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This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll (11/28/11)

Is that Blair Warner?

(The following should be yelled in your head in a frantic and desperate manner)

The return of Beavis & Butthead has been disappointing…

The X Factor makes American Idol look worse each week…

The Office stayed around about 2 years too long…

How I Met Your Mother is stretching this mother reveal out…

I’m overdue for a blog update….

(The following line should now be triumphantly yelled in your head)

THINGS THAT ARE UNDERSTATEMENTS OF EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!

Well, now that we’ve gotten my little $25,000 Pyramid apology out of the way, let’s get down to the business at hand. There has obviously been a lot going on across all of the TVpocalypse Top 25’s shows (shows tend to have things happen over the course of a 4 week spell), and you will see that the poll will be reflective of that. We’re also coming up to that awful time of the year (yes, the holidays) when shows end or go on sabbatical, so we’ll also need to start considering which midseason shows will be joining the poll as others fall off. So obviously we have lots to get to, so without further ado (I mean it this time), here’s this week’s TVpocalypse Top 25 poll!!

1. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 4)
I’m going to say two things about this show, that if you know me or anything about me, will help you understand just how great it’s been the last few weeks. First of all, this is the closest thing I have seen to The Sopranos in it’s prime (before the heart of the show got derailed by the untimely and unfortunate illness and eventual real-life death of the show’s matriarch, Livia). And to be honest, if I really think about it, it might even be better. The action, the storylines, the relationships around the club and the family are so perfectly interwoven. The show is just always pitch perfect, and these last 4 or 5 weeks have somehow been even better. And that leads me to my second point. This might very well be the best run for a show that I’ve ever seen. The only season I can recall where this much has happened was the final season of Six Feet Under. But that was the final season and they were going out guns blazing (might have very well been the best series finale ever…another topic for another time). But Sons just got renewed for another season (thank God) and they keep raising the stakes every week, and somehow finding a way to raise them even higher the following week. Are Bobby and Juice really going to be in jail? Who’s going to blow the whole thing up first…Tig or Ope? Is Gemma going to cripple Tara or is Tara going to cripple Gemma? Will Jax kill Clay? And is he going to finally take his rightful place at the gavel? I literally have NO idea on any of these questions….and I couldn’t be happier about it. I don’t know that I have ever been this excited for a season finale.

2. Homeland (Last Week: 1)
In any other season, at any other time, this show is number one. So many twists and turns with so many interesting characters. Every time you think you’ve figured out if he is or isn’t a sleeper cell, Brody goes and does something or says something or just looks a certain way that makes you question everything you thought you knew to be true. Claire Danes, Damien Lewis and Mandy Patinkin are brilliant, as is the writing. The show’s already been picked up for a second season, so if you haven’t already, now’s the time to get on board.

3. The Walking Dead (Last Week: 3)
This show just wrapped up the first half of the season and will not be returning until February. Ugh! How good has this show been lately you ask? Let’s put it this way, that stunt they pulled in the last episode with the little zombie girl emerging from the barn….I had no idea. I literally didn’t see that coming at all. And when I can say that, I am happy. And the only one happier than me would probably be Kate since when I am unable to ruin yet another plot twist in yet another TV show or movie, I would assume that improves the viewing experience for her as well.

3. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 2)
OK…I wimped out. It’s a tie. I can’t help it though…they’re both that good. And sadly, unlike it’s #3 brethren, this show is flat-out ending soon. But just like it’s #3 brethren, I have NO idea where we’re heading. You might be surprised to know this (or Kate might be anyway), but actually I enjoy a show or a movie so much more when I DON’T know what’s going to happen. Sadly, it just doesn’t happen all too often. I’m as curious as anyone else to see how it goes down between Nucky and the Irish versus Jimmy (who is going to be BEYOND pissed about his wife’s murder) and the Commodore. Is it Sunday night yet?

5. Modern Family (Last Week: 5)
The only reason this show is not moving up the rankings is because the shows ahead of it are literally having epic seasons. This cast reminds me of the Bluths in that it’s almost impossible to pick your favorite member of the family, and I think you all know how I feel about the Bluths.

6. Happy Endings (Last Week: 7)
Very simple. This is the best show you’re not watching. Go. Watch it. Now!

7. Parenthood (Last Week: 10)
I can’t believe that after one episode of this show I was worried about how the story arc they chose for Alex would ruin this season, and now I can’t even remember when the last time Alex was actually on the show. As you will learn, there are no guarantees on this blog. I put predictions and theories out there. Some are right, and I will write about them and brag about them for years to come. Some are not entirely right, and I will immediately dismiss them and ignore them. What were we talking about again?

8. Up All Night (Last Week: 12)
So Christina Applegate is back. As is Ed O’Neil. And Katey Segal. So the question begs to be asked. When is it time for David Faustino to be back?! I think America is ready for full-on Bundy’s renaissance! Someone get me David Faustino’s agent….wait…someone get David Faustino an agent!

9. The X Factor (Last Week: 11)
First of all, I’m a little bit concerned that this show has effectively ruined American Idol for me. But with that being said, I am loving the format, I’m loving the contestants, I’m loving the judges’ bickering…and I’m loving the drama. A couple of weeks ago fan favorite Astro finished in the bottom two and was seemingly preparing to “perform for his life”. But instead, Astro went diva….like Whitney diva. He openly questioned if he should even be forced to do this. He then went on to essentially tell off anyone and everyone in the crowd and at home who didn’t vote for him. And then went out and put a big giant stamp on it as he mailed in his performance. The truly hysterical part about all of this was that he STILL was selected by the judges to move on over the very obviously talent-deficient Stacy. Stacy was one of the older contestants and this juxtaposition of attitudes only made her desperation that much more obvious.  My question is what would Astro have had to done to have been voted off by the judges? I’ve come to the conclusion that anything short of him taking a dump on the stage would have seen him being selected over Stacy to move on (and I’m not 100% certain that him taking a dump on the stage would have made a difference either).

10. The League (Last Week: 15)
Years ago HBO came out with this abomination named The Mind of the Married Man. The show was supposed to be Sex & the City for men. It was supposed to let everyone in on what went on behind closed doors when men interacted with each other and within themselves. It was supposed to give you a peek into the “mind of the married man”…hence the name. The show failed miserably, because in short, it could not have been further removed from the truth. I’ve never actually investigated it, but if I had to guess, I would say that the show was written entirely by women. And I do not mean that in any sort of offensive way. I would never attempt to write a show or a book that pretended to perfectly capture what goes on inside the head of a woman, because I would have no idea how to do that. Obviously. But where that show failed, The League succeeds. This is one of the best expressions I have ever seen of the dynamics, the humor, the conversations, and the relationships between a group of long time guy friends. Here’s a hint ladies….don’t over think it.

11. Fringe (Last Week: 18)
OK. I admit it. I was wr…. I was wr…. I was wron…. All I’m saying is that MAYBE this show wasn’t as doomed as I made it out to be in the beginning of the season. They’ve done a nice job of staying in one universe for the most part (always a good thing in my book…in all shows), and the Peter storyline has been handled wisely thus far.  I’m back on board.

12. Top Chef: Texas  (Last Week: 13)
Since I last left you Top Chef: Just Desserts has ended. But fear not, for another Top Chef show was there to rise up in its’ place….like they always do. This time we’re in Texas, and this time, I’m BETTING on it! A very special thanks to my friend and fellow blogger, Erin, for bringing me into the pool of another long ago friend, Kathleen. Kathleen and her husband organize a seemingly simple pool (yet I’m sure back-ended complex) where participants select contestants and gain and lose points based on their performances in the weekly quick-fires and challenges, and of course if they move on or get asked to, “pack their knives and go home.” There’s not many things I love more than TV, but finding ways to bet on TV is probably one of those not many things.

13. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 11)
Every single crime in the city of New York is still being handled by every single member of the Reagan clan. I’m just saying.

14. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 17)
This show just finale’d, so it will be leaving the poll after this week. With that being said, this is just a solid, mindless, frat-humor show. It even ventured into some smart satirical territory this year by mocking the NCAA and all its’ corrupt hypocrisy in a late season episode. Players are graduating this year and next, so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Of course it doesn’t really matter since it certainly can’t be going anywhere as I can’t even imagine the circumstances that would need to transpire for Spike to actually cancel a show.

15. How I Met Your Mother (Last Week: 14)
FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, IT’S THE NAME OF YOUR GODDAMN SHOW!!!! HOW LONG!!!!! HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO DRAW THIS OUT!!!! DON’T BE AFRAID…YOU CAN HAVE MORE EPISODES AFTER WE FIND OUT WHO “YOUR MOTHER” IS!!!! AND I KNOW YOU’RE JUST GOING TO START TEASING IT AGAIN 2 OR 3 EPISODES BEFORE THIS SEASON’S FINALE TO DRAW THIS WHOLE THING OUT FOR YET ANOTHER YEAR…BUT I MEAN….COME ON!!!!! OK, I will now release the caps lock. I feel better. Sorry and thank you.

16. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior  (Last Week: 21)
In case you were wondering, Junior was the talent at OCC. I’m sure there are only 2 of you (maybe 3) who actually watch this show, but I’m just saying…Junior is the talent on this show.

17. Hung (Last Week: 25)
I have finally caught up with this show (for the most part anyway, I think I’m one episode behind right now), and I have to say….it’s not bad. Although I’ve never actually “liked” this show and have really just watched it by accident for a couple of seasons (I’m not even sure if this is season 2 or 3), it seems to have found its’ way for the time being. I’m digging the “Ray being replaced by a younger dude” (and shockingly enough, I actually knew Ray’s name off the top of my head), and I’m loving the pimp wars with the newly featured role for Charlie (OK….I had to look that one up on IMDB). In a weak poll at a weak time of year, this show should be fine until it wraps its’ season up. Damn HBO and their short seasons!

18. Whitney (Last Week: 24)
I’ve come to the conclusion that this show has about a one in three hit rate. For a couple of weeks the show will be average at best, and then that third show will be genuinely funny. The key for this show is that it’s only a half hour and it’s really never painfully bad. And apparently in this week’s poll, all of those things add up to a spot at number 18. How much longer until the midseason replacements?

19. Dexter (Last Week: 8 )
I don’t want to be the one to say I told you so….aw hell, who are we kidding? Of course I want to be the one to say I told you so! I TOLD YOU SO!!!! Welcome to the world of way-to-early spoilers with Scott! OF COURSE that Edward James Olmos looking dude was dead and not there! Come on people…I NEVER get these things wrong! The bigger issue of course is that he was dead and not there and in the show. As is Harry. And as is Rudy. There are just too many dead people walking around and conversing, and what’s more, there are simply too many serial killers that happen into Dexter’s life. I care less and less about this show every week.

20. The Office (Last Week: 16)
How many episodes can we find a reason for Andy to sing? If you answered EVERY episode, congratulations…you WIN! But really, we all lose for having this show live 2 or 3 years too long. Every week just makes me miss Michael Scott more and more. And what’s more, every week last season made me miss Michael Scott more and more…and he was actually still on the show then.

21. House (Last Week: 19)
Speaking of shows that should have probably ended a couple of years ago.

22. American Horror Story (Last Week: 20)
How many murders can occur in one house? Better yet, how many different murders can occur in clichéd different eras in the same house but yet by different killers every single time? You can all thank Kate for making me watch this show by osmosis. And by osmosis I mean I am generally in the room as she desperately hopes against hope for this show to find its’ footing. And by in the room, I mean I am present and half watching…or maybe even a third…or probably closer to like a sixth. I don’t like the notion that people could move into this house without knowing about its’ history. For Christ’s sake there’s been an annual murder spree there for seemingly the last 90 years! And the fact that a school assassin could have been killed in this house and no one would know about that or even the fact that a school murder spree happened in that town is simply too much for me to accept. If I told you were moving into Columbine, CO…exactly.

23. Beavis & Butthead (Last Week: 6)
Meet the TVpocalypse Top 25’s biggest faller. 17 spots to be exact. When last we discussed this show I explained to you that I was supremely disappointed in the first show, and that I hadn’t yet brought myself to watching the second show for fear that I would realize that I’ve somehow left adolescent Scott and his sense of humor behind. Well, fast forward 4 weeks and I haven’t yet brought myself to watching episode 3…or episode 4…or episode 5. Fare thee well fart jokes.

24. Gossip Girl  (Last Week: 23)
I keep waiting for the mood to strike me where I’m going to want to power through my DVR stockpile on this show. I’m still waiting. Every time I catch a glimpse of the show it scares me. I’ve seen Elizabeth Hurley. And she’s talking to Nate. And I’m pretty sure they’ve hooked up/are hooking up/will hook up. And I’m pretty sure I don’t like how that makes me feel as she is old enough to be his grandmother.

25. Pan Am (Last Week: 22)
It’s been 4 weeks, and there’s still talk that this show might get cancelled. So much so that one of the stars of the show (go ahead, I dare you to be able to name one of the “stars” of this show) tweeted that she was told that they wouldn’t be returning after the holidays. ABC has since denied this report, but really, who cares? I’ll tell you when this show lost me (probably for good). There was an episode when we delve into Ted’s past and how it landed him in the co-pilot’s seat (Before you say anything, you should know that I had to IMDB Ted’s name. And before you go saying anything else you should know that, yes, I have made IMDB a verb.). There was a supposed high drama flashback scene where Ted is standing in front of a military court defending his actions in an accident involving his aircraft. What came out of these proceedings is really unimportant. What is important is that it reminded me of two things. The first was the scene from Top Gun where Maverick is standing in front of a similar Navy tribunal for his role in poor Goose’s death. And the second was the military courtroom scenes involving Ted Striker in Airplane 2. I don’t know that either would really strike the dramatic chord I’m sure the writers were looking for, but the similarities were downright uncanny. “Over Macho Grande? No…I’m afraid I’ll never be over Macho Grande.”

And that my friends is 3,124 words of pent-up TV blogging.

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This Week’s TVpocalypse Poll (10/24/11)

Luckily my sense of humor has not evolved one iota since this show last aired.

1. Homeland (Last Week: 1)
In a week littered with no-shows, this show was as solid as ever. I literally can’t wait to see what happens next. This is one of those rare shows where they over-deliver every week, which is incredible seeing as how the scenes from next week have me chomping at the bit for next Sunday the second they end.

2. Boardwalk Empire (Last Week: 2)
Jimmy and Robert scalped someone this week. And it make perfect sense that they would. That’s how good the writing on this show is right now.

3. Sons of Anarchy (Last Week: 4)
Speaking of shows that are on a roll….it seems like they are killing a major character or setting the table to kill one every week in Charming. Of course now that I’ve FINALLY caught up with this show and it’s on an incredible run, I’m about to lose FX thanks to the good folks at DirecTV. As if it wasn’t hard enough to keep up with 25 shows on my DVR, now I’m going to have to find bootleg versions of a half a dozen shows online. Good times.

4. The Walking Dead (Last Week: 3)
A little bit slow last week, and I have to be honest, I need more walkers.

5. Modern Family (Last Week: 5)

6. Beavis & Butthead (Last Week: NR)
Out with Jersey Shore and in with a classic that is near and dear to my heart. For the young’uns who make up a large contingent of this blog’s readership, I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the greatness of this show. And the fact that it’s animated (no actors to get old), and that it has Mike Judge on board still (no half-assed attempt to bring it back again…I’m talking to you 90210), means that you can in fact get a second chance in life. Throw in the fact that the boys now have all of the rich content of MTV’s “finest” reality programming to comment on and you might very well have the perfect storm for TV gold.

7. Happy Endings (Last Week: 6)

8. Dexter (Last Week: 7)
I have to be honest, this show is about to drop in the rankings. There are just too many ridiculous elements in this show right now. First of all, Debra’s the lieutenant. Wasn’t she backdooring her way to detective like a year ago? Isn’t she the loose cannon who, while she does a good job, certainly does not play the political games that are required to move up the ranks in the police department (if you have any friends who are “on the job”, you know what I’m talking about). My second issue is just how many serial killers can one city have in such a short amount of time? Yep, exactly….not this many.

On a completely side note, I’m going to do to all of you what I do to my girlfriend at the movies and during TV shows all the time (keep it clean people!)….I’m going to attempt to call out a very obvious plot line (that the writers think is super slick) and thus potentially ruin the show for you. I have no inside information, this is entirely based on my own hunch. Of course this hunch is born out of 37 years of relentless TV watching and movie going…so it obviously has merit. Lucky for you, unlike Kate, you have your warning. Skip ahead to the next show if you do not want to know that the old professor following Colin Hanks around does not in fact exist. You shouldn’t be reading this if you don’t want to know that he is merely a figment of his imagination similar to Dexter and Harry. Of course if you did just read this you can now consider this season of Dexter ruined for you! And welcome to the frustration that is living with me!!

9. Up All Night (Last Week: 12)
A flashback episode this early in a show’s existence could have been a disaster….but this episode was fantastic. It seems like this show is getting better every week.

10. Parenthood (Last Week: 11)

11. Blue Bloods (Last Week: 9)

12. The X Factor (Last Week: 10)
FOX and the World Series that no one is watching is wreaking havoc on my X Factor allegiance. Nice job FOX.

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

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

15. The League (Last Week: 15)
Thank you again FX and DirecTV.

16. The Office (Last Week: 16)
Yet another show with no new episode.

17. Blue Mountain State (Last Week: 17)

18. Fringe (Last Week: 18)
And yet another show with no new episode.

19. House (Last Week: 19)
And yet another show with no new episode. World Series fever….CATCH IT!!!

20. American Horror Story (Last Week: 20)
Major post coming on this tomorrow….consider yourself teased.

21. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior  (Last Week: 23)

22. Pan Am (Last Week: 21)
There’s talk that this show might get cancelled. There’s also talk that I don’t know if I care too much beyond the fact that I will now have to go and find yet another show to enter the TVpocalypse Top 25.

23. Gossip Girl  (Last Week: 22)

24. Whitney (Last Week: 24)
And , yes, you guessed it…another show with no new episode.

25. Hung (Last Week: 25)
Goddamn bedroom DVR.

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)

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)

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 TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 Part 5

Jackie Earle Haley

The new Jax Teller?

5. X Factor (Seemingly Every Day @ 8pm on FOX)
A note for my readers: While this show has aired, I have barely watched a minute of it yet, and while I still am confident I will be on board, let’s just say the bits and pieces of feedback I have received from those who have watched it are not entirely encouraging. I will be knocking out the 12 hours of X Factor shows (or maybe it just seemed that way) this evening with my 9 year-old daughter. At least she’s very excited still. I have a bad feeling this could be taking a nosedive.

Although I am a bit worried that this format is getting a bit tired (see The Voice), I trust Simon when he says that this show will be entirely different. Two years ago (Simon’s last year) Idol was hard to watch. I’ll chalk that up to him being checked out and already being consumed with X Factor (that and the fact that he seemed to like Ellen about as much as Paula likes doing the show straight). And last year, Idol was an unmitigated disaster. To call it unwatchable would be kind.

Apparently, there was so much talent in last year’s show that no one was bad…or ever made a mistake…or was poorly dressed….or botched a performance…at least according to last year’s “judges”. And I use quotes around “judges” only because that would somehow insinuate that there was actual judging happening at some point during last season.

I have always enjoyed Simon, and I actually like to hear his take on things, and last year’s Idol only made me want for more of Simon (only in the way where I’m NOT a 19 year Hollywood starlet looking for her meal ticket). The fact that a sloshed Paula is along for the ride is merely icing on the cake….or a Vicodin on top of an Oxycontin cocktail in Paula’s world.

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4. Dexter (Sundays @ 9pm on SHO)
Six Feet Under is on my all-time pantheon of must-watch, great TV shows. So just like Will Arnett will always bring me in to any show moving forward because of his work on Arrested Devlopment, much of the cast from Six Feet Under has the same pull over me. Peter Krause brought me in to Parenthood, and Michael C. Hall has done the same for me with Dexter.

With that being said, this show has been great….for the most part. I would argue that season 1 was possibly one of the best seasons of television any show has ever produced. That, my friends, is a blessing and a curse.

The following two seasons, while very good, never really captured the brilliant storytelling established in it’s opening season. But that was quickly quelled in season 4 when John Lithgow’s on-screen dueling with Michael C. Hall made the show as great as it ever was, which of course made for a tough act to follow…again. But while last season was a bit slow at times, it did seem to find it’s footing by mid-season and finished strong…setting up high hopes for this season. Fingers crossed.

On a completely side note, the show has brought on Colin Hanks for a prominent role this season. Let me begin by saying, the work of his that I’ve seen, I like. But he kind of creeps me out. He looks just enough like his dad (Tom Hanks…duh) to make you take a double take, but just different enough to make it odd somehow. He and Jason Ritter are very similar that way. It’s almost as if they are CGI representations of what their famous fathers (John Ritter…duh) would look like if they were younger, but only we know what they looked like when they were younger, and it wasn’t like that. (Cue the crickets). Maybe it’s just me.

Regardless, I’m hopeful we get a season 1 & 4 Dexter, and not a season 2 & 3.

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3. Sons of Anarchy (Tuesdays @ 9pm on FX)
This is my first year watching this show. This was the show that my friends would harass me about. “You watch every show on TV…you HAVE to watch Sons…you’ll LOVE it!” This of course makes me resist even further (because I’m stubborn and a general pain in the ass like that).

Finally, one day this summer I was playing with my Netflix on Apple TV and I figured, “What the hell? I’ll give it a try.” Three weeks and three full seasons later, I was fully up to speed and fully on board. It’s just a great show, and season 4 is off to a flying start.

With that being said, I have one complaint….of course. Charlie Hunnam is too goddamn pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I love the character of Jax and his performance as the morally-torn would be king of the Sons is pitch perfect. But, if you look at him in the context of what you think the biker gang scene should be…and in the context of the other actors and actresses they’ve cast for the rest of Sons and their rival gangs….it’s a LITTLE hard to accept.

How would such a pretty boy be born of such hard looking people? And if he was that pretty, how would he not have his ass kicked up and down by every newbie punk who was looking to make a name for himself in the gang? I guess the argument would be that BECAUSE he was a pretty boy, Jax needed to learn to protect himself better than anyone else. I would argue that it probably would have been easier to simply cast a banged up actor. Can’t Hollywood go and find the next Jackie Earle Haley?

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2. Boardwalk Empire (Sundays @ 9pm on HBO)
Not only was season one tremendous in every respect (storylines, character development, production value…and on and on and on), but it set the stage for what could be an even better season two. I know I like a show when I watch the trailer for the coming season and get goose bumps resembling the ones I get when Rocky is able to somehow get up and leave Creed on the mat. I have but one concern for this show, and that is cost.  And before you go asking why the hell I would concern myself about HBO’s production costs, allow me to explain.

Let’s be honest, this show must cost a bloody fortune to make. Period clothes. Period cars. Insanely detailed sets. A-list talent. Massive amounts of CGI to recreate Prohibition era Atlantic City. Oh, and some guy name Scorcese producing the whole thing.  You see, I’ve been burned by HBO on this sort of thing before. I loved Rome…and then they went and cancelled it because it cost as much as creating a Hollywood blockbuster every week.

It’s difficult to complain about the product that HBO puts out there, but you must admit, it is a bit troubling when a show like Rome gets canned after two years, while Arli$$ was on the air for what seemed like an eternity.

From a straight TV-viewing standpoint, this show is incomparable. You could watch pretty much any other drama on TV and think, “Wow, this is great!” and then watch Boardwalk Empire after it and be made immediately aware of how not-great that other show is. You see, this show is basically a different species. It’s not a TV show. It’s an Oscar-worthy, 12-hour movie that airs an hour at a time over the span of 3 months. It’s that great.

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1. Modern Family (Wednesdays @ 9pm on ABC)
This show is just plain funny. There are so many great characters that it’s hard to pick your favorite. In that way, and because of the fact that it’s such a great ensemble of players, I ALMOST want to compare it to Arrested Development….but then sense returns and I think better of it.

With that being said, it’s still one of the most consistent shows out there, and even its’ “bad” days aren’t all too bad. Couple that with what was an off-the-charts hysterical season premiere taking place at a Dude Ranch and I have high hopes for another strong season from this year’s Emmys darling. (Thank God the “take the cast to Jackson Hole” boondoggle wasn’t The Brady’s go to Hawaii or worse yet, The Keaton’s go to London…because it very easily could have been.

On a completely side note…again (I can’t really help it, my mind works in non-sequiturs), what the hell was up with the boy who gave Alex her first kiss? I would argue that while he didn’t set Italian-Americans back as far as Buddy from Cake Boss, he was definitely worse than the Jerseylicious crew. What was the point? Does everything have to be Jersey-fied now? Because by hinting that he lived some 2400 miles away leads me to believe that he’s from Jersey…and by the looks of him, probably Garfield. The joke was too easy, and I guess I expect more from these writers.

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If you haven’t already, be sure to check out part 1 , part 2 , part 3, and part 4 of the TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 poll!
And of course click the “like” button above to like TVpocalypse  on Facebook!

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!

The TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 Part 3

A magician named GOB

A magician named GOB

15. Blue Mountain State (Wednesdays @ 10pm on Spike)
Since it seems that about 82.7% of my readership (give or take .3%) are women, I’m going to go ahead and be completely transparent on this one. Ladies, you’re probably not going to like this show. And as if the fact that this show is on Spike wasn’t evidence enough, let me go ahead and make one point perfectly clear…this show was not made with you in mind.

Here’s what Blue Mountain State is. It’s completely mindless. It’s bankrupt of any real character development or arcs (in fact, I’m going to go ahead and guarantee that the word arc has never come up in any of the writers’ meetings for this show). The football scenes are entirely unrealistic. And the main reason for that would be that there is only one (at most two) members of the cast that looks capable of suiting up for a Pop Warner football team….nevermind a major D-I college football team. There’s binge drinking and rampant drug use, but don’t worry, that’s all offset by the steady stream of gratuitous female near-nudity.

And for whatever reason (or maybe exactly those reasons), I can’t stop watching.

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14. The League (Thursdays @ 10:30pm on FX)
The League is a show about a bunch of old friends who play against each other in a fantasy football league. Yep, another one for the ladies.

My friends with whom I am in a fantasy football league had been harassing me about this show for a while (12 of us in the league, 9 of which were in the same freshmen year homeroom at Bergen Catholic High School…might explain my eventual affinity for this show). Yet for one reason or another, I never seemed to get around to it. Then, last spring, I finally powered through season one on Apple TV. I think I knocked it out in about all of 3 days…always a good sign.

It’s just an extremely watchable show. Sure, there are some fatal flaws (e.g. FX not having the money to cast a full 10 or 12 guys and thus having certain league members who are never seen or heard, but instead are only mentioned in the context of their draft or weekly match-ups), but they also happen to nail some of the ridiculously fun nuances that make fantasy football so great.

The elaborate trash-talking and mean-spirited banter that goes back and forth between otherwise grown men (I may or may not write a weekly 1400 word recap that is merely a platform through which to taunt my lifelong friends with many of the same barbs that were thrown at them as far as back as 1989). The ridiculously excessive amount of time and work league members are willing to put into the management of their teams just for the right to win an imaginary game with their imaginary team for a chance to win their imaginary championship. I guess when you put it in writing, it is a bit hard to grasp the allure of fantasy football…and, cue the ladies jumping back over to dooce.com.

Anyway, throw in what looks like a recurring role for Seth Rogen this season and I’m borderline moderately excited for this season (don’t think they’ll be running with that quote for their upfronts….”FX is proud to bring back The League for a third season 3, TVpocalypse says “I’m borderline moderately excited for this season”).

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13. Up All Night (Wednesdays @ 8pm on NBC)

Arrested Development might very well be the greatest show ever created. I’m going to go ahead and put that out there. And on top of that, GOB might very well be my favorite character on my favorite TV show ever. And because of that, I’m basically willing to give Will Arnett a chance on any project he ever takes on. Hell, I was one of the 14 people watching Running Wilde last year (I was one of the 3 of those 14 people who actually liked it).

With that being said, I was very excited when I saw he was back with a new show along with Christina Applegate (a.k.a. Veronica Corningstone, a.k.a. Kelly Bundy). And what got me even more enthused was the fact that the trailers looked pretty damn funny. Of course, what got me LESS enthused was when I watched the pilot episode last week and it seemed as though every single highlight had already been seen in said trailer. Ruh roh. I’m blindly hoping against hope on this one. Of course the upside of this show failing would be a greater sense of urgency for Will Arnett to go and make that Arrested Development finally happen.

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12. Fringe (Fridays @ 9pm on FOX)
Here’s what I’m going to hope for in this upcoming season of Fringe:

I hope there’s only one of every character.

I hope that unlike one of his other shows (I’m not going to name names, but it rhymes with Cost), that J.J. Abrams actually has some sort of an idea as to where this show’s story is going.

And finally, I hope that said idea is not “they’re time traveling” or “they were all dead the whole time” or worse yet, “the ending is left for the viewers to interpret.”

I promise you, if I see one smoke monster or polar bear roaming in front of the Twin Towers in an alternate universe as a zeppelin goes over head….I might very well instantaneously quit this show.

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11. How I Met Your Mother (Mondays @ 8pm on CBS)
It almost seems like the writers pitched this show built around a father in the future telling his kids about “how he met their mother” with not a whole lot of faith that the network would actually buy the idea and give them the green light. And because of that, they hadn’t really figured out how this would all play out in any kind of long term way. Imagine if you will:

Summer 2004. The creators of How I Met Your Mother are finishing their pitch to CBS.

Writers: …and we’d call it How I Met Your Mother. Get it?! Because he’s always telling the story of how he met her. Well, whaddya think?!

CBS execs: Great. Love it. Make it. Maybe change the name, but we’re in!

Writers: Really? I mean…great. See you at the Emmy’s! Hahaha!

CBS Execs leave the room.

Writers: Now what the f$#% do we do?

And now seven years later, in many ways it seems like they’re asking that very same question. How long can one show stretch out one premise (7 years and counting I guess). If I hadn’t been on this show since day one, I’d have been long gone already. I’m just in too deep, or as I like to call it, I’m “Entourage-d”.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 of the TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 poll and be on the lookout for part 4 tomorrow!

The TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 Part 2

Stef

Rip...I mean Stef...I mean James Spader approximately an eon ago.

20. Harry’s Law (Wednesdays @ 9pm on NBC)
The only thing more ambiguous than a dime a dozen cop show, is a dime a dozen courtroom show. Apparently I missed the first season (never really heard of it), but somehow I don’t think it will be much of an issue. Yet with Kathy Bates on board I’m somewhat blindly hopeful.

It’s the TV equivalent of considering whether to take it to the next level with that stripper you’ve spoken to at the club a couple of times (I’m sure we’ve all been there before). You know the one…she’s got five kids from four dads. You know…the one with the somewhat questionable, sore-ish looking thing near her lip. You really do know it’s not a good idea. But she is stripper hot, and you think maybe — just maybe — this time it will be different. And then you allow yourself to talk yourself into it. Bad idea.

Committing to this show is a decision I pretty much know I’m going to regret sooner rather than later. And when I say sooner, I mean sooner as in 4 weeks from now when NBC unceremoniously dumps this show only after allowing me just enough of time to get fully roped in.

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19. Person of Interest (Thursdays @ 9pm on CBS)
A moment of candor (just a moment…I promise), prior to Sunday I was not planning on watching this show. And then I watched the Jets v. Jags game and Pats v. Chargers game back-to-back, and in that time I would conservatively estimate that I saw an ad/trailer/live read for Person of Interest some 492 times. That’s a conservative estimate. And despite the fact that I work in marketing, I let the CBS marketing machine have it’s way with me and now have this show locked and loaded on my DVR.

So while I do feel somewhat cheap, stupid, naive and used for allowing myself to be railroaded like this, I back into a justification by telling myself that Ben from Lost and Jesus from The Last Temptation of Christ are on the show. And you simply can’t argue with Ben and Jesus logic.

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18. House (Mondays @ 9pm on FOX)
This is the last season for House, and that might very well be the only reason I’m still there. That pretty much says it all I think.

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17. The Office (Thursdays @ 9pm on NBC)
See above, except insert The Office where it says House.

The big cliffhanger from last season will be revealed on Thursday’s season premiere….Who’s the new boss?!! And while cliffhangers are usually a good thing, there’s a slight problem with this one.  And that would be that none of the episodes with any of the new boss candidates were all that good.

I wouldn’t take it as far as saying I care who is named boss, but I think it’s more that I care who isn’t. And really, there are two candidates who I’m hoping don’t become the new Michael Scott.

The first is Will Ferrell. To fully understand the gravity of this statement, you need to understand that I love Will Ferrell. It’s not that I like some of his work, I literally love all of it. Anchorman. Talladega Nights. Step Brothers. Yes, yes, and yes. But in there lies what may be the biggest indictment of just how lost this show has become. They couldn’t even get a Will Ferrell appearance right. It just wasn’t funny.

The next candidate I don’t want to see become the new boss would be James Spader. Seeing as how I missed all of his more recent Boston Legal work, I’m just going to go ahead and call him Rip — his character’s name in Less Than Zero. And therein lies the problem. Rip is my permanent James Spader point of reference, or more precisely, all of the characters he played in that era are. Drug pushers. Entitled rich kids. Swarmy, spineless rats. That’s the James Spader I know and love. The only thing going through my mind every time I see him on screen is “She thinks your shit Stef, and deep down, you know she’s right!” As I write this, I am beginning to realize this might actually be more of a personal issue.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see where they go with this on Thursday…or maybe it won’t be…and maybe that’s why The Office is ranked 17th.

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16. Pan Am (Sundays @ 10pm on ABC)

Apparently networks other than HBO are allowed to air programming on Sunday night. I had no idea. Seriously though, who the hell at ABC thought this was a good idea?! A period drama up against HBO programming? God forbid they shave The Bachelor down to 6 hours of programming a week and get this on a weeknight, huh?

Aside from that though, I honestly don’t know a whole helluva lot about this show (of course, I won’t let that stop me from setting up a Season Pass for it). Like I said, it’s a period drama. It has Christina Ricci. And it details a gloriously romantic time in American history when air travelers didn’t have to have to pay an additional $30 for the honor of traveling with their luggage.

I’m definitely not as certain about this one as I am about The Playboy Club, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be stunned to see a whole bunch of 20/20’s in this timeslot come November.

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

The TVpocalypse Pre-season Top 25 Part 1

Rappin' David Silver

90210's death knell...Rappin' David Silver

25. The Playboy Club (Mondays @ 10pm on NBC)
Every season there are those shows that have no hope. The shows that are DEFINITELY going to get cancelled. The shows that only got made because the network couldn’t find a reality show to slide into that time slot. You know heading in that it’s going to be gone by midseason, yet you defy all common sense and you still ante up.

This show makes those shows seem like sure things.

There is a very real chance The Playboy Club gets cancelled during its’ first commercial break. So, of course, I’m in.

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24. Happy Endings (Wednesdays @ 9:30pm on ABC)
This was a midseason replacement for ABC last season. I think I read a good review of it. And I think maybe I saw a good preview for it. And I think someone might have even told me it was a pretty good show.

So I Season Passed (yes, that’s a verb now) it last year. And then I kept reading that it would probably get cancelled. And then it didn’t. And now I have a season’s worth of Happy Endings (I only wish that was as good as it sounds) sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched BEFORE I can even get into this season’s shows. Of course, something tells me I’d be able to pick up the storylines without the benefit of having viewed last season pretty quickly. And by pretty quickly, I mean by the end of the opening credits during this season’s premiere.

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23. Hung (Sundays @ 10pm on HBO)
This show is so Goddamn slow. And it’s borderline terrible. And I can’t really remember a time when I thought it was good. Yet, I am now entering my third season of watching it. The only excuse I can offer is that it goes on after HBO shows that I actually enjoy, and I’m too lazy to change the channel and find something else to watch. First I say, “Hello, my name is Scott, and I have a TV problem.” And then you say, “Hi, Scott!”

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22. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior (Mondays @ 9pm on Discovery)
I’m about 74.8% certain that the Discovery Network has orchestrated the entire Teutel family feud. Without the brawl, the split into two companies, and the awkwardly painful father/son dynamics, this show would have been relegated into “oh wait, these are actually new episodes?” territory ala Dirty Jobs and other completely formulaic serial shows on cable networks about 2 seasons ago.

Despite this, I still find myself going through spells where this show starts building up 3 or 4 episodes in the DVR queue…and not really caring that that has happened. That’s probably not a good sign.

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21. Gossip Girl (Mondays @ 8pm on The CW)
As a seasoned veteran of the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise, I can tell you that I have some very real concerns for Gossip Girl. We are one main character trying to get a record deal away from this show entering the same sad state of affairs that 90120 entered during it’s personal Death March of Bataan some 11 years ago.

Yep, that was only 11 years ago. Of course, the show was dead for about 3-5 years prior to that, but no one had the heart to tell them. It’s almost as if FOX was just pulling off some giant Weekend at Bernies scam on its’ viewers as they dragged the corpse formerly known as Beverly Hills, 90210 around until any and all signs of life had finally shriveled up and fallen off of it. (“The prosecution would like to call 58 year-old Ian Ziering to the stand….and the prosecution rests”).

The mere fact that as you’re reading this, you’re no doubt saying to yourself, “Yep, I could see Serena launching a music video this season” is really all you need to know about the dire state this show is in.

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Check out part 2 of the TVpocalypse Pre-Season Top 25 poll !