Written by: Jamie Marich
As a life-long skating fan who once dabbled in the sport myself (i.e., I
skated, competed, but came nowhere near the quality you see on TV),
watching Olympic figure skating is my ultimate TV viewing experience.
Every four years since the ’88 Calgary Games, I halt my life as much as I
can to devour the coverage. This Olympics, Team Figure Skating debuted. A
separate competition before the traditionally held “main events” in the
four figure skating disciplines, the Team Competition had the top ten
countries from last year’s world championships put forward one man, one
lady, one pair team, and one dance team. All ten teams had a chance to skate a
short program; the top 5 made the cut to the final round getting to skate
a long program. One could argue it was created for television, since
viewership generally demands more figure skating during a winter games.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association seems to be little more than a running joke for many TV/Film critics and pop culture aficionados even compared to other award ceremonies. I certainly understand the inherent flaws in awards shows. As I said in my recent Top Ten TV Shows of 2013 List, overly simplified ranking is arbitrary and cheap for the quality of art and entertainment such exercises aim to celebrate, and it is always, at the very least, wildly incomplete. The Golden Globes is a particularly strange and fickle beast, even compared to flawed bedfellows like the Oscars and Emmys. (Don’t even get started on Daytime Desi Awards, amirite, right AD fans?) But that unpredictable, often impeachable nature also makes the Golden Globes a lot of fun. And every now and again, HFPA will go out on a limb to recognize something that other awards will not.
Advances, Diversity & Abundance: Was 2013 the most significant year in TV history?
[Mostly spoiler-free, but there are some regrettable food metaphors]
Television in 2013 delivered a remarkable amount of emotionally charged goodbyes and a new level of shared cultural experiences. In June, we collectively mourned the passing of James Gandolfini, the godfather of the “golden age”, whose doughy eyes highlighted what was quite literally the face of a new, artistically bountiful era in television. A few weeks later, we were hit with the devastating news of Glee star, Corey Monteith’s untimely death. In August, we gathered again, but this time for a much more welcomed farewell party: a weekly hangout predominately virtual in attendance, but historic in proportion and fevered in pitch, to celebrate the final stretch of Breaking Bad. Our collective blood pressure spiked Sunday night after Sunday night as we managed to catch just enough breath to devour master-chef Walter White’s final offerings. As usual, his product did not disappoint.
I’m on the road tonight, quite literally sleepless in Des Moines at 1:15am. I often travel for work and when I do, I typically let the DVR collect the shows that I’ve missed while away and my husband and I cuddle on the couch and catch up. It’s become unusual that I watch one of our shows without him, but I knew that I had to watch tonight’s Season 6 finale of Sons of Anarchy from the hotel. Something in me said there would be such a powerful buzz that I simply couldn’t avoid on Facebook, and sure enough, my instincts were right…
I think my husband’s going to have an orgasm every time he talks about Breaking Bad. Hell, just about every man in my life seems like he’s going to jizz as he waxes on about the ballad of Walter White. My husband Dave, my primary TV watching partner, venerates Breaking Bad the way that I speak about the Broadway musical Les Miserables…with total and complete reverence. In his opinion, the meth-fueled drama is the best thing ever made for television, yes maybe even the best thing since sliced bread itself.
There’s a saying in mainstream addiction treatment that expectations are planned resentments. What I expected with the Cory Monteith tribute (episode 5.3) was to feel the same way that I did after watching the episode “Funeral” (21) in Season 2. In that episode, which in my view was one of the finest hours of TV, Sue Sylvester’s beloved sister Jean passes away. Kurt and Finn reach out to plan a beautiful ceremony for Jean that melts the hardened Sue, and we catch a glimpse into her humanity that is so deeply moving. I was a wreck for about three days after watching “Funeral,” and I was expecting the Monteith tribute episode to have a similar effect on my overly sensitive psyche. Instead, I found myself wanting more. As a fan of Finn’s character and as a recovering person myself deeply shaken by Monteith’s death, I had my case of tissues on the ready. Of course I cried during the episode, but I found that with everything that brought me to tears, they were not the sobs that are usual for me when watching profoundly deep television. My tears offered a
perfect metaphor for my feeling on the episode—it went far, but for me, not far enough.
I have a confession to make…I am obsessed with Carrie Mathison. I am losing sleep, the wheels in my head won’t stop turning about what will come of her in Season 3 of the Showtime hit Homeland. The hopeless romantic in me can’t stop hoping and wishing that she and Nick Brody will enjoy a passionate, sex-charged reunion by the season’s end. My mouth, after all, is still drooling from their amazing love scenes in Seasons 1 and 2, no doubt the best chemistry that I’ve ever witnessed on the big or small screens (major kudos in order to Claire Danes and Damian Lewis). As a romantic comedy and melodrama junkie, a connoisseur of fantastical chemistry, I do not make this statement lightly. The two of them are downright hot! My husband chuckles at my obsession. “It’s just a TV show, Jamie,” he reminds me, as does with many of the stellar dramas that we enjoy together in the coziness of our Ohio living room. But then again, he’s convinced that Brody is guilty of the CIA bombing and I, like my heroine Ms. Mathison, refuse to believe it. Maybe I’m just as hopelessly in love as she?
Greg DeLiso is the co-creator and director of the forthcoming film, Hectic Knife. Information on his other projects, including the excellent web series, Fake Henrik Zetterberg, can be found at the website for his company, Munrovia Pictures. Greg also writes about movies at Smug Film. He has agreed to join me for an interview.
by Kyle Trembley, Senior Editor at www.welovetvmore.com
Warning:This article contains spoilers for season one of ‘Hannibal’.
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”
Television has gone through an extraordinary transformation in the last fifteen years both in terms of quality and perception. What was once the ugly stepchild of cinema has rightfully become a proud pastime. And while this revolution has been well-documented elsewhere, many people are just beginning to take note. For those who haven’t immersed themselves in the viewing binges, weekly appointments, or social media chatter, jumping in can be daunting. Upon the request of a few friends, I’ve assembled a list of what I feel are the twenty-five best shows of these last fifteen years – and a hell of a start for would-be watchers.