Sunday, January 11, 2015

TV 2014: Disappointments

Follow-up from last year's post: the biggie from last year was Agents of SHIELD.  I was indeed very disappointed in it and might have stopped watching if not for the fact that after the episode that followed up the events in Captain America Winter Soldier, the show suddenly got pretty good.  It's still not as good as I had initially hoped, but it's not something I dread watching.

Also, my note about Downtown Abbey from last year made me giggle a bit because after seeing The Guest, I am All About Dan Stevens.

American Horror Story: Coven and Freak Show
I initially listed this as just Freak Show, but it's really Coven that was the big disappointment.  I gave up on Freak Show a few episodes ago and don't plan to go back, but I was kind of meh on it from the beginning of the season.  But Coven!  OMG.  Witches and magic and glorious wonders!  It started out pretty good and then just sort of fell apart somewhere.  Ah, well, we'll always have season 2, Asylum. 

I so wanted to like Gotham.  I love the Batman universe and I love comic book shows.  Plus, Donal Logue?  YES, please.  And I think if the show had adhered to the original intent, which was to focus on the Gotham PD and a young James Gordon, it would have been better.  Instead, they insisted on adding in yet another origin story for Bruce Wayne, which was unnecessary.  We know that this show will NEVER be able to actually portray a grownup Bruce Wayne as Batman, so why even have him as a character?  And some of the writing and acting was just truly atrocious.  Boo.

New Girl 
I was a huge 'shipper of Jess and Nick.  When they got together, it added a new dimension to the characters and to the show.  And when they broke up, I understood why it happened.  I have no issues with the fact that the characters didn't stay a romantic couple.  However, the reasoning behind Jess breaking up with Nick is why I can't watch the show anymore.  In reconciling the differences between the characters, it became clear that Jess was always going to be the adult who would try to compromise and not try to change Nick to fit her standards.  But Nick was always going to be the man-child who would never compromise and would just always be a man-child who expected Jess to adjust to him but would never reciprocate.  And that made me not like Nick anymore.  Which devastates me because I LOVED him so much.  I don't object to him being a silly man-child.  I object to him never trying to actually be something more, ever.

The Strain
I was so into this show when it started.  I loved the books and felt it had a good shot at translating well to being dramatized.  But there were quite a few mis-steps in the casting and writing departments.  Mostly in the casting of Ephraim and Nora.  I quite like Corey Stoll, but somehow he just did not click as Eph.  Either he wasn't right for the part or the writing did him no favors, I'm not sure which.  And Nora.  UGH.  The actress was terrible and it just kept getting worse.  And her damn mother, ugh.  I had to stop watching and doubt I'll ever go back to it.

TV 2014: Odds and Ends

Boardwalk Empire
The Colbert Report
Sons of Anarchy

Almost Human
Utopia (UK)
The Wil Wheaton Project
Witches of East End

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Being Mary Jane
Black Jesus
The Blacklist
The Bridge
Hemlock Grove
The League
The Lottery
Murder in the First
New Girl
Sons of Anarchy
The Strain
The Tomorrow People
Trophy Wife
The Vampire Diaries

TV 2014: Favorite Shows

Okay, this is not a top 10.  I could cull it down, but why bother?  These were my favorite shows last year (in alphabetical order).  If I had to choose a number one, it would most definitely be Hannibal.

The 100
The Americans
Boardwalk Empire
Broad City
Getting On 
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Penny Dreadful
Please Like Me
Review with Forrest MacNeill
Rick and Morty
You're the Worst

TV shows watched in 2014

24: Live Another Day (limited series)
The 100
The Affair
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Almost Human
American Horror Story
The Americans
Bates Motel
Black Jesus (3 episodes watched)
Blackish (2.5 episodes watched)
The Blacklist
Boardwalk Empire
Bob's Burgers
BoJack Horseman
Broad City
Broadchurch (UK)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Colbert Report
The Comeback
Constantine (2 episodes watched)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Dominion (2 episodes watched)
Downton Abbey
Dr. Who
Drunk History
The Eric Andre Show
Extant (1.5 episodes watched)
The Fall
The Flash
Game of Thrones
Garfunkel and Oates
Getting On 
The Good Wife
Gotham (3 episodes watched)
House of Cards
How to Get Away With Murder 
In the Flesh
Inside Amy Schumer
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Key and Peele
The Knick
Kroll Show
The League
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Leftovers 
The Lottery (1.25 episodes watched)
Mad Men
Manhattan (5 episodes watched)
Masters of Sex
The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail 
The Mindy Project
Moone Boy
Murder in the First (2 episodes watched)
Nathan for You
New Girl
Orange is the New Black
The Originals
Orphan Black
Parks and Recreation
Penny Dreadful
Playing House
Please Like Me
Review with Forrest MacNeill
Rick and Morty
RuPaul's Drag Race
Salem (2.5 episodes watched)
Selfie (1.5 episodes watched)
Silicon Valley
Sleepy Hollow
Sons of Anarchy
The Soup
South Park
The Spoils of Babylon (mini-series)
The Strain
Surviving Jack
Teen Wolf
The Eric Andre Show
The Tomorrow People
Trophy Wife
True Detective
Utopia (UK)
The Vampire Diaries
The Walking Dead
The Wil Wheaton Project
Witches of East End
You're the Worst

Friday, January 2, 2015

TV shows I caught up on in 2014

Adventure Time (season 1-4)
Black Mirror (series 1-2)
Drunk History (season 1)
Getting On (season 1)
House of Cards (season 1)
Kroll Show (Season 1)
Moone Boy (season 1)
My Mad Fat Diary (series 1-2)
Nathan For You (season 1)
Please Like Me (season 1)
The In-Betweeners (series 1, ep. 1-3)
The Peter Serafinowicz Show
The Returned (season 1)
The Walking Dead (season 1 rewatch)
The Walking Dead (season 2-4)
Utopia (series 1)
Vikings (season 1-2)

Started watching, carrying over into 2015:
Adventure Time (season 5)
Gravity Falls (season 1)
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (series 1)
The Mighty Boosh (series 1)
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (season 5)

Re-watching, carrying over into 2015:
Animaniacs (season 1)
Broad City (season 1)

Movies 2014

I only watched 52 movies this year (including a few re-watches and comedy specials).  Movies in bold with asterisks are the ones I saw in the theater.  I actually saw one more movie in the theaters than last year!

5 stars:
The Guest
*John Wick

4 1/2 stars:
Obvious Child

4 stars:
28 Hotel Rooms
Attack the Block
*Captain America: The Winter Soldier
*The Lego Movie
The One I Love
We Are What We Are

3 1/2 stars:
Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive
The Babadook
Bo Burnham: What
Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats
The Conjuring
Evil Dead
*Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Insidious: Chapter 2
John Mulaney: New in Town
Maniac (2012)   
Nick Offerman: American Ham
*Veronica Mars
*X-Men: Days of Future Past

3 stars:
Blue Ruin
From Beyond
Good Hair
Jasper Redd: Jazz Talk
The Loved Ones
Monkey Shines
MST3K: Touch of Satan
Ninja 2
The Pact
The Poughkeepsie Tapes

2 1/2 stars:
The Crush
The Hunger Games
Let's Scare Jessica to Death

2 stars:
Frances Ha

American Psycho
Cannibal: The Musical
Frozen (re-watched twice)
Friday the 13th
The Incredibles

Book Read 2014

I read 99 books this year.  4 were re-reads. 

Bad Feminist / Roxane Gay
Best Served Cold / Joe Abercrombie
The First Law series: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings / Joe Abercrombie
Bossypants / Tina Fey
City of Heavenly Fire / Cassandra Clare
City of Lost Souls / Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel / Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince / Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess / Cassandra Clare
Cloud Atlas / David Mitchell
The Demon's Covenant / Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon's Lexicon / Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon's Surrender / Sarah Rees Brennan
The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit / Graham Joyce
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club / Genevieve Valentine
Great / Sara Benincasa
Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) / Mindy Kaling
Not My Father's Son / Alan Cumming
Oryx and Crake / Margaret Atwood
Some Kind of Fairy Tale / Graham Joyce
Unmade / Sarah Rees Brennan
Unspoken / Sarah Rees Brennan
Untold / Sarah Rees Brennan
Yes Please / Amy Poehler

Bird Box / Josh Malerman (interesting premise, not well-executed)
California / Edan Lepucki (after all the buzz from my side piece Stephen Colbert, I had high hopes, but this one was just...meh)
Hannibal / Thomas Harris (THE WORST)
The Walking Dead, book one / Robert Kirkman (I'll stick to the show, thankyouverymuch)

The Rest:
A Clash of Kings / George R.R. Martin (re-read)
An Untamed State / Roxane Gay
Attachments / Rainbow Rowell
Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies / Chris Kluwe
Better Nate Than Ever / Tim Federle
Broken Monsters / Lauren Beukes
Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations / Jeffrey Brown
Catwoman: Relentless / Ed Brubaker
Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street / Ed Brubaker
Catwoman: Wild Ride / Ed Brubaker
Chew, vol. 1 / John Layman (re-read)
Chew, vol. 2 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 3 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 4 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 5 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 6 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 7 / John Layman
Chew, vol. 8 / John Layman
Claymore, vol. 1 / Norihiro Yagi
Claymore, vol. 2 / Norihiro Yagi
Claymore, vol. 3 / Norihiro Yagi
Claymore, vol. 4 / Norihiro Yagi
Contagious / Scott Sigler (re-read)
Dangerous Creatures / Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Drop dead healthy: one man's humble quest for bodily perfection / A.J. Jacobs
Egghead / Bo Burnham
Eleanor and Park / Rainbow Rowell
Fear Itself / Matt Fraction
Flora and Ulysses / Kate DiCamillo
Habibi / Craig Thompson
How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You / Matthew Inman
I Knead My Mommy: and other poems by kittens / Franceso Marciuliano
Infected / Scott Sigler (re-read)
Is it you, me, or adult A.D.D.? : stopping the roller coaster when someone you love has attention deficit disorder / Gina Pera
Lady Oracle / Margaret Atwood
Landline / Rainbow Rowell
Last Seen Leaving / Kelly Braffet
Lock In / John Scalzi
Locke and Key, vol. 6 / Joe Hill
Love Me Back / Merritt Tierce
Marbles / Ellen Forney
Mayhem / Sarah Pinborough
Men Explain Things to Me / Rebecca Solnit
Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. / Rob Delaney
Mothers who can't love: a healing guide for daughters / Susan Forward
Mr. Mercedes / Stephen King
My Age of Anxiety / Scott Stossel
My Dog: the Paradox / Matthew Inman
Pandemic / Scott Sigler
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1 / Kelly Sue DeConnick
Saga, vol. 1 / Brian K. Vaughan
Saga, vol. 2 / Brian K. Vaughan
Saga, vol. 3 / Brian K. Vaughan
She-Hulk, vol. 1 / Dan Slott
She-Hulk, vol. 2: Superhuman Law / Dan Slott
Skin Game / Jim Butcher
The Giver / Lois Lowry
The Killer Next Door / Alex Marwood
The Leftovers / Tom Perrotta
The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness / Michelle Alexander
The Power of No / James Altucher
The Shining Girls / Lauren Beukes
The Silent Wife / A.S.A. Harrison
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry / Gabrielle Zevin
This is Water / David Foster Wallace
Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done / Stephan Pastis
Timmy Failure: We Meet Again / Stephan Pastis
We Were Liars / E. Lockhart
Why We Broke Up / Daniel Handler