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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ranking The 10 Most Anticipated New Shows of the Fall 2016 Season

1) Atlanta (FX)
Created By: Donald Glover
Starring: Donald Glover, Lakeith Stanfield, & Brian Tyree Henry
Premiere Date: September 6

Brief Description: For the longest time, people have been championing for diversity in Hollywood. Atlanta is what happens when those championing voices get heard. What the people really want is for different voices to be heard; we want to see a different perspective on things. Donald Glover and Atlanta deliver on those expectations. The show, created by a black man, starring almost exclusively black actors, and directed by a newcomer Asian-American, gives us a unique and engaging experience into a world that has not been heavily explored. While the plot of the show is about Earn (Glover) helping his cousin Paper Boi (Henry) make it in the rap game to get them both rich (mainly Glover's character), in its execution, Atlanta is just an excuse to bring character together so we the audience can get a peak into their lives. Donald Glover has always been a gifted storyteller, whether its in his stand-up or in his songs, and he gets to share those gifts with us again in Atlanta.

2) Speechless (ABC)
Created By: Scott Silveri
Starring: Minnie Driver, Cedric Yarbrough, & Micah Fowler
Premiere Date: September 21

Brief Description: As with Atlanta, Speechless proves what joy can come with diversity. For a while, network sitcoms became stale. It was basically a Michael Schur production or GTFO. But thanks to ABC and some different perspectives, sitcoms are back. Thanks to Black-ish and Fresh Off The Boat, traditional sitcoms become both funny and entertaining again. While both shows used tired sitcom tropes, they don't feel tired as we're seeing these tropes through a new lens. The same holds true for Speechless. In the ABC comedy, we have the same comedy family we've seen before- mother, father, and three kids (two boys and one girl). The "hook" in Speechless is that the eldest J.J. (Fowler) is wheelchair bound and needs an aide (Yarbrough) to speak for him. This premise (along with Driver and Yarbrough) turns the traditional sitcom on its head. Plus, it's really funny.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

6 Great Shows That Had The Revolution Pass Them By

Television right now is in a vastly different space than it was when the 1990’s ended. Thanks to shows like Oz and The Sopranos on HBO to House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, T.V. has gone through a drastic revolution. The Golden Age of Television and the spark and cause of this revolution is detailed in the incredible book The Revolution Was Televised by’s TV critic Alan Sepinwall. I recently wrote about the shows responsible for television’s second revolution in this current Silver Age of Television. However, during the past 16-20 years or so, television has given us some incredible shows that haven’t risen to the level of transcendent. Mr. Sepinwall discusses shows like Lost, The Shield, and Deadwood and I discussed shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective. Shows that are both incredible on their own and helped define a generation of programs. But in a tier underneath those programs are a handful of shows that are excellent in their own right, but didn’t quite rise to the level of revolutionary. These are the shows that we would be speaking more about if it weren’t for the Golden and Silver Age shows. These shows deserve a lot more respect than they’ve gotten so far, and I’m going to give them their just due.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Lobster Movie Review

What’s worse: to die of cold and hunger in the woods, to become an animal that will be killed and eaten by some bigger animal, or to have a nosebleed from time to time?”

This is a question posed by The Limping Man, played by Ben Winshaw, to the main protagonist David, played by Colin Ferrell in the Indie film The Lobster. The film itself, written and directed by Greek film maker Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth), is an odd, satirical take on relationships, and is summed up perfectly by the question posed by The Limping Man. It’s weird, it doesn’t quite make sense, yet it’s truthful to how we should view courtship and love.

In the film, all adults must be in a committed relationship, and if you’re not, you are sent to a hotel where you have 45 days to find a mate. If you fail to do so, you get turned into an animal of your choice. Some people refuse this model, and live as loners in the woods, only to be hunted by the people in the hotel in an attempt to earn extra days staying at the hotel. Desperate to find a mate, The Limping Man gives himself nosebleeds in order to connect to a young woman who naturally gets nosebleeds often. Based upon this physical attribute, the two are set up as a match to be paired together forever. When questioned about his lie by David, The Limping Man gives the aforementioned response.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Where Did All Of The Quarterbacks Go?

On August 4, 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent Nick Foles, a player who has proved that his incredible, Pro Bowl worthy 2013 season was a fluke more than talent. Foles signing came in an off season where the New York Jets tried to play chicken (and lost) with Ryan Fitzpatrick, and saw the much maligned Cleveland Browns sign first-round flame out Robert Griffin the Third to be their starter. In an era where it’s easier than ever to complete a pass in the NFL, we seemingly cannot find 32 competent men who are up to the task.

While there has always been bad quarterback play in the NFL, now more than ever seems to highlight the notion that if you don’t like the quarterback you have now, you’re screwed. We used to live in a time where if you didn’t like your quarterback, then you could trade for a team’s back up. The Seattle Seahawks had great success with Matt Hasselbeck who was the back up for the legendary Brett Farve- a man who himself was traded from the Atlanta Falcons. Speaking of the ATL, they not too long ago traded away their back up Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans. Growing up in Chicago, myself and fellow Bears fans used to hold the back-up quarterback in high regard- sometimes higher than the starter. Bears fans used to be so devoid of QB hope that we loved it when 31-year-old Brian Griese came to play in 2006 to be our back-up.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why Are We Ruining National Treasure Christoph Waltz?

The opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 masterpiece Inglorious Basterds is a thing of beauty. In it, a local French farmer played by Denis Menochet is having a conversation with a high ranking Nazi who we later has earned the nickname “The Jew Hunter”. The conversation and scene clocks in at almost 30 minutes, yet it flies by as the farmer and the Nazi are having such an intense and engaging conversation. The Jew Hunter is charismatic and charming and the life of the scene. While the Farmer always keeps his guards up, the audience get sucked in. Despite his name, he doesn’t seem like he’s that bad. He seems like an everyday bloke just trying to do his job. He could be wrong about his mission, but he needs to investigate anyways. Then the scene turns. Not only does the audience later figure out the Farmer is hiding a family of Jewish people under his floorboards, but The Jew Hunter knows this as well. He gets the Farmer to admit his “crimes” and eventually orders his men to kill the entire family. One of the daughters, Shoshanna, escapes, and The Jew Hunter points his gun at her back and she runs away- carefully following his prey. Then… he gives up. He admits defeat and walks away.

And this is how America was introduced to the great Christoph Waltz.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Amazing Netflix Originals to Watch Right Now

This post was written by guest writer Cassie from

There is no need to watch television on television anymore because of the advent of Netflix. On top of that, standard shows aren’t the only option for viewers anymore because Netflix has so many outstanding originals to watch. Today, I would like to highlight five of the best that you hopefully haven’t missed.

1) Sense8
Created By: Lilly Wachowski

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: One of the best science fiction shows you will find on Netflix is Sense8. There is only one season out right now, but it’s well worth your time. This show features an ensemble cast and it follows eight different characters of different cultures. All of these characters are complete strangers to one another, but they eventually realize that they are not strangers at all. After they have a vision of the violent death of a woman, they come to the realization that they are “sensates.” Basically, they are all mentally and emotionally connected to each other. Sense8 probably knows some of the events are completely illogical. However, the beauty of this Netflix original is watching the all of the character arcs intersect. A new season is on the horizon, so now is a great time to catch up.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

10 "Quick" Reactions to the 2016 Emmy Nominations

1)  I completely understand that in Peak TV, the Emmy voters are going to leave off some obvious choices just because there’s not enough hours in the day to see everything that’s great. But at the same time, now is the perfect time to jump ship on the old shows floundering and let the new ones roll over you like a calm, sunny day. Shows like Homeland, House of Cards, and Downton Abbey are well past their prime, yet are beloved by the Emmy voters. Every year Emmy voters vote on what they did before and not necessarily on the quality of the individual season in front of them, and every year we get upset. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves.

2) Unfortunately, little room for newcomers meant a shut out for an incredible show like The Leftovers. Justin Theroux was always a dark horse to get a Best Lead Actor nomination, which was always a shame, but there was also no love for Carrie Coon, Regina King, or Kevin Carrol. And even though the show was clearly one of the 7 best dramas according to all TV critics, the show couldn’t beat out other shows about old British people and a CIA agent with a mental disorder.