What’s Good? (Best of Winter TV 2017… & Iron Fist)

I haven’t done one of these in a while.

I guess it’s hard to make lists of what’s good in the world of entertainment when the real world is going to hell in a hand-basket… a hand-basket made of shit.

Once again, Legion, you’ve summed up my feelings precisely.

I know we can’t read tone and inflection on the internet. And sometimes the actual meaning of what we want to say is lost in its misinterpretation. So I’m gonna need for all of you reading this to picture the next sentence with ALL the sarcasm. (ALL OF IT!!!)

“The United States is in a really good place right now.”

“Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke?” “Hey. Hey. Hey. He didn’t mean it like that.”

So instead of spending all day in fear, I have chosen to escape to the land of nod. You know what I mean. While we wait for the next embarrassment, the next offense or the next outrage, I’ll be looking for the next distraction until the revolution starts. (which will not be on TV by the way).

Personally I blame the internet for all of this, but that’s a story for another time.

“Does that mean we WON’T be needing the goat?”

The goat stays.

What follows is a list of TV shows that are freaking unbelievably good and entertaining and well-written and sexy and escapist and brilliant and words fail me. And while it is true that I have talked about most of these in the past… THEY’RE STILL AMAZING.

I think Winter is my favorite TV season.

Let me explain…

“Get on with it, Melvin.”

The Americans is back and better than ever. That show has been consistently good from day one and will go down as one of the best in history.  Bates Motel is having their best season as well. Vera Farmiga has actually turned it up a notch (give the woman an Emmy already). Girls on HBO, just a couple of weeks ago, aired the best episode in its entire series run. A brilliant stand-alone story, that featured Matthew Rhys from The Americans by coincidence, which was just a conversation between a young writer and her creepy literary idol. (Rarely do I watch a show and then watch it again right after. I’ve already watched the episode three times. I wish it were a movie). The Superheroes on the CW are kicking ass on a weekly basis (even DC Legends has gotten better now that it’s embraced its fundamental silliness and monumental nerdy-ness).

Jane the Virgin lost its virginity but did not lose its creativity or its charm. And there are lots of new bisexual characters on my favorite shows. (That list is coming soon… it’s mostly women this time. Not my fault. There’s a shortage of bi men and an abundance of bi women recently. I’m not complaining. Well, I’m kind of complaining. I’m both complaining and not complaining. It’s confusing… that’s a joke). Star Wars Rebels has been amaze-balls this season. Running almost parallel with the events of Rogue One and setting up A New Hope (I almost want to spoil it but I can’t). BEN!!! (I couldn’t help it). Black SailsHomeland the list goes on.

But I’m not talking about any of those shows here today.

“Am I wrong or did he not just talk about them?” “Here comes the part we’ve been waiting for, sire.” “Well don’t just stand there. Keep cranking that monkey.”

What follows is a list of ten absolutely fantastic (relatively new) TV shows (with one notable exception…One of these shows is actually complete and utter garbage. But we’ll get to that one later… okay it’s Iron Fist… I can’t keep a secret).

So ask me the question already…

Go ahead.

Ask me.

Not THAT question, you idiot.

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

The Expanse (SyFy)

Developed by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

Based on The Expanse series of novels by James S. A. Corey

Starring Thomas JaneSteven StraitCas AnvarDominique TipperWes ChathamPaulo CostanzoFlorence FaivreShawn DoyleShohreh Aghdashloo & Frankie Adams

“It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kick-ass space opera.”  – George R.R. Martin

We’re in season two now, so if you don’t know The Expanse, you’re a little late to the party but there’s still time for you to catch up. There are three main factions in the 23rd century: Earth (Earthers, Inners, Tumang), all the power, all the resources, United Nations controlled, corrupt bureaucrats and corporations;

“Is that a gun in my pocket or am I just happy to see you?” “It better be a gun.”

Mars Colony (Martians, Inners, Pomang), lacking in resources but making up for it in military might, they put all their effort into building a strong military because they were tired of being Earth’s red-headed step-child;

“Unte kowlting gut, to pochuye ke?”

and The Belt (Belters, Outer Planets, Beltalowda), the workers, born in space, mining asteroids and the moons of Jupiter for water and other resources, no resources of their own, no military, but without them Mars would have no way to get water. Without them Earth corporations would have no leverage over Mars.

Kewe to pensa ere The Expanse, beratna?

There’s a war coming between Earth and Mars. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t read the books but it’s like winter in Game of Thrones; that shit is right around the corner. And yes I just compared it to Game of Thrones. The Expanse is THAT good. Great performances, great story, great direction, fantastic special effects. The Expanse is quite possibly the best thing on TV right now with a language all its own.

But while The Expanse might be the best thing on TV right now, it is not my favorite thing on TV right now. My favorite thing is…

The Magicians (SyFy)

Created by Sera Gamble & John McNamara

Based on The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Starring Jason RalphStella MaeveOlivia Taylor DudleyHale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, Summer BishilRick Worthy & Jade Tailor

“Did you bring me little cakes?” – Umber (Horned Golden Ram God of Fillory)

The Magicians is like if Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a baby and that baby grew up to be as hot as Emma Watson is right now. Oh my god, I love this show so much. Seriously.

Queen Margo and King Eliot

The Magicians is also in its second season and if you’re not watching it… I don’t know, I question your judgement. This show is sensational. And I know I’ve said this a bunch of times but I’m just going to keep right on saying it. I love everything about this show. I love the cast. I love the writing. I love the world. I love the story. And I love that it is the most bi-friendly TV show since True Blood (and you know how I love to see healthy bisexual representation on my TV).

“Is he talking about bisexuality again?” “We get it. You like guys and girls. We’re over it.”

This show has it all. Magic. Mystery. Adventure. Comedy. Time travel. Six-fingered bad guys singing show tunes. Large magical creatures wearing diapers. Hot teachers. Hot librarians. Hot students. Hot teachers and hot librarians hooking up with hot students. Little cakes. Did I mention the little cakes?

The Royal Family

Just watch the show.

Next… more magic.

Emerald City (NBC)

Directed by Tarsem Singh

Based on the Oz book series by L. Frank Baum

Starring Adria ArjonaOliver Jackson-CohenAna UlaruMido HamadaGerran Howell, Jordan Loughran, Joely Richardson & Vincent D’Onofrio

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy Gale

Okay Emerald City just ended its first season and I see a lot of people putting it down but I, for one, enjoyed it. You know me. I’m all in for a good re-imagining of the classics. And with Emerald City, Tarsem Singh created my favorite version of the Land of Oz. A steam punk meets Song of Ice and Fire meets Cirque du Soleil, Land of Oz with giants and warring factions and flying monkey drones and outlawed magic and witches… and guns. And witches with guns. I really liked this show.

‘I am the Wizard of Oz.” “I thought you were the Kingpin.” “Can’t a man be both?”

In fact, I loved it. And I sincerely hope it comes back for another season and I hope Tarsem directs every episode again. Because it’s so gorgeous that I wanted to watch each one again… and I probably will. If I ever find the time. There’s so much good TV.

Next… I don’t even know what to call this one. It’s not a superhero show.

Legion (FX)

Created by Noah Hawley

Based on Legion by Chris Claremont & Bill Sienkiewicz

Starring Dan StevensRachel KellerAubrey PlazaBill IrwinJeremie HarrisAmber MidthunderKatie Aselton & Jean Smart

“What is your name?”  – Jesus (from the bible)

“My name is Legion. For we are many.”  – Legion (also from the bible)

Okay. Okay. I watched the first episode of Legion, the new comic book based show from the creator of Fargo, and I was like, wow that was pretty bland. Then after the second episode I felt like I knew more what they were trying to get at and felt it was worth my time. After episode three I was seriously hooked. I loved the characters. I loved the sixties fashion. The tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s amazingly original and fun and I was completely wrong about it. Well anyway, we’re six episodes in and it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my fucking life… IN MY LIFE!!! It is frightening how good this show is. Frightening. (I think I’m gonna cry… seriously)

“So tell me are we inside your mind or outside your mind right now?” “I don’t know.” “Well that’s kind of scary don’t you think?” “Scary is not the word for it.”

Legion is about a powerful mutant. The back-story is that he’s Professor X’s kid (they may or may not keep this for the show but it doesn’t matter) and he’s got reality warping powers. Basically he’s the most powerful mutant on the planet (possibly in the universe) with awesome god-like powers. Now, that would be boring for a story because basically he can do anything he wants at any time but… you see… he’s not entirely sane in his mind. Also he’s not entirely alone in there either. So most of the comic book takes place in his mind. His main bad guy is inside him. And if you’re thinking, well how the hell are they going to bring that to TV and make it enjoyable. They did it. They fucking did it. And I think I’m going to cry. It’s so good.

“What’s for dinner? Is it chaos again? Are we having utter chaos again?”

Legion is really good and done very well. Noah Hawley has done an excellent job. Fargo is one of the coolest shows on TV and Legion is right up there with it. But it still kind of frightens me because it could go so wrong so fast. I really hope it stays grounded.

And I also like seeing heroes coping with mental disorders in my fiction (almost as much as I like seeing bisexual heroes) It’s refreshing and it’s identifiable.

Oh shit.

To the list!!!

Top Ten Fictional Heroes with Mental Disorders:

10. StormX-Men – Severe Claustrophobia

9. Martin RiggsLethal Weapon – Suicidal, Manic Depressive

8. Tony Stark/Iron Man – Extreme Narcissist (comics), PTSD (movies)

7. Carrie MathesonHomeland – Manic Depressive – Borderline

6. Jason BourneThe Bourne Identity – Amnesic, Dissociate

5. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk –  Multiple Identity Disorder, (Split Personality)

4. David Haller/Legion – Schizophrenic, (see also Demonic Possession)

“That’s me. Everybody dance.”

3. Bruce Wayne/Batman – Obsessive, Compulsive, Social Phobic

2. Sherlock Holmes – Obsessive, Compulsive, Narcissistic, Sociopath

1. James Bond – Dissociate, Extreme Sociopath (Bordering on Psycho)

It was a quickly thrown together list with very likely mislabeled or misdiagnosed disorders but it was fun to compile.

But anyway. I love Legion on FX. I love the casting. I love the story. I love that it’s funny and absurd and romantic. I love that they respect the source material, making it the most original and creative television show in history. Legion is almost too good. Nope. It is literally too good. Because shows that are this good do not last for long (And just thinking about it going away makes me want to cry).

Next… Aliens

Colony (USA)

Created by Carlton Cuse

Starring Josh HollowaySarah Wayne CalliesPeter JacobsonAmanda RighettiTory KittlesAlex Neustaedter & Isabella Crovetti-Cramp

“I’m sorry if I still have a little crush on Sawyer and Carl’s mom.”  – Mel 

Colony is finishing up its second season and it was better than the first. Colony is the story of Earth after alien invasion. Humans are separated into colonies by force and into two factions; Collaborators and Resistance, by necessity.

“Sawyer?” “Yeah, Carl’s mom?” “Do you think Mel will be able to imagine us as anything other than those two characters?” “With our clothes on or off?” “Good point.”

The two lead actors are both very hot, which adds to my enjoyment of the show (sue me. I’d like to have sex with both of these people Is that so wrong? Should I keep that to myself?). Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies play Will and Katie Bowman. One works for the authority and the other runs with the resistance. But it’s not like they’re on opposite sides. They are on each other’s side. It makes for a great story. And the writing is what I like best. Colony has a good premise. And a good mystery. And Carlton Cuse doesn’t slowly drip out the answers like he’s done in the past. We start learning about the aliens early on. But there is still a lot more to learn.

“Just as long as nobody moves and nobody mentions Prison Break we’ll be fine.”

The stories are gritty and cool and suspenseful. And the action and the political drama make Colony one of the best shows on TV right now. And season two cranks up the suspense and brings the rest of the family into the story. So they’re turning into a family of bad-asses and I love that shit.

Let’s move over to Netflix

Love (Netflix)

Created by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin & Paul Rust

Starring Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust & Claudia O’Doherty

“I once had sex w/ a guy whose dick was so small I thought it was a clitoris.” – Bertie Bauer

Love is the story of two broken people trying to make a relationship work. It is quirky and funny and absurd (but in a yeah that could totally happen sort of way). It stars Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust, one of the shows creators, who is not the best actor but embodies the character to a Woody Allen type level. But Gillian is the stand out here for me. She plays this fragile warrior sex addict to perfection and I just want to scoop her up and plop her on my couch. Him, not so much.

“Him not so much? What does that even mean?” “Well at least he doesn’t want to plop you on his couch. Plop me? Is that a euphemism? Is that a sex act?”

I find him more annoying than likable but it’s not a deal-breaker because it’s a very well-written show. And he is a three-dimensional character. I just sometimes wish he had cast another actor to play his part. But look at me, I’m finding fault in something I love. Blowing a little problem out of proportion. Like some kind of self-sabotage. Ignore me.

Do people still smoke? Is that like still a thing? I don’t get out much.

Love is very funny with a lot of great minor characters. The two main characters both work in entertainment, her in radio, him in TV. And the show spends a lot of time on their separate lives. On their work and on their friends. So when they come together, it’s almost like two separate shows connecting through them. It’s a brilliant structure.

“I’m not Woody Allen. I’m not even Jewish. I’m Catholic. And this… this is not Annie Hall.”

And I’m sorry I insulted it before. It’s always only been about them. I mean I like Catastrophe too. Catastrophe is a great relationship show on Amazon. But the characters aren’t as likable. Don’t get me wrong, I think Catastrophe is very funny. And it’s not like I like Amazon more than Netflix. And it’s not like me and Netflix were exclusive or anything. But look at me, talking about another show and another network in my review. I really suck at this.

“This oughta shut you up.” “You said that into my mouth.”

Let me explain. You see, I’m sort of TV addicted and it’s hard for me to commit to just one show or just one network. But I think I’m ready. Can we start over?

Travelers (Netflix)

Created by Brad Wright

Starring Eric McCormackMacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman & Patrick Gilmore

“I distracted myself from the fear and terrorism by thinking about things like how the universe began and whether time travel is possible.”  – Malala Yousafzai

Here’s a show I just discovered on Netflix and was completely blown away. Travelers is a time travel drama like Continuum meets Quantum Leap meets 12 Monkeys. It is some of the tightest time travel writing around. This show is extremely well-written and intelligent and deals with Time Travel paradox in a smart and original way.

Protocol 4 – Don’t Reproduce

But, by far, the best thing about Travelers is the characters. Each of the “travelers” from the future assume the identity and take over the body of a person from our time who is about to die. Seconds before they die. So, first they have to save their own life and then they become that person. And from that moment on they have to pretend to be that person who should actually be dead, all the while knowing only what they learned about them from social media and computer databases in the future. Not the most accurate.

Protocol 1 – The Mission Comes First

The travelers have a precise list of protocols that govern their actions. This is another fantastic part of the show. Like mini prime directives (from Star Trek) that control their behavior so that they don’t do too much damage to the time-line. But if you know time-travel shows then you know that’s laughable.

Protocol 3 – Don’t Take a Life. Don’t Save a Life.

Travelers is an action and adventure show that’s good just from that perspective but it’s the drama in assuming and continuing the life of some one who would have died, that makes Travelers truly outstanding. This is some brilliant writing. With good performances. And a great cast.

Protocol 5 – In The Absence of Direction, Maintain Your Host’s Life

Travelers is fantastic and it has been renewed for a second season… THANK THE DIRECTOR. (that’s a Travelers joke. It’s very funny. Just watch the show)

Next… from Brazil…

3% (Netflix)

Created by Pedro Aguilera

Starring Bianca ComparatoJoão Miguel, Michel Gomes & Rodolfo Valente

“People who would go to an art house cinema and watch a (foreign) movie and read subtitles… it’s a small percentage.” – Steven Zaillian

The 3% is a science fiction drama from Brazil. Watch it with the subtitles people. I know that means you have to actually pay attention and you can’t look away for a few seconds to check your phones but it’s worth it for the original performances and not just the English dub. But if you need to watch it dubbed then watch it dubbed. I’ll just sit in quiet judgement. It really doesn’t matter. The story is awesome either way.

Michel Gomes as Fernando Carvalho

3% is an intriguing story about an overpopulated city in the future and a “process” they use to decide who gets to live in a Utopia just offshore. Only 3% get selected, young people, and they only get one chance to make it through the trials… the process.

Bianca Comparato as Michele Santana

Of course there are other things going on. There are machinations behind the scenes and politics and a rebellion against the process. And then of course there is a love story. And a story of survival. And redemption. And… the show is awesome. I kid you not.

3% has Tough Guys with pipes

But the main story follows several “candidates” as they go through the trials. It’s like The 100 meets The Hunger Games meets Logan’s Run. It’s very good. There are eight fantastically suspenseful episodes of the first season. But I honestly don’t know if it’s as good dubbed as it is with subtitles. I watched it with the subtitles on because I’m all like sophisticated and shit. But you can always switch back and forth, if you’re easily distracted. (I’m just kidding. I kept forgetting that there were subtitles. And I would look down to check my phone. And then realize that I didn’t actually understand what they were saying when I wasn’t looking. It was awful… the internet has destroyed us).

3% has Heartbreaking Romance

3% is a really cool Brazilian Netflix series that has been confirmed for a second season.

And then there’s…

Iron Fist (Netflix)

Iron Fist Poster Not Found. #IronFisted

Created by Scott Buck

Based on Iron Fist by Roy Thomas & Gil Kane

Starring Finn JonesJessica HenwickTom PelphreyJessica StroupRamón RodríguezSacha DhawanRosario Dawson & David Wenham

“His fist glows, he’s got a beard, he has enemies. Boom. Now let’s do the team-up thing.”  – Marvel Television

I know. I know. Let’s slam on the brakes for a second. Iron Fist is horrible. It is awful. It’s like instead of a script they had an eleven year-old kid flailing his arms and making kung-fu noises. “And then Iron Fist goes BAM. And then the bad guy is like POW. But Iron Fist’s got him in a headlock and WOOSH and then a kick and then a punch… got it? Okay? ACTION!!!” and yes the kid was also the director.

He actually farts and was trying to play it off by beating one of her students and that makes more sense than what happens on the screen in Marvel’s Netflix’s Iron Fist.

No honestly, it’s the worse show. But look at it this way. The Defenders can only be better. There’s no way it could be any worse. Iron Fist is total garbage. Netflix had painted themselves into a corner. Daredevil was amazing. And then Jessica Jones was even better than that. So then season two of Daredevil was only pretty good and we’re like maybe they leveled off but then… Luke Cage was fucking great too. It was too much good. And they had already committed to release The Defenders. So all they had to do was put out an Iron Fist series. And you get to a point where there is just too much good. And all that’s left on the creative pile is crap. The Defenders or Iron Fist or both was going to have to be crap. It’s the nature of the universe. It’s just basic physics.

Sometimes they have to sacrifice acting for fighting ability and sometimes they have to sacrifice fighting ability for acting chops. It’s rare when they sacrifice both for naturally curly hair.

So what Iron Fist did was it took one for the team. It used up all the negative space. It sucked up all the crap. And it lowered expectations for the team-up. Iron Fist is as relatively bad as all three of the other Marvel Netflix origin seasons are good… combined. It’s that bad. It’s so bad that The Defenders is going to be Earth-shattering by comparison. You can’t get worse than Iron Fist without losing subscribers. You also can’t make something that cheesy looking and not realize it. The sets are laughable. I thought I was watching old Star Trek reruns. They show the kid being beaten by monks in what’s supposed to be a monastery in a mystical city but they look like they’re in a re-purposed janitor’s closet. It’s bad.

Why does Iron Fist have an erection? Does anyone know? And why is he on a Star Trek planet?

It’s impressively bad. The dialogue is practically offensive. It’s so awful. They used to sneak out of the monastery to have donkey meat? Where is this donkey meat cart located? Or are they killing someone else’s donkey, eating a very small part of it and leaving the rest to rot? Unless he’s talking about sucking a donkey’s dick, it makes absolutely no sense. I can’t start talking about the show critically because I’m just going to get angry.

“No questions… yes, you have a question?”

But I’m still recommending that everyone watch Iron Fist. You’ll want to turn it off after episode three but don’t. And no it doesn’t get any better. It actually gets worse. There’s no humor. There’s no romance. And the so-called bad guys are totally right. Danny Rand is an awful person. As one guy puts it. He’s the worse Iron Fist ever. But… Oh my god. There’s a scene where Iron Fist is being chased through a crowd and to blend in he picks up a mask and puts it on his face. DOESN’T CHANGE HIS CLOTHES or his jacket or anything. He isn’t facing the guy chasing him… like as if that would matter anyway. But then he loses the guy because he doesn’t see him wearing that dumb mask. There is no way they couldn’t tell what they were making was garbage. There’s no way they couldn’t tell. It had to be made shitty on purpose.

“Yes we did just fly to China on a private jet and kidnap someone and take them back to America with us on that same private jet… why do you ask? Is that hard to do?”

So now I’m convinced that Iron Fist was made bad on purpose. And I want to thank the makers. They took a bullet for the team. Pour out a little for the dead on arrival Iron Fist. I mean it is monumentally awful. Truly, truly awful. But it can only serve to make The Defenders look incredible by comparison.

And lastly one pilot from Amazon…

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Pilot)

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino

Starring Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle & Alex Borstein

“Women are smart and funny. Get over it.”  – Eric Cartman

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is about a 1950’s housewife who decides to become one of the first female stand-up comics. It is a fantastic period drama about comedy from the creator of Gilmore Girls. And it has that quick-witted Gilmore Girls style to the writing and the dialogue. But the best part is the marvelous Rachel Brosnahan in the title role.

“Who makes a toast at her own wedding? I do.”

Mrs. Maisel is the story of the most amazingly funny and smart and cute and remarkable woman. It is hard (really hard) not to fall in love with her. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is like Mad Men meets 30 Rock meets I don’t know Buffy? It’s the story of a pioneering female comedian in the late fifties. Maybe she’s Phyllis Diller. Maybe she’s Carol Burnett. Maybe she’s amazing.

“Yes my phone has a cord connecting it to the base. That’s how you know it’s the fifties and not the eighties or the nineties. Why do you ask? And where the hell is my microwave oven?”

She’s awesome. I love funny women and the show makes you fall in love with her almost immediately as she deals with the 50’s era and then accidentally discovers that she has a talent for making people laugh. It’s just a pilot right now but please check it out. It’s the best they have this season on Amazon. I watched them all. There’s not a lot of good there. And I hope The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel doesn’t get buried in that pile because it’s great even when compared to established shows. It’s just a thousand times better than the other pilots this season.

“Dear Diary. I can do so much better than this schmo. Love Midge. PS. I have half a mind to tell the driver to take me to Mel’s house. But it’s the fifties and he’s a negro.”

And I really really really want to see more of her… of it… I mean the show… of the show… okay I’m in love with the character. Bring her back. I have a thing for funny smart women (Fictional, Non-fictional). I always have. It’s a sickness. I find smart and funny women sexy as all hell.

Watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Pilot Season… please.

So that’s what’s good.

Find these shows. Watch these shows. Love these shows as much as I do. And then you’ll be all caught up and ready for the return of Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Dark Matter. Just to name a few.

“Om Mani Padme… um… um… I want to say Om again but that can’t be right.”

Man. When I was a kid there was like a handful of superhero shows and a few more space adventures and a couple of sword & sorcery shows, but they were mostly all crap.

You kids have it so much better than we did.

We had to watch crappy science fiction on TV all the time.

AND YOU NEVER THANKED US!!!

– Mel

What’s Good? Fall TV Mega Post 2015

Okay guys. I’ve watched so much TV lately this is gonna be a big one. There is so much good TV now, I’m a little overwhelmed. TV is so good now and getting better all the time. Netflix, Amazon. I had to sample everything. All the comedies. All the dramas. Well not everything but everything that looked like it was aimed at my demographic. You know… the cool people like you and me… and maybe this guy.

limitless meditation

you are a blogger “I am a blogger.” you will complete what you start “I am a blogger.”

I got seriously overwhelmed and stopped working on this post because the list just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. A while back I did a TV Mega Post in ten parts with more than 100 shows. I could seriously do another series and it would look completely different after just two years. So I just gave up for a while and let the bad guys win.

The-Man-in-The-High-Castle

Not those bad guys. I’m talking about laziness, frustration and doubt. Not Nazis.

But I’m back now. So a few times on the list I mention seasons and episode numbers but that was back when I started this list. I made some cursory updates but even that was overwhelming. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH GOOD NEW TELEVISION.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones

“Cheer up, Luke. I think he’s talking about us.” “You wanna have sex?” “Again?”

And then of course there were all of my returning favorites, my court case and my Mets, not only making the playoffs but going all the way to the World Series. Woo hoo.

LET’S GO METS!!! (oh yeah, they lost long before I posted this)

Supergirl-pilot

“So you won’t be needing a cheerleader then. How embarrassing… Back to fighting crime.”

But first…

Before we get this epic party started, my girl, Nicki Minaj has a question for Miley Cyrus.

Go ‘head Nicki.

Miley What's Good

“What’s good?”

No fighting on my blog, ladies. At least not before we’ve poured the jello into the kiddie pool and listed all the great new shows. But if you were to ask me what’s good, Nicki. Now that I’ve finally compiled this list of new shows, I could tell you.

So go ahead.

Ask me.

No really. Ask me…

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

New Fall Shows are very very good. And there are so many of them.

THE INCREDIBLE NEW FALL SHOWS

There are a lot of new shows that have quickly become must see TV. It’s difficult to list them all. But I gave it a try. Starting with the enjoyable…

Limitless

Limitless (CBS) Limitless is a very funny show. I watched the movie to prepare for the series but you really don’t have to. Bradley Cooper has a cameo and the main character is sort of doing a Bradley Cooper impression but he’s extremely likable and funny. I also like that the pills don’t give him super powers but just better memory and concentration and yet I still think Sherlock Holmes would beat him in a mental powers of deduction battle.

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces (CBS) This is a new turn on the sitcom. It’s more like a family sketch comedy with four short stories each episode from four families within the same extended family. Don’t look for the stories to connect much. They rarely do. There is more connection between episodes than within one. The cast is superb and the characters are fleshed out and three-dimensional. You know these people well within the first half hour. The acting and the writing of the sketches make this one of my favorite new shows.

Quantico

Quantico (ABC) I have to admit that part of my enjoyment of this show is how hot the cast is. It sports a collection of very hot FBI trainees. (The FBI wishes it were this hot) But the story is interesting and the characters, although cliché at times, are designed to throw us off the scent of who is the real villain, as our lovely hero searches for the traitor who blew up Grand Central Terminal. The traitor from her graduating class at Quantico.

quantico-abc

It’s a flashback show where we jump back and forth from her time as a trainee and her life on the run, after being framed for the bombing. But really it’s just eye candy. They’re all so pretty. The main girl is gorgeous. Even their instructors are hot. Also they make good music choices on the show. But my favorite is all the jumping in and out of bed with each other. Quantico could have easily been called Young FBI Agents in Love.

Minority Report-FOX

Minority Report (FOX) I’m still enjoying this show. (It just ended) I liked the leaked pilot a lot. But the official pilot changed the ending completely and included more interaction between the other two pre-cogs (Good changes). Sometimes Meagan Good’s body is a little distracting because she’s just pow pow pow (damn) and every time Wilmer Valderama is on-screen I have to question myself because he’s actually pretty good in this and that’s confusing. But I like Minority Report because I like the world and the original story (by Philip K Dick. More from him later) and the original movie is one of my favorite films. And I hope FOX gives it a fair chance. I’d love to see a season two. (Probably won’t)

The Muppets

The Muppets (ABC) The Muppets is good. The Muppets would be a good show if it starred live actors. But these are puppets. Puppets we know. Puppets we love. Puppets with attitude. I love this show because it isn’t silly. It could have so easily been silly. It plays real with authentic emotions and relationships and I fucking love it. The whole thing with Kermit and Piggy being exes is sensational. And I get why it makes people uncomfortable. Muppets in adult situations. But I love this show.

Muppets with Cell Phones

I was not the biggest fan of the original Muppet Show (but I remember it, I watched it) This is something else entirely. Truly I can’t explain how genius this show is. I even teared up during an episode. I care about these characters. And not because I know them from the movies or Sesame Street but because of the show’s emotional honesty and realism. They’re not just puppets they’re *sniff* they’re family.

The-Grinder

The Grinder (FOX) Jake Kasdan is making good TV. He knocked New Girl out of the park and now he has another hit on his hands. Grinder is sensational. First and foremost the cast is amazing. Rob Lowe plays an actor who is famous for playing a lawyer on TV, the wonder years guy plays his brother; an actual lawyer, the waitress from It’s Always Sunny is the lawyer’s wife, The best friend from Eastbound and Down is his partner. What a great collection of TV actors (Of course I don’t know any of their names). The writing is good. It’s a family workplace hybrid. Very very funny. But it’s the cast that does it for me. Just perfect casting. Jake Kasdan does it again.

The Last Kingdom (BBCA) This is a decent show. Reminds me a lot of Vikings from The History Channel. Except that this one’s in England before it was one thing. A lot of great violence and drama. The Last Kingdom season one was fantastic. And now I can’t stop yelling “Arse-ling!” at everybody.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones (Netflix) Probably one of the best things you’ll see this year. Netflix’s new Marvel hero for hire is bloody fucking awesome. I knew I would like it. I just didn’t know how much. Here is a show that was made for me. With one of the most frightening villains on TV. David Tennant and Krysten Ritter do amazing jobs. I’ve watched the entire series twice and plan to watch it again. Fantastic in every way. Jessica Jones is a superhero show for adults. Even more than Daredevil. It certainly gets sexier than Daredevil.

Jessica Getting Busy

And much more brutal than Daredevil. And scary as fuck. I love Daredevil, don’t get me wrong. But after watching both series twice, I’m thinking Jessica Jones is a little better. (Jessica is definitely better the second time around because I spent the entire first viewing in sheer terror. It is some scary shit, people).

Jessica Jones and Kilgrave

I can’t wait for Power Man and Iron Fist. And I don’t expect any crossover episodes on any of the Netflix Marvel shows because Netflix is planning a separate crossover series called The Defenders. Which just going by how well it’s going so far, is going to be freaking fantastic. Netflix is re-writing the rules and doing a really great job.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW) One of my favorite new musical comedy shows. I am slowly falling in love with the crazy ex-girlfriend. She is amazingly wacky and relate able. Like a cross between Lucille Ball and Lilith from Frazier with a lot of musical theater thrown in. And the songs are outstanding. They are so funny.

Crazy ExGirlfriend

My favorite joke on the show has a rap star finding out what women go through everyday and saying to himself, “I gotta apologize to some bitches.” And it’s just a throwaway line but it’s so fucking funny. I love this show.

Scream Queens

Scream Queens (FOX) Emma Roberts is sensational in Scream Queens. The show is very funny. Extremely silly. It’s like that Agatha Christie comedy Murder By Death except updated for the 21st century. I love that somebody dies in every episode and the fact that it seems unsustainable because there’s hardly anyone left anymore. I wonder, if there is a season two, if they’ll pull an American Horror Story (same guys) and bring back the same actors in a different location, playing different parts. I hope so. The cast is the best part. And the writing. Cast and writing. The dialogue has me on the floor every episode.

Supergirl

Supergirl (CBS) Fantastic superhero drama. Just as good if not better than The Flash and Arrow. Love the cast. Love the emotional themes of each episode. Loving the superhero learning curve and the way that everyone in her life knows her secret. There’s no, barely believable and convenient, thing where her best friends don’t recognize her without glasses on. I mean there’s still a little of that but at least it’s not the people closes to her. Just her boss who never really looks at her anyway. A very good show.

Speaking of really good shows…

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime) This fucking show is gonna win sooooo many Emmys. I’m not kidding. Just for costume and production design alone. But also for writing and acting and directing. High Castle is truly an epic TV show. Based on the story by Philip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle is the tale of a world where the Nazis and the Japanese won the second world war…

Aikido Class

…or did they? Maybe it just looks that way. Maybe some other kinds of shenanigans are going on. What a fantastic concept. And what a great execution of a fantastic concept. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This is some serious drama (with hints of science fiction… little hints). Watch this fucking show. That is an order.

The Man in the High Castle US Map

And now to the old favorites that are still going strong.

THE STRONG RETURNING SHOWS

Homeland

Homeland (SHO) I still love the show. Mostly because Clare Danes is still amazeballs as Carey Matheson, CIA agent extraordinaire. Though when I learned about the graffiti artists writing anti-Homeland graffiti in Arabic on the walls in the background of scenes and the show not having anyone on staff that could read it. I have to agree with the artists. Homeland is racist. If just for the fact that it’s set in and has characters speaking the language but had no one on staff that could tell them that the words on the walls were insulting the show to the Arabic speaking world. Sorry. That alone means you’re racist. Either no one on staff told you or no one on staff could read it. Both are bad.

Homeland Poster

Homeland is still a great show though. Does that make me a horrible hypocrite?

Gotham-season-2

Gotham (FOX) This show gets a lot of shit for being crazy and whacky but it’s just trying to be all things to all Batman fans at once. 60’s Batman (TV show). 80’s Batman (Burton, Schumaker), ’00s Christopher Nolan Batman. And the millions of comics and cartoons. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them at once.

Gotham Season Two

And I love the look of it so much. The 50s clothing. The 70s cars. The 90s tech. I love the cast. I love this show like crazy even as it gets crazier and crazier. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them. ALL of them.

Prequel All The Batmans Meme

Prequel All The Batmans!!!

Green Arrow

Arrow (CW) Loving this season though it might just be that I didn’t like the last season very much. However, I am aware that all they’ve done so far this season is setting up the new Legends of Tomorrow series. It’s still good though. And Felicity and Oliver together is pretty cool. They’re handling the relationship beautifully.

The Walking Dead (AMC) Yes you can tell that the show has a different person in charge and I, for one, think this is the best the show has ever been after just three episode. Three amazing episodes. (ah five weeks ago. How my views have changed) TWD had a flat Fall finale. But I remember how excited I was at the beginning of the season. It just didn’t maintain that level and I was disappointed. (What a difference five weeks make) Hope they get that magic back in the second half of the season. I was so disappointed.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers (HBO) Wow what a nice shift. This show is awesome now. It was okay last season but now it’s one of the best things on TV. I’m blown away after four episodes. Each one completely different than the next. Just wow. (Ah five weeks ago…

the-leftovers-season-2-texas

but since then it has only gotten better) Maybe the best thing on TV right now. Still good. Still very good. Still fucking good. Still fantastic actually.

iZombie cast

iZombie (CW) Also still good and fun and nerdy and my girl is doing great work with all the new personalities each week. My favorite line of the series was earlier this season when Liv is trying to explain her former roommate to her current roommate and she says “A long time ago we used to be friends.” I actually squealed in delight. It was embarrassing. The show is still fun and funny and cool. iZombie is cool as all hell. I love it.

Empire (FOX) It occurred to me that after five or six seasons they won’t have to write any more new songs and they can just have the characters play the hits for the remaining seasons. The music is great. The music is the best part. Timbaland is doing work.

Agents of SHIELD

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC) The best I’ve seen this show so far. I knew all we had to do was to trust Joss and company and it would get better and better. The characters are all fully formed and I care about them and the stories are interesting. SHIELD is a great television show. Maybe one of the best.

Previously on Fitz and Simmons

But the Fitz and Simmons love story is heartbreaking. (We shipped them. They heard us. And now they are crushing our hearts) This is good stuff people. If you gave up on the series you’re missing out. It’s gotten seriously good.

Fitz Simmons Feeeeeels

Oh dear god, the feeeeeels.

Fitzsimmonsgif

Reign (CW) Reign is just as sexy as ever and with a few new hotties in the mix. The costumes are still gorgeous and I still love it. Reign is still a good show.

Speaking of good shows.

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars: Rebels (Disney) Another great season of Star Wars Rebels. I love this show and I love that it’s canon. It fills the space between the prequels and the original series. The Clones Wars series covered from Attack of the Clones through Revenge of the Sith. This one picks up a few years after that with many of the same characters. It’s good.

The Blacklist (NBC) The Blacklist gets better every episode and it’s as good now as it has ever been. James Spader is awesome. That is all.

once-upon-a-time-season-5

Once Upon a Time (ABC) I’ve always loved this show and the way it reinvents fairy tales and Disney princesses and movies. But most of all, I love the way it reinvents itself. There are two themes per season, one in the first half and one in the second. The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, Robin Hood, Brave. They put our heroes and those well-known characters through their paces and explore them and dissect them and flip them on their heads. But this season has been my favorite. Dark Swan in Camelot is the best.

American Horror Story Lady Gaga

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX) In my opinion this is the best season of American Horror Story so far. I thought I’d miss Jessica Lange but Lady Gaga has more than made up for her absence. I’m loving the music choices as well (Bela Lugosi’s Dead). And Mare Winningham is sensational. She makes me laugh so hard with that voice she uses. It’s so fucking funny. (“Sheed do anything forah dollah.”) This season is a nice change from Freak Show. I didn’t like Freak Show very much. Hotel is so sexy and so bloody and so funny. But you might as well just call it American Horror Story: Lady Gaga. The woman is riveting. Her screen presence is immense.

Fargo TV Poster

Fargo (FX) This season of Fargo is fast becoming my new favorite current show. Anthology series rock. This one is hysterical. And the performances are incredibly good. Kirsten Dunst is amazing. I smell an Emmy in her future.

kirsten-dunst-fargo

“Oh stop it, you.”

And Jeffrey Donovan and the whole cast, everyone is fantastic. I loved the first season of Fargo but the second season makes the first one look like public access cable.

Fargo

Extremely well done. The direction. The little Coen Brothers touches. How every song is from another Coens movie. Or the fantastic way that it feels like some of the scenes are lifted directly from their films.

Fargo Cabin Fever

I love love love Fargo. So much fun and so funny. But also very brutal and very violent. And very cool. Some of the coolest dialogue on TV.

Fargo-season-2-Waffle-Hut

Okay. There are even more shows. I just can’t list them all. So I’ve got to stop somewhere or this could go on forever. I need to move on.

The Knick (Cinemax), Nashville (ABC), Scandal (ABC) I need to move on.

Elementary (CBS)… Stop it!!!

Let’s move on.

To the real world…

Mets Winning

The Mets Win The Pennant!!! I was excited for my Mets but they weren’t ready for the big dance. They’re much too young. Too many rookies. First time in the playoffs. But I can still be happy that, in their first years, we made it all the way to the World Series.

Mets Celebrate

And with the pitching staff being as good as it is, my Mets will be in the race for years to come (at least five). But if you think about that World Series, (and I hate to think about that series) we were ahead in the ninth inning with at least one out in four of the five games. Our manager and our closer and then our hitters weren’t ready for the pressures of a late game comeback. Much like the Royals experienced last year.

The Mets Pitching Staff

We’ll be back next year. Mark my words. These pitchers are too good. It’s almost unfair.

My Court Case is Over My court case is over and I don’t have to pay the launder a dime. He lied in his deposition. Perjured himself for absolutely no reason. He had me dead to rights but he wanted more. He wanted revenge. He more than doubled his repair costs. I broke two window panels. He wanted me to buy him new doors. And he told the police he saw me do it personally. That he was an eye witness. When he didn’t. He wasn’t. He lied. He’s an idiot. He loses. I win. Game over.

And finally… What’s Good?

This song right here.

I love this song. I know it’s been out for a while but I’m really loving the Munster’s theme song sample. One of my favorite TV theme songs and they use it so well.

Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman

“I slept in last night’s clothes and tomorrow’s dream but they’re not quite what they seem.”

And now for everything there is a dark side…

WHAT’S NOT so GOOD?

…or some shit that sucked.

THE BAD NEW SHOWS

I don’t have time for these shows. I tried them out. They were bad. Especially Heroes Reborn. Heroes Reborn is the worst big budget broadcast drama in television history.

Rosewood (FOX) Rosewood is a boring procedural. If I don’t like the characters, I can’t get into the show. He’s a pathologist with an incurable disease and she’s a hard-nosed cop with anger and trust issues. Will they make it work? I don’t really care.

Moonbeam City

Moonbeam City (Comedy) Bad animation art (Duran Duran?) and a twisted sense of humor. Some people will like this. I did not. I couldn’t watch more than one episode.

Heroes-Reborn

Heroes Reborn (NBC) I could dissect this show for all the things wrong with it. Logic, Writing, Continuity, Oh my god the Acting is so bad. Story, Music, The Special Effects are awful. Everything about Heroes Reborn is bad. It is so annoyingly bad.

Okay. No more TV shows. I can’t talk about TV any more. So on the lighter side…

The Eiffel Tower

The Paris Attacks First of all Daesh can kiss the crack of my shiny metal ass. I’ve never been to Paris. Though many of my friends have and I dream about going (I probably won’t. Just being honest). My good thoughts and well wishes go out to the city and to the people and to anyone who is living less of a life because of these attacks. To anyone who’s more afraid because of it, and anyone who feels like they have to keep their compassion in check to keep from being hurt again, know I love you. I hope you can find a way through the pain and the fear and into the sun and into the joy and into the light again. Because that’s what hurts the terrorists the most. That’s what hurts ISIS or Al Quiada or Christian Radicals or Misogynist Assholes. More than bombs and guns and angry words and fiery speeches and sanctions and no-fly zones, It’s Love… and Life and Liberty and Laughter… and Light. Vive la France. Vive la Paris.

Christmas Tree for One

The Holiday Season (or The Christmas Tree for One) Long time readers of my blog may know that this is my least favorite time of year. I’m sorry to all the Christmas lovers out there. But being alone for the holidays is the worst. Not because you’re alone mind you, but because the season constantly reminds you that you’re alone. I don’t mind being alone. Truly I don’t. But this season relentlessly hammers against the skulls of the solitary that they are the only lonely people in the world. That something must be wrong with them to be alone at Christmas. It’s annoying. And it gets to the point where you have to convince others (and even yourself) that you’re okay with it. That you’re okay alone. I’m okay alone. But people don’t believe it. You can see it in their pitiful eyes and their pained smiles. And it’s because every ad, every show, every song, every post, every little reminder of Christmas cheer screams at every reveler and every little Christmas elf to pity the lonely, to pity them to the point where you start to pity yourself. Merry Christmas.

Oh shit… Don’t look now. There are more TV shows coming up.

TOO SOON TO TELL FALL SHOWS

These are the shows on my personal bubble.

Blindspot

Blindspot (NBC) I was ready to hate this show after a few episodes but I love Ashley Johnson so much and I love her character. And they came with a couple of Ashley-centric episodes and I was hooked. So I’m still watching. Waiting for more Ashley.

Blindspot Ashley Johnson

The tattoo premise is played-out. The fact that they solve a tattoo minutes before an attack is too convenient to happen so often. But I’m going to keep watching. There are two new shows that feature the former kick-ass stars of the great Cinemax show, Strike Back (Now done). They’re both on the bubble. There’s Blindspot and also…

The Player NBC

The Player (NBC) The Player is getting better with each episode. I’m a big Wesley Snipes fan and I’m glad he gets to kick much ass in this. There’s a techie here too. You may notice that I have a thing for the techie character in shows (especially when it’s a hot girl). Here we have a hot British computer genius and she keeps me coming back. Also the fight choreography is very good and there’s an interesting premise.

The Player - Season Pilot

Just like the tattoo thing from Blindspot, it’s a played-out premise as well; a secret society of wealthy international crime bosses. But here they enjoy betting on crimes and that’s pretty cool. Plus, like I said, the fight choreography is great. And Snipes is a badass.

THE SHOWS WE LOST (GONE TOO SOON)

Continuum-The-Final-Season

Dominion (Syfy) 2 seasons

Defiance (Syfy) 3 seasons

Continuum (Syfy) 4 seasons

Lost Girl (Syfy) 5 seasons

May they rest in peace in rerun heaven.

All of the good science fiction shows are dying early deaths because they never have a big enough audience to justify their special effects budgets. Continuum ended well. Very satisfying. It was good to the last moment. In the end Lost Girl was a shadow of its former self but at least my girl Kensi came back. And she came back strong.

Defiance Syfy

Defiance was good until the end and I’m going to miss those characters a lot. But Dominion was just too biblical for its own good. However, the cast was very hot. All four shows are gone but not forgotten. And at least we still have Dark Matter. We do still have Dark Matter don’t we? Don’t cancel Dark Matter.

But so as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Here’s more Fall Out Boy. This song is from 2005. Didn’t know I was a Fall Out Boy fan did you. Well I am.

This here is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance

“I’m two quarters of a heart down. And I don’t want to forget how your voice sounds. These words are all I have so I write them. So you need them just to get by.”

“This is the way they’d love if they knew how misery loved me.”

Coming Soon to What’s Good: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Agent Carter, 2016: AKA My Fucking Best Year Ever, The first chapter of my book online (coming soon I swear), a long snowy winter (fingers crossed), Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Getting Back to My New York Museum Tour and The Expanse on Syfy.

Coming Soon to What’s Not so Good: A short brutally cold winter (because of global warming [more deadly than all the terrorists in the world combined]), Christmas, New Year’s and all the stuff that they bring. In particular, Heavy Drinking.

Told ya it was going to be a long one. (That’s what he said) Now here’s a little more Ashley for you guys. My girl is gorgeous.

Ashley Johnson

Until next time,

– Mel

What’s Good? (Late Summer)

Hello again and welcome to this the fourth What’s Good? installment. A top ten list (without numbers) of things I’m enjoying or have enjoyed recently. In TV, Movies and life and junk. You get the picture. I wish I could do one of these every month but some months, I’m telling ya, ain’t much good. But that’s just my opinion. I don’t want to fight about it. My EmotionsIf you haven’t heard yet, I had a run-in with my local launder/dry cleaner dude and put my foot through two of the panels on his doors. He had me arrested and the whole thing has sent me into a depressive funk. I hadn’t had an incident in more than a decade and I was getting out more. Hitting the museums and stuff. I felt like I was improving. But he said something to me. I said something back and then he said something else and I did what I did. In the past I would’ve punched him. So maybe it should feel like progress. But police, court dates and the fact he’s right on the corner and I’m not allowed to walk that way anymore has sent me to self-pity city (population one). And it goes without saying that self-pity city is pretty shitty. (the reason it goes without saying is… well you try to say it)

StrangeloveAnyway, I don’t want to get you all down too. So I’m gonna talk about the good stuff

We got mostly TV this time around. And the Mets. The Mets are looking really good. And if all goes well I may even talk about Donald Trump. Everybody else in the world is.

To the list…

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

The Brink Poster

The Brink on HBO was really good. It was a half hour comedy about the U.S. and Pakistan almost starting world war three. I love Tim Robbins and this has Tim Robbins written all over it. His film Bob Roberts is one of my all time favorites.

Tim Robbins

The Brink stars Jack Black as a government official who gets caught up in an international incident. It’s zany and silly but the messages resonate in our modern society. The fragile state of international diplomacy in the digital world. Very funny and eerily possible. Except the real thing wouldn’t be as comical. Think Dr. Strangelove meets…well  Dr. Strangelove. The Brink is the modern-day Dr. Strangelove. And I loved every minute of it.

Strike Back: Legacy was pretty good. Strike Back is a show that airs on Cinemax in the US. In its fifth season it’s still exciting and they still don’t mind killing off any character at any time. One of the best things about the show is that the main characters get killed off all the time. Nobody is safe. Espionage and military action with the occasional sexiness thrown in for good measure. I mean, it is Cinemax.

Two men playing chess

Chess w/ Friends app is good because I live alone, so I usually play chess against the computer but I’m good, so I’ve burned a few CPU’s. You never realize how hard a good game of chess pushes a processor until you start smelling the smoke. So it’s good to play humans who don’t overheat. And I get beat on occasion which is good because as long as I play mistake free (huge caveat) I can beat or stalemate (usually stalemate) any chess program. But I’m no Carlsen Magnus. Plus I can’t play a speed game. That’s why I love this app. You’ve got six days to make your move before it forfeits for you. The one thing I don’t like about Chess w/ Friends, because I play 10 to 15 games at a time, is sometimes I get weaker opponents and it weakens my game then some novice beats me and gloats. I hate that. I usually beat them on the rematch then put ’em on ignore.

Netflix Originals are very good and get better with repeat viewings. Daredevil, Sense8, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black are four of my favorite TV shows. I watched Sense8 again and it was better the second time. Then I re-watched Daredevil and it was better for the second time as well. Netflix is making some good TV.

Catastrophe

Amazon Prime (not anywhere near Netflix level) has a few good shows and a couple of promising ones coming soon. Catastrophe is very funny and original. The soft insults between the two lead characters are so funny. And I can’t wait for The Man in The High Castle and the return of Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. Plus, you know, free shipping and music and movies and stuff. And it goes well with my Kindle Fire.

Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares in Colorado

New York Mets Trade Deadline Moves and storming into first place is good. I said a couple of months ago that all we needed was a right-hander with some power and they went out and got Yeonis Cespedes (somebody reads my blog) and since they got him they have gone from the worst offense in the league to the best offense in the league. A really good power hitter in the middle of the line-up makes everybody around them better because they all see more fastballs. They also picked up Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and called up Michael Conforto; a young player with some pop. They were five games behind before the trades and now the Mets are in first place and have an eight game lead. And then… David Wright, the captain, came back. Woo Hoo!

Daily Show with Jon Stewart Finale was very good. By the end, the Daily Show was a shadow of its former self. But the last episode was a trip down correspondent memory lane with a touching tribute from Stephen Colbert, a great last rant from Jon, and Bruce Springsteen sent the show off with a couple of songs. It was a nice finish for one of my all-time favorite talk shows.

humans-amc

Humans on AMC was creepy good. Here is an intriguing and interesting show but it kind of got bogged down in the second half of the season. I liked it though, and hope it comes back for a second season. It reminds me of that zombie show that I eventually had to give up on except swap robots for zombies. In The Flesh. AMC is doing fine work. They have several of my favorite shows including my absolute favorite, the amazing Halt & Catch Fire and the promising Fear (The Walking Dead) which wasn’t amazing but could get there if it can distant itself from the main show while still keeping its audience.

mr-robot-banner

Mr. Robot stayed good the entire way through. I know I mentioned this in my Early Summer What’s Good? but it needs a re-mentioning. Mr. Robot is fantastic. I read a bad review that said the thing they didn’t like was that they thought it would be impossible for them to keep up this level. That was a bad review. If “I don’t think they can stay this good for very long” is the worst thing you can say about a show, it’s got to be good. Truly amazing. With more than a few episodes in the first season that make you want to watch again from the beginning to see what you missed. They delayed the finale because it was disturbingly similar to something that happened here at a news station (more gun violence what else). But judging just by that, it will probably be disturbingly amazing.

And since I’m mentioning shows I talked about last time.

Halle Berry Extant

I need to apologize to Extant on CBS (also on Amazon Prime). The reboot in the second season is really working for me now. The whole robots versus aliens thing is awesome. The show is sort of about the extinction of the human race but you don’t know from which way it’s coming. There are aliens and there are robots and neither group likes humans very much. Extant can be light and fluffy and sometimes it takes itself too seriously but it’s actually pretty good. I really like the direction they’ve taken the story.

This is where I usually put up a new song that has me playing it on repeat. I’m waiting for Chris Cornell’s new one (also Puscifer) in September but what I can’t stop listening to right now is this shit right here. But it just came out a couple of days ago.

Dr. Dre – Compton (A Soundtrack)

Compton A Soundtrack

There is so much good on this soundtrack. Anderson .Paak. I can’t even begin to… Anderson .Paak. Kendrick Lamar is all over it. Anderson .Paak As well as all the usual suspects. Snoop, Eminem, Cube. Anderson .Paak

But honestly, the album serves as Anderson .Paak’s coming out party. Anderson is a drummer from Cali that raps and sings and makes hella weird videos. I love the guy. This is something he did with Knxwledge that is nasty as all hell called Suede…

My boy is fittin’ ta blow up.

And now… for everything there is a dark side.

WHAT’S NOT so GOOD?

Or 5 things that really disappointed me.

Let’s get right into the suck…

harvey_birdman

My Day in Court… sucked. even though they let me go home. They made me wait all day to find out if I signed in for a community service job from 23 years ago. TWENTY THREE YEARS!! It made my stomach ache. I brought money with me thinking I would just pay my fine and get on with my life but they wanted to first find out how much the door panels cost before they figured out what my fine would be or if I had to do jail time. And after making me wait a month and a half in anxiety and paranoia, they tell me I have to wait another month and a half while they get their shit together and find out what the damage is. Meanwhile I’m going through all the scenarios by which I end up in prison and I lose my apartment and all of my stuff gets ransacked by whoever puts it in storage. And they’re making me come back for more humiliation. Because the ADA just has to point out that the argument was about my underwear while stifling a giggle. She’s quite literally a child.

Airing my Dirty Laundry

On a related note… After my run in with Mr. Huang, my local launder, I haven’t left the house at all and that sucks. I’m back to being afraid to interact with people and I feel like everybody in the neighborhood thinks I shit my pants. It wasn’t feces. It was blood. And the fact that I have to explain that to anyone causes me pain. (I know I just posted it here but at this point it’s part of the public record) It was black underwear and it was dried blood. And what really annoyed me is that he had to discuss it with the whole laundry.

“Your honor, there’s a reason ‘to air ones dirty laundry’ is synonymous with indiscretion. It is the very definition of indiscretion. Hasn’t he been humiliated enough? Your honor, I move that all charges be dropped and my client be allowed to leave the courtroom with what’s left of his dignity.” (thunderous applause)

This Man Is A Fool

Donald Trump as a legitimate candidate for president of the United States, surprisingly, doesn’t suck. This is what the Republican party has become. This is what the election of Barack Obama has done to them. 30 million Donald Trumps without a clue. And they can’t deny it. He shares all of their traits. Anger, Racism, a weak grasp of reality, an entitled attitude based on skin color alone, the lies and the Insults about the government, the rampant misogyny… the list goes on. But I’m enjoying this. Truly I am. It serves as a last chance for the few sane Republicans to abandon their party and their hateful ideology. When you see yourself bigger than life, this giant ugly version of yourself, it should serve as a wake-up call. The party of lies and hate has found their mascot. But what really sucks is how it makes us look to the world. We were just getting over the image George Bush created. Now we’re not just stupid, we’re angry racists as well.

Wet Hot American Netflix

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp on Netflix was not so good. I think I just expected more. I’m not saying there wasn’t some funny moments but the entire thing played like a series of cameos. It was nice seeing Janeanne Garofalo on my screen again. (I had the biggest crush on her back in the day) but I wasn’t amused by this star-studded prequel to the cult classic about counselors at a summer camp. I wanted more. Even though the entire series taking place in one day is pretty fucking funny.

Hannibal

Hannibal finally returned to form after going way off course with its European excursion. But it’s too late to save the series. Not good Hannibal. You should have never ended last season with total carnage and then basically took it all back. Like saying, we apologize. No one died. I loved the second season. I just hated the way it ended and coming back like nothing happened made me hate it all the more.

Coming Soon to What’s Good:

Minority Report

New Fall Show Leaked Pilots are good. And these are the ones I liked: The best of them was Minority Report which looked cool but had a lot of effects and we all know those shows never last on the major networks. But I also liked Lucifer which looked good because of the title character being unbelievably awesome and sexy. And there was Supergirl which looked super cute and fun even though the pilot needed work. But what I’m also looking forward to is the return of my doctor. That’s right I called him MY doctor. Peter Capaldi is my favorite doctor on Doctor Who. And one day, if I ever get out of this funk, I will do a post about why Peter is my favorite doctor. It will be amazing.

Coming Soon to What’s NOT so Good:

Chance_go_to_jail

But seriously I wish I could get out of this Funk. In the old days I would just buy some Cocaine and that would do it (I wouldn’t even know who to ask… and I don’t want to know). Coffee just doesn’t work on it. It’s a coffee proof funk. Alcohol doesn’t make it go away, it just makes it darker and more creative. Which is fine temporarily, I guess. Hopefully the day after I find out my punishment I’ll be back to normal… for me. And my new court date isn’t helping. So if there’s no Jail Time, I’ll see you guys in September.

Speaking of funky… and so as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. I will leave you with this great song from my boy Anderson .Paak (the dot goes there). This song is about every relationship I ever had when I was on drugs. It’s called Drugs. Enjoy.

Nice. But the video is weird right?

Later Gators,

– Mel

Top Ten TV Mega Post Part 9/10 Premium Dramas (First and Last)

Top Ten TV Mega Post Part Nine: Premium Cable Dramas (The first and the last)

Mozart

“Finally, Mel. We’ve been waiting forever.”

For this, the penultimate installment of my Top Ten TV Mega Post in Ten Parts, I am finally covering the Premium Dramas (because I finally watched them all). The shows that you have to pay a monthly service charge to have access to (Or wait for the DVD).

Werewolf

“Wait for the DVD? What is this the 90’s?”

But this is a subject I’ve covered a lot on this blog. If you didn’t know already I love Homeland, House of Cards, Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan, and I have no interest in running over the same old ground.

Crossdressers

“Oh that’s wonderful. He doesn’t want to repeat himself. IT’S A LITTLE LATE DEARY.”

So instead, I will talk about the shows in 2014 that were in their first season or in their last season. New comers and departing faves from some of the American premium services: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax…

Charle Vane, Anne Bonny and Jack Rackam

“…and Starz.”

And Starz.

Here are ten shows; Three of my favorites that said goodbye last year and seven that will replace them… if not succeed them.

To the list…

First up…

THE NEWCOMERS:

The Affair (Showtime)

The Affair

Created by Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi

Starring Dominic WestRuth WilsonMaura Tierney & Joshua Jackson

The Affair frightens me. It made me very anxious. It is the story of an extramarital affair (obviously). But the hook is that you see their story from both sides. Both genders. Complete with gender biases, blind spots and egos. They don’t know each other. So, their image of the other is completely skewed by their own preconceptions.

The Affair

“Are you banging the waitress?” “We just walked in here.”

The first episode is incredible. Once I realized they were showing the same story from two different vantage points I was in. But I kept getting anxious about the differences in the two characters’ views of the same events. And yes there were drastic differences but it’s the subtle differences that make this show so good and also makes me cringe so much.

Ruth Wilson

The way he sees her. (That far away from the fire she probably was wearing her sweater)

It is a very good show with an amazing cast. (I have loved Ruth Wilson since Luther on the BBC). But I was trying to binge watch the whole thing and had to stop. I only watched three episodes and had to stop. This show just made me so uncomfortable. That’s a good thing in my book but I didn’t expect to not be able to take it. The difference in the way he sees her and the way she sees herself, and the way she sees him and the way he sees himself, tied my stomach into knots. Aaaargh.

Ruth Wilson and Dominic West

“Whatcha thinkin’ bout?” “How men and women have very little in common.”

I feel like such a pussy. It could have been a horror film the way it made me so tense. So, I still don’t know who gets it more right or if they are both completely freaking delusional. I still have seven episodes to watch and I’ll probably get to it this weekend but at this point, the point when I bailed on it, the point when I chickened-out and turned it off, it is one of the best and most stressful things I’ve seen in a long while.

Transparent (Amazon Prime)

Transparent

Created by Jill Soloway

Starring Jeffrey TamborGaby HoffmannJay DuplassAmy Landecker & Judith Light

Transparent was the best show of 2014 with the best performance from this year by Jeffrey Tambor. The trans story is just the hook. A very well-played hook but just a hook. This is actually a dysfunctional family drama that is superb in every way.

Transparent Family

“Pass the peas to Elijah.”

Transparent is billed as a trans positive story. And it is… somewhat. But it doesn’t preach or propagandize. Because it is so much more than that. It is the story of a family; a collection of characters that are dynamic and creative and sexy and funny and so messed up. At one point I realized that the father, who is coming out as trans, late in life, is perhaps the only even slightly self-aware character on the show. It’s amazing.

Jeffrey Tambor and Amy Landecker

“Grandma what a big Adam’s apple you have.” “The better to creep you with my dear.”

This is quality TV of the highest order. Great writing. Great performances. Great directing. Phenomenal in every way. And while at the core there is the transition, the transformation… the trans-parent. It is so much more than that. It is a beautifully well-made family drama that I hope doesn’t scare anyone away with its trans hook.

Judith Light, Jeffrey Tambor, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker

Family redefined… again.

So to recap… The cast is phenomenal and sexy. The writing and directing are top-notch. This is a huge win for Amazon. And I hope they can keep up this level for a few more seasons. Best TV show I saw all of last year. I kid you not.

Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime)

Mozart in the Jungle

Developed by Roman CoppolaJason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers

Starring Gael García BernalLola KirkeSaffron Burrows. Hannah Dunne. Malcolm McDowell & Bernadette Peters

This Amazon series about a new conductor at the New York Philharmonic is delightful. With funny situations and a sexy cast, this show is refreshingly original. I loved the music themes and the inside look at the labor, financing and management problems of running the orchestra. Mozart in the Jungle is extremely enjoyable.

Gael Garcia Bernal

“I’m not Mozart. Not really, anyway.”

However, there are times in the series where the quality drops substantially. Where it seems stiff, where it seems the acting and writing are not quite right, but if you hold on, wait a couple of minutes it returns to being brilliant. It is hard to explain these lapses.

Mozart in the Jungle Amazon

“You know what they say about violinists?” “Their fingering’s excellent?” “You do know.”

I think the best way I can describe them is to compare the show to its executive producer; Jason Schwartzman. Jason is brilliant for small stretches, just like Mozart in the Jungle. But as the audience, we have to muddle past the parts, where he’s just a little off and not at all funny, to get to another incredibly brilliant thing he says or does.

Mozart in the Jungle 2

“Mel likes us everyone. We get a second season.”

Mozart in the Jungle is not Wes Anderson good but it is TV good. It is at times zany. Always funny. Very sexy and creative. I really enjoyed the first season of Mozart in the Jungle and hope to see more. Bernadette Peters, Malcolm McDowell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jason Schwartzman himself and John Hodgman all give great performances. By the end of the first season I did not want it to end. I want more of this.

Black Sails (Starz)

Black Sails

Created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine

Starring Toby StephensHannah NewLuke ArnoldJessica Parker KennedyTom HopperZach McGowanToby SchmitzClara PagetMark RyanHakeem Kae-KazimSean Michael & Louise Barnes

Black Sails, described as a prequel to Treasure Island, was a slow burn in its first season but it was well worth the ride. It has the proper mix of violence, political intrigue, romance, piracy and sex. I also think the costumes are cool.

Black Sails Hannah New

“You feel that?” “Your Heart?” “No that’s my nipple. My hearts inside my chest.”

This show makes a fine replacement for the amazing Spartacus. With that combination of graphic violence and graphic sex and a good-looking cast but it doesn’t get mired in that. Its stories and characters and politics and situations are deeper and more complicated than just sexy eye candy and well-dressed violence.

Black Sails

“Do you think the pirate theme is our hook?” Get it? Hook?”

But don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of cool characters. A lot of cool costumes. Sword fighting. Gun play. Cannons to the left of me. Real life pirates from history. Cannons to the right of me. And bad-ass, kick-ass, fine ass ladies.

Anne Bonny

“You call me a lady again and I’ll gut ya.”

Black Sails takes a while to set up all the characters. All of the rogues and rapscallions living together in this pirates cove on New Providence Island. But I eventually fell in love with this show. And I can’t wait for it to come back and hope it comes back strong.

The Knick (Cinemax)

The Knick

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Written by Jack Amiel, Michael Begler and Steven Katz

Starring Clive OwenAndre HollandJeremy BobbJuliet RylanceEve HewsonMichael AngaranoChris SullivanCara SeymourEric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Leon Addison Brown, Grainger Hines & Matt Frewer

Steven Soderbergh directs ten mini-movies about a failing New York hospital at the turn of the 20th century. The Knick shows the inner workings of the healthcare system, the underground abortion providers, the segregationist hospital system, the experimentation with drugs and surgery and, way too often, the inner workings of the human body.

The Knickerbocker Hospital Surgery Room

“Okay we’ve opened up his chest. How are you doing Mr. Johnson? Want more cocaine?”

Clive Owen is good, if not great. The writing is good but not great. The themes and subject are uneven. Sometimes interesting and sometimes boring and/or cringe inducing. But the directing on this show is sensational. Each episode is like a mini-movie. A mini-well-made movie. Steven Soderbergh is what makes this show great.

Clive Owen

“It’s common knowledge that the human nose is useless. So I removed yours.”

My favorite parts of the series are the glimpses of New York during that time period. And the barbarism of what they were calling modern medicine at the time. I had to laugh every time these butchers cut someone open or prescribe dangerous drugs to their patients and themselves. There is so much to cringe at in The Knick. Almost too much.

Doctors

“What do you call a black surgeon?” “I’ve heard this one.” “Ni-” “I’VE HEARD IT.”

Then the show sort of gets bogged down in the racism of the time. On how even a black person in dire need of medical attention would be turned away at so-called white hospitals. Or how they thought blood was different between the races and how some white patients would rather die than have a black doctor save their life. More cringing.

The Doctor Will See You Now

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. The medicine go down. The…”

The show is very good because Soderbergh takes all of this. All of the cringe worthy things. All of the well-trodden territory. All of the madness and completely unlikable characters. And he makes it real. It feels so real. Soderbergh is a freaking genius.

Outlander (Starz)

Outlander

Developed by Ronald D. Moore

Based on  Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Starring Caitriona BalfeSam HeughanTobias MenziesGary LewisGraham McTavishLotte VerbeekBill Paterson, Duncan Lacroix, Grant O’Rourke & Stephen Walters

I have to admit to being confused at first when I started watching the show Outlander. For some reason, I thought it was going to be more like the movie Highlander. I heard Scotland and Time-Travel and I expected ritual beheading and shouts of “There can be only one.” Anyway, it is not… that.

“Take off my clothes.” “But I’ve only got three hours.”

But I stayed anyway and I liked this show about a married woman from the 1940’s travelling back in time to the 1700’s. I liked it a lot. Outlander has just the right amount of suspense, romance, politics, drama, and the supernatural.

Outlander 2

“Oh you ARE ticklish. Aren’t you?”

I don’t know the books but I liked the story. A clever mix of history and romance and magic. I appreciated that it wasn’t someone from the present day going back to Scotland in the 1700’s (because frankly she would have been burned as a witch immediately). And because of this we notice our difference to her society and can more understand her differences to their society. It’s good writing. (better than the previous sentence)

Claire and Jamie

“I can’t. I’m married to a man whose great great grand father has not been born yet.”

Outlander is a really good story. Not a lot of action. It’s mostly drama and romance and political intrigue but the situation is an interesting one and by the time we meet the major baddie (no spoilers), it gets really really good.

Penny Dreadful (Showtime)

Penny Dreadful

Created & Written by John Logan

Starring Reeve CarneyTimothy DaltonEva GreenRory KinnearBillie PiperDanny SapaniHarry TreadawayJosh HartnettSimon Russell Beale & Helen McCrory

Penny Dreadful is a fascinating and fantastically well-produced monster mash series with an incredible cast of famous characters and monsters from literature and fabulous character actors lead by the amazing Eva Green and Timothy Dalton.

Timothy Dalton

“I can pretend to read with the best of them.”

Like the underrated Netflix show Hemlock Grove, (I just started watching that but they’re on their second season, so it didn’t make this list) it throws together classic monsters and pits them one against the other. But this one takes itself a lot more seriously than the younger and hipper Hemlock Grove and Penny Dreadful’s 19th century time period paves the way for gorgeous sets and even more gorgeous costumes.

Eva Green

“What did you call this again? A spliff? I like it.”

However it’s the great performances and the great stories that make this one of my favorite new shows from last year. Eva Green. Eva Green. Eva Green is amazing and scary and gorgeous. Also the Frankenstein story line is heartbreaking and painful. There is action and horror and the supernatural. Penny Dreadful is a good show.

“Oh my god. I’m Stan from Southpark. And you killed Kenny. You bastard.”

There are vampires and werewolves and animated corpses and all manner of spirits. And usually when you throw so many cool things into one show, it gets muddy and unfocused. But each classic character has its own agenda and its own story. And they overlap in the prettiest ways. So that it doesn’t feel like a stew but like a ten course meal.

Penny Dreadful 2

“That’s amazing!” “What is it?” “You look amazing in that overcoat.” “Oh. That.”

If you take away one thing from reading this list, take away the fact that Penny Dreadful is a great show that you should really be watching. I kid you not.

And lastly…

DEPARTING FAVES

Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Boardwalk Empire

Created by Terence Winter

Based on Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City
by Nelson Johnson

Starring Steve BuscemiMichael PittKelly MacdonaldMichael ShannonShea WhighamAleksa PalladinoMichael StuhlbargStephen GrahamVincent PiazzaPaz de la HuertaMichael Kenneth WilliamsAnthony LaciuraPaul SparksDabney ColemanJack HustonGretchen MolCharlie CoxBobby CannavaleRon LivingstonJeffrey Wright & Ben Rosenfield

5 Seasons

Nucky Thompson

“Now hold on a minute everybody. Five great seasons is more than enough for this to be one of the best shows of all-time. More than enough.”

Boardwalk Empire was one of my favorite shows for its five season run. Another Premium Drama that felt like a mini movie every episode. With famous and not-so famous gangsters fighting it out for control of the illegal alcohol trade during the 1920’s and 30’s from New York to Cuba to Chicago to the Boardwalk of Atlantic City New Jersey.

Al Capone

“Did you say Chicago? Did he say Chicago? Don’t let me find out you didn’t say Chicago.”

I even loved the ending. And because it surprised me and because it was perfect, I’m not going to talk about it. And accidentally spoil it. It was cool though and wrapped up the show nicely. Everybody got what they deserved.

Michael Shannon

“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

I especially loved the episode that wrapped up the stories of two of my favorite characters on the show; Chalky White, played by the amazing Michael Kenneth Williams, and Van Alden, played by Michael Shannon, it is one of the best episodes of the series.

Gillian... so tragic

Gretchen Mol’s pained smile is now my favorite part of the series.

But what I loved most about this season was finally finding out why Nucky and Gillian had such a screwed up relationship. I always wondered why she was there. For five seasons it was like Nucky couldn’t look her in the eyes. And when we finally find out why, it made me want to watch the whole series again from episode one.

Richard Harrow

“I thought I was your favorite character.”

Boardwalk Empire is most definitely on my top 100 television shows of all time.

The Newsroom (HBO)

The Newsroom

Created by Aaron Sorkin

Starring Jeff DanielsEmily MortimerJohn Gallagher, Jr.Alison PillThomas SadoskiDev PatelOlivia Munn & Sam Waterston

3 Seasons

The Newsroom Cast

“He’s not really playing that keyboard. It’s fake.” “Nuh uh.”

I wanted a lot more from the last season of this great Aaron Sorkin show about the inner workings of a prime-time cable news program. During its first two seasons, I sometimes felt The Newsroom was trying too hard to impart lessons in responsible journalism but that was never to the detriment of its impossibly witty characters and their insanely fun and fast dialogue. But in this last season, I felt like the show was talking down to me.

Allison Pill

“He’s a virtuoso keyboardist. Years before his time.”

I didn’t like the ending. Well, I didn’t like that the show was ending first of all. But I also felt like it was rushed. Love this cast. Love this writer. Love the theme and the premise. I just felt the show never found a way to truly hook (there’s that word again) a large premium cable audience… I’m talking about sex, alright. There was not enough sex.

Olivia Munn and Dev Patel

“Where do you stand on the keyboard controversy?” “Well I’ve alwa-” “I really don’t care.”

Sorry Mr. Sorkin. We just weren’t ready for a cerebral, political dramedy without at least one gratuitous sex scene per episode (a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down). But for the first two seasons and on occasion in this last season, the show made me happy. It was smart and it was funny. It was timely but not preachy. It was pretty but it was never sexy and because of that last fact, it was never popular.

Will McAvoy

“Amazing cat plays keyboard. Film at eleven.”

Goodbye Newsroom (News Night). You go on to join Sports Night in the pantheon of short-lived, extremely well-written shows about the media. I will miss you.

But speaking of at least one gratuitous sex scene per episode…

True Blood (HBO)

True Blood

Created by Alan Ball

Starring Anna PaquinStephen MoyerSam TrammellRyan KwantenRutina WesleyAlexander SkarsgårdNelsan EllisCarrie PrestonChris BauerKristin Bauer van StratenJoe Manganiello & Deborah Ann Woll

7 Seasons

I’ve made no secret of my love (lust) for True Blood. So sexy and scary and gory and just all sorts of awesome. But the show did not end well. One or two seasons too many I think. But for a while there it was one of my favorite shows. The perfect combination of scary and very very sexy.

Eric, Bill and Sookie on the Table

“I get the feeling this post is about to get NSFW in a big way.”

In honor of the end of True Blood, I present my Top Ten Hottest True Blood hook-ups (fantasy or dream) sex scenes of the series. Because True Blood was very sexy.

To the list… (in no particular order)

Sookie and Eric

Sookie and Eric in the woods

Jessica and Jason in the Truck

Jessica and Jason in the back of the pick-up truck

Eric and Ginger

Ginger and Eric on the Throne

Alcide

Alcide and the wolf girl three-way

Eric, Sookie and Bill

Sookie and Eric and Bill

Jason and Eric

Jason and Eric

Witches Orgy

Tara and Eggs at the witches orgy

Jason and Sarah Newlin

Jason and Sarah Newlin

Jessica and Jason

Jessica and Jason on the bed

Arlene on the pool table

Arlene and Keith (the vampire) on the pool table

Goodbye HBO’s True Blood. You hung around two seasons too long but when you were good, you were really really really good. And now… cold shower.

 

So to recap… we said goodbye to Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom and True Blood in 2014 but said hello to many great shows (Penny Dreadful) to take their place.

And thus concludes My Top Ten TV Mega Post in Ten Parts.

 

“But wait, Mel… there were only NINE parts. What gives?”

That’s correct, Dear Reader. I still owe you my updated top ten TV shows of all-time list. But I’ve decided, since I enjoyed doing this series so much, to split the tenth installment into ten installments of its own. Thus I am announcing my new series:

My Top Ten Television Shows of All-Time (in ten parts)

This way I can break each show down into seasons and talk about what I thought worked well and what I thought worked REALLY well on each show.

So I haven’t discarded the “Mega Post” format all together. I just think that each of the ten shows on my list deserves its very own, personal, in-depth mega post.

First up… Number Ten (hint… it’s The IT Crowd)

But until then

I’ll see you on the couch,

– Mel

Top Ten Bisexual TV Characters (2015 Edition)

One of my most popular posts from last year was my list of my favorite bisexual TV characters. (And I know it’s mostly because I included sexy pictures of those characters getting busy). However in 2014 there was an influx of clever and well-written bi characters on some really good shows. Some of them were even the lead. Not every one was the bad guy. Not every one was a cheater. Those seem to be the go-to clichés when it comes to bisexual characters. But there were some fairly well-written bisexual characters in 2014. My list would require an update.

Josh Hartnett

The rules are the same as last time:

a) The character’s bisexuality has to be strongly implied or actually shown. (Fantasies included) So if they’re dating someone of the same-sex and then later they’re dating someone of the opposite sex or vice-versa then I label them as Bi.

Bo Dennis and Lauren

b) The character must be on a good show (a show I like). And it must be current. (last time out I did a “best ever” list but since there are more Bi characters now than at any time in TV history, let’s just keep it current)

Nolan and his boyfriend

c) The actor or the character must be sexy. (Or at least I have think they’re sexy)

SPOILERS ALERT: There will be minor sexual spoilers throughout. Nothing big. But if I’m going to call the character bisexual then I have to explain the context by which I give them that label. It’s not always black and white.

BarbaraTo the list…

The first one is a bit controversial. I know it’s a kids show. But if you saw how this last season ended then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Number 10.

Korra (The Avatar) from Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)

Korra and Asami

Voiced by Janet Varney

Korra is a bad-ass. And before you tell me cartoons can’t be sexy. Yes they can. Korra dated Mako early in the series but ends the series with Asami. It took me by surprise but it was a very cool twist.

Mako and KorraDon’t fight me on this one. Watch that last sequence again. It is wholly implied that they are together. That makes Korra bisexual. That makes her a kick-ass cartoon bisexual.

Number 9.

Cynthia (The Cellist) from Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime)

Cynthia

Portrayed by Saffron Burrows

Cynthia is one of the main characters from the fantastic musical comedy drama series from Amazon Prime; Mozart in the Jungle. Throughout the series there’s much sexual tension between her and the other female lead but earlier in the first season during a fantasy sequence she admits to liking dating male musicians that let her bring other women into bed with them.

Saffron Burrows

She’s very sexy (Saffron Burrows is hot) and she’s bisexual. It’s more than just implied.

Number 8.

Barbara Kean (The Spoiled Rich Girlfriend) from Gotham (FOX)

Barbara Kean

Portrayed by Erin Richards

Barbara Kean is the on again off again girlfriend of James Gordon. She has a relationship with a female cop and then she has a relationship with a male cop (I think she likes cops) and then she goes back to the first woman.

Barbara - Gotham

So she’s not the most faithful person. But I get the impression that she’s not just a little spoiled but a lot spoiled. However she is sexy as all hell. So she goes on the list.

Number 7.

Ethan Chandler (The Gunfighter) from Penny Dreadful (Showtime)

Ethan Chandler

Portrayed by Josh Hartnett

Ethan Chandler, from the very entertaining Penny Dreadful, is a gunfighter and a woman’s man who also has a night of passion with the wickedly sinful Dorian Grey.

Ethan Chandler and Dorian Gray

Dorian is another bisexual on the show. So there are actually two sexy male bisexual characters on the show. But it is my personal opinion that Josh Hartnett is a bit hotter.

Number 6.

Frank Underwood (The Politician) from House of Cards (Netflix)

Frank Underwood

Portrayed by  Kevin Spacey

Frank Underwood is devilishly evil and manipulative, but Kevin Spacey makes him sexy. House of Cards is a sexy political thriller.

Frank loves Zoe

Frank cheats on his wife (the beautiful Robin Wright), Has three-ways with his wife and his bodyguard and has had a college fling with another man. He’s bisexual. He’s hot. But I wouldn’t turn my back on him if I were you.

Number 5.

Sid (The best-friend) from Transparent (Amazon Prime)

Carrie Brownstein in Transparent

Portrayed by Carrie Brownstein

The sensational Transparent has no shortage of LGBT characters. There is at least one character from every color of the LGBT rainbow but I am already in love with Carrie Brownstein. (She’s one of my favorite people and openly Bi in RL)

Carrie Brownstein

Her character, Sid, is in love with one character and sleeping with another (one male one female). I won’t give it away. If you haven’t seen Transparent, it is as good as they say (more on that in my next post)

Number 4.

Nolan Ross (The Hacker) from Revenge (ABC)

Emily (Amanda) and Nolan

Portrayed by Gabriel Mann

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of the show Revenge and of the character of Nolan Ross. He is a very sexy and well-written character.

Nolan Ross

Though he has been a bit underutilized this season. Give that man his own spin-off.

Number 3.

Piper Chapman (The Smuggler) from Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Piper Chapman

Portrayed by Taylor Schilling

Piper is the very sexy inmate on the amazing Orange is the New Black. Not a lot of men in a woman’s prison, so most of her sex scenes are with the lovely Alex (Laura Prepon)

Piper behind bars

However, Piper starts the series engaged to a man. And affirms her attraction to men many times during the series. She is one of my favorite bisexual characters.

Number 2.

Bo Dennis (The Succubus) from Lost Girl (ShoCase)

Bo

Portrayed by Anna Silk

Lost Girl, the great Canadian fantasy adventure series in its last season, is one of my favorite imports. The story of  a beautiful succubus trying not to be evil, even though she’s the daughter of demons and kills humans by extracting all of their sexual energy for food.

Bo and Dyson

Men, women, werewolves, faeries, demons and all matter of mystical beings want a piece of her. And she does them all. Sounds complicated, but it’s a fun and sexy show. And also Anna Silk is insanely hot. (but I still miss Kensi)

Number 1.

Joe MacMillan (The Salesman) from Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

Lee Pace

Portrayed by Lee Pace

My favorite bisexual character on TV at the moment is the wonderfully manipulative Joe MacMillan from the incredible show; Halt and Catch Fire. Lee Pace is outstanding.

Halt and Catch Fire

His character is flawed but gorgeous. And he is my pick for the sexiest bisexual character on TV at the moment. Even if he isn’t the nicest guy.

So that’s the list.

I hope you enjoyed it. I’m very pleased that there’s more of a bisexual presence on TV now. And that they run the gambit from good guys to bad guys, from the cheaters to the faithful, from the sexually confused to the not-even-a-little-bit confused. And that many of the bisexual clichés that plagued poorly written Bi characters in the past have become a thing of the past. Nice work, Hollywood.

Loving it.

– Mel