Golden Globes 2017 – Predictions

January 8, 2017

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The Golden Globes kick off the Oscar races and that is why I mainly watch this awards show. Sure, it’s fun to see all of the year’s most famous celebrities get together in one room, and occasionally get drunk and make a fool out of themselves. But for me, the Emmy’s are the true awards for television and the Oscars are the true awards for movies. With the Oscars nominations just around the corner (Jan. 24), the Golden Globes actually do matter a lot more than they used to.

So what is at stake? We all know that La La Land is the clear front-runner going into the awards season. There is nothing that the Golden Globes can take away from La La Land, because it’s expected to win most of its 7 nominations (the most of the night). Even if they don’t win certain categories like Best Score or Best Screenplay, that won’t hurt it at all until the guilds start announcing their winners.

The two films that do have a lot riding on the Golden Globes are Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. These two films are fighting against the La La Land giant at the moment and can sure use the momentum by winning big at the Golden Globes to possibly upset the feel-good musical come February 26. Therefore, the two major categories to look out for during the Globes will be Best Drama Film and Best Director. If either Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea takes both of these awards, it will give it a nice boost going into the Oscar nominations. I have a feeling that Moonlight will be the film to receive this boost, but these two awards can easily be split by both films.

Here are all of my predictions for the Golden Globes…

Movies

Best Film – Drama:

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Prediction: Moonlight. I feel like the HFPA will go for the more daring and talked about film between critic circles, but it’s practically a toss-up between this and Manchester by the Sea.

 

Best Film – Musical or Comedy:

20th Century Women

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Sing Street

Prediction: This one is La La Land, end of story.

 

Best Performance in a Film – Drama

Actor:

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea as Lee Chandler

Joel Edgerton – Loving as Richard Loving

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond T. Doss

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic as Ben Cash

Denzel Washington – Fences as Troy Maxson

Prediction: I’ll go with Casey Affleck mainly because Manchester by the Sea is a real threat for Best Picture early on in the Oscar race. Denzel Washington was incredible in Fences, so if there is an upset it should be him.

 

Actress:

Amy Adams – Arrival as Dr. Louise Banks

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane as Elizabeth Sloane

Isabelle Huppert – Elle as Michèle Leblanc

Ruth Negga – Loving as Mildred Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie as Jackie Kennedy

Prediction: I haven’t seen Jackie, but it’s hard not to expect Natalie Portman to win for that role. I’ll be rooting for Amy Adams here because her performance and the movie she starred in, Arrival, are going unnoticed.

 

Best Performance in a Film – Musical or Comedy

Actor:

Colin Farrell – The Lobster as David

Ryan Gosling – La La Land as Sebastian Wilder

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins as St. Clair Bayfield

Jonah Hill – War Dogs as Efraim Diveroli

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool as Wade Wilson/Deadpool

Prediction: Ryan Gosling because La La Land is on another level compared to any other film in the Musical/Comedy category this year. Gosling wasn’t as good as his co-star Emma Stone, but who else can the HFPA give this award to? Ryan Reynolds? Don’t make me laugh.

 

Actress:

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women as Dorothea Fields

Lily Collins – Rules Don’t Apply as Marla Mabrey

Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen as Nadine Franklin

Emma Stone – La La Land as Mia Dolan

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins as Florence Foster Jenkins

Prediction: Emma Stone truly sparkled in her role in La La Land. She should win and well deserves it. But I have a soft spot for Hailee Steinfeld for her great performance in The Edge of Seventeen.

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight as Juan

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water as Marcus Hamilton

Simon Helberg – Florence Foster Jenkins as Cosmé McMoon

Dev Patel – Lion as Saroo Brierley

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals as Ray Marcus

Prediction: Mahershala Ali. If Moonlight is truly as big of a player in this Oscar race like people have been suggesting, he will walk away with this award.

 

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis – Fences as Rose Maxson

Naomie Harris – Moonlight as Paula

Nicole Kidman – Lion as Sue Brierley

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures as Dorothy Vaughan

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea as Randi

Prediction: Viola Davis was a powerhouse alongside Denzel Washington. She pulled enough of her weight around the screen that she could’ve and maybe should’ve been considered for a leading actress role. But in this category, she should be a clear winner.

 

Best Director:

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Prediction: My favorite award of the Golden Globes because it’s the award that can truly match up the best films in both drama and comedy/musical categories. But to be fair, the director who has won the Best Director award at the Golden Globes, his movie has only won Best Picture at the Oscars once in the last seven years (Argo – Ben Affleck). So in hindsight, maybe you don’t want to win? Anyway, I’m predicting Barry Jenkins to win this award, just so La La Land doesn’t seem like such a clear runaway winner so early on in the Oscar race.

 

Best Screenplay:

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

Prediction: Manchester by the Sea probably has the best plot and story-line of any film nominated here. That’s why I’m going with Kenneth Lonergan.

 

Best Original Score:

Nicholas Britell – Moonlight

Justin Hurwitz – La La Land

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Arrival

Dustin O’Halloran & Hauschka – Lion

Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams & Benjamin Wallfisch – Hidden Figures

Prediction: Doesn’t La La Land HAVE to win here? The score for the film was simply lovely.

 

Best Original Song:

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake) – Trolls

“City of Stars” (Justin Hurwitz, Pasek & Paul) – La La Land

“Faith” (Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder & Francis Farewell Starlite) – Sing

“Gold” (Stephen Gaghan, Danger Mouse, Daniel Pemberton & Iggy Pop) – Gold

“How Far I’ll Go” (Lin-Manuel Miranda) – Moana

Prediction: Again, doesn’t La La Land have to win here? But to be fair, I still have “Can’t Stop the Feeling” stuck in my head from the first time I heard it. Then again, Lin-Manuel Miranda is having quite the year… could Moana upset?

 

Best Animated Feature:

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Sing

Zootopia

Prediction: Zootopia.

 

Best Foreign Language Film:

Divines (France)

Elle (France)

Neruda (Chile)

The Salesman (Iran/France)

Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Prediction: Elle

 

Television

Best TV Drama:

The Crown

Game of Thrones

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Westworld

Prediction: This is an awesome group of new shows, which makes this category extremely exciting. It’s hard not to pick Game of Thrones here as it’s arguably the most popular show on television, but it is surrounded by a bunch of new-comers that everyone has been talking about. Stranger Things is surely a popular pick and Westworld was the talk around every office week-after-week. But I’m going with The Crown. GoT has never won Best Drama at the Globes and likely won’t until its final season. Therefore, The Crown seems like the most appealing choice to the diverse HFPA.

 

Best TV Comedy:

Atlanta

Black-ish

Mozart in the Jungle

Transparent

Veep

Prediction: Veep is an Emmy darling, but for the Globes, they love rewarding new and refreshing shows. This year should go to Atlanta, Donald Glover’s comedy on FX.

 

Best Actor – Drama

Rami Malek – Mr. Robot as Elliot Alderson

Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul as James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill

Matthew Rhys – The Americans as Philip Jennings

Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan as Raymond “Ray” Donovan

Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath as Billy McBride

Prediction: I would love to see Matthew Rhys win here, but if I was betting on this category my money would go to Rami Malek.

 

Best Actress – Drama

Caitriona Balfe – Outlander as Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser

Claire Foy – The Crown as Queen Elizabeth II

Keri Russell – The Americans as Elizabeth Jennings

Winona Ryder – Stranger Things as Joyce Byers

Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld as Dolores Abernathy

Prediction: Claire Foy. Done and done.

 

Best Actor – Comedy

Anthony Anderson – Black-ish as Andre “Dre” Johnson Sr.

Gael García Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle as Rodrigo De Souza

Donald Glover – Atlanta as Earnest “Earn” Marks

Nick Nolte – Graves as Richard Graves

Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent as Maura Pfefferman

Prediction: Donald Glover.

 

Best Actress – Comedy

Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Rebecca Nora Bunch

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep as Selina Meyer

Sarah Jessica Parker – Divorce as Frances Dufresne

Issa Rae – Insecure as Issa Dee

Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin as Jane Gloriana Villanueva

Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish as Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson

Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the safe pick here so I’ll go with her, but from Rachel Bloom to Gina Rodriguez, and Issa Rae from Insecure, this could be anyone’s to win.

 

Best Mini-series or TV Film:

American Crime

The Dresser

The Night Manager

The Night Of

The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Prediction: The People vs. O.J. Simpson will win here. No questions asked.

 

Best Actor – Miniseries

Riz Ahmed – The Night Of as Nasir “Naz” Khan

Bryan Cranston – All the Way as President Lyndon B. Johnson

Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager as Jonathan Pine

John Turturro – The Night Of as John Stone

Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Johnnie Cochran

Prediction: Courtney B. Vance. Let’s get all these O.J. awards handed out early, okay?

 

Best Actress – Miniseries

Felicity Huffman – American Crime as Leslie Graham

Riley Keough – The Girlfriend Experience as Christine Reade/”Chelsea Rayne”/”Amanda Hayes”

Sarah Paulson – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Marcia Clark

Charlotte Rampling – London Spy as Frances Turner

Kerry Washington – Confirmation as Anita Hill

Prediction: Sarah Paulson.

 

Best TV Supporting Actor:

Sterling K. Brown – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Christopher Darden

Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager as Richard Onslow Roper

John Lithgow – The Crown as Winston Churchill

Christian Slater – Mr. Robot as Mr. Robot / Edward Alderson

John Travolta – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Robert Shapiro

Prediction: John Lithgow.

 

Best TV Supporting Actress:

Olivia Colman – The Night Manager as Angela Burr

Lena Headey – Game of Thrones as Cersei Lannister

Chrissy Metz – This Is Us as Kate Pearson

Mandy Moore – This Is Us as Rebecca Pearson

Thandie Newton – Westworld as Maeve Millay

Prediction: Chrissy Metz.

 

 

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Mr. Robot – “eps1.9_zer0-day.avi”

September 4, 2015

Season One, Episode Ten

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Grade: B+

Season One Grade: A

After two incredibly thrilling episodes back-to-back, it was impossible for Mr. Robot to keep its foot on the acceleration pedal through the first season’s finale. But we did get answers, and boy did they ever give us the results we wanted. Or did we? It’s easy to go along for the ride with Fsociety and say “F the world! Hack them all!” because we’re not a part of that world. If this was really a possibility, would we go along with it? That’s the dilemma here but it’s not what the main story is about during the finale.

Elliot wakes up in the driver seat inside Tyrell’s car. Apparently he’s been missing for days and whatever happened after he explained the plan to Tyrell, Elliot doesn’t remember (and therefore neither do we). What we do know is that the hack went through and the world is now in panic mode except for a few people. Let’s break them down.

Darlene is loving life right now that, and despite her other fellow hackers of Fsociety not exactly thrilled like she is, they all know what kind of difference they’ve just made. The world is now without debt and there doesn’t seem to be a way that the White House or E Corp can fix it. The global economy is a mess and everyone is now in a world where they cannot use credit cards or access their bank records. But what is there really to celebrate?

Angela isn’t exactly in panic mode, nor is she excited about what’s happening. She ends up taking that job at Evil Corp but she doesn’t seem to belong anywhere. It’s strange for her to be working in the same company that she was in a legal battle over. It’s the same company that almost directly killed her mother, yet here she is, just another part of the powerful and heartless organization. She even does her part as her heart is as hard as stone after her boss kills himself during a live interview. But Phillip Price, the CEO of E Corp, is able to influence her to simply get new shoes and attend the afternoon press conference.

As for Phillip, he is incredibly calm and collected after what has just happened. Angela even brings it up and his response was more a distraction than a direct answer. He says that people caused this mess, and he’s sure that people will turn things around eventually. The most important role we see Phillip take part in was the after-credits scene between him and the White Rose. A great way to hint that there is something we’re not seeing yet, and by we I mean Elliot and Fsociety. Could they be part of the Dark Army maybe?

As for Elliot, he goes through most of the episode trying to figure out what the hell happened and why he can’t remember anything. Last thing he remembers was telling Tyrell the whole plan, and the next thing he knows it the hack was successfully damaging. Though the world is now free of its debt, Elliot will never be free of his family, including his father Mr. Robot. It was predictable that Mr. Robot wasn’t real, but what’s interesting now is how Mr. Robot is playing the alter-ego. Elliot struggles to believe in everything that’s happening. He doesn’t want the people protesting and rioting in the streets. He doesn’t want the world to be crumbling and society to be rebranded. But Mr. Robot does and he’s just a part of Elliot’s subconscious. And like what Mr. Robot and the family said, Elliot can’t get rid of them. They’re a part of him forever.

It’s sort of a cheap trick to skip through the actual hacking that flipped the world upside-down, but it’s a useful technique to keep us invested towards the second season. We still want to know what happened during those days Elliott doesn’t remember. And to end the season with a knocking on Elliot’s door only intensifies the feeling. It has to be Tyrell though, right?

Before I go, I just want to mention that pre-opening credit scene between Krista and Lenny. He’s trying to make a case with the police to locate Elliot and have him arrested for hacking him. Sure, he’s a sleaze-bag but he does have a point, but like the police told him he’s going to need a lot of proof to put him away. Can we assume this is going to at least be one of the plots in the second season?

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Fear the Walking Dead – “So Close, Yet So Far”

September 3, 2015

Season One, Episode Two

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Grade: B+

I’m trying my best not to compare Fear to The Walking Dead, but one thing has been a glaring similarity: the show kills off its black characters. It’s been a criticism since the second season of The Walking Dead, which has now killed off more than a dozen supporting characters (T-Dog, Bob, Tyreese, and Noah just to name a few). It’s only been two episodes for Fear to kill off THREE supporting black characters: Art, Matt, and Calvin. The show-runners have to be aware of this criticism, but have no intention of turning it around whatsoever.

Okay, now that’s out of my system I’ll say that I did enjoy the second episode. One thing that Fear is doing well that TWD also succeeds in is showing how sometimes people can be a lot more frightening than the undead. The world in Fear is still in the “confusion” state, but we’re quickly moving forward into the chaos stage a bit prematurely. The chaos is beginning not because the world is understanding what’s going on, it’s because it has no idea why police are shooting people point-blank. The reactions of the crowds certainly trigger some current events, but that’s the point.

One of the scenes worth acknowledging was when we saw a police officer filling his trunk with bottled water. It’s clear he, along with other authority, knows that something is happening. Whether he’s aware that a zombie apocalypse is around the corner isn’t relevant. It’s how things are escalating so fast that there’s not time for the world to figure out what’s happening. Just like Tobias said, how can you prepare for something catastrophic that’s happening the same day?

As for Tobias, I’m going to miss him. I really expected him to join Madison and her family but he’s likely aware that he has a better chance surviving on his own, since he’s the only one who seems to know exactly what’s going on. Still, the show could use his narration and voice of reason to speed everyone up to pace. What’s disappointing is how it seems like Travis’ ex-wife and teenage son, Christopher, is going to be around for at least a little while. Who knows, maybe they’ll actually be developed into great characters but as for right now, they’re the two I wish would get bit.

I’m not a fan of splitting up Madison and Travis so early on in the series. During the pilot they had great on-screen chemistry and the show will suffer without them together. At least Nick took a backseat during this episode as he was going through withdrawal. What Fear is doing well this early on in the season is engaging the audience despite us knowing what’s going to happen next. We’re witnessing the chaos alongside Madison and Travis and putting ourselves in their shoes, wondering if we would make the same decisions that they made. For now, this is as good as it can get, but can Fear keep moving forward before the shit hits the fan?

But while the streets have turned violent, there is the barber and his family who takes in Travis, Liza, and Christopher. There is something that tells me the barber is going to have more to play in this season. His wife seems to realize something bad is happening as she prays, but the barber is more alert, first to the strangers inside of his home and second to the madness that has erupted outside. It should be fun to watch how that plays out, but I’m hoping Travis makes his way back to Madison real soon.


One Episode Left: True Detective Season Two

August 5, 2015

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If you’re like me and have been trying to keep up with all of the details from the maze that True Detective Season Two has puked out for the past two months, then get in line. After re-watching the episodes and conducting plenty of research, I think I finally have some kind of grasp about what’s happening going into the finale this Sunday, which will be a 90-minute episode.

So here’s the deal. If you haven’t realized it yet, Vinci, California is insanely corrupt. There are dozens of characters that are discussed every episode that have a big part of the corruption, but it’s more difficult to remember them than the cast of Game of Thrones BECAUSE WE DON’T REMEMBER EVER SEEING THEM. Seriously, apparently one huge development in Frank Semyon’s (Vince Vaughn) story-line was how hard he took the death of Stan. If you’re wondering who the hell is/was Stan, then you’re right on the money. Stan was the guy who worked for Frank and died while having his eyes burnt out just like Caspere. Before he died, he apparently was only in TWO RANDOM SCENES. I don’t think I was alone when I said to myself, who the hell cares about this Stan guy who got killed? It’s only the natural response for the viewer who has only seen him for about one minute throughout the season. But do you know who cares? Frank cares. He cares a whole lot to the point where we have an excruciatingly long scene where he visits Stan’s family, gives the widow a bulk of cash, and has a heart-to-heart with the son who’s playing catch by himself against a wall. The trick was all on us though, because while no one gave a shit about Stan, we were stuck trying to figure out this small bit of information that essentially doesn’t matter much.

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But for what it’s worth, it does matter a little bit. In the last episode we see Frank smash Blake’s face in with a glass in slow motion, before killing him and commenting about him soiling the carpet. Before Frank killed Blake, he revealed some very important details to him and to the viewers. Blake admits to killing Stan because Stan figured out everything that Blake was doing behind Frank’s back and was going to blackmail him. Blake also was the person who gave Frank the wrong name of the rapist that Ray Velcoro sought out and killed. While Blake had his hand in the pot here and there, his only real contribution to the plot was to spit out all of this information to catch the audience up to what’s happening away from the scenes we’re forced to watch. Again, it’s pretty annoying but it gets the job done.

Okay, now that all of that Stan stuff is out of the way, I can commit this post to what I assume is the real focus of this season of True Detective, which like normal shows stems from the pilot: Who killed Ben Caspere? Caspere was the city manager in Vinci, a business partner with Frank, a patient of Dr. Irving Pitlor, and involved in a number of corrupt deals such as the sex parties, the blue diamonds, and selling the land with the Catalyst Corp. He was certainly a shady fellow who couldn’t be trusted, but also one incredibly powerful to do business with. It was reported that a person with a crow mask either murdered him, or transported his body. This takes us back to the second episode when Velcoro investigates Caspere’s secret apartment and finds a video camera linked to a hard drive. A person in the crow mask shoots Velcoro point blank with rubber bullets and after he wakes up, the hard drive is gone. That’s the second mystery throughout the season, who has the hard drive?

The hard drive has some damning evidence of very powerful men at the sex parties that Caspere had for leverage. Naturally, everyone wants the hard drive. We go through the plot where Frank desperately tries to locate the hard drive to buy himself back into the land deal, but this results in an investigation gone wrong with no further development.

Where does that leave us? Well, we find out in the last episode that those blue diamonds are a huge part to this puzzle. Back in 1992, blue diamonds worth millions were robbed by two masked men, who were Dixon (the fat, drunk cop who got killed at the Vinci massacre) and Kevin Burris (the guy who killed Paul Woodrugh – more on that later). Holloway (the main guy who met with Paul in the tunnels) and Caspere knew about the theft. What’s important about all of this is that it leads directly to the main suspects of Caspere’s murder: Laura and Leonard Osterman, who were the children of the store owners that watched their parents get killed by the masked men. Once again, here comes the frustrating part about this show. We briefly see Laura in episode three, but she went by the name Erica (one of the people they question on the movie set). She was Caspere’s assistant at the time and seemed convincingly innocent. She appears in the photograph of Caspere, Vera, Tasha and the diamonds. Since then, she has quit her job, cleaned out her apartment, and hasn’t been heard from or seen. Oh, and we know NOTHING about Leonard, that I know of at least.

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Now where do we stand going into the finale? We know that the Catalyst Corp. with Burris, Holloway, Chessani, and Osip want the Caspere murder investigation to go away. That’s why they closed the case so quickly when it seemed like Amarilla killed him (the guy at the Vinci massacre). But with this small force getting real close in uncovering the murder, everything is at stake for them including the diamond robbery-murder in 1992 along with the very profitable land deal. But it’s not looking too positive for the good guys. It seems like the group that was put together to continue the murder investigation of Caspere is fucked. Ani Bezzerides murdered that security guard at the sex party and is now wanted for her crime. The corrupt men have also framed Velcoro for the muder of Katherine Davis (Ani’s boss and the black woman found shot to death in her car when Velcoro was meeting with her). It’s likely that one of Velcoro’s guns was used in her murder to frame him.

So that really left Woodrugh as the main cop who didn’t have his hands dirty and could unveil everything, except that he was being blackmailed by the photos that Dixon took a while back. When Woodrugh received those photos, he met up with Holloway who wanted Bezzerides and Velcoro’s location. Instead, Woodrugh almost escaped before being shot in the back by Burris.

I’m honestly not too sure what to expect during the finale. I did enjoy Frank taking a bag-load of money and burning his casinos to the ground, which I’m sure he’ll pay for as he’ll try to take out Osip before leaving the country to Venezuela with Jordan. And as for Velcoro and Bezzerides, maybe their hook-up is exactly what they needed to loosen them up and for them to finish what they started. Find Laura, find out who Leonard is, and reveal the conspiracy before Burris and Holloway locate them. I cannot say that this has been a smooth ride, but it’s definitely one that I hope is worth it at the end.


Favorite TV Moments of 2014

January 20, 2015

There were plenty of great television moments of 2014, but unfortunately I’m only one person and simply couldn’t watch everything that I wanted to. So in this post I’m going to count down my favorite eight television moments from the past year.

Warning: There will be plenty of spoilers!

8. The Americans – “Echo” (Finale)

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The finale of the second season was one to remember. The Americans has always been an underrated show without enough recognition since day one, but as long as they keep renewing it then I don’t care how many people watch it. In “Echo” we lose Fred during an undercover mission, and Larrick in a battle after he kidnaps the Jennings. Most importantly, we learn that Jared was the one who killed his family and that he was recruited as a KGB agent, and now Claudia wants Paige to be recruited as well. Of course Philip and Elizabeth say no, but I can’t wait to see this conversation run deeper in season three.

7. Orphan Black – “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” (Finale)

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The second season of Orphan Black had its ups and downs, but the show still remains an incredibly gripping science fiction series with the amazing Tatiana Maslany at the center of all the action. The big reveal during the finale was that Project Castor is a line of male clones in the military. So they just keep on piling on the clones and to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it but I’ll give the writers a chance to weave another season full of twists and surprises. Also, the second season showed my favorite clone, Cosima, get weaker. She shares an intimate moment with Kira during the finale as they go through The Island of Dr. Moreau, and the touching scene winds up being uber important when we see that’s where Duncan’s cipher is! Finally, if there is any image to remember from the second season, it’s the one with all the clones dancing in Felix’ loft. What a fantastic scene that was for Orphan Black. Through all the stress every clone is going through, they’re able to let go, be silly, and just dance when they’re all together.

6. The Leftovers – “Guest” (S01E06)

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The Leftovers was a strange, new show on the HBO lineup that many couldn’t make the jump into. The premise was how two percent of the world’s population disappeared, and viewers wanted to know why. But The Leftovers wasn’t about why’s, it was about what next. My favorite episode of the riveting first season was “Guest” and featured Carrie Coon as Nora Durst, a young widow when her whole family disappeared. The Leftovers has always been strongest when it explores the mindset of its troubled characters, and in “Guest” we’re able to watch Nora as she attempts to not only heal from her wounds, but finally move on. We do see this after she meets with Wayne and embarks on her involvement with Kevin. It’s a minor triumph, but any of the kind should be considered a miracle in her situation.

5. True Detective – “Who Goes There” (S01E04)

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One of the finest new dramas was seen on HBO that involved star actors: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. True Detective was an exhausting and winding murder investigation that was able to stimulate your mind as much as any other show this year. The spacy and cynical thoughts of Rust Cohle with the troubled Marty Hart made up one of the best combos I’ve ever seen on television. And the highlight of the season took place at the end of the fourth episode when Rust goes undercover with the Iron Crusaders and how Rust stays close to Ginger until finally turning on him and dragging him away through the violent neighborhood until Marty picks them up. It was one of the most suspenseful scenes from the whole year and more impressively, it was done as a tracking shot! Brilliant!

4. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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One of the most pleasant surprises of 2014 was John Oliver’s once-a-week Daily Show-type of program on HBO. I had my doubts along with plenty of others, but realized that this format was brilliant. While The Daily show is great, Last Week Tonight was able to do a much better job at researching and pressing deep into an issue, exploiting problems and offering solutions (though many were silly). And the main strength of this show was Oliver’s ability to deconstruct a complicated issue and explain it to the public with such clarity. He also is able to make the most boring subjects hilarious, keeping our attention the entire time. While it looks easy for him to accomplish, I assure you it’s not and that’s why he’s one of the biggest stories of the year.

3. Game of Thrones – “The Mountain and the Viper” (S04E08)

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Game of Thrones has always been consistent at keeping you guessing, and have always had a knack at surprising the Hell out of you. This is no different. Earlier on in the season King Joffrey dies due to poison and naturally Tyrion is accused. So to leave his fate in the hands of the Gods, there is a battle to the death between The Mountain and Oberyn Martell, and things don’t end well for Martell (seriously, that scene still haunts my nightmares).

For the show, Season Four was a great one for Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. He continued to give great performance after great performance from his speech on trial to the conversation in the dungeon with Jaime, to the final sequence of the finale. And while there is a whole lot more going on with the show, Dinklage keeps on stealing every scene. As Khaleesi marches on with her army, Snow fights alongside his brothers, Brann follows the raven, and so on, Tyrion is ranked as my favorite character.

2. Mad Men – “Waterloo” (S07E07)

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One of my favorite shows ever is coming to an end this year, and in 2014 AMC rolled out the first half of the final season (Breaking Bad style). Things have completely turned upside-down since the beginning of Mad Men and now Don Draper is working for Peggy, something I never would’ve imagined would happen. Another huge event that happened was Bert Cooper’s death, which affected everyone in the company. But his death represents how the agency is moving forward and leaving behind the past in a rapidly-changing world. The same goes for its characters, especially Don Draper, who has to deal with leaving everything behind and working on what matters right now at the moment.

The finale had a great scene were Peggy pitches to Burger Chef and there are a lot of similarities that can be drawn to Don Draper and the way he pitches to clients. There is a lot that Peggy has learned from Don throughout the years and she nails it! Everything has changed and as we’re gearing up for the final episodes of Mad Men, it’s the change that seems to stick out the most on the show. And we’re sent off by a dancing Bert Cooper in Draper’s head, telling him to find that place of happiness and bliss inside. It was a great end to the beginning, and now it’s time for the beginning to the end.

1. Fargo – “Buridan’s Ass” (S01E06)

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My favorite television moment of 2014 takes place in a cold and snowy area in the United States. Fargo was my favorite TV season of the year for the reason that I just feel it was closer to being flawless than any other show. And “Buridan’s Ass” was the stand-out episode of the mini-series. This is the episode when things begin to break down, and it does so instantly one after the other. When watching a show that we can somewhat get behind the villain, there are morals we can agree with, such as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. Sure, he’s a murderer but he does allow his victims a flip of a coin to stay alive. But this balance that exists goes haywire for the characters of Fargo in “Buridan’s Ass.”

The scene that stole all the spotlight here was the whiteout scene when Molly and Gus chase after Malvo. They’re so close to him yet so far since you can’t see past a few feet in a whiteout like that. There is so much tension in this scene, it’s like you’re with them in the significant storm. And up to this point, Molly and Gus have been slowly putting together the case against Malvo. Now that they might finally have him, the good guy Gus accidentally shoots Molly. It’s devastating and even more so when you really aren’t sure if she’s going to live or not. Just a brutal event from the universe tipping its side to evil.

In addition, Malvo kills Chumph (a character that we really shouldn’t have liked at all but somehow cared for especially when he gets shot up by the police), and Stavros’ son and bodyguard die from a fall of fish from the sky. “Buridan’s Ass” is just one cruel event after another, and really loosens the reigns from what the audience thought they knew about the show. That seems to be the point of the episode, named after the paradox where a donkey that is hungry and thirsty is put equidistant from hay and water. He’s so caught up between the two options that the donkey can’t make up its mind and dies instead of choosing one over the other. Plenty of characters make tough decisions in this episode, but would they have been better off not picking a side at all? Nonetheless, “Buridan’s Ass” is the finest TV moment of the year.


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