TV Character Madness: Round 2 – Part II

<< Previously on TV Madness

We said goodbye to our first #1 seed.

Sad Homer

Don’t worry. He’ll be fine, eventually.

Still Sad Homer

Now it’s time to vote on who else is going to the Sweet 16.

Matchup #41 (Antiheroes)

(5) Don Draper – Mad Men

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vs.

(13) Saul Goodman – Better Call Saul

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Matchup #42 (Sidekicks)

(7) Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock

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vs.

(2) Josh Lyman – The West Wing

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Matchup #43 (Comedy)

(12) Gob Bluth – Arrested Development

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vs.

(4) Ron Swanson – Parks and Recreation

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Matchup #44 (Heroes)

(1) Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones

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vs.

(8) Rust Cohle – True Detective

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Matchup #45 (Antiheroes)

(6) Frank Underwood – House of Cards

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vs.

(3) Dexter Morgan – Dexter

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Matchup #46 (Sidekicks)

(1) Dwight Schrute – The Office

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vs.

(8) Ari Gold – Entourage

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Matchup #47 (Comedy)

(11) Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory

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vs.

(3) Liz Lemon – 30 Rock

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Matchup #48 (Heroes)

(7) Jimmy McNulty – The Wire

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vs.

(2) Gregory House – House M.D.

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Sweet 16 voting begins Monday, April 21st.

Follow along for more on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Next on TV Madness >>

TV Character Madness: Round 1 – Part I

It has begun!

PiffBracketTV (1) (1)

 

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 >>

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.)

PiffBracketTV (1) (1)

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.

 

 

The Walking Dead Power Rankings: “Sweet Jesus”

Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead. 

“RICHONNE!!!!” screamed so many TWD watchers as that ship finally set sail.

I don’t know about you, but the latest Walking Dead felt weird…in a good way. After an insane midseason premiere, the audience got a breather for once and not with some long dramatic development episode.

It was light hearted. The Walking Dead is NEVER light hearted. The joking, music, RICK SMILING?!…It actually made things even more suspenseful because you were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Nothing gold ever stays, especially in the zombie apocalypse.

By the way, this chase scene is perfect to Benny Hill music.

No goodbyes, like last week, but a new character did enter the fold and make quite an impression for our Power Rankings this week.

 

1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)

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Daryl’s reign at #1 continues for a couple weeks. 1) He hasn’t done anything to lose it. 2) Dude tried pretty damn hard to get Denise some “POP!” 3) Jacking Jesus in the face (I love being able to say that) after being saved (these write themselves) was perfect.

Something to keep an eye on is Daryl’s reluctance to bring outsiders to Alexandria now. Dwight stealing his beloved crossbow and his run-in with the Saviors make his philosophy change justifiable. You get a feeling he’s going to be right about it too.

2. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)

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#TrueDetectiveSeason3^

There is a Woody-McConaughey vibe between these two, and it was cool to see them team up again. For most of the time in Alexandria, Daryl’s been out “there” with Aaron and Rick was playing Sheriff back in town. They have flipped roles when it comes to trusting outsiders though, and that may lead to conflict…or somebody important’s demise.

3. Michonne (Previously 3rd)

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I know people wanted this, and there was some buildup during Alexandria’s stand against the horde, but #Richonne does feel a little CW’ish. I have no problem with it. Rick and Michonne are a hell of a power couple in the zombie apocalypse. TV just has a way about balancing the scales and love is used to set up seriously bloody heartbreak on TWD. 

I don’t think anyone would handle the Spencer situation better than Michonne though.

4. Glenn Rhee (Previously 4th)

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Glenn is one of many who didn’t get any airtime this week. Because of that, it’s hard to raise or drop him at all. His fate, as the season carries on, gets dimmer because of what comic book fans know…but I get a feeling Gimple, Kirkman and Co. are going to psych some people out.

 

5. Maggie Greene (Previously 7th)

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Maggie gets a solid jump in the rankings as she reinserts herself as the calming leader of the group, which is more important with Deanna dead (and gone now). She and Glenn have also started to get their parenting skills in when dealing with Enid. That’s a relationship we’ll want to keep an eye on.

6. Carl Grimes (Previously 8th)

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I don’t know about you, but I’m digging Pirate Eye-Patch Carl. Carl’s maturation seems just about complete. While Enid and even Michonne didn’t seem to understand his reasoning for leaving Zombie-Deanna for Spencer, it seemed like a huge step for the kid. He knows what it was like to say goodbye to his mom, and he probably would’ve liked to have taken care Lori’s change rather than Rick…but that’s neither here nor there.

7. Abraham (Previously 5th)

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Abrahama slides is only due to lack of airtime, like many of the characters. I look forward to a redneck quip from him soon enough, but I’m beginning to worry that there’s not much of an arc left for him. Just trying to appreciate him for as long as we can now.

8. Sasha (Previously 9th)

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Just about everything that applied for Abraham, applies to Sasha, although I think another tragedy (perhaps involving Abe) would make or break her as a character…and that’s why she could stick around a while longer.

9. Aaron (Previously 10th)

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Right now, Aaron can do no wrong in my eyes. He should be back next week to do something meaningful, probably. Could also play into the conflict we were eluding to, regarding Rick and Daryl, as to how they deal with outsiders now.

10. Enid (Previously 6th)

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We all have our reasons for liking or disliking certain characters. A certain sect of Dead fans are giving Enid the “Dana Brody” (Homeland) treatment, and I’m not sure how warranted it is. However, now may not be a good time to act all “complicated” with Carl. I think she’s worried now, like the rest of us, that something terrible is about to happen and that’s why she wants to make distance…I just think you’re better together than apart in this current world, like Glenn said.

11. Jesus (Newbie)

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I really liked the introduction to Jesus. He had a similar prerogative as Rick and Darryl going after the food/supply truck.  He knows martial arts and has welcoming demeanor. He also opens the door to meeting another group with a bunch of new characters…that might not be Negan, yet.

Two questions though:

  1. HOW DID HE GET ON TOP OF THE TRUCK SO FAST?!
  2. HOW DID HE KNOW WHERE RICK’S ROOM WAS?

12. Denise Cloyd (Previously 12th)

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Look at Denise, making moves like asking for pop for Tara. The “North-South difference” moment between her and Darryl over it was pretty funny too.

13. Heath (Previously 11th)

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Now begins the rankings based on not having much to do with this week’s episode. Heath got a mention though, making runs for the community. I’m excited to see how he impacts things going forward.

14. Father Gabriel (Previously 13th)

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At least Gabriel finally gets to meet “Jesus” and not die to do so…yet.

15. Tara Chambler (Previously 14th)

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Sorry you didn’t get your ORAAAAANGE SODAAAAA, Tara.

16. Eugene Porter (Previously 15th)

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I thought Eugene looked sharp at the gate, maybe that was just me. The dude’s come a long way.

17. Morgan Jones (Previously 16th)

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If we’re going to talk about ‘ships on this show, throw my name in to bet on Morgan and Carol (#Morol) happening.

18. Rosita Espinosa (Previously 17th)

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Sup, Rosita? Are her and Abraham still a thing? Asking for a friend…

19. Negan (Previously 18th)

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Still looming…

20. Carol Peletier (Previously 19th)

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Most interested to see how Carol has developed over the 2 month time jump. I’m worried it’s not for the better.

21. Spencer Monroe (Previously 25th)

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Nice moment for Spencer. I was worried we was going to cause conflict but he really just needed to move on from his mom’s passing…and end her at the same time. Going to keep an eye on his development, but the arrow’s definitely pointing up.

22. Eric Raleigh (Previously 20th)

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Still alive.

23. Tobin (Previously 21st)

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Still Tobin.

24. Baby Judith (Previously 22nd)

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Judith’s getting so big! Maybe soon she doesn’t need to be carried to runaway from zombies.

25. Olivia (Previously 23rd)

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Hey, you’re STILL here…for now.

26. Dwight (Previously 24th)

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You can tell Daryl misses his crossbow, but I love him blowing shit up still. You’re still a jerk, Dwight!

Anyone too high or too low in this week’s rankings? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

Exhale Part II: True Detective Season 2 Doesn’t Suck…as bad.

Many of you probably thought about quitting on True Detective Season 2 after the first 3 episodes. There were valid reasons for you to do so, but I also told you that Episode 4 was going to make or break the season…

(This is where I warn you that there are spoilers ahead, but you already knew that.)

TD Gun chase

Thankfully, Season 2 got better. 

We found parallels to Season 1, they cut some of the bullshit that muddied the story, and 3 out of the 4 major characters have developed into people worth investing in (Taylor Kitsch still sucks). There are still slow points and plot detours that will make you pull your hair out, but it’s hard to say the past 3 episodes haven’t redeemed the season at all.

Ray Velcoro and Rust Cohle Would Be Great Partners

There are common trends between Seasons 1 & 2. State government corruption is the overwhelming issue. The detectives have epic falls from from grace, or whatever resembles such a thing for them. There are also mid-season baddies who don’t go out quietly who serve as the “fall guy”, but then set our detectives on the right path.

Reggie Ledoux was the Season 1 “Yellow King”. Rust and Marty’s evidence led them to the meth cook’s compound for an insane confrontation, similar to the one we saw in episode 4 of Season 2 but with far fewer casualties.

Time is a flat cirlce

Of course they DID do it again. The tip that Ani, Paul, and Ray got from Mayor McCheese led them to Ledo Amarilla’s version of Ledoux’s compound, and was likely meant to be a trap for the trio. In Nic Pizzolatto’s own way, he makes Amarilla into the Season 2 Yellow King. “Amarilla” is Spanish for “Yellow” and “Ledo” is 4/6 the spelling of “Ledoux”.

…And explosions.

TD Boom

After Amarilla’s case is closed, there are still 4 more episodes and a bunch of orgy-loving powerful people who need to be taken down. You wonder if Rust’s interrogation skills combined with Ray’s willingness to get dirty would have wrapped this mystery up much sooner. At least Ray is cynical enough to handle Rust’s bleak philosophical soliloquies…and Rust wouldn’t judge Ray’s demons either.

The Story is Better Simplified

One of the things that dragged Season 2 down was the show’s commitment to 4 major characters and trying to unravel them layer by layer. As I mentioned reviewing the first 3 episodes, the multiple subplots associated with too many character were deterring viewers away from what was actually a good mystery. Ray is no longer beating up his kid’s bullies and their bystander dads. Ani isn’t sleeping with other officers in her department, for the time being. Frank is done harkening back to his childhood. And thankfully Paul and his drama have taken a backseat to the team’s investigation.

The simplicity was most evident in Episode 6 “Church in Ruins”. The opening scene between Ray and Frank was as good it gets for this season. They didn’t beat around the bush. Everything was laid out on the table with pistols cocked underneath. Then they walked away with their separate businesses to take care of and nothing to distract them.

The focus on Ani’s preparation to go undercover for the anticipated “party” built up solid suspense for the mess that was bound to happen.

Ani knifing

Who else gave an involuntary fist-pump when she was actually able to apply her knife-fighting practice? That was awesome.

Paul stayed out of everybody’s way and was actually effective when it came to getting the evidence and helping Ani out of the orgy. His redeeming quality is being a good soldier and completing the mission at hand.

With two episodes left, it’s the trio of detectives (and probably Frank) against California’s so-called elite, including Governor candidate Masuka from Dexter. Some of the subplots will likely arise again, especially Paul’s sexuality vs. marrying his baby’s momma, but the focus should be on closing this case.

“We could watch Friends.”

Watching Friends

Ray’s kid is such a Ross. A very ginger pizza-loving Ross.

Ray's stare

Going along the lines of simplicity, Ray cutting the cord from his son and ex-wife puts an end to one of the multiple distracting subplots. What’s interesting about that is the fact he agreed to join the “off the books” squad based on an agreement he could retain custody of his son. Ray seems focused on the task at hand after doing so, but maybe he has sealed his fate as well after doing so. Regardless, the best character on the show only got better because of it.

While in a drug induced trippy state, we learned more about Ani as she recalled a man who abused her in the past. The man looked like someone from her father’s photos and you wonder if he is more connected to the corruption than we already knew. Rescuing her missing person and getting a firsthand look at the kind of evil they are dealing with will probably have Ani sharpening her blade for more in Sunday’s episode.

Then there’s Frank…

Frank Gun

Frank’s story hasn’t felt all that necessary, outside his influence on Ray, up to this point. The more he evolves into being a gangster again, the more entertaining he is…but do you really care what happens to him?

He is, however, acting as much like a detective as Ray, Ani, and Paul while trying to find out who killed Caspere and Stan. Frank has to tie into this thing significantly at some point, and his findings may be the thing that breaks the case wide open. You also anticipate some well deserved revenge on Frank’s 2nd in command, who is obviously undermining him with the trafficking of women.

Most importantly, there’s finally MOMENTUM. The final sequence was exhilarating and gave the viewer something to look forward. You feel better about there being just 8 episodes instead of the typical HBO 10, and that there will be closure to this story sooner than later.

True Detective next episode

I’d like to hear what you think! Do you like Season 2 better now, or does it still suck?

Let me know on Facebook or Twitter and we can talk about it further. 

Time To Exhale: True Detective Season 2 Does and Doesn’t Suck, So Far…

We are three episodes into Nic Pizollato’s followup to the incredible first season story that made the brothers from ‘Edtv’, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, our favorite detective tag team of all-time. Some viewers have jumped off the ledge, some are looking for a reason to hang on, and others aren’t that phased by True Detective Season 2…You can count me in the latter because I’ve suffered through much worse television.

Here’s the part where I warn you that the rest of this is riddled with SPOILERS. Continue at your own risk, if you aren’t caught up on the season. 

shh gif

As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t hate this new season of True Detective. There’s an actual mystery that I find compelling and some performances that I can appreciate. However, there are things worth hating and I understand the frustration and annoyance by fans. Pizzollato told us this would be a completely different story, but I don’t think viewers expected it to be THIS much different. If the first season wasn’t on such a high pedestal, would we care as much?

Trying to separate Season 2 from it’s predecessor, while also analyzing what the first season got right, there are reasons to indeed hate this season and reasons not to.

Why Season 2 Sucks

1. Taylor Kitsch! 

When the cast was finally confirmed, after what seemed like an eternity of speculation, I was actually excited about it. Colin Farrell was the most talented of the bunch. Vince Vaughn could finally get back to being the dark and twisted character actor that he started out as. Rachel McAdams is swell. The only wild card, to me, was Taylor Kitsch…TAYLOR KITSCH HAS BEEN EXCRUTIATING AND PAINFUL.

In 3 episodes, his only meaningful contribution to the story is finding the murder victim that kicked this whole thing off, Ben Caspere. Outside of that, Kitsch’s character has been an awful stereotype of a self-loathing war veteran with some messed up mommy issues and sexuality denial. Every curse word he tries using sounds as forced as when preteens discover swearing.

I don’t know if we’re supposed to feel bad for Officer Paul Woodrugh because of what he’s dealing with, but I have zero investment in him. If Paul doesn’t get interesting soon, I’m going to go back to referring to him as John Carter (not a compliment).

John Carter gif

2. Too Many Moving Pieces

This isn’t Game of Thrones. With twice as many main characters as the first season, we’re getting 4 times as many storylines. Part of Season 1’s charm was its simplicity. The main focus was finding the “Yellow King”, and how the development of the dysfunctional, yet charming, partnership between Rust Cohle and Marty Hart made that happen.

Instead, we’re not only worried about who’s killing off associations to Frank Seymon, but also an investigation into Ray Velcoro and the Vinci police department, Ray’s custody battle for his son, Paul’s stupid drama (which we eluded to earlier), and Ani’s family “cult” connections/porn addiction. Because of the multiple separate storylines, there’s very little chemistry between the characters (besides Ray and Ani) and the plot just drags…

It was episode 4 of Season 1,  “Who Goes There”, where the series set itself apart from everything else.

Will they pull something like the “6 straight minutes of one continuous shot” off again to make all the storylines worthwhile?

3. Cut the Bullshit, Frank.

I thought Vaughn with an organized crime background would be much more interesting than it has been so far. I understand Frank is trying to “go legit” and it’s not the signs of fading or weakness that bother me…It’s the soliloquies in bed and “attempts to speak with a blank stare” that do.

Frank push

I’m convinced, though, that Frank has turned a corner following his reawakening as a violent man. I loved him tearing the nasty gold teeth out of Danny Santos’s mouth and saying “Why would you greet the world like that?”

Frank’s wife, Jordan (played by Kelly Reilly), is a different dynamic and I don’t know what to make of her. Her consistent glares from a distance make you wonder if she has something else at play, besides what’s in Frank’s best interest, or if there really isn’t anything going on up there. I know everyone can’t be Claire Underwood, but that’s the kind of character I wish Jordan was. Frank has appeared needy of a backbone at times. I hope Jordan can be someone who can reinforce it….or completely break it.

4. Hitting 1/3 on Cliffhangers Isn’t a Good Batting Average.

Season 1 was masterful when it came to making you want more after the duration ran out each week…Rust telling investigators to “Ask the right fucking questions” after the first episode. “The Monster at the end of your dream”, Reggie Ledoux, entering the picture before everything goes black…

We’ve only had one of those instances in Season 2, and it was nearly a killer (literally).

Ray shotgunned

I found that ending to be brilliant. People were already swearing off the show because they thought Ray was dead. The speculation was as heated as the ending to Game of Thrones this past season. The follow up episode had kept the vigor going, an excellent chase scene, but they couldn’t end it with momentum. A weird awkward scene between Frank and Jordan to close the episode was as effective as Russell Wilson not handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch at the goal line in the Super Bowl.

5. NO MORE MUSICAL NUMBERS!!!

The “Conway Twitty Impersonator in Limbo” bit was weird, right?

Conway Twitty TD

I allowed it because it matched with Ray’s bolo tie and I was excited to see Fred Ward as his father. Maybe it’s a theme with the bar, that Ray is in limbo whenever he’s seated in his booth, but I don’t need this show to turn out like American Horror Story has. My biggest complaint (among many) is that AHS turned into Glee for their “Freak Show” season, and that’s not why I tune in. For 3 episodes in a row, a performer has gotten too much screen time on the same stage in the same bar and I hope that changes in Episode 4.

Why Season 2 Doesn’t Suck

1. Ray Velcoro

Ray’s bolo tie puts Philip Rivers to shame, He’s also the most compelling character on the entire show.

Ray Fucks shit up

Ray has a little bit of both Rust and Marty in him. The baggage is evident and clear, as is the cynicism. He also prides himself on being a good detective, despite being morally and legally compromised. It’s hard to not get excited when he turned down a drink in Episode 3, saying “…it takes the edge off. I want to stay angry.”

2. Ray and Ani’s Chemistry

Ani is closest to Ray’s level as a cop, she’s not in anybody’s pocket, and there’s definitely a mutual respect between the two. On a show that LOVES asking unanswered questions, they are forthright with each other and don’t let bullshit get in the way. You would think two cops from different departments with different agendas would have unnecessary drama…That doesn’t seem to be the case yet.

I think most fans are glad Ray is alive so that they don’t have to deal with more Paul than they have to. Looking forward to some Marty & Rust-like banter going forward.

…and hopefully Ray heals up in time to actually catch someone.

3. Nic Pizzolatto’s Writing

None of the characters are made for Rust Cohle’s philosophy lessons (even as much as Frank tries telling dumb rat stories). They don’t have to be. As slow as the show has progressed so far, the dialogue has still been fantastic. Whether it was malicious or not, Pizzolatto’s shots at his former award winning director, Cary Fukunaga, in the scene on-set of a post apocalyptic film were hilarious…and completely passive aggressive.

I also know that everything on the show is deliberate, and everything has a purpose. Like creepy Rick Springfield…

If we go by some of the Season 1 playbook, there’s a lot riding on episode 4 this week. It’s the midway point, and you have to think Pizzolatto has something up his sleeve.

4. Who Doesn’t Love a Good Mystery?

Caspere’s murder has taken the detectives down one hell of a rabbit hole…Sex trade, corruption, weirdos in animal masks…And with one of Frank’s soldiers having a similar fate, one wonders if we’ve already met the killer (sorry, Stan)….It’s tough to jump ship if you were already invested in the mystery itself. Whether you like or dislike each of the characters, everyone is a suspect in this case.

5. The Sprinkling of Classic HBO TV Alums

One of my favorite aspects to Season 1 was seeing some of my favorite actors from my favorite shows make appearances. The Wire’s Clark Peters aka Lester Freeman and Shea Whigham from Boardwalk Empire are a few notable ones, and this season of True Detective hasn’t been any different. Another Wire alum, Michael Hyatt (Brianna Barksdale) has made waves as Ani’s commanding officer. Deadwood fans should recognize Ray’s teammate, W. Earl Brown, who played Dan Dority on the classic western series…now stalking Paul, for some kind of leverage.

But probably THE BIGGEST REASON True Detective Season 2 doesn’t suck…

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 7.28.06 PM

Masuka from Dexter aka C.S. Lee has made his presence known! And that goes a long way in my book…no matter how brief it’s been so far.

Love the show or hate it? Let’s talk about it on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Pairing Beer With TV Shows

A Friday night spent with Netflix, instead of at a bar, is becoming more and more socially acceptable…and I love it.

I love television

I also love a good beer and have been more conscientious about what I drink while watching TV. No, not by moderating my drinking or counting the calories, but by drinking a brew that fits well with what I’m viewing.

Here are some recommendations I have for beers to pair with your favorite shows, whether they are running live, in reruns, or waiting for you to binge watch on Netflix…These suggestions are based on themes, characters, settings, and the overall mood you get from watching the show.

If you have your own recommendations (You will. Everybody does.) feel free to Tweet them to @Mike_PiFF03.

The Office

 

“Gonna go home, get my beer on, get my Lost on. What are you doing later? You wanna hang out?” – Andy to Michael Scott

Ever since May 16th, 2013, The Office has served as a perfect pick-me-up for fans who need a Jim Halpert wink at the camera or a Michael Scott one-liner. If you think about it, The Office is almost like a great beer after work, in that sense. It helps you forget about work while ironically taking place in an office.

  • Based on location, my first thought was Yuengling. Scranton, PA is only an hour and a half from Pottsville, PA, where the Yuengling brewery is.
  • Lionshead Deluxe Pilsner from Lion Brewery is actually a very fitting choice. It’s a standard American Lager Crisp, which would make it refreshing after a long day at the office or even have at your desk (if you have one of those “cool boss” environments). And it’s only a 4.5% ABV, suitable for the binge watching occasions.

dwight-lionshead

Parks and Recreation

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to endorse 10 beers into my mouth…because this has been an incredibly stressful day.” – Leslie Knope

Similar to The Office, Parks and Recreation is an excellent pick-me-up show. UnlikeThe Office, Parks is a bit more worldly than what happens at the workplace. Each character brings their own dynamic, especially when it comes to booze. From sage drinking advice from Ron Swanson to how NOT to consume alcohol, despite Tom Haverford’s best efforts….

  • The beer that consistently made “cameo” appearances throughout the series appropriately comes from IndianaUpland Brewery has a number of brews on their list that seem to pair nicely like the Barrel Chested Barleywine and the Campside Session IPA. The Easy Chair Amber Ale seems like the best pair for sitting back and enjoying multiple episodes, given its 5.3% ABV and the fact it matches Andy Dwyer’s hair color.

Burt Macklin

Big Bang Theory

“The only thing I’ve learned in the last two hours is that American men love drinking beer, pee too often, and have trouble getting erections…I’m just saying, maybe if you people cut back on the beer, you could get out of the bathroom and satisfy your women without pharmaceutical help.” – Rajesh Koothrappali

Love it or hate it, Big Bang Theory is the highest rated comedy currently running. It is also an excellent outlet for geeks who enjoy snappy comebacks that involve Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and comic book references…and Kaley Cuoco. I have come up with a pair of beers that would have certainly helped early-series Raj find the confidence to talk to women.

Raj six pack

  • Brewed specifically for Chicago’s Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Galaxy-Hero IPA from Revolution Brewing is described as a “raygun blast of Galaxy and Zythos hops into your mouth for a crisp, dry finish.” I can attest to this…Bazinga.
  • And speaking of Galaxy hops, the Galactic Double Pale Ale from Daisy Cutter pairs nicely and will help you get through the next time Leonard blows it with Penny.

Silicon Valley

“Did you just sip from an empty cup?…Why did you do that?” – Peter Gregory to Richard

I love Silicon Valley. It’s new, it’s original, and most importantly…it’s hilarious. And if you’ve worked for a startup and possibly in tech, you’re nodding your head A LOT…Silicon Valley is one episode away from wrapping up its 2nd season, so what drink works best for the finale?

One beer and one beer only comes to mind that would take care of you for a half hour of Mike Judge’s smart and tastefully crude humor.

  • Like “Pied Piper”, Not Your Father’s Root Beer beer from Small Town Brewery is innovative, it’s sweet, and it works fast with ABVs ranging from 10% to 19.5%. Perfect for a half hour episode and it’s up and coming, just like Pied Piper.

How doe it tast Silicon Valley

Game of Thrones

“Drinking and lust…No man can match me in these things.” – Tyrion Lannister

Game of Thrones is as complex and layered a show as you’ll find on television today. So many characters and storylines with moving pieces, you can’t help but theorize and contemplate what will happen next…

  • While it’s easy to go with any of Ommegang Brewery’s Game of Thrones themed brews (Iron Throne Blonde Ale, Fire and Blood Amber Ale, Three Eyed Raven Saison), which are all very good and fitting…I recommend another Ommegang brew.
  • The Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale has all the layers and flavors that fit Game of Thrones perfectly

The Walking Dead

“Your first drink ain’t gonna be no damn schnapps.” – Daryl to Beth

There really isn’t much time for having a drink during the zombie apocalypse. If we recall, booze can get people killed (Looking at you, Bob!). One thing I DON’T recommend doing is eating dinner while watching The Walking Dead. But while Rick Grimes and his people can’t enjoy a cold one, you certainly can.

  • A personal favorite of mine and extremely appropriate to the Walking Dead theme would be Zombie Dust from Three Floyds. Described on the brewery’s website as a “gushing undead Pale Ale that will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry.” An ABV of 6.2% also makes having a six pack during a good binge watch leading up to season 6 more than alright.

True Detective

“…sorry, I drift… sometimes when I’ve had a few, that’s why I like to drink alone, one of the reasons anyway.” – Rust Cohle

You’re not drinking alone, Rust. At least not while we’re watching…The incredible anthology series is so close to premiering its highly anticipated second season, unfortunately without either Matthew McConaughey or Woody Harrelson.

Marty Middle Finger

The new cast includes Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. From the promos we’ve seen the last couple months, Farrell seems like the “best” drinking buddy of the bunch, but we’ll find out more later.

  • Raise your hand if you recently ordered a Lone Star because that’s what Rust Cohle would do? I wouldn’t blame you if you killed a six-pack while binge watching the first season preparing for the second.
  • With the show’s setting moving to southern California, I recommend going with a personal favorite of mine from the region. Sculpin from Ballast Point has one of the best finishes I’ve had drinking an IPA. “…hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.” Sounds like any True Detective character.

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black Beer pairing

I’m going to be honest, this one is a real challenge. The ladies are in prison and not really drinking much throughout the series…because they’re in prison.

However, you’re likely going to have a glass filled while binge watching Season 3, which premiers Friday, June 12th on Netflix. Yep, I already know what you’re doing with your Friday night.

  • Wine might be the more popular drinking companion for many of you while watching OITNB, so perhaps a great Barleywine will do. Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine is a bittersweet malt but packed with flavor to carry you through a good 3 episodes of the show.
  • If Barleywine isn’t your jam, I recommend a theme worthy sour called “Troublesome” from Off Color Brewing in Chicago. It has a nice lemon finish that’s perfect for those of you who want to bring your laptop outside to watch OITNB on the patio in summer time.

These are just a few favorite shows of mine and probably yours. If you have some more TV shows in mind, Tweet me @Mike_PiFF03 and I’ll try to pair it with another beer for you.