Sunday, October 17, 2010


What's everyone watching on TV lately?


Blogger Jonathan Willis said...

Rubicon. Great show, with pacing and an aesthetic one generally doesn't find on television.

10/18/2010 11:44 am  
Blogger MattM said...

Holy shit, I thought I was the only person who liked that show! Everyone else seems to think it's too slow.

Also, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, and Eastbound and Down.

10/18/2010 4:37 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I guess I'm going to have to subscribe to HBO and AMC, looks like I'm missing out.

I'm digging 'The Event'. It has the same vibe as 'Prison Break', and I loved that too. I like Fringe too, and I'm usually not a sci-fi fan.

The Sarah Silverman Program makes me laugh until I cry, though I've yet to meet anyone else that thinks it's even a bit funny. 'Community' kills me as well. I loved 'It's always Sunny In Philadelphia', but it seems to have disappeared.

'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' is a surprisingly cool show on the Food Network.

Burn Notice is groovy. I don't know how they'll keep that going for long, though. I've seen four episodes and it's already seeming repetitive.

10/18/2010 8:43 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Willis said...

I'll admit that I lost patience with The Event after watching the premiere. There just wasn't enough to hook me back for more, though there was enough there that it wouldn't surprise me if it's developed into a decent show while I haven't been watching.

I got into Burn Notice early on, but I've found the most recent season to be somewhat disappointing, simply because everything about the show is so static; there hasn't been the development that I'd hoped to see.

@ MattM:

I've had similar reactions. It's not for everyone, but IMO it's the best thing on TV right now (or rather, last week).

10/19/2010 12:05 am  
Blogger Michael said...

Hockey and damn if it doesn't feel great after that long-ass summer.

10/19/2010 11:18 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Boardwalk Empire is the shit definitely.

Hung's season is over already but its great as well.

Modern Family.

And The Biggest Loser. Yeah I know. But Jenn and I love watching fat people suffer. We're going to hell.

10/20/2010 8:11 am  
Blogger roddie said...


"It's always Sunny In Philadelphia" started its new season a few weeks ago -- It's on FX down here.

The hockey episode from two weeks ago was hilarious.

10/20/2010 4:20 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Glad to see that Sunny In Philadelphia wasn't cancelled. I think it was carried in Canada on Showcase, but it's not any more. Not that I can find, anyways.

I'll have to find the hockey episode and download it. Hockey and dark, absurd humour are two of my favourite things. That ep must be gold.

10/20/2010 6:28 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Coming in January is Shameless, essentially a remake of the British show of the same name. Some of the trailer I saw makes it look like a shot by shot theft of the original.

Drag but its William Macy so interested to see the take on it. The British version is absolutely brilliant

10/20/2010 6:34 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I've heard you mention Biggest Loser a few times. It's obviously really popular, I've never watched it though. I'll have to give it a try.

That seems to be the way with reality TV. We all agree it's shit, EXCEPT for the one or two shows we watch ourselves. I really got into 'So You Think You Can Dance' a coupleof years ago. And before you ask ... I've already handed over my man-card. I feel much shame.

The redeeming thing about reality TV, most ofit at least, is that you can watch it with kids.

10/20/2010 6:35 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Thanks Pat. Never heard of Shameless, but I'll keep my eyes open for it.

I used to have BBC Canada, just for the driving show 'Top Gear'. There were a few other things on there that I liked, though.

I've lost BBC though. I would call up Bell Expressvu and get them to activate it again, but every time I've done that before I lose other channels. Then when I get those reactivated I lose BBC again. Round and round it goes, I've given up. Either my choice of channels is creating a vortex in the universe or the folks at Bell are dumbasses. Either way, I surrender. I'd rather pay Bell to not give me channels than speak to those twats again.

10/20/2010 6:45 pm  
Blogger Kent W. said...

I'm an HBO fan: Boardwalk Empire is my current favorite. I've always liked Dexter as well. On "regular cable", House is the show I make sure to record.

10/21/2010 12:21 pm  
Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Some of this is on hiatus, but:

- The League (Season 1 was way better than Season 2, unfortunately)
- Eastbound and Down
- Mad Men (hiatus)
- Breaking Bad (hiatus)
- Californication (hiatus, and I haven't re-subscribed to Showtime)
- Entourage (hiatus)

On the regular channels, a little Law & Order; House; and Bones, which won me over with the Luc Robitaille dream sequence.

Not watching hockey, not interested until the World Series is over.

10/21/2010 12:25 pm  
Blogger roddie said...

I'll second the Shameless suggestion (BBC Version).

10/21/2010 12:48 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Yeah the BBC version is absolutely terrific. I presume it can be had on DVD.

I remember the American remake of La Femme Nikita with Bridget Fonda and how it was a shot by shot remake. Well looking at the trailer for the American Shameless and there is quite a bit of that as well. I recognized some of the shots. Weird.

Still the proper tone is there so they may have it right although the family does not live in an English estate of course. I'm interested to see it, despite my misgivings.

That's a good way to describe Reality TV Vic, that's exactly it.

The Biggest Loser is an interesting one because while its a game show the prize is pretty well besides the point and usually there's very little 'game playing' as they say. And you don't have your usual raft of out of work/wannabe actors as contestants. These are all peopel whose lives have gotten seriously out of control. And the payoff is pretty rewarding, having people go from 350/450/525 pounds (last season there was a fellow at 525) to a healthy weight is pretty engaging television.

Of course I also love Wipeout so take anything I say with a grain of salt. Nothing like watching people getting hit in the groin though. That's what I always say.

Eastbound and Down seems to be pretty popular, may have to check it out.

10/21/2010 1:55 pm  
Blogger roddie said...

BD - Series 1 can be had on DVD in North America.

The other seasons on DVD are all Region 2 and PAL, sadly.

10/21/2010 2:01 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Wipeout is the best gameshow ever. I had never even heard of it until a couple of months ago, great stuff. On one of the Oldies channels they play the old British Wipeout (with the smallish guy from Top Gear as host). I record all of them now, run on the original course in Buenos Aires.

The American one is awfully good as well. Good hosts there.

They were advertising for contestants for the Canaidian wipeout a couple or a few weeks ago. I was tempted ... I'm not a stranger to making an ass of myself. But damn, those contestants take a beating

And: I'm not a video game guy as a rule, but Wipeout for Wii rocks. Your kids will love it.

10/21/2010 3:10 pm  
Blogger R O said...

Love Wipeout. Reminded me of MXC when I first saw it, another terrific show.

Seconded on Bones.

10/23/2010 7:36 am  
Blogger YKOil said...

My watching is more on the 'with-my-wife' level so NCIS, Diners-Drive-ins-and-Dives, and Castle figure prominently. Loved Glee when it first came out but it has soured in a big way. Lots of Food Network in our house.

lessest is the word.

10/23/2010 10:33 am  
Blogger andy grabia said...

No 30 Rock love on here? Shameful. Best show on televison, imho. Other comedies I also love are Community and How I Met Your Mother. Others have covered other shows I am enjoying

The one I'm really looking forward to is Game of Thrones on HBO. Starts in the spring. If you haven't read the books by George RR Martin, you need to get on it.

10/25/2010 5:44 pm  
Blogger Kent W. said...

Huh - didn't know that was based on George RR Martin Andy. I've seen ads and am looking forward to that one.

I enjoyed the first season of "Spartacus - Blood and Sand". In truth, the first couple of episodes really stunk but they figured things out half way through and it became a must see. I'm hoping for a second season.

As for Food Network, I enjoy Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - particularly the ones across the pond. They don't bleep out the swears and it's a lot less staged. He gets into the nitty-gritty of the business with the owners and it's fascinating to see how good he is at what he does.

10/26/2010 8:25 am  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Hah, wow. Have the Oilers been that painful to watch this year?

Over summer I got into the habit of downloading shows seasons at a time and powering through them. It's slowed of late, but my favourites are:

30 Rock
The Office
How I Met Your Mother
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I have to say, I'm not a car nut in any big way but Top Gear is just a fantastically made show. I grew up with a guy who could rebuild a transmission by about 14 years old and he got me hooked on Top Gear for a bit last summer... the toughest job I ever did on a car was change pads and rotors and yet both the car genius and the complete rookie went nuts for that show. YouTube it, people!

10/26/2010 2:19 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Kent, on the Kitchen Nightmare's thing:

Internet coolguy Slipper and real life coolguy Elio both recommended that show to me a couple of years ago. Didn't sound like my thing, but it was advice from serious counsel, so I watched.

The British one was pretty good, saw three episodes. In fact I think the wisdom from Ramsey was not specific to restaurants, it was just generally good business advice.

Then the American one came on FOX and I caught an episode. It was about an Irish pub/restaurant on Long Island. A bit over the top, but that's Fox. Still, entertaining.

Anyhow, I miss it for a few weeks, and one day I start wondering how this little pub is doing now that it's been Ramseyfied. So I google.

The first links I click on are from the papers. It's the usual fluff, but I learn that the crazy chef dude from the pub was a late cut from another Ramsey show audition. They liked him, so they included his family restaurant in this series.

Then I end up somewhere called the 'food-blogiverse'. These cats are serious, and there seems to be a lot of animosity between many of them. But it's great shit. They blew the doors off that show.

It starts with guys who are food critics expressing disbelief that the food critic in the episode was real (turns out she wasn't, and intern I believe. FOX told her she was doing a piece on reality TV and gave her lines to read.) She later apologizes for it in an interview on another food blogiverse site.

The van seen speeding away with the crazy chef in it ... actually a plumber's van who happened to be in the area.

The dodgy little sous chef who drops the chicken wing on the floor and proceeds to plop it back in the fryer, all this caught with 'hidden cameras'. ... Turns out he's a member of the SAG, and was brought in for the day by FOX as a production assistant.

The Fire trucks, the overbooking, the fighting, the upchucking ... all fabrications.

It took me an hour to watch that show, it would take me two hours to tell you all the shit that was flat out made up.

The food-blogiverse cats are death on that show. The next week's episode was from somewhere called Poloma. Dudes from L.A. were heading up to do follow-up. They had cell phone video and several interviews already in the bag, apparently FOX had REALLY pushed the boat out on that one.

I haven't watched any of Ramsey's shows since.

10/26/2010 3:39 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


You and Dennis were the guys who got me watching The Wire. Not so much through advice, but just so I could understand your references.

The dude who wrote The Wire (can't remember his name) spoke in front of congress, or a committee of some sort, on the state of the internet. This was a while ago.

Anyhow, apparently he'd been a civic reporter in Baltimore before becoming a screen writer. He cautioned American government that the collapse of the newspaper business model (I assume he meant the dramatic decline in classified advertising revenue, he never said) was going to create massive problems. Something along the general lines of "There has never been a better time to be a corrupt civic politician, the accountability from local newspapers is disappearing".

As much as I loved The Wire, I disagree with the guy. This because of the work you've done.

Over the next few months countless Edmontonians, anyone who has dealings with Katz's companies, they will be contacted and encouraged to sponsor (read - pay for advertising) The Journal in their efforts to articulate Rexall Sports' position on the arena issue. They will imply that Mr. Katz would be disappointed if they didn't support his effort.

Don't kid yourself, that piffle that Staples is told to write ... it has real commercial value.

And then there's Andy. I never gave two shits about civic politics before. Keep up the great work, brother.

In the unlikely event that anyone reading here doesn't already know, Andy's site is here. Great shit.

10/26/2010 4:05 pm  
Blogger hunter1909 said...

Steven Segal, Lawman of course.

10/26/2010 4:19 pm  
Blogger hunter1909 said...

Gordon Ramsay's great at giving advice - on the other hand they were chasing a mouse around his Mayfair restaurant for 30 minutes the other day.

10/26/2010 4:22 pm  
Blogger Kent W. said...

Very interesting Vic. I didn't buy a lot of what I saw in the American version of the show, but damn that's way more than I assumed. And I'm pretty cynical person.

10/28/2010 10:43 am  
Blogger slipper said...

You're wrong, Vic. I would have never recommended the kitchen show. Or else I was in some sort of instituition at the time, and under the influence to the point that any television becomes a soothing distraction. What irks me about that show and others like it is that I just can't fathom a situation where a person, whoever they are , couold treat another person like that British fuck does without repercussions. If it was a true depiction of reality, no matter the size of the dangling carrot, someone would have flattened that shithead. So either it's completely preconstructed bullshit or else the contestants are such fame and greed motivated whores that they don't deserve recognition. I would parallel it to a prison setting where the goofball guards behave like alpha male fucktards because they feel reassured that the consequences hanging over the heads of the inmates if they respond naturally safeguards those sick son of a bitches. But even then atleast 15% of those incarcerated will accept that consequence because at a root human level it's just naturally wrong to endure and accept that BS.

I do recommend Dexter, though. It is engaging and just simply fun. The characters are well thought out and draw growas the seasons unfold. Its also daring. It's in its 5th season now and has only improved, in my opinion. The season 4 finale is nuts, ecspecially if you have got into it.

And I did recommend Rescue Me before. I haven't kept up with it, but the first 4 or 5 seasons are worthwhile. There is one scene where Dennis Leary hasn't drank in awhile but his life has goneto shit and he just had a mind fuck where he saw his dead son on a bus. He walks into a bar and orders a full tumbler of 20 dollar an ounce whiskey to the bartenders consternation. He slams it and then orders another full tumbler, and follows it up by telling the bartender he only has like 20 bucks in his pocket, which draws the bouncers and silences the bar. Leary unleashes a diatribe to excuse his behaviour that is unbelievable television writing.

Once you finish those dvds I'll throw a couple more picks in your direction. Because I'm cool like that ;)

10/30/2010 5:55 am  
Blogger GregO said...

Criminal Minds. Some pretty freaky stuff there. Don't need to watch them in a row, so with A&E running them all-day Sundays, it's pretty easy to see a bunch of it these days.

10/31/2010 6:33 pm  
Blogger Sunny Mehta said...

i recently netflixed the entire "Arrested Development" series. great stuff. in fact, i'm gonna start calling vic "Mr.F."

10/31/2010 8:45 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

I totally got into Rubicon. I didn't find it slow at all, in fact some of the long scenes with no dialogue were among my favourites simply because you so rarely see them on television. The characters had some real depth, even the thugs.

So either it's completely preconstructed bullshit or else the contestants are such fame and greed motivated whores that they don't deserve recognition.

@Slipper: Outstanding. My favourite kind of argument is the one where both the "either" and the "or" are equally unpalatable. Combine that persuasiveness with your customary ribald eloquence, and laughter ensues. Well said.

11/01/2010 3:08 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Vic: I'm not sure if you're still checking this threat but I don't have an email address for you and i wanted to let you know that the scoring chance link is on the fritz.

Midway through the 2-1 win at Chicago it stopped reading that Edm had a netminder and tonight I tried it for the Car game and it just says invalid game number.

As for TV, Boardwalk Empire is my new favourite show and Breaking Bad is the best and of course Mad Men is great.

Something I haven't seen mentioned here is Justified and it had one of the strongest pilot eps I have ever seen. Granted it ebbed and flowed through it's first season but the really good episodes were dandy and they have a couple of good story archs to carrying them through S2 for sure.

Eastbound and Down can be dull or fall-down funny but it's because of the latter that I keep watching it.

11/09/2010 6:00 pm  

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