Keep Your Eyes on the Television: Sunday Edition

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Who needs pants?

Who needs pants?

This year, for the first time, I’ve had access to a DVR and digital cable. The result? I practically watch every TV show worth watching. Being a scriptwriting and writing minor is my excuse, so I can see what the industry that I may end up working in is doing these days. And also, I just love TV. What follows is a day by day account of what I watch, what you should watch, and why there are so many babes on TV. This one is just for Sunday, the best day for TV of all.

These TV shows will be ranked from 1 to 10 bananas, with 10 banana being equivalent to Tom Welling on the hot scale (if you’re into that sort of thing), Amy Winehouse in terms of how fucked up one is, the best orgasm you’ve ever had and the correct amount of bananas I’ve eaten this  year.

SUNDAY

What Spiffy ignores: Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, Simpsons, etc.

Dexter: Showtime at 9 PM. Starring Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter.

Ignore the picture, I'm on at 9

I'm really on at 9

The first season is a must watch for every human being on the planet. This season, the third, is shaping up to be almost as good, with the help of special guest star Jimmy Smits as Assistant DA Miguel Prado. For those of you who are ignorant of the beauty of Dexter, here it goes: Dexter Morgan is a Miami forensics expert (specializing in blood), who has a nasty hobby of being a serial killer on the side. He feeds his hunger by killing those who deserve it: ex-cons, escaped killers, etc. He is joined by sister Deb (played hilariously by potty mouthed Jennifer Carpenter) and his girlfriend Rita (played by the beautiful Julie Benz, as seen in John Rambo, but don’t see that), who’s probably the most delightful woman on the planet. Moral gray areas are aplenty and this show is incredible. The inner monologue in Dexter’s head is one of the finest in TV, and the acting is topnotch, as a solid supporting cast is necessary when such a feelings-less man is your leading man (Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under fame does extraordinary work as Dexter).

In this season, while doing reconnaisance for his next kill, Dexter accidentally kills Oscar Prado, cousin of the assistant DA Miguel Prado. The cops, whom Dexter work for, mistakenly suspect drug dealer “Freebo”. Meanwhile Miguel Prado, in his grief and anger, befriends Dexter, putting him in a precarious position. Balls out craziness ensues, and all the while Dexter takes the next step with Rita. Also, Deb and the Miami PD trail the “Skinner”, a killer who, duh, skins his victims.

On a scale from 1 banana to 10 bananas, with a 10 bananas label making it your moral imperative to see every episode of the series, Dexter gets….

9 bananas

True Blood: HBO at 9 PM. Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell and Ryan Kwanten.

trueblood

You may be tired of vampires, what with Twilight and all, but True Blood, from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, is worth the trouble. First off, the pilot sucks. But after that, and after you get over how funny and cliche the south is, the show settles into one fucked up hour of television. And sometimes it’s not a good fucked up, but it sure as hell is interesting and engaging, and features some intriguing characters.

There’s Sookie Stackhouse, played by the innocent Anna Paquin, who is paid to wear as short a skirt as possible and to accentuate the cleavage (I’m not complaining mind you), who befriends a vampire, by the name of Bill Compton (succelently played by Stephen Moyer). But wouldn’t you know it, Sookie can read minds (everyone except for Bill!). Romance is in the air, but so is racism, as the general public hates and fears vampires. Yes, it’s that age old story, but this little bloody universe in Louisiana makes it work. And plus, X-Men didn’t have True Blood, the blood equivalent of beer that is “legal” for vampires to drink, or V, a drug directly from the veins of a vampire that gets you all kinds of fucked up.

All the while, bar owner Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) pines for Sookie and has secrets of his own. Tara (Sutina Wesley), Sookie’s best friend, spends the entire show whining about everything. You feel for her because her mother’s a raging lunatic/alcoholic, but it can only go so far. Then there’s Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, who fucks everything that moves. You hate him at first, but his character arc (played superbly by Ryan Kwanten) has been the most interesting of any in this first season of the show.

Anyways, it takes a while to get used to, and it’s not for the faint of heart with blood, sex and violence galoore, but it’s worth it to see these characters, especially Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, a gay black drug dealer who is the biggest badass on cable television.  And yes, the season finale for the show aired last night. No matter: catch up on HBO On Demand, buy the DVD when it comes out, or download it illegally.

True Blood gets….8 bananas

Californication: Showtime at 10 PM. David Duchovny, Natasha McElhone, Evan Handler, Madeline Zima.

californication

Hank Moody is the best character on TV. He is a boozy, ladies man charmer who is also a talented writer, who wrote the popular novel God Hates Us All. The first season is incredible, and this season, while not as good, is still in the upper echelon of TV. Californication, predictably, features a lot of sex in LA. Most of the sex is being had by David Duchovny as Hank Moody, and it’s little wonder the guy had to go to rehab for sex addiction after playing this character. Duchovny is HILARIOUS and perfect as Hank, and even if he IS this character, I have way more respect for the guy than I did before I watched this.

Anyways, the plot: Hank and his on and off again girlfriend/lover Karen have a punker daughter named Becca, the only thing Hank has done right. He is joined by his agent Charlie Runkel and his coke addled wife Marcy. Together they make a mess of each other’s lives, and it’s really something to behold. In this season, Hank gets bailed out of prison by rock music producer legend Lew Ashby (played by a cylon, Callum Keith Rennie), who hires Moody to write his autobiography, and invites him into his Playboy Mansion like home.  

This is quite possibly the funniest show on TV, and that’s in direct competition of 30 Rock and others. In addition to Duchovny, Natasha McElhone (from Solaris) as Karen is a delight: you fall in love with her and can just see how Hank has never been able to get over her, and at the same time, stay with her. Then there’s Evan Handler, as the premature ejaculator and excessive masturbator agent Charlie Runkel. I think that sentence alone tells you how great a character he is, and how great a show this is.

10 bananas.

Mad Men: AMC, 10 PM. Starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Vincent Kartheiser.

madmen

I’ll start off with a disclaimer: I haven’t seen the current season of Mad Men. I have, however, recently completed the stellar first season, winner of 2 Golden Globes. Mad Men, AMC’s first foray into original television, is a treat. In case you’re ignorant of quality television, here’s the scoop: Don Draper is the tits. He’s an Ad executive on Madison Avenue in New York in 1960 (thus Mad Men), who’s on a hot streak that shows no signs of letting up. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and is best friends with his boss, Roger Sterling (played brilliantly by John Slattery). He gets every woman he wants.

Basically, the show tackles all sorts of ad campaigns, from Lucky Strike to the Nixon campaign, and we delve into Don Draper’s mysterious past. And we’re annoyed to death by Peter Campbell, a young newlywed who wants Draper’s job. There’s also Peggy Olsen, Draper’s new assistant, played exquisitely by Elisabeth Moss. The cast of Mad Men is probably the biggest treat of all. Each character has endless subleties. Also babe alert: January Jones who plays Draper’s wife Betty Draper. She’s a stunning beaut, and a great actress to boot.

I haven’t seen the second season, so I can’t comment on it, but the first season was equal to…

8.5 bananas. It took a little while to get going, but by the end, it was enthralling work.

Next up: Mondays, where Neil Patrick Harris roams and a super spy/nerd Chuck plays. Be there.

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8 Responses to “Keep Your Eyes on the Television: Sunday Edition”

  1. Gokitalo Says:

    Alright, a TV post! Well done, Spiff!

    “These TV shows will be ranked from 1 to 10 bananas, with 10 banana being equivalent to Tom Welling on the hot scale (if you’re into that sort of thing), Amy Winehouse in terms of how fucked up one is, the best orgasm you’ve ever had and the correct amount of bananas I’ve eaten this year.”

    “Bananas.” You’re talking about your penis, aren’t you? David Duchovny knows.

    I hear that Dexter’s pretty awesome. I’ve heard of Californication (and Duchovny’s Most Excellent Rehab Adventure), but True Blood’s a new one. I don’t know why the name “Sookie Stackhouse” makes me laugh, but it does.

    And last, but not least, I miss the days when The Simpsons was worth watching.

  2. spiffyithaca Says:

    Sookie is a ridiculous name. But man, I just watched the True Blood season finale. FUCKED UP AWESOME. 10 bananas.

    And the bananas was just a random thing. I’ll pick a new fruit for my Monday post.

    Dexter is a must watch Goki. It’s always such a doozy at the end. And the Smits/Dexter mano e mano is thrilling to watch.

  3. RobTheSolarMan Says:

    This was Rob’s original post:

    “Any show that has to bring Jimmy Smits in mid-run is immediately doomed.

    “Spiffy, get Entertainment Weekly’s balls out of your mouth and check out some other shows that are on the air.”

    This is Rob’s post using the Goki Method!
    “I want to make sweet, sweet donkey love to the both of you in the back of my pickup truck. Mmm, mmm, let’s get some hee-haw on that mee-haw.”

    The Goki Method, ladies and gentlemen: there’s nothing better.
    -Goki

  4. Gokitalo Says:

    “Volcano” Rob, ladies and gentlemen! Orally pleasuring Entertainment Weekly so you don’t have to.

    For the record, Rob was being purposely incendiary. We’re all friends here!

  5. Adam Says:

    Hiya!. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the great information. I will be coming back in a couple of days to see if there is updated posts.

  6. davidry214 Says:

    Thanks for coming by, Adam! Please check out the rest of the blog; we hope you like it!

  7. Alexis Says:

    Hiya!. Thanks for the info. I’ve been digging around looking some info up for shool, but i think i’m getting lost!. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the great information. I will be popping back over in a few days to see if there is any more info.

  8. Ear Infection Treatment : Says:

    i am always comedy and science fiction TV shows at home and at work :

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