Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teen Wolf 210 Review- Don't Think About It


Matt- "That's what Jackson's for. I just think about killing them, and he does it."
Other than Stephen Lunsford's slightly over-the-top performance as a psychotic killer on his last leg, "Fury" was yet another action-packed hour of Teen Wolf that managed to simultaneously scare the audience to death and pull at its heart strings.

Just like always, every second was pulse-pounding, as Jackson was paralyzing main characters and murdering extras at the drop of the hat. He wasn't doing it on his own accord, though. We learned at the end of last week's episode that Matt was indeed the master, and he put that title to use here, thinking about killing almost everyone in his sight.

While it still ended up being a bit confusing, the flashback to Jackson's camera recording session helped a great deal. It might not have shored up why or how Matt became the kanima's master, but his watching of the video, and the hand touching between master and kanima, explained when it all began.

Through a long-winded speech to Scott, Matt then revealed more about his murderous tour through town, telling his rival about how the 2006 swim team laughed and did nothing to help while he almost drowned to death. Apparently the murders weren't linked simply because the swim team sucks, like Stiles hilariously joked.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Teen Wolf, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 210 - "Fury"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wilfred 206 Review- The Legend of Rex and Lady


Wilfred- "I brought dessert! I found it in the most charming little French bakery's dumpster."
Wilfred is the best comedy of the summer, and "Control" was a perfect example of why. It wasn't the funniest episode of this second season, but there were so many humorous and interesting things going on during the half hour that it was tough not to smile throughout.

Sure, you have to enjoy the awkward or the dark, like every interaction between Amanda and Jenna, or Wilfred's entire affair with a drunken Bear, but that's what Wilfred is about. That's why we love it.

Wilfred's long-winded tale about Rex and Lady was absolutely hilarious. The way that Jason Gann worked in the old "this story is actually about me" bit was perfect. I never saw it coming, and because neither Wilfred nor Ryan made a big deal about his mess up, the joke was even funnier. Calling back to it later on with Drew missing his Lady put the whole thing over the top.

At the end of his story though, Wilfred made the point to Ryan that "You can't control relationships. You have to let things happen naturally." Of course Ryan didn't understand that concept until the end of the episode, and thank God, because his lack of understanding made for quite a few hilarious situations.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Wilfred, head over to TV Fanatic.

Wilfred 206 - "Control"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Covert Affairs 303- Pirates; Wife For Me


Structurally, "The Last Thing You Should Do" was exactly what you look for out of an episode of television. There was a great mix of entertainment with Auggie's trip gone bad, and intrigue-building serialization with everything else that was going on at the home front.

It just never came together completely. The hour was filled with everything I asked for after the season premiere. We had Lena and Joan butting heads, as well as Annie continuing her relationship with Simon to serve some sort of end goal. I just couldn't have cared less about either situation.

Maybe it was simply because Chris Gorham was once again so engaging that everything time they put the camera on someone else it was disappointing. Seeing Auggie in the field is always good fun, but "The Last Thing You Should Do" was much more than that.

We were able to witness him loving life, and then quickly having to worry about the lives of others. He lost control, and then he took control.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Covert Affairs, head over to TV Fanatic.

Covert Affairs 303 - "The Last Thing You Should Do"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teen Wolf 209 Review- Punch, Drunk, Love


Scott- "Why should I apologize?"
Stiles- "Because you're the guy. It's like what we do."
I hate to be repetitive, but it is too difficult not to praise Jeff Davis and company week after week for their ability to find this perfect pace for a summer action series. Sometimes you expect to see a dull episode every once and a while, but during Teen Wolf Season 2 it has yet to come.

"Party Guessed" was filled with crazy hallucinations, uncontrollable new wolves, a stalker at his finest, plenty of goofs from Stiles, a husband and wife going through the most terrible of situations and two giant reveals. In other words, stuff went down!

The dream sequences, which were all beautifully created by director Tim Andrew, began early with Lydia's vision of a shower that turned into a lax game, which led to Peter chasing her down. When she woke up, the former Alpha remained by her side, but this time in what we assume was just his semi-dead spirit form.

Thanks to Lydia, her immunity and that purple dust that allowed her to drag Derek back to the abandoned house, it might have been the last we see of Peter's spirit form. The alpha is back!  There was no explanation for why digging a dead claw into the current alpha brings the former one back to life, but that's what happened!
To read the rest of my review of last night's Teen Wolf, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 209 - "Party Guessed"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wilfred 205 Review- Live In The Now!


Wilfred- "There's darkness everywhere Ryan. You just can't see because the sun is such an attention whore."
Wilfred seemed to cover the entire spectrum of emotions, while Jason Gann played each one of them perfectly in this week's episode of Wilfred. Ryan, on the other hand, went from constantly looking towards the future to caring much more about the here and "Now."

I've written about the different characters Wilfred has seemingly taken on this season (idolizing little brother, stand-up comic, etc.), but this time the dog didn't stick to one shtick. He was ever changing, and it was fascinating to watch.

First he just wanted to live in the now, smelling every gross thing within reach of his nostrils. He then lost his smell due to a trauma, and couldn't handle those pesky thoughts messing around in his brain. Once he figured out how to channel those new thoughts, Wilfred became a book reading intellectual.

No, not the books you’re thinking of. You know the ones. The books with pictures...that move...and have sound...and have Matt Damon in them...and in the middle of the movie Matt Damon is like (makes gun noises). Not that kind of book.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Wilfred, head over to TV Fanatic.

Wilfred 205 - "Now"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Covert Affairs 302 Review- Send Auggie On Over


Annie (to Auggie): "Bad news, one of us has a middle seat. I'd say I'd flip you for it, but do you really need a window?"
We all want it. We all got it. Annie and Auggie were sent to Spain on assignment together in "Sound and Vision." But did it live up to our expectations?

There was a moment here or there on the actual mission, but honestly, the best interaction between the two may have occurred before they even started it. Watching them play 20 questions, sitting outside Arthur's office like a couple of high school students in trouble with the principal, might have been my favorite part of the hour.

It's just the chemistry between the two characters, and how well Piper Perabo and Chris Gorham seem to gel as actors, that is so fun to watch. Take, for example, the banter just before the flight when Annie jabs that Auggie doesn't need a window, and the analyst hits back with the fact this "isn't the first time [Annie's] been under qualified."

That's not to say that the actual mission wasn't entertaining as well. The two of them teaming up for that hand to hand was pretty awesome! I know it's Auggie and Annie, and they're studs, but that guy got absolutely destroyed by a woman and a blind guy. He shouldn't tell anyone about that.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Covert Affairs, head over to TV Fanatic.

Covert Affairs 302 - "Sound and Vision"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teen Wolf 208 Review- Unkindness of Raving


The action never seems to stop on Teen Wolf, and that was no different on "Raving." Both sides made plans, neither of which worked out how they had wanted, and a couple of people were hurt in the process.

The first - or the last, as it was how the hour ended - was Mrs. Argent, who took the bite from Derek after attempting to destroy her daughter's boyfriend. That's what she gets, though. You can't mess with Scott McCall. When you do, you get bitten, literally.

Derek coming to Scott's rescue was awesome. Ever since they first met up way back in the beginning, it has always been nice to see their connection come to the forefront. Derek was seriously worried about Scott, and when the latter uttered "I'm not alone" I can only hope he was referring to his quasi-pal Derek.

As for Mrs. Argent, I guess this is the first of a number of big surprises that J.R. Bourne teased to us a few weeks ago. "There's going to be a tragedy, something that the Argents are going to have to deal with," Bourne said back in June. This is certainly something they're going to have to deal with.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Teen Wolf, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 208 - "Raving"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wilfred 204 Review- Dogs vs. Babies, Who Ya Got?


Wilfred- "How many innocent babies have to survive before we put an end to this senseless nurturing?"
Sometimes Wilfred takes things a bit too far and ends up feeling guilty. Luckily for him, dogs can only feel guilt for a maximum of five seconds. Luckily for us, "Guilt" used that made up fact by its main character to execute a perfect call back at a major climax in the story to serve as the backbone of another great episode of Wilfred's hilarious second season.

Wilfy - as Jenna, Drewish Community Center and I call him - spent a majority of "Guilt" enthralled with the apparent war between dogs and babies over who is cuter. His actions towards Kristen's unborn child, which included trying to vacuum it out and sticking Kristen's voo doo doll in the belly, were pretty terrible.

He was partaking in these awful acts towards the baby for so long that when Wilfred finally came around to feeling guilty about it, I had forgotten about the five second rule. When his watch timer went off, reminding me of his clever rule for dogs, I absolutely lost it.

This war, and Wilfy's obsession with it, also gave us the hilarity of him naming off the fake battles between dogs and babies, and talking about the "brave, dead soldiers of the Babies R Us parking lot."
To read the rest of my review of last night's Wilfred, head over to TV Fanatic.

Wilfred 204 - "Guilt"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Sopranos Award- Action Series


Named For: The Sopranos (HBO)
Awarded To: The best action series of the season
2009 Winner: Chuck (NBC)
2010 Winner: Lost (ABC)
2011 Winner: Justified (FX)

10. The River (ABC) 0 points

9. Sherlock (PBS) 1 point
5th by Matt

8. Chuck (NBC) 3 points
3rd by Jack

7. Boardwalk Empire (HBO) 8 points
2nd by Jaydon

6. Fringe (FOX) 9 points
2nd by Jack, 4th by Me

5. Sons of Anarchy (FX) 14 points
3rd by Tyson, Rizzo, Larry, and Matt

4. Game of Thrones (HBO) 26 points
1st by Tyson, Cecil, and Larry

3. Homeland (Showtime) 29 points
1st by Mags, 2nd by Me

2. Justified (FX) 29 points
1st by T-time and Jack, 1st by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Breaking Bad (AMC) 34 points
1st by Jaydon, Rizzo, Matt, and Bonz, 3rd by Me


This is Breaking Bad's third overall nomination, second for best action series, and first ever win.  Here with a discussion on why the show is so great is Poolie voter Jaydon.
__________________

Breaking Bad is the story of one man’s journey from milquetoast beta male to amoral, pathologically self-serving demon. It tells this story through a series of increasingly narrow escapes from increasingly perilous webs of entanglement. One of the reasons it’s in the pantheon of great shows is that the escapes always lead to deeper, more insurmountably suffocating situations to be navigated. At the end of season 3, Gale had learned how to prepare Walt’s premium meth, rendering Walt and Jesse expendable. Walt makes Jesse kill Gale which keeps them alive but sets Walt and Gus at odds and sends Jesse into existential crisis. It also largely severs the partnership between Walt and Jesse, giving Gus an opening to foster a relationship with the lost soul.

Season 4 can be seen as the main event matchup between the long reigning champion drug lord and the wild and scrappy upstart. It’s an incredible showdown because both men are highly intelligent and evenly matched.

Gus is depicted as an indestructible genius. He reinstates his position of power over Walt and Jesse by brutally slicing the throat of an enforcer dumb enough to have been seen at the scene of Gale’s murder by eye-witnesses. This shows us two things: that Gus is capable of direct murder, and that he’ll unflinchingly end problems with immediacy. This action is a statement, “I own you until you prove no longer useful at which point you’re dead”. There’s the great moment when Gus walks determinedly into cartel gunfire and throws up his hands in a godlike gesture of infallibility. We see an avenging Gus seize power in an incredibly risky but brilliant poison plot that wipes out cartel boss Don Eladio and his men. Gus is calculating, ballsy and seemingly perfect.

Walt doesn’t buy it. In a memorable showcase of his turgid ego, Walt lets a newly ride or die Skyler know that he is the “one who knocks”. He puts his play in motion by encouraging Jesse to poison Gus with ricin hidden in a cigarette. Jesse balks, unsure of where his allegiance lies in the face of Walt’s continued under-appreciation and disrespect and Gus’s savvy self-esteem building efforts. The long boiling animosity between Walt and Jesse comes to a head in a sad fight that apparently cements the end of their partnership and derails Walt’s strategy.

The implied threat of the box cutter incident seems to kick in when Gus fires Walt. Jesse has learned the meth formula well enough to render Walt unnecessary, sending Walt into a mad scramble of attempted escape. This leads to my favorite scene of the entire show where Walt discovers that his money has been seriously depleted by Skyler paying off Ted’s IRS tab. The soundtrack thumps like a heartbeat as Walt lets out an animalistic shriek of desperation. He starts laughing maniacally and the camera eventually pans up evoking a grave to the sound of disturbing distortion. This encapsulates perfectly the idea of Walt as an unstable dead man walking who happens to be perversely enjoying the downfall of his world. It’s humbling to behold.

Walt’s laughter in that grave signified his final transition to the underworld. The move he pulls to get out of this mess crosses any person’s threshold of acceptable anti-hero activity into certain villainy. He poisons Jesse’s lady friend’s kid and convinces him when confronted that Gus is to blame. In doing so he gets Jesse back on his side and collaborates with him to lure Gus into a vehicle equipped with explosives. Gus’s supernatural drug lord senses lead him to evade the trap at the last moment.

Walt finally vanquishes his most formidable opponent by exploiting Gus’s well-earned hubris. Walt convinces Hector “Tio” Salamanca to gain revenge against Gus for his eradication of the cartel and grandson. They make it appear as if Tio is snitching to the DEA in order to get Gus to kill him at the nursing home. When Gus is about to give Tio a lethal injection, Tio lets loose one of his trademark sneers of disgust and rings his communicative bell furiously for the last time. The bell triggers a bomb that gives us one of the coolest death scenesin TV history. We see Gus walk out post explosion seeming for a second to be actually unkillable. He straightens his tie and the camera pans to the right so that we can see all of his face, half of which no longer exists. He collapses.

Walt and Jesse destroy the lab and have a talk later at the hospital garage. Jesse lets Walt know that the poisoned kid will make it and that it wasn’t ricin but Lily of the Valley that was used. Walt calls Skyler telling her “I won”. It’s here that we learn that Walt was behind the poisoning of the child as the camera pans to the Lily of the Valley plant in Walt’s garden. It’s a final shock that resonates deeply.

Walt has won but what has he won and at what cost? He has won the spot of drug lord and he’ll presumably become the new Gus.  He’s lost his soul completely and will likely continue on an evil path that will claim more victims. Will Jesse, Hank, Skyler, Walt Jr or his baby die? Will Walt kill Jesse? Will Jesse kill Walt? As we approach the final (unfortunately split into two) season, it seems like Walt’s made his finale escape. Walt overcame his greatest enemy and will now transition into becoming an even greater evil. It seems his destiny is to become the new force from which others must escape.

The Poolie Action category is consistently the most competitive. There were some very good and some great seasons put forth by competing nominees. It’s my position that Breaking Bad blew them away like Tio.

by Jonathan Stuart

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Seinfeld Award- Comedy Series


Named For: Seinfeld (NBC) 1990-98
Awarded To: The best comedy series of the season
2009 Winner: The Office (NBC)
2010 Winner: Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
2011 Winner: The Office (NBC)

10. Cougar Town (ABC) 0 points

9. Angry Boys (HBO) 1 point
5th by T-time

8. Wilfred (FX) 4 points
5th by Cecil, Jack, and Bonz, 5th by Me

7. 30 Rock (NBC) 7 points
3rd by Matt

6. Happy Endings (ABC) 14 points
2nd by T-time and Jack, 3rd by Me

5. The League (FX) 15 points
1st by Rizzo

4. New Girl (FOX) 20 points
1st by Cecil and Larry

3. Community (NBC) 25 points
1st by Jaydon, T-time, Matt, and Jack, 1st by Me

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) 28 points
1st by Tyson and Bonz, 4th by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) 36 points
1st by Mags, 2nd by Me


This is It's Always Sunny's third nomination and first win for best comedy series of the season.

It was truly a remarkable year for comedies.  To come out of this group of nominees and take home the crown is an achievement.  What is even more rewarding is that It's Always Sunny picks up its first ever Poolie in its SEVENTH season.  Sure many Poolie voters jumped on Sunny later on in its run, and the awards only began in season four of this FX hit, but it's an achievement none-the-less.

Going up against heavyweights like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Community, as well as upstarts like New Girl, The League and Happy Endings, Sunny had to run the gauntlet to earn this trophy.  The series did so with maybe its best season yet.  Between "The Gang's Revenge," "The Anti-Social Network," "Chardee MacDennis," and more, they just kept banging out winners week after week.  Each half hour hilarious, and each half hour brilliant in its own way (removing the one outlier: Frank's Brother, which was not good).

The best thing about season seven was that it was so difficult to determine which of the big three had the best season.  Regardless of your favorite, most years it is easier to determine who had the best overall season.  But this time around, Dennis, Charlie, and Mac all brought their A Games.  Heck, Rob McElhenney put on 50 pounds because he thought it would be funny.  Well he was right, because this was my favorite season of Ronald McDonald yet.

It wasn't my single favorite season of the year, that went to Community, but the NBC comedy turns some off with its intelligent and unorthodox humor.  In order to win a Poolie you have to please all, and Always Sunny seemed to do that perfectly this season.

by Dan Forcella

Covert Affairs 301 Review- Marrakesh Impressed


Lena- "I'm Lena Smith. I'm your new boss."
Covert Affairs returned with a bang to start season three, but it was where things went after the shocking opening that made "Hang On to Yourself" a great beginning to this Covert summer.

Yes, Jai Wilcox was blown up by a car bomb in the early moments of the episode, and I was very surprised by it due to the fact that I hadn't heard anything about Sendhil Ramamurthy leaving the series.

Other than scaring the crap out of me - and freaking out Annie enough to make her afraid to start her own car even after checking thoroughly for bombs - Jai's death led to a number of new developments for the rest of the Covert crew. We can only hope that said developments keep the stories going in new and interesting places, and that the series doesn't simply bring everything back to the status quo within a few episodes.

That happens far too often on shows like this. New and different avenues will present themselves, the series will explore them for a bit, but then everything will go back to normal after a short while. It's as if the writers are too afraid of changing what is working for them, but thankfully Christopher Gorham has assured us this won't be the case in Season 3.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Covert Affairs season premiere, head over to TV Fanatic.

Covert Affairs 301 - "Hang on to Yourself"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Friday Night Lights Award- Drama Series


Named For: Friday Night Lights (NBC/The 101) 2006-11
Awarded To: The best drama series of the season
2009 Winner: Friday Night Lights (NBC/The 101)
2010 Winner: Friday Night Lights (NBC/The 101)
2011 Winner: Friday Night Lights (NBC/The 101)

10. Scandal (ABC) 0 points

9. Parenthood (NBC) 4 points
3rd by Jack

8. One Tree Hill (The CW) 4 points
2nd by Jack, 5th by Me

7. Treme (HBO) 7 points
2nd by Jaydon and T-time

6. Shameless (Showtime) 14 points
1st by Larry, 4th by Me

5. The Vampire Diaries (The CW) 14 points
1st by Matt and Jack, 1st by Me

4. Revenge (ABC) 16 points
3rd by Tyson, Cecil, Larry, Matt, and Mags

3. Mad Men (AMC) 17 points
1st by Jaydon and T-time, 3rd by Me

2. Luck (HBO) 17 points
1st by Bonz, 2nd by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. House (FOX) 21 points
1st by Tyson, Cecil, Rizzo, and Mags


This is House's fourth nomination and first ever win for best drama series of the season.  Here to explain how it finally got over the hump is Poolie voter Larry.
_______________________

House has been the bridesmaid in this category the last three years, having fallen to all-time great Friday Night Lights each time. This was House’s last shot at glory. Receiving a Poolie in the final season is the equivalent of winning the Superbowl, World Series, and the Final Four at once while riding off into the sunset. Over its eight seasons, House moved from a more procedural based show to one with more continuity. Some things didn’t work, but there were too many constants that provided entertainment for the show to fail. House and Wilson’s relationship was the most successful theme the show had, and using it as the focus for much of the final season was the perfect way to go out.  The show will be missed, and I’m glad it won the big one. Also, let’s be honest, the drama category is a little weak this year, certainly no match for its action counterpart.

With House off the air, someone else will have to misdiagnose Lupus and Sarcoidosis on a regular basis. Franklin and Bash, I am looking at you.

by Larry Avitabile

Teen Wolf 207 Review- Plan B, Be Lydia


Stiles- "You wanna play Cat Woman? I'll be your Batman."
Teen Wolf has a tendency to keep information from its viewers, to be secretive in order to create more suspense. But "Restraint" was the first time that the series made an overt attempt to be confusing.

The ending to this week's installment, where Lydia met up with the mysterious boy who ended up being alpha wolf Peter Hale, was extremely successful at confounding viewers in an almost Christopher Nolan-esque fashion.

Not to the lengths or the depths that Nolan takes movies like Inception or The Prestige, but for one plot of a very busy television series, this thing probably did a number on most minds.

Is Peter alive? Is Lydia imagining him? Is she imagining the boy? Was that Peter as a teenager? What is his plan B? Is it to bring him back to life? How is she hearing him if he's dead? These questions, and probably a million more, were most likely running through everyone's head while watching these final moments of "Restraint."
To read the rest of my review of last night's Teen Wolf, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 207 - "Restraint"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Frank Pembleton Award- Lead in Action


Named For: Frank Pembleton (Homicide)
Awarded To: The best lead character in an action series
2009 Winner: James 'Sawyer' Ford (Lost)
2010 Winner: Jack Shephard (Lost)
2011 Winner: Raylan Givens (Justified)

10. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock) 1 point
5th by Matt

9. Clay Morrow (Sons of Anarchy) 5 points
2nd by Rizzo

8. Chuck Bartowski (Chuck) 5 points
3rd by Jack, 5th by Me

7. Jimmy Darmody (Boardwalk Empire) 7 points
2nd by Cecil

6. Peter Bishop (Fringe) 8 points
3rd by T-time, 3rd by Me

5. Nick Brody (Homeland) 11 points
2nd by Bonz

4. Walter Bishop (Fringe) 14 points
1st by T-time, 2nd by Me

3. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones) 30 points
1st by Cecil, 4th by Me

2. Walter White (Breaking Bad) 31 points
1st by Jaydon, Rizzo, Larry, Matt, and Bonz

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Raylan Givens (Justified) 32 points
1st by Tyson, Mags, and Jack, 1st by Me


This is Raylan Givens's third nomination and second straight win for best lead character in an action series.  Coinciding with Larry David's win of the Cory Matthews Award, Poolie voter Mags is here to talk about the two honorees.
_____________________________


As the suave, handsome, southern gentleman on FX’s Justified, Raylan Givens is known for his quick trigger and smooth demeanor.  Playing himself on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David is infamous for his hilarious tendency to argue inane points to no end, as well as his complete lack of swagger. I would find it difficult to find two other characters which display such stark contrast.

Raylan is the preeminent modern man with a mix of traditional confederate values. He is able to talk his way through or around any situation and does it with an unmatched level of charm and swagger. That a man can wear skinny jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy boots/hat in 2012 and not look like a complete ass says enough about him. Add to that the fact that every woman south of the Mason-Dixon Line wants to sleep with him, and you know the guy is verified.

Juxtapose Raylan with Larry David. The short, bald, bespectacled goon dresses poorly and has a penchant for annoying those around him. Larry will debate any point with anyone at any time, and also harbors extreme prejudice to anyone not just like him. Despite this, he is responsible for what may be the funniest show on television.

Congratulations to Raylan on his winning The Frank Pembleton Award For Best Lead Character in an Action Series. The same goes to Larry for The Cory Matthews Award For Best Lead Character in a Comedy Series. Despite their differences, both are certainly deserving of their respective Poolies.

by Kyle Magnus

The Cory Matthews Award- Lead in Comedy


Named For: Cory Matthews (Boy Meets World)
Awarded To: The best lead character in a comedy series
2009 Winner: Tracy Jordan (30 Rock)
2010 Winner: Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
2011 Winner: Michael Scott (The Office)

10. Pete Riggins (Bent) 0 points

9. Daniel Sims (Angry Boys) 2 points
5th by T-time, 5th by Me

8. Andre Nowzick (The League) 5 points
3rd by Cecil

7. Dwight Schrute (The Office) 7 points
3rd by T-time

6. Wilfred (Wilfred) 15 points
1st by T-time, 1st by Me

5. Phil Dunphy (Modern Family) 20 points
2nd by Cecil, Rizzo, and Matt

4. Charlie Kelly (It's Always Sunny) 20 points
1st by Rizzo, 4th by Me

3. Dennis Reynolds (It's Always Sunny) 20 points
1st by Jack, 2nd by Me

2. Schmidt (New Girl) 23 points
1st by Tyson, Cecil, Larry, and Matt

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) 34 points
1st by Mags and Bonz, 3rd by Me


This is Larry David's third nomination and second win for best lead character in a comedy series.  Coinciding with Raylan Givens's win for the Frank Pembleton Award, Poolie voter Mags is here to discuss the success of both characters.
________________________


As the suave, handsome, southern gentleman on FX’s Justified, Raylan Givens is known for his quick trigger and smooth demeanor.  Playing himself on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David is infamous for his hilarious tendency to argue inane points to no end, as well as his complete lack of swagger. I would find it difficult to find two other characters which display such stark contrast.

Raylan is the preeminent modern man with a mix of traditional confederate values. He is able to talk his way through or around any situation and does it with an unmatched level of charm and swagger. That a man can wear skinny jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy boots/hat in 2012 and not look like a complete ass says enough about him. Add to that the fact that every woman south of the Mason-Dixon Line wants to sleep with him, and you know the guy is verified.

Juxtapose Raylan with Larry David. The short, bald, bespectacled goon dresses poorly and has a penchant for annoying those around him. Larry will debate any point with anyone at any time, and also harbors extreme prejudice to anyone not just like him. Despite this, he is responsible for what may be the funniest show on television.

Congratulations to Raylan on his winning The Frank Pembleton Award For Best Lead Character in an Action Series. The same goes to Larry for The Cory Matthews Award For Best Lead Character in a Comedy Series. Despite their differences, both are certainly deserving of their respective Poolies.

by Kyle Magnus

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Battle of the Network Stars Award- Reality Series


Named For: The Battle of the Network Stars (ABC) 1976-88
Awarded To: The best reality competition series of the season
2009 Winner: American Idol (FOX)
2010 Winner: Survivor (CBS)
2011 Winner: Survivor (CBS)

10. Next Iron Chef (Food Network) 0 points

9. Bachelor Pad (ABC) 1 point
5th by Me

8. The Amazing Race (CBS) 3 points
3rd by Jaydon

7. The Sing Off (NBC) 4 points
1st by T-time

6. The Voice (NBC) 10 points
1st by Tyson, 2nd by Me

5. Top Chef (Bravo) 12 points
1st by Jaydon, 4th by Me

4. Big Brother (CBS) 14 points
2nd by Cecil and Jack, 3rd by Me

3. American Idol (FOX) 15 points
1st by Rizzo, Larry, and Jack

2. The Challenge (MTV) 18 points
1st by Cecil

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Survivor (CBS) 22 points
1st by Mags, 1st by Me


This is Survivor's fourth nomination and third straight win for the best reality competition series of the season.

Something needs to happen.  Something needs to change if Survivor can win three straight Poolies this late in its run, especially since the two seasons it put forth this year weren't all that great.  What does it say about the state of reality competition television when something like that can happen?  Granted, those seasons with Russell and Boston Rob in recent history were pretty great.  Was there anyone enjoyable in this spring's installment other than Troyzan?  Not really?  Is it just Probst?  Is he THAT cocky and arrogant that he makes the show great no matter who they cast?  I'm not sure, but I know that it was once again the best reality competition to watch on television.  Big Brother was hurt by a terrible cast, Idol has run old, and Top Chef has become too gimmicky.  I don't know what fellow Poolie voters are thinking with The Challenge.  I watched one episode of that and wanted to blow my brains out.  I guess the fact of the matter is that Survivor is steady.  You can count on it to give you a certain level of entertainment year in and year out.  When that cast is filled with great characters you have a fantastic season.  When it's not, you still have a good one.  That's what we were left with here...a couple of good seasons that ended in a third straight Poolie.

by Dan Forcella

The Desmond Hume Award- Supporting in Action


Named For: Desmond Hume (Lost)
Awarded To: The best supporting character in an action series
2009 Winner: Tony Almeida (24)
2010 Winner: Desmond Hume (Lost)
2011 Winner: Boyd Crowder (Justified)

10. John Casey (Chuck) 3 points
4th by Jack

9. Owen Slater (Boardwalk Empire) 4 points
2nd by Jaydon

8. Jason Stackhouse (True Blood) 4 points
3rd by Tyson

7. Theon Greyjoy (Game of Thrones) 5 points
4th by T-time, 4th by Me

6. Emmet Cole (The River) 6 points
2nd by T-time, 5th by Me

5. Morgan Grimes (Chuck) 10 points
3rd by Jack, 2nd by Me

4. Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad) 20 points
1st by Rizzo

3. Robert Quarles (Justified) 22 points
1st by Cecil, 1st by Me

2. Gus Fring (Breaking Bad) 32 points
1st by Jaydon, Larry, and Bonz

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Boyd Crowder (Justified) 37 points
1st by Tyson, T-time, Matt, Mags, and Jack, 3rd by Me


This is Boyd Crowder's second nomination and second straight win for best supporting character in an action series.  Here to discuss what makes Boyd such a great character is Poolie voter, CJ.
____________________________

A character with many layers and the perfect foil for Raylan, Boyd is the criminal you can’t help but respect and even admire. Boyd’s evolution as a character has been an enjoyable one, from a reckless killer to a calculated figure trying to live his own life. Possibly at his best this season having to deal with Quarles and Limehouse while still figuring out how to exact his revenge on Dickie. Boyd defends what he cares about, what he considers his; Ava, Harlan County and in some cases his “best friend” Raylan. A man with a code who anyone should want on their side, Boyd Crowder is a character so key to the Justified storyline, it’s hard to imagine the show if he had been killed off as originally intended.

by Cecil Alleyne

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Arthur Spooner Award- Supporting in Comedy


Named For: Arthur Spooner (King of Queens)
Awarded To: The best supporting character in a comedy series
2009 Winner: Kevin Malone (The Office)
2010 Winner: Leon Black (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
2011 Winner: Troy Barnes (Community)

10. Pierce Hawthorne (Community) 4 points
3rd by Jack, 5th by Me

9. Craig Pelton (Community) 7 points
2nd by T-time, 3rd by Me

8. Kevin Malone (The Office) 9 points
3rd by Matt

7. Tracy Jordan (30 Rock) 13 points
3rd by Bonz

6. Abed Nadir (Community) 13 points
1st by Matt, 4th by Me

5. Taco MacArthur (The League) 15 points
2nd by Cecil, Larry, and Mags

4. Max Blum (Happy Endings) 18 points
1st by T-time, 1st by Me

3. Luke Dunphy (Modern Family) 20 points
1st by Tyson and Cecil

2. Leon Black (Curb Your Enthusiasm) 25 points
1st by Larry, Mags, and Bonz

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Troy Barnes (Community) 32 points
1st by Jaydon, Rizzo, and Jack, 2nd by Me


This is Troy Barnes's second nomination and second straight win for best supporting character in a comedy series.  Here to discuss why Troy is such a great character is Poolie voter Jaydon.
_____________________________

With the axing of showrunner Dan Harmon and the exodus of many other core writers, season three will likely be considered the final “real” season of Community. Luckily, in fear of cancellation, the show ended on a note that could have worked as a series finale. Troy was one of the characters that felt as if he had completed his arc by season’s end.

This season Troy moved in with Abed, feuded and made up with him and sacrificed his life at Greendale for the good of his friends. While Abed threatened to slip deeper into a disturbing fantasy life, Troy matured while maintaining his whimsical side. In the much loved Remedial Chaos Theory, it’s Troy’s absence that brings about the dark timeline, suggesting his role as the heart of the study group.

Perhaps more importantly, Troy continued to be Community’s funniest character with moments like eating the candy cigarette, acting “normal” with Abed for Shirley’s wedding, employing a Southern accent to represent the European country of Georgia, his $60 windfall, transitioning from Inspector Spacetime roleplaying to spitting at a damsel, bubbe/boobie confusion, “all-terrain, dummy”, the pen pal call, bad copping and manly karate adventures.

This is two Poolies in a row for Troy but it’ll be a miracle if he gets the threepeat with new writers. However, Donald Glover is talented enough to keep it in the realm of possibility.

by Jonathan Stuart

Friday, July 6, 2012

The "Through Looking Glass" Award- Action Episode


Named For: "Through the Looking Glass" (Lost, 322)
Awarded To: The best action episode of the season
2010 Winner: "The End" (Lost, 616)
2011 Winner: "Full Measure" (Breaking Bad, 313)

10. "To the Lost" (Boardwalk Empire, 212) 1 point
5th by Jaydon

9. "Letters of Transit" (Fringe, 419) 4 points
2nd by Jack

8. "The Reichenbach Fall" (Sherlock, 203) 5 points
4th by Jaydon, 4th by Me

7. "The Gunfighter" (Justified, 301) 11 points
2nd by Tyson

6. "Chuck vs. the Frosted Tips" (Chuck, 503) 13 points
1st by Jack, 1st by Me

5. "Burnt and Purged Away" (Sons of Anarchy, 412) 17 points
2nd by Cecil and Matt

4. "Baelor" (Game of Thrones, 109) 18 points
2nd by T-time

3. "The Weekend" (Homeland, 107) 23 points
1st by Tyson, 3rd by Me

2. "Face Off" (Breaking Bad, 413) 28 points
1st by Jaydon, Rizzo, Larry, and Bonz

and the Poolie goes to...

1. "Blackwater" (Game of Thrones, 209) 31 points
1st by Cecil, T-time, Matt, and Mags, 2nd by Me


The two nominations this year gives Game of Thrones three total nominations and one win for best action episode of the season.  Here to discuss the greatness of this episode is Poolie voter, T-time.
___________________________________________________

The second season of Game of Thrones had its problems. But despite what went on over the first eight episodes, it would be impossible to deny that “Blackwater,” the penultimate production of the season, was a fantastic hour of television. It wasn’t just that the episode was penned by author George R.R. Martin, who presumably has a better handle on the characters that inhabit Westeros. “Blackwater,” which clocked in at just over sixty-four minutes, was perfectly structured as a stand-alone episode, even as it provided a satisfying conclusion for several long-running story lines.

The episode focused primarily on the battle for which it is named, but the action doesn’t start immediately. Martin, showcasing that screenwriting talent he honed penning episodes of The Twilight Zone in the eighties, allows the tension to build. Generals and soldiers from both sides anticipate the battle as Stannis Baratheon’s fleet approaches the city of King’s Landing. Before a single ship is seen from the walls, the audience is keyed in to what is at stake for the participants, and the women huddling under the protection of Queen Cersei.

When the battle starts it is relentless. Although not what you might see in a future film, it is clear that the showrunners were right to ask for an increased budget for this episode. There are ships, wildflowers, siege weapons, everything besides the pole vaulting and choppers are brought out. It’s the only true battle of the series so far, and the wait was worth it. By the time Tyrion makes his rousing speech (the intonation on “let’s go kill them” is breathtaking) it feels like this fight has been going on for some time.

While it ends rapidly and with a finish that follows on events from previous episodes, we understand that had Tyrion not done what he had (with the wildfire, and then leading the sortie) the city would have fallen long before it could be saved by the once and future hand of the king. For viewers and fans of Tyrion, that’s all we really needed.

Because of the nature of the series, it would prove impossible to feature episodes that are this focused more than once or twice per season. But for the long-term health of Game of Thrones, and for our own viewing pleasure, it’s certainly nice to know that HBO is capable of producing an absolute gem like “Blackwater.”

by Tim Forcella

The "The Dealership" Award- Comedy Episode


Named For: "The Dealership" (Seinfeld, 911)
Awarded To: The best comedy episode of the season
2010 Winner: "The Table Read" (Curb Your Enthusiasm, 709)
2011 Winner: "Threat Level Midnight" (The Office, 716)

10. "Episode 12" (Angry Boys, 112) 0 points

9. "Thanksgiving" (Suburgatory, 108) 1 point
5th by T-time

8. "Live From Studio 6H" (30 Rock, 618) 3 points
3rd by Matt, 5th by Me

7. "Everybody Loves Grant" (Happy Endings, 214) 4 points
4th by Jack and Bonz

6. "Basic Lupine Urology" (Community, 317) 7 points
1st by Matt, 4th by Me

5. "Anti-Social Network" (It's Always Sunny, 708) 11 points
2nd by Larry

4. "Remedial Chaos Theory" (Community, 304) 18 points
1st by T-time and Jaydon, 2nd by Me

3. "Larry vs. Michael J. Fox" (Curb Your Enthusiasm, 810) 19 points
2nd by Jaydon, Tyson, Cecil, Mags, and Bonz

2. "The Gang's Revenge" (It's Always Sunny, 713) 26 points
1st by Jack and Rizzo, 1st by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. "Palestinian Chicken" (Curb Your Enthusiasm, 803) 31 points
1st by Cecil, Larry, Mags, and Bonz, 3rd by Me


Including its two nominations this year, Curb Your Enthusiasm has now totaled three nominations for best comedy episode of the season.  This is the series' second win in the category.

Like I've said a bunch already this year, Curb didn't have its best season in 2011-12, but it's hard to keep up when you keep putting out great season after great season.  Sooner or later, there is going to be a letdown.  Fortunately for Curb, it still produced a number of instant classic episodes, and "Palestinian Chicken" was one of those.  It's when Larry became known as the social assassin, and darn it if LD isn't just hilarious sitting in a restaurant eating chicken.  Over the years Larry David has given audiences their fair share of laughs as well as awkward situations, but this episode early in Curb's eighth season was responsible for as many as any outing that came before it.

by Dan Forcella

Wilfred 203 Review- Are You Not Entertained?


Wilfred- "Is anyone else concerned that there's a stale half-eaten Wheat Thin under this desk?"
Wilfred continued its strong second season with an episode that obviously made us laugh, but it also contained a number of sincere moments that allowed viewers to seriously root for Ryan Newman's success.

Whether it was wanting him to build up the courage to stand up to his boss, and in some way his father, or wanting him and new love interest Amanda to build on their budding relationship, fans had plenty of avenues to get behind Ryan in "Dignity."

The shipper in me was much more interested in seeing Ryan and Amanda get to an actual date.While a drink at happy hour will have to suffice for the time being, the chemistry between these two is pouring out so profusely that it will surely be no time before we get to watch them huff keyboard cleaner together.

Maybe it's just the radiating charm of Allison Mack (I've never seen Smallville so I'm not all that familiar with her previous work), but this coupling seems much more natural than Ryan and Jenna. Jenna is awesome, and so is Fiona Gubelmann for that matter, but it never seemed to click like Rymanda has in the past couple of episodes.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Wilfred, head over to TV Fanatic.

Wilfred 203 - "Dignity"
Review
Recap
Quotes

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Emmy Wish List- Guest Actress in a Drama


Many of the ladies on the ballot for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series come from the world of procedural. Since this is an area of which I do less watching, I'm not as familiar with the wealth of talent looking to take home the trophy in this category. What I DO know is that Loretta Devine won this thing last year, and before that it was an actress from Law and Order: SVU for four seasons in a row. That means that I will give Devine and SVU guest star Chloe Sevigny the early lead in the polls.

Prediction
Joan Cusack - Shameless
Loretta Devine - Grey's Anatomy
Louise Fletcher - Shameless
Julia Ormond - Mad Men
Chloe Sevigny - Law and Order: SVU
Jean Smart - Harry's Law

I either disliked or didn't see the performances of the rest of the women I'm predicting to make the field this year. I couldn't stand Cusack or Fletcher in Shameless, and I didn't watch any of Harry's Law so I can't speak on Smart's performance. Ormond, meanwhile, was simply decent on this season of Mad Men, but she seems like a choice the Academy will make.

Emmy Wish List
Morena Baccarin - The Mentalist
Baccarin has really proven her talents as of late, playing a wide variety of characters during her work on V, Homeland, and The Mentalist. Her performance on the latter may be my favorite Baccarin's yet.
To read the rest of my Emmy Wish List for Guest Actress in a Drama Series, head over to TV Fanatic.


The "One Wedding and a Funeral" Award- Drama Episode


Named For: "One Wedding and a Funeral" (Beverly Hills 90210, 610)
Awarded To: The best drama episode of the season
2010 Winner: "Broken" (House, 601-602)
2011 Winner: "Always" (Friday Night Lights, 513)

10. "Nora" (Parenthood, 305) 1 point
4th by Jack

9. "A League of Their Owen" (Men of a Certain Age, 209) 1 point
5th by Me

8. "Do Whatcha Wanna" (Treme, 211) 5 points
2nd by Jaydon

7. "Far Away Places" (Mad Men, 506) 7 points
1st by Jaydon

6. "Danny Boy" (One Tree Hill, 911) 7 points
1st by Jack, 3rd by Me

5. "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will" (One Tree Hill, 910) 7 points
3rd by Jack, 1st by Me

4. "The Reckoning" (The Vampire Diaries, 305) 8 points
1st by Matt, 4th by Me

3. "Two Prize Colts Go Head to Head" (Luck, 109) 10 points
2nd by Cecil, Larry, and Bonz

2. "Twenty Vicodin" (House, 801) 13 points
1st by Cecil, Rizzo, Larry, and Mags

and the Poolie goes to...

1. "Pilot" (Luck, 101) 17 points
1st by Tyson, T-time, and Bonz, 2nd by Me


In its lone season Luck tallied two nominations and one win for the best episode in a drama series.  Here to talk about the magnificence of Luck's first episode is Poolie voter T-time.
_________________________

Now that’s a pilot. The first episode of Luck did everything you could ask of an episode of television. It established characters. It set long-running plotlines into motion. And it told a story that paid off immediately, with plenty of drama that managed to whet the appetite while delivering a satisfying dish in itself.

The pilot was directed by Michael Mann and unsurprisingly, it looked to be film quality. The shots are exquisite. For an hour that was spent mostly in one location, the variety and brilliance of the camera work is astounding. The hills and palms that surround the Santa Anita Racetrack are ever-present. They are not just beautiful, they also ensure you never forget the southern California setting and of course, that’s the point.  The setting of Luck is a track. It could be any track in the country, but to the characters that it brings together, it is the track.

Then there are the horses. Oh God, the horses. The footage of the striving horses in the pilot is among the best athletic competitions ever captured on film. The camera angles and choreography during the races is fantastic, they would be dramatically compelling even without a back story to give us a horse or jockey to root for.

But of course, they do this quickly. While we may be intrigued by the plot that Dustin Hoffman’s Ace is setting up, it is the story of the degenerate gamblers that drives the plot of the first episode.  We were introduced early to the gentlemen who would later form Foray Stables and by the end of the hour we were already invested in the results of their pick-six play. When the bet paid off so did the drama.

The Luck Pilot introduced us to a variety of characters in a short amount of time but thanks to their mutual relation to the Santa Anita racetrack, it was not hard to imagine how the paths of jockeys, trainers, agents and gamblers would soon cross.

David Milch might have been denied a second season for Luck, and the first may have left a lot unsaid, but with the pilot we knew all we needed about the potential of the series.

by Tim Forcella

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Emmy Wish List- Guest Actor in a Drama


He won the award in 2009 for his role on Rescue Me, and he was nominated last year for this The Good Wife performance, so I have to say that Michael J. Fox is the favorite in the 2012 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series race.  I also have Fox as a favorite in the comedy counterpart...boy would that be quite the double victory!  I like his Good Wife brethren Matthew Perry and three-time nominee Robert Morse to play Fox's biggest competition.

Prediction
Michael J. Fox - The Good Wife
Chris Messina - Damages
Robert Morse - Mad Men
Edward James Olmos - Dexter
Matthew Perry - The Good Wife
Mykelti Williamson - Justified

I like Justified to repeat its nomination in the category from last year, only this time it will go to Williamson.  Jeremy Davies was great again this season, but his Dickie Bennett just wasn't a big enough part of the story this time around.  Although many critics hated this season of Dexter, it always does well at awards shows, and Olmos is a big enough name to steal one of the final spots.  My final prediction belongs to Chris Messina for his work on Damages.

Emmy Wish List
Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) - Dexter
It was a surprisingly great performance by Mos Def on this season of Dexter.  With the mess of a season the show put forth, his performance was one of the only bright spots in 2011-12.  Well that, and the news that Yvonne Strahovski will be on next year!
To read the rest of my Emmy Wish List for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Phoebe Buffay Award- Female in Comedy


Named For: Phoebe Buffay (Friends)
Awarded To: The best female character in a comedy series
2009 Winner: Liz Lemon (30 Rock)
2010 Winner: Erin Hannon (The Office)
2011 Winner: Erin Hannon (The Office)

10. Jenna Maroney (30 Rock) 4 points
4th by Jaydon and Matt

9. Penny Hartz (Happy Endings) 5 points
2nd by Bonz, 5th by Me

8. Jane Williams (Happy Endings) 7 points
4th by T-time, Larry, and Jack

7. Annie Edison (Community) 9 points
1st by Matt

6. Jess Day (New Girl) 12 points
2nd by Matt, 3rd by Me

5. April Ludgate (Parks and Rec) 13 points
1st by Cecil

4. Carly Shay (iCarly) 13 points
1st by Jack, 2nd by Me

3. Dee Reynolds (It's Always Sunny) 16 points
1st by Larry

2. Alex Kerkovich (Happy Endings) 17 points
1st by Bonz, 1st by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Britta Perry (Community) 18 points
1st by Jaydon and T-time, 4th by Me


This is Britta Perry's first nomination and win for best female character in a comedy series.  In 2010, Britta was nominated for the character you most love to hate in a comedy.  Here to explain her rise to prominence, is Poolie voter, T-time.
___________________________________________________

As so often with Community, the things viewers are thinking wind up in the mouths of the characters. Never was this more apparent than when everyone from the study group to the priest that presided over Shirley’s wedding started calling Britta “the worst.” Until of course, the moment late this season when Troy let Britta in on the secret that we had all realized months ago. “You’re not the worst,” he told her in all sincerity. “You’re the best.”

It was true. Somewhere along the line of Community’s embrace of how awful a character Britta Perry was, she had become the best character on television. Part of this has to be credited to the writers. Realizing that they had written a character that was tough to like, they resolved to write her as annoying as possible. This was evident as early as the D&D episode of last year, where the group collectively groaned at Britta’s predictable outrage at the condition of gnomes in a made-up universe. But the more she became a parody of someone that would be absolutely insufferable in real life, the more she became an absolute joy to watch on the silver screen.

Much more of the credit has to go to Gillian Jacobs and her willingness to commit to the character. From the Me So Hungy dance (and its quasi call-back in the Me So Christmas dance) to deadpanning every line about being a psych major, Jacobs has executed her lines with comedic  timing that has verged on inconceivable. The pride in her voice when she announces that she can alter the crime scene photo to wild west colors.  The honest inquiry when she asks if Abed’s plan has to do with regionals. The comedy on Community usually requires a precise inflection. Whatever was asked for this year, Jacobs delivered.

And like the aforementioned dance, it hasn’t just been the dialogue that has set Britta apart this season. The awkward hug she exchanges with Troy while filming the dean’s commercial was fantastic. The constant peering over the shoulder of the psychiatrist while taking notes was one of the funnier moments of this season or any. I could go on mentioning moments indefinitely but we all saw this season of Community. It wouldn't be tough to argue that over the course of the year, Britta Perry gave us more than any other character on TV.

by Tim Forcella

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Emmy Wish List- Guest Actress in a Comedy


Other than the fact that Melissa McCarthy will probably head home with the grand prize, the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Race seems pretty wide open. There really are no other favorites that I feel are guaranteed a nomination. As those who have been nominated in the recent past, I like Dot Marie Jones and Elaine Stritch to make it back, but after that it will be tough to figure out.

Prediction
Ellen Barkin - Modern Family
Blythe Danner - Up All Night
Dot Marie Jones - Glee
Melissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Maya Rudolph - Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch - 30 Rock

When there are those spots you can't decide on, it's best to predict some big names, so I will say Ellen Barkin and Blythe Danner end up nominated for their guest spots on Modern Family and Up All Night, respectively. The final nominee I'm predicting is Maya Rudolph, as SNL hosts usually get a lot of love in the guest categories.

Emmy Wish List
Elizabeth Banks - 30 Rock
Avery Jessup had a rough go of it, remaining captured in a foreign land for much of the season, but fortunately Banks was hilarious during that time.  My favorite thing was how great she was at giving the crazy news broadcasts for Kim Jong Il.
To read the rest of my Emmy Wish List for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 206 Review- Know Thy Frenemy


Stiles- "I got it. Kill Jackson. Problem solved."
After the big reveal of the Kanima's identity last week, Teen Wolf was able to send things into overdrive with "Frenemy," taking the audience on an action-packed adventure that ended with yet another reveal - and a whole mess of new questions.

That's how this series rolls, and it's all the better for it. There's no slowing down, whether it's the 41 minutes of air time that seems to fly by while you're watching, or the plot of each season that seems to go down avenue after avenue before allowing the fans to realize what end of arc will actually look like.

Finding out the identity of the kanima was not good enough. Scott, Stiles and the gang had to figure out some way of keeping Jackson contained, and after that didn't work the boys had to face the consequences of containing a lizard-kid in the back of a van.

As quickly as all of that took place, it was just as exciting as it was fast. The fight under the bridge*, the trip through the club (not exactly Stiles' kind of club), capturing Jax and driving him out to the woods in handcuffs... it all kept us on the edge of our respective seats.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Teen Wolf, head over to TV Fanatic.

Teen Wolf 206 - "Frenemy"
Review
Recap
Quotes

The Veronica Mars Award- Female in Drama


Named For: Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
Awarded To: The best female character in a drama series
2009 Winner: Julie Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
2010 Winner: Julie Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
2011 Winner: Macy Misa (Jonas)

10. Julia Graham (Parenthood) 1 point
5th by Jack

9. Santana Lopez (Glee) 1 point
3rd by Cecil

8. Fiona Gallagher (Shameless) 4 points
1st by Cecil

7. Brooke Davis (One Tree Hill) 4 points
3rd by Jack, 5th by Me

6. Megan Draper (Mad Men) 5 points
2nd by Jaydon and T-time

5. Emily Thorne (Revenge) 7 points
1st by Tyson and Larry

4. Peggy Olsen (Mad Men) 7 points
1st by Jaydon and T-time, 4th by Me

3. Zoe Hart (Hart of Dixie) 9 points
2nd by Jack, 1st by Me

2. Caroline Forbes (The Vampire Diaries) 11 points
1st by Matt, 2nd by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Rebekah Mikaelson (The Vampire Diaries) 12 points
1st by Jack, 3rd by Me


This is Rebekah Mikaelson's first nomination and win for the best female character in a drama series.

Obviously, it's not a category that many Poolie voters take stock in, seeing that 12 points (5 from Jack, 4 from Matt, and 3 from me) won this award for Rebekah, but the bigger disappointment is that only three voters are lucky enough to witness the fun of this character.  Honestly, the fact that most Poolie voters aren't watching The Vampire Diaires is a travesty.  Turo Escalante wins over Klaus?  I can understand Jaydon not taking part, because as we all know, he is an absolute snob who only watches the snobbiest of snobby television (love you Jaydon), but there is no excuse for the rest of the crew.  Specifically Tyson, who for some reason still reps True Blood hard, should love Vampire Diaries.  It's the much better of the two major vampire shows out there.  Anyway, back to Rebekah.  If you were to tell me after season two that I would enjoy another female character on Vampire Diaries nearly as much as Caroline Forbes, I would have said you were crazy...but Rebekah pulled it off.  She's sexy, she's ruthless, and most importantly, she's stealthily emotional.  Congratulations and let's hope this leads to more TVD awards next season.

by Dan Forcella

Monday, July 2, 2012

Emmy Wish List- Guest Actor in a Comedy


Not all great performances are in a leading or supporting manner. Sometimes it is a guest player that steals the show, which means it's time to take a look at the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series race. A Saturday Night Live host has won this award two out of last three years (albeit both awards were given to the fantastic Justin Timberlake), so I wouldn't be surprised to see Jimmy Fallon come away with the trophy this time around.

Prediction
Alan Alda - The Big C
Will Arnett - 30 Rock
Matt Bomer - Glee
Jimmy Fallon - Saturday Night Live
Michael J. Fox - Curb Your Enthusiasm
Greg Kinnear - Modern Family

Fallon's biggest competition will most likely be Michael J. Fox, who was not only a terrific sport in the Curb finale, but also absolutely hilarious in squaring off against Larry David.  Will Arnett, who has been nominated three out of the last four years, legend Alan Alda, and a sexy singing Matt Bomer may also vie for the crown this September. I like Greg Kinnear to fill the final spot, putting in a nice little performance on Emmy favorite Modern Family.

Emmy Wish List
Matt Bomer - Glee
I stopped caring about Glee so long ago that I don't really remember what else happened during Bomer's stint as Blaine's brother, but I do remember his duet of "Somebody That I Used to Know." His stare alone had me considering the possibility of switching teams.
To read the rest of my Emmy Wish List for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Samantha Marquez Award- Female in Action


Named For: Samantha Marquez (Las Vegas)
Awarded To: The best female character in an action series
2009 Winner: Sarah Walker (Chuck)
2010 Winner: Sarah Walker (Chuck)
2011 Winner: Mags Bennett (Justified)

10. Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time) 0 points

9. Jessica Hamby (True Blood) 5 points
3rd by Matt

8. Ava Crowder (Justified) 7 points
2nd by Tyson

7. Sarah Walker (Chuck) 9 points
3rd by Jack, 2nd by Me

6. Fauxlivia (Fringe) 12 points
1st by Jaydon, 3rd by Me

5. Dany Targaryen (Game of Thrones) 14 points
1st by Tyson

4. Olivia Dunham (Fringe) 14 points
1st by Jack, 1st by Me

3. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones) 15 points
2nd by Matt and Jack, 5th by Me

2. Arya Stark (Game of Thrones) 20 points
1st by T-time

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Carrie Mathison (Homeland) 26 points
1st by Cecil, Larry, Matt, Mags, and Bonz, 4th by Me


This is Carrie Mathison's first nomination and win for the best female character in an action series.  Here to discuss her talents this year is Poolie voter Larry.
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Homeland came into our lives this past Poolies season, and given I haven’t heard a person say they couldn’t get into it, I would say it has been a pretty big hit for Showtime. How rare is it that a show with a definitive woman lead has been this well-liked by Poolie voters? Of the shows nominated in Action and Drama, only a couple even qualify (and Revenge is not even good).  Claire Danes does such a good job portraying an emotional, bipolar CIA analyst that it seems like she is cheating, and you know what, she is. Being a woman is like taking HGH and being bitten by a werewolf when playing a character like Carrie. My guess is she just plays herself, making sure to respond to “Carrie” instead of “Claire” and she is good to go. No man could play this role, it just wouldn’t be believable. The award is well deserved, but when we look back in ten years this will most likely have an asterisk next to it.

by Larry Avitabile

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Noah Hunter Award- Supporting in Drama


Named For: Noah Hunter (Beverly Hills 90210)
Awarded To: The best supporting character in a drama series
2009 Winner: Ari Gold (Entourage)
2010 Winner: Ari Gold (Entourage)
2011 Winner: Ornette Howard (Friday Night Lights)

10. Max Braverman (Parenthood) 4 points
4th by T-time and Jack

9. Chris Keller (One Tree Hill) 5 points
3rd by Jack, 4th by Me

8. Kevin Ball (Shameless) 6 points
2nd by Larry

7. Wade Kinsella (Hart of Dixie) 6 points
2nd by Jack

6. Joel Graham (Parenthood) 7 points
3rd by Larry and Matt

5. Roger Sterling (Mad Men) 13 points
1st by Jaydon and Mags, 5th by Me

4. Robert Chase (House) 15 points
1st by Tyson, Cecil, Rizzo, and Larry

3. Jerry Boyle (Luck) 15 points
1st by Bonz, 2nd by Me

2. Klaus Mikaelson (The Vampire Diaries) 15 points
1st by Matt and Jack, 1st by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Turo Escalante (Luck) 16 points
1st by T-time, 3rd by Me


This is Turo Escalante's first nomination and win for the best supporting character in a drama series.  Here to discuss how Turo impressed in just nine episodes is Poolie voter T-time.
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A drama character doesn’t have to provide constant laughs. He doesn’t have to save the day or serve as a clever foil for our hero. A drama character can keep to himself, speak condescendingly to any who interrupt his business and quietly go about his business and still earn praises from viewers. Turo Escalante, as portrayed by John Ortiz, did that in spades.

Escalante’s business was training horses. Training champions. Training mid-listers to dominate weaker fields. He knew his business. But what made him so interesting was the way he dealt with people who didn’t know that business. “It’s what they eat,” he said snarkily to an owner who was unaware that horses ate carrots. An owner that had just paid two-million dollars for the horse. Escalante doesn’t care who you are. Just leave the training to him.

Escalante’s smug arrogance after winning a race. His constant annoyance at the owners of Foray Stables. And of course, his description of ET. The cancellation of Luck means his Poolie run will be a short one, but one that more than lived up to his forebears.

by Tim Forcella