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This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll (10/17/11)

In her heyday (as is evidenced the "Rachel" haircut)

1. Homeland (Last Week: 4)
As you’ll notice, there’s a major shakeup at the top of the rankings this week. And at the urging of Erin, my friend and fellow blogger, I’ve decided that three episodes is enough of a sample size to go on the record and declare this the best show on TV (or at least the best show on the TVpocalypse 25). As is always the case, it comes down to the DVR. There is not a more jam packed night on my frenetic TV viewing schedule than Sunday night, and this show is always the one I’m looking most forward to. As I measure which show I will watch first, I realize that I’m always a little disappointed when I realize Homeland doesn’t go on until 10pm so I can’t watch it first. I literally can’t wait to see what happens next.

2. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 2)

3. The Walking Dead (Last Week: 23)
This is one of those rare cases where, despite months and months of media overhype and over-the-top word of mouth endorsements, this show didn’t only live up to the hype…it exceeded it. I am not a horror movie fanatic, nor am I a comic book maven, so it’s not like this is a show that is pandering to me.  It’s just that this show is that good. Similar to Boardwalk Empire, this show just seems to standout to a point where it’s always unfair to compare it to other mere mortal TV shows. I don’t know that it’s one of the perks of doing good TV on cable instead of network TV, but this is more like a weekly movie-going experience as opposed to a TV show. The moment I finished the sixth and final episode of season one, I was counting the moments until the season two premiere.

4. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 3)

5. Modern Family (Last Week: 1)
It’s not that this show has been bad lately, it’s just that the other shows have been that good.

6. Happy Endings (Last Week: 17)
Alright, so I mentioned in The Weekend Rally that this was one of the shows that I rallied big time on and completely caught up with. After pouring through about 6 episodes this weekend, I have one simple question, “How the hell is this show not bigger than it is?!” Six friends. Great banter. Plenty of inside joke-ish references for those of who are children of the 70’s. And a major point of tension that runs throughout every episode…will Alex and Dave every get back together again? Sound familiar? Yep, this show is essentially Friends before that show jumped the shark with Ross and Rachel part 87. Get on board people….this is good stuff!

7. Dexter (Last Week: 5)
Similar situation to Modern Family.  I’m not hating on Dexter, but I’m not loving on him either. There are just too many crazy-good dramas on TV right now to have this show (in its’ current state) rate any higher.

8. Jersey Shore (Last Week: 6)
Season finale coming this week, and a possible farewell to our current cast of guidos. So it goes without saying that I have some pretty high hopes for this one.

9. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 8 )

10. The X Factor (Last Week: 7)
Remember when I told you last week that I am now officially looking forward to seeing what happens next on this show. Well, I still am. Thanks FOX.

11. Parenthood (Last Week: 10)

12. Up All Night (Last Week: 12)

13. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Last Week: 11)

14. How I Met Your Mother (Last Week: 9)

15. The League (Last Week: 14)

16. The Office (Last Week: 16)

17. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 15)

18. Fringe (Last Week: 18)
I’m back in. Another couple of solid episodes and this could start climbing again. I’m just hoping they don’t botch this Peter return.

19. House (Last Week: 20)
I might have a better idea on this had I been allowed to watch episode two. Thank you one more time FOX.

20. American Horror Story (Last Week: 24)
Much improvement from episode one into episode two, but I still have reservations. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear that I have a theory on this. More to come on this one later in the week.

21. Pan Am (Last Week: 13)
I’m a bit confused as to what this show is trying to be. Let’s put it this way, with 24 off the air, this is not the show I’m looking to sate my international spy games fix. Apparently, the show’s writers don’t entirely see it that way. That’s a bit unsettling. Again, I have a theory on this. And again, more to come on this one later in the week.

22. Gossip Girl  (Last Week: 19)

23. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior  (Last Week: 25)
Someone needs to prove to me that Discovery did not in fact have an actual role in manufacturing this Senior vs. Junior riff. Without this storyline, the show would have been cancelled 2 years ago. It’s almost sad (says the guy writing this post while watching said exploitative show).

24. Whitney (Last Week: 22)
One of these days, you’re all going to fall in love with Whitney and you’ll have me to thank for discovering a show that you normally wouldn’t have considered. Either that or NBC will cancel it in January. Either one….but more likely the latter than the former.

25. Hung (Last Week: 21)
Wouldn’t be the worst idea if I actually got around to watching one of these episodes.

Others to Watch: Person of Interest (Still piling up on my DVR)

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This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll (10/10/11)

Nice to have you back Nucky.

1. Modern Family (Last Week: 1)

2. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 4)
Finally. After a couple of weeks of watching Nucky stagger around the ring waiting for someone to just knock him out, he finally seems to have found his footing. Bolstered by Margaret coming to his side as a more legitimately recognized partner (in crime), Nucky finally seems willing to stave off his empire from collapsing around him.

It started with the “thanks for nothing” conversation he had with Harry Daughtery (aka Shooter McGavin) as he was unable to collect on his favor of burying the news of President Harding’s love child. But his return to the old Nucky was made official when he made his way over to the Commodore’s table to put him and Jimmy in their respective places. The only thing better than the “I will ruin you….ALL of you!” declaration (yes, Jimmy, that means you too), was the “He never even asked her name… he just pointed to the one he wanted” line he dished as he left the table.

So, Jimmy, here’s what Nucky would like you to take away from that little exchange. A.) He’s going to ruin you, B.) Your mom’s a whore, C.) Your dad (who’s sitting right there) knew she was a whore, and D.) He actually chose to be with her BECAUSE she was a whore. I almost got up and cheered. Almost. I mean to actually get up would have required a physical effort of some sort and that pretty much defeats the purpose of watching 25 TV shows at once.

3. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 3)

4. Homeland (Last Week: 5)
Still my pick for best new show this year. I do not regret the top 5 debut at all.

5. Dexter (Last Week: 2)

6. Jersey Shore (Last Week: 6)

7. The X Factor (Last Week: 11)
I am now officially looking forward to seeing what happens next on this show.

8. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 8 ) 

9. How I Met Your Mother (Last Week: 9)

10. Parenthood (Last Week: 10)
There are some actresses who drive me nuts by doing the same thing over and over again in every role they take (see the Maya Rudolph rant a couple of lines below). Yet for some reason I always seem to like Lauren Graham. She continues to play that 30-something who is equal parts mom and friend to her children all the while partaking in run-on banter that somehow seems very real and very contrived all at once (says the guy who just rattled off a 5-line sentence). She did it for years in Gilmore Girls and it seems like she’s found that very same groove again, especially when she shares scenes with Mae Whitman (her daughter Amber). And for whatever reason, I’m good with that. For me, the way she has portrayed her character’s relationships with the rest of the family is largely responsible for the genuine likability of the Braverman clan.

11. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Last Week: 12)

12. Up All Night (Last Week: 14)
I have come to the conclusion that it is literally impossible to have too much Will Arnett in a show. This show lags a bit when he is not on the screen, and it actively suffers when they focus too much on Maya Rudolph playing the exact same character we’ve seen her play in every SNL skit she’s ever been as well as that train wreck of a movie some of you call Bridesmaids. So, for those of you scoring at home, I don’t like Maya Rudolph all too much.

13. Pan Am (Last Week: 13)

14. The League (Last Week: 15)

15. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 16)

16. The Office (Last Week: 18)

17. Happy Endings (Last Week: 21)

18. Fringe (Last Week: 22)

19. Gossip Girl  (Last Week: 19)

20. House (Last Week: 20)

21. Hung (Last Week: 23)

22. Whitney (Last Week: NR)
And cue the angry posts in the comments section. All I can say is that I watched the third episode. It wasn’t as good as the first, and it wasn’t as bad as the second. The inclusion of this show into the Top 25 is all in the numbers. This is the TVpocalypse Top 25. Not the Top 24, and certainly not the Top 23. With the Housewives departing and Jersey Shore not too far behind, I need inventory people.

23. The Walking Dead (Last Week: 25)
Big The Walking Dead rally coming this weekend. I’ll be knocking out the entire first season before the season 2 premiere on Sunday night.

24. American Horror Story (Last Week: NR)
I had relatively high hopes for this show…and then it aired. I have theories (shocking, I know), but I’m going to hold back on the full-on 1000 diatribe until I get a second viewing.

25. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior  (Last Week: 24)

Buh-bye: The Playboy Club (sniffle, sniffle), The Real Housewives of NJ
Other’s to Watch: Person of Interest (Jersey Shore ends soon, and beggars can’t be choosers. Plus, the entire season is still sitting piled up on my DVR)

The Weekend Rally

Don't let the smile fool you...he'll cut a bitch.

We might as well rename this post the The X-Factor Rally this week. Because obviously when a show turns out 4+ hours of programming a week, it just begs to be saved up for two weeks and powered through in an 8-12 hour marathon session…right?! Doesn’t it? No? Is it just me?

Anyway, after the afore mentioned 10 hours of The X-Factor viewing I have finally come to a conclusion on this show. I love it. And while I admit that there are plenty of parts that are almost direct lifts from American Idol (e.g. train wreck auditions, a Euro-trash version of Ryan Seacrest, Simon, the entire format), there are enough changes that make this somewhat new and interesting. In reality, this isn’t a new show as much as it is a long overdue re-boot of the Idol franchise (except Simon had to depart and start this show on his own because, as was evidenced by his fielding a call from the show’s producers aboard his 100 ft. yacht in the south of France, it’s about time he finally gets paid).

For those of you who aren’t on board just yet, here’s the upside that The X-Factor brings to the table:

1. The 30+ Group: Whereas Idol has morphed into nothing more than a Disney-type teenybopper-producing machine, I love that The X Factor opens it up to any and all comers. And while the very young contestants have also made it interesting, it’s the grizzled veterans that make this show completely unique. They’ve been around the block. They know this isn’t supposed to be handed to them. They actually have an idea as to who they are (mostly). And best of all, they’re desperate. Some of these contestants have seemingly just come in from living on the street, so you have this overwhelming sense that they might literally kill that 16 year-old kid doing his “pained” rendition of Hallelujah if that’s what it would take to move on to next week. And in my book, that’s TV gold.

2. Competition: The major point of difference between The X Factor and Idol is that the judges have a vested interest in the development of the show’s talent. Not only are they actively mentoring the contestants, but the format of the show pits the judges against each other. They are each responsible for one of the groups (Simon has the girls, LA Reid has the boys, Paula has the groups, and the waif model/singer that no one has ever heard of has the 30+ contestants). And rest assured, the pissing contest has already begun. The only thing funnier than the fact that Simon and LA have begun trash talking each other, is that neither of them has even considered for a moment the possibility that Paula or Model girl can actually lead their talent to the win. (I’m also 93% certain that neither Simon nor LA know the Model girl’s name either and actually call her Model girl as well).

3. Simon: If you’re an Idol fan and you have fallen out of love with it, you should get on The X Factor now. Because just in case there was any doubt, Simon is the difference. It’s amazing what a judge with an actual opinion beyond “You look great.” can make. Simon hasn’t even brought “awkwardly brutal, yet utterly brilliant and entertaining Simon” to the party just yet, and already I find myself saying “God, I missed Simon” upwards of 10 times an episode. Throw in his hysterically subtle (at times) jabs at Paula’s mental instability, and you have yet another reason that I am all in on this show.

 

The Unwatched List
There are a whole bunch of show’s on the list this week (how’s that for descriptive?). But this probably isn’t the best indicator as to whether or not a show is falling off the Top 25. And there are actually two reasons for that.

First, I’m losing so many shows from cancellations and season endings that I can’t afford to kill a show just because it sucks. That’s the kind of dedication I’m bringing to this blog for you folks.

Of course, the second reason is work. Again, until this blog develops its’ own revenue stream, there will actually be times when I’m unable to keep up for a couple of days at a time. Despite the fact that I’ve trained my body to operate on a mere 2-3 hours of sleep a day (I’m a professional….so don’t go getting any ideas), I’m still in need of a few more hours per day to stay on top of my 25 shows, and my job, and oh yeah…my actual life.

 

The Worst Episode of the Week
The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Portrait of an Italian Family)
This was the season finale. This was building off the momentum of the now legendary On Display “performance”. This should have been must-watch, save until I delete TV. But instead, it was check the DVR and make sure it recorded the entire episode TV. All of the showdowns the show’s producers worked so hard to set up over the course of the season were never fully realized. Ashley, or Ashlee as she is now called, never moved out. And what’s even more disappointing than that, is the fact that the only way I found that out was through an on-screen caption which told me so. The captions also told me that Ashley legally changed her name to Ashlee. How in the hell was this not captured on camera!? I need to know how she came up with this. I want to know how much time and money was spent to make this happen. I might need to fire off a FOIA letter to Bravo so I can personally pour over all of their footage to get these answers. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance here in the slightest.

The other annoying element of last night’s finale is the fact that the Tre-Caroline feud was teased only to lead into a fireworks filled reunion show, or worse yet, next season. If I had any self-respect, I would skip the reunion show and not allow myself to be so obviously strung along. But of course since I don’t have any self-respect, I will be there with bells on hoping for a no-holds barred, Jersey Housewives brawl.

This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll (10/3/11)

Hey! Look! House is in prison!

1. Modern Family (Last Week: 1)

2. Dexter (Last Week: 4)
Dexter is back…and it came out flying. Colin Hanks’ character was utterly creepy from second he walked on screen, and the dueling faith/religion storylines seem like a really interesting place for this show to play this season. And from what was shown in the original crime scene (not to mention from the crime scenes shown in the season’s upcoming scenes), the depraved/warped factor of Travis Marhsall’s (Colin Hanks) MO is off the charts. Which is a good thing in my book (not really sure what that says about me).

3. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 3)

4. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 2)
This. Show. Has. Been. (Pause). A. (Pause). Little. Bit. Slow. (Pause). (Pause). Thus. (Pause). What was I saying? Oh yeah…Far.

5. Homeland (Last Week: NR)
You will see throughout the course of these new rankings that the Whitney effect has wreaked havoc with my ability to trust my judgment. With that being said, this show was SO good that, unlike some of the other promising shows I’ve only seen one episode of, I’m all in on this one. Amazing cast. An ingenious story line. And a collection of flawed, yet compelling characters. Throw in a Band of Brothers connection….and you have a recipe for a top 5 show. The episode alone had it’s hooks in me from the word go, but when I saw the scenes from the upcoming season…it was borderline unfair. Besides, when have I been wrong about a show after watching just one episode? Don’t answer that.

6. Jersey Shore (Last Week: 5)

7. Real Housewives of New Jersey (Last Week: 6)
I still have On Display rattling through my head. I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

8. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 8 )

9. How I Met Your Mother (Last Week: 7)

10. Parenthood (Last Week: 10)

11. The X Factor (Last Week: 9)
Let me reiterate, four hours of almost any show in one week is a bit much. But with that being said, I’m withholding a final verdict until this show gets beyond the auditions. Up until this point, this has essentially been an Idol knockoff. Apparently though, the format of the show gets much different once we get to the Idol equivalent of Hollywood week. We’ll see…

12. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Last Week: 11)

13. Pan Am (Last Week: 15)
Due to the now infamous Whitney episode, I’m trying not to get excited by one episode these days, but this was pretty f’n good. The whole CIA/MI5 storyline was completely unexpected. Nothing in any of the previews gave even a hint of this show being anything more than some romanticized period show that was a borderline Mad Men knockoff. But it seems like this might actually be more than that. Might.

14. Up All Night (Last Week: 12)

15. The League (Last Week: 13)

16. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 14)

17. The Playboy Club (Last Week: 21)
Textbook guilty pleasure. It’s a modern day Melrose Place….and I mean that in the best possible way.

18. The Office (Last Week: 17)
I’m thinking that last season set the bar so low for this show that I’m not fully aware of this season’s mediocrity.

19. Gossip Girl  (Last Week: 18)

20. House (Last Week: 17)
The season premiere is airing tonight, but I’ve decided to go ahead and drop this show a few spots based on the success of some other shows that are already airing, as well as the sheer travesty they seem to be propagating every time they air another one of those ridiculous prison-themed spots for this season. Why do I have the funny feeling that if John Hein hadn’t already invented Jump the Shark, we would be talking about shows that House Went to Prison’ed?

21. Happy Endings (Last Week: 22)
I finally watched an episode of this show. I liked it. Of course, I also liked the first episode of a certain show about certain comedienne that I watched, and I think we all know how that turned out. I’ll be coming back, but I’ve learned my lesson for sure. We’re in a probationary period still.

22. Fringe (Last Week: 24)
Just because it didn’t die this week, doesn’t mean I’m all the way back on board. They better get Peter out of that mirror or I’m going to start get pissy again.

23. Hung (Last Week: 20)
This week’s premiere episode is still sitting unwatched on my bedroom DVR (the back-up DVR). I realize it’s only Monday and there’s a Yankee game on right now, but I’m just saying.

24. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior  (Last Week: 19)
How many times can one man watch almost the identical bike build out on a weekly basis? The Teutel’s either need to throw down in a steel cage match or end this show.

25. The Walking Dead (Last Week: NR)
Thanks to last week’s poll, I have officially downloaded season 1 of this show so that I may properly ramp up for this coming season. THANK GOD! I was beginning to get worried that I didn’t have enough things to watch.

Buh-bye: Harry’s Law, Person of Interest
Other’s to Watch: American Horror Story

The Weekend Rally

Annyong again Arrested Development

We are now in full swing for the fall season, and that means that Sunday night TV makes for one helluva marathon Weekend Rally. Five and a half hours of shows to power through, and I have somehow justified that I should really make every effort to watch all of them tonight. I can’t see how that would be a bad idea. So with that in mind, I’ve taken to writing this post as I watch my TV. No worries kids, I’m a professional. My ADHD lends itself perfectly to writing a TV watching/Facebook checking/Diet Coke drinking /Get Glue-ing/Tweeting-fueled new post for the TVpocalypse blog.

So with that, I give you a rapid fire representation of my stream of consciousness as it relates to the past couple of days of TV. How is this different than any other post you ask? Well, it’s not too different actually…but this one will have bullets!!

• First of all, I’d like to thank those of you who took the time to weigh in and vote on the inaugural TVpocalypse Queue Poll. It seems as though 25 shows really isn’t enough, and I will no doubt have a couple of new entries on the TVpocalypse Top 25…and then some. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the latest and greatest poll (yet another shameless plug than you every much).

• And while I never had any intention of this blog being anything more than my seemingly incoherent musings on my obsessive TV habits, never mind a new breaking outlet, tonight I simply can’t help myself. CUE THE BREAKING NEWS SCREEN GRAPHIC AND THEME MUSIC!!! Arrested Development is BACK! And not only a movie, but 10 episodes to catch up with the Bluth’s and lead into the long-awaited movie (coming early 2013….ugh). And TMZ said it’s true…so you know it HAS to be real. Plus, Will Arnett later confirmed it on Twitter. To say that I’m excited would be an understatement in the neighborhood of saying Tony Romo seems to have some issues late in games in a big spot. I now have two hopes. One is that the ratings on these episodes go through the roof so FOX will be forced to bring them back for many, many, many more seasons. And two is that Dr. Tobias Funke has his Analrapist practice up and running.

• I might have been slightly dramatic in posting my Fringe obituary. While I still miss both the Peter/Olivia and Peter/Walter dynamic (not to mention the Olivia/Walter dynamic), I will admit that the second episode was a marked improvement over the first one. Consider the deathwatch called off. I’m giving Fringe a stay of execution.

• As I sit here watching Real Housewives NJ, awaiting the long-teased On Display performance, I have come to the realization that if someone were to tell me that Caroline snapped and killed Teresa on this Punta Cana trip….I wouldn’t necessarily not believe it.

• OK, I just watched the afore mentioned On Display performance. Ummmm….a-maz-ing. The pre-performance prayer to her father and to baby Jesus (out loud for the cameras….of course). The lip-syncing, which begs to be examined. In my mind, Melissa lip-synced for one of two reasons. She either bombed the sound check so bad that they said, “no f’n way you’re singing live, we’re putting a track on for the performance”, OR she bombed the performance so bad that she said “no f’n way your airing that horrific sound on the show” and had Bravo place the track over it.  Either way, it’s off the charts hysterical. Big season finale next week! Say it loud and say it proud, “YOU’RE MY F#$%N FATHER!”

 

The Unwatched List

Just a reminder for the newbies, the Unwatched List is the list of shows which remain on my DVR unwatched at the end of the week. If a show remains unwatched by the time I go to bed on a Sunday night, odds are it won’t be on the TVpocalypse Top 25 Poll for very long.

This week’s list is really a collection of two types of shows. There are those that were forgotten due to the limitations of the time space continuum (translation: there are only so many hours in a Sunday night), and there are those other shows that were simply forgotten (on purpose).

This week’s Pan Am and Hung have yet to be watched. I will get to them tomorrow for sure. Or Pan Am for sure, and Hung….probably (maybe Hung is somewhere in  between the two sections of the list). As for the forgotten side of the list, no shocker there really. Harry’s Law and Person of Interest, it was nice not knowing you.

 

The Worst Episode of the Week
Whitney (First Date)

Remember that whole post last week about Whitney really finding it’s sweet spot and staying there, and capturing the whole guy point of view through the eyes of woman? And remember when I said this would be on the TVpocalypse Top 25 without a doubt? And remember when I said this show was good? Yeah….ummm….nevermind.

As pitch perfect as this show was in its’ pilot episode, it was the exact opposite in episode two. This show failed the laptop test worse than Vince Young failed the Wonderlic test. Nevermind popping open my laptop, if I could have gotten up from the couch and started a kitchen makeover I would have done that before watch the rest of this show with any kind of concerted effort.

I’ll give Whitney an episode or two to pull itself out of the Bridesmaids trap, but unless it does, I don’t think you guys will be hearing a whole lot about this show here at TVpocalypse.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see this week’s TVpocalypse Top 25 Poll…I have a feeling you’ll barely recognize it from last week. Another shameless plug. Aaaaaand scene.

This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll

Your typical Jersey Shore love story.

1. Modern Family (Last Week: 1)

2. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 2)

3. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 3)

4. Dexter (Last Week: 4)

5. Jersey Shore (Last Week: 6)
This show is just too good to ignore. There seems to have been much debate over Gianni being a TV whore who only dated Snooki to get on TV (or at least there was between the 4 people I discussed this with at work). I disagree. And I have an opinion on what really went down (shocking, I know). Gianni was not dating Snooki, he was dating Nicole. And Nicole does not go around throwing the cooka (can I get a ruling on the spelling here?) at clubs. Nicole is probably a sweet girlfriend who just happens to quietly put out like a porn star. He probably thought she was a changed little guidette. And then she threw the cooka out at that club in Florence,  and then suddenly he realized….”Jesus f’n Christ, I’m dating Snooki! What time’s the next flight to Newark?”

6. Real Housewives of New Jersey (Last Week: 7)
I have two words for you….On Display. Enough said.

7. How I Met Your Mother (Last Week: 11)
I’ll tell you what…I want to hate this show, but it’s too funny to truly hate it. Again, I have a theory. It’s a really funny sitcom for 28 minutes, and then they go and put the “ooooohhh….is this the mother???!?!” cherry on the top of each episode and it sucks for the last two minutes and I get all PO’d again. Nonetheless, 28 minutes of good TV will apparently move you up 4 spots in the TVpocalypse poll.

8. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 8 )

9. The X Factor (Last Week: 5)
On the upside, reports of this show being terrible were greatly exaggerated. On the downside, this model might be a bit stale. With that being said, I still have faith in Simon. Four hours might be a bit much for me, but when you throw in an I Touch Myself (a song that was almost the 1992 Bergen Catholic Senior Prom song…another story for another time) cover from a sixty-something year-old woman…it can’t be all that bad.

10. Parenthood (Last Week: 9)

11. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Last Week: 10)

12. Up All Night (Last Week: 13)

13. The League (Last Week: 14)

14. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 15)
Episode two was all about sexting. And by sexting I mean it dealt with the specifics about how to take good pics of one’s junk, how to effectively frame it for the best reaction, and of course determining whether or not to attribute your face to it. I’m not joking. I couldn’t be, because you can’t make this up. And that would be why I watch.

15. Pan Am (Last Week: 16)

16. The Office (Last Week: 17)
Andy’s the boss, and Spader is still around. Not exactly stunning, but it was probably the best case scenario. It’ll be interesting to see if they can get their mojo back.

17. House (Last Week: 18)

18. Gossip Girl (Last Week: 21)

19. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (Last Week: 22)

20. Hung (Last Week: 23)

21. The Playboy Club (Last Week: 25)
It’s not that I loved this show, but I tell you what, I didn’t hate it. This show is such a train wreck that it begs to be watched. I have some very definitive thoughts on this show, but I want to give it one more viewing before I go on a full-on rant (how’s that for a tease?).

22. Happy Endings (Last Week: 24)
Didn’t air and episode and I still haven’t seen more than 6 minutes of this show, yet somehow it creeps up 2 spots… 

23. Person of Interest (Last Week: 19)
…and this would be the somehow. Welcome to the Mendoza Line. If you are at or below this line, you are officially in trouble of falling off the TVpocalypse Top 25. This show was even on The Unwatched List, but the only thing that could keep and Unwatched List show from being at the bottom of the poll would be….

24. Fringe (Last Week: 12)
…a disastrous season premiere from a show that needed a really, really good one. In case you missed it.

25. Harry’s Law (Last Week: 20)
What is this show about again?

The TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 Part 4

Pauly D

Because the Jersey Shore cares about kids. Obviously.

10. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Tuesdays @ 9pm on Bravo)
Welcome to the top 10 folks! And fresh off our testosterone-driven spots 11-15, which included both Blue Mountain State and The League, I’m coming back all the way around with a little something for the ladies here…Top Chef: Just Desserts.

The Top Chef franchise has become a staple in my viewing rotation. It has essentially turned into a CSI/SVU-type juggernaut where there are seemingly 47 different iterations of the show and there always seems to be a new season of Top Chef running (and by seems, I mean is) ….and I am completely fine with that.  The great thing about this show is that unlike some of the other bastardized franchises (e.g. CSI, CSI:New York, CSI:Miami, CSI:Butte), there hasn’t been any fall off in any of their executions.

The only “problem” with Top Chef is that it has ruined me for other competitive cooking shows. The talent level on this show so far exceeds that of its’ competitors that it has turned me into a complete cooking competition show snob. I can’t watch anything like Chopped or Hell’s Kitchen for more than a few minutes without becoming insulted as to the lack of chefmanship on these shows (see…this show has me using words like chefmanship). I’ll still go with an Iron Chef when it’s on, but only the original one with subtitles, and that’s more for the unintentional comedy brought on by the bad translations and ridiculously inane ingredients than for the cooking or competition.

If this show was in a cooking version instead of a baking version right now it might actually be a spot of two higher since then that would mean I’d get to look at Padma for the better part of an hour…and that’s only going to help things (Aaaand back to testosterone. Sorry ladies).

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9. Parenthood (Tuesdays @ 10pm on NBC)
It’s as if NBC is conspiring to start up the annual “NBC to cancel Parenthood” rumors even earlier than usual this year. Last season was really solid and if you had asked me about this show prior to last week’s season premiere, it probably would have been up a few spots higher. But that’s how troubling I found the introduction of the story line featuring Alex’s pending trial and incarceration to be.

I mean, I just can’t wait for Haddy’s Aunt Julia to take on the case (despite the fact that she has now criminal litigation background), and Alex to break up with and cut off Haddy for her own sake, and Adam to somehow catch wind of all this and come to Alex’s rescue with Zeke in a season finale “you can’t afford to miss”. It should really be surprising and compelling TV!!! (where’s the sarcasm button on this thing?)

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8. Blue Bloods (Fridays @ 10pm on CBS)
I can’t really explain why I like this show.

First of all, it’s a “cop show”, which I find to be somewhat boiler plate in that there’s a formula of sorts, and they generally stick around for a while just because while they’re not great, they’re not all that bad either. Law & Order (all 47 variations of it), CSI (all 32 variations of it), even NCIS (not cops per se, but military police-ish)….they would all be shows that I think of when I think of “cop shows”.

Secondly, there’s a serious writing flaw in this show. And that would be that every single major crime that happens in New York City, is handled by every single member of the Reagan family, every single time. In the family there’s a Chief of Police, a DA, a detective, a PO walking the beat, and they all play a role in every case. Hell, even the retired cop patriarch of the family finds his way into waaaay too many of these investigations to not want to call bullshit.

But I don’t call bullshit, I just keep watching. Because, while it might not make the most sense, I just like this show. I like the characters. I like Tom Selleck. And yes, I like Donnie Wahlberg (I have ever since he played Lipton on Band of Brothers). I guess that, coupled with the fact that it’s part of a borderline fool-proof genre, and you have yourself a pretty damn watchable TV show.

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7. Real Housewives of New Jersey (Sundays @10pm on Bravo)
I am not one who blindly subscribes to any and all iterations of this franchise. I pick and choose my housewife spots. I believe there is a very simple formula for these shows. The key to a watchable Housewives show is that you must have one cast member who is EXTREMELY likable. If I hate the entire cast, I hate the show.

Bevery Hills. Hate them all. Atlanta. Hate. I used to like OC, but then Gina went and got all bat shit crazy, so even that one is questionable now. But not Jersey. Jersey is TV gold. The Joe vs. Joe brawl. Gold. Ashley vs. Jacqueline. Gold. Melissa singing On Display. Gold to the gazillionth power.  Yet despite all of that, it’s Caroline and the rest of the Manzo’s that make this show watchable. She is the steady voice of reason that helps slow down the rest of the cast’s downward spiral into the bowels of hell. Call it a Jersey bias, but I love Caroline and I love this show.

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6. Jersey Shore (Thursdays @ 10pm on MTV)
And speaking of Jersey….you had to know this one was coming. Bitch and moan all you’d like, but you know you love this show. It’s literally impossible not to. The only thing that frustrates me about this show is that I didn’t think of it first. Contrary to the beliefs of those in the 49 other states, the guido phenomenon is not a new one. If you were with me at the 1992 Bergen Catholic Senior Prom after-party in Seaside Heights, you would know that this segment of our society has been alive and kicking for the better part of 20 years now.

With that being said, I know there are very vocal portions of the Italian-American population arguing that this show is an abomination and that it sets back our people two generations. As an Italian-American myself, I would agree that it is an abomination (and I mean that as a compliment and that is why it is almost cracking the top 5 of my pre-season poll), but this does nothing for the image of Italian-Americans. The Jersey Shore kids are SO absurd that it’s impossible to take them seriously. It’s almost as if guidos (or the exaggerated guidos they portray) are another species. They’re not human let alone Italian-Americans.

I would argue that Buddy from Cake Boss is 100 times more offense to Italian-Americans. He is essentially a bad I-talian stereotype from some 60’s sitcom. The problem is that middle America takes him seriously. Because of his show, they must think that we’re all constantly yelling “Oooooooh” and screaming at our sisters and mothers. To the contrary, I would hope they’d be able to infer that the large majority of Italian-Americans are not GTL-ing or FPC-ing. I would hope.

The bottom line is that this show is chock full of insanity every week (which is obviously good). I am always a little sad (I don’t even think I’m exaggerating there) when the last screen title comes on and you know you’re entering the last segment before it’s over. Plus, any Italian-American who still sits down to Sunday dinner every week is OK in my book.

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If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out part 1 , part 2  and part 3 of the TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 poll and be on the lookout for the 5th and final edition tomorrow!