Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chuck 410 Review- Kids Love Volkoff!

Morgan- "I'm not just gonna sit here on all fours and watch those two die."
For an episode so rich with long-running storylines, including the return of from Timothy Dalton, "Chuck Versus the Leftovers" didn't impress me as much as it should have. It felt like just another stepping stone en route to a great episode.

If I were to compare it to last week's installment, which was much more of a stand-alone episode, I'd take Sarah and the crew fighting through Southeast Asia any day of the week. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy the the most recent hour, and that Dalton didn't continue to impress as Alexei Volkoff.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 410 - "Chuck Versus the Leftovers"
Round Table

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sons of Anarchy 312 Review- Stop Stahl-ing!

Clay- "Jacob Hale becomes mayor...Charming turns into suburban Disneyland."
What are two things that the second season finale of Sons of Anarchy and this week's penultimate episode of season three have in common? Well, both "Na Triobloidi" and "June Wedding" were fantastic hours of television, and not coincidentally they both featured Agent June Stahl going absolutely crazy.

After a wild and crazy journey to Ireland, the Sons returned to Charming this week, and things felt a little more familiar. The first half of the episode progressed slowly as most were getting their bearings on what was currently happening in the States.
To read the rest of my review of last night's episode of Sons of Anarchy, head over to TV Fanatic.

Sons of Anarchy 312 - "June Wedding"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chuck 409 Review- She-Male Time

Casey- "Walker, what are you doing here, all alone? This is nothing but scoundrels, assassins, and warlords...scum of the Earth."
Waitress- "Ahh Mr. Casey, your usual?"
How do you like your Sarah Walker? Pouring her heart out to Chuck? Wearing short shorts and pouring water all over herself? How about kicking ass and taking names of everyone in Southeast Asia?

Whichever your pleasure, "Chuck Versus Phase Three" had everything you could ask for from a Sarah-centric episode.

Even though Chuck was in an Inception-esque dream coma throughout the entire episode, this week's installment was one of my favorites of the season. Given all the Sarah beat downs, the Morgan hilarity and a nice B plot with Awesome and the Buy Morians, what was not to like?
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 409 - "Chuck Versus Phase Three"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter- Catching Up For Quidditch

Spoiler alert...Below are a some thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, as well as the series as a whole. So head to the theater to watch the movie, pour yourself a tall butter beer, then read what I have to say.

Thursday night, or early Friday morning, I made my way to the midnight showing of the most recent installment of the Harry Potter saga. But you've never once mentioned Harry Potter to me before, my seven readers might be thinking to themselves. That is true. I have never read a single one of the books, and I had only seen parts of the first movie some four or five years ago, but with the opportunity to experience one of my favorite things, I had to go for it.

The aforementioned favorite thing is watching long run stories in short periods of time. I've done it time and time again with television series. Whether it was catching up on numerous seasons of Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, etc., I've always enjoyed the challenge. The Kid has done it with movies before as well, as I took down all six Star Wars in a week, and pummeled through the long Lord of the Rings series within a couple of days.

This time around I had to take in the previous six Harry Potters before heading out to the theater to catch number seven on Thursday at midnight. With classes, work, volunteering for more work, and my job reviewing tv eps on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I thought it might be impossible. Oh yeah, and I had to borrow the movies themselves, which threw a chink in the chain when the Half Blood Prince box ended up with no disc in it. To make a longer story still long, I started Friday night with the Sorcerer's Stone and finished Half Blood Prince by Thursday morning and was ready to take in the first part of the final installment.

Before getting into my slightly negative review of last night's Deathly Hallows Part One, I want to go over what I have loved about the entire series as a whole, so as to not get murdered by the four readers I have that are huge HP fans.

There is definitely a reason why the books and movies are so popular. This is great story telling at its finest. The plots have all been engaging and original, the characters are all very intriguing, with some easy to hate and others easy to love, and it really just does one of the best jobs I've seen at creating such a ridiculous fictional world that feels absolutely real while watching it.

Some would argue that the best tv comes when a series can tell a great serialized story, while making each individual episode as entertaining (and self-contained) as possible. The same can be said of a film saga. The long-running story of Harry Potter has been absolutely fantastic, but I've been more impressed with how each book installment tells its own story within the story. Each one has seemed to wrap up so nicely, yet lead itself perfectly into what may come next.

And that's exactly my major problem with Deathly Hallows Part One. It left me feeling completely "hehhh?" I mean, rightfully so. It was half of a story after all. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was meant to be read (or watched) all together. Splitting it up like this, and making me wait months until seeing the second half of the story, was a bad move.

What would have been better? Putting them together as one movie, of course. Too long? I agree, so cut out a lot of it like you apparently did for all of the other movies. Now I know the die hard book readers will probably disagree with me, because they're so happy that this one has stayed true to the original story, but there were many parts of Deathly Hallows Part One that were much more unnecessary than in the other films. It was slow and tended to drag at times.

Unless Part Two is an action-packed two and a half hours of greatness, I would have rather they cut about an hour out of each and make one three hour film. I could definitely find an hour out of Part One to cut, and the story wouldn't lose that much at all. But if the goal was to stay as close to the book as possible on the last go around, and appease its most loyal of fans, apparently it did that.

And now to some rankings...


1. Goblet of Fire
2. Half-Blood Prince
3. Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Order of the Phoenix
5. Sorcerer's Stone
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Deathly Hallows Part One


1. Dobby the House Elf
2. Draco Malfoy
3. Fred and George Weasley
4. Albus Dumbledore
5. Luna Lovegood
6. Ron Weasley
7. Lord Voldamort
8. Hermione Granger
9. Severus Snape
10. Rubeus Hagrid

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Office 709 Review- The Say Hay Kid

Dwight- "Everyone follow me to the shelter. We have enough food for 14 days. After that, we have a very difficult conversation."
Over the first couple seasons of The Office, Ryan Howard was a killjoy, set on the straight and narrow, trying to honestly better himself.

He wanted to legitimately make his way up in the world of business. I didn't like that Ryan. But after he earned a top position at Dunder Mifflin corporate, and subsequently got messed up on drugs and got fired, he became one of my favorite characters on the show.

This week's "WUPHF.com" focused mainly on the eccentric Ryan that wants to make a lot of money quickly, not caring how he does it. The A Story, which featured Ryan pitching his "WUPHF" marketing plan to the office would have been enough to make this episode enjoyable.
To read the rest of my review, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 709 - "WUPHF.com"

30 Rock 508 Review- Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Shot-gunned

Jenna- "I'm the hot blonde..."
Tracy- "And I'm the nerd who takes off his glasses and everyone realizes he's handsome."
Despite the lack of screen time for my favorite character, Tracy, this week's episode of 30 Rock was still a winner. Thanks to "College," this bounce back season continued with stellar performances by Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and everyone in the writers' room.

Liz Lemon, who once upon a time was one of my favorite female characters on television, has had a disastrous season. So much of what I found funny about her in years past had just become annoying. That changed this week as she tried to win over the crew members like she was a college freshman - and then ripped their hearts out, only to eventually embrace their hatred. That line about Willie Mays after her first ever fist bump? Hilarious.
To read the rest of my review, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 508 - "College"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Survivor Week 10- Coach Probst

Spoiler alert...Below are a few thoughts on last night's episode of Survivor: Nicaragua. So watch the ep, accidentally burn down your entire camp, then read what I have to say.

Holly- "What the f*ck is wrong with Chase?"

What is wrong the rest of you that you are surprised by what Chase did last night? Even if his move of running to Brenda to squeal on everyone else was indeed asinine (not sure it would make the top 100 worst moves of this season), how are you still surprised by someone else's move? This is Survivor. 90% of the game is doing something ridiculous.

Probst- "Don't you dare give up on this challenge."

My hatred for Probey Probst continues. Where is it in his job requirements to coach up certain players over others? I might have been okay with it early on in a challenge, but when it's down to the final two? Let me set the scene for you...Chase and Jane are head to head for the immunity. Chase is putting on a perfect front that he's doing swimmingly. He has convinced Jane that he's going to be able to hang on for a while, so she mentions that she's going to drop. She's seconds from dropping into the water when Probst gives her the motivation to hang on. Whuck? How is that legal? I know Chase wasn't in danger of leaving this week, but it's beyond the point. It's the principle of the thing.

NaOnka- "He's over there running his mouth."

Hello? NaOnka! Is anybody in there? How are you sincerely mad at Chase for talking to Brenda and Sash about the plan to vote out Brenda, when no more than an hour ago YOU TOLD SASH THE ENTIRE PLAN!!! That was absolutely idiotic all on its own, but to then hate on someone who actually still has an alliance with those on the chopping block, for doing the same thing? You are a moron.

And as for this fantasy season...SMOKE SHOW. Nice year Jaydon. Start scouting for January.

Fantasy Scores

Brigade Grenades

Sash- W10 (46)= 46
Chase- W10 (46), Reward (4)= 50
Dan- W10 (46)= 46
Jane- W10 (46), Reward (4), Im (20)= 70
Week 10= 212 Total= 907

Studio Flow CEO

Fabio- W10 (46), Reward (4)= 50
Kelly P- W10 (46), Reward (4)= 50
Jimmy T
NaOnka- W10 (46), Reward (4), Votes (-4)= 46
Week 10= 146 Total= 623

The Full Schilling

Jimmy J
Benry- W10 (46), Votes (-4)= 42
Kelly B
Holly- W10 (46)= 46
Week 10= 88 Total= 497

Power Bottoms

Brenda- Votes (-32)= -32
Week 10= -32 Total= 188

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sons of Anarchy 311 Review- Changing His Legacy

Gemma- "Now you are gonna tell us where our grandson is or I swear to God I will cut this baby in half."
One of my favorite aspects of early Sons of Anarchy was that Jackson Teller, this young, brash outlaw gang member, was struggling with whether or not to attempt to lead a more noble life. Those days reading his father's manuscript, pondering about legitimizing SAMCRO, quitting gun-running, and cutting out violence from his family's life, were some of the show's best.

The combination of Clay wanting him to become the ruthless future leader the club needed, and his son getting kidnapped, forced Jax into a state of all out bad-ass-ity in which he never once blinked at torturing or killing someone in cold blood. In this week's episode, "Bainne," Jax returned to his pondering nature, slowly weighing the options of stealing back his own son, or allowing him to remain in the arms of a loving couple.
Check out the rest of my review of last night's Sons of Anarchy over at TV Fanatic.

Sons of Anarchy 311 - "Bainne"

One Tree Hill 809 Review- Turkey Day Games

Brooke- "I'm thankful you're such a good friend."
Haley- "I'm thankful I got to watch you chug wine out of a bottle."
How do you break up a run of sub-par episodes? Bring everyone together for a holiday, of course! It was Thanksgiving in Tree Hill this week, and "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace" was simply an enjoyable hour of television.

Everyone in this small North Carolina town was planning on having their own Thanksgiving dinner for some reason. I mean, they do everything else together, why wouldn't have one big Thanksgiving celebration together to begin with?
Check out the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill over at TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 809 - "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chuck 408 Review- Riggle Me Up a Gondola

Summer Glau as the new Greta
Jeff- "Black forest ham on honey oat with chipotle sauce, banana peppers, and jalapeños?"
Lester- "See? No Buy More employee eats that sophisticated."
Following the best episode of the season and, then a week off, "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death" was a run of the mill installment of our favorite spy series.
Filled with a couple of heavy-hitting guest stars, plenty of Chuck and Sarah angst, and a wide variety of humorous lines, it was what you would come to expect from an hour of Chuck. Comparing it to "Chuck Versus the First Fight?" A disappointment.
To read the rest of my review, head over to TV Fanatic. Also check out the Round Table where we discussed what type of Subway sandwiches we like.

Chuck 408 - "Chuck vs. the Fear of Death"
Round Table

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Office 708 Review- Turn The Volume Up

Andy- "I bet he's wishing he had a hybrid, right? 60 miles to the gallon in the city."
Kevin- "No, I bet he's wishing he was strangling somebody."

Blah, blah, blah...everyone hates The Office now. It is so trendy to think The Office is so much worse than it was before, that even when there are good episodes people can't admit to it. My review of last night's "Viewing Party" is up at TV Fanatic. I enjoyed it a good deal, and remind you that even in The Office's glory days, there were eps that didn't knock it out of the park.

The Office 708 - "Viewing Party"

30 Rock 507 Review- Because Stone Cold Said So

Steve- "Actually I go by Steve Austin. That way people see my name on ballots, they think I'm the wrestler, and they vote for me."

In which I compare 30 Rock to vintage Seinfeld, my review of last night's "Brooklyn Without Limits" is up at TV Fanatic. We had a nice guest starring appearance by Mad Men's John Slattery and plenty of other laughs this week.

30 Rock 507 - "Brooklyn Without Limits"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Survivor Week 9- Marty McBye

Spoiler alert...Below are very few thoughts on last night's episode of Survivor: Nicaragua. So watch the ep, play dumb once again, then read what I have to say.

Dan- "There aren't any zip-lines in Brooklyn. If there are, you're a burglar."

I really don't have much to say about this week.  The only thing that got me angry once again came out of the mouth of Jeff Probst.  I can't believe he sat their and asked how NaOnka could continually make it through after running her mouth at Tribal Council, when Marty had been doing that WAY more often than her.

Finally Marty went home. I am sad in a sense because he was one of the only contestants bringing anything interesting to the season, but on the other hand, I didn't like him at all. I mean if I had to pick between him and Jane, I'd send Jane home 100 times out of 100 chances, but I really didn't have a horse in that race.

I know they're claiming it to be true, but I agree with Sash and Brenda that they are running this camp. Everyone else just seems to be going with the flow, so I commend these two for actually making some decisions (even if they are usually made on a whim).

Fantasy Scores

Brigade Grenades

Sash- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Chase- W9 (37)= 37
Dan- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Jane- W9 (37), Votes (-16)= 21
Week 9= 140 Total=695

Studio Flow CEO

Fabio- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Kelly P- W9 (37)= 37
Jimmy T
NaOnka- W9 (37)= 37
Week 9= 115 Total=477

The Full Schilling

Jimmy J
Benry- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Kelly B
Holly- W9 (37)= 37
Week 9= 78 Total=409

Power Bottoms

Brenda- W9 (37), Im (20)= 57
Marty- Reward (4), Votes (-28)= -24
Week 9= 33 Total=220

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sons of Anarchy 310 Review- Trader McGee

Ashby (to Jax): Your father knew the patch was a mistake, and so do you. Look at the violence in the last three days alone. Is that the life you want for your child. If you love him, give him more.

Just like I predicted in my post on Sons of Anarchy yesterday. Last night's ep was a big improvement. I can see the ending of this season being really good, which won't make up for the less than stellar first two-thirds of it, but will still be nice to see. Last night's ep had a lot of action, a lot of reveals, and some crucial moments that change things going forward. Let me know what you thought of it, or go over to TV Fanatic and read my full review on "Fírinne".

Sons of Anarchy 310 - "Fírinne"

One Tree Hill 808 Review- The Great Gonzo

Oh what up Gonzo
In which I got my readers to absolutely hate me once again, my review of last night's One Tree Hill is live over at TV Fanatic. On the one hand, they have a good point. If you are a fan of the show, it may be more enjoyable to read a review that also loves the show. On the other hand, it's a television website, not a One Tree Hill website. TV Fanatic can't love every show. I have to have an open mind about a show, but I don't have to enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed One Tree Hill and it has shown in my writing. Last year they didn't even have someone reviewing the show, so they'll get what they get...which is usually me trashing on it.

One Tree Hill 808 - "Mouthful of Diamonds"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sons of Anarchy- My Thoughts on Sutter's Thoughts

As you know, I review one of my favorite shows, Sons of Anarchy, over at TV Fanatic. In doing so, I have become even more invested in the series, and hence have spent some time reading what others have thought of this third season.

This morning Mo Ryan of AOL's TV Squad posted a piece on the use of a Hell's Angel near the end of this season, and show-runner Kurt's Sutter's thoughts on the state of the series. After reading the post, and some of the interview with Sutter, I got so riled up that I needed to react to some of the comments by the SoA creator.

I feel like this is one of the negatives of writing and reading about one of your favorite shows. Sometimes you get so close that it is easy to find the problems with it. At times I think that if I just casually watched Sons, I would be enjoying it much more, but then I talk to casual viewers like T-time and Jaydon, and they agree with my stance so I don't feel so bad.

Kurt Sutter and Sonny Barger

Below are some of Ryan's piece and the thoughts of Kurt Sutter. The entire article and transcribed interview can be found in full here. TV Squad - EXCLUSIVE: Hells Angel Sonny Barger to Guest on 'Sons of Anarchy' and Creator Kurt Sutter on the Season So Far, by Maureen Ryan.
The decision to expand the show's universe came from a desire not to simply repeat season 2, Sutter said, and he also thought it was time to delve deeper into the show's mythology and for Jax to learn more about his dead father, John Teller.
First off, no one needs a repeat of season two. It was a truly great season of television, and I probably wouldn't be complaining if season three was almost identical to it, but I'd still be complaining. There are ways to not copy yourself and still make the next season much more entertaining. Just because many critics are noting that this season is way worse than the previous installment, it doesn't mean we wanted a repeat in format. Just a repeat in quality.

I am all for more John Teller back story, and for Jax to find out more about his dead father, but that just isn't happening. There was a good bit about it in the season premiere, which I loved, and now I feel more of it coming on as we get into the Belfast stuff, but there was a good old chunk of episodes there (seven or eight maybe) of very little John Teller information.
"The point of this season, or some of the point for me, was the idea that these guys, when they get to Belfast, they're no longer in Charming. You know what I mean? They are they're little fish in a big pond and they're completely out of their depth," Sutter added. "The point of 'Turas' with that explosion was like, 'Holy [expletive] ... This is the level of violence we're stepping into. This is the world that we're living in now. We're not in Charming. We're not in control.'"
Again it's a great idea, and I understand where Sutter wanted to go with this idea about Belfast being so different than what the Sons were used to in California, but I don't think it has worked thus far. The bomb blowing up the truck wasn't any more disastrous than many of the things that happened in Charming. Just this season Hale had his head ran over by a drive-by truck. Last year Sack was murdered and there were white supremacists wreaking havoc all over the place. A little truck bomb that failed to kill any of the Charming members? The stakes are not all that much greater in Ireland.
As for the season as a whole, "I think it's all going someplace and whether or not it will be satisfying or enough, I don't know, but again, it's really all landing on the mythology this year, so hopefully that will pay off," he added.
I get it. If you are telling a long story in which you can see what the ending will be, you need some type of build up to make the finale that much better. You need time to get to know the characters more, and a lot mythology helps that as well. Whether that has been happening this season, I'm not sure. And yeah the payoff in season four or five may be fantastic, and doing the third season this way might have been necessary, but that doesn't mean this third season has been enjoyable in its own right. If it's just a means to an end, I understand that, but don't also claim that this season has been as good as season two. It just isn't.
"I really have to think in terms of, OK, where are we at and what have we earned and what kind of ride do we want to take them on?" Sutter said in his interview. "Hopefully people will stick around for the ride. My experience so far is that I think perhaps the casual viewer is struggling with this season. The viewer that may be tuned in every three or four episodes in the past might be struggling with it because it is a different environment and people are at a different place."
The fact that Sons of Anarchy has casual viewers that jump in every third or fourth episode is appalling. How could you ever do that? Even if that is true, I don't think they're any more upset than many of the die-hard viewers. It is these people that are so invested, and fell so in love with this show throughout the first two seasons, that have lost a bit of faith. Heading into this season, I had all of the expectations of moving Sons into the top spot in my Power Rankings, but that hasn't happened.

I still love Sons of Anarchy, and I hope that the final four episodes of the season come through in a big way (and since I've trashed it so much in this post, I'm sure tonight's ep will be awesome), but this season has been disappointing to many of us die-hards. You're not going to throw a perfect game every time out to the mound Kurt. Let this one go and wow us in season four.

My review of tonight's Sons of Anarchy will be live over at TV Fanatic tomorrow morning. You can follow me on Twitter as @quietpool. Mo Ryan of AOL's TV Squad is on as @moryan and Sons show-runner Kurt Sutter is on as @sutterink.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Office 707 Review- Church Goin' Type

Michael- "I don't even know how to say this, but Cece is turning out to be a little b-*-t-c-h."

What different people think of comedy episodes can be so ridiculous at times. I really enjoyed last night's episode of The Office, and said so in my review over at TV Fanatic. Myles McNutt, who reviews the series at A.V. Club and has been very critical of it, also enjoyed "Christening". Then there is Alan Sepinwall, who basically wrote up that this was the worst piece of garbage to ever grace our television screens. How can this continue to happen? Comedy is so subjective, but more than anything else, my point of view should always be regarded as fact.

The Office 707 - "Christening"

30 Rock 506 Review- Gentlemen's Rule

Tracy- "My obituary would read Oscar-winner, instead of children's soccer heckler."

My review of last night's 30 Rock is up over at TV Fanatic. Although many people, including Jackie Boy, McNutt and Sepinwall, enjoyed last night's episode, I really did not. I am quickly regretting throwing 30 Rock back into the top 15 on my last power rankings, and look forward to sliding it back out if continues the ways of the last two eps.

The title of this week's episode was "Gentleman's Intermission", which gave me a perfect opportunity to use the subject line, Gentelmen's Rule. If you don't understand what it means, then you obviously have not played enough B-O-M-B in your lifetime. I will start with...Pirates of the Caribbean.

30 Rock 506 - "Gentleman's Intermission"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday Night Lights 502- Problem of Guidance

Spoiler alert...Below are a few thoughts on last night's episode of Friday Night Lights, "On the Outside Looking In". So watch the ep, put your panties in a locker, then read what I have to say.

Although we are only two episodes into the fifth and last season of Friday Night Lights, I find it necessary to write about how we might be in for a troublesome season.

The first and most obvious reason, is that we've lost almost all of the characters we learned to love from the beginning of the series. Even last season we were still holding strong with Riggins, Saracen and Landry (my three favorites throughout). Now you expect me to care as much about Vince, Luke and Jess? Because I don't. Sure Becky is a nice addition, but Riggins and dynamic duo were absolute classics. It seems too difficult to replace these guys.

Secondly, because many of our youngsters are gone, Tami has taken on a bigger role. Or maybe it just seems that way because she is so horrific, but she has been obnoxiously visible these first two episodes. Every single time she comes on screen, with one of her terrible guidance counselor stories, I want to change the channel (I'm watching on my computer so that is impossible). I mean this week with Epic? I wanted to put her 243 cigarettes out in my eye.

As I segue from mother to daughter, Julie at this college is going to be brutal. As she proved last season, she brings nothing on her own. Julie was great in seasons two and three when she was either with the great Matty Saracen or arguing with everything her mom did. Julie as the anti-Tami was great because of my true hatred for Mrs. Coach. As she pulls her best Brenda Walsh impression, going away to school only to come back home, Julie's story line is going to be brutal for at least half this season.

And finally, I have a problem with the East Dillon Lions. This team was absolutely awful last year. You see, an underdog sports movie works because you get to see them putting in the effort (see the Mighty Ducks with the eggs and such). Yeah I get that the beat the Panthers, but I chalked that up to emotion and luck. Between seasons, are we supposed to assume that these kids got that much better that they are now worthy of being ranked? I didn't see it happen, so it just makes the fact that they're complaining about not being ranked that much more annoying.

So that is why I am skeptical of this season being as good as any of the others, until many of our favorite stars return for two or three episodes near the end of the series. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

Survivor Week 8- Hide Your Children, Hide Your Flour

Spoiler alert...Below are a few thoughts on last night's episode of Survivor: Nicaragua. So watch the ep, bury your flour, then read what I have to say.

Benry- "You are a 100 percent grade a dirt squirrel and it's time for you to go home."

Now as strange, and uncharacteristic of Benry as that quote was, Alina did in fact go home last night. For the umpteenth week in a row, Marty made it through tribal council. This guy does nothing but run his mouth and then get through by the skin of his teeth. If I knew that Sash was going to actually keep his word about keeping Marty safe for two weeks straight, I never would have ragged on Marty for handing over his Idol last week.

Instead it's time to rag on Sash. Do you know how easy it would have been to let everyone vote out Marty, while you and a few others still voted for Alina? That way you can say you had no idea he was on the chopping block and you wouldn't have been going back on your word that you'd give him back the idol if you thought he was on the way out. That way, you get the crazy strategic player that is Marty out of the game, you keep your idol, and you technically keep your word. Win-Win-Win.

If there is one person that has stood out as an interesting person to watch on this season, it has been Fabio. I will never get tired of watching him have trouble with the complexities of Survivor. He gets so frustrated when he has to make decisions about who to vote for or who to align with, and it's just enjoyable to watch. This week we got a lot of it, right down to the credits, where in his vote for Alina, he threw his hands up in the air and shrugged as if he had no idea what was going on. Classic.

Fantasy Scores

Brigade Grenades

Sash- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Chase- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Dan- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Jane- Merge (8), W8 (29), Im (20)= 57
Week 8= 168 Total= 555

Studio Flow CEO

Fabio- Merge (8), W8 (29), Im (20)=57
Kelly P- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Jimmy T
NaOnka- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Week 8= 131 Total= 362

The Full Schilling

Jimmy J
Benry- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Kelly B
Alina- Merge (8), Votes (-40)= -32
Holly- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Week 8= 42 Total= 331

Power Bottoms

Brenda- Merge (8), W8 (29)= 37
Marty- Merge (8), W8 (29), Votes (-8)= 29
Week 8= 66 Total= 187

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sons of Anarchy 309 Review- Barn Banger

Trinity: How are you Jackson?
Jax: I'm tired Trinity.

Over at TV Fanatic, my review of last night's Sons of Anarchy is up. "Turas" was an improvement over last week's disappointment, but I'm still waiting for them to make me go nuts for an ep this year. Below are some thoughts I made in a comment to one of the readers on my post.
On the Jax and Trinity incest situation: 
I think you could be right, but something about the situation definitely gives off a creepy vibe. With how long they showed Gemma watching the two of them together, they either are thinking romantically, or Sutter wants us to think they are. A good possibility would be that they are having a brother/sister like moment, Gemma is going to confront them so that they don't hook up, and the two of them will tell her they already knew they were related. Sort of a John Teller relation sixth sense.
Sons of Anarchy 309 - "Turas"

One Tree Hill 807 Review- So I Raised It Up

Mrs. Baker: Do you know what that dress is missing?
Brooke: Style?

My review of last night's extremely boring One Tree Hill, "Luck Be a Lady", is up over at TV Fanatic. I got a great comment by user Jessica, who said:
Would it be possible to have someone review OTH that doesn't hate it? I think it would only be fair to those of us who like it and read your reviews.
All I can say to that is no, they are few and far between.

One Tree Hill 807 - "Luck Be a Lady"

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Top Ten

Yes, it is that time again. It's time for the Quiet Pool Perspective's take on power rankings. Every two months, here at The Pool, we like to let you know what you should be watching on the small screen. Just like in sports, an opinionated take on what is the best of the best is great for television. It's too bad that Tim Goodman is the only other one out there that I know of that puts out Power Rankings. His come out weekly, or any week that he remembers to do it, and that's a bit much. Every couple of months, the television landscape changes here at The Pool, and therefore we now come out with our November Power Rankings. So go grab a couple of boat drinks, turn on some reggae, and take a look at what you should be watching.
Place. Show- (last time)...red=moving down, green=moving up

10. The Office- (12) Thursdays on NBC
I've written more about The Office than I could ever dream of, but of course I'm going to say a few things here. If anything, I'd say it has the highest floor of any comedy but Curb at this point. I'm never going to feel like an ep falls as flat on its face as say a Community or Mod Fam ep could. I know there are plenty of haters out there, but for me, Michael Scott is worth the price of admission every week.

9. Big Brother- (8) Summers on CBS
This season's disastrous season of Survivor should help prove that Big Brother is the superior reality series. It doesn't matter who the contestants are, the Big Bro environment creates much more excitement than randoms camping out in the woods. Give me three days a week during the summer and I'll give you a number nine ranking.

8. Modern Family- (4) Wednesdays on ABC
I wasn't expecting this big of a drop when I went into this month's rankings, but here you have it. The Dunphy clan has been better the past two weeks, but it wasn't a good start to the sophomore season at Modern Family. We actually got to the point where Jackie Boy said "next year Modern Family won't be funny at all." I think we jumped the gun a bit during that conversation, but we might be looking at a case where the first season was just something new and different. This season has been good, not great.
Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy on Modern Family
7. Mad Men- (11) Sundays on AMC
I'm giving into the critical love. Mad Men does nothing but move up these charts. I can't think of a given moment when I have thought to myself that Mad Men is so good it needs to be ranked higher, but every time I get around to doing it, the show moves up. It's quality is undeniable even if it's entertainment has been questionable at times. This is definitely the type of show in which the longer it's on, the better it gets. To say that the first season of Mad Men was the best, is blasphemy. It is so subtle and in depth that we've needed the three seasons before this year to make this last one so much more enjoyable.

6. Community- (6) Thursdays on NBC
Although it's been a bit hit or miss in its second season, I feel good about calling it the second best comedy on tv right now. Community tries a bit too hard at times, taking the Zombie or Space episodes for example, but at its core it is great. It has great characters, great one liners, and a good amount of the time it's risks pay off. Last year's mafia and paint ball episodes are great examples of that. Troy Barnes is really coming into his own as one of my favorite characters on tv, which helps keep Community high in the power rankings.

5. Friday Night Lights- (5) Wednesdays on DirecTV
We still had some Riggins and Landry for the first episode of the season, but what's going to happen once they don't appear on a weekly basis? Am I supposed to put all my energy into caring about these new characters? A tough feat to achieve. And here is where I will lament about how awful Hasting Ruckle's shooting form was. This was quite possibly the worst form I have ever seen. This kid was supposed to be an all-star basketball player? How about you make him shoot it like a normal human being and don't worry if it goes in or not? He literally made Lucas Scott look like an All-American with how bad this was. I threw up every time I saw him for the rest of the episode.
Hastings Ruckle gladly joins the team on Friday Night Lights
4. Breaking Bad- (7) Sundays on AMC
When other claimed Breaking Bad was the best show on television back in the spring, I doubted them. With how sub-par most stuff has been this summer and fall, I'm seriously considering that to be a true statement. But then again, maybe it's just a case of absence making the heart grow fonder. I dream of the days when Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were hiding from Hank in an RV. It is extremely sad to think that it won't be until July before these guys are back in our lives.

3. Sons of Anarchy- (3) Tuesdays on FX
I wanted to move Sons down because I've been a bit disappointed with the season, and it's almost over, but then I realized that I don't look forward to any other show more than Sons. It has been a bit of a let down from season two, but it's hard to move it down this list given how good it can be.

2. Chuck- (1) Mondays on NBC
Chuck loses the title as my top show for the first time since taking the spot following the Lost retirement. It just hasn't been good enough to call it my favorite show at this point. I'm writing this on Monday afternoon, so if tonight's ep is as good as Dan Fienberg and Josh Schwartz both have claimed, I might be kicking myself.

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm- (2) Sundays on HBO
And the new champ is here. It has not been on in a while, but it remains the best comedy on tv. The winner of so many Poolie Awards last year, Curb is coming back in January and will surely knock it out of the park again. Let's face it, when have we been disappointed with anything Larry David has done?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chuck 407 Review- Dr. Tuttle and Mr. Volkoff

Mary: Morgan Grimes. I haven't seen you since you were nine years old.
Morgan: You know what? I haven't had a decent rice krispie treat since.

My review of what everyone on the interwebs is calling the best Chuck of the season is live over at TV Fanatic. "Chuck vs. the First Fight" was called best episode since season two by creator Josh Schwartz. I thought it was good, great even, but there were plenty of episodes from season three that were better. I'd take "Chuck vs. the American Hero", "Chuck vs. the Beard", and "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" for example.

Never-the-less, it was some great television, and you should go over to TV Fanatic to read my entire review. And in case you missed it, there's a major asbestos problem at your place.

Chuck 407 - "Chuck vs. the First Fight"
Round Table

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- 20 Through 11

Yes, it is that time again. It's time for the Quiet Pool Perspective's take on power rankings. Every two months, here at The Pool, we like to let you know what you should be watching on the small screen. Just like in sports, an opinionated take on what is the best of the best is great for television. It's too bad that Tim Goodman is the only other one out there that I know of that puts out Power Rankings. His come out weekly, or any week that he remembers to do it, and that's a bit much. Every couple of months, the television landscape changes here at The Pool, and therefore we now come out with our November Power Rankings. So go grab a couple of boat drinks, turn on some reggae, and take a look at what you should be watching.
Jason Ritter as Sean Walker on The Event
Place. Show- (last time)...red=moving down, green=moving up

20. The Event- (-) Mondays on NBC
Critics can hate on it all they want, but what do they know? They only get paid to know what tv is good. I'm enjoying The Event and I know must of the other Poolies are as well. It's action packed. There are plenty of twists. And there are some crazy sci-fi elements in it. A promising start to the first season. I mean it's a great possibility that everything blows up in its face, but for now I'm enjoying the ride. Jackie Boy just mentioned to me that if Michael Giacchino was scoring this series it would jump to the top. He makes a solid point, why wouldn't Giacchino score every show on television?

19. Californication- (17) Sundays on Showtime
It will be about a year and a half since we last saw Hank when Californication comes back in 2011. The series has held steady in this late teen range over the last couple of rankings, but will it stick when the show comes back? Can they live up to the greatness of that season three finale? We shall see. It never hurts to have Rob Lowe joining your cast for some episodes.

18. Parks and Recreation- (16) Thursdays on NBC
Insert generic rant and rave about Parks and Rec not being on NBC's Thursday night lineup here. As much as I enjoyed its second season, in the long run I might be happier if it never comes back at all. If only to shut up Sepinwall, McNutt and the rest of the critics who so ridiculously claimed that it was the best comedy of the season last year. Having said that, never seeing Rob Lowe in Pawnee again would be a travesty.
Adam Scott, Nick Offerman and Rob Lowe on Parks and Rec

17. Boardwalk Empire- (-) Sundays on HBO
The biggest complaint I have heard about Boardwalk Empire by the common folk is that it is too slow and confusing, and there are too many characters. Hmmm, I think they have described the starts of The Wire and Mad Men exactly. These are two of the top three praised dramas of the past 15 years. If I were to compare the three, I'd say Boardwalk Empire is much less boring than the start of Mad Men, and much less confusing with less complicated plots than The Wire. So if you're having trouble jumping in with both feet in this one, I don't understand how you can claim to have loved The Wire or Mad Men.

16. Terriers- (-) Wednesdays on FX
Finally one where I am absolutely buying the critical hype. Terriers is loved by the pros, but is hurting in terms of ratings. It definitely is in trouble of not getting renewed for a second season and that would be a darn shame. Donal Logue and Michael Raymond James as private detectives in San Diego is a great show to watch. It has some nice long running story lines and plenty of great stand alone plots on a week to week basis. The dynamic between Logue and Raymond James, who are best friends in real life, is a pleasure to watch on the screen. If you're not watching this, you should be.

15. Treme- (19) Sundays on HBO
After watching the first season of The Wire for the first time this summer, I've somehow moved Treme way up in my Power Rankings. I have high hopes for the second season come this spring. If Treme didn't have as unbelievable a story arc as The Wire's first season, it might have had better characters. Between Davis, Creighton, Big Chief and Antoine there were four studs right there that were hard to compete with. Spoiler alert, Creighton won't be back next season, but I'm sure a few newbies will be on the scene to pick up the slack.

14. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia(10) Thursdays on FX
Sunny takes a bit of a drop as the opening to the season hasn't been that strong. It certainly didn't help by the fact that I knew Dee was pregnant and I could help but stare at her fat belly the entire time. They were trying to hide it behind outfits and obstacles, but it didn't work. I was distracted, but Frank's "Two dudes getting married, that doesn't seem very gay" gives you a lot of room to work with before you can drop off too far.

13. Justified- (14) Tuesdays on FX
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
So last week T-time tweeted this: "Is it wrong that the commercial for Justified is the best thing I've seen on tv all fall?" And I have no problem with his statement. I got as excited by that commercial than by any episode of Sons or Chuck this season. Sure, trailers have an easier time of building excitement, but Raylan Givens? Plus that haunting tune by Lissie? I already downloaded her album to hear more of that song. The only thing that has me a tad worried is that they killed off MC Gainey's Bo Crowder at the end of the first season. Walton Goggins getting bumped to series regular? Best move you could've made.

12. 30 Rock- (-) Thursdays on NBC
After falling out of the rankings last season, 30 Rock jumps way back up after a great start to the year. I feel like they've really just gotten back to what works. A lot of laughs from Tracy, no Jack relationship drama, Jenna not being as crazy, and Dr. Spaceman every once in a while.

11. Dexter- (9) Sundays on Showtime
A solid start to the fifth season, but nothing has me that excited so far. I continue to hate on LaGuerta and Batista, but the rest of the crew is fine. The switch in showrunners hasn't been very noticeable to me. Everything seems like business as usual, except there doesn't seem to be a single big bad thus far. I realize that season three didn't quite have that either, but Jimmy Smits's Miguel Prado was kind of Dexter's main adversary. Could that be Quinn and his investigation into Dexter? We'll see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Honorable Mentions

Yes, it is that time again. It's time for the Quiet Pool Perspective's take on power rankings. Every two months, here at The Pool, we like to let you know what you should be watching on the small screen. Just like in sports, an opinionated take on what is the best of the best is great for television. It's too bad that Tim Goodman is the only other one out there that I know of that puts out Power Rankings. His come out weekly, or any week that he remembers to do it, and that's a bit much. Every couple of months, the television landscape changes here at The Pool, and therefore we now come out with our November Power Rankings. So go grab a couple of boat drinks, turn on some reggae, and take a look at what you should be watching.
Horatio Sans, Chris Parnell and Chris Gethard of Big Lake
Honorable Mentions

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

Big Lake- (-) Tuesdays on Comedy Central
Although it is unlikely to get a second season, Big Lake deserves some recognition if only for Chris Parnell's fantastic performance over the 10 episode first season. If you enjoy his Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock, you will die for his Chris Henkel on this show. He's absolutely ridiculous at all times and at no point does it cease to be hilarious. He could be the most underrated comedic actor on the market right now.

Eastbound and Down- (-) Sundays on HBO
I'll probably take heat for this, but I feel this season of Eastbound is a big let down. This is kind of a situation where the creators had a great idea for a funny character and had no idea how to write funny stories around him. The hilarity of Kenny Powers came out in full force over those first six episodes in season one, but this year I have not been impressed. Last week made a turn in the right direction when they began to play on his relationship with his dad. Seeing him so obsessed with Don Johnson was pretty hilarious.

Glee- (-) Tuesdays on FOX
I'm still shocked at how much critical attention gets paid to this show. It's not any better written than a show like Grey's Anatomy, in fact it's much more inconsistent. It doesn't get any more viewers than some of the top network dramas. Is it just because there's singing? I mean that's why I still give it as much attention as I do, but it's weird that the top critics still take time to write reviews on this mostly garbage show. Any show that can be split up into three distinct types based on which one of its three show-runners are in charge in that give episode, is completely ridiculous. Having said that, I still enjoy it...mostly for Santana though.

Katie Cassidy on Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl- (-) Mondays on The CW
The TV Show Girl, over at AOL's TV Squad, recently tweeted that she "gave up on Gossip Girl." While I have long since looked forward to watching it, it's still in my rotation. Sometimes I get behind by a week or two, but I always catch up on it. I'm glad I've stuck with it, because the story they're going to with Katie Cassidy's Juliet and Sam Page's Colin has me very intrigued. Why on Earth would she be going through all of this trouble to take down the characters we know on Gossip Girl? I have no idea, but unlike most of the stuff from the past few seasons, it's interesting.

Hawaii Five-0- (-) Mondays on CBS
I came for Scott Caan and the Hawaiian atmosphere, but I may be staying for CBS wonderboy Alex O'Loughlin. I never even tried his most recently failed projects Moonlight or Three Rivers, but I've been pleasantly surprised with his performance on Hawaii Five-0. Maybe CBS was right to continue to give this guy platforms. Maybe those other shows were just bad. He seems like a pretty big stud so far, and his relationship with Scott Caan has been great to watch so far.

Jersey Shore- (HM) Thursdays on MTV
Absolutely no question in my mind, Pauly D is the best thing about this show. Between "The cabs are here!" and his version of "It's tee shirt timeeee!" he is solid when it comes to yelling things. On top of that he's a stud, he never ruins things for other people, and he will blow up on you if you give him a chance. The Situation is great and all, but he went down the wrong path a few times this season, and I can't help but say he kind of embarrassed himself. This season, on the whole, could have been better. If they didn't make the entire first half of it about Ronnie and Sammie they would have been much better off.

League, The- (-) Thursdays on FX
Every time Jackie Boy tells me that The League was the funniest comedy of a give Thursday night, I can never tell if he's serious, joking, or somewhere in between. I was one of the only ones I knew enjoyed the second half of The League's first season, but now I feel like I'm the only one who isn't absolutely loving this second season. It might be a bit better than the end of last year, but it still hasn't been great. I was all about making the show more about fantasy football last year, because the non fantasy stuff was either ridiculously dirty, or ridiculously unfunny. This year the fantasy stuff is just killing me. They're doing the general comedy better, but every time there's a football story line I want to shoot myself in the head.

Sherlock and Dr. Watson
Sherlock- (-) Sundays on PBS
I just finished watching episode one of this three ep first season (writing Saturday). These Brits went with an interesting format; three one and a half hour episodes to start things off. I've never been one to watch things from the UK, but something about Sherlock Holmes intrigued me. The difference with this version of the famous story, is that our Sherlock and Watson are in modern day England. I really enjoyed the first installment and am absolutely looking forward to the next one. It will definitely be higher on my priority list next week, and it should be on your radar as well. If you like mysteries and Englishmen, you will probably love this.

Survivor- (15) Wednesdays on CBS
What a bad group of contestants can do to you huh? Or maybe what a couple of good ones can. The last two seasons featured Russell Hantz, last year's winner for the Terry Fator Award at the Poolies. This past spring we had an All-Star season hat had Russell, Boston Rob, Coach Wade and a variety of other greats. This season we have what? Jimmy Johnson out in week 2? A somewhat intriguing Jimmy T out a week after that? There is nobody left in this crew that I'm even rooting for to stay in the game. At any point I couldn't care who gets eliminated. That's not a good sign.

True Blood- (13) Sundays on HBO
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Maybe I'm being harsh by removing True Blood from the Top 20 entirely, but maybe I'm just making a statement. This last season was quite a crazy step down from the greatness of season two. Maybe now people will agree that Maryanne Forrester was one of the great evil bad guys of the decade. She helped bring True Blood as high as eight in the power rankings, and all these werewolves did was drop it off the list completely.

Also fallen out...Sonny With a Chance (18), Top Chef (20).