So you said to yourself “self I wonder what TV shows Xiphos has been watching lately” Well here you go*
*started early April 2011
Don’t say I don’t do things for you people.
Here’s a round up of shows I’ve caught since the start of the year. Most of these I saw via the computer since there have more been a few nights I was working late and alone so the Internet download became my good friend. I predict at least two of these shows will send Jarv’s blood pressure into orbit so that should be fun.
Lights Out: I really dug this show. Theoretically its about an older boxer’s quest to get his heavy weight belt back after it was stolen from him 5 years before. What the show is really about is just how slimy the world of Pro boxing is and just how big a toll physically, mentally, emotionally and financially Pro boxing takes on a fighter. Holt McCallany, a career “that guy”, who you would recognize from dozens of guest appearance in shows like Law & Order (all of them multiple times), Burn Notice, the various CSI platforms and a bunch of movies in bit parts. McCallany has been a working actor for over 20+ years playing cops, hard cases, convicts and soldiers and in Light’s Out he finally got his chance to be a lead actor and ran with it. As Patrick “Lights” Leary, McCallany crafted a multidimensional character you couldn’t help but root for even when he made more than questionable choices in a variety of areas. First and foremost, Lights was a loving family man (and his family walked all over him for it) that could go from mellow to dangerous in a blink of an eye. McCallany has that extra gear that most actors lack that let’s him go from a stand still to billy bad ass in 0.0 seconds and has a cold restrained sense of fury that was interesting to watch. McCallany was in virtually every scene of the show and acquitted himself well as the star. Except for the actors playing Light’s wife and daughters, the rest of the cast did excellent work. Stacy Keach, as Light’s father and trainer, Pablo Schrieber as Light’s douchy brother and business manger, Johnny. Reg E. Cathey, chewed scenery as a scumbag Don King like promoter, stood particularly tall in their roles. Even though the show has been axed, I have to give the writers props for the way they chose to end the season. When they were shooting the season finale, they didn’t know the show had been canceled. The writers pulled a neat bait and switch and it was ballsy on the show’s part what they did. To bad we’ll never get to see it played out.
Friday Night Lights: In my opinion, pound for pound, FNL has been consistently the best show on TV in the last five seasons that nobody watched. The acting, the writing, the direction never slipped in quality during the entire run of the show, even when they had near wholesale cast changes. The commitment to quality the producers and show runners had was truly amazing. The final season was terrific and the finale was perfect. It wrapped up all the story lines in a manner consistent with how they laid out the characters and story. It’s too bad none of you, except for Barfy, will ever watch it. You’ve missed out on a real gem of a show.
Justified: Talk about a complete turn around from what was a barely mediocre first season to a mostly good second season. Adding the Bennett clan was great for the show and their whole story line was interesting to watch. However the real kudos on Justified are earned by Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder. He was downright mesmerizing on screen and he was top notch playing a smart, scary, tough mother. Oddly enough the weak link this season was Justified himself, Timothy Olyphant and his current squeeze, the ex Mrs. Justified, Natalie Zea.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel: After years of hearing Frank wax poetic over the Buffyverse and an even longer time getting beaten like a rented mule to watch Buffy/Angel from our friend Buffywrestling from AICN and Barfy, being the nice person she is, sent me some episodes. I finally broke down and completed the Whedon watching cycle to completion thus serving my fetishistic need to finish things. I started off with Angel since TNT Network broadcasts two episodes a day. I have to say, I really enjoyed this series. Well, I really enjoyed the last three seasons when they stopped copying the Buffy way of doing business and went way dark in the story line. Good stuff if you have not watched it.
BtVS well I didn’t like it as much as Angel but the first 5 seasons were mostly solid. Season 6 was god awful and unwatchable except for 2 episodes. Season 7 was passable with a good ending to the series. The worst mistake they made was the Dawn character. That useless gimp was annoying, aggravating and the badly handled retcon introduction of her character was insultingly stupid. So now that I have seen the entire Whedon oeuvre here’s my rating. Firefly>Angel>Buffy is way way way way way way way way way way better than Dollhouse which was just shit.
ER: I missed out on the ER furor back in the mid 90’s. When it debuted I was overseas and then at college trying to keep up with all the smart kids that just graduated from expensive prep schools and good public high schools so I didn’t watch much TV. Over the years I had caught episodes here and there and had managed to see the first few seasons “in order” due to TNT Network and Tivo. When I got over here I found the first 11 seasons on DVD so I decided to watch the series straight through (the rest were on line.) I have to say, all in all, a pretty good series for about 7 maybe 8 seasons. Seasons 9-14 sucked but like an over the hill fighter crowded up against the ropes getting hammered by body blows, ER managed to reach back and rally in the final season. It had one of the top five finales in TV history in my opinion. Good job people. Too bad many later seasons were really terrible and they overshadowed much of the good years. NBC should have sent ER to the circular file after they killed off Dr. Green.
Here is the section where we might lose Jarv to a stroke due to his rage and apoplexy over these shows. This should be fun to watch.
True Blood Season 3 and the first 3 episodes of season 4: I decided to show my support for Alan Ball by watching his stupid show on line. I decided to support Ball after reading an article about him and Quentin Tarantino having a legal tussle. It turns out that Cokey McFranensteinhead lives next door to Alan Ball and his husband or life partner or whatever it’s called for the gays. Apparently they have a menagerie of birds that are loud and right beside where Cokey likes to write, so Cokey sued them like the giant headed loud mouthed pussy he is. ANYTHING that prevents that giant domed hack from shitting out anymore worthless movies that fucktards splodge over gets my support. That is, until YOUR bad TV show gets on MY nerves.
Before I go on I need to state for the record that I enjoy the True Blood books. Are they great literature? Fuck NO! But they are enjoyable enough for me to keep going (I have reviews for the last 2 books to do.) The most recent book is surprisingly full of graphic sex.
Season 3 of TB can be summed up in just one word, shit, because that’s what it is. What I don’t get is, why buy the books and then pretty much disregard the books and make up your own story? Yes, I realize when he bought the rights Ball can do what he wants to the story. Further, I’m not one of those hoople heads that think the movie or TV show has be exactly like the book, different mediums and all. But why do you have to take the character names and very very loose interpretation of the story and then make shit up wholesale? Especially when the story you’re telling blows like a nuclear powered hooker.
The only reasons to watch season 3 of TB are for the nudity (more on that in a minute) and Alexander Skarsgard (ARRRRRGH SKARSGARDDDDD) as Eric Northman (damn this kid gets it), psycho vampire enforcer, Franklin Mott, played by the capable James Frain and most importantly, the insane King of Mississippi played by professional journeyman actor Denis O’Hare who kicked ass and took names as the demented Edgerton. Those 3 actors and the nudity are the only reasons to watch True Blood season 3.
Season 4 seems to have doubled down on the suckage but by god whoever the titty wrangler for TB is deserves special recognition for the quality of breasts that got free in the breeze the first few episodes. Bravo titty wrangler, BRA-FUCKING-VO. Now if somebody would knock some sense into Ball and make him tell a good story that would be mucho appreciated.
Entourage: Man did this show go down hill so I pulled the plug at the end of season 5 and didn’t look back until I read that this is the final season and the completest demon inside me kicked into high gear so I caught up. Season 6 was more of the same but interestingly enough season 7 managed to pull the rare trick of getting better after the series had been in serious decline for a long time. I especially enjoyed the ending of the last episode of season 7 and the justice dealt out by Eminem’s bodyguards. The down side of season 7 is they cast porn star Sasha Grey and gave her a prominent role as Vince’s girl friend. She can’t act and I don’t understand, I mean past the obvious, why directors sing her praise. Also she isn’t that hot, she is completely average looking and there are porn chick actresses and girls in San Diego, Phoenix and LA that blow her off the map. Vince has gotten better looking anonymous split tail during the course of the series.
The thing I liked about this season was that the other boys started branching out on their own, especially Turtle’s liquor and limo venture. They were fun to watch and it was nice to see Vince get shoved off to the side. E, Turtle, Drama and Ari are the real stars of Entourage, Vince is just the catalyst. I am looking forward to seeing how they end the show this year. It will probably just peter out and have a non-ending, a life goes on for the boys ending, but my secret hope is that they kill off Vince. That would be the ballsy thing to do.