2008: Year in Review – TV

By: Corey Orsini

Merry Christmas to all the Total Domination listeners out there! I hope Santa brought you everything your hearts desired. 

This year started a little rough for television and film with the whole writers strike, but they both pulled through it. Some of my favorite shows got better and some have sadly ended. In all I enjoyed most of television in the past year. As a warning, there might be spoilers for some of these shows, so each time I start discussing a new show it will be in bold.

To start things off I would like to discuss my new favorite show, Sons of Anarchy which stars Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam, and Katy Segal. For those who don’t know (without going into to much detail) SoA is a show about a motorcycle club, in the fictional California town of Charming, named The Sons of Anarchy (or SAMCRO). Now I know that a show about bikers might not sound to interesting, but for anyone who has yet to check to show out, I recommend giving it a chance. It isn’t some super macho biker show like one would assume, there is a lot of depth and room for much growth. The show’s main character Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam, is one of the coolest character’s to grace the television screen in a long time. 

Jax is the just good guy stuck in a bad place. I love how the man is trying to let his fathers dreams come true for the club, but the struggles he must surpass are so great. While Jax tries to play it cool and do the right thing, sometimes it’s not always squeaky clean. My second favorite moment of the first season is the final confrontation between Jax and Agent Kohn, I seriously haven’t been that pumped up while watching a TV show in a long time. My favorite moment this season, also has to do with another amazing point about the show, is the end of this season. The way the show ends is so amazing and bad-ass, Jax just standing up for what is truly right for the club with an amazing version of the song “John the Revelator” playing in the background. This brings me to my other point of why this show kicks so much ass, the music. I do not think I have ever enjoyed the music in a television show this much. The choices they make for the music a simply phenomenal, for example the constant use of the band The Black Keys. Anyways, I couldn’t recommend this show any more highly. 

A great show that I was introduced to this year was Mad Man. I actually caught up on Mad Men season one, two weeks before the second season premiered. When I first heard of the show in 2007, I didn’t think it would be as great as it actually is. The premise of a show about advertising in the 1960’s doesn’t scream awesome, but when it comes to this show it does. The main character, Don Draper, alone is worth watching the show for. This man might be one of the most bad ass characters ever, next to Dalton of course. All he does is smoke, drink, and fuck a lot of chicks, isn’t that the american dream? The show is extremely good and each episode gets you up off your seat and so pumped for the next episode. Also, there are quite a bit of characters on this show and they really give each of them a lot of time on each episode, so your never behind on what a certain character is doing. 

Another show that I didn’t find out about until this year is Burn Notice, which is about an ex-spy who got put on a “burn notice” and is trying to find out who did it to him. Really I should have heard of this show sooner because I watch Monk on USA and it has one of the best actors around on it, Bruce Campbell. To me this is a different kind of role for him, its not the typical cheesy b-horror movie he is usually in. He is not the main character, but is the main character’s best friend and one of the few people he can trust. The main reason I enjoy this show is because it indirectly teaches you the in’s and out’s of being a spy. When I am watching and the main character is talking about the situation in-hand and how to handle it, I feel like I could almost do the same in that situation using what he says. I am pumped for the next part of this season to start back up in January. 

HBO is always a great place to look when it comes to kick-ass series. From Curb Your Enthusiasm to The Soprano’s to Entourage, HBO usually knocks it out of the park and this year I feel they have again. Some might think I might be talking about The Wire, but I have yet to actually see that show, but I am seriously considering buying the complete series on DVD since I hear so many good things about it. But actually the shows I am talking about are True Blood and Summer Heights High. I know most people will think, “Oh man, True Blood, now we have to hear about more lame vampire/Twilight bullshit,” but that is not the case here. I am not into Twilight whatsoever, but I really like cheesy b-horror movies and to me thats what True Blood is. I really hope that this show is not trying to take it self seriously, because the shit that happens on here is so ridiculous and the acting is so cheesy, that if it is serious I might not like the show so much anymore. This show is really gory, really funny, really dirty, and changes almost everything you know about vampires. As just an example of how outrageous the show is, people drink vampire blood as a drug called V and it gives them a high better than any drug ever. 

Well, on the totally opposite side of True Blood, is the Australian show Summer Heights High. Summer Heights High is a show created by Chris Lilley, who also plays the three main characters. This man is a comedic genius and I really hope this show keeps going forever. Chris Lilley and Ricky Gervais might be the two funniest people on earth and they have both had amazing shows on HBO. I cannot recommend Summer Heights High any higher, the 8th grade character Jonah is worth watching the show for, he continuously tells the teachers to fuck off, it’s great. Anyways, if you have HBO, please go check out True Blood and Summer Heights High.

As far as other shows I recommend, there is The Office, My Name is Earl, 10 Items or Less, Tim and Eric, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Chuck, Flight of the Conchords, South Park, Survivorman, 30 Rock, and Fringe. Oh, by the way Fringe is a kick ass new show and I really hope that it goes on long, because the ideas being thrown around on the show could lead to something epic. Also, I would like to say that Pushing Daisies was a fucking brilliant show by Brian Fuller and I am extremely sad that is has been canceled. It might have been one of the most creative and most visually stunning shows ever, I just wish it would of been able to continue on. Thanks for reading and have a Happy New Year. Part 2 of my year in review will be on my favorite films of 2008.

By the way check out the latest episode of Total Domination by clicking here.

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