TV Character Madness: Round 1 – Part I

It has begun!

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UPDATE: Polls are closed for now, but see the results here and be sure to check in tomorrow for Part II of Round 1.

Matchup #1 (Sidekicks Region)

(4) Marshall Eriksen – How I Met Your Mother

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vs.

(13) Olivia Benson – Law & Order: SVU

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Matchup #2 (Heroes Region)

(8) Rust Cohle – True Detective

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vs.

(9) Raylan Givens – Justified

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Matchup #3 (Comedy Region)

(7) Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm

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vs.

(10) Eric Cartman – South Park

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Matchup #4 (Antiheroes Region)

(2) Walter White – Breaking Bad

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vs.

(15) Kenny Powers – Eastbound and Down

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Matchup #5 (Sidekicks)

(6) Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead

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vs.

(11) Hurley – Lost

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Matchup #6 (Heroes)

(3) Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock

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vs.

(14) Michael Scofield – Prison Break

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Matchup #7 (Comedy)

(1) Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

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vs.

(16) Erlich Bachman – Silicon Valley

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Matchup #8 (Antiheroes)

(5) Don Draper – Mad Men

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vs.

(12) Al Swearengen – Deadwood

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Matchup #9 (Heroes)

(4) Will McAvoy – The Newsroom

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vs.

(13) Sterling Archer – Archer

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Matchup #10 (Sidekicks)

(8) Ari Gold – Entourage

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vs.

(9) Marty Hart – True Detective

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Matchup #11 (Antiheroes)

(7) Boyd Crowder – Justified

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vs.

(10) Jax Teller – Sons of Anarchy

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Matchup #12 (Comedy)

(2) Michael Scott – The Office

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vs.

(15) Jake Peralta – Brooklyn 99

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Matchup #13 (Heroes)

(6) Buffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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vs.

(11) John Luther – Luther

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Matchup #14 (Sidekicks)

(3) Jesse Pinkman – Breaking Bad

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vs.

(14) Dr. Niles Crane – Frasier

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Matchup #15 (Antiheroes)

(1) Tony Soprano – Sopranos

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vs.

(16) Nucky Thompson – Boardwalk Empire

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Matchup #16 (Comedy)

(5) Phil Dunphy – Modern Family

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vs.

(12) Gob Bluth – Arrested Development

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Part II of Round 1 will be up Friday morning. 

Follow along for more on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Next on TV Madness >>

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Piffcast: TV Character Madness Bracket – Selection Show

UPDATE: VOTING HAS BEGUN FOR THE 2016 TV CHARACTER MADNESS TOURNAMENT! 

Just a day after the NCAA Tournament’s Selection Sunday show, The Piffcast announces its own bracket for TV and sports fans alike…

TJ and I reveal the participants of our new TV Character Madness tournament. Voting will begin here on MichaelPiff.com Thursday morning (3/17), as the NCAA Tourney tips off, and YOU will decide who advances toward Television Supremacy.

Also, take a listen for how you can enter our TV Madness Contest and win a Piffcast Prize Pack (Trust us. It’s worth it). Below is the full bracket and you can get copies of your own to fill out on Facebook and Twitter

(Before you freak out about some of your favorites being left out, the bracket goes back to 2000.)

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For a closer look at each region…

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Subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes here. Again, voting begins Thursday morning, March 17th. Have a favorite character you want to win? Let your friends know, and follow along on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

My Favorite 25 TV Shows of 2015

In case you weren’t already aware, I watch A LOT of TV. If you asked me what shows I like, I could list off my weekly schedule with multiple programs every night (and I have). Let’s jut say my DVR gets a lot of usage.

In the post-Breaking Bad era, the quality television has hardly dropped. If anything, TV has stepped its game up across the board and we’re all better off for it. With it now being “Best of” list season, it’s time to sort through all the great shows and some how rank them.

Rather than say “Best” or “Top” though, I have to say “Favorite”. Even if I could name at least 35-40 TV shows that I watched in 2015, I haven’t watched them all. If you get worked up because Transparent, The Americans, or The Leftovers aren’t included, it’s because I didn’t watch them but fully intend to. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thrilled with either The Walking Dead or Homeland’s recent work. And no, I don’t watch American Horror Story anymore. Call me when Ryan Murphy decides to tell better stories and not just be F’d up for F’d Up’s sake.

Now for the TV shows from 2015 that kept me wanting more week to week, or forced me to binge within 24 hours!

25. Bloodline (Netflix)

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Netflix had a KILLER year with their programming in 2015 and Bloodline was very nice surprise from the streaming service. Kyle Chandler cemented himself as this generation’s new TV All-American (on top of Friday Night Lights) and Ben Mendelsohn cemented himself as a pure on-screen asshole (see also Mississippi Grind). Bloodline starts out with a bang, tests your patience in the middle, and then pulls you by your “you know whats” for the home stretch. You get a feeling, Season 2 could be even better. 

24. Gotham: Rise of the Villains (FOX)

Gotham Rise of the Villains

If we were handing out a “Most Improved” award for TV in 2015, Gotham would be strong contender. Season 1 was campy, fun, but not something I would necessarily prioritize my Monday nights for. Rise of the Villains changed all of that. From Cameron Monaghan’s take on the Joker felt perfect (including his shocking plot twist), to young Bruce Wayne’s maturation/Jim Gordon’s descent from innocence, to actually rooting for The Penguin and the cold midseason cliffhanger…Gotham’s finally finding it’s footing in the superhero TV genre. 

23. BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

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This show is dumb for all the right reasons. I like to think Will Arnett’s BoJack is what happened to Bob Saget after Full House went off the air, in half horse-half man form. The ensemble cast of voices, including Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins and JK Simmons, is about as good as there is in animated comedy. And when you think you’re just going to watch for an episode or two, you find yourself losing about 3 hours without even realizing it because it hooked you. 

22. Agent Carter (ABC)

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Agent Carter in a short “special event” season was able to do what Agents of SHIELD couldn’t in its first 2 seasons…separate itself from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and still advance the story. Of all the Avengers heroes, I always found Captain America’s plot to be the most interesting and Peggy Carter is somehow able to continue that from the 1940s-50s by making it her own. It’s also not so dependent on the supernatural but more so on spy and noir storytelling and human action.

21. Mr. Robot (USA)

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Mr. Robot had probably the best pilot for a new TV series in 2015. Unfortunately it never matched that intrigue for the rest of the season, with maybe another episode or two coming close after the halfway point. Rami Malek carries the show as an the incredible introvert a lot of us sometimes feel like. The brutal commentary on modern society feels brilliant at times but then you feel like you saw a lot of this plot in Fight Club…because you did. 

20. Jane The Virgin (CW)

Jane The Virgin

I have to admit, I was pretty late to Jane The Virgin. I loved seeing Gina Rodriguez in her late night appearances and her acceptance speeches at award shows. Then as soon as it was recommended to me, it may have been the quickest 20+ episode binge watch on Netflix I had ever done. It’s fast paced, goofy, and full of cliffhangers. Most soap-style shows would probably be better off with the Jane the Virgin narrator as well. 

19. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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Ellie Kemper should be getting way more love with awards show nominations than she has. If you wanted to know what a TV show anchored by Erin from The Office being freed from a cult “doomsday” bunker was like, now you do and it’s hilarious. The cameos get better and better as the season progresses and I was really rooting for Jon Hamm to win a second Emmy for guest appearance. 

18. Archer (FX)

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If there is an animated show that has taken the torch from South Park for better running jokes and one-liners, it’s Archer. H. Jon Benjamin also has this insane ability to make you laugh with just his voice and no context at all.

17. Daredevil (Netflix)

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I personally love the MCU but I understand the criticism that its villains lack the kind of presence that DC movie villains (i.e. Joker and Bane) have. *Enter the Netflix Hell’s Kitchen Series* Daredevil takes place after the events of the first Marvel’s Avengers aftermath and it isn’t as pretty as you’d think. Daredevil himself gives and takes some gruesome beatings with amazing stunts while Vincent D’Onofrio makes “The Kingpin” Wilson Fisk into one of TV’s best modern villains. It’s a great start to series of one-off seasons for Jessica Jones (scroll further down), Luke Cage, The Punisher and eventually The Defenders.

16. Silicon Valley (HBO)

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When Silicon Valley hit in 2014, I thought it was the best new comedy of the year. It’s a hilarious take on the tech world with Mike Judge’s (Office Space, Beavis and Butthead) own personal experience as a Silicon Valley tech engineer in the 80’s telling the story. The show didn’t slow down at all in S2, even though the “Pied Piper” guys got shit on in every way possible.

15. Narcos (Netflix)

Narcos 2015

If you were curious how dangerous and powerful Pablo Escobar was, or how a show that’s mostly in subtitles is so compelling, Narcos is for you. It’s a very cool mix of suspense and dramatized documentary-style storytelling. A little Scorsese-like, in that regard. 

14. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Netflix)

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The prequel series to the cult classic was BETTER than the movie. Yeah, I said it. Mostly because I couldn’t get enough of 40 year-olds acting like high schoolers and the eventual eruption of crazy Christopher Meloni. 

13. House of Cards (Netflix)

HOC S3

House of Cards is still an excellent show and Frank Underwood is one of the best characters on TV today. But now that he’s at the top, it feels like “now what?”. Claire Underwood’s arc and power plays in S3 was the most interesting to me, and it felt like a big set up for an epic showdown in S4. 

12. Show Me A Hero (HBO)

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The HBO miniseries went a little under-the-radar over the summer, but it was both powerful and relevant to political issues today. If you’re a fan of The Wire, you’ll notice all the parallels David Simon uses in style, cinematography and storytelling. There are also plenty of Wire-alums to get you excited throughout the series. And I have to say Oscar Isaac is reaching modern Al Pacino status with his recent performances, including this.

11. Hannibal (NBC)

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One of TV’s most visually impressive and goriest shows didn’t get much respect from its own network. Hannibal occupied at least 4 of the 7 nights of the week without announcements of scheduling changes and that made it tough to really build an audience. Regardless, every episode made you ask out loud, “HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THAT ON NETWORK TV?” Mads Mikkelsen was haunting as Hannibal and Hugh Dancy complimented him perfectly when hunting  him as Will Graham all the way to the bittersweet end.

10. The Muppets (ABC)

The Muppets ABC

This is probably the grown-ass child that I am talking, but I think The Muppets is perfect. It’s an awesome blend of the characters you grew up with, today’s pop culture, and witty/not-so-subtle adult humor that makes it worth watching every week. The Muppets have surpassed Modern Family as ABC’s best sitcom.

09. South Park (Comedy Central)

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In it’s 19th season, South Park did something it really had never done before…It kept a continuous ongoing story, with a plot, arc and character development…and it did so making fun of gentrification, Whole Foods, Yelp, Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner, sponsored content, Ex Machina, guns and so much more. It was genius.

08. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation 2015

Like Hannibal, NBC didn’t give Parks and Recreation the respect it deserved. There aren’t many shows that you can say got better as they went on, but that’s exactly what Parks and Rec did. It went from feeling like a spinoff to The Office to it’s own show with arguably better writing and characters that can all be invested in.

07. Justified (FX)

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We all have our shows that feel like OUR shows, the ones that only a few of your friends watches and you persistently recommend to everyone else. Justified will always be that show to me. It was never full of itself. The hero/antihero relationship between Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) was unlike any other. And the finale will go down as one of the best in television history.

06. Master of None (Netflix)

Master of None 2015

Aziz Ansari’s Master of None was my favorite comedy of year. It was honest, unique, and way too easy to binge in one evening. I might have laughed at everything that came out of Arnold’s mouth (Eric Wareheim) and I’m also am keeping the “getaway flight to somewhere awesome” date in my back pocket…for someone special and willing to take me up on it.

05. Jessica Jones (Netflix)

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While Daredevil was excellent for it’s action, Jessica Jones stood out even more as a detective noir/horror/superhero series. Kilgrave raised the the ante for Marvel villains in the scariest way possible, mind control, and that made the season that much more gripping and suspenseful. Just a few words and anything could happen to anyone…Can’t wait to see where they go with the series next.

04. Better Call Saul (AMC)

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The concern before Better Call Saul premiered was that it was too soon after Breaking Bad to do a prequel. The body wasn’t even cold yet, as they say. That’s fine because the story of Jimmy McGill, before taking on the Saul Goodman moniker, and Mike has proven to be almost as compelling as Walter White’s in its own way. Like Walter, Saul’s transformation is slow but it clearly takes a lot to get from McGill to Goodman. Mike’s subplot may be even more badass than it was in Breaking Bad.

03. Mad Men (AMC)

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The Mad Men final episodes were perfect sendoff for all-time character Don Draper. Hero, anti-hero, villain…I even recall Draper referred to as “The Devil”…an argument can be made for it all, and he made it look cool. Season 7 also wrapped everything up nicely for an ensemble you grew to love for the better part of a decade, that helped the current generation of TV viewers feel historic events and milestones in advertising as they happened in the 1960s. 

02. Game of Thrones

Jon Snow 2015

Was there a fictional TV Show more controversial this year? Fans got angry. Really angry. Publications swore it off. Horrible characters did really bad things to innocent characters (deep, I know)…but you were still invested. We’ve also been debating and speculating on the ending to the season finale ever since it aired, and we’ll do so till S6 premieres. And dragons…F’n dragons. 

Game of Thrones Dragons

 

01. Fargo (FX)

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The finale for S2 airs tonight and I can’t help but be confident it will be as good as the entire season has been. Every episode has been better than the one before it. The character development has been unreal, especially for Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons’s accidentally murderous couple. Nick Offerman shows off some amazing range beyond Ron Swanson. Cristin Milioti pulls your heart strings again (HIMYM, Never forget). And Bokeem Woodbine might be the breakout star of the year. If you haven’t watched…do it, do it now!

 

What does your 2015 Favorite Shows list look like? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Emmys 2015 Picks: Mine and Yours

With the Emmys airing this Sunday, September 20th (at 7 PM CDT), the Television Academy will answer so many questions we’ve had since the nominations were announced 2 months ago…

Will Better Call Saul pick up where Breaking Bad left off? 

Do Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler finally get their due? 

Which show gets more love after airing their final episodes, Mad Men or The Newsroom? 

WHY DOES EVERYONE ON AMERICAN HORROR STORY GET NOMINATED? 

We may never know about that last one, but we can make our predictions anyway! I’ve stuck to most of my WAY TOO EARLY picks from the summer, but you can cast your votes for each category.

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Veep

My Pick: Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Better Call Saul
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • Orange Is The New Black

My Pick: Homeland

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Show
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Last Week Tonight
  • Late Show
  • Tonight Show

My Pick: Late Show, Letterman’s farewell was too good.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  • Drunk History
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Portlandia
  • Saturday Night Live

My Pick: Key & Peele

Outstanding Limited Series

  • American Crime
  • American Horror Story Freak Show
  • Olive Kitteridge
  • The Honorable Woman
  • Wolf Hall

My Pick: Olive Kitteridge

Outstanding Animated Program

  • Archer
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Over the Garden Wall
  • The Simpsons
  • South Park

My Pick: Archer

Outstanding Lead Actor in A Drama Series

  • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

My Pick: Jon Hamm, although it’s a two man race with Jeff Daniels 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards

My Pick: Robin Wright

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards

My Pick: Jonathan Banks

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
  • Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black

My Pick: Uzo Aduba

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  • Alan Alda, The Blacklist
  • Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
  • F. Murray Abraham, Homeland
  • Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
  • Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
  • Pablo Schreiber, Orange Is The New Black

My Pick: Pablo Schreiber

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

  • Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
  • Rachel Brosnahan, House of Cards
  • Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
  • Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
  • Khandi Alexander, Scandal
  • Margo Martindale, The Americans

My Pick: Diana Rigg

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
  • Louis C.K., Louie
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Will Forte, Last Man on Earth
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

My Pick: Will Forte

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
  • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

My Pick: Amy Poehler

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Andrew Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Adam Driver, Girls
  • Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Tony Hale, Veep

My Pick: Ty Burrell

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Niecy Nash, Getting On
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Gaby Hoffman, Transparent
  • Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep

My Pick: Kate McKinnon

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Mel Brooks, The Comedians
  • Paul Giamatti, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
  • Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
  • Bradley Whitford, Transparent
  • Jon Hamm, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

My Pick: Jon Hamm

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Girls
  • Pamela Adlon, Louie
  • Elizabeth Banks, Modern Family
  • Joan Cusack, Shameless
  • Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
  • Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

My Pick: Pamela Adlon 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Adrien Brody, Houdini
  • Ricky Gervais, Derek
  • Timothy Hutton, American Crime
  • Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
  • David Oyelowo, Nightengale
  • Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

My Pick: David Oyelowo

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
  • Felicity Huffman, American Crime Story
  • Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Queen Latifah, Bessie
  • Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
  • Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd

My Pick: Frances McDormand

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Richard Cabral, American Crime
  • Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie
  • Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
  • Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall

My Pick: Bill Murray

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Regina King, American Crime
  • Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
  • Mo’Nique, Bessie
  • Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge

My Pick: Regina King 

Share your picks and tell your friends to do the same on Facebook and Twitter!

September 2015 TV Premieres and What To Watch

Ready your DVRs! 

Fall TV is coming. While you still have to wait another month for big premieres like Homeland, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Fargo…

(“…very friendly people”)

…but September is no slouch for new Television. After this week, CBS will be leading off big for Late Night TV lovers and it only gets better from there. 

September 8th

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Stephen Colbert Late Show Premiere

10:35 PM CDT

The table is set for Stephen Colbert, who takes over for Davide Letterman at The Late Show. The Tuesday premiere schedule is pretty thin as is, and all eyes will be on Colbert to see how he transitions from his Comedy Central character and takes on the likes of Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel in that time slot.

For me, it’s a breath of fresh air after the disappointing showing so far from Colbert’s new CBS teammate, James Corden. I wasn’t expecting the spastic preteen pandering that Corden’s Late Late Show was going to bring. It’s a long “ughhhh” when you go from Craig Ferguson and his “Don’t give a shit” brand of comedy to…sing-a-longs with Justin Bieber. 

Here’s the slate of guests to look forward to with Colbert when the new Late Show kicks off. 

Tuesday: George Clooney, Jeb Bush and band leader Jon Baptiste with special musical guests

Wednesday: Scarlet Johansson, Elon Musk and Kendrick Lamar

Thursday: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Toby Keith

Friday: Amy Schumer, Stephen King and Troubled Waters

September 9th

The League (FXX)

League FXX

9:00 PM CDT

The 7th season of The League will be it’s last. It’s a show about a Fantasy Football league that only sorta talks about Fantasy Football, which is fine. Every few episodes have their NFL cameos that include Matt Forte, Darren Sproles, JJ Watt, Marshawn Lynch, Jay Cutler, and the “Cameron Jordan & Jordan Cameron” combo that never gets old.

I’ll be honest, I have only watched the show as a Netflix binge watch ever since their move to FXX. It’s a ridiculously quick watch that way. For the final season though, it’ll be worth the effort week-to-week. A lot of familiar faces will be reprising their roles like Rob Riggle, Will Forte, Zach Woods, Ike Barinholtz, Leslie Bibb…and Marshawn Lynch. And don’t forget all the near decade long running jokes between Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Jon Lajoie, Stephen Rannazzisi, Paul Sheer and Katie Aselton and their quest for THE SHIVA!

September 10th

Longmire (Netflix)

Longmire Netflix

Full Season Available at 12:01 AM

Originally on A&E, Longmire is an excellent fix for fans of both Justified and Hell On Wheels. It’s a modern serial western about a Wyoming county sheriff solving gruesome crimes in both his jurisdiction and the neighboring Cheyenne reservation. Robert Taylor didn’t have much notoriety before playing Walt Longmire, but it seems like the role he was meant to play. Along with Battlestar Galactica and 24 alum Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips takes viewers back to his Young Guns days as Walt’s badass Native American sidekick.

September 13th

Doll & Em

9:30 PM CDT

If you’re having Emily Mortimer withdrawal since The Newsroom went off the air, this may be your fix. This 6 episode sitcom follows the actress and her best friend/assistant Dolly Wells around during their adventures in Hollywood and Broadway. It’s cheeky…Did I use that correctly? 

September 15th

The Mindy Project (Hulu weekly)

Mindy Project Hulu

Best Time Ever w/ Neil Patrick Harris (NBC)

Best Time Ever NBC

9:00 PM CDT

The Bastard Executioner (FX)

9:00 PM CDT

Kurt Sutter’s followup to FX’s highest rated show, Sons of Anarchy, is medieval in every way possible. It’s Game of Thrones with more historical relevance, as it takes place during King Edward III’s reign. Lee Jones has some Chris Hemsworth/Thor to him playing the protagonist Wilkin Brattle. True Blood fans will enjoy Vampire Bill aka Stephen Moyer back in a period piece in a co-starring role. Longtime Sutter enthusiasts will recognize plenty of familiar faces from his SOA and  The Shield  runs, including Katey Sagal and Timothy V. Murphy. 

September 16th

South Park (Comedy Central)

9:00 PM CDT

THIS IS SEASON 19!!! Trey Parker and Matt Stone truly have it made, as they have been renewed through 25 seasons with Comedy Central. It’s fun to speculate which pop culture and political news, issues and events will be parodied in the upcoming season…I’ll throw down some bets for Donald Trump, Star Wars, and Deflategate (they love their football and their Denver Broncos). 

September 19th

Doctor Who (BBC America)

Picture shows:  Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara

8:00 PM CDT

I have to confess…I’ve never seen an episode of Doctor Who (*ducks*). I guess it’s never too late to start, right? 

September 21st

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Big Bang Theory CBS

7:00 PM CDT

Minority Report (FOX)

Minority Report

8:00 PM CDT

Gotham: Rise of the Villains (FOX)

7:00 PM CDT

I’m not sure if anyone really loved Gotham’s Season 1. Whether it was the campiness of the show or the inconsistent schedule that made you forget it was still on-air…Regardless, all the Batman bad guys you saw in S1 are back for S2…and they are angry. 

September 22nd

NCIS (CBS)

NCIS

7:00 PM CDT

Scream Queens (FOX)

Scream Queens

7:00 PM CDT

The Muppets (ABC)

7:00 PM CDT

It’s the F***’n Muppets…what more do you need? 

September 23rd

The Goldbergs (ABC)

JEFF GARLIN, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY, GEORGE SEGAL, TROY GENTILE, SEAN GIAMBRONE, HAYLEY ORRANTIA

7:30 PM CDT

Empire (FOX)

Empire

8:00 PM CDT

Modern Family (ABC)

Modern Family S6

8:00 PM CDT

Going into it’s sixth season, Modern Family still guarantees at least one solid belly laugh every episode. 

September 24th

Heroes Reborn (NBC)

7 PM CDT

I understand that Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder  all return that evening, but Heroes is all that matters to me…and many. 

September 28th

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

10:00 PM CDT

By the end of the month, we’ll be comfortable with the new Late Show hosted by Daily Show alum Stephen Colbert…and we’ll finally get to know Trevor Noah better as he heads the post-Jon Stewart era. 

What TV shows are you looking forward to most this Fall? Let me know on Facebook and Twitter

#TBT Year in Review: 1999

As we waited to see what would happen when Y2K hit…

  • The Sopranos debuted on HBO.
  • President Bill Clinton was acquitted in impeachment proceedings.
  • Sega Dreamcast was released in North America,
  • George Harrison was attacked at his home in Friar Park.
  • Wilt Chamberlain passed away at the age of 63.

CHAMBERLAIN

And here’s what happened in the worlds of Movies, Music, and Sports…

Movies

Comedy

American Pie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, 10 Things I Hate About You, Notting Hill, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Being John Malkovich, She’s All That, Big Daddy, Galaxy Quest, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, Never Been Kissed, Dogma, Stuart Little, Blue Streak, Analyze This, Jawbreaker, Bowfinger, Dick, Idle Hands, Mystery Men, Life, Drive Me Crazy, EDtv, Detroit Rock City, The Bachelor, Superstar, AND…

Office Space

Action/Thriller

The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, Three Kings, The Boondock Saints, End of Days, Deep Blue Sea, The Insider, Universal Soldier: The Return, A Murder of Crows, 8mm, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Double Jeopardy, Instinct, The Bone Collector, The World is Not Enough, The Ninth Gate, Arlington Road, Chill Factor, True Crime, Payback, Resurrection, Stigmata, The Mod Squad, Entrapment, The Astronaut’s Wife, The Rage: Carrie 2, AND…

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Drama

Fight Club, American Beauty, Eyes Wide Shut, Bicentennial Man, Boys Don’t Cry, Anna and the King, Girl Interrupted, Animal Farm, 200 Cigarettes, The Virgin Suicides, October Sky, Great Expectations, Onegin, Flawless, The Hurricane, Brokedown Palace, Magnolia, Cruel Intentions, Random Hearts, All About My Mother, The Winslow Boy, Varsity Blues, The Cider House Rules, The Deep End of the Ocean, Tuesdays with Morrie, Black and White, AND…

The Green Mile

The 72nd Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Russell Crowe, The Insider
  • Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story
  • Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown
  • Denzel Washington, The Hurricane
  • Kevin Spacey, American Beauty – Winner

(Spacey’s 2nd Oscar. First was Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for The Usual Suspects)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
  • Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense
  • Tom Cruise, Magnolia
  • Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules – Winner 

(Caine’s 2nd win out of 6 nominations.)

Best Actress

  • Annette Benning, American Beauty
  • Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds
  • Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair
  • Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart
  • Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry – Winner

(This was Swank’s first of two Oscar nominations and awards.)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense
  • Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich
  • Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown
  • Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry
  • Angelina Jolie, Girl Interrupted – Winner

(Jolie has also won the Humanitarian Academy Award in 2014)

Best Picture

  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Green Mile
  • The Insider
  • The Sixth Sense
  • American Beauty – Winner

(American Beauty won 5 of the 8 Oscars it was nominated for.)

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

01. “Believe” – Cher

02. “No Scrubs” – TLC

03. “Angel of Mine” – Monica

04. “Heartbreak Hotel” – Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price

05. “…Baby One More Time” – Britney Spears

06. “Kiss Me” – Sixpence None the Richer

07. “Genie in a Bottle” – Christina Aguilera

08. “Every Morning” – Sugar Ray

09. “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” – Deborah Cox

10. “Livin’ la Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin

11. “Where My Girls At?” – 702

12. “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez

13. “Slide” – Goo Goo Dolls

14. “Have You Ever?” – Brandy

15. “I Want It That Way” – Backstreet Boys

16. “I’m Your Angel” – Celine Dion and R. Kelly

17. “All Star” – Smash Mouth

18. “Angel” – Sarah McLachlan

19. “Smooth” – Santana featuring Rob Thomas

20. “Unpretty” – TLC

21. “Bills, Bills, Bills” – Destiny’s Child

22. “Save Tonight” – Eagle-Eye Cherry

23. “Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam

24. “Fortunate” – Maxwell

25. “All I Have to Give” – Backstreet Boys

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders:

Offensive

Average: Larry Walker (COL) – .379

Hits: Derek Jeter (NYY) – 219

Home Runs: Mark McGwire (STL) – 65

RBI: Manny Ramirez (CLE) – 165

OPS: Larry Walker (COL) – 1.168

Stolen Bases: Tony Womack (AZ)

Pitching

Wins: Pedro Martinez (BOS) – 23

ERA: Pedro Martinez (BOS) – 2.07

Strikeouts: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 364

Complete Games: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 12

Shutouts: Scott Erickson (BAL) & Andy Ashby (SD) – 3

Saves: Mariano Rivera (NYY) – 45

MVP

AL – Ivan Rodriguez (TEX)

NL – Chipper Jones (ATL)

CY Young

AL – Pedro Martinez (BOS)

NL – Randy Johnson (AZ)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Carlos Beltran (KC)

NL – Scott Williamson (CIN)

World Series

New York Yankees sweep Atlanta Braves (4-0)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(1) Duke, (1) Michigan State, (4) Ohio State and (1) UConn

National Championship:

(1) UConn over (1) Duke 77-74

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Allen Iverson (PHI) – 26.8

Rebounds Per Game: Chris Webber (SAC) – 13.0

Assists Per Game: Jason Kidd (PHX) – 10.8

All-NBA Team

Tim Duncan (SA)

Allen Iverson (PHI)

Jason Kidd (PHX)

Karl Malone (UTAH)

Alonzo Mourning (MIA)

MVP – Karl Malone (UTAH)

Rookie of the Year – Vince Carter (TOR)

NBA Finals

San Antonio Spurs over New York Knicks (4-1)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy:

Ron Dayne (Wisconsin)

National Championship

(1) Florida State over (2) Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Steve Beuerlein (CAR) – 4,436

Passing Touchdowns: Kurt Warner (STL) – 41

Passer Rating: Kurt Warner (STL) – 109.2

Rushing Yards: Edgerrin James (IND) – 1,553

Rushing Touchdowns: Stephen Davis (WAS) – 17

Receiving Yards: Marvin Harrison (IND) – 1,663

Receiving Touchdowns: Cris Carter (MIN) – 13

Receptions: Jimmy Smith (JAX) – 116

AP MVP: Kurt Warner (STL)

Super Bowl XXXIV

St. Louis Rams over Tennessee Titans 23-16

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Teemu Selanne (ANA) – 47

Assists: Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 83

Points: Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 127

Hart Memorial Trophy: Jaromir Jagr (PIT)

Stanley Cup

Dallas Stars over Buffalo Sabres (4-2)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2006

2005

1998

1992

1989

1987

American Pregame: The Best Movie Scenes for Your Fourth of July

I love the Fourth of July as much as any holiday in the calendar year.

History Began 1776

It’s a celebration of our nation’s independence, a time to get together with friends and family, a reason to eat ALL THE HOT DOGS AND BURGERS YOU WANT, and a solid excuse to blow shit up.

(If you work in Illinois law enforcement, I totally don’t have fireworks from either Wisconsin or Indiana in my trunk.)

To properly prepare you for your Independence Day festivities (and to have some BBQ conversation material), I have compiled a number of movie clips that will have you proud to be double fisting brats and/or American Flag decorated Budweiser cans. You will more than likely be quoting these scenes later (or right now) with your friends, so why not get your lines down now…

1. Independence Day (1996)

This film should get the A Christmas Story “24-hour marathon” treatment on at least 3 networks every July 4th.

2. Animal House (1978)

“The issue here is not that we broke a few rules…”. A scene and film that America’s founding fathers would be proud of…because F AUTHORITY!

3. Rocky IV (1985)

On the heels of the release of the trailer for the new Rocky film, Creed, revisit the epic montages and eloquent post-match speeches that put Sly Stallone on the map. You’ll likely be doing your own impressions anyway.

4. Top Gun (1986)

In contrast to the previous Rocky IV scene (and Russian relations), and a year after…

5. The Great Escape (1963)

My absolute favorite “Fourth of July” scene. In a high level security Nazi POW camp, the only 3 Americans in a prison filled with British officers celebrate by serving moonshine to all. The irony and symbolism is incredible.

6. The South Park Movie (1999)

As the late great Robin Williams once said “Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.” So why not take a friendly jab at our neighbors to the north, and then cheers them immediately after.

7. Team America (2004)

If you’re going to include one Matt & Trey, might as well include the other that is AS AMERICAN AS IT GETS. Couldn’t choose just one scene, so why not go with the montage?

8. The Sandlot (1993)

(Apologies for the quality but it’s the best I could find)

There are few scenes in cinematic history that could properly capture a kid’s childhood on the Fourth of July like this one…and of course, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.

9. The Patriot (2000)

This one’s too easy…While Mel Gibson isn’t anybody’s favorite representative of anything these days, rallying your troops to never retreat with the symbol of your nation is still a nice touch.

10. A Few Good Men (1992)

No explanation needed…just Jack being Jack.

11. Field of Dreams (1989)

What’s more mythical in America than baseball? Opening Day is the closest thing to the Fourth of July in terms of pageantry and celebration that you’ll find in this country. So why not commemorate this weekend with one of the all-time great monologues for the sport…?

12. Pirate Radio (2009)

“Although our dreams of freedom have died a tragic death, the Hollies are still alive.”

Along the lines of gently lifting a middle finger to authority…I love this scene for the sole reason that the only American on the ship, Philip Seymour Hoffman, is the one to push the envelop even further while this band of British Rock N’ Roll DJs revolt against a government that doesn’t like good music. A modern Great Escape moment, if you will…

13. Almost Famous (2000)

When it comes to rebellious teens and young adults, never underestimate the power of music…or Simon and Garfunkel.

14. Network (1976)

In a world of social media and free speech, you’re allowed to get mad…get mad as hell and know your life has value. That’s what your founding fathers and mothers did. (Yeah, this clip makes you feel feelings.)

15. The Simpsons Movie (2007)

The Simpsons and Schwarzenegger. That is all.

16. Miracle (2004)

Who do you play for?

17. Coming to America (1988)

It’s a beautiful thing when an African Prince (that you didn’t get a scam email from) can appreciate the little things when he first reaches our fine nation.

18. Inglorious Basterds (2009)

When I first saw this film, the entire theater gave an ovation when Quentin Tarantino gave us his spin on WWII history and Hitler’s fate. That was fantastic

19. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Hard not to include the most American superhero in this ultra American compilation. Also worth noting that this is my favorite scene in my favorite Marvel movie.

20. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

It’s one of the most important in film history…and one that is still relevant in today’s America.

21. Jaws (1975)

Just like how Die Hard is a Christmas movie, Jaws is very much a Fourth of July film. I mean, that’s when it takes place after all.

Have anymore movies and scenes in mind? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.