Friday, January 28, 2011

30 Rock 512 Review- Strictly 80s Joel

Tracy- "Five years ago I saved your show! I rode in here on a white horse...that you made me leave in the lobby."
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. I have been giving 30 Rock a hard time as of late, but "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning" did everything I could ask of an episode, and then some.

We got laughs from a variety of characters, there were a couple of great guest stars on hand and they even got me choked up for a mere moment.

While Tracy Jordan was as crazy as ever this week, he was so logical in his ridiculous behavior that it was almost more funny than usual. Acting nice in front of his wife's reality show cameras was both a smart move if he wants to win that Oscar, and was hilarious to watch as he agreed to do more and more helpful things for Liz.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 512- "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning"

The Office 713 Review- The Seminard Dog

Kevin- "Andy, I'm not Jim. The only way that I'm Jim is in the movie version when Jim sees what his future would be like if he never met Pam."
Although I've always assumed that The Office was going to suffer greatly without Steve Carrell, this week's episode was the first time I've had an actual feel for what it might be like without him - and it hurts.

Much like when they attempted to make Jim the lead character here and there, back when he was branch manager, "The Seminar" used Andy Bernard to move the plot along. But the sad truth is that neither Ed Helms nor John Krasinski can match Carrell.

I really liked "The Seminar," but it was more because of the performances around Helms than because of what the Nard Dog was doing himself. Many of the minor players got up off the bench to give us some laughs this week, starting with a guest appearance by the creator and star of the original The Office, Ricky Gervais.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 713 - "The Seminar"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Tree Hill 812 Review- I Am Hung-Overrr

Dave Navarro- "Hey where's that other chick that I nailed? I want to apologize to her for the black eye."
The video cameras were finally back in Tree Hill, NC after the long winter hiatus, and it may have been enjoyable for the girls of Brooke's bachelor party, but not for viewers. On "The Drinks We Drank Last Night," the show paid homage to The Hangover, but it was simply a sub-par knockoff of that classic comedy.

One problem for me, which will come with plenty of boos and hisses from readers? I was not that big a fan of The Hangover. Therefore, watching Brooke, Quinn and the gang stroll around town trying to remember everything that happened during their drunken escapades from the night before didn't do anything for me.

Think about it: Watching Frank the Tank guzzle beers is hilarious in Old School because Will Ferrell is hysterical. If the actors aren't funny, the scenes aren't going to be funny. So watching Alex, Millie, etc. remembering their evening just made me feel miserable for them.
Boy did the TV Fanatics get after me for hating this episode. To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, and check out the commenters calling for my head, go over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 812 - "The Drinks We Drank Last Night"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chuck 412 Review- As Long As I Get An Eyeball

Chuck: I see what's going on here. You're afraid I'm just gonna sit around the house eating Fritos all day because Sarah's gone.
Morgan: I thought it might be Cheetos, but yeah.
Chuck has claimed his love will always remain "the exact same Sarah Walker." But that wasn't really the case in "Chuck Versus the Gobbler." Draped in leather, wearing a jet black wig and sunglasses, this was not the blonde, orange mini skirt-donning, ice cream scooper we knew from a couple of seasons ago.

Sarah was attempting to convince Volkoff that she had turned bad this week, and while that may have proved to be easier than one might imagine, it involved tearing herself away from Chuck. This was not an easy task for Agent Walker.

While some have complained that Chuck and Sarah have never been able to just be happy, I ask: who wants to watch that? Chuck has done a good job lately of keeping conflict between our romantic heroes, yet not making any of it seem stale.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 412 - "Chuck vs. the Gobbler"
Round Table

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Office 712 Review- Talk Me Down

Michael- "If she's engaged, I'm going to go crazy, and I'm going to start attacking people. If she's not engaged, in all honesty, I might just burn this whole place down to the ground out of happiness. Either way I am going to need some talking down, and nobody talks me down like myself in a video talking me down."
Although it had been over a month since the last new episode of The Office aired, there was no way to forget the quality of "Classy Christmas." This week's "Ultimatum" was not a bad half hour of television, but compared to the previous ep, it was difficult to thoroughly enjoy it.

As the title says, this week in Scranton was all about whether Holly Flax went through with her ultimatum. We previously had found out that she had told her boyfriend, AJ, that if they didn't get engaged before the year was over, they would be through. Well, the new year came and went, there was no ring on Holly's finger, and she was still with the aforementioned AJ. What a bummer!
To read the rest of my review of last night's return of The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 712 - "Ultimatum"

30 Rock 511 Review- The Fighters

Dr. Spaceman- "Tracy, you are going to die..."
Tracy- "What? No!"
Dr. Spaceman- "...when I tell you who I'm dating."
Well, that was all kinds of mediocre. There were moments when I laughed, as 30 Rock always has enough jokes to hit on a few, but overall "Mrs. Donaghy" didn't come together to make a great episode.

Let's take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights.

The theme of the episode was fighting. Whether it was Jack and Liz's strategic battle of wills, Jenna and Danny's faux marital bickering, or Pete explaining fights with his wife to everyone and anyone who asked, 30 Rockefeller Center had fights to spare.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 511 - "Mrs. Donaghy"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday Night Lights 510- He's Our Coach

Spoiler Alert...Below are some random thoughts on last night's Friday Night Lights. So before reading any further, watch the ep, chase some oranges, then read what I have to say.

Buddy Garrity- "A man can't leave if you erect a statue of him in his honor."

And so for the time being, Coach Eric Taylor remains in Dillon. Buddy and the rest of the boosters did not erect a statue of the stoic Coach, but the fans and the players certainly did enough to keep Coach around for a while. As we close in on the end of what has been such a fantastic series, last night's episode not only did a fantastic job of recognizing what Eric Taylor has meant to this town, but what Kyle Chandler has meant to this show. As each member of the Lions got up on stage to say how much Coach meant to them, I felt like it could have been every fan of the show getting on stage to thank Chandler for bringing the heat week in and week out. With the end in sight, is the questioning over for what happens to Coach in the end? I can't imagine so. Will the series end with him undoubtedly staying around to coach the Lions for all of eternity? Will he change his mind in the final episode and take his talents to South Beach...err where ever that Florida college is located? Or will he start to question it again, and then leave us all in the dark? Personally, I'd like to see him move on.

Speaking of Buddy's quote at the top, how on point was he this week? At the end of the day I'd argue that, like Hurley of Lost, Buddy Garrity is really what Friday Night Lights is all about. His love of this town and this community gets to the heart of this viewer, if not all of them. Between him desperately fighting to get Coach to stay in Dillon, and him pouring his heart out in order to help Tim Riggins get out of jail, Buddy was killing it in every way he could this week.

And yes Tim Riggins is out of jail and has returned to Dillon. Although he was never a peppy man, prison has definitely put Timmy Riggins in a somber mood. What the ending to his character arc will be is one of the most intriguing questions to the end of the series. Does he take another run at Becky? Will he head back to college? Will he forgive Billy and stick around to live out his life with his brother? Riggins has always been my favorite character on the show, and I'm just happy to have him back with us for the final few eps.

Finally, like Alan Sepinwall, I am "skeptical that he (Luke) hasn't gotten any interest from colleges." This another case where Friday Night Lights changes characteristics or attributes of a character without ever showing those changes in progress. Luke was the best new player West Dillon had seen in a while when East Dillon stole him away. He was as talented as Luke on offense last season, and has become the best defender on a team challenging for the state championship. How he won't be playing football in college is beyond me. Sure he won't be an NFL prospect, and hence should find other interests, but football is definitely in his future and should still help him get an education.

*Alan Sepinwall's review of last night's episode over at

I'm still waiting on the returns of some of our other favorite characters of the past (Landry, Tyra), but for the time being, let's look forward to seeing if the improbable run to a state title can happen to this team of recent misfits. Seriously last year they were a laughing stock of high school football, and now they're one of the best team's in the state. Coach Taylor should be jumping straight to the NFL.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chuck 411 Review- Take Me Into Sub-Mission

Casey: Now the truth is there's no such thing as a perfect moment, or a perfect spot. So forget about the balcony, Bartowski. All you need's the girl.
Well, Chuck certainly did not waste any time getting back into a groove.

A multi-week layoff didn't affect "Chuck Versus the Balcony" too much, as the episode was filled with everything you could ask for, including Morgan acting as a double agent, a couple of preempted marriage proposals and another fantastic musical performance by Jeffster!

Let's get right to the Chuck Triple Threat, which was in full force this week.

The episode started right away - with no "previously on" segment - following an operative being chased down to a wine cellar in France. It was a nice bit of action that set up for story. The same basement was where we were able to witness Sarah take out her fair share of French bad guys in order to save Casey. However, it was her stumbling drunk act that was the best part.
To read the rest of my review of last night's return of Chuck, head on over to TV Fanatic. Feel free to leave your opinion of the ep in the comment section.

Chuck 411 - "Chuck Versus the Balcony"
Round Table

Sunday, January 9, 2011

SNL- Channeling Jim Carrey

When I have the time, I will sit down and give my thoughts on a given episode of Saturday Night Live. With all of the shows I'm reviewing for TV Fanatic (Chuck, One Tree Hill, Justified, The Office, and 30 Rock; come back for weekly reviews) on hiatus until next week, and the return of the great Jim Carrey, I thought this was a perfect time to post on it.

I heard more people who don't normally watch Saturday Night Live talk about watching this week's episode because it was Jim Carrey hosting. This guy was a legend for my generation back in the 90s, and although he really has fallen off recently, his days of Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, The Cable Guy, In Living Color, and even his previous stint hosting SNL, really got a ton of people excited for the first Saturday Night Live episode of 2011.

Did it live up to expectations? No, I don't think so. Was that Jim Carrey's fault? Again, I don't think so. It comes down to the writing of these sketches. As always, I put most of the blame on head writer Seth Meyers, even though I really have no idea how the bureaucracy of backstage SNL works. This cast has a lot of players I find hilarious, but the show can never manage to really put together a slate of well done sketches, and that leads me back to the writing. Was Jim Carrey really given enough to do in his wheelhouse to make this return an absolute success? I don't think so. But read on for a more detailed look at what went down last night.

Spoiler alert...Below are more in depth thoughts on last night's Saturday Night Live hosted by Jim Carrey. So before reading any further, watch the episode, let me use your hotel room key to go to the bathroom, then read what I have to say.

Cold Open- What a surprise, a political cold opening! I thought we were off to a great start with this though, because like in the fantastic Wizard of Oz sketch from a couple months ago, Fred Armisen said "apartment" with a New York accent. Other than that part, it was pretty standard, and of course boring.

Monologue- There was a lot of excitement in the air for this. I seemed to be smiling throughout Carrey's monologue, and I don't know if it was because it was Jim Carrey on the SNL stage, or because he was making actual funny comments. His bit about 2010 being a "nightmare" was good, and proposing to the woman in the audience wasn't bad, but overall it was nothing to write home about.

Bosley's Hair Transplant- Man I hate repeat commercials, especially when they are as unfunny as this one. If you're going to bring back commercials that have been used before, why not just go all the way back to Schmitts Gay?

Black Swan- The dude as a chick bit has surely run its course, but Carrey pulled it off, especially when they first cut to him and he was smacking his gum with the best of them. His ridiculous ballet moves were nice, but it was Hader's thumbs up/thumbs down bit that stole the show here.

Finding Your Power- I'm assuming this didn't work the way they thought it would. It was a nice idea just couldn't figure out how to execute it. The only part I enjoyed was Carrey falling down in the snowy woods. The dude's physical comedy never disappoints.

Grady Wilson- I never enjoy this recurring infomercial, no matter how many times they try it. I'm sure there are plenty out there that find an old fat man doing weird sexual positions funny, but I'm not one of them. Jim Carrey's baboon in a tree did have me going for a bit though.

Worst of Soul Train- So many moments in this sketch were not funny. In fact everything other than Jason Sudeikis screaming to "get in the trunk!"

Weekend Update- While still strangely liked by many, I continue to hate Weekend Update. There is a decent joke once in a blue moon, but all it does is take up 15 minutes of time that could be put on three sketches. Those three sketches would probably bad so what's the difference right? The Pelosi/Boehner and the Bird/Fish things did nothing for me, but Bobby Moynihan's second hand news guy was worth the watch. Him looking behind the desk to see who's listening never fails to crack me up.

Maryville Brothers- As a fan of dark rides and audio-animatronics, I enjoyed this. It was nothing special, and they continued to limit Jim Carrey's abilities, but it was pleasant enough.

Psychic Reader- Finally! Hilarious. Definitely the best of the night. I really don't know what was better in this sketch, Jim Carrey's impressions and pretending he was actually channeling the given spirits, or Sudeikis's excitement every time Carrey did a new character. It worked all the way through, even with a nice ending bit as the psychic impressionist didn't do Brando. Who doesn't have a Brando?!? Good stuff, but too little, too late.

Taste of New York- Another good idea that just didn't prove to be that funny. This band needed help from the crowd they were playing for in New York, and the songs were kind of humorous I guess, but it didn't go over all that well.

All in all, a disappointing return from Jim Carrey. He was fine in his performances, but the episode didn't live up to the hype. Although I am down on the writers of SNL, I am back on the side of whoever chooses the hosts, because this season has been a vast improvement over last year.

Six of last year's first 11 hosts: Megan Fox, Drew Barrymore, Gerard Butler, Taylor Swift, Blake Lively, Taylor Lautner.

Six of this year's first 11 hosts: Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Robert De Niro, Paul Rudd, Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey.

Looks like someone realized getting hosts with actual comedic talent was a good idea. Now if they could only get some talented writers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Top Ten

Even though most prime time television has been on hold for the holidays, and I've been watching The Santa Clause 2 for most of December, that doesn't mean things don't change in the Quiet Pool Perspective's Bi-Monthly Power Rankings. My first ever post on this blog was the Pre-Season TV Power Rankings in September of 2007. Three series from the top ten on that list are currently in the top ten as we begin 2011. As always, the January edition of the Pool's Power Rankings take into account both past and current performance. I am not a prisoner of the moment, but I do take the current state of a series into account. Enjoy and feel free to disagree with me, as I know most of you do.
Rank. Show- (last time) down, green=moving up

10. Big Brother- (9) Summers on CBS
Nothing to see here. Big Brother remains the best stop for stupid arguments, exciting challenges, and strategic voting.  Big Brother returns in the Summer of 2011.

9. The Walking Dead- (-) Sundays on AMC
Getting crazy on Walking Dead
This zombie thriller was easily in my top two or three from the fall season, but with only six episodes to its name, I couldn't put it higher than its nine spot.  I'm really curious to see how they will move forward and if any of the characters become all that likable.  The scientist from the Truman Show was the only dude I was digging and he was only in one episode.  The Walking Dead most likely returns in the fall of 2011.

8. The Office- (10) Thursdays on NBC
We're getting down to the final stretch of Steve Carrell on The Office. You don't want to miss out on this, even if the critics claim it isn't funny anymore.  Well I got news for you people, it is still as hilarious as ever.  And if Amy Ryan is in any more episodes this year, that will be a fantastic bonus.  The Office returns on Thursday, January 20 at 9:00 PM.

7. Sons of Anarchy- (3) Tuesdays on FX
I could not keep it at the top after trashing on this past season so much.  And just like Myles McNutt, I didn't jump on any bandwagon of disliking season three.  It just wasn't good.  Critics and regular viewers alike were unsatisfied with the run and there's nothing Kurt Sutter can do about it to change that now.  Sons of Anarchy returns in the fall of 2011.

6. Friday Night Lights- (5) Wednesdays on DirecTV
Luke Cafferty of FNL
Although I can't stand Julie Taylor's Brenda Walsh-esque story line at college, this season of Friday Night Lights has continued its previous excellence.  Sure there are moments when I'm scratching my head at the storytelling, but the characters more than make up for it.  Do I wish Riggins, Landry and Saracen were back in Dillon? Of course, but I'm learning to love Becky, Vince and even maybe Luke (no, not Jess).  Friday Night Lights continues on Wednesday, January 5 at 9:00 PM.

5. Community- (6) Thursdays on NBC
I don't know how Community moved up in the rankings.  I haven't been all that impressed with the most recent eps of the show.  The thing about Community is that even in the episodes that don't come together completely, there are still a boat load of hilarious moments.  With characters like Troy and Pierce on your show, you're guaranteed a good amount of laughs on a week to week basis.  Community returns on Thursday, January 20 at 8:00 PM.

4. Chuck- (2) Mondays on NBC
Chuck takes a bit of a dip for the first time in a while.  The start to this season just hasn't been compelling.  There have been some really good episodes here and there, but nothing really to sink your teeth into.  Morgan has been on his game, but there really hasn't been enough Jeff and Lester, and Awesome is really a shell of what he used to be.  I miss the Awesome that was just a complete caricature of himself.  Chuck returns on Monday, January 17 at 8:00 PM.

3. Mad Men- (7) Sundays on AMC
Donny Draper gets engaged
How does this happen?  With everything else pretty much stinking up the joint, the quality of Mad Men is that much more noticeable.  This past season may have been the show's best yet, even though it finally got me to not like Betty Draper.  Mad Men will most likely return in the late summer or early fall of 2011.

2. Breaking Bad- (4) Sundays on AMC
Was I romanticizing some of my other favorite shows?  Or were season two of Sons and season three of Chuck just that much better than the stuff they are currently airing?  Because I would have said you were crazy if you told me I'd have Breaking Bad as my top drama at the start of 2011.  And maybe my short memory has me forgetting the lackluster episodes that BB put out this past spring, but with gut wrenching moments like those in One Minute, I See You, Half Measures, and Full Measure, I can't imagine it not being here at the top.

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm- (1) Sundays on HBO
It's a sad state of affairs when my current number one is a show that hasn't been on the air since November of 2009!  Don't get me wrong, I love Larry David like a father, but it is still a very strange prospect.  With the return of Curb unknown at this point, I'm certain it will stay on top for at least a few more power rankings.  Curb Your Enthusiasm will most likely return in the spring or summer of 2011.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Fighter- Brotherly Love

Not since The Dark Knight have I gone into a movie with such high expectations, and left thinking that it was even better than expected. The Fighter was that good. With a great underdog story, fantastic acting (especially from Christian Bale), a lot of emotional moments, and a surprisingly high level of comedy, you really need to get yourself to a theater and see this right away.

Spoiler alert...Below are more in depth thoughts on The Fighter. So before reading any further, watch the movie, bring a cake to some crack heads, then read what I have to say.

This is not just my Christian Bale bias right? That was unbelievable performance. From the two minute clip during the credits of the real Dick Eklund you could tell how spot on Bale was with his portrayal of the cracked out ex-boxer. Seriously, how good is this guy with accents? I've heard him do so many and they always make me forget that he is from Wales. "Let me see, a cracked out dude from Lowell with no teeth? Yeah I got that accent in my back pocket."

Bale had me feeling bad for Dicky, wanting to punch his lights out, and laughing hysterically at everything he said for the entire movie. That's not to say that the other performances weren't also great. Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams were fantastic as the leading couple. Of course they didn't have as difficult a role as Bale, but both did a stellar job making me care about whether Micky Ward succeeded.

Funniest movie of the year? I haven't seen many this year, but it's hard to imagine laughing more than I did at The Fighter. Literally every time the seven butt ugly sisters came on screen, I lost it. Between their hair, their faces, and their ridiculous comments in ridiculous accents, I just couldn't handle it. There's no way they went into making this movie thinking it would be this funny. Add to that both Bale and Adams who had terrific comedic moments throughout, and you have yourself a great comedy if you wanted to label it as such.

But at the end of the day this was a movie about two underdog brothers. One, a former boxer turned crack addict, who would do anything to live vicariously through his little bro's success. And two, the little brother boxer that has never received any attention because big bro Dicky knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard once upon a time. It was great seeing Amy Adams's character convince Micky to do it without his mom and brother, because I knew that he would have success that way, but when he demanded to bring Dicky back on as his trainer once out of jail, that's when I was sold. Really Micky's love of his brother, and the fact that they fought for the title together, made this such a great story. Thankfully Dicky turned his life around, and got new teeth, while in the big house. With big bro in his corner, Micky won the welterweight championship of the world and everything is good.

Not being a boxing fan, I was glad that I had no idea what was going to happen heading into Micky's title fight. Knowing that it was a true story, my gut told me that Micky would lose. I was both surprised and excited when that Englishmen hit the ground for good.

I give it an A, and I give Christian Bale's performance an A+. If he doesn't finally win an Oscar for this I am going to throw a fit.

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- 20 Through 11

Even though most prime time television has been on hold for the holidays, and I've been watching The Santa Clause 2 for most of December, that doesn't mean things don't change in the Quiet Pool Perspective's Bi-Monthly Power Rankings. My first ever post on this blog was the Pre-Season TV Power Rankings in September of 2007. Three series from the top ten on that list are currently in the top ten as we begin 2011. As always, the January edition of the Pool's Power Rankings take into account both past and current performance. I am not a prisoner of the moment, but I do take the current state of a series into account. Enjoy and feel free to disagree with me, as I know most of you do.
Rank. Show- (last time) down, green=moving up

20. Californication- (19) Sundays on Showtime
It has been a long time since Hank Moody has graced us with his presence. In no way do I think the first few eps of this next season can live up to the great finale of season three, but the addition of some Rob Lowe will make it enjoyable enough to remain in the top twenty. Californication returns on Sunday, January 9 at 10:00 PM.

19. Parks and Recreation- (18) Thursdays on NBC
Andy and April on Parks and Rec
Has anything been more highly touted by critics lately than Parks and Rec? Well yes, Terriers has been, but the NBC comedy is a close second. After being shipped to the basement to put the terrible Outsourced on this fall, Parks and Rec comes back to a revamped NBC Thursday lineup this spring. Now in the fantastic time slot after The Office, Parks has no more excuses. Parks and Recreation returns on Thursday, January 20 at 9:30 PM.

18. Top Chef- (-) Wednesdays on Bravo
Just as the Just Desserts variety pulled Top Chef out of the Top 20, this season's All-Stars edition has propelled it back in. Even though I had previously seen only one season of the regular Top Chef (also Just Desserts and Masters in my repertoire), I can tell that most of these chefs have been some of the best of the past. Not only are they fantastic chefs, but the producers seemed to do a fantastic job picking some of the best personalities for All-Stars. Top Chef continues Wednesday, January 5 at 10:00 PM.

17. The League- (HM) Thursdays on FX
We have now gotten to the point where Jackie Boy and T-time can both breathe a sigh of relief, and get really angry. As the biggest The League fans I know, they will be happy it has finally made the Top 20, but also mad that it is not number one. Although the finale wasn't one of the show's finest half hours, Kevin's blow up after losing in the semifinals during the penultimate ep of the season was reason enough to bump it into the Top 20. The League will most likely return in the fall of 2011.

16. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia- (14) Thursdays on FX
While I didn't enjoy it as much as its FX Thursday counterpart this season, It's Always Sunny stays ahead of The League based on previous excellence. There were definitely highlights from this sixth season, my favorite in Frank's acceptance of being gay, but for the most part it was hit or miss all the way through. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia will most likely return in the fall of 2011.

15. Treme- (15) Sundays on HBO
Sonny in Houston on Treme
The New Orleans based drama by The Wire creator David Simon is set to return almost exactly a year from when it first premiered. Although the death of John Goodman's character makes me sad, I'm sure plenty of other dudes will step up in his absence. After recently checking out the first season of The Wire, I can say that these two series are both better-different. Treme returns in April of 2011.

14. Boardwalk Empire- (17) Sundays on HBO
The new series by Sopranos alum Terence Winter has been a favorite of critics all over the interwebs. In a show rich of story telling, the only thing that left me wanting more after the first season ended was in the characters. There was no one in the cast that I said, "I want to see more of this guy/gal." Buscemi is fine and Pitt is doing a great job as Jimmy Darmody, but there's no Raylan Givens type that begs you to come back for more. Boardwalk Empire will most likely return in the fall of 2011.

13. Justified- (13) Wednesdays on FX
Speaking of Raylan Givens...Timothy Olyphant's character on Justified is one of the best. He's a shoot-from-the-hip Kentucky cowboy that gets the job done. A show that really came into its own midway through its first season, I don't see Justified losing any momentum as we enter season two. With Walt Goggins getting promoted to series regular, there is no stopping it on its way to the top of the Power Rankings. Justified returns on Wednesday, February 9 at 10:00 PM.

12. Modern Family- (8) Wednesdays on ABC
Mitchell is molested by Cam's mom on Mod Fam
Early on in the second season of Modern Family, I was extremely worried it was in danger of not being funny at all in the near future. I'm glad I was wrong, because it has had some very good eps as of late. All in all though, this second season has not lived up to the fantastic first year run, and thus it falls again in the rankings. Modern Family returns on Wednesday, January 5 at 9:00 PM.

11. Dexter- (11) Sundays on Showtime
Dexter had a great fifth season. Critics can complain all they want about it being the same thing year after year, but I have two problems with that. One, it isn't exactly the same every time. Specifically, this season Dex had a great partner in crime in Julia Stiles. Two, I enjoy what that formula is. Just as many people enjoy the procedural formula of a Law and Order. I enjoy the season long formula that has become Dexter. Dexter will most likely return in the fall of 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Honorable Mentions

Even though most prime time television has been on hold for the holidays, and I've been watching The Santa Clause 2 for most of December, that doesn't mean things don't change in the Quiet Pool Perspective's Bi-Monthly Power Rankings. My first ever post on this blog was the Pre-Season TV Power Rankings in September of 2007. Three series from the top ten on that list are currently in the top ten as we begin 2011. As always, the January edition of the Pool's Power Rankings take into account both past and current performance. I am not a prisoner of the moment, but I do take the current state of a series into account. Enjoy and feel free to disagree with me, as I know most of you do.
We begin, per the usual, with the honorable mentions. These shows are not my ten favorites after the top 20, but rather a list of shows I feel deserve a mention as we head into the next two months of tv watching. Whether they have improved, gotten worse, or are merely returning from a long hiatus and thus need to be talked about, these shows are getting a mention at the Pool.

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

30 Rock- (12) Thursdays on NBC
I was definitely a little too quick on the draw, moving 30 Rock up to 12 back in November, but I may be a little too harsh dropping it off the list completely this time around. It has been better than last season, but still not as good as the other three NBC comedies (no, I'm not counting Outsourced). 30 Rock returns on Thursday, January 20 at 10:00 PM.

The Amazing Race- (-) Sundays on CBS
Flight Time and Big Easy on Amazing Race
The Amazing Race is a great show to have on while you're doing something else. And this season should be better than normal for a couple of reasons. First, it will finally be making the move to HD, and second, it is an All-Star season. Many of your favorite contestants are back, including the Globetrotters and the Cowboys. The Amazing Race returns Sunday, February 20 at 8:00 PM.

Archer- (-) Thursdays on FX
Archer has received plenty of critical acclaim since its first season premiered sometime last year. It is not my favorite comedy out there, or even my favorite animated series, but there are definitely some good bits every now and again. Archer returns on Thursday, January 27 at 10:00 PM.

Greek- (-) Mondays on ABC Family
In the next couple of days here, Greek will begin airing its final season. While it is not of the same popularity or quality of a show like Lost, I am glad that it took the same strategy of ending on its own accord. Since they knew that this would be the end for our friends at Cyprus Rhodes, let's hope everything cleans up nicely by the time it finishes. Greek returns on Monday, January 3 at 9:00 PM.

Hannah Montana- (-) Sundays on Disney Channel
This is epic people. If wikipedia is correct, there are only two episodes left in the history of Hannah Montana. After that, the only time we'll get to see Miley Cyrus is when she's taking bong hits on TMZ. She's already told the world her secret, so where will the two part series finale, titled "Wherever I Go", take Miley Stewart and the rest of the gang? Hannah Montana returns on Sunday, January 9 at 8:00 PM.

Human Target- (-) Wednesdays on FOX
Cast of Human Target
I am still two episodes behind on Human Target, which proves that I can't be THAT in love with it, but it still deserves to be given a chance (if you watch the show, you'll get the pun in there). If you like action, you will like Human Target. Now that former Chuck writer Matt Miller is in charge, I see this second season taking a step up in both comedy and overall story. Human Target returns on Wednesday, January 5 at 8:00 PM.

Men of a Certain Age- (-) Mondays on TNT
Sometimes I have a difficult time deciding if Men of a Certain Age is great television or something is just there. It can be a bit boring at times, but the characters are so very rich that it is tough to look away. Ray Romano continues to shine in the lead role of Joe Tranelli, but Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula have yet to live up to the billing I gave them before the series started. Men of a Certain Age continues Monday, January 3 at 10:00 PM.

Nikita- (-) Thursdays on The CW
I am definitely a few eps behind on Nikita as well. There is nothing about this show that is making me tune in every week, but when I have some down time it is a pleasant enough show to stick on the tube for 45 minutes. If you can get past Shane West's Batman-esque voice then it is enjoyable. Maggie Q definitely isn't what people were playing her up to be, but Lyndsy Fonseca's Alex has more than made up for it. Nikita returns Thursday, January 27 at 9:00 PM.

The Ricky Gervais Show- (-) Fridays on HBO
Animated Ricky Gervais and crew
Karl Pilkington is a buffoon. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant laugh at his ridiculous stories. If this sounds remotely interesting to you, then you'll love The Ricky Gervais Show. Taken straight from Gervais's podcast, the show puts the three guys in animation and uses the cartoons to give pictures to Karl's wacky stories. The Ricky Gervais Show returns on Friday, January 14 at 9:00 PM.

The Sing Off- (-) Winters on NBC
The Sing Off got a ratings bump in its second season, and why not? It has a great format and a ton of great talent. While Ben Folds didn't live up to his first season excellence as judge, the second season of the a capella show was still fantastic. It's short. It's sweet. The Sing Off doesn't drag on and on like American Idol. It gets you the music and gets out. Nobody gets hurt. The Sing Off may or may not return next December.

Also fallen out of the Top 20...The Event (20) and Terriers (Cancelled)