Tag Archives: the vampire diaries

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. πŸ˜‰

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?


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)


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!)


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)


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)


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)


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? πŸ˜‰ 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!


Binky Bee

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! πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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? πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰

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!


Binky Bee

My Top 10 TV Catnips And Guilty Pleasures

The Fall TV season is winding down and new Mid-Season premieres have been launched, save for a select few, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s time for us to make another list. πŸ™‚ And of course when I say “us”, I mean me.

I watch television for a number of reasons, and one of them is for pure mental escapism. Hey, life is tough and sometimes we all need a little trip to a fantasy land that doesn’t require hallucinogenics. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share a list of my favorite TV catnips and guilty pleasures. TV catnips are shows that should turn me off but instead got me addicted, or my “weakness” shows (hence the term TV Catnips) while guilty pleasures are well, guilty pleasures. I shouldn’t be watching them but I can’t help myself.

And why am I sharing this with you? Because I can! πŸ™‚ And also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who watches these shows religiously. So without further ado, here they are:

My Top Ten TV Catnips & Guilty Pleasures:

10/ Pretty Little Liars

Category: Guilty Pleasure
Network: ABC Family
Genre: Teeny bopper “mystery” drama
Stars: Lucy Hale (Privileged, Bionic Woman), and a bunch of other newcomers no one over 17 would recognize. Also; Holly Marie Combs (Charmed), Laura Leighton (Melrose Place) and Chad Lowe (Hilary Swank’s ex) play the parents.

Truthfully, I am a bit embarrassed to actually admit that I watch this show. Not only am I waaay to old to be watching it, the show itself is quite ridiculous. Okay, the show is about four best friends in a sleepy Pennsylvania town who are being haunted and harassed by a mysterious random texter/e-mailer who goes by the initial “A” immediately following the discovery of their missing friend Allison’s body. The whole mystery/suspense itself is rather laughable, not to mention the fact that this show thrives on one ridiculous plot after another, and yet I can’t stop watching. Why? I don’t know, maybe to laugh at the contrived plot and silly storylines, or maybe because the show reminds me of being a teenager again, and how we all pretended we were adults dealing with adult things back then. The reasons are unclear, but there’s no denying: I can’t stop watching this show and in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to put this in the number 10 spot.

9/ Flashpoint

Category: TV Catnip
Network: CTV, CBS
Genre: Police procedural
Stars: Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars, Just Shoot Me), Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), David Paetkau (Whistlers), and a bunch of Canadian actors who are probably famous in Canada.

There are not many Canadian shows being aired in US networks, least of all the Big Five (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW). But Flashpoint, a Canadian police procedural show set in Toronto, Ontario has been airing in CBS for three seasons and counting. And there’s a good reason for that; mainly, that the show is actually good. Flashpoint is about a team in the Strategic Response Unit, a SWAT-like elite branch of the Toronto Police Department and how they deal with each high-risk case they encounter everyday. However, for a show that could easily be about boys and their guns, this show opts to show humanity and the moral choices we all have to make through compelling storylines and the inter-personal relationships of the team. I didn’t think I would like this show (I wasn’t that crazy about SWAT back in the day) but I gave it a shot one Summer and now I’m positively hooked. And after the awesome season 3 finale last February, I think this show definitely deserves the number 9 spot in this list.

8/ Gossip Girl

Category: Guilty Pleasure
Network: The CW
Genre: Teen/adults who refuse to grow up/NY socialite drama
Stars: Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley, Jessica Szohr, Taylor Momsen, Kelly Rutherford, Matthew Settle – all virtually unknown until this show skyrocketed their careers

This show first premiered in 2007 and in an instant changed the way we watch television forever. It did not only garner a following, it practically became a worldwide obsession. Everyone was talking about the show and just like that, the cast members became the hottest stars in Hollywood who frequently grace the covers of various glossy magazines like Vogue, Elle, W and of course New York Magazine. The show has always been borderline soap opera, but by its fourth season, the quality continues to dwindle and it’s now almost as ridiculous as our #10 show Pretty Little Liars. A lot of fans have given up on the Upper East Side gang, but I find myself to be among the ones who continue to watch even after the show jumped the shark multiple times. Why? Nobody knows. Maybe I just can’t resist seeing pretty people in pretty clothes being nasty to each other. In any case, this show is a guilty enough pleasure to earn the number 8 spot.

7/ Being Human

Category: TV Catnip
Network: SyFy Channel
Genre: The awesomely Supernatural
Stars: Saw Witwer (Battlestar Galactica, Smallville), Sam Huntington (Superman Returns, Fanboys), Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural) and Canadian TV actress Meaghan Rath, a virtual unknown prior to this show.

After the massive success of The Office, networks began jumping on the adaptation bandwagon. In this television season alone, there are three new shows all adapted from popular British series: the controversial Skins on MTV, the successful Shameless on Showtime and our #7 show: Being Human on SyFy. Adapted from the BBC show of the same name, Being Human tells the story of three “unique” friends and roommates; a self-loathing vampire named Aidan (a nod to the actor Aidan Turner, who plays the vampire Mitchell in the original series), a self-loathing werewolf named Josh and a self-pitying ghost named Sally. The show itself pretty much sticks close to the original, with the first two episodes being almost a carbon copy of the British version. And I was not supposed to like this show. But I do. It has its problems, but the characters slowly win me over, especially Josh, who’s played by the totally underrated but always wonderful Sam Huntington. And what do you know, just like The Office before it, the more this show finds its footing, the better it gets. I’ll always love the original, but the adaptation is good enough to earn the #7 spot.

6/ Hawaii Five-O

Category: Guilty Pleasure
Network: CBS
Genre: Police Procedural
Stars: Alex O’Loughin (Moonlight, The Back Up Plan), Scott Caan (Ocean’s Trilogy, Entourage), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)

I am never a big fan of remakes, but I have to say that out of all the remakes that the networks have forced down our throats over the last few years, this is the only one that I find enjoyable (sorry, 90210). Sure, the quality is a little lacking in this show. The plots are never that inspired, and some of the storylines are more than a little tired, not to mention there seems to be very little character developments so far in the season, but I’m not complaining. I get to see Alex O’Loughlin kick ass every week and that is more than enough reason to justify watching this show. Not to mention, this is a show about the beautiful, lush, bikini-happy islands of Hawaii. To hate on it would just be cruel. Who could hate Hawaii? πŸ™‚ And that, my friends, is the reason why this show gets to sit pretty at #6 in this list.

5/ The Vampire Diaries

Category: TV Catnip
Network: The CW
Genre: The Awesomely Supernatural
Stars: Ian Somerhalder (Lost), Paul Wesley (24), Nina Dobrev (Degrassi) and a slew of other hot young actors who became household names thanks to this show.

If you’re no stranger to this blog then you already know how I feel about this show. But for all you newcomers, let me break it down for you: if you can only stand watching one “supernatural-themed” show, make sure you watch this one. Sure, True Blood over at HBO has more buzz surrounding it, but if season three has taught us anything is that the show is slowly dwindling in quality. And the sophomore season of The Vampire Diaries is the exact opposite. It’s addictive, suspenseful, thrilling, fun and it’ll – excuse the pun – suck you in. This ain’t your average teen vampire show; in the first season alone show runners Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec have shown that they are not afraid to be edgy and gritty. The quality of this show has gotten so good that I’m not even embarrassed to profess my love for it, and that’s why it earned the #5 spot.

4/ White Collar

Category: Guilty Pleasure
Network: USA Network
Genre: Sleek “Con man” Procedural
Stars: Matthew Bomer (Chuck), Tim DeKay (Carnivale), Thiffany Thiesen (Saved By The Bell), Willie Garson (Sex and The City) and Marsha Thomason (Las Vegas).

USA Network should really call itself “the guilty pleasure network” because not only does it have the best summer shows like Psych and Burn Notice, it also has so many guilty pleasure shows that we all love to indulge in like Royal Pains, Fairly Legal and this sleek, sexy procedural in our #4 spot. The premise of this show is a brilliant con artist assisting the FBI in solving various white collar cases, and it could easily get tedious and boring but the show is smart enough to not only hire the always smoldering Matthew Bomer to play con man Neal Caffrey, but also to build a show mythology that they can easily expand and build on for many seasons. Add clever banters to the mix and you have a smart, guilty pleasure show you’re actually not embarrassed to show your love for. Thus, I bequeath the show the #4 spot. Hey, you gotta give Jeff Eastin credit for turning boring, white collar cases into something sexy and adventurous!

3/ Being Erica

Category: TV Catnip
Network: CBC, SOAPNet
Genre: Soul-searching Drama
Stars: Erin Karpluk (Life Unexpected), Michael Riley (This Is Wonderland), and a bunch of other Canadian actors that we’re not too familiar with.

I actually have only stumbled on this show very recently, and in one month I devoured all three seasons of this delicious Canadian show simply because I couldn’t stop watching. This show should have been ridiculous, I mean, it has a somewhat ridiculous premise; a single, unemployed and generally pathetic 32-year-old woman, Erica Strange, decides to participate in a therapy where her doctor sends her back in time to fix her regrets. Ridiculous, right? Not so much. The show is actually far from it, because the lessons Erica learns in each episode and the way her character grows over time actually eclipse the ridiculousness of time travel therapy. And I think that’s the whole point. It’s not a sci-fi time traveling show (it made very little effort in explaining the whole time travel therapy part), instead it’s an introspective show about growing up and making better choices even if you’re already so used to making bad decisions. For that and more, I decided to award my new TV catnip the #3 spot in this list.

2/ Skins (Original UK Series)

Category: Guilty Pleasure
Network: E4
Genre: Raunchy British Teen Drama
Stars: Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy) and a ton of young British actors and virtual unknowns prior to the show

This raunchy teen drama is such a hit in the UK that MTV cannot resist in attempting to do a US version, with horrifying results. Not only was the US version an insult to the original, but the show also enraged the Parents Television Council, forcing many sponsors, such as Subway, to pull out. But the original UK series is something completely different than its shoddy adaptation: the storylines are fresh, the conflicts are real, the actors are talented and every episode we get a glimpse of what life is like at seventeen; tumultuous, angsty but at the same time a lot of fun. Those are the years of no consequence and Skins does a pretty good job balancing between the hardships of being a teenager in an adult world and the fun of it all. It’s also pretty genius in rebooting with a whole new castmember after two seasons to keep the plots fresh and at the same time, attract new viewers. Not to mention, it is the only show on television (that I know of) that devotes each episode to each different individual characters, which is more effective in the long run because we get to see each episode from a different character’s point of view. Even though I don’t think the second (and now third) generation can quite live up to the first, this show is still guiltily pleasurable (sex! Parties! Pills! And oh, all that angst!) enough to perch nicely on the #2 spot.

1/ Parenthood

Category: TV Catnip
Network: NBC
Genre: Family Drama
Stars: Peter Krause (Six Feet Under, Dirty Sexy Money), Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Erica Christensen (Traffic, Swimfan), Monica Potter (Patch Adams, Along Came A Spider), Dax Sheppard (Punk’d, When In Rome), Mae Whitman (Independence Day), Joy Bryant (Spiderman 2, Bobby), and Craig T Nelson – along with a bunch of other really talented actors, children and adults alike.

I’d like to think of my number one TV Catnip as “the little engine that could”, because by all accounts this show should be Dead On Arrival but instead, it has thrived, nay, soared even though all odds were against it. Let’s see, first, early in production, their star Maura Tierney, who was originally set to play Sarah Braverman, pulled out after being diagnosed with breast cancer. This caused the show to postpone all the way to mid-season to give producers time to recast the role, which then went on to the awesome Lorelai Gilmore Lauren Graham. Then, after the show premiered, the numbers didn’t turn out to be that great. However, it had a passionate fanbase (yours truly included) that somehow got it picked up for a second season. And still, the numbers, though steady, weren’t all that great either. But luckily for the show, none of NBC’s new shows did great in the ratings department either, and some are even canceled early (so long, Undercovers), giving this show a boost in their chance of survival, and -fingers crossed- might even get picked up for a third season. How’s that for the little engine that could? And I think the reason why this show continues to survive is the fact that it’s probably the only show in NBC right now with the right amount of heart, truth and reality. Parenthood is a show we all can relate to, a show about family that is honest and real – that doesn’t rely on ideals and instead approaches the concept with a realistic, yet hopeful, point of view. Add an amazing cast (they’re all so amazing, including the child actors) and you’ve got an hour of unforgettable entertainment, all courtesy of the dysfunctional yet lovable Bravermans. And that’s why they have received the Top Honors in this list. Congrats, guys. Now let’s just pray that more people will watch this show so it will not be canceled too soon.

So there you have it, My Top 10 Favorite TV Catnips and Guilty Pleasures. Now it’s your turn, what’s your TV catnip and guilty pleasure? Sound off below!


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/Β  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? πŸ™‚

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,


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. πŸ™‚ 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!


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? πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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


Binky Bee

My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: First Day

Christmas is almost here, and as a result, I’m already in a holiday mood.Β  So, I decided to do what good ol’ St. Nick would do this time of the year: “making a list, and checking it twice” – but instead of “checking it twice”, I’m just going to make a series of countdown lists from now to… 12 days from now, a la that really annoying song, The 12 Days of Christmas. My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown will be divided into three parts: TV, Movie and Celebrities. I would do music, but since I don’t exactly have the most mainstream taste, I better not – there’s nothing more annoying that reading a list of music you’ve never heard of, right? πŸ™‚

And now, let us begin Binky’s 12 Days of Christmas Countdown, starting with the first day:

My Top 10 Shows of 2010

Note: Before anyone protests, I am sure Parks & Recreation and Friday Night Lights deserve to be in this list, but since NBC pushed the premiere date for Parks & Rec to next year and I haven’t seen the last and final season of FNL (currently airing on DirecTV), I have no choice but to exclude them from this year’s list. But if I do another round of this next year, I’ll make sure I’ll include them. Now, on to the list:

1/ Community, NBC.

Like I have mentioned in my Golden Globes post, this genius comedy is the most underrated show on television today. But luckily, it does have a loyal fanbase who appreciates its meta humor and zany pop culture references every week. And I am one of them. The reason why I chose this show as my number one of 2010 is simple; this is the only show that can be absurd and realistic at the same time. Just look at season 2: in less than 13 episodes, the show manages to: have Betty White guest stars as a lunatic anthropology professor, cleverly avoid going down the will-they-won’t-they romantic plotlines, pay homage to Apollo 13 while simultaneously pimping KFC, do a virus/zombie Halloween episode, a “conspiracy theory” episode that makes way more sense that AMC’s convoluted (and canceled) Rubicon, and finally: do the entire Christmas episode in stop-motion. Yes, people, the Rankin/Bass kind. The Golden Globes and SAG may not pay too much attention to this show, but in this list, our merry study group from Greendale Community College nabs the top honor. Congrats, guys.

2/ Mad Men, AMC.

Regardless how you feel about the finale of Season 4, you can’t deny that this is probably the only show on TV that is always consistent about its quality. Sterling Cooper had changed to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Don Draper has divorced his insufferable wife Betty and now about to marry his secretary, and Peggy Olsen had transformed from Don’s mousy secretary to a successful copywriter that men actually take seriously – all of these had happened without sacrificing great writing and solid ideas. No wonder this show keeps winning the Emmys, it’s not so easy finding a great show that can stay great after four seasons. And that’s why Mad Men continues to be on top, whether on this list, or any other.

3/ 30 Rock, NBC.

Most shows on television tend to decline in quality in its fifth season. I mean, look at The Office, its fifth season wasn’t exactly what you would call “solid”. But in 30 Rock’s case, it’s actually quite the opposite. Instead of declining in quality, it actually improves. From the premiere episode, this show just nailed it. The jokes are fresh and relevant, the meta commentary are on point and hilarious, and the celeb cameos are even more awesome: from Matt Damon to Mad Men’s John Slattery have shown up this season, they were all hilarious and we didn’t grow tired of seeing celeb stunt-casting in this show because the writers did a great job of giving them a good reason to be there.Β  Plus, they actually had a live show a few months back and it was epic! It’s official, Tina Fey is the most genius woman in the world. If she runs for president, I’ll definitely vote for her. πŸ™‚

4/ Boardwalk Empire, HBO.

From the get go, this show had all the makings of an HBO hit: period drama from one of the writers of The Soprano, Terence Winter, starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, corrupt politician/gangster, set in prohibition era Atlantic City. Oh and the pilot episode is directed by none other than one Martin Scorsese, who also serves as executive producer. And a hit it really did become, and for me, a much welcome change after a frustrating season of True Blood in the summer. Despite being compared heavily to Mad Men by critics, I think this show has its own appeal; from PTSD-ridden Jimmy Darmody to religious nutjob Agent Nelsan Van Alden, every character in this show is complex, fascinating and absolutely entertaining to watch. Not to mention, the mixture of real life characters with the fiction: in season one we got to meet Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Arnold Rothstein and Al Capone. But I think the best part of this show is the addition of Jack Huston towards the end as Richard Harrow, a war vet with half a face who was both cold-blooded and heartwarming at the same time. Despite a rather weak finale, I still think this show was one of the best new shows of 2010, and one that’s well-deserving to be on this list.

5/ Cougar Town, ABC.

Even though Modern Family is the one getting all the awards, I can’t help but love this quirky Courtney Cox comedy just a little more than its Wednesday night companion. First of all, the show is really funny, and sometimes even much funnier than Modern Family. Second, it has all these crazy cool games; like “Penny Can” and Movie Mash Up. Third, the Cul-de-Sac crew are basically a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics who sit around Jules’ fabulous kitchen all day drinking red wine. How can you not love that? And let’s face it, we all wish our suburban neighbors are as cool as the cul-de-sac crew. Also, we all want to have a huge wine glass that we call ‘Big Joe’. Or maybe it’s just me?

6/ The Vampire Diaries, CW.

When this show first premiered last year, I have to admit I was really skeptical and thought that it was just another Twilight knock-off. But boy was I wrong! At the hands ofΒ  Scream and Dawson’s Creek’s Kevin Williamson and his partner Julie Plec, this show becomes more than just an adaptation of a popular vampire book series – it’s a fantastic show that keeps us at the edge of our seats week after week. Now in its second season, we’re delving more into the mythology and it’s actually fun and riveting at the same time. Nina Dobrev gets to show off her acting skills by portraying both the heroine Elena and her evil vampire doppelganger Katherine, and she knocks it out of the park every time. And of course, those Salvatore boys are just so hot, it’s really hard not to love this show. I mean, really.

7/ Raising Hope, Fox.

I wasn’t much of a fan of My Name Is Earl, so I didn’t expect to love this new show from Greg Garcia when it first premiered last Fall. But unlike My Name Is Earl, this show won me over in no time. Maybe it’s Martha Plimpton’s superb acting, maybe it’s the adorable baby Hope who I suspect may be a robot since she’s just way, way too cute, maybe it’s Bijou Phillips’ cameo as Hope’s serial killer on death row mom, maybe it’s Garret Dillahunt’s refreshing turn as a (not-so) deadbeat dad,Β  maybe it’s Cloris Leachman’s crazy antics as Mee Maw, or maybe this show is just that good. Whatever it is, I’m a fan, and I’m glad that the network seems to love it as well because it’s the first freshman show that gets a full-season pickup. Yeay!

8/ Fringe, Fox.

There aren’t too many sci-fi shows on TV right now, especially one with consistent quality and not-too-convoluted mythology. Fringe is one of those few. Now in its third season, the show upped its ante in the first half by alternating the episodes between two universes, which gives us an idea of “how the other half lives”. All the main actors, in the exception of Joshua Jackson, have to portray both their characters and the alternate versions of their characters week after week and they all gave such amazing performances, especially in the case of Anna Torv and the always fantastic John Noble. Not to mention, the deeper we get into the mythology of the Fringe universes, the more intriguing and fascinating it becomes. Fox may have lost faith in this show by moving it to TV’s Siberia – or Friday night – come January but I for one still think this is one of the best shows on TV right now and hopefully it’s not going away any time soon.

9/ Glee, Fox.

The second season of this mega hit may not be the best, but I still think this show deserves to be on this top 10 list. Because at the heart of it all, it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Sure, there are inconsistencies, and the writers do have a tendency of creating multiple plotlines only to drop them and not revisit them again a few episodes later, but the core struggles and the reason why I fell in love with the show are still there. And this season they have tackled a few sensitive issues, like faith, homosexuality and bullying, as well as body image issues quite realistically and with a lot of heart. Plus, they still charm us with their covers of everything from Broadway to Bruno Mars, not to mention their awesome Christmas album that is now playing on repeat in my iPod. Oh, and take heart, Finchel fans, the show will survive whether they’re together or apart. πŸ™‚

10/ Parenthood, NBC.

A few years ago, ABC’s Brothers and Sisters charmed me with their big family dynamic and drama, but I grew tired of it after a while due to its inability to steer clear of the soap opera route: they keep adding illegitimate children and implausible plotlines that have nothing to do with what made the show charming in the first place. But NBC’s Parenthood is nothing like Brothers & Sisters. The drama is real and easy to relate to, the conflicts are relatable, and the plotlines are actually plausible. Sadly, it may very well be in danger of cancellation after this season wraps, but I’m hoping it’ll live to see another season because the Bravermans is one family I’d like to see more of.

So there you have it, my list of The Top 10 Shows of 2010. This television season is not exactly the best, but it does have its moments and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have. And now that we’re done with this list, check back in tomorrow, I’ll be counting down The Top 10 TV Screen Scorchers.

Until then, feel free to comment and share your top 10 shows of 2010.


Binky Bee