Monday, November 30, 2009

Simply Kradison

American Idol
crowned Kris Allen champion over Adam Lambert on May 20th 2009, but if they only looked at the results from three months before, we could've done without the rest of the season!

The Top 36 contestants were split in groups of 12 and spanning three weeks, they sang in front of the judges and had their first taste of the public voting for them. Every week three performers would move on, the guy and girl who got the most votes and then the next highest vote getter.

During Week 2 of the semifinals, which took place on February 26, 2009 America voted Kris Allen and Alison Iraheta as the top guy and girl. Who was the next highest vote getter? Adam Lambert. So Kris got more votes than Adam while Alison was the top girl. Fast forward three months later and voila.

Alison Iraheta's debut album Just Like You is scheduled to be released tomorrow, December 1, 2009. This follows the post-AI debut albums of Kris Allen and Adam Lambert the past two weeks. I'm a fan of all three, who have been lumped together as "Kradison" seemingly ever since they ended up in the same semifinal group. Adam is getting most of the media coverage, as expected, but I hope all of them succeed even in a niche sort of way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ATP World Tour Finals: Finale

Nikolay Davydenko is finally getting his well-deserved time in the spotlight.

Davydenko defeated US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 6-4 to capture his first Year-End Championship trophy. His dream week started losing a competitive rematch of last year's final with defending champion Novak Djokovic. That was his only loss as he then handled a beleaguered Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal and French Open finalist Robin Soderling to catapult himself into the semifinals.

He took his 0-12 record against 4-time YEC champion Roger Federer in the semifinals to get his first win against the world no. 1. Finally, he dismantled Del Potro to win the tournament doing so as the first Russian to do so in the tournament's history. His win also means he overtook Andy Roddick for a year-end ranking of 6.

This is by far Davydenko's biggest title in his career. Prior to this his best finish at a Grand Slam tournament was the semifinals and has only managed to win three Masters tournaments. Not to mention the fact the he did this by defeating all of this years Grand Slam champions (Nadal, Federer, and Del Potro).

And with that, the ATP tennis season is over. Sure, there's still Davis Cup, but the regular season is done. Each of the top 8 players in the world have something to celebrate about this year, but more on that in my ATP Year In Review in December.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ATP World Tour Finals: Semifinals

N. Davydenko d. R. Federer 6-2 4-6 7-5
J.M. Del Potro d. R. Soderling 6-7(1) 6-3 7-6(3)

Federer was two points away from the finals at 5-4 in the third set and Love-30 on Davydenko's serve, but the Russian fought back to hold, broke Federer in the next game, and held his serve to win against the world no. 1 for the very first time in 13 tries.

Last year's runner-up will go up against US Open champion Del Potro who edged out Soderling in a tightly contested match going to a tie break in the final set.

Finals Preview
J.M. Del Potro [5] v. N. Davydenko [6]

Davydenko leads their H2H 2-1 comfortably winning their last match at last year's year-end competition. Both fought three quality sets today and both compiled a 2-1 match record earlier in the week.

Both players will be contesting their first year-end trophy. If Del Potro wins, he gets his first Masters win and will end the year as #4 supplanting Brit Andy Murray.

Friday, November 27, 2009

ATP World Tour Finals: Days 5-6

Group A
A. Murray d. F. Verdasco 6-4 6-7(4) 7-6(3)
J.M. del Potro d. R. Federer 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3

Group B
N. Djokovic d. R. Nadal 7-6(5) 6-3
N. Davydenko d. R. Soderling 7-6(4) 4-6 6-3

Say what you want about this WTF tournament, but almost all of the matches have been tightly-contested (see the tiebreaks above) and been real nailbiters (the semifinalists on both sides weren't decided until the last round robin game was played).

There's a nice symmetry between the two groups. We have two Spaniards (Verdasco and Nadal) who went 0-3. We have Murray and Djokovic who won their last matches, but had to wait to see if they made it into the semis. They both didn't. Del Potro and Davydenko needed to win and they did against the eventual winner of both groups, Federer and Soderling.

The real story has been the complexities of the round robin format especially in breaking ties. According to the ATP Rule Book, in case of a three-way tie, which happened to both groups, final standings would be based on matches won, sets won, and then finally highest percentage of games won. So what happened?

Group A came down to highest percentage of games won with Federer (52%) and Del Potro (51%) edging out Andy Murray (50.6%). If Del Potro had lost one more game or if Murray had won one more game in his past three matches, both would've switched. Group B came down to sets won with Soderling (5-2) and Davydenko (5-3) posting better results than Djokovic (4-3). Not as close as Group A, but it still came down to ONE set.

Semifinal Previews

R. Federer [1] v. N. Davydenko [6]
J.M. Del Potro [5] v. R. Soderling [8]

Federer will hope his fantastic 30-2 record against the three remaining players will get him the final title of the season, but the key match tomorrow will be Del Potro-Soderling who have both impressed in this tournament with their booming serves and lethal forehands.

Four Reasons to Watch White Collar

Okay, I lied. It's not really four reasons. More like just the one. His name is Matthew Bomer and he is the star of the new USA Network show, White Collar.

His IMDB page is a bit lean, but surprisingly I've seen him in quite a lot. I first noticed him on Eliza Dushku's first post-Buffy TV show Tru Calling. I then saw his short-lived (and entertaining) show Traveler only to last see him in a recurring role on Chuck.

As you can see he went from FOX to ABC to NBC. And I didn't even mention his Guiding Light sting on CBS early in his career. But I think he's finally found a home at the USA Network, which is increasingly becoming the missing 10pm hour of NBC.

The show itself is escapist fun and shot beautifully in New York City. I was meaning to catch up on the show, but never got around to it, but thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday and, I'm all caught up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Last night's episode of Cougar Town has got to be one of the best episodes for the series so far. The show is always good when it's less about Courtney Cox's struggle with her age and more about her wacky friends and her wonderful relationship with her son. And last night they were all invited for Thanksgiving!

Gotta say, it was quite comforting seeing Courtney Cox prepare Thanksgiving dinner in prime time again. Granted it was no "shimmying while wearing an impossibly large frozen turkey on your head with over-sized glasses," but it was still good.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ATP World Tour Finals: Days 3-4

Group A
R. Federer d. A. Murray 3-6 6-3 6-1
J.M. del Potro d. F. Verdasco 6-4 3-6 7-6(1)

Group B
R. Soderling d. N. Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-1
N. Davydenko d. R. Nadal 6-1 7-6(4)

Roger Federer clinches the year-end #1 ranking when he defeated Murray. He is the only the second player to regain his year-end number one ranking, the other one being Ivan Lendl. Federer also joins Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors as players who have ended the year as number one five times.

An inspired Robin Soderling has not lost a single set in this tournament and followed up his win against Nadal with a win against Djokovic. Soderling thus becomes the first man to make it into the semifinals. No matter what happens now, he will move up in the rankings for a personal best.

An unsure Del Potro and a fiery Davydenko kept their chances alive by winning, while Verdasco would need a miracle to move on. Nadal, who was the first player to qualify for this tournament, however, is the first to be eliminated. If Djokovic wins the rest of his matches, he can overtake Nadal for the year-end #2 ranking.

Looking Forward To...

Release: December 4, 2009
Distributor: Lionsgate
Director: Jim Sheridan
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mare Winningham, Sam Shepard, Patrick Flueger, Clifton Collins Jr., Ethan Suplee, and Carey Mulligan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PGA To Honor Joss Whedon

Yesterday, it was announced that the Producers Guild of America will present Joss Whedon with the 2010 Vanguard Award. The Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Most of this is probably due to Whedon's Emmy-winning work on Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, but as a huge Whedon-fan I'm goign to take it as recognition on his various TV/film endeavors.

Whedon's reaction was very, well, Joss:
This is an honor I didn’t expect and probably don’t deserve. The truth is, I’ve never actually guarded a van. But I am a super-total visionary, so that fits. I’m ready to take my place next to the guys who made ‘THX 1138’ and ‘Tin Toy’ (Did they ever do anything else, btw? They showed such promise.). This is a time of radical change in media delivery and content, and I’m honestly proud the PGA has singled me out as someone who sort of knows what’s going on.

I'm sure this doesn't make the cancellation of his newest show any easier, but awards are always nice to get especially from one's peers. Congratulations Joss!

Monday, November 23, 2009

ATP World Tour Finals: Days 1-2

Group A
R. Federer d. F. Verdasco 4-6 7-5 6-1
A. Murray d. J.M. del Potro 6-3 3-6 6-2

Group B
R. Soderling d. R. Nadal 6-4 6-4
N. Djokovic d. N. Davydenko 3-6 6-4 7-5

Three of the top four ranked men won their first match, but they all had to work for it as they all went to three sets. Nadal was the lone upset as he lost to his French Open vanquisher Soderling.

Nadal now needs to win the rest of his matches and claim the title while hoping that Federer stops winning to get the #1 ranking. If Federer wins just one more match though, he clinches the year-end #1 ranking.

Box Office: New Moon Dominates

So New Moon had a record-breaking weekend.

Not only did it smash the records for midnight showings (with $26.3 million defeating Half Blood Prince) and opening day (with $72.7 million beating The Dark Knight), but it also recorded the third highest-grossing weekend opening of all time. OF ALL TIME. Only Spider-Man 3 and The Dark Knight made more money.

I have no words.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ATP: World Tour Finals

You already know the storylines to look out for at this years ATP World Tour Finals to take place in London's O2 Arena. The only 2009 Grand Slam winner/finalist to not make it this year is Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick who pulled out due to injury. His withdrawal, however, made room for French Open finalist Robin Soderling.

The elite eight men trying to claim the end-of-year prize are:

1. Roger Federer - A few wins here and he can clinch the year-end #1 ranking to cap off his historic and amazing year. Not only did he get married and become a father, but he gets his Career Slam and breaks Sampras' Slam tally record.

Grand Slam Results: F, W, W, F
Titles: Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Madrid, Cincinnati
Runner-Up: Australian Open, US Open, Basel

2. Rafael Nadal - He was as close as to unbeatable in the first half of the year claiming his first hardcourt Slam title and expectedly dominating the clay tournaments. But then injury hit and he hasn't been the same since losing for the first time in Roland Garros and had to withdraw from Wimbledon.

Grand Slam Results: W, 4r, -, SF
Titles: Australian Open, Rome, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona
Runner-Up: Shanghai, Madrid, Rotterdamn

3. Novak Djokovic - Reaching the most finals out of the top 10, he has done well this year and made a huge statement beating Federer and then Nadal in back-to-back tournaments.

Grand Slam Results: QF, 3r, QF, SF
Titles: Paris, Basel, Dubai, Beijing, Belgrade
Runner-Up: Miami, Rome, Cincinnati, Monte Carlo, Halle

4. Andy Murray - His Slam results this year is not what he expected as many thought he would have a win by now, but he is arguably the best hardcourter this season and he still has much to prove.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, QF, SF, 4r
Titles: Miami, Canada, Queen's Club, Valencia, Doha, Rotterdam
Runner-Up: Indian Wells

5. Juan Martin Del Potro - Claiming his first Grand Slam title by defeating Federer in the last Grand Slam of the decade is one way to get it done. He's been struggling since, but he's already had a great year.

Grand Slam Results: QF, SF, 2r, W
Titles: US Open, Washington, Auckland
Runner-Up: Canada

6. Nikolay Davydenko - Always underestimated, here he is once again with the big boys. He reached the finals last year, but he hasn't been able to break through with a really huge win.

Grand Slam Results: -, QF, 3r, 4r
Titles: Shanghai, Hamburg, Umag, Kuala Lampur
Runner-Up: N/A

7. Fernando Verdasco - This is his first time here and he has done well this season to keep a Top 10 ranking for most of the season.

Grand Slam Results: SF, 4r, 4r, QF
Titles: New Haven
Runner-Up: Kuala Lampur, Brisbane

8. Robin Soderling - He was part of history this year as he beat Nadal at Roland Garros and then was beaten by Federer during his historic runs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. It's only fitting he's part of this elite group.

Grand Slam Results: 2r, F, 4r, QF
Titles: Bastad
Runner-Up: Roland Garros

With Federer and Nadal not really100% all eyes are on Djokovic, Murray, and surprisingly Soderling, who is a very good indoor hardcourt player. Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will serve as an alternate if needed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The 00s: Box Office Champs

With already the biggest midnight haul of any movie ever, the second installment of the popular Twilight Saga, New Moon, is set to make lots and lots of money this weekend. And in only a month's time, James Cameron's long-awaited Avatar looks to be another potential mega-blockbuster. Will one of them, or both, be counted as one of the biggest box office champs of the decade?

The top grossing film of the decade is 2008's The Dark Knight grossing more than $533 million. The two films mentioned above will need to gross more than Chronicles of Narnia with its $291.7 million tally to make crack into the top 25 list and I'm fairly confident at least one of them will. Here is the rest of the top 25 ranked by their unadjusted domestic gross*:

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
2. Shrek 2 (2004)
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
4. Spider-Man (2002)
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
6. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
9. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
11. Finding Nemo (2003)
12. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
13. Shrek the Third (2007)
14. Transformers (2007)
15. Iron Man (2008)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
17. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
19. Star wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
20. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
21. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2009)
22. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
23. Up (2009)
24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
25. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (2005)

So what did the decade teach us? People really like sequels, prequels, epic literary adaptaions, comic book heroes, and an animated film or two preferably starring a green ogre or made by Pixar.

Four franchises make up nearly half the films on the list: Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

Three films have been nominated for Best Picture (all three Lord of the Rings films) with the third installment winning. Finding Nemo was nominated for and won Best Animated Feature Film. Up will surely be nominated for an Oscar in a few months.

*Data from Box Office Mojo.

Project Runway Finale

And then there were three.

The finale of the the sixth season of Project Runway was a bit anticlimactic. Yes, there were bits of drama such as Carol-Hannah still dealing with a nasty stomach virus and Irina thinking Althea is copying her yet again. But for the most part the designers just had to finish and present their lines.

Althea's collection was inspired by 70s sci-fi women and she wanted to have a collection that reflects those aesthetics as well as show us how a woman from today would dress for the future. High concept to be sure and I'm not entirely sure her collection delivered. She played to her strengths doing mostly separates and sportswear inspired clothes. There were a few knitwear as well.

Carol-Hannah's line featured a variety of colors and styles showcasing her penchant to play with volume and texture. The imagination was there and out of all the designer, her collection was the most fun to watch and analyze, but she lacked cohesion. Too bad since if Carol-Hannah just explained to the judges that she was going for that eclectic fairy-tale vibe, everyone would've seen that she did have some sort of vision.

Finally, Irina's collection was an ode to New York and shield-wear for protection. Of course this meant a lot of dark colors (i.e. black), but she softened it up with very intricate knitwear and custom-made tee shirts. Out of all the collections, hers was the most cohesive. If she had just punctuated her collection with a few colors, she would've amazed further.

In the end, Irina won and again it was a bit anti-climactic. I do think Irina deserved to win based on her performance for most of the season and her Bryant Park line. Upwards and onwards. I pray the next season is just a bit more exciting than this one. Here's a suggestion to the producers, move back to New York!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lost Finds New Day

Everyone was a-twitter when ABC announced today that Lost will premiere on February 2nd (Groundhog Day!) for an all-night event starting with a recap special and then followed by the two-hour season premiere. The show will then settle into its new day of Tuesdays at 9PM for the duration of its final season.

This is not the first time the show has changed day/timeslot. It started out on Wednesday at 8PM before stabilizing in its regular Wednesday at 9PM timeslot. It was also temporarily moved to Thursdays at 10PM. With devoted fans and the relative safety of knowing this is the final season, ABC is hedging its bet that the show will hold its own against the NBC's coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics and most especially against the onslaught of ratings-hog American Idol on FOX.

Freshman show V is rumored to take up residence after Lost on Tuesdays at 10PM when it comes back from its extended hiatus through March. We might even get two hours of Elizabeth Mitchell during certain weeks!

In other network news, NBC also announced today that Chuck will premiere Sunday, January 10th and then air another new episode the next day eventually settling in its regular timeslot of Mondays at 8PM. What does this mean for Heroes? NBC will air a special two-hour Heroes event January 4th before moving the struggling show in its new timeslot of Mondays at 9PM following Chuck.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Looking Forward To...

Leap Year
Release: January 8, 2010
Distributor: Universal Studios
Director: Anand Tucker
Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Kaitlin Olson, and Adam Scott

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ATP Finals: Storylines To Watch

There's still Davis Cup in December between defending champion Spain and former champion Czech Republic. But all eyes will be in London for the ATP World Tour Finals with the eight best players duke it out for the grand finale of the ATP season. Here are some storylines to look out for:

Battle for Year-End #1 Ranking

World no. 1 Roger Federer takes a 945-point cushion into the tour finals against no. 2 Rafael Nadal. With 1500 points in contention, there is a possibility that with a strong showing, Nadal can overtake Federer for the top spot, but it will have to be a very strong showing. According to the ATP, Nadal will have to perform better than he has ever done in years past and reach the finals to have a chance. He also has to hope that Federer, who has historically done well here, win less than two matches. It happened last year and weirder things have happened this year, so we'll see.

Serbian Rising

For most of the year, third ranked Novak Djokovic has been second fiddle to all of the other bigger storylines of the season. In the past few weeks, however, this Grand Slam champion is making himself heard. He beat Roger Federer in the Basel finals and then crushed Rafael Nadal in Paris en route to his fourth and fifth titles of the season. He is also the tour final defending champion and thus will be seen as the favorite.

Fairtytale Season Redux?

Newly crowned Grand Slam winner Juan Martin Del Potro and French Open finalist Robin Soderling did the unthinkable this season. Del Potro edged out 5-time US Open champion Federer at the US Open and Soderling toppled 6-time French Open champion Nadal who was then undefeated in Roland Garros. Del Potro has struggled since winning the US Open a few months ago, while Soderling with his solid results this fall season along with the late withdrawal from ailing Andy Roddick catapulted himself for the first time into this elite group of eight.

Homecourt Advantage?

Brit Andy Murray broke the duopoly of Federer and Nadal by rising to number two in the rankings this summer. Since then he has fallen back to #4 and has to be disappointed in his Slam results for the past year. He's now back in London since a shocking loss to Andy Roddick in the semifinals in this year's Wimbledon. Can he take win a big one in London finally?

Big Bang's Adorable Kitties

I'm a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother and it was only because of this that I checked out Big Bang Theory two years ago. And now Big Bang Theory is more than holding its own. Last night's episode was one of the funniest for the series and it was headline by the adorable pair of Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons.

Soft kitty, warm kitty
Little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty
Purr, purr, purr

In a scene that nearly killed me with all the cuteness, Penny (Cuoco) asked Sheldon (Parsons) to sing "Soft Kitty" which was established in an earlier episode as the song that was sung to Sheldon whenever he was sick. This sudden switch, of course, made Sheldon uncomfortable, but not only does he sing, but they performed it together!

Images courtesy of BetterNovembers, one of the biggest BBT and Penny/Sheldon fans that I know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dollhouse Canceled

Dollhouse has been canceled. It's not a surprise, but it's still quite sad. Here's what Joss Whedon had to say via Whedonesque:

I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again.

I'm off to pursue internet ventures/binge drinking. Possibly that relaxation thing I've read so much about. By the time the last episode airs, you'll know what my next project is. But for now there's a lot of work still to be done, and disappointment to bear.

Thank you all for your support, your patience, your excellent adverts. See you again.

Despite a few iffy episodes, the great talent in front and behind the camera deserve all the props they can get. It was also just great having Joss Whedon back on TV. Plus without Dollhouse, I would've never discovered Enver Gjokaj and Dichen Lachman who played Victor and Sierra respectively.

See below for the cuteness:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking Forward To...

A Single Man
Release: December 11. 2009
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Director: Tom Ford
Starring: Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin, Colin Firth, Lee Pace, and Nicholas Hoult

Marat Safin Bids Adieu

Two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin has played his final professional tournament at the Paris Masters losing to US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in three close sets 4-6, 7-5, 4-6.

Former world no. 1 Safin leaves the sport after 13 seasons amassing 15 titles including the 2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open beating hometown favorites Pete Sampras and Lleyton Hewitt respectively. He is one of three men to win a Grand Slam title since 2005 not named Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Many say that despite reaching the top of the rankings and winning two Slam titles, the Russian didn't meet his full potential. I say, that may be true, but it's his life, not ours. And no matter what he'll still certainly be missed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The 00s: TV Premieres

A few people are already staring to make not only their end-of-year lists, but also their end-of-decade lists! And you may not know this, but I'm just a wee bit crazy when it comes to lists. They have to be as complete as possible and I drive myself mad every year. And this year I now have to worry about the whole decade?! Dear God.

Therefore, I'm starting my research early. I thought I would start with TV shows first since there's at least some sort of continuity through the decade unlike movies which change every year. So using IMDB, Wikipedia, and my obsessive compulsive nature, I've listed below a few key shows that premiered during the decade:

2000 - Ed, Boston Public, Dark Angel, Gilmore Girls, Survivor, CSI, Queer As Folk, Curb Your Enthusiasm

2001 - Alias, 24, Amazing Race, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, Six Feet Under

2002 - American Idol, Everwood, Without A Trace, Firefly, 8 Simple Rules, The Wire, Monk, The Dead Zone, The Shield, Stargate SG-1

2003 - Arrested Development, The O.C., Tru Calling, Wonderfalls, Two and a Half Men, NCIS, Joan of Arcadia, Dead Like Me, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Nip/Tuck

2004 - Desperate Housewives, Jack & Bobby, Veronica Mars, Lost, House, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal, Entourage, The L Word, Deadwood, Project Runway, The 4400, Rescue Me

2005 - Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural, The Office, SYTYCD, Doctor Who, Rome, Weeds, Medium, N3MBERS, Prison Break, Bones, Criminal Minds, The Closer

2006 - Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Studio 60, 30 Rock, Dexter, Ugly Betty, Torchwood, New Adventures of Old Christine, Big Love, Psych, Eureka

2007 - Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Journeyman, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Gossip Girl, Mad Men, Samantha Who, Reaper, Flight of the Conchords, Burn Notice, Saving Grace, Damages

2008 - Terminator, Eli Stone, Castle, The Mentalist, Fringe, Dollhouse, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy

2009 - V, The Good Wife, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Glee, FlashForward, Community, Better Off Ted, The Middle, Vampire Diaries, United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, Warehouse 13

Whew! This is obviously not everything. My goal here really wasn't to be comprehensive, but to list shows I either have seen or those shows that made some sort of impact this decade. If you think I'm missing anything worth it, I'd greatly appreciate your help to fill in any blanks.

Now... where can I get a comprehensive list of movies released by year? Oh man, what have I gotten myself into?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

TV Roundup

Comedies Still Rule

It began with an insta-classic episode of How I Met Your Mother full of bagpiping and its usual affinity to play fun with how to tell a story. On the same night, Big Bang Theory had Sheldon teaching Leonard about the finer points of football and really that's all that needs to said.

Modern Family and Cougar Town shined this week taking advantage of Glee taking a week off due to the World Series. The former delivered another A+ episode about parents finding pride in what their children do while the latter had its first episode not entirely focused on how old Courtney Cox's character is.

Finally, this past Thursday chaos ruled as Jeff was thrown out of his posh condo in Community and Liz had to navigate a hectic audition for a new cast member in 30 Rock. The robot? Really? Can't wait to see how messed up that becomes.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Shows Display Spark

Genre TV woke up this week a bit as not only did we get an above average episode of Heroes, but the much anticipated V premiered on ABC with blockbuster ratings. Talking about the latter first, headlined by veteran sci-fi/fantasy actors such as Morenna Baccarin and Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), and Joel Grethsch (The 4400) the show became the second most watched premiere this fall and was the best 8pm drama to premiere on ABC since Lost. Reviews of the show was mixed with mostly negative from those who have seen the original and mostly positive from those who have not. With only three more episodes set to air, it will need to make a lasting impression if it hopes to not be forgotten by the time it comes back in March.

Heroes hasn't been bad this season, but Hiro's time travelling adventure to save Charlie and "help" Sylar brought the really first good storyline for the character since season one. FlashForward meanwhile delivered a fairly uninteresting episode until the last 11 minutes or so when the episode quickly became a game-changer with a death of a main character. The repercussions will be fun to see next week.

Recapping Reality Results

Tonight's episode of Amazing Race sees the return of an infamous roadblock that will hopefully cause much turmoil to the remaining teams. It's already been a harsh season with teams being eliminated for other reasons than coming in last highlighted by last week's elimination of the Poker Girls who were physically unable to complete the roadblock.

Project Runway is heading into its final episodes this season after a double elimination this week giving us the final three designers: Irina, Althea, and Carol-Hannah. If you've been watching the past season, this result shouldn't be too much of a surprise especially considering how Gordana and Christopher has done all season. Talent-wise Irina should win, but the fact that she feels SO entitled has been a big turn-off and therefore I'm hoping for one of the other two designers to win it all. Moment of silence for Matar, my favorite model, who didn't make it into Bryant Park.

Finally, as both of those shows are winding down, So You Think You Can Dance is just ramping up. Due to the World Series, the public had been unable to vote for the dancers. Instead the judges picked the people to go and unfortunately one of my favorites, Bianca, was one of the casualties. As expected, I already have favorites namely Peter, Nathan, and Karen. I'm hoping they all reach the Top 10.

Quick Word About Everything Else

I've really been enjoying Grey's Anatomy the past few weeks which is a lot since I HATED last season. I don't know if it's solely because of Izzie not being there, but it can't be a coincidence.

It's good to see Tommy again in Brothers & Sisters. I can't believe Greek is done until January. I can't wait that long! And finally, I miss Dollhouse and Glee.

Tennis Roundup

- Serena Williams dominated the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships winning all five of her matches including beating her sister in the finals. She also clinched the year-end number one ranking when Dinara Safina had to retire in her first match. It's clears up for the moment the question of who is the best player in the world right now, but let's all wish Serena Williams takes her commitment and drive that she has for the big events and show up in the normal WTA tour next year.

- Both sisters opted out of the Fed Cup finals against Italy. Not shockingly Italy, led by Flavia Pennetta, handedly beat the US winning the four rubbers played. The men's equivalent, Davis Cup, will be contested in a month between the Czech Republic defending champion Spain.

- Andre Agassi admitted to using crystal meth during the 1997 season and then lying to ATP officials who then threw out the case. Of course this was all in time for the release of Agassi's new biography. Reactions are varied, but most saw the revelation as a tainting the man's legacy and the sport as a whole. At least Agassi was able to overcome and come back to the game in top form. But for me it's hard to see one of your idols be knocked off the pedestal and it just makes me sad to think about Martina Hingis' situation.

- Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray win titles at Basel and Valencia respectively strengtening their positions heading into Paris and then to London for the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic was able to defeat hometown favorite Roger Federer while Murray took apart Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Djokovic leads the ATP with the most wins and Murray leads the tour with the most titles. Both, however, were Slam-less this year.

- After Basel and Valencia, there are now seven men fighting for the last two spots of the ATP World Tour Finals. Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando Verdasco more or less only need to show up in Paris to qualify with the other five men needing to reach the finals or win to have a chance.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking Forward To...

Sherlock Holmes
Release: December 25, 2009
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, and Robert Downey Jr.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oscars Go For Two Hosts

I wonder what Meryl Streep has to say about this.

Her It's Complicated co-stars, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, have been tapped to co-host the next Academy Awards. This will be the first time Baldwin will be hosting while this will be the third time for Martin. It'll be interesting to see the dynamics of having two hosts, but for these two I think they will play off each other very well.

Now while I like them both, I do wish the Academy went in another direction. My dream host would have been Neil Patrick Harris who has already hosted the Tonys and the Emmys this year. It probably would've been overkill if he also hosted the Oscars, but even if he wasn't able to do it I sort of wanted the Academy to take a bigger risk. I mean two middle-aged white men? Really thinking outside the box there, Academy.

Maybe someone like Meryl Streep? Now that would be something worth watching.