said it was vastly overrated. Here she was interesting if slightly dull.

After reading numerous tweets about how much people were going to be thinking about this movie on Friday. I have to say that I'm not in the same boat. I thought everything came together rather nicely at the end. I wasn't left with any questions, other than the spinning top at the end (which I absolutely feel was starting to wobble).

As far as other Nolan movies I've seen. After only one watch (which probably is not fair), I wouldn't put this above Dark Knight, Batman Begins or the Prestige. That's not to say that I didn't love it. Those three movies are probably all in my top 50 all time.

Good work once again Mr. Nolan. Here's hoping the third Batman installment is another great piece by you.

Couple other notes

-I can't believe that was Tom Berenger! (well I can believe it because I said it right when I saw him on screen) A lot has happened since Major League I guess.

-Michael Caine and Christoper Nolan go together like Lamb and Tuna Fish. Both Batmans, Prestige and Inception. A small role here, but always nice to see him.

-Ellen Page's character must have played a lot of Goldeneye on 64 with that giant snow world on the third level. How come we saw all these levels and not a single one in the movie was a beautiful, tropical paradise? What's wrong with these architects?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The 'The Dealership' Award- Best Comedy Episode

Named For: 'The Dealership' Episode 911 of Seinfeld
Awarded To: The best episode in a comedy series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: no award

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

5. 'Double Date' (Jonas) 1 point

4. 'He Could Be the One' (Hannah Montana) 9 points (1st)

3. 'Moon Landing' (Modern Family) 12 points

2. 'Contemporary American Poultry' (Community)
15 points (2nd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. 'The Table Read'
(Curb Your Enthusiasm)
21 points (3rd)


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Battle of the Network Stars Award- Best Reality Competition

Named For: Battle of the Network Stars (ABC) 1976-88
Awarded To: Best reality competition series from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: American Idol (FOX)

Place. Show (Network) Points (My Vote)

10. The Superstars (ABC) 0 points

9. America's Got Talent (NBC) 2 points

8. Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 3 points

7. Celebrity Apprentice (NBC) 4 points

6. The Sing-Off (NBC) 5 points

5. The Amazing Race (CBS) 14 points (4th)

4. Top Chef (Bravo) 17 points (5th)

3. American Idol (FOX) 17 points (3rd)

2. Big Brother (CBS) 28 points (1st)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Survivor (CBS) 29 points (2nd)
Here with his thoughts on Survivor is Poolie voter Mags...

Like any normal bro I’ve seen plenty of reality TV in my day. Especially when you consider the bunch of morons I live with. My roommates will watch anything. That is obvious when you look at the nominees in this category. Amazing Race: oh lets watch this grandpa and some idiot kid he knows fumble around Istanbul trying to find a tandem bike so they can ride to Poland backwards! Stupid. Dancing with the Stars: Let’s tune in to see a bunch of washed up fatties stumble their way around stage. American Idol: How about we force you to spend the first 20 episodes of every season listening to a bunch or dumb rednecks, overconfident CJs and slantmouths before we get to anyone who has half a chance in hell of producing a decent sound?

To me this category is a no brainer. Until someone comes up with a reality show where people actually kill each other, Survivor wins every time. When you throw stud Russell Hantz into the mix, it is far and away the winner. Russell has made the last two seasons some of Survivor’s best by making bold plays and absolutely dominating the competition. JT helped make this memorable by pulling the dumbest move ever (to the delight of James, the previous record holder). I am not going to get into the final result of this season, which is a freaking joke and should be thrown out. The Jury was a group of imbeciles. Congrats Survivor.

by Kyle Magnus

Big Brother- Meow Meow Goes the Cat

Spoiler alert...Below are some thoughts on the first week of Big Brother 12. So watch the eps, toss your silver eye shadow, and read what I had to say.

Annie- "Brendan will take her through this game, just like Jeff did with Jordan last year."

So Big Brother 12 got under way last Thursday and the first week concluded with the first elimination last night. I decided to scrap Fantasy Big Brother this season because a) the release of contestants came out late and I was on vacation, and b) Mags didn't watch a single episode last year so didn't seem right to do with only three players. So instead I will most likely be doing a weekly round up of the some of the highs and lows inside the house.

So the first big twist of this season is that there is a saboteur in the house. We the people wouldn't find out until the end of the first week, and the houseguests would have no idea until they figured it out for themselves. After pulling off an array of sabotages, this contestant would get $50,000 if they made it five weeks in the house. Whoops! The saboteur didn't make it past week one! There goes that plan for the season.

The first "what the eff is wrong with you?" moment was when Enzo got his new group of friends together and decided to make an alliance. What is wrong with that you ask? The problem isn't with making a four man alliance so quickly, it is that first thing on his agenda is to give every member a nickname and name the alliance. After Enzo decided on The Beast (Lane), The Brains (Matt) and The Animal (Hayden) for his partners, and named himself Meow Meow, he came up with The Brigade for the the group name. Complete idiocy. All of it.

I know it's early, and a couple might end up growing on me as this things goes on, but I don't like anyone in the house so far. When my favorite up to this point is a chick, you know something is wrong with this bunch. Britney has had a few good lines, and hasn't made me want to slap her like most of the rest of the contestants. Lane, other than being in The Brigade, seems like he could end up being pretty decent.

Speaking of hating on people. This early showmance is absolutely terrible. I picked Brendon as the Saboteur after the first episode, and it looked good because he was acting like a complete idiot. After finding out that it wasn't him, I now dislike him much more. Everything him and Rachel have done together is completely pathetic. They had known each other for four days and she was already ready to take him off the block instead of herself. Give me a break.

Let's talk about the competitions. First HOH: A team competition in which the last person to go across on the winning team is the HOH. The first person across on said team gets $10,000. You kidding me? Ten grand and not have to be the first HOH. Bingo. You don't want to be the first one in charge. We should see next week when Hayden pays for putting Brendon up on the block.

Then for the Veto competition we got to witness Brendon putting everyone to shame with his spelling of "understanding." In a game so similar to last year's in which Jeff so famously attempted "technotronics," Brendon came up with the longest word and took himself off the block.

After Annie screwed herself by having a hissy fit throughout the house, she went home by a clean sweep, 10-0 vote, and it was time for another HOH competition. It was a majority rules question game and Rachel ended up the victor. This is exactly why they should've listened to the outgoing Annie (and even Lane) who were saying that they should vote Rachel out. Now you have two players in an alliance in control of the house who will come right after Hayden.

Not a great start to the season, but on a positive note, it doesn't seem like there are as many absolutely terrible contestants as last year. Between Natalie, Ronnie, Chima and Lydia it was rough. Sure there are plenty that get on my nerves early but it's not nearly as bad. We'll have to wait and see how things play out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Arthur Spooner Award- Supporting Character Comedy

Named For: Arthur Spooner played by Jerry Stiller in King of Queens
Awarded To: The best supporting character in a comedy series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Kevin Malone- The Office

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Robby Ray Stewart (Hannah Montana) 1 point

9. George Christopher (Bored to Death) 6 points

8. Andy Dwyer (Parks and Recreation) 8 points (5th)

7. Frank Reynolds (It's Always Sunny) 10 points

6. Kevin Malone (The Office) 11 points

5. Luke Dunphy (Modern Family) 16 points

4. Pierce Hawthorne (Community) 19 points (3rd)

3. Abed Nadir (Community) 21 points (4th)

2. Manny Delgado (Modern Family) 24 points (1st)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Leon Black
(Curb Your Enthusiasm)
32 points (2nd)

In what was an acclaimed eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, filled with plenty of guest star's from Seinfeld, Leon Black might have been the best thing about the show for the second year in a row. It has been his ability to be completely oblivious that continues to make me crack up appearance after appearance.

The Black family wormed their way into Larry's life in season six and were still kicking around to start season seven before LD got Loretta to hit the road by being a complete jerk. That was no problem for Leon though. His sister and the rest of his family left LD, but Leon was perfectly comfortable where he was. When LD assumed he would follow Loretta's move and move out, Leon instead decided to "go upstairs and eat this f*ckin' chinese his room."

You see he's completely oblivious. Not only does he not realize what you're supposed to do in given life situations like previously stated, but he also has no idea what Seinfeld is. His complete lack of knowledge while watching Jerry and Julia rehearse for the reunion was classic. He was cracking up like he had never seen the show before; rightfully so because he hadn't. This moment was summed up perfectly when he saw Newman and laughed at how short and fat he was.

The fact of the matter is that Leon Black does what he wants when he wants, and he does it hilariously. I know LD is the cornerstone of this show, but I can't imagine it without this year's winner of the Arthur Spooner Award.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Noah Hunter Award- Supporting Character Drama

Named For: Noah Hunter played by Vincent Young in Beverly Hills, 90210
Awarded To: Best supporting character in a drama series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Ari Gold- Entourage

Place. Character (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Mark Sloan (Grey's Anatomy) 0 points

9. Crosby Braverman (Parenthood) 2 points

8. Creighton Bernett (Treme) 6 points

7. Dale Kettlewell (Greek) 9 points (3rd)

6. Davis McAlary (Treme) 11 points (5th)

5. Buddy Garrity (Friday Night Lights) 15 points

4. Roger Sterling (Mad Men) 20 points (1st)

3. James Wilson (House, MD) 21 points

2. Landry Clarke (Friday Night Lights) 21 points (2nd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Ari Gold (Entourage)
31 points (4th)

Here with his thoughts on Ari Gold is Poolie voter, Tyson...

Before we get started I just want to warn the throngs of Pool readers that the following post will contain profanity, sexism, homophobia, and possibly a little anti-Semitism. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s congratulate Ari Gold for winning the 2010 Noah Hunter Award. If Jeremy Piven were here, I’m sure he would be psyched to win an award named after the actor who played Raoul in the 2004 film, Knuckle Sandwich.

Ari Gold does so many things well it’s hard to know where to begin. He is wonderful when he yells at gays, amazing when he yells at women, and awesome when he yells at everyone else. The beauty of Ari is that he vocalizes the things many of us would never dare to say. For example, Take this exchange between Lloyd and Ari:

Lloyd: Are you hiding something from me Ari?
Ari: Only my c*ck and my a**hole Lloyd..

…simply magical. Quotes like that really make me wish I had some openly gay friends.

The most amazing thing about Ari’s character is that he is universally liked by viewers yet loathed by most of the other characters. I think the point the writers want to convey here is that a small, angry, Jewish man is much more enjoyable from a distance and much less enjoyable close-up, when he is yelling at your mid-section.

If there is a point to the nonsensical preceding paragraphs, I guess it would be that the beauty of Ari is not the complexity of his character but the extent of his quotability. With that in mind, I will leave you with one of my favorites from this past season:

(Ari walks into yet another assistant)
Jake: Hi Mr. Gold. I’m Jake Steinberg, HR sent me up to replace your last assistant.
Ari: I don’t care. Get me Eddy Kapowski on the phone.
Jake: Uhm, any relation to Kelly Kapowski? You know, Saved by the Bell?
Ari: You’re finished. Go. You’re f*cking fired.

by Tyson Brazell

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Terry Fator Award- Male Reality Contestant

Named For: Terry Fator, winner of America's Got Talent Season Two
Awarded To: The best male reality competition contestant from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: Dan Gheesling- Big Brother

Place. Contestant (Show) Points (My Vote)

10. Jet and Cord (Amazing Race) 2 points

9. Russell Kairouz (Big Brother) 4 points

8. Rick Moonen (Top Chef) 7 points

7. Nota (The Sing-Off) 9 points

6. Lee DeWyze (American Idol) 11 points

5. Jeff Schroeder (Big Brother/Amazing Race) 12 points (2nd)

4. 'Boston' Rob Mariano (Survivor) 13 points (3rd)

3. Susur Lee (Top Chef) 15 points (4th)

2. 'Coach' Wade (Survivor) 15 points (1st)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Russell Hantz (Survivor)
28 points (5th)

Here with his thoughts on Russell Hantz is Poolie voter, Jaydon...

Russell Hantz is a Survivor master who has been robbed of being the ultimate survivor twice in a row by a jury of worthless babies.

Russell Hantz is a buffoon who doesn’t realize that the social game counts just as much, if not more, than cunning your way to the end.

Which is it? They’re both true. I say who cares. Survivor is a broken game, maimed by petulant, self-obsessed dupes for jurors. May I quote the esteemed Pool Master General, “Congratulations to Sandra for becoming the first person to win Survivor twice. I don't know if that makes her the best player ever, but it certainly could be.”

*Sparty boot *

Christ on a stick, this is a travesty. I’ve seen both of Sandra’s seasons. She’d be lucky to crack a Top 20 list. Why do we watch this charade? Well, it’s often a great ride filled with excellent betrayals and blind sides. It’s still a twisty good time after 20 seasons. As the show that pretty much gave birth to reality TV, it has maintained a certain prestige, even in waning popularity, as one of the few reality competitions that can be taken seriously. Maybe we should stop taking it seriously. This is a show that rewards mediocrity and coat-tail riding in near equal step with worthy performances. If you look at past winners there are enough shameful ones to start feeling like maybe it isn’t worth it. But it is worth it if you can accept that it’s more about the journey than the winner. I’m sure that’s how Russell rationalizes the game.

Russell is undoubtedly a top 5 all-time Survivor competitor. This is especially noteworthy since he’s among the worst at the social game. He’s so good at everything else that despite this Achilles heel, he’s still an undeniable force. The fans have validated him twice by handing him the consolatory Player of the Season prize. In a 99 day stretch of his life he played 78 days of Survivor, 39 of which were against some of the best players the game has ever seen. He made it to the finals both times and won the final immunity challenge both times. For this he was rewarded with a total of 2 out of a possible 18 votes from the two juries. He was robbed clean during Samoa, but for this past All-star season, he was arguably outplayed by Parvati. She subverted his cocksure “I run this game” fantasy by successfully stringing him along and making independent strategic moves. Russell was so butt hurt about Parv keeping secrets from him that he turned on his own alliance, eviscerating any sort of jury advocacy for the finals. On the positive end, the Bald Hobbit continued to embarrass the Survivor producers with his Hidden Immunity Idol magnetism. He Jedi Mind Tricked Tyson to pretty much vote himself out of the game. He made JT look like Shortbus McGillicutty with the whole “female alliance” letter fiasco. The man was making moves and adapting to shifts in play on a dime (recall his brief alliance with Rupert and Colby before he booted them both in a row). This led to some serious jury alienation and the game was given to Sandra over the two actually worthy finalists. The Pool has shunned Russell, but he really doesn’t deserve it. He’s an excellent player with a formidable flaw. He also can be excused a little for playing back to back games. He deserves our recognition as having played the best game out of all male reality competitors this season. Maybe next All-star, he’ll have learned how to make it to the end without incurring the wrath of the entire jury. It’s that third time around where Russell will either prove himself worthy of the GOAT conversation or cement his legacy as a very skilled, fatally flawed, one-trick pony.

by Jonathan Stuart

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Nip/Tuck Award- Worst Series

Named For: Nip/Tuck (FX) 2003-10
Awarded To: Worst series that you used to like from June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: no award

Place. Show (Network) Points (My Vote)

5. Gossip Girl (The CW) 3 points

4. One Tree Hill (The CW) 3 points (2nd)

3. 24 (FOX) 7 points

2. Entourage (HBO) 8 points (3rd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. Heroes (NBC) 17 points (1st)
Here with his thoughts on Heroes is Poolie voter, T-time...

The first season of Heroes did everything you want in a show of it's ilk. It introduced a set of disparate characters who would be brought together by fate, while steadily delving deeper into the mythology. It asked a series of questions, answering some of the important ones by season's end while leaving major facets of the universe unexplained. The season culminated with an event foreshadowed early in the season, a major obstacle that concluded the destiny of several,
well-established characters.

Or so we thought, because soon into season 2, it all went wrong. The show caved to fans who demanded their favorite characters return and instead of telling a new story in the developing universe, the show began to follow the people we knew as their lives continued. We saw characters who had outlived their dramatic arc be foolishly working into plot lines they simply didn't belong in. As seasons wore on, we learned less and less about the world and the whole series devolved into a series of villains with nefarious plans threatening the same group of characters.

Season One set a blueprint for greatness, if only they had been willing to let obvious deaths like Parkman's stand, and let Claire fade from the spotlight when she had nothing to do instead of following her like a soap. The world at that point was interesting and full of possibilities. Each season should have answered questions deepening the world, while introducing further questions to pull the audience along. Maybe it is a lesson for future shows. The fans got what they asked for, and when they realized it wasn't what they thought, they abandoned the show in droves.

by Tim Forcella

Quiet Pool at TV Fanatic- Hung's 'Tucson is the Gateway to Dick'

Today, over at the TV Fanatic, I discussed the repetitive nature of HBO's Hung. After a review dealing with how the series is running in circles, I'm curious as to how I'm going to get through writing about every episode this season. In a bit of irony, I fear that I will begin to repeat myself as the season goes along because it may be the same things that put me off week after week.

In this second episode of Hung's second season Lenore and Tanya continue their fight for power, Jessica has more trouble with her kids, and Ray shows once again that he's a terrible prostitute.

So head over to TV Fanatic and read my review on Hung's second episode of the season. Maybe just read the recap to see what happened, take a look at some of my favorite quotes, or just head right to the comments section to tell me how little talent I have.

Here are the links...

Hung 202- 'Tucson is the Gateway to Dick'

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Theme Park Review- Disneyland

So of course out of the three park days in California, the Disneyland trip was the best. Even though it isn't set in the wonderful Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, the Disneyland Resort is definitely the second best place to go for overall experience.

It was my second time to the park and Jack's first. The most obvious (and substantial) difference between the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland is size. Everything in the California version is smaller. Sleeping Beauty's Castle is probably a third of the size of Cinderella's. It's pathetic as far as castles go. You literally cannot see it from anywhere in the park other than Fantasyland and Main Street. Just to its right, the Matterhorn Mountain towers over it.

Everything from Space Mountain, Tom Sawyer's Island, the Railroad Station, and even the buildings on Main Street USA are much smaller in stature. As far as a ride-by-ride comparison, Disneyland is right on par, if not slightly above Magic Kingdom. The atmosphere doesn't compare though, and therefore is still behind all four of the Orlando parks.

Indiana Jones Adventure was the highlight of the park. To me it is a much better Dinosaur. The theming and story is obviously better and on my second time through it seemed faster and with more movements than it's Animal Kingdom counterpart.

The big draw of Magic Kingdom is the triple mountain medley. Of the three, Thunder Mountain is the one that is almost exactly the same in both parks. Disney World definitely gets the edge for Splash Mountain, but Space Mountain was re-done and is fantastic at Disneyland. It's got music pumping in your ears, is darker and seemed faster than the Florida version.

While the theming at Disney's California Adventure is nothing to write home about, it's still a fantastic park. It has a bunch of big guns, including Soarin' and Tower of Terror, but what won the voting of all four parks of the week was the Aladdin Show. This Broadway style musical was worth the price of admission all on its own. The quality of acting and singing was fantastic, but it was the pop-culture comedy that put it over the top. When I saw the same show three years ago they were using Britney Spears and Facebook jokes. This time around it was Twilight and Hannah Montana. It's an ever-changing show.

We ended the night with the highly touted new night time spectacular, World of Color. Quick review: It's no Wishes. Longer review: A spectacle of water and color, it tried really hard but didn't succeed. They put video and picture on the water that shot up from the ground, but they were very difficult to see. Fantasmic works a lot better because they just use a sheet of water instead of spraying all over the place. Also the soundtrack left a lot to be desired. Unlike Wishes, World of Color didn't flow together well. They just went from Disney Classic to Disney Classic, and leaving out some (Monsters Inc., Lion King) was a travesty.

The 'Through the Looking Glass' Award- Best Action Episode

Named For: 'Through the Looking Glass' Episode 322 of Lost
Awarded To: The best episode in an action series from
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010
Last Year's Winner: no award

Place. Episode (Show) Points (My Vote)

5. 'No More Good Days' (Flash Forward) 7 points

4. 'Chuck vs. the American Hero' (Chuck) 7 points (2nd)

3. 'The Culling' (Sons of Anarchy) 8 points

2. 'One Minute' (Breaking Bad) 8 points (3rd)

and the Poolie goes to...
1. 'The End' (Lost) 23 points (1st)
Here are some thoughts on 'The End' by non-Poolie voter Cluchey...

LOST was beautiful because it was about an island exactly like mine. Everyone dies, and one day I’ll die, like you, not knowing what this has all meant. We can ask the question (and Charlie put it best: “guys, where are we?”) all we want, but our existence is special because the earth is incomprehensible and magical, and no amount of faith and no amount of science will ever truly enlighten us. If you thought LOST was weird, well, it’s certainly no weirder than life. You think a sentient cloud of electric smoke is over the top? I think the fact that a screen in my apartment is currently showing me a live baseball game being played in Florida is, in a vacuum, no less incredible. Science fiction is relative: if you had never heard of the internet, or giraffes, or rainbows, you’d think those were science fiction too. Of course LOST was strange in its details, but those characters’ fears and moments of wonder were in many ways just like our own.

I love the way LOST ended. It resolved all questions the way they are resolved in our own lives. Dead is dead. Whatever happened, happened. Some things are irreversible, and you can’t fix the past. My favorite moment of the entire series came at the end, in the space between life and death, when Ben and Hugo told each other what a great job the other did as #1 and #2. Like Jacob and Richard, they must have protected the island for wonderful centuries together—and we never got to see it. And we never got to see it because we’re Jack. And the question we always wondered—the question we always will wonder—remained. What is this place, and why were we here? And they answered that too, in the most beautiful way imaginable: you don’t get to find out.

You don’t get to find out. There is fear, and death is a monster, and life is a monster, and there will always be others out there in the woods. But there is love, and we have friends, and as long as we are here we can believe whatever we like and make our choices and find the things that we can. But hail mystery! Some things can’t be found, because the most important things are lost. What is life? The reason we’re here? The thing we fight over, the thing we protect? What is death, and what happens after The End? You don’t get to find out.

So you can let go now, Jack.

by Dan Cluchey