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.)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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” bunkerwas 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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.
01. Fargo (FX)
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!
…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.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
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
The 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!
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.
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?
The Mindy Project (Hulu weekly)
Best Time Ever w/ Neil Patrick Harris (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.
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).
Doctor Who (BBC America)
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?
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
7:00 PM CDT
Minority Report (FOX)
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.
7:00 PM CDT
Scream Queens (FOX)
7:00 PM CDT
The Muppets (ABC)
7:00 PM CDT
It’s the F***’n Muppets…what more do you need?
The Goldbergs (ABC)
7:30 PM CDT
8:00 PM CDT
Modern Family (ABC)
8:00 PM CDT
Going into it’s sixth season, Modern Family still guarantees at least one solid belly laugh every episode.
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.
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.
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.
And here’s what happened in the worlds of Movies, Music, and Sports…
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…
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
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
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.)
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)
The Cider House Rules
The Green Mile
The Sixth Sense
American Beauty – Winner
(American Beauty won 5 of the 8 Oscars it was nominated for.)
Hip Hop Albums
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
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)
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
AL – Ivan Rodriguez (TEX)
NL – Chipper Jones (ATL)
AL – Pedro Martinez (BOS)
NL – Randy Johnson (AZ)
Rookie of the Year
AL – Carlos Beltran (KC)
NL – Scott Williamson (CIN)
New York Yankees sweep Atlanta Braves (4-0)
(1) Duke, (1) Michigan State, (4) Ohio State and (1) UConn
(1) UConn over (1) Duke 77-74
Points Per Game: Allen Iverson (PHI) – 26.8
Rebounds Per Game: Chris Webber (SAC) – 13.0
Assists Per Game: Jason Kidd (PHX) – 10.8
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)
San Antonio Spurs over New York Knicks (4-1)
Ron Dayne (Wisconsin)
(1) Florida State over (2) Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl
I love the Fourth of July as much as any holiday in the calendar year.
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” treatmenton 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.