The year that brought us Homeland (yay!), as well as Jack and Jill (yuck!) is drawing to a close. Here at TVDM, we spend most of our time discussing our favorite TV shows (and sometimes movies, we’ll work on that in 2012), but what better way to bring in the new year than by taking a look back at some of (y)our least/favorite things to watch.
TV show I loved: HELL ON WHEELS – I like westerns and this one is beautifully cast and acted. Anson Mount is magnetic, but love that Ted Levine and Ian Tracey showed up. I like the show enough to overlook some things that don’t quite work (like the Native Americans who couldn’t track down our plucky heroine when they were five feet away).
TV show I hated: PRIME SUSPECT – Loved the Helen Mirren original and I like Maria Bello, so I had high hopes. But the minute I saw Bello bogarting that fedora—I knew it was not going to work. Way, way too heavy-handed on the sexism and I got tired of the quitting smoking runner. Just let her light up, for God’s sake.
Movie I loved, loved, loved: HUGO (aka HUGO CABRET) – This was a movie made for movie lovers and it is magical. I love the imagined and stylized Paris. I loved Asa Butterfield as Hugo (and can’t wait to see him as Ender in ENDER’S GAME).
Movie I didn’t love: CAPTAIN AMERICA – First of all, the 3-D looked lame. It felt long. Chris Evans lacked charisma for me, and so did just about everyone else except the always reliable Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving as the red-skulled guy. (Creatively named Red Skull.) Nothing about the movie made me eager to see the AVENGERS movie.
TV show I loved: GAME OF THRONES – I’m pretty sure someone at HBO has the ability to read minds, because It’s like they made this show just for me: An incredible fantasy saga with scheming, sex, violence, and my love Sean Bean.
TV show I hated: CAMELOT – I thought 2011 was going to be my year, with two new fantasy shows for me to obsess over. Alas, it was not to be. Showtime somehow managed to make the legend of King Arthur utterly boring.
Movie I loved: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – My inner art history nerd was squealing with joy. Compelling story, sharp dialogue, and Paris. What’s not to love?
Movie I hated: TRANSFORMERS (Dark of the Moon) – I claim both desperate boredom and temporary insanity as my motivating factors for watching this mess of a film. On the bright side, I am now better prepared to survive should a robot apocalypse ever actually befall my hometown.
TV show I loved: ONCE UPON A TIME – I absolutely fell in love with this show. I love fairy tales and even more than that I love the idea of diving deep into the world of fairy tales and discovering more about the characters we’ve all grown up with. This show works on so many differently levels. The cast is fantastic, the stories are diverse and always changing, and both worlds are equally interesting, so there isn’t a struggle for one side of the story versus the other. I can’t wait to see more of this show in the upcoming year.
TV show I hated: PRIVATE PRACTICE – I don’t watch this show anymore. I did, mostly because I loved Addison Montgomery’s character and Kate Walsh’s acting. In the beginning this show was interesting and I watched it regularly. But then they had one epic season finale at the end of the second season (if you watch the show you know the one I’m talking about) and since then, they’ve never been able to live up to it and I’ve been continuously disappointed. So maybe hate is too strong, maybe it’s just the TV show I’m most disappointed with.
Movie I loved: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS (PT. 2) – I am absolutely addicted to this series, I actually just reread the books because after seeing the last movie (which I did at midnight), I was reminded of how much I love these characters. This movie reminded me of the old friends I had while reading JK Rowling’s epic series. Also, I was a bit skeptical about the choice to split up the last book into two movies and I was even more skeptical after seeing Part 1; however, seeing the conclusion made the decision absolutely clear. Nothing was to be skipped and nothing was to be glossed over. The last epic battle in the Harry Potter series would be shown in all its glory and it was absolutely glorious.
Movie I hated: BREAKING DAWN (PT. 1) – If there was ever a book that shouldn’t have been split into two movies, it was this one. Actually, strike that, if there was ever a book that shouldn’t have been written, it was this one. What’s done is done and though many have lost IQ points and fallen victim to the idea of an apologetically abusive stalker boyfriend who is also a good vampire, there is nothing anyone can do about it, trust me I tried.
All in all five things happen in this movie (implied SPOILER ALERT): They get married and have sex, she gets pregnant and has the baby, and they turn her into a vampire. Five unexciting things that somehow got turned into a 2-hour movie, I don’t know how. Well actually I do know how, they gave Bella twenty minutes to feel her stomach and go through a whole range of emotions about the pregnancy, which actually just looked like a blank stare cause that’s Kristen Stewart’s acting style.
They also spent ten minutes watching blood rise up a straw and into Bella’s mouth. There was a wolf talking/communicating scene that made me question whether or not this was actually the movie or if I was dreaming about the worst possible way this movie could be made. Overall, it was a corny and severely uncomfortable experience.
TV show I loved: HAPPY ENDINGS – I didn’t get into this show until I accidentally watched the first season finale. Best mistake ever. Finally, an ensemble comedy with the Friends template and a splash of diversity (Brad, duh.) This show is hilarious and I would easily trade 2-3 of my friends for Max and Penny. I’m glad being a midseason replacement earlier this year wasn’t the kiss of death for a comedy that is providing actual humor when so many other shows just aren’t funny, no matter how much their network would like us to believe they are (yes, I’m talking about Whitney).
TV show I hated: UP ALL NIGHT – Christina Applegate was one of the most relevant blondes of the 90s, as well as the comedic MVP of the Sweetest Thing, Anchorman and Samantha Who? Will Arnett played Gob on Arrested Development (no other filmography or tv-ography needed). Both have more than proven they deserve a NBC comedy, couple this with Maya Rudolph in a supporting role and this should be perfection. It started out pretty good, not hilarious, but it definitely had its moments. I slowly gave up on this show when I realized that it wasn’t going to be as good as it could be. Then again, Applegate, Arnett and Rudolph are amazing, so maybe this show just needs time.
Movie I loved: MELONCHOLIA – If Zooey Deschanel is the go-to girl for the ‘quirky girl friend character’, Kristen Dunst is the quintessential ‘mildly messy, slightly disturbed blonde’. She’s been troubled before (see: Crazy/Beautiful) and this time was no less distressed or beautiful. Alexander Skarsgård is in the movie, just long enough to do an amazing job of playing opposite Dunst, but not so long that his gorgeous presence distracted from the dark loveliness of the movie. I don’t recommend seeing this movie on a sunny summer day; it has the potential to send even the cheeriest optimist into a brief state of depression and deep contemplation.
Movie I hated: SUCKER PUNCH – The fact that this movie had everything a good action movie should (hot girls, zombies, robots, monsters, fighting, explosions, etc.) and still managed to suck so tragically was the biggest disappointment. Add to that the lack of plot and this movie was easily one of the worst things I saw all year.
TV show I loved: SHAMELESS – I’ll admit I got into this a tad late – as in I JUST watched the first season On Demand about a month ago – but it was definitely love at first sight/view. I was instantly drawn to the, almost unreal, fast-paced action that the Gallagher family finds so comforting. I understand that some of the situations that cast members find themselves in can be a bit far fetched but that is one the main reason I’m drawn back every episode. Every character has their own side story and at any given time they can combine with another character’s dilemma that, ultimately, causes more comedic chaos and no “filler” episodes.
TV show I hated: 30 ROCK – (<–Not a typo) I know the award winning, critically acclaimed prestige that comes with Tina Fey and the A-List cast at 30 Rockefeller Place but – call me vengeful – I still need a scapegoat for the Community travesty. 30 Rock didn’t have an official season all year, and that is mostly due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy, but I still don’t understand why it is taking Community’s time slot come January. Especially with shows like Whitney still on the network’s roster. Ew…
Movie I loved: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – Action films never get the same amount of fanfare that dramas get, but I feel X-Men did a great job of blending the genres. I know I have a special place in my heart for “origin stories” but I know that isn’t the only reason I was drawn to the blockbuster. Even those who aren’t comic book aficionados could follow along with film; which is always a plus. We also got a chance to see some up and coming actors/actresses (Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult) – with Kevin Bacon thrown in for fun.
Movie I hated: IMMORTALS – Horrible. This movie had all the ingredients necessary to be the best action flick since 300 but I’d rather it been kicked into a bottomless pit. I know that storyline is still important with most action films but when you overload the story at such a dull pace the action has to be over-the-top awesome. It had its moments but not nearly enough to compensate. Even a resurgent Mickey Rourke couldn’t stop this train wreck. Even though I got to see Freida Pinto in her skivvies – in the third dimension (aka 3D) – I still couldn’t sit through that film again. I’d rather watch 300…on network television.