A Misanthrope’s Guide to TV: Fall Premieres

Summer is over and it’s time to put away the bathing suits, flip flops and selfie sticks (not seasonal, just a thing that should be put away indefinitely). Fall is here and while some may be counting down to the return of the pumpkin spice latte and casual trench coat, those of us with far more sporadic vibrant social lives, will be counting down to the return of our most beloved TV shows. Some of you may be thinking, “Breaking Bad is over, Mad Men is ending, and I still miss Friends. TV is dead.” Fear not, imaginary and melodramatic fatalists, this fall may not see the return of Heisenberg, but it will see the premieres of several new and exciting TV shows guaranteed to make your Saturday nights unforgettable. Here are just five 0f the most highly anticipated shows premiering this fall.

1. Marry Me–NBC, Tues. Oct. 14, 9 PM ET

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Happy Endings never got the credit it deserved, through and including its untimely cancellation last spring. Hopefully the same will not be true for creator David Caspe’s new sitcom, Marry Me. Starring Casey Wilson, of Happy Endings and short-lived SNL fame, alongside Ken Marino, of Party Down, Role Models, etc., the show profiles a couple in the wake of a botched proposal, as they attempt a proper engagement. With an impressive supporting cast (Tim Meadows left the South Side for this), Marry Me looks to be a promising premiere. And following the demise of New Girl, the world is ready for another good sitcom.

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Start tuning in to HBO’s Silicon Valley

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HBO is  known for originating content that represents everyone from millennials in Brooklyn, to gay men in San Francisco, to fantasy royalty in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It was only a matter of time before they focused on a group of programmers in Silicon Valley.

Created by King of the Hill creator Mike Judge, Silicon Valley takes a look at youthful minds in a culture that begs for constant innovation. Where Owen Wilson’s and Vince Vaughn’s The Internship put two unlikely faces in the middle of this fast paced world of technology, Silicon Valley introduces us to the people who are comfortable creating our apps and smart phones.

The series’ protagonist, Richard Hendrix, is working alongside four other programmers in  an “incubator,” someone’s house where they all work on their individual programs. The other programmers are familiar comedic faces like Kumil Nanjiani (Portlandia), Josh Brener (The Internship), and T. J. Miller (Cloverfield). 

Richard is played by uncomfortable-yet-adorable Thomas Middleditch (who stars in a hilarious the Above Average webseries “The Morning After“). While coming up with a seemingly useless app to detect copyright infringement in music, he actually creates “a compression algorithm.” I put that in quotes because that means nothing to me, but it seems like it means everything to the team. Apparently, this fictional algorithm would make compressing files extremely quick without losing file quality. I take this to mean that I could watch this show on my iPhone without there being a stupid lag. When the company that Richard works for hears about his personal project, they begin a bidding war with innovative investor Peter Gregory, played by the late Christopher Evan Welch. In the heat of going from being a nobody to someone of enormous monetary value, Richard frantically weighs his options. Does he want to sell his idea, or turn it into his own business that he can build from the ground up?

While I didn’t find this show “laugh out loud” funny,  I’m pretty sure that was due to the technical jokes about programming and coding that they threw around. I’m sure it reflected  niche nuances of app-developing culture. Still, the show has a solid foundation to fully round out these characters, and I’m excited to see how the story about Richard’s business plays out over the course of this first season. With a clever  and unique environment, a varied ensemble of seasoned comedians, Silicon Valley is sure to be a hit.

“It’s just a garden variety panic attack,” a doctor says to Richard after he pukes out of stress during the bidding war. “Welcome to Silicon Valley. We see people like you all the time,” he replies.

Image, via.

 


Gym-tertainment: The worst TV shows to watch at the gym

Never ever watch The Doctors. Ever.

You made a New Year’s Resolution, and it’s probably that you want to get fit in 2014. Naturally, you’ve been finding yourself getting your workout on at the Nelly. This, then, must sound familiar: You’ve been working out for a solid period of time, and you’ve been watching a program that’s propelled you through your workout thus far. It may a football game, a newscast, an episode of Family Guy… whatever allows you to do you. But then it becomes 30 minutes past the hour—your program ends, only to be replaced by one that completely goes against your workout rhythm.

You may not really get what I mean when I say “rhythm”—while this rhythm may seem trivial in theory, it certainly matters in practice. Let me explain it to you by using a different, but equally important medium: music. You’re on the treadmill running to _[insert your favorite pump-up song here]_. You’re cruising at 6.5 mph—gliding, really—and you feel unstoppable. You turn the volume up a bit, just to pump yourself up a little bit more. You look at your iPhone to check what the next song in the cue is, but you accidentally press the “Shuffle Songs” button instead. In that moment, “My Immortal” by Evanescence comes on and blasts through your headphones with OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP THE HORROR THE HORROR.

Makes you want to vomit everywhere, right? I stand firmly in my belief that “My Immortal” is the worst song ever produced by mankind, while “The Reason” by Hoobastank comes in at a close second.* But that’s not the point of this post—it’s to prove that a television program completely inappropriate for the gym is equally horrifying. Continue Reading


Five things to know about ‘Breaking Bad’ if you don’t watch ‘Breaking Bad’

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Sunday will mark the end of an era and I feel lost. Nay, aimless. After five spectacular seasons of AMC’s Emmy-winning TV series, it’s time to say goodbye to Breaking Bad‘s questionably lovable meth-cooking ex-high school teacher Walter White. There are some of you, however, who have never seen a single episode—you’ve never experienced the frustration brought on by Skyler fucking White; you’ve never watched Walt Jr. eat breakfast over and over and over again; you’ve watched Saul’s spin-off without ever seeing him save Walt’s ass; and you still think of Heisenberg as merely a theoretical physicist. To those of you who identify with the aforementioned statements: I envy you. You can still experience everything for the first time. But let’s be real, you’re not going to watch all five seasons before Sunday. To get you caught up, read the five things you should know about the legendary series after the jump.

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3 episodes of The Simpsons students in blizzards should watch

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The last blizzard this big to hit Brown was so long ago, the Simpsons weren’t even around. In honor of my favorite show, and for the many closeted The Simpsons fans out there, the remaining time you have in this snow weekend for you to reminisce about the good times with your favorite yellow family. Get under some blankets, drink some Duff, and enjoy these three Simpsons episodes that are most appropriate to watch in this snowy ambiance.

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