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Fall 2011 Television Report Card: Returning Shows

Hello! As promised, I am still here to bring you the Report Card for this Fall 2011 Television season. It’s not an easy task, watching all this TV, but someone’s got to do it. No, I’m kidding, I do this because I want to give more meaning to spending hours and hours of vegging out in front of the television and devouring more TV shows than your average network executive. 😉

We have reached November and the sweeps have officially begun. Some shows have even had their Fall finales, and some networks have released their mid-season schedule (No Community, NBC?? WTF?). Anyway, as infuriating as NBC’s decision to bench Community can be, I still have to make good on my promise to report to you how our returning Fall shows are faring this season. So without further ado, let’s just take a look at our Fall 2011 television season so far and see how they’re doing so far. Is this a great TV season, or is it the worst in years? Let’s take a look, shall we?

SUNDAYS:

Truthfully, the only returning show that I still watch on Sundays is HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. I don’t watch The Good Wife (please don’t make me explain why again, I’ve done it so many times in this blog), I have given up hope on Dexter after the disappointing season 4 and I don’t watch The Walking Dead (serious zombies are not my thing. I prefer my zombies hilarious, a la Zombieland and Shaun of The Dead). And I’m so not into How To Make It In America (which is basically Entourage, with a smaller budget). Which means I’m going to have to compare Boardwalk Empire with last season to be able to judge it fairly. And so far, this season is not much of an improvement. I love that we get more Richard Harrow, Rothstein, Capone and Chalky White – who are all great characters played by amazing actors, but I think the show could benefit from some character developments. Last season the female characters suffer from lack of developments, and this season, it seems the writers don’t really know what they want to do with Jimmy Darmody, which is a shame since Michael Pitt is definitely a great actor who can deliver perfection every week. Now that the season’s inching closer to the end and the stakes are raised, I’m hoping they’ll finally get it together and give us a truly satisfying finale that will make us forget about the frustrating early episodes.

Sunday Night Grade:

Boardwalk Empire: B- (It definitely got better midway through, and Richard Harrow alone made the show deserving of this grade)

MONDAYS:

Like I said in my previous post, Monday night is definitely a pretty crowded night of television for me, so if a show is lacking in quality on a night like this, I usually give it up pretty quickly (goodbye, Hawaii Five-0!). But one show I know I won’t ever give up even if it gets 8 seasons like Entourage (which I highly doubt because nobody seems to be watching it except for me and a few people in Brooklyn), is HBO’s Bored To Death. Now in its third season, this Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis screwball comedy continues to be hysterically funny and wonderfully odd. As one commenter in NY Magazine’s Vulture blog once said, “Bored To Death is Entourage for people who hate Entourage.” – a fitting description for a show that is light, funny, a tad insane and a whole lot of fun.

Of course in terms of ratings, Monday nights belong to CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, now in its 7th season (and we still haven’t met the mother yet! Do we even still want to?) and ABC’s Castle, now in its 4th season. How I Met Your Mother may not be as “cool” as Bored To Death in terms of comedy, but surprisingly, this season is not half-bad. It was flailing in the beginning of the season but now I’m enjoying it more, and not just because they seem to be revisiting the Barney and Robin romance once again. I’m not too crazy about Kal Penn as Robin’s boyfriend because she seems to have more chemistry with a stick of butter than with him, but eh, at least he helps drive the plot forward. Meanwhile, Castle benefited from having a strong season opener and even though the show focuses more on the cases of the week instead of the Castle-Beckett sexual tension, it actually works in their favor. Who knows, maybe they’ll just pull a Bones next season and have Beckett pregnant with Castle’s baby all of a sudden. That’s one way to beat the Moonlighting curse!

Speaking of pregnancy, The CW’s Gossip Girl is going through with the Blair Waldorf pregnancy plot, though now almost halfway in the fifth season, she still looks as thin as ever (seriously, stick a pillow under there or something!). However, despite the ridiculousness of every single plot, I think this season is actually an improvement, or maybe the last two were just so bad that anything can be seen as an improvement. Two things I would want to be rid off in this show though: Dan Humphrey’s floppy hair and Elizabeth Hurley. As Jessica Pressler of NY Magazine’s Daily Intel blog notes, “She’s the only British who can make her real British accent sound fake.” Too bad it doesn’t seem like her (and Dan’s Jeff Buckley hair) are going anywhere soon. Across the (Canadian) border, the addictive CBC drama Being Erica is now in its fourth and final season, and sadly the season has been underwhelming so far. I like that Kai is back, but I was kind of expecting Erica to have finally resolved her issues with men already by now, and yet she seems to still be as damaged as ever. I just hope that it’ll improve fast, since we all deserve a satisfying series finale and conclusion to this journey.

Monday Night Grades:

Bored To Death: A (I just can’t find anything bad to say about this show!)

How I Met Your Mother: C+ (Still in a continued decline from the early seasons, but there’s hope of a turnaround)

Castle: B (The quality remains consistent)

Gossip Girl: C- (We still need to suspend our disbelief every week, but at least some plots are quite enjoyable)

Being Erica: B- (Come on, Erica, get your shit together, girl!)

TUESDAYS:

Tuesday night television used to be the most exciting night for me, mostly because of Glee. But that show burns out so fast (more on that later) that I’m not even that excited about it anymore. But Tuesday night continues to be a great night for television simply because of the little show that could on NBC called Parenthood. Honestly, I don’t know why people aren’t watching this show. It’s honest-to-goodness that amazing. Emily Nussbaum of (now) The New York Times once said that Parenthood is the television equivalent of a nice, warm, bubble bath. You just want to soak in the goodness, preferably with a glass of red wine in your hand.

When Parenthood continues to warm our hearts in its third season, I can’t say the same about Glee, which saddens me because it was only two years ago when the show stole my heart and made me a devotee. But Glee, much like its characters’ relationships, turns out to be just another puppy love – it burns hot, it burns bright and then it fizzles away. Out of the six episodes that have aired so far this season, only two were actually great and reminiscent of the early episodes of season one. Ryan Murphy can’t seem to figure out what to do with half the cast, and he’s got to write in parts for winners of The Glee Project too. I still hold out hope that this show will return to its former glory before this season’s over but from the looks of things, we may have to bow out just as soon as the New Direction seniors graduate. However, another Fox comedy Raising Hope seems to be faring a lot better than Glee, if only in terms of quality. It may not have as many viewers, but now in its sophomore season, Raising Hope is still as funny, crazy and irreverent as its freshman year. If Glee continues to dwindle in quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if New Girl and Raising Hope end up replacing it as Fox’s favorite.

On to the good ol’ cop procedural, Canadian drama Flashpoint has just moved from CBS to Ion TV and yet continues to churn out solid episodes. It’s edge-of-your-seat thrilling while still tugging at your heartstrings at the same time. I will even go so far as to call this show the “Parenthood of cop procedural“. It doesn’t disappoint even after four seasons and two cast changes. Over on ABC, Body of Proof seems to be finding its footings in its second season, and Dana Delany’s character is a lot more sympathetic now, but it still has room to grow. Let’s hope for their sake they find their groove soon, because I don’t think ABC has given it a back-nine order yet.

Tuesday Night Grades:

Parenthood: A (It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it’s perfect)

Glee: C+ (there are two solid episodes this season but the rest are still meh)

Raising Hope: B (It’s still hilarious and such a fun show to watch)

Flashpoint: B+ (it does get heavy-handed sometimes but overall it’s damn good television)

Body Of Proof: C- (still not that great but it has its moments)

WEDNESDAYS:

When it comes to Wednesday nights, it’s pretty clear who dominates in terms of ratings: Modern Family. This ABC comedy won big at the Emmys and people are still loving this big, crazy, slightly dysfunctional family show. And don’t get me wrong, I still love this show very much, but I think in its third season, Modern Family is starting to enter The Big Bang Theory-like state: it’s still funny and the masses love it, but it doesn’t really go beyond that. We’re not attached to the characters or even the plots anymore, we just watch every week for the laughs and that’s it. I’m not saying it has come to that, but if it’s not careful, it can very well be in the next one or two seasons, because so far none of the season three episodes that have aired was particularly memorable. They’re all funny, but I somehow just don’t connect with them – unlike in seasons 1 and 2. On the other hand, ABC’s sophomore comedy Happy Endings seems to hit all the right notes lately. Sure, it had a rough start last season but it quickly turned around and made us fall in love with its quirkiness. Ever since Cougar Town is banished to mid-season (or maybe even longer, DAMN YOU ABC!), Happy Endings is the only ABC show that makes me feel like I’m hangin’ with the coolest people on earth when I watch it. And that feeling is – as Penny would say – amahzing.

Meanwhile over on USA, Psych has finally returned for its sixth season, after being bumped to Fall to make room for Suits last Summer, and I’m happy to report that even in its sixth season, the show is still as fresh and fun as ever. I like how they handle the Shawn and Juliet relationship, which is really to shove it in the background. But it works! It’s always tricky when a will-they-won’t-they couple finally get together and the only way they can sustain it Jim and Pam style is to push it to the background a little bit, until they make big life decisions such as getting engaged, married, having babies etc. And since Shawn and Juliet aren’t ready for that kind of leap, it’s best to only get glimpses of their blossoming romance for now. Finally, on to CBS’ Criminal Minds. Not much to say, except that it’s good to have the gang back together again. Last season felt a bit off with both AJ Cook and Paget Brewster getting the cut, but luckily CBS realized its mistakes and rectified the situation by bringing both actresses back. And now we can finally focus on the serial killers – and Matthew Gray Gubler’s fabulous hair.

Wednesday Night Grades:

Modern Family: B- (It’s still good but it’s not as great as it used to be)

Happy Endings: A (It’s seriously amahzing, you guys)

Psych: B (It’s still funny but sometimes it does get a bit “been there done that”)

Criminal Minds: C+ (Still comfortingly watchable, but it’s already in season 7)

THURSDAYS:

First, I just want to take a moment to mourn the darkest timeline of all: NBC benching my favorite show Community for mid-season, which means there will be no Community come January. Let us all put on our black goatee and plot the destruction of the world. Okay. Moment over. I don’t want to dwell on it, especially since the thought of no Community can trigger a breakdown, Abed-style. I’m just praying that the powers that be will let this little show gets what it deserves: six seasons and a movie. Especially since this season, the show continues to deliver amazeballs episodes. Yes, I said it. Amazeballs. Why NBC chooses to bench this show (and cancel Prime Suspect while they’re at it) and let the insipid Whitney live on to annoy the masses is beyond me. Obviously, this is the darkest timeline. I’m just waiting for someone to right the wrong. I’m talking to you, Bob Greenblatt! Anyway, moving right along, my second favorite show ever, Parks and Recreation, also has not disappointed me yet this season, despite their decision to break up my favorite sitcom pairing since Jim and Pam: Ben and Leslie. What used to be romance was replaced by angst and blossomed into romance again and oh! It’s just so good, it deserves a place in Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness.

The Office post-Steve Carell isn’t doing too great, however, which is a shame because I had always seen that show as more of an ensemble instead of a Steve Carell show. But I guess he left some big shoes to fill and somehow both James Spader and Ed Helms haven’t managed to do that just yet. The dynamic feels off somehow, and I’m still not getting why Spader needs to be there all the time. I’m still hoping they’ll finally get it right but it’s looking less and less likely now. Something tells me The Office should’ve just ended when Carell left. Over on CBS, The Big Bang Theory still gets monster ratings, and yes it’s still enjoyable to watch, but it’s getting less and less memorable now that it’s in its fifth season. I just simply can’t care about the characters anymore and I watch it with about as much enthusiasm as when I watch 2 Broke Girls. This show will live on forever, probably (hey, Two and A Half Men still exists, right?) but I’m not so sure I’m sticking around for the long haul.

Moving on from comedy to drama, Bones on Fox has just premiered its seventh season a couple of weeks ago with a pregnant Brennan and I have to say, they have managed to avoid the Moonlighting curse pretty cleverly with this plot, that happened mostly because of actress Emily Deschanel’s real life pregnancy. Brennan being pregnant help gives the show something else to focus on besides the Booth/Brennan relationship. We still get to see them as a couple but the shift in dynamic is a lot smoother this way, and they’re still just as interesting to watch as before they got together. Another upside: Sweets gets more to do, and I always love it when I get to see more of John Francis Daley (see my 10 Hottest Men of Fall list for clarification). Over on The CW, my favorite supernatural show this side of the millennium, The Vampire Diaries, also isn’t showing signs of a decline now in its third season. The plots remain interesting, the twists continue to surprise, the guest stars are added delight, and the relationships that are formed and broken continue to be exciting. Last season we had Jeremy and Bonnie hooking up, this season we had them breaking up thanks to Jeremy’s ghost vampire ex (don’t ask). Last season we had Matt walking out on Caroline because he couldn’t deal with her being a vampire, this season we had Caroline hooking up with werewolf Tyler who was later on turned into a hybrid and sired by Klaus, which ruined their ongoing romance (again, don’t ask). There’s always so many things going on, so many interesting characters at play in this show. The only downside? The producers are not shy about killing off beloved characters, so I’m always anxious that someone awesome is going to die in every episode. I don’t need that kind of anxiety in my life!

Thursday Night Grades:

Community: A+ (I’m biased, I know.)

Parks and Recreation: A+ (Again, totally bias. Don’t protest, it’s my blog!)

The Office: C (It’s really getting frustrating to watch)

The Big Bang Theory: C- (I just can’t care about the characters anymore)

Bones: B (Overachieving Brennan would probably not be happy with this grade)

The Vampire Diaries: B+ (It still gets a little too cheesy at times, but overall it’s still awesome)

Fridays:

Friday night television is usually the night when good television comes to die, or what we die-hard TV fans call “Programming Siberia”. And while it’s true that high ratings for Friday night shows are not easy to come by, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any quality show on Friday night, because it just so happens that Friday night is also “Geek Night”, with Chuck on NBC airing at 8 pm and Fringe on Fox airing at 9 pm. With those two shows on any given Friday night, do you even question why I never leave the house? 😉 And so far, both shows totally deliver in terms of awesomeness. Chuck is in its fifth and final season and it’s still as entertaining as ever. I like that the stakes are raised and they keep giving us something to look forward to every episode, as well as the fact that I still have NO CLUE how they’re going to end the series. It’s going to be epic, for sure, but they’re clever enough not to give away the ending from the beginning. Fringe doesn’t disappoint either, after introducing a new timeline (Abed will LOVE this) at the beginning of season 4 that complicates things and at the same time makes them even more interesting. Plus they upgraded Seth Gabel to series regular, and he’s been pretty awesome so far. The only downside? With dismal ratings, I have a feeling this show will not make it to season 5, unless by some miracle. So internet! You know what to do, start a crazy fan campaign so huge Fox just has to give it one more season – or at least 13-episodes final season like Chuck.

Friday Night Grades:

Chuck: B+ (They did downgrade Beckmanand there’s just not enough of Jeffster this season)

Fringe: A (It deserves an A for Agent Lincoln Lee alone!)

And there you have it, my Report Card of the Fall 2011 Returning TV shows. What’s your favorite show of this season? Do you think NBC is crazy for benching Community? (The answer is yes) How ’bout that Ben and Leslie kiss? I will be back soon with my annual Christmas lists – so be on the lookout for that. For now, I bid you adieu and until next time!

Xoxo

Binky Bee

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Ten Hottest Men of Fall 2011

It’s the first week of November and you know what that means; Fall TV season is well underway and we are getting ready for November sweeps, all the new and returning Fall shows have premiered and in just a few short weeks, this season will officially wind down to make room for the holidays. But before we start putting the turkey in the oven or decorating the Christmas tree, let’s do what we do best here and continue with tradition: it’s time for another TV Hottest Men list!

When it comes to television, Fall is a really important season. Successful Fall shows usually get a full season pick up some time between their premieres and Christmas break. Failed shows will then get replaced by mid-season replacements come January or Spring. And sometimes a contributing factor to a show’s success can be as easy as a charismatic (and hot) leading man. Call us a superficial society all you want, but there is no denying that we like watching beautiful people on screen. And the ten men in this list definitely helps draw viewers every week.

So sit back, relax and feast your eyes on these beauties! 😉

DISCLAIMER: This list does not contain any man under the age of 25. Because ew. I’m in my early thirties and it feels wrong to objectify men who are way younger than me. :-p Also the list is for “hot men” not boys.

Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire

From the very beginning, the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire has benefited from a stellar cast. There is no mediocre actor in this show, not even the guest stars. From Steve Buscemi to recently promoted Jack Huston, everyone brings their A-game week after week, which makes the first hottie in this list even more impressive because he not only sizzles as gangster-in-training Jimmy Darmody, he also consistently wows us with his range. Michael Pitt has given depths and nuance to ambitious and often violent Darmody, making us believe that deep down he must be a lovely man, even as he tortures and kills in cold blood. And let’s face it, who’s not going to love those deep blue eyes and pouty lips? Even his on-screen mother can’t resist to kiss him on the lips (ew) sometimes!

Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story

Speaking of irresistible men, just as soon as American Horror Story premiered on FX last October, everyone, ghosts and humans alike have found Dylan McDermott and his man-ass utterly irresistible, which explains why his on-screen wife Tami Taylor Connie Britton always has a frown on her face, now five episodes in. Can you blame her? I’d be frowning too if all living and dead things want a piece of my hot husband. And the great thing about this show is that we can so understand why everyone wants to do McDermott’s character Ben Harmon: look at him! Have you ever seen a finer man? I’m tempted to haunt that murder house myself if it means I get to indulge on all that. 😉

Gale Harold, The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle on The CW is really a show about teenage witches but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in eye candy for anyone over 25, because those teen witches have parents and one of them happens to be the delicious Gale Harold, who has charmed our pants off for years in Queer As Folk, followed by a stint in Desperate Housewives and Hellcats. Sure, it’s a little weird (and it makes us feel old) to see him as a parent of a teenage daughter but it doesn’t make him any less desirable somehow. Whether he’s playing doting dad or power-hungry witch, he still makes us want to call him “Daddy” (and then see a shrink about our daddy-issue).

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

I have admitted a few times in this blog that I don’t watch The Good Wife. I know it’s a quality show but for some reason I just can’t get into it. I think it’s the genre, I’ve never been a fan of a legal procedural. But I also have to admit I sometimes would catch an episode or two of this CBS drama just so I can get my Josh Charles fix, because this man is so, so fine! If I were Alicia, I wouldn’t have been so torn between Will and Peter because hey Mr Big is only attractive in Sex and The City. And even then he’s kind of an asshole. But Mr Josh Charles (who I suspect must be a vampire because he doesn’t seem to age) is the total package and I’d choose him over anybody. Too bad he seems very attached to his ballerina. Sigh.

Follow him on Twitter: @MrJoshCharles

Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation

I often say that if I could date one fictional character from one of my favorite TV shows, it would be Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. Sure he’s not what you’d call smoldering, but I don’t need a six-pack and all the muscles, I’m not Kim Kardashian. I need a man who is smart, sensitive, a little nerdy and oh so sweet. And Ben Wyatt, is all that and more. What bums me out is that his real life counterpart, Adam Scott seems to be exactly like him, only he’s not single. Damn, why are all the good ones taken? 😉 Adam Scott is not only funny, he’s also smart, a little nerdy and oh so sweet. He probably wouldn’t appear shirtless in Men’s Health magazine any time soon, but he’s just the type of guy you can proudly bring home to mama. And that is a rare thing this day and age.

Follow him on Twitter: @mradamscott


Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries

Speaking of good husband material, this next hottie falls into the same category, even if his Vampire Diaries character has gone off the deep end and is now all evil all the time. This brooding handsome gentleman always manages to stay off the gossip sites radar, and he is involved in a number of charities with his wife Pretty Little Liars actress Torrey DeVito in his spare time. In fact, he’s so low-key that most people didn’t even realize that he and DeVito got married earlier this year. A hot young actor who knows how to lead a low-key normal life outside the public eye? Can we clone him?

Follow him on Twitter: @paulwesley

Seth Gabel, Fringe

While we’re still on the subject of married men, here’s another one on this list and he’s not only married, he’s also a father of two even though he still looks too young to be pushing a stroller around. Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter and movie star in her own right, has long made an honest man out of him and let me just say, she’s a lucky bitch. He may not be a movie star yet like his wife but ever since he was cast as Agent Lincoln Lee in Fringe at the end of season 2, he has quickly been a fan favorite and an episode without him just feels a little empty. That naughty grin! Those gorgeous eyes! We love both universes Lincoln Lee and we can only hope that other universe’s Seth Gabel is single and ready to mingle – just as soon as we figure out a way to cross over and bring him back with us. 😉

Wilson Bethel, Hart of Dixie

Everyone loves a good Southern gentleman, at least that’s what people who live in fictional Bluebell, Alabama would say. And guess what? After seeing this one Southern gentleman all wet and shirtless, I think we can all agree that a good Southern gentleman like Wilson Bethel, aka Wade the bartender/temptingly hot neighbor to Dr. Zoe Hart in Hart of Dixie, who can fix us mojitos shirtless while we enjoy the hot southern sun together is pretty easy to love. I know, I keep saying shirtless. I’m not trying to sound redundant, I just want to remind you that this gorgeous creature once made a PSA encouraging all hot men everywhere to go shirtless… for the environment. Now that is a cause I can totally get behind!

John Francis Daley, Bones

Bones has just returned for its seventh season last Thursday night, and all anyone can talk about is how Booth and Brennan are together now. While that is definitely something worthy to talk about, I myself care more for the young, wide-eyed and impressionable FBI psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets, who thanks to Brennan’s pregnancy, gets a lot more screen time now (thank you Emily Deschanel!). Sweets’ alter ego John Francis Daley has been acting since before his voice changed, and we’ve seen him transformed from a tiny, dorky, pasty 15-year-old in Freaks and Geeks to a dashing, charming 26-year-old in Bones. Add the fact that he’s also multi-talented (he’s the lead singer/keyboardist for the indie band Dayplayer and he also wrote this Summer’s hit comedy Horrible Bosses), I think it’s pretty clear that Bones has itself a brand new heartthrob, now that Booth is uhm, taken.

Follow him on Twitter: @JohnFDaley

Zachary Levi, Chuck

First, let us take a moment to properly grieve over the fact that this is Chuck’s fifth and final season. After thirteen episodes, we won’t get any more Chuck ever again. 😦 But if it’s any consolation, at least we get a proper farewell from our friends at Carmichael Industries and Buy More. Still, it’d be hard to say goodbye to these lovable lunatics, especially the star of the show Zachary Levi, who’s just every bit as nerdy and lovely as his alter ego Chuck Bartowski. He may not be a spy-for-hire in real life but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to charm our pants off. He’s hot, funny, smart and a total nerd who can serenade us with love songs (remember that duet with Mandy Moore at the Oscars? Squee!). Now we just need him to be hired in a new mid-season show (maybe NBC’s upcoming musical Smash?) so we’ll always have him to drool over for a very long time.

Follow him on Twitter: @ZacharyLevi

And there you have it, the Ten Hottest Men of Fall 2011. Check back in next week for my Fall 2011 Television Report Card, where we’ll be taking a look at how our returning shows are doing.

Until then!

xoxo

Binky Bee

My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Fourth Day

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… two grown men in a pear tree. Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, today’s list is all about the bromance. Romance is great and all, but it tends to end quicky, especially on TV. But a bromance lasts forever, and due to its enduring nature, it’s time we compile a list that honors this special relationship.

So without further ado, here it is:

My Top 10 TV Bromances of 2010:

1/ Troy and Abed, Community.

What happens when a pop culture savant and a former high school jock meet in a community college study group? The beginning of a beautiful bromance, of course. Troy and Abed started out as supporting characters in NBC’s cult comedy but the second they began their bromance, they started stealing the show. From their catchy “Donde esta la biblioteca” rap to building the coolest blanket fort in the history of television, we can’t get enough of these two best friends, we even shed a little tear in the Halloween zombie episode when Abed “sacrificed” himself so Troy could be the hero. The Jeff/Britta/Annie triangle may have dissolved into thin air, but Troy and Abed, whether in the morning or in stop-motion, will last a lifetime.

2/ Shawn and Gus, Psych.

Is there any bromance on television today that is as strong and enduring as that of Shawn and Gus? I doubt it. First, they’ve known each other since they were “little Shawn” and “little Gus”, second, they have been partners in crime (and solving crime) for five seasons and showing no signs of slowing down, and third, they both have the same passion for desserts and obscure 80s references. You see, those are the things that make a bromance lasts. And if Shawn’s relationship with Juliet can’t break this bromance up, nothing can – which is why it deserves the runner up spot in this list.

3/ Bobby and Andy, Cougar Town.

Andy may be married to Ellie in this addictive ABC comedy, but we all know that deep down, the person he loves the most is not his wife, but his wife’s best friend’s ex-husband Bobby. This bromance is awesome because not only are Andy and Bobby the best of friends, but Andy totally has a man-crush on Bobby. Not even Bobby’s son Travis or ex-wife Jules worships him the way Andy does, and Bobby always reciprocates. Aww, so sweet.

4/ Jonathan, Ray & George, Bored To Death.

Anyone who thinks a failed writer, a cartoonist and a magazine editor-in-chief can’t be best friends should really check out this hilarious HBO comedy and be proven wrong. Not only are Jonathan -the failed writer turn quirky private detective- best friends with both Ray -the clingy cartoonist with a weird obsession about his penis- and George -the editor-in-chief of Edition Magazine and avid marijuana enthusiast-, they’re also best friends who are always there for each other and willing to help each other out. Ray even took a rubber bullet on the forehead (shot accidentally by George) when trying to save Jonathan from two kidnappers (don’t ask), now if that doesn’t say lasting bromance, I don’t know what will.

5/ Chuck and Morgan, Chuck.

For fans of NBC’s spy/geek show Chuck, nothing is more satisfying than watching Chuck’s relationship with his super hot spy girlfriend Sarah blooms on television. But before there was Chuck and Sarah, there was Chuck and Morgan, and as the last three and a half seasons will tell you, Chuck and Morgan is the relationship that can stand the test of time. Sure now that Chuck has a real, steady girlfriend they are not as close as they used to be, but the bromance is still very much alive between them. Morgan is even helping Chuck to plan his awesome proposal to Sarah. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever?

6/ Ted, Marshall & Barney, How I Met Your Mother.

This hit CBS sitcom may have started out as Ted’s search to meet “the mother”, but since there’s no end date in sight and the ominous titular character may never appear, I think we should see this show for what it is; it’s not romance, it’s bromance. Let’s face it, Ted’s relationship with his two best friends Marshall and Barney is the only one that is actually healthy, sane and showing signs of lasting for a very long time. And they’ve had their share of ups and downs too, but they always seem to be able to make it work. So whether or not Ted ever meets “the mother”, we at least know for sure that Marshall and Barney will always be there for him.

7/ Jimmy Darmody and Richard Harrow, Boardwalk Empire.

This particular bromance is a unique one, and I contemplated on putting it on the list, actually. You see, the friendship between Jimmy and Richard Harrow doesn’t really have the typical signs of bromance, but considering how loyal these two men are with each other and how they’re willing to go to bat for one another after only a short period of friendship, I decided to put them in number seven. Jimmy meets Harrow, the man with half a face aka The Tin Woodsman of Atlantic City, in a VA hospital. They are both broken and wounded from the war and they are immediately drawn to each other. They’re both tortured and violent, but like in the trenches, they’d die for each other. How this relationship is going to play out in the world of Boardwalk Empire, I don’t really know, but it’s probably going to stay strong considering Jack Huston, who plays Harrow, has just been promoted to series regular. I guess this bromance is here to stay after all.

8/ Nate and Dan, Gossip Girl.

In the world of Gossip Girl’s Upper East Side where everyone sleeps with everyone else and relationships get all tangled and become a bit incestuous, bromance is not something that tends to flourish. How can it, when in a matter of episodes your girlfriend could be sleeping with your best friend, or you could be sleeping with your boyfriend’s best friend? I know, it gets confusing, believe me. But through all the crazy incestuous relationships that occur in this show, the friendship between Upper East Side golden (retriever) boy Nate Archibald and Brooklyn’s struggling writer Dan Humphrey seems to be able to stay somewhat strong. Sure, every now and then a buxom blond will come between them, but in the end, their love for each other is deeper than their love for Serena’s ample bosom. And for that, even though they come from the bromance-less world of Gossip Girl, Nate and Dan get to be in this coveted bromance list.

9/ Steve and “Danno”, Hawaii Five-O.

The bromance in number nine is so good, they had to do it twice. I am hazy on the original Hawaii Five-O Steve and Danno, but considering that the classic is always better, I’m thinking the bromance between them is just as entertaining as the 2010 version. As partners in Five-O, Steve and Danno may not always see eye-to-eye, in fact, bickering and arguing seem to be their favorite past-time, much like an old married couple. But when bullets are flying at them and they have to catch bad guys, they band together and become an undefeated team. Now isn’t that what bromance is all about?

10/  Damon and Stefan, The Vampire Diaries.

This last bromance in the list is quite unique, considering that they are actually brothers, and not just “bros”. And aside from actually being brothers, the relationship between these two hot Salvatore boys is also complicated. They used to be best friends, you know, back in 1864 when they were still humans, until a certain vampire temptress seduced the both of them, turned them into bloodsucking creatures and drove a wedge between them. Over a hundred years went by with both brothers constantly (and sometimes literally) at each other’s throat, but recently after Damon switched to the good side, their relationship seems to be on the mend. Sure, there’s that little thing of Damon being in love with Stefan’s girlfriend, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to work it out in the end. Bros before hos, right? 🙂

And there you go, My Top 10 TV Bromances of 2010. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Check back in tomorrow, I’ll be listing my Top 10 Stocking Stuffers of 2010, who knows, I think it could help those of you who still have to do some very last minute Christmas shopping. I know it helped me a lot!

Until then,

xoxo

Binky Bee

My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Third Day

…On the third day of Christmas Countdown, my true love gave to me: ten fabulous ladies of TV. Okay that sounds weird. 🙂 Anyway, as promised, today is all about the ladies, so let’s not delay and get right to the countdown. Enjoy!

My Top 10 Fabulous TV Ladies of 2010

1/ Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men.

Forget about her divorce from SNL’s Fred Armisen, or her foray into Scientology and focus on the fact that she makes Peggy Olsen the awesome woman that she is, then you’ll see why I’ve chosen her as the number one. Peggy is probably the only character in Mad Men that continues to transform every season, and I think season 4 was truly her season. She’s no longer having weird and somewhat creep-tastic affairs with Duck Phillips, she and Pete Campbell seemed to have put the past behind them and even the news of Trudy’s pregnancy didn’t seem to shatter her, and the best part of it all is that she finally could stand up to Don, which made him respect her even more. Now that Anna Draper has passed away, Peggy is the only woman that he sees as his equal, and that’s saying something. So for portraying this fascinating character with such ease and grace, you get to be number one, Miss Moss. Take that, Fred Armisen!

2/ Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire.

As much as I love Boardwalk Empire, I was often frustrated by the writers’ inability to write for the female characters in the show. But after a while I realized that it wasn’t because the writers didn’t know how to write for the female characters, it was more because they were all focused on developing MacDonald’s character Margaret Schroeder so much so that all other female characters (in the exception of Gretchen Mol’s Gillian) seemed like an afterthought. And somehow I think it’s MacDonald’s amazing presence and ability to fully inhabit the character is the cause. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won Best Actress at The Globes and SAG (was she nominated at SAG? I can’t remember), because she really was that fantastic in the show. And that’s also why she’s the runner up in this list. Can’t give top honors to half-baked actresses, can we?

3/ Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries.

She’s never going to be nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe or SAG for this awesome CW vampire show since let’s face it, award voters are snobs and they look down on the CW and teen vampire shows in general (regardless of how awesome it actually is if they ever bother to watch), and I think it’s such a shame. If you’ve been watching the second season like I have, you’ll know that Nina Dobrev truly deserves an award for her performance as both Elena Gilbert and her evil vampire doppelganger Katherine. She was so convincing as both characters that sometimes I thought another actress was playing the role of Katherine. And to think that before The Vampire Diaries, she was a virtual unknown. The award snobs may overlook you, Nina, but I sure won’t. You deserve to be on this list, and let’s hope one day you’ll really get noticed by the people who matter.

4/ Anna Torv, Fringe.

Speaking of actresses who have to portray two characters in one TV show, our number four fabulous lady has been nothing short than impressive in the third season of Fringe so far. People were skeptical of Torv when Fringe was in the first season, they thought she was wooden and she tried too hard with her American accent (she’s Australian) but she really stepped it up in the second season, before impressing us all with taking on the role of both universes’ Olivia Dunham. She was both vulnerable and determined, and the best part is that she could portray Faux-livia in such a way that we could really hate her guts for ruining everything for Olivia. Just like Dobrev and The Vampire Diaries, Torv and Fringe are often passed by awards snobs, so I hope this list isn’t the only one she lands in this year.

5/ Sofia Vergara, Modern Family.

I can’t do a list of top 10 fabulous ladies of TV without including this “volumptuous” funny lady, can I? Sofia Vergara has been killing it on Modern Family lately, you can always count on her to make you laugh or at least chuckle every episode, even if it’s not a particularly funny episode. And I love her more because she truly shatters the idea that gorgeous, sexy women can’t be hilarious and smart. Actually, maybe I should hate her for that. LOL.

6/ Tina Fey, 30 Rock.

Just like Sofia Vergara, Tina Fey is awesome because she can make fun of herself on a weekly basis in her show 30 Rock. She may not have Vergara’s body or sex appeal but she’s got a butt double and Matt Damon on her arms, so really, who says being totally self-deprecating and dorky is a disadvantage? And of course Fey is in this list because 30 Rock is suddenly super awesome again in its fifth season, proving to the world that Liz Lemon is unstoppable. After all, she has DIHC! (If you’re not a 30 Rock fan, DIHC is Jack’s acronym for Determination, Intelligence, Humility and Chaos. Yes, he knows how it sounds and he doesn’t care.)

7/ Mae Whitman, Parenthood.

Lauren Graham aka The Actress Formerly Known As Lorelai Gilmore usually gets the most hype when it comes to this show, but I think her onscreen daughter is totally stealing her thunder. Unlike Alexis Bledel’s Rory in Gilmore Girls, Whitman’s Amber is the not-so-perfect daughter of Graham’s character, who in the first season rebelled by smoking, drinking and hooking up with her cousin’s boyfriend. But Amber changed her ways in season 2, opting to be a good student and focus on her SATs, and had the nerve to tell her mother how “disappointed she is in her” when she didn’t come home after hooking up with William Baldwin. And through all that, Whitman’s acting is award-worthy, and she does have the ability to cry so convincingly. So for being a different, altogether more awesome version of Rory Gilmore, welcome to this list, Mae Whitman.

8/ Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl.

Gossip Girl may be going downhill with each passing season, but one thing that remains consistent about that show is the fabulousness of one Blair Waldorf, portrayed by the one and only Leighton Meester. She may not have Blake Lively’s cleavage, but that only makes her the better actress. She is funny, snarky, bitchy and crazy in every episode of Gossip Girl, and every now and then when the writers actually give her a decent material to work with, she shows us she can be vulnerable and heartbreaking as well. Even the foreshadowing of the wince-inducing Dair (Dan and Blair) cannot stop me from inducting this girl into this list. Although, Blair might have a problem with me putting her in number eight…

9/ Naya Rivera, Glee.

Lea Michele may be the girl who gets the most attention out of all the female Gleeks, but I think this season Naya Rivera’s Santana totally steals the show. Despite only being upgraded to main cast member in the latter half of the first season, Rivera successfully makes Santana the character I most love to watch every episode. She not only has the best bitch face, she also nails the snarkiness of the character every time. And her voice is amazing! Gleeks of the world may be staging a protest over the break up of Finchel, but I for one would love to see her hook up with Finn again, if only to see more of Naya.

10/ Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck.

Do I really need to explain why this lady is fabulous? She’s a kick-ass spy who’s madly in love with the coolest geek on television. She’s the fantasy of every teenage dorks in the world, and she is both loved by male and female fans of the show, because despite of her fantastic spy alter-ego, she can show vulnerability on screen without being sappy. And hey, she totally holds her own opposite Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton. Fabulous lady indeed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the countdowns so far. Tune back in tomorrow, I’ll be counting down the last of the TV section: Top 10 TV Bromance of 2010. Because there’s no romance like a bromance, right?

Till then!

xoxo

Binky Bee

 

My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Second Day

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second day of My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown. Yesterday, I gave you my list of the Top 10 TV Shows of 2010, and today it’s all about the men, those hot, gorgeous, dreamy men of TV. Because let’s face it, sometimes we watch these shows for the compelling stories and the brilliant acting, and sometimes, we watch these shows because we want something to fantasize about… and we’re just not into porn.

So let’s not waste any more time and get straight to the list, shall we?

My Top 10 TV Screen Scorchers of 2010:

1/ Jon Hamm, Mad Men.

I’m sure giving the top honors to this man is not something any woman would protest, I mean, look at him. Can you say tall, dark and handsome? His Mad Men character may not always be sympathetic and the kind of man we want to be married to but for some reason we find ourselves rooting for him nonetheless, and it’s all because Jon Hamm is impossibly good looking, charming and well, almost perfect. The thing that makes him perfect is his versatility and ability to poking fun at himself in 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live and even the Emmys. We all love a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously, don’t we? Jennifer Westfield, you are one lucky bitch.

2/ Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire.

Okay, let me just start by saying that smoking is not cool and sexy. There’s nothing sexy about emphysema, is there? But, having said that, I think Phillip Morris should consider paying Michael Pitt, along with our number one guy Jon Hamm, because they’ve successfully managed to make smoking sexy again. Pitt won me over as Jimmy Darmody in Boardwalk Empire with his brooding stare and his PTSD-tortured soul the second he entered the scene in the pilot. He makes everything sexy; smoking, drinking, blowing people’s heads off… hey, a guy who can make you forget that he’s some psycho gangster in the making with his intense stare and his cool demeanor deserves to be on this list, right?

3/ Alex O’Loughlin, Hawaii Five-O.

Speaking of brooding stare, this Australian hottie pretty much specializes in the art of brooding. Almost every scene in the Hawaii Five-O reboot has him staring intently and furrowing his brows, not that I’m complaining. Scott Caan is there for the witty banter, O’Loughlin is there to make us drool at our screen. Aside from his brooding stare, he also scorches up the screen by kicking ass and taking names. Five-O may not be a superhero show, but I think it should be because Steve McGarrett is superman. And in that case, can I be his Lois Lane?

4/ Zachary Levi, Chuck.

After three Alpha Males in a row dominating the list, you might be surprised to find this awesome supergeek/spy/Buy Morean in here. But what can I say, I love geeks. Sure they may not be too athletic or well-built but I always find their ability to hack into other people’s Facebook account sexy. And Zachary Levi kind of has the best of both worlds; he’s both a geek and a hottie. Even his character is both a geek and a super spy. Not to mention, he seems like such a sweetheart, like Chuck, in real life too. What’s not to love?

5/ Cory Monteith, Glee.

Our guy at number 5 is not really what you would call a geek, because he’s not. But he’s not technically a jock either. He’s hunky but awkward, he’s the star quarterback and the leader of the Glee club, he’s sexy but cute… and for that, he gets to be in this list. Plus, he knows how to sing his way through our hearts, and that always counts for something.

6/ Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries.

I really don’t need to explain why he’s in the list after that photo, do I? 🙂 His character in The Vampire Diaries would eat Cory Monteith’s character in Glee for breakfast, but in real life he seems to be a sweet Southern gentleman, who during the gulf oil spill crisis opted to forget his celebrity status, rolled up his sleeves and helped out. A hottie who knows how to make a difference, now that’s the kind of guy we all want to fantasize about.

7/ John Francis Daley, Bones.

And yet another geek in the list. John Francis Daley, who plays FBI psychologist Lance Sweets in Bones, has played a geek his whole life. He got his start in Paul Feig’s short-lived but much-loved cult favorite Freaks and Geeks, the show that also launched the careers of Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Phillips and its most famous alumna James Franco. In Freaks and Geeks, Daley was fifteen, small, adorable and totally awkward. In Bones, he’s in his twenties, tall, dark, handsome but still adorable and slightly awkward, which makes him all the more endearing. Booth and Brennan may not take him seriously, but I know I’m not the only one hoping for a lengthy private section with this sweet Lancelot.

8/ Joshua Jackson, Fringe.

We all first fell in love with this Canadian hottie when he won our hearts as Pacey Ritter in Dawson’s Creek, and when he made his triumphant return to television as Peter Bishop in Fringe, we’re still in love with him. He’s not only a great actor and a total babe, he also has that charm I always assume is reserved for one George Clooney. He always has a twinkle in his eye, and an easy demeanor both on and off the screen. It isn’t hard to see why Diane Kruger is madly in love with him, I mean, who wouldn’t be?

9/ Jeffrey Donovan, Burn Notice.

Out of all the guys in this list, Jeffrey Donovan is the man of my dreams. Like, literally, he actually guest-starred in a few of my dreams. And you know what kind I’m talking about, wink wink. I don’t know what it is about him. He was first on my radar when I saw The Changeling, where he played that corrupt police chief who practically assaulted Angelina Jolie, and I didn’t like him at all. But then I bought the first season of Burn Notice on DVD and by episode three, he’s won me over. And now, I am lusting for Michael Westen even harder than his on-screen girlfriend Fiona Glenanne is supposed to be. Chalk it up to the ass-kicking and the fact that he knows how to rock those Olivers People sunglasses like nobody’s business. Sorry James Bond, but Michael Westen is the only spy for me.

10/ John Krasinski, The Office.

As if I’m going to countdown the top 10 TV screen scorchers without including one-half of my favorite TV couple ever. Not going to happen. And he does deserve to be on this list. He’s gorgeous, tall, funny, self-deprecating and my god does he look good in a suit! Whether in The Office or on the red carpet standing next to his fabulous British wife Emily Blunt, he never fails to weaken our knees and make us catch our breath a little. Why Pam ever chose Roy over him is something I still don’t understand until now.

So there you have it, the ten TV men to fantasize, dream about and obsess over. Here’s hoping for some addition to the list in the Spring TV season. But until then, don’t forget to breathe. 🙂

Check back in tomorrow, it’s the TV ladies’ turn. Until then!

xoxo

Binky Bee

Winning Moments of My (TV) Life

Sorry I haven’t been a very active blogger lately. Aside from still dealing with crappy internet connection, I also am still busy writing my novel (about 70% done now, yeay!) so I can’t always think of something clever to blog about, what with all my creativity completely drained out by my attempt to write the great American novel and all. 🙂 Okay, it’s not going to be the great American novel, so don’t get your hopes up. I’m not even American.

Anyway, I decided to take a break from writing because I feel like I’m rushing the plot of my novel a bit, and if I keep going it might end up being half-baked, and we don’t want that, do we? And what do I do when I’m on a break? I watch TV and I make lists. So yes, this is going to be another blog with another list about truly unimportant things again.

This week, some of my favorite shows are back after taking a Winter Olympics break – and with the return of these shows, I thought I’d celebrate by awarding winning moments of my television life: the moment when I smile, laugh, cry, cringe, scream, etc as these different shows take me on a roller-coaster life into some very bizarre and exciting alternate realities.

You can see the list of shows I watch here. For now, let’s get right to this week’s winning moments in TV Land!

This week’s “Best Inappropriate Mother-Son Relationship ‘Eww’ Moment” goes to Cougar Town, when Jules (Courtney Cox) asked her son Travis (Dan Byrd) to pull out her waxing strips from under her armpits. I thought Travis’ disgusted reaction when he finally did do what Jules asked him to was priceless. However, my favorite quote from this episode (What Are You Doing In My Life?) is from the always hilariously inappropriate Barb when Travis asked to see her “freshly” chemical-peeled face:

No! Innocence should be lost in the bedroom… or on a commercial cruise liner.”

This week’s “Best Edge-Of-Your-Seat Action-Packed Crazy Cliffhanger” goes to Burn Notice,that wraps up their third season in a neat little bow this week, with a chilling and slightly confusing ending of Michael being chained and sent off to face… Martha Stewart’s living room. Or at least that’s what I thought of it when I saw the living room he was sitting in before the scene faded to black. This finale, written and director by creator Matt Nix, made sure that we all start jonesin’ for season 4 of this highly addictive spy series, and must spend the next four months biting our nails anticipating its return while twit-stalking actor Jeffrey Donovan for the tiniest hope of a free spoiler. The only disappointing bit of this finale is the lack of Michael/Fiona action. But after two seasons of “goodbye for now, my love” only to find themselves reuniting and bickering all the way to the bedroom again – I think Michael’s decision to just give Fiona a look that says it all is a much better choice. My favorite quote from this episode is actually from Simon, played by guest star Garret Dillahunt (who seems to love playing bad guys on TV, it seems):

I want my life back!

This week’s “Best You-Know-It’s-Bound-To-Happen-But-It’s-Still-A-Little-Sad-Anyway Break Up Moment” goes to newbie Life Unexpected, when at the “Hand on A Hybrid Contest” Ryan found out about Cate’s little secret and subsequently broke up with her. Did I see it coming? Yes. Did Cate deserve it? Yes, if Gilmore Girls has taught us anything, we know that sleeping with your baby daddy behind your fiance’s back is a surefire way to get dumped. Was it still a little heartbreaking to watch anyway? Yes, because despite Cate’s questionable actions, we know she’s just a woman desperate to hold on to her relationship and we can sort of relate to her. It’s nice to see Baze becoming a real father, but it’s still a little sad to see Cate all alone in that house at the end. Favorite quote of the episode comes courtesy of Cate’s producer Alice:

You are so Days of Our Lives – I am going to have to tune in at one just to watch you.”

This week’s “Best Funny Outburst Moment” goes to Psych, when Lassiter is finally so rattled by Shawn’s success as a faux-psychic/real detective combo that he is adamant the body they found on the beach was not just some unlucky guy that a shark had for dinner, but a murder victim instead. After forbidding Shawn and Gus to join them in the crime scene, Lasitter barks at Juliet who tries to deter him from spinning out crazy theories, which sparks a frustrated rant that was both hilarious and a little endearing. My favorite quote from this episode also comes from Det. Carlton Lassiter’s mouth:

O’Hara, I want you to RSVP to my invitation to SHUT IT.”

This week’s “Best Disturbing Moment” goes to Criminal Mind, in an episode directed by cast member Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) where the female unsub puts a child in a box and cremates him with a smile on her face. I’m not a parent and I have the kind of mind that can tolerate a lot of disturbing things – but that scene was just so chilling that I found myself shuddering a little when I was watching it. Kudos to the actress playing the unsub, she deserved an Emmy for sure. Not everyone can portray the face of true evil quite like she does… and I don’t even know her name! My favorite quote from this episode comes from guest star Brooke Davis, who plays a woman whose daughter was kidnapped in a fair, it’s not zany or anything, but it’s just so sad and filled with regrets that it haunts me for a while:

I shouldn’t have let go of her hand.”

This week’s “Best OMG I Can’t Believe That Just Happened Moment” goes to The Office for their JAM Baby episode, or The Delivery, Part 1 and 2 as it’s officially called. I admit, this episode wasn’t as strong as The JAM Wedding episode (“Niagara Falls”) but it still delivered classic Office funny moments, and my favorite was when Pam realized that she breastfed the wrong baby in the hospital and Jim, with a horrified look on his face, quickly returned the baby to its crib – and continued to look horrified as the mother said, “Oh, looks like she’s not hungry.” Priceless. I know some people thought it was a little too much, but I think it’s the kind of thing that can happen in this show – and the fact that it happened to Jim and Pam made it even more hilarious. my favorite quote of the episode however, is courtesy of Dwight Schrute when he wrote the Baby Making Contract with Angela:

Child will be breastfed by the mother for exactly six months, then on to a nutrient-rich vegetable mash, provided by the father Dwight Schrute hereafter referred to as Morpheus.”

This week’s “Best Aww, Tear Moment” goes to newbie Parenthood, which just premiered last Tuesday night on NBC. Despite mixed reviews, I actually love this show – I thought it was nice to see Lauren Graham and Peter Krause back on my TV, and kudos to Lauren Graham who stepped into a role originally created for Maura Tierney so easily and seamlessly. She’s always amazing when she plays a mother, even though now she has two teenagers to raise instead of one and she doesn’t talk as fast. There are a lot of great moments from the pilot episode, but I thought the scene when Peter Krause’s character, Adam, is watching his son Max, who has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s plays in the puddle, is heartbreaking and haunting. I love it when his father Zeke, played by veteran actor Craig T. Nelson, gets impatient with Max and Adam turns around and tells him, “Dad, there’s something wrong my son.” Aww, tear. My favorite quote of this pilot episode is courtesy of Crosby, played by Kristen Bell’s beau Dax Sheppard, when he tells Adam that he has a son named Jabbar:

I don’t know, maybe his mother’s into eighties NBA player or something.”

This week’s “Best Guys Being Guys Moment” (or more appropriately called “Best Barney Being Barney moment”) goes to How I Met Your Mother, naturally. The episode On The Hook, guest-starring Carrie Underwood and Neil Patrick Harris’ boyfriend David Burtka (as Scooter, Lily’s high school boyfriend) was not the strongest of the season, but it still merits a winning moment mostly because of Barney’s antics. I love Barney’s elaborate explanation of “The Hot Girl Profession”, dating back to the stone age, mind you, and my favorite quote of this episode is also courtesy of Barney. What can I say? I’m madly in love with Neil Patrick Harris. 🙂

Last night I was hooking up with a pharma chick so hot that you should call the doctor if you don’t have an erection that lasts four hours.”

This week’s “Best Meltdown Moment” goes to Mercy, mostly because Veronica actually takes the ghost of the man she shot in the donut shop for drinks. We all know she was hallucinating, and that hallucination was caused by her PTSD, but it was still a great meltdown moment. Veronica is not the most stable character in the show, but she has so far managed to retain her sanity despite suffering with PTSD after returning from Iraq from two tours of duty. And it was kind of awesome seeing how she handled her meltdown in true Veronica style, taking the ghost out for a drink and have a long conversation with him about Iraq and everything else. The ending with her and Mike was also sweet, the way she suddenly remembered that she was in the beach that she and Mike used to go as kids, and how she just started calling out for him to save her. I guess this recent development means that Chris might be brokenhearted again since it’s pretty apparent that Veronica is in no state to begin afresh with him – but it’s interesting nonetheless. My favorite quote from this episode however, comes from Detective Nick Valentino, played by Charlie Semine, when Sonia gave him a flimsy excuse for her cheating ways (“I don’t know where my head was at.”):

I know where your head was at. It was with the rest of the body, and the rest of the body was under Paul.”

This week’s “Best Dorky and Pointlessly Hilarious But It Totally Works Moment” goes to Community. The scene with Jeff and the pool teacher playing naked pool was priceless, hilarious and pointless – but it totally works in the show. But of course, nothing beats Abed and his many “personalities” – I especially love Vampire Abed and when he channeled Mad Men’s Don Draper with Annie, played by Allison Brie (who of course plays Trudie Campbell in Mad Men). The expression on Annie’s face when Abed – as Don Draper – made a move on her was so priceless, and fans of both this show and Mad Men must have been howling in delight (I know I was). My favorite quote of this episode was courtesy of Jeff, who has to give a “Black” equivalent to every pop culture reference for Shirley and Troy:

We’ve all seen enough After School Specials…uh…(to Shirley & Troy) Fat Albert …to know that Abed just needs to be himself.”

Finally, I have to give awards to a few memorable characters this week:

Jim Halpert – He’s always such a sweetheart, but seeing him becoming a dad was so precious and John Krasinski did a great job in this episode.

Madeline Westen – Finally she’s no longer just a comic relief in the show, and I love seeing her defend her son and even sacrifice going to jail for him. Amazing acting from Sharon Gless too.

Sarah Braverman – She’s no Lorelai Gilmore, but I like how human this character is, and Lauren Graham did such a good job portraying a single mother who’s just trying to keep it all together.

And a few memorable for the wrong reasons characters:

Sonia Jimenez – Oh Sonia. Okay we can understand that despite having an amazing boyfriend sometimes a girl just gets an itch, actually we don’t. Your excuse for cheating was so weak, and Nick was right for choosing not to hear your excuse and walk away. Let’s hope you can salvage your lovability factor next week.

Chuck Bartowski – I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this, but I am so disappointed at Chuck at the way he broke up with Hannah. Sure I don’t want them to be together forever, but he used to be such a good guy and he wouldn’t do that to a girl he likes. I still have faith in the show, but I just wish Chuck still retains some of his sweet qualities that made us fall in love with him in the first place.

And that my friends, are the winning moments of my TV life this week. What’s your winning moment?

Lead Me

What’s a TV show without its leading men?

Granted, I’m not usually one who gravitates toward the alpha males but when it comes to TV, I wholeheartedly adore them. And since I’m still severely blocked – despite finding the cause of my writer’s block, I still can’t seem to write even a single sentence – I thought I’d just do the next best thing… make a list.

And here’s a list of my favorite TV leading men:

One/ Michael Westen in Burn Notice.

michael-westen

Played by Jeffrey Donovan, this one spy managed to steal my heart unlike that other famous British spy because he is the perfect antithesis of everything that makes me not like James Bond. First, he doesn’t drive a flashy car. Second, he’s not some lothario who has a knack for picking up bimbos who turn out to be villains. And third, he knows how to make his own spy gadget, DIY MacGyver style, which means, he’s not only handy when it comes to unraveling global conspiracies – he can fix the dishwasher too. And we all love that in a man. Sure, his relationship with his mom tend to interfere with his spy-business but what man doesn’t have mother issues?

Two/ Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl.

ed-westwick

Played by British import Ed Westwick, I don’t think he was meant to be a “leading man” when the show first started but now that the show is in its third season, this charming little devil has turned out to be more than just a teenage lothario and an unfaithful sidekick. Not only has he managed to make us fall completely and madly in love with him when he finally told Blair Waldorf that he loved her, he has also made the transformation from troubled bad boy to confident businessman so seamlessly and effortlessly in only a few episodes, proving that Chuck Bass never does things half-assed. That’s more Nate’s job.

Three/ Chuck Bartowski in Chuck.

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Played by the always funny Zachary Levi, this one reluctant geeky spy has stolen my heart from the pilot episode and he continues to make me fall for him. He may not be the typical leading man with ruggedly handsome looks and an ability to kill a man with his bare hands (but now he may just be, since the second season finale ends with him suddenly knowing kung fu) but that doesn’t stop him from being the man of our dreams. He’s sweet, endearing and a little awkward – but that’s just part of his charm. Besides, don’t we all want our spies to be a little more down-to-earth and kooky? And the good news is, he’ll be back on our screens sooner than expected! Yippee!

Four/ Demetri Noh in FlashForward.

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Okay, so he’s not exactly the leading man in this show but he might as well be thanks to Joseph Fiennes’ underwhelming performance as agent Mark Banford. Demetri Noh, played by Harold and Kumar’s John Cho, is the most interesting character by far – and not only because he knows he’s going to die. He’s complex and interesting and most importantly, human and believable. If you knew you were going to die in five months, wouldn’t you react the way he had reacted so far? And let’s face it, when he came out guns blazing at the end of episode 7, it was HOT! Now who’s praying that he actually manages to prevent the future from happening? (ME!).

Five/ Shawn Spencer in Psych.

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There’s a reason why this character, played by James Roday, is torn between two very attractive women (one of which is played by his real-life girlfriend Maggie Lawson) right now. He’s brilliant. He may be a fake psychic but we all know he’s a great detective. And despite his knack for silly humor and obscure 80s references, he has proven to be a true leading man when he not only took a bullet but managed to play the hero in the fall finale of the fourth season. And he has great hair. Really, what more could you ask for in a leading man?

Six/ Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory.

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He may be arrogant and is borderline Asperger’s, but you have to admit he’s truly a genius. Played by Jim Parsons, Sheldon Cooper is the anti-leading man but the one you’ll most likely fall in love with not because he’s such a sweetheart – exactly the opposite, you’ll love him because he’s eccentric, annoying, anal and incredibly funny. He prefers comic books than girls, he is a suspected android, he’s devoid of empathy and he really doesn’t like it when you sit on his part of the sofa – but let’s face it, we’d totally sit at his feet and listen to him ramble on about string theory any day.

Seven/ Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries.

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True, technically he’s not the leading man but let’s face it, without this character, played by the impossibly sexy Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries would be a total snoozefest. Damon Salvatore, the evil, heartless, and violent bloodsucking resident of Mystic Falls, is what makes this show so good. He’s devoid of conscience, he’s rotten to the core but he does have a soft side that he only shows in rare moments. And when his younger brother is all tortured and Heathcliff-like over the state of his vampire-ism, Damon shows what being a vampire is all about: soulless fun. And let’s face it, evil vampires are always so much sexier!

Eight/ Don Draper in Mad Men.

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Yes, he frequently cheats on his wife. And yes, he stole someone else’s identity and is basically living a lie. But who cares? He’s hot! Played by charismatic actor Jon Hamm, Don Draper is the ultimate “mad man” – he’s suave, well-dressed and has a commanding presence despite his underlying insecurity. He is the true leading man because despite his many, many faults, we find ourselves forgiving him over and over again. He’s Don Draper, damn it. He’s the reason why Mad Men is the show that everyone talks about these days. And if those eyes can’t win you over, I don’t know what will.

Nine/ Jonathan Ames in Bored To Death.

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Yes, I do love a big-nosed Jew, get over it. But that’s not why I love this character that’s played to perfection by Jason Schwartzman. Jonathan Ames is a quirky oddball, and he knows it. He’s soft-spoken and slightly delusional, but that’s what makes him so hilarious. He’s also going through a writer’s block, like me, so I can totally relate. He always somehow finds himself in crazy situations without meaning to, and he’s still pining over his ex-girlfriend despite not having the balls to actually make a change and win her over. He’s the leading man that most leading men despise, but that’s exactly makes him a great leading man.

Now that you know my list, who do you think should be No. 10?