2014 DREAM EMMY NOMINATIONS

With Emmy nominations right around the corner, we thought it was time for one of us to do some prognosticating. Because I pay a little bit more attention than my dear wife to these things, I drew the short end of the straw. In this post, we will provide what we believe the Emmy nominations for 2014 should look like. This is in no way a prediction of what they will look like, simply what I would vote for if I had a vote.

Note —  This year’s Emmy Awards cover season one of Orange is the New Black. Therefore, certain nominations may be different than expected. For example, in the Supporting Actress category, if we were talking about season 2, my representative for OitNB would be Danielle Brooks, not Kate Mulgrew. But Taystee did not have quite as large a presence in season 1, which was more Red centric. As such, Kate Mulgrew gets the nod for season 1.

Additionally, I generally only included shows and performances for shows which I watch and am current on. That may seem obvious, but it is not necessarily so. For instance, in Actress Drama, it would be very easy for me to include Vera Farmiga, for Bates Motel, a show I like, but that I am only midway through the first season. Or to include Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife, because I know how great she is just from being knowledgeable on the subject of TV. But the fact is, I’ve never watched a single episode of the show. This could make for some strange choices, but it’s the only fair way for me to make such a ballot. There are however, certain exceptions to this rule. (1) There’s no denying that The Normal Heart is going to get several nominations. As such, I’ve included a few on my ballot here, even though I’ve not yet gotten around to watching (which I hope to do soon). And (2) there are a couple categories where I simply couldn’t come up with enough “legitimate” contenders. Because of that, I threw in some for fun.

Once the real nominations come out, and sometime closer to the broadcast, we will likely be back with our “Will Win/Should Win” predictions. But for now, here’s the YBTV Blog Dream Emmy Ballot 2014:

Outstanding Drama Series:

  • Mad Men
  • Breaking Bad
  • True Detective
  • Masters of Sex
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Hannibal

Outstanding Lead Actor Drama:

  • Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
  • Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Michael Sheen – Masters of Sex
  • Matthew Rhys – The Americans
  • Mads Mikkelsen – Hannibal

Outstanding Lead Actress Drama:

  • Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
  • Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black
  • Lizzy Caplan – Masters of Sex
  • Keri Russell – The Americans
  • Diane Kruger – The Bridge
  • Robin Wright – House of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor Drama:

  • Peter Dinklage — Game of Thrones
  • Aaron Paul — Breaking Bad
  • Jeffrey Wright — Boardwalk Empire
  • Charles Dance — Game of Thrones
  • Jack Huston — Boardwalk Empire
  • John Slattery — Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama:

  • Anna Gunn — Breaking Bad
  • Michelle Monaghan — True Detective
  • Betsy Brandt — Breaking Bad
  • Annet Mahendru — The Americans
  • Emily Bett Rickards — Arrow
  • Bex Taylor-Klaus — The Killing

Outstanding Writing Drama:

  • The Americans – Echo
  • Boardwalk Empire – Farewell Daddy Blues
  • Breaking Bad – Ozymandias
  • Mad Men – The Strategy
  • Mad Men – Waterloo
  • Master’s of Sex – Catherine

Outstanding Direction Drama:

  • The Americans – Operation Chronicle – Andrew Bernstein
  • Breaking Bad – Granite State – Peter Gould
  • Breaking Bad – Ozymandias – Rian Johnson
  • Mad Men – The Strategy – Phil Abraham
  • Mad Men – Waterloo – Matt Weiner
  • True Detective – Who Goes There – Cary Fukunaga

Outstanding Comedy Series:

  • Veep
  • Louie
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Shameless
  • Silicon Valley
  • Community

Outstanding Lead Actor Comedy: 

  • Louis C.K. – Louie
  • Andy Samberg – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Adam Scott – Parks and Recreation
  • Christopher Meloni – Surviving Jack
  • Danny McBride – Eastbound and Down
  • Joel McHale – Community

Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy: 

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
  • Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
  • Taylor Schilling – OitNB
  • Lena Dunham – Girls
  • Emmy Rossum – Shameless
  • Malin Akerman – Trophy Wife

Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy:

  • Andre Braugher — Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Adam Driver — Girls
  • Tony Hale — Veep
  • Nick Offerman — Parks and Rec
  • Albert Tsai — Trophy Wife
  • Danny Pudi — Community

Outstanding Supporting Actress Comedy:

  • Anna Chlumsky — Veep
  • Kate Mulgrew — Orange is the New Black
  • Stephanie Beatrix — Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Gillian Jacobs — Community
  • Julie Bowen — Modern Family
  • Nina Conti — Family Tree

Outstanding Writing Comedy:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine – The Party
  • Community – Cooperative Polygraphy
  • Louie – So is the Fat Lady
  • Parks and Recreation – Moving Up
  • Shameless – There’s the Rub
  • Silicon Valley – Optimal Tip to Tip Efficiency

Outstanding Direction Comedy:

  • Community – Geothermal Escapism – Joe Russo
  • Louie – The Elevator Part 6 – Louis CK
  • Orange is the New Black – The Chickening – Andrew McCarthy
  • Raising Hope – Murder, She Hoped – Rebecca Asher
  • Shameless – Lazarus – Mary Mylod
  • Veep – Clovis – Armando Iannucci

Outstanding Miniseries/Movie:

  • Fargo
  • Luther
  • Clear History
  • *The Normal Heart
  • Sherlock: His Last Vow

Outstanding Lead Actor Miniseries/Movie:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: His Last Vow
  • Larry David – Clear History
  • Idris Elba – Luther
  • Martin Freeman – Fargo
  • *Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart
  • Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo

Outstanding Lead Actress Miniseries/Movie:

  • *Helena Bonham Carter – Burton and Taylor
  • Rebecca Ferguson – The White Queen
  • Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Coven
  • *Julianne Nicholson – The Red Road
  • Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story: Coven
  • *Kiernan Shipka – Flowers in the Attic

Outstanding Supporting Actor M/M:

  • *Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart
  • Keith Carradine – Fargo
  • Martin Freeman – Sherlock: His Last Vow
  • Jon Hamm – Clear History
  • Colin Hanks – Fargo
  • Michael Keaton – Clear History

Outstanding Supporting Actress M/M:

  • Amanda Abbington – Sherlock: His Last Vow
  • Sienna Guillory – Luther
  • *Julia Roberts – The Normal Heart
  • Allison Tolman – Fargo
  • Kate Walsh – Fargo
  • Ruth Wilson – Luther

Outstanding Writing M/M:

  • Clear History
  • Fargo – The Crocodile’s Dilemma
  • Luther
  • Sherlock – His Last Vow
  • *The Normal Heart

Outstanding Direction M/M:

  • Clear History – Greg Mottola
  • Fargo – The Heap – Scott Winant
  • Fargo – Morton’s Fork – Matt Shankman
  • Luther – Part One – Sam Miller
  • Sherlock – His Last Vow – Nick Hurran
  • Psych The Musical – Steve Franks

-CJ

WHAT TO WATCH: JULY 2014

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I suppose we have to start out with a bit of an apology. There was no June post. Partly because of laziness, Partly because my wife and I are forced to have real jobs. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of good stuff in June, some of which, I will touch on briefly at the top of this list.

July is a summer month, with not necessarily a ton going on. However, many of the things that are coming, are among some of the shows I’ve been looking forward to most this year. That said, let’s go ahead and get on to the list:

10. True Blood (HBO, June 22) — Here we have one of the shows that kicked off in June that I missed. And look, here’s the thing, I’m not here to argue that True Blood is, or necessarily ever was, great television. But it’s the final season. And I’ve held on this long, so I might as well finish it out. If the show was all about Jessica, Eric and Pam, throwing in some occasional Jason Stackhouse, it would be one of the greatest of all time. Alas, it does not do so. Instead, it is one of the most ridiculously confusing and overly large casts and over plotted shows in the history of the world. But we do still have some Jessica, Eric and Pam. And that makes it all worth it.

9. The Leftovers (HBO, June 29) — Having seen the premiere of The Leftovers, my excitement has been totally confirmed. It has all the best of Lindelof, and hopefully, far fewer idiot fans than LOST had. This show is set around a central mystery, but with a twist. From the start, it is made clear that there will never be an answer to the mystery. Maybe that’s what LOST should have done. Maybe that’s what it would have taken to convince people it was a show about character, not mystery.

8. Rectify (Sundance, June 19) — One of YBTV’s top shows from last year returns this summer. We’ve not watched either of the episodes that have aired yet. This feels to us generally like a show that is best taken in chunks (also, we were on vacation when it started, so that didn’t help). The continuation of the story of Daniel Holden and his view of freedom is something I’ve been looking forward to all year long, and I’m so happy to have it back.

7. Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW, July 30) — Everyone’s favorite magicians have a reality show or two, and this is one of them. The duo sets out to have people amaze and confound them, and since the show has already aired in other parts of the world, we have the buzz that the show winds up doing just that to the viewer. I’m a big fan of this duo, and can’t wait to look in on the surprises they have in store.

6. Manhattan (WGN, July 27) — WGN’s second attempt at original programming. The first one came and went with little fanfare. Honestly, I can’t even remember what it was about. I want to say there were vampires involved? That could be wrong. Witches maybe? This one, centered around the development of the nuclear bomb in 1950s New Mexico, I’ve actually heard positive feedback about. Also, the trailer does it’s job of making the show at least seem worth giving a shot. So, it being the summer and all, why not, right? Maybe…

5. The Honorable Woman (Sundance, July 31) — Maggie Gyllenhaal does TV for the network that has given us Rectify, Top of the Lake and The Returned. I don’t really know what the show is about, but the description I just provided is more than enough for me to give it a look.

4. Married (FX, July 27) — Again, a show I don’t necessarily know a ton about, other than the fact that I’ve seen endless promotion for it on other FX programs. But this one stars two of my personal favorites, Academy Award Winner Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as a married couple. I’m guessing hijinks ensue…Let’s do it!

3. The Strain (FX, July 13) — Finally…We get to see the Carlton Cuse project based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro. Any dork such as myself needs no more information than that. Just none. It’s another post apocalyptic show of sorts. But with the talent involved here, there’s no reason not to think it will rise above much of the other similar fare on TV and in film.

2. The Bridge (FX, July 9) — Seriously, FX is just crushing it this summer. The return for season 2 of a show that made the end of year list for YBTV last year, starring Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir, The Bridge started out promising, but with flaws, but by the close of the season, had found a great groove. Like many people who enjoyed season 1, my hope is that season 2 gets stronger by accepting that it is a “weird” show, and moving beyond typical police storylines. There’s a great story to be told here about the US/Mexico border, and The Bridge is just that show to do it.

1. Master’s of Sex (Showtime, July 13) — Sunday nights this summer are going to be as good as almost any Sunday nights in recent memory. You would hope that during the summer, you would get a break from the stressful Sunday nights which include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk, Game of Thrones, Veep, Girls, etc, etc…But not this summer. We have Master’s of Sex, The Leftovers and The Strain. That sounds pretty great to me. Master’s returns for its second season with as much confidence as any show on TV, both in front of and behind the camera. Sheen and Caplan are dynamic and the supporting cast is as good as almost any on TV. We are truly being spoiled on Sunday nights this summer.

-CJ

VEEP 308: DEBATE – BEST ZINGERS (and other great lines)

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Veep was back after Memorial Day weekend hiatus and so are we!  We missed you, hopefully you missed us too.  Veep this week focused on the always exhilarating presidential debate (I say that, rolling my eyes).  But, more importantly than the debate, Selina cut her hair and developed a twitch (I say that, not rolling my eyes).  Also, we learned that Dan survived his breakdown and continues to remain employed by the Veep’s office, although Amy has now taken over campaign manager duties.  Let’s get down to picking the best lines for the week!

**Again, remember, there is likely to be very very colorful language below. You have been warned.

8.  “I never knew you had so much neck. . . I mean that in a good way.  Necks are neat.” – Ben

7.  “You don’t have the facial gravitas for a beard.” – Kent

6.  “Just imagine that is what you will look like when you become a boy.” – Furlong

5.  “I did not need to be cured, Michael.  I diagnosed myself with an acute case of ‘everything’s fine.'” – Dan (personally, I liked the beard)

4.  “People don’t elect elves ok, they put them to work in grottos or they get them drunk at frat parties so they can toss them.” – Mike

3.  “Go f*ck yourself Jack in the Giant Fruitstalk.” – Dan

2.  “What is it with you guys? It’s like flirting but sexless.” – Catherine

1.  “Of course I don’t f*cking like it, Gary.  It’s the worst use of scissors since failed my vasectomy.” – Mike

-LJ

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIMOTHY OLYPHANT

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We haven’t talked about Justified all that much on this blog, but that isn’t because of a lack of love…it’s mainly due to a lack of time.  I, LJ, actually hadn’t ever seen any of Justified until this past January, when I managed to watch 4 seasons in roughly a 3 week span–so I could get caught up before season 5.  And, you know what I discovered? Justified is one of the best shows ever to be on television and potentially my second favorite show of all time (Breaking Bad is, obviously, my first).

In case you know nothing about Justified, let me first tell you that is it is an amazing show about a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Kentucky.  The second thing you need to know is that Timothy Olyphant, and his character Raylan, might potentially be the coolest man to walk planet earth.  The third thing you need to know is that Raylan’s bff/enemy Boyd Crowder, played by the talented Walton Groggins, might be the only man who can compete with Raylan in terms of pure awesomeness.  So for those of you who haven’t seen Justified, you need to check it out.  For those of you who have seen it, please enjoy the videos below, as we here at YBTV attempt to wish Mr. Olyphant a very happy 46th birthday.

-LJ

PS.  And, as a special treat, here is a vintage Timothy Olyphant pic from his days on Sex & The City–when my crush on him first officially began.  You’ve come a long way Raylan.

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VEEP 307: SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP – BEST ZINGERS (and other great lines)

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Veep was in London this week.  Selina sure is making the rounds.  In London, she managed to chug a beer, wear a huge hat, and, of course, get brutally mocked by the British press.  The most exciting turn of events, however, occurred when Dan had a nervous breakdown and got himself fired as the Veep’s campaign manager.  Well played Amy.  Here are my favorite lines from this week.

*As you should recognize by now, there will be colorful language below.

8.  “Her neck is like stretched cheese.” – Gary

7.  “I would like to shoot him, but there are no f*cking guns in this country.” – Amy

6.  “We are running some reverse My Fair Lady sh*t here.  We are showing she is a regular gal.” – Dan

5.  “Ray’s talking. . . . It’s like watching a goat trying to use an ATM.” – Ben

4.  “Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said, Dan is a f*cking terrible campaign manager?” – Mike

3.  “Jonah Bond.  Double-o f*ck off.” – Amy

2.  “The emu has landed.  Jonah’s in London.” – Kent

1.  “I need to be driven to the airport at Diana speed.  Just more carefully though please.” – Veep

-LJ

PS.  Here is your deleted scene from this week.

GAME OF THRONES 406: THE LAWS OF GODS AND MEN

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As I type this post I can feel the clock ticking.  The next episode of Game of Thrones will air in less an hour from right now.  Therefore, I will be typing fast and probably not very much.  But, in case you want to take some time to briefly reflect on what happened last week, let’s get to talking…

1.  Everyone is entitled to their day in court – Well sort of suppose this is true in the Game of Thrones world too.  Although before Tryrion’s trial even started, we (the audience) knew he was climbing an uphill battle.  I just don’t think we realized how low the Lannisters would get by the end of it all (see Shae).  I am fairly convinced that Tywin doesn’t actually believe his son killed his grandson, but we know that Tywin has never been Tryion’s biggest fan so I am not surprised that he is a willing participant in this debacle that is called a “trial.”  Further, Tywin doesn’t seem to mind that Jaime is called the “King Slayer” so I doubt his pride would be very much hurt if another one of his sons ended up being known as a killer of kings as well.  What I really can’t figure out is whether Cersei actually believes that Tryion is responsible for Joffrey’s death.  Because if she does, then she is clearly an idiot.  And, while Cersei may be many things–a power-hungry, adulterous, b*tch (to name a few)–I hadn’t yet took her for being completely stupid.

2.  Poor Jaime – I like Jaime, I really do.  And, I don’t know if he has just been clueless about depth of his father’s and sister’s vengefulness or what, but his face was priceless as the camera cut to him during Tryion’s trial. It was like he hadn’t really appreciated the mockery the trial would become (despite Tyrion’s warnings) until he was present at it and was getting smacked in the face by it.  I think Jaime’s best quality is his loyalty and he demonstrates it so well in this episode where he willing gives up his “life” (at least as he knows it) so that Tryion’s life can be saved.  This was truly a selfless act–something you don’t see much of these days.  Question though – How does Tyrion’s request for trial by combat going to affect Jaime’s deal with Tywin.

3.  Shae – Girl, the Lannisters had better have threatened your life or something because I cannot forgive you for humiliating and emotionally destroying Tryion the way you did.  I get that you are mad at him, but lady, you have taken the whole scorned-lover thing to a new level.  And, I certainly, don’t appreciate it.  Plus, not only have you backstabbed Tryion but you have betrayed Sansa (a girl that has done nothing to you).  And, that my dear, is low.

4.  Trial by combat – So, do we think Bronn steps in for Tyrion again or is Tyrion really going to have to fight his own battle this time?  I am not sure of the rules.

5.  Stannis is still boring as ever – I wish this guy would just go away.  I can’t find his storyline to be remotely compelling.  And, I can’t imagine that even the new financing Stannis has managed to acquire (by the help of Ser Davos) is going to make Stannis any more of a threat or any more interesting to me either.  Stannis along with Ramsey need to go to part of the Game of Thrones world where I never have to see or hear from them again anytime soon.

6.  It’s tough to be Queen – While I certainly think Dany has the abilities and the confidence to serve as queen of Slaver’s Bay and hopefully the Iron Throne (one day), she is definitely learning that ruling effectively takes a lot of different qualities and that it certainly isn’t an easy job.  It’s tough to be the one in charge and it’s tough to do the right thing, especially when there isn’t a clear right answer.  At least Dany seems to be taking her job seriously though and that is better than many of the previous men/boys that have sat on the Iron Throne.  Varys, you keep your spies out of Dany’s camp though.  I am watching you.

Alright, that is all I have time for this week.  What did y’all think?

-LJ

 

VEEP 306: DETROIT – BEST ZINGERS (and other great lines)

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In this week’s episode, I think that it became pretty clear that as bad as Selina is at being Vice President, she is even worse at running for president.  Add that horrible ex-Prime Minister from Finland and I think it’s not hard to see how much of a disaster Selina’s life has become.  Enough about the plot, let’s get to the best lines of the week.  (Obviously, I had a hard time picking).

*Again, colorful language will likely appear below.  Actually, it will most certainly appear below.

9.  “Where do you get your news from a guy on a horse?” – Amy

8.  “I wrote an entire sound bite and had the entire crowd in tears, even the police horses.” – Ben

7.  “In your country, people f*ck snow and I hope you understand that I say that with the utmost respect.” – Veep

6.  “I want Selina’s job announcement on every network. I want to hear the discovery channel say we interrupt these sharks.” – Dan

5.  “Yes you are going to a f*cking gun show, even if I have to put a gun to your f*cking head.” – Veep (great parenting Selina)

4.  “Mike, why would you send me this sh*t? You might as well have just sat on the f*cking keyboard and sent me that.” – Dan (slightly stressed at being campaign manager, I think).

3.  “The entourage is getting way too big.  We are only days away from an omelette chef and a piano tuner.” – Amy

2.  “This is really nice, working together as a family. I actually enjoyed the gun show.  Once I got used to all the regular people and how fat they were I really enjoyed it.” – Catherine

1.  “Jonah, come here. You know, sometimes I feel like there’s a nine-year-old boy inside you operating the levers.” – Mike

And, finally, let’s pause and reflect upon how awesome this shirt is.  Where do I get one?  You go Catherine.

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-LJ

PS.  I am going to try and start adding the deleted scenes from each episode, assuming HBO continues to make them available.  If you go back and look at previous Veep posts, the deleted scenes should now be added to those as well.

 

GAME OF THRONES 405: FIRST OF HIS NAME

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I know, I am super late in getting a review of last week’s Game of Thrones episode posted.  But, it was a busy week outside of the blogosphere.  My best friend got married this past weekend and I received a promotion at work.  That meant less time for blogging.  Since I am cutting it so close this week, again, it’s likely this post won’t be very long.  Let’s get to talking.

1.  So the big reveal – In a surprise for us television watchers, we learned this week that it wasn’t the Lannisters who poisoned Jon Arryn, but instead his crazy wife Lysa Tully at the request of Littlefinger.  We have always been warned that Littlefinger would do just about anything to get himself more power.  As Varys adequately put it:  “He’d see the realm burn if he could be king of the ashes.”  Now, we know for sure, that Varys is probably right.  After all, it was Arryn’s death that caused Robert to ask Ned to become the King’s hand.  This ultimately led to the death of Ned.  And, thus the entire war.  We also know that Littlefinger orchestrated the death of Joffrey and the “capture” of the Stark’s oldest daughter.  I don’t know what Littlefinger’s ultimate plan is, but he is clearly 10 steps ahead of everyone else.  Maybe his new crazy wife might be the end of him though.  Fingers crossed.

2.  Mother’s Day – Today is Mother’s Day, so let’s talk briefly about the mothers in Game of Thrones.  Dany, the mother of dragons, I think deserves the mother of the year award,  given that she has freed all these people (even if she does learn that the liberated cities of Slaver’s Bay have already fallen back into the hands of the Masters or other despots without Dany there to oversee their cities).  What is commendable about Dany though is that, unlike everyone else that seeks the Iron Throne, she appears to recognize that she has much to learn before she ultimately assumes that title and she has decided to try and restore order in the cities that have fallen apart since her liberation.  I can respect that.  Cersei will never win mother of the year, but she certainly is the best at using motherhood as a manipulation technique.  It will be interesting to see if she has swayed Oberyn to her side after expressing her love for her daughter that was sent far far away from her.  Finally, Lysa Arryn gets creepiest mother ever award.  Not only is she crazy, but her son Robin certainly is taking after his nutty mother.  And, is Sansa really going to have to marry that kid?  It’s time for Sansa to catch a break.

3.  The great adventures of Arya and the Hound – I am ready for something to happen with these two, aren’t you?  I really wish the Hound would start teaching her how to fight.  I am ready for Arya’s revenge crusade to start.

4.  Close but no cigar – North of the wall Jon Snow along with Locke descend upon Craster’s house and kill everyone (other than the women) in sight.  Let’s take a minute and pause to remember Bran overtaking Hodor during this scene and crushing Locke’s neck.  Because that was awesome!  Also, here’s a thought for you, if Bran can pretty much jump into the mind of anyone, is he going to be able to possess Dany’s dragons one day (assuming he doesn’t die first)?  I am a little bummed that Bran and Jon didn’t get to reunite, and I honestly don’t understand the whole point of Bran’s quest, but if Game of Thrones doesn’t want these two to be together, I guess I will have to live with that.

5.  Reunited (and it feels so good) – At least Jon got reunited with Ghost.  Thank goodness.

6.  The Iron Bank – I assume that all this talk of debt and the Iron Bank is going to become very very important at some point.  I just don’t get it’s significance right now.  Hopefully, all will be revealed, in due time.

What did y’all think?

-LJ

VEEP 305: FISHING – BEST ZINGERS (and other great lines)

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I am cutting it close this week with a posting about last Sunday’s Veep episode.  Apologies to “Put You Hangs Together” (if you listen to Doug Benson’s podcast then you will get the reference, if you don’t, then reevaluate some things).  Anyways, without further ado, here are last week’s best quotes (as expertly rated by myself).  Not surprisingly, Jonah wins again!

*Insert warning about colorful language below.

6.  “Passoword…mother_f*cker.” – Dan

5.  “How much would I love to speak my mind on this campaign?  Can you imagine if I did that?  Mississippi is chock-full of assholes.  I don’t trust the Chinese.  I gotta tell you something…I’m not gonna be able to pass a single piece of legislation that’s really gonna make any f*ck of difference in your life.” – Veep

4.  “People like Maddox always have guns on the walls next to the animal heads.  It’s like a flowchart for people who don’t know what firearms do.”  – Veep

3.  “Watching you try to be nice is like watching a baby smoke a cigarette.  It’s kind of cool, but also very disturbing.” – Mike

2.  “I’d rather be shot in the f*cking face than serve as vice president again.” – Veep

1.  “People like me, people hire me, people date me, and people f*ck me because I’m triple-A f*ckin’ awesome.” – Jonah

-LJ

PS.  Here is the deleted scene from this episode.  It is pretty great.

THE ONE WHEN “I STARTED TO FEEL OLD”: 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS FINALE

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May 6, 2014 marked the ten year anniversary of the finale of NBC’s Friends. And seriously, does that not make you feel old? Because it sure does make me feel old. There are plenty of places on the internet this week that are talking about the historical significance of Friends (go to HitFix and read Sepinwall’s piece, it’s excellent), and I in no way want to leave the implication that I don’t believe it has major historical significance. Because I do. I really, really do. But that’s not what we do here at YBTV. Here, we talk about how TV impacts us on a personal level, so that’s what I will do here in this post.

When Friends started in 1994, I didn’t watch. I was 10 years old, and honestly, the only TV I regularly watched at that point was: (1) Houston Astros baseball games; (2) Hill Street Blues reruns with my dad; and (3) Beverly Hills, 90210 with my older siblings. By the time I was 14 or 15 though, I had become aware of this little show on NBC and had watched every episode on VHS tape (I really hope the people who read this blog know what VHS tapes are). We had recorded the episodes off reruns (another thing kids today don’t know much about), and I watched them with my friends, out of order of course, at least 5 times each.

By the time I was a junior in high school, Thursday nights were “the night” at my house. You, young people, may not remember this, but back in my day, people used to gather in large groups to watch TV other than the Super Bowl. Every Thursday night for my junior and senior years of high school, somewhere between 12-20 people would get together in my parents’ game room (where the big TV was, obviously), and we would all watch Friends together, as a communal experience.

When I went off to college in the fall of 2001, the show had started to show some growing pains. It’s not easy to do 234 episodes of sitcom television. And, that eighth season of Friends suffered as so many shows do when they’ve been on that long. Finding new, interesting stories became harder, these characters we came to know and love became cartoon-like, and all in all, the show became less funny. We had long story arcs of Joey being in love with Rachel and Chandler living in Tulsa, among other misfires. Even though the show slipped though, it always remained watchable and you never regretted spending time with your six closest TV Friends.

Friends was never a perfect show, but it did change the world. Just look at what happened after Friends premiered. Every year since that 1994 television season, each network has tried to duplicate what Friends had. But, the thing is, you can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. To find 6 people that good looking, with that great of chemistry, and that impeccable of comic timing…How could you do it again? Though a couple shows have come close (Happy Endings being one of them), there will never be another Friends.

Along those lines, consider that the finale of Friends was watched by 53 million people! Just this year, another long running, well loved comedy, How I Met Your Mother, had it’s finale. You know how many people watched that episode? 12.9 million. And here’s the kicker: That is considered a massive, massive success. Friends was really the last of the shows that were appointment television for tens of millions of people each week.

As alluded to above, Friends is even more important to me on a personal level than for the television landscape as a whole. Friends is the show that started me down the path to television dork that I have landed on today (just as Snatch and Fight Club helped guide in my love for film). The connection I felt with Chandler Bing is likely still reflected in my personality as a grown man. The joy I saw that group of people getting out of television in my parents’ game room taught me that television has the power to do more than just entertain. Television can bring people together, and it can sometimes even teach us life lessons and make us think.

Friends episodes, each of the 234 (save the pilot) started with the trademark TOW (meaning either The One Where, The One With, or The One When) and were written as well as any comedy that came before it, and influenced so many comedies that would come after it. Everyone has a favorite Friends episode, although, choosing only one could be tricky. Maybe you love TOW Chandler in a Box? TOW The Blackout? TOW No One’s Ready? Or, are you a classic Friends fan, who says the only answer to this question is, TOW All the Embryos?

Regardless of which episode is your favorite, it’s likely that there are many moments from Friends that stick out in your mind as if it were just yesterday. That’s the mark of great television. Friends may be gone. But, it is certainly not forgotten. Friends made an immediate impact on the television landscape, and it’s fingerprints can still be seen all over the place today. Friends, like Seinfeld, Cheers, and The Cosby Show (to name just a few) is timeless, and it is among the first shows I plan on showing to my children one day.

My love of television can be directly traced back to two shows. The Sopranos, and the six hilarious people sitting on those couches at Central Perk every Thursday on NBC for 10 years, our Friends. Thank you David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Thank you for the memories, and thank you for showing me what television would come to mean to me throughout the rest of my life.

-CJ

*Editor’s note – CJ may feel old, but he is really only 30. 🙂