Your cold, boring January day is about to get better, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• AUTOMANIMAL! If you're a child of the 80's like I am, you're a massive fan of Glen A. Larson's two epic masterpieces of cheesy television perfection... Automan and Manimal... NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD!
Really cool that these shows are available again. Something tells me that they won't hold up... but that just makes them all the more perfect.
• CLOSED! Macy's has announced that they're closing 40 stores. Our local Macy's isn't on the "close" list... thankfully... but there's two Macy's on the list I'll be sad to have go. Downtown Spokane, which has been open since 1947 (94 people losing their jobs) and Downtown Pittsburgh, which has been open since 1946 (170 people losing their jobs). Shopped at both of them. The Spokane location had an amazing men's department... the Pittsburgh location had a great sports shop... and I will miss them both.
• COLBERT! While I am not a fan of the music that Jon Batiste and Stay Human blast through commercial breaks over at The Late Show, their opening credits song is probably my favorite late-night theme ever. Melodic, playful... beautiful, really... it fit the tone of the show perfectly. As if that wasn't awesome enough, the opening credit visuals by Fernando Livschitz are amazing. Lucky for us, they released a "director's cut" with tons more footage for our viewing pleasure...
• JUSTICE? Well isn't that cute. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is overruling the Supreme Court. Um... yeah... me no think that works like you think it works. How small of a penis do you have to have in order to be waving your gavel around with this kind of delusion of grandeur? I mean, clearly he's compensating for SOMETHING. I dunno. Maybe he's scared to death that marriage equality will be too tempting and he's going to end up marrying the pool boy? The mind boggles.
• POOL! I have to say... this is looking very faithful to the comics...
In many ways, I'm glad that Deadpool is not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is stuck over at 20th Century Fox. That way he gets to be his insane self in a contained environment.
Annnnd... time to go play in the snow.
I'm not a big fan of Adele's music... but I am a seriously huge fan of Adele herself.
Every time she appears on a talk show or gets interviewed, she's so genuinely charming, funny, smart, beautiful, and down-to-earth that you can't help but love her.
And now she's joined James Cordon for an episode of Carpool Karaoke, and it's everything you could ever want...
I really liked her James Bond theme, Skyfall... and there's some tracks on her new album that I do enjoy... so maybe I'm finally coming around to becoming an Adele fan?
Don't shovel that driveway just yet, because Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...
• ALIAS! Much to my relief, Marvel's Jessica Jones is getting a second season on Netflix. The show is more than a little groundbreaking in the superhero genre, and it will be very interesting to see where the showrunners go with such a fascinating and multi-faceted character. And dare we hope to see Patsy Walker, Hellcat next time around?
• ISTANBUL! Kindness to animals is such a noble virtue. I love stories like this...
Cats are a revered animal in Islam, and strays are everywhere in Istanbul, so it's nice to see some of them get shelter from the cold...
• AXE! Finally. A commercial for the rest of us...
Though drenching myself in Axe is not something I see in my immediate future.
• X! Ha! Jimmy Kimmel had a flawless parody of the upcoming The X-Files revival...
Reeeally looking forward to The X-Files when it returns at long last on next Sunday!
• Betty! But before I go... a very happy birthday to Better White!
Still amazing at 94 years old!
Annnnnd... I'm empty.
Turns out MadTV had a handle on the current state of the Republican Party all along.
Not bad for a show airing twenty years ago...
Preach it, sister!
And, seriously, this wasn't written as parody yesterday... it's from nearly twenty years ago...
Darlene McBride really needs to come out of retirement.
Of course, we've already got Mike Huckabee, so she's almost redundant... but still...
Every time Sarah Palin shows her stupid ass in public, I pray that it will be such an epic disaster that it will entice Tina Fey to make a return appearance on Saturday Night Live.
So when Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump came along, which is pretty much the definition of "epic disaster," I was counting the minutes until Saturday.
I was not disappointed...
What's amazing is that Tina Fey didn't really have to embellish the sheer lunacy that is Sarah Palin in order to capture the hilarity of somebody this idiotic being popular enough to endorse a presidential candidate and have people pay attention.
Such is 'Murica.
You haven't struck gold... but you're getting the next best thing, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Boss! One of the funniest things to come out of Saturday Night Live in a while was Undercover Boss: Kylo Ren with Adam Driver reprising his role from Star Wars: The Force Awakens...
And now they've released some behind the scenes clips...
• Vax? So this is what it takes.
• J-Law! I'm obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence... and her appearance on Graham Norton takes it up a notch...
• GHOST! BUSTERS! LEGO Dimensions is the gift that keeps on giving... thanks to new Level Pack releases that take the game in entirely new directions. The latest? Ghostbusters!...
Looks epic. Can't wait until I have time to play it.
• Blake! Nothing quite like "discovering" a new song you like... eight years after it was released...
Apparently Blake Lewis was an American Idol winner. Since I don't watch that show, I never knew he existed until my Amazon Echo played one of his songs a couple days ago.
And... that's a wrap.
The best show on television... most of the time... is no more.
Of COURSE Limitless gets canceled so CBS has room to stink up the airwaves with more idiotic crap that appeals to the lowest possible common denominator. We can't have a show that requires a little thinking and imagination. That just doesn't sell.
So many great shows get shoved by the wayside. I don't know why I even bother.
Fight through that leftover turkey tryptophan food coma... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• More. As a fan of the show Gilmore Girls, I was naturally curious about the Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life. The show kind of lost its way in Season 6, then really lost its way in Season 7 after creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and writing/directing partner Daniel Palladino left the show. But now they (and the entire surviving cast) is back for another go in four 90-minute "films" entitled Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall...
For the most part, I was happy to see all the characters again and felt the stories for all four episodes were solid... even though many of the mistakes I thought were made in Season 6 & 7 were, oddly enough, repeated all over again. As if that weren't enough, we finally got to hear those Four Final Words that Amy Sherman-Palladino had wanted to end the series with all along. And though the words make perfect sense and took the series to a logical place, I had two problems with how things ended. 1) It pretty much begs for more episodes. And 2) I don't know that the words mean as much now when Rory is in her 30's as they would have had they been spoken when she was in her 20's back when the series ended.
All that being said, boy was Edward Herrmann missed as Richard Gilmore. He was always such a big presence in the show, and his death left a huge void. That the Palladinos used this as an exceptional opportunity to move Emily Gilmore's story forward is to their credit.
Here's hoping Netflix will bless us with another series in the future.
• Watching. Speaking of television shows... my favorite show going right now is No Tomorrow...
Girl meets boy. Boy thinks the world is going to get hit by a meteor and be destroyed. Adventures in life ensue. And it's funny to boot. Give it a shot if you have some free time in your television schedule!
• Strange? Doctor Strange has the best "Art of the Movie" book from Marvel yet. So much thought went into the bizarre visuals, and you get a terrific look at how the filmmakers agonized over them. A very cool companion to a very cool movie...
If you're a fan of the film... or even the comic book... this is a book worth checking out.
• LEGO. As if the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie isn't super-awesome enough...
LEGO has just announced that the next series of MiniFigs will come from the film!
Am dying to own them all, but here's the one that I can't live without...
Fairy Princess Batman! Classic!
• Scream. Pretty much the theme song for my life these past weeks...
And... there's your bullets for the week.
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!...
for behold! An all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Groot! There can be no greater news on the internet right now than the new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2...
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn't open until May and I already want to see Guardians of the Galaxy
• Less. Having a mortgage wouldn't be so bad if nothing would ever break down and require expensive repairs. But it does. About every two months. And just when you think everything that has broken down has broken down and been fixed? Along comes something new. Which is why a letter for my lender was cause for excitement...
LETTER: "Congratulations! Your mortgage payment has gone down!"
ME: "No way!"
ME: "NO! WAY!"
LETTER: "YES WAY!"
ME: "Dude, sweet!"
LETTER: "We're deducting $4.15 from your payment starting next month."
ME: "Fuck you, Letter."
• Fixed? I love the HGTV series Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna's design aesthetic and rapport makes for a great show... especially if you're into home renovation like I am. And while I am able to mentally divide my entertainment personality's personal life from their work... it's really tough to watch the show knowing that they attend a church which would happily push conversion therapy on their four kids should any of them be gay. How can you support that?
Even if the Gaines's don't advocate conversion therapy or aren't opposed to marriage equality... they (assumably) financially support a church that does. They are a part of the segment of society persecuting LGBT persons and, more specifically LGBT youth, just for being who they are. And it's this part of our society which is responsible for the toxicity behind the epidemic of suicides among our gay youth. They listen to the idiotic rhetoric of a church like this and think nobody... including God... will accept them as they are and see no way out. No amount of Texas charm or design sense can compensate for that.
• Our Dolphin. Here it is... the first book out of Thrice Fiction Magazine's Thrice Publishing. It is a wonderful, wonderful novella by Joel Allegretti that I'm incredibly proud to have had a small part in unleashing on the world...
Order a copy for your holiday reading list... or order a dozen for gifts that are sure to be appreciated! Click here to get Our Dolphin at Amazon.
• Crazy. I don't know what's more shocking. That Fake Jake pounded into the catio at a full-on sprint across the back yard... or that Real Jake just sat there at the point of impact and watched it happen without even blinking...
Jenny is still scared of Fake Jake's crazy antics... but Jake is all "meh" about it now.
• DST. Global humiliation, domestic devastation, and the threat of nuclear war would all be worth it if President Trump abolishes clock changes and makes Daylight Savings Time permanent this coming Spring. Just sayin'.
Well, I guess that's it for bullets. Probably. I dunno. Maybe in an hour I'll come back and add ten more.
I'm dashing through the snow over the mountains... but fear not, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• No It's Not Equivalent. I swear... it's getting worse every day. Every time I see false equivalency being applied to an issue in the interest of being "fair and balanced," I want to punch somebody in the face. This time it's The Los Angeles Times unleashing this crap when they published letters saying that US internment of its citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II was justified. Clearly there is no "other side" to Japanese internment being totally unjustified and a horrendous blight on humanity (in general) and the USA (specifically). Unless you are a psychotic asshole. And yet here we are. Thanks, L.A. Times... I needed a reminder that psychotic assholes are everywhere!
• New DuckTales! I'd like to say that DuckTales was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid... but it didn't start airing until I was three years graduated high school, so that's not quite true. In any event, it's getting revived with a bit more star power than the original behind the voices...
You can bet I'll be watching. Let's face it, I still act like a kid.
• Sandcastles in the Sand. While I was never a fan of Growing Pains (Kirk Cameron was always a fucking asshole), I was a fan of Alan Thicke's Canadian talk show and his subsequent American talk show, Thicke of the Night. Which is why I was sad to see he had died this week. Later in life, he was cast as himself as often as he played characters, which is a testament to his effect on North American culture. One of my favorites was when he appeared as Robin Sparkles fictional dad in flashback videos of How I Met Your Mother...
You will be missed, sir.
• Emergency! Come Right Away! Another sad passing... Bernard Fox has left us. He'll forever be known as Dr. Bombay on Bewitched...
Here's hoping he's having cocktails with Uncle Arthur in the Great Beyond.
• Animal Welfare? Inhumane, cruel, and horrifying. But nobody will care and nothing will be done because everybody wants their 99¢ McChicken McNuggets...
If people want to eat meat, more power to you. But I can't fathom the person who doesn't care about the pain and suffering of those animals that end up on their plate. The health risks are just icing on the cake.
• Driven! I'd say that winter driving is the worst, but the unprecedented number of assholes on the road makes all driving "the worst." Winter just makes it even worse...
Over the mountains I go...
Annnnd... wish me luck.
Hoping you're having a Happy Christmas if you're into that kind of thing, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Faith. I was saddened to hear that yet another of my pop artist favorites from the 80's had passed away... this time George Michael. As half of the duo WHAM!, and later a solo artist, he had an entire catalog of hits that influenced a generation of musical artists and pop culture at large...
Rest in peace, sir. Your music will live on and on.
• LIVE FROM NEW YORK! I've watched this behind-the-scenes video three times now. Absolutely fascinating how Saturday Night Live can time things down to the wire like this on a live show...
I wish SNL would release more of these. Sometimes, they would be more entertaining than the actual show.
• BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR! This is epic...
This guy should totally do audio books.
• IT'S NOT MINE! For those who think I'm paranoid for having two complete camera security systems at my house... I give you this IMGUR thread about a guy who found that somebody was living in his home while he was at work. Holy. Crap.
• The 1947. I always love behind-the-scenes videos of manufacturing processes and this one from my favorite ball-cap manufacturer, '47 Brand, is pretty slick...
A lot of work goes into creating a great cap!
• The 1975. And now, for the best Christmas present of all, here's The 1975's full concert from The O2 in London. Don't know how long they'll keep it posted, so enjoy it while it lasts...
Amazing. And the only contender for my favorite album of 2016.
Here's ho ho hoping Santa treats you kindly tonight.
And now is that special entry where I wrap up MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS OF 2016!
Which was kinda difficult to narrow down because alternate programming from studios like Netflix and HBO are changing the game.
THE TWELVE BEST...
#1 No Tomorrow (The CW)
Girl falls for boy. Boy believes the world ends in eight months. They learn to live like there's no tomorrow while falling in love. Easily my favorite show currently on television, it's not just the central romance that's worth watching. The secondary characters are all fully-realized and equally interesting.
#2 Luke Cage (Netflix)
Sweet Christmas! After the genius of Netflix's take on Marvel's Daredevil and Jessica Jones, I was expecting that Luke Cage would be good. But not this good! It's just so wonderfully fresh and different... largely in part to the strong presence of its Harlem location and a jazz-appropriate soundtrack. And don't get me started on the flawless casting... Mike Colter IS Luke Cage! Adding Alfre Woodard to the mix is just gravy.
#3 Stranger Things (Netflix)
I ignored this show when it first appeared... until everybody and their dog started telling me I should watch it. The fact that it's so 80's nostalgia perfect would be reason enough for me to love it, but the story is actually pretty darn entertaining... kind of a cross between ET and The Goonies with spooky overtones. How the Duffer Brothers managed to get a team of young actors this good is almost a bigger mystery than the show. Then they added Winona Rider, which is all you really need to know.
#4 The Good Place (NBC)
I fully admit that I did not warm to this show quickly. But I stuck with it because Kristen Bell is a national treasure and everything she does is entertaining. Then the show found its footing and I fell in love with it. The humor of Kristen Bell's character ending up in "heaven" when she really should have gone to "hell" is fluid... almost ethereal in spots... but then it turns a corner and it's punching you in the face. And that's what makes the show so special. No show made me laugh in 2016 more than this one.
#5 Atlanta (FX)
Is there nothing that Donald Glover can't do? I didn't really understand what the show was about, but tuned in just to see what Glover was up to (he was half of my favorite thing in Community). So glad I did. Atlanta is seriously good television that has some of the most amazing, depth-filled characters you'll find. It's got humor to it, but it's a stabbing kind of funny that doesn't detract from the story. If you haven't given the show a try, just watch that first episode and try not to get hooked.
#6 Westworld (HBO)
When I found out that Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris were attached to HBO's Westworld remake, I was intrigued. Actors of this caliber do not tend to gravitate towards shit. Then I saw that other terrific talents such as Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Tessa Thompson were onboard as well. What was going on here? I had to know. Turns out that HBO got a fantastic, mind-bending, thought-provoking story that is worth watching. Beautifully shot and having true depth to it, Westworld opens the discussion about whether man can be destroyed by his own creation... and whether that's actually a bad thing. But then adds enough twists to insure you'll never quite know the answer.
#7 Black Mirror (Netflix)
Kind of a Twilight Zone for a modern era, Black Mirror is a collection of thought-provoking stories of the near-future. If you take my advice to watch, I have a suggestion. Start with Episode 2 of Season 1 (skipping Episode 1), watch the remainder of Season 1, THEN watch that first episode before proceeding to Season 2. The reason is that the first episode is so freaky and "out there" that you will probably get the wrong idea of what the show is capable of. But once you've seen the other episodes, you'll be able to appreciate the first one for what it is in the grand scheme of things.
#8 The Night Manager (AMC)
A John le Carré adaptation that is firing on all cylinders. If you're into spy thrillers, this is a mini-series that's worth a look.
#9 The Crown (Netflix)
As a royalphile who's fascinated by the British Royal Family, I often find myself watching documentaries and series that are informative but boring. This is something different entirely. Following the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown is a beautiful mini series that will be broken down into six series of ten episodes each. If successive seasons are as terrific as this one, I'm set for the next five years.
#10 Lucifer (FOX)
I'd call this show a guilty pleasure," but I'm not feeling much guilt for being a fan. Especially with this latest season where "Mom" comes to town, which has been some of the best fun you can have with a television show.
#11 The Americans (FX)
This is a show that flows in and out of my "Best Of..." list, but is consistently great television and is always worth watching. The opening of Season 4 this year blew the roof off the show (again) and upped the intensity to a whole new level. Given its complexity, I don't know that I would advise jumping in the middle... you really need to start at the beginning... but it's such a great show that you'll be glad you did.
#12 London Spy (BBC America)
And now for something completely different! When Danny has a random encounter with Alex, it's love at first sight. But then things start to go terribly wrong when Alex turns up dead and it's revealed that he wasn't who he claimed to be. This plunges Danny into a rabbit hole of espionage as he tries to find out the truth about what's happened. The resulting story is a slow-burn thriller that is entertaining despite its flaws (of which there are many). In the end I don't know that the show was particularly great, but it was memorable in a way most shows in this genre are not. This is most likely due to the haunting talents of Ben Whishaw.
FIVE MORE WORTH WATCHING...
As a fan on the comic book of the same name, I didn't have much confidence that Seth Rogan would do it justice as a television show. He was the one who screwed up The Green Hornet, after all. So imagine my surprise when the adaptation turned out to be pretty darn good! Dominic Cooper has a handle on Jesse Custer, which was essential... but Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga as Cassidy and Tulip O'Hare is what pushes the show to the next level. Disturbingly funny with just enough horror to keep things interesting, Preacher should appeal to even non-fans of the book.
Spoofing the epic shit-show that Lost turned out to be seems like it would be an easy chore. In reality... not so much. But then comes along Wrecked, a comedy centered around a group of plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island... and it kinda works. By no means a "smart" comedy, it relies on easy laughs and situations that are far from brilliant, but the characters manage to make it worth watching. Especially Todd (Will Greenberg) whose selfish and eccentric nature are gold.
Game of Thrones (HBO)
This past year is kind of wearing me out on the whole show, but it's still incredibly compelling television. Apparently it wraps up in two more seasons, which will be a welcome alternative to things being drawn out to tedium, but it's anybody's guess as to whether we're going to get a satisfying conclusion. Will it all be worth it in the end? The series of books are still far, far from being finished, so we're heading into unknown territory.
This modern take on Sherlock Holmes is still going strong. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu still have amazing chemistry. The mysteries are still well-written. And, if anything, this latest season has been one of the best yet... stripping away distraction to focus on what makes the series so good. Could have easily made my top-twelve if there wasn't so much excellent fresh programming being released.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America)
To be honest, I'm not sure if I liked this series or not. It's quite different from the Douglas Adams books, and not always in a good way. Still, it's bizarre, fresh, and overall interesting enough that I'm glad I watched it. And it was rather smart how it all came together at the end, which is always a good thing. If "regular" television is boring you, this might be the ticket.
ANIMATION WORTH YOUR TIME...
The show that never disappoints. The fact that we only get three more seasons before Adam Reed packs it in is terrifying.
Hands down the most bizarre mix of comedy and tragedy you will ever see, the third season of BoJack was its most ambitious yet.
CANCELLED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN...
My favorite show from last year started the second half of its first season strong. Indeed, Stop Me Before I Hug Again (airing in January) is one of the best episodes of the entire series. But then things went terribly, inexplicably wrong. A trip to Russia started a spy arc that disappointed. We got more of Brian's stupid, stupid family. And then the writers lost their minds completely when they had NZT (or a knockoff of it) go public in the last two shows. How in the hell they planned on recovering from that serious misstep we will never know, because CBS performed a mercy killing and cancelled it. From how things ended up, I'm not sure this was a bad move... but I will still miss the show. When it was good, it was the best thing on television.
MY MOST OVERRATED...
The OA (Netflix)
Holy shit what a disaster. After a non-stop barrage of people telling me to watch, I finally relented. And hated most everything about it. From the plodding, never-ending boredom that stretches out over eight long, grueling episodes (seriously, they could have done this in three) to the wacky interpretive-dance insanity that injects itself into the tedium, I slogged through every episode while wishing death would take me. Any time I complained about the show, people were telling me "you just don't understand its genius" which is code for "don't question this incomprehensible bullshit." Yeah, I get what they were attempting to do... and kudos for trying to put an original spin on a show that was far better (Stranger Things), but no thanks.
A critical darling that is firmly cemented in the top five of most every critic in the known universe, I just could not get into this show. I don't like any of the characters and didn't find the humor to be all that entertaining.
This is Us (NBC)
There is nobody I know who isn't head over heels in love with this show. I just don't get the appeal.
South Park (Comedy Central)
A show that's been on my "Best Of..." list since I've been making "Best Of..." lists completely shit the bed this year. Rather than concentrate the funny on individual episodes, this year we got an inexplicably crappy multi-part epic centering around internet trolling, Denmark, and the presidential election. Of course there were funny moments (this is South Park, after all), but this entire season has been a horrific disaster that never seemed to crawl out of the wreckage.
What a total and complete pile of shit. The original show was a romp of ingenuity that was held together by the charms of Richard Dean Anderson. The revamp is a dumbed-down wankfest headed by a character so unlikeable that I can't fathom how I am expected to root for him. On the contrary, I spent the entire show hoping MacGyver would die so the supporting cast could be the focus.
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (ABC)
After bitching endlessly about how unremarkable and dull this show is when it has potential to be slaying week after week, I was given renewed hope when it was announced that Ghost Rider would be making an appearance this season. Didn't help. Still mired in talking-heads-we-have-no-budget-for-what-counts tedium that has me racing to fast-forward through the bulk of each episode. Just give it up already. I'd rather have Coulson back in the movies where he was far better utilized.