Posts Tagged ‘Rick and Morty’

Fandom: Passion vs. Toxicity

March 12, 2018

Being part of a fandom is a great thing. Fandom used to be a more solitary thing. If you loved a television show, for example, there was a limited group of people you could share that with. If the other people at the dinner table or the water cooler did not also enjoy the thing you loved, you would just get polite nods or eye-rolls. You became an island unto yourself at least when it came to that one subject. Sure, there were conventions and fan club newsletters but mainly you just loved content quietly. That is, until the dawn of the Internet. The Internet connected people on an unprecedented scale and suddenly it allowed people of similar interests to find each other over humongous distances. This was the point where fandoms really took off as communities. These fandoms can be a powerful force for good and for bad. The difference is the line between passion and toxicity.

I was a big fan of a show called Community although I only discovered it well into the fourth season. When the creator, Dan Harmon, teamed up with an old friend, Justin Roiland, to produce a new cartoon show, I was ready to get in on the ground floor. The show they created was Rick and Morty. Rick and Morty started life as a parody of Back to the Future but evolved into a clever dark comedy science fiction adventure that still includes fart jokes. It juxtaposes insightful, reflective moments with parody and absolute silliness. I love the show because it is intelligent but it also does not take itself too seriously. The show has seen a very positive response from fans who definitely get the show. However, there is a section of the fanbase that even the creators disavow. These are the same people who hated the third season because it felt more progressive and they blamed that on the creators being forced to hire female writers. These are the same kind of people who use “SJW” as an insult. These are also the same people who threw fits when they could not obtain Schezuan sauce from a McDonalds Rick and Morty promotion. It makes me so embarrassed to have these people as part of the fandom and when that news story broke, I quickly explained to friends that I was not part of that.

Readers will know that I am a big fan of professional wrestling. This is really a loaded fandom when it comes to public perception. I will just set aside the whole problem I have with the alt-right connections the WWE leadership has. The fanbase for sports entertainment is incredibly passionate. Everybody has their favorite performers and everybody is quick to praise or criticize storylines as they are happening. I have seen plenty of positive discussions online about certain performers and their merits or flaws. I have disagreed with some of it but I can definitely respect when somebody has an opinion. For example, I love Finn Balor but if other people just are not feeling his energy then so be it. However, I have read comments on websites that are so negative. It is apparently a big thing in the fandom to hate performers because everybody else hates them. This phenomenon is still so weird to me. I have read plenty of comments from people who want fewer matches with women because they just seem to hate all the female performers which is kind of a red flag. I have read so many comments that seem to spew so much hate against the performers and not the characters they play. I just wish the WWE fandom, in particular, could be more positive about things.

I don’t talk about it much but I watched a lot of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As a guy who once wanted to be an animator when I grow up, I retain a big interest in animation and I watch a ton of it. When the show started to gain a huge fandom, I wanted to check it out. When I did, I genuinely liked the show for being witty and creating interesting characters and a deeper plot than I see on most shows intended for children. It enjoyed a lot of deserved popularity as everyone had fun with it. Then I found about the “bronies”. Hoo boy. Bronies (a portmanteau of bro and pony) are grown men some of which seem to obsess over this show in a very creepy manner. I am all for fighting gender stereotypes as I have loved plenty of stuff with a mostly female demographic. Erasing gender stereotypes and going against toxic masculinity is a great thing. However, when you start to crowd the original intended audience out of their own events and fandom, you need to self-examine. This one is not completely negative but I was glad when bronies got their own convention and seemed to start to divide themselves from the main fandom.

It’s not all negative, though. The vast majority of fans that I have met are positive and passionate about things they like and apathetic about stuff they don’t like. I would hope that most people do not have time to sit around talking about how much and why they hate something in pop culture. Those people are out there but I do not really wish to know them. I made a decision more than a year ago to try and be more positive about things in general and I have been trying to follow through with that. I hope that anybody who reads this really thinks about how they approach fandoms and try not to be too negative. Also, don’t hate women. Reminder: Don’t crap on something too hard because somebody out there might like it and it hurts when somebody craps on your thing.

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An Uncooperative Subject

April 25, 2016

(Hurray for fanfiction! I urge you to watch Rick and Morty  and also play Portal and Portal 2 on whatever gaming system you want.  There are slight spoilers if you haven’t partaken in these two things but nothing too major.)

Rick woke up slowly and he started to push himself to his knees but he was a little dizzy. Of course, being dizzy was not out of the ordinary for Rick but it was best to take these things slow. He could tell from his field of vision that he had woken up on an unfamiliar floor. Rick had woken up on a lot of floors so an unfamiliar one was more than a little alarming. He was also curious about what had knocked him out as he had taken practically every substance legal or otherwise in the known multiverse. It really took a lot to lose consciousness nowadays.

“Aw geez, Rick! Where are we now!?” Morty whined. Rick looked to his right and saw his shivering grandson sitting against a clear wall of some sort. He looked around and confirmed that they were surrounded by four of these walls. All that was in their little cell was a toilet and an alarm clock.

“Shut up, Morty. Grandpa needs to think.” Rick said and pushed himself to his feet.

“Where do you think we are, Rick?”

“Goddamit, Morty, I said I need to think,” Rick said with a loud belch. “It looks like a prison but not one I’ve been too before.” Rick said and tried to remember what had happened before they had been taken.

Thankfully shut up and stayed sitting in the opposite corner. Rick ran his hand across each wall in turn but he couldn’t really feel anything. He was starting to get really ticked off. If this was the Council of Ricks again he didn’t know what he was going to do. More like Council of Dicks, he thought and smirked to himself.

“I miss my laptop,” Morty said softly, breaking the dead silence. Rick whirled to face him but Morty spoke before Rick could tear him a new one. “I mean, what are we going to do?”

“Well, turning you into a car was a one-time thing and you blew that in class. Somebody took my portal gun when they left us here. Give me a minute.” Rick said and leaned his forehead on one of the walls.

“I took your portal gun. It will interfere with the testing and we will be doing a lot of testing.” A soft, feminine voice said. The voice had a slight bite to it like whoever it was was talking to a small, annoying child or a Morty. Rick’s Morty made a small frightened noise but Rick only grunted and rolled his eyes. One of the three walls sank quickly into the floor.

“Who.. who’s there!?” Morty cried out.

“I am GLaDOS. Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. This is Aperture Science and you are Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith. Our research indicates that you are one of the smartest beings in the galaxy. Looking at you, I think we were misinformed.” GLaDOS said, her voice resonating from speakers somewhere in the wall or ceiling.

“Listen up, you computerized piece of shit! Nobody pushes me around! I’ll find you and I’ll tear you apart!” Rick yelled at the ceiling. It was his best guess at where the speakers were.

“Listen, I am so frightened. I really am. Actually, I’m not used to a test subject who talks so this will be a burden on all of us. If you enter the first testing chamber, you can pick up the portal gun and start testing.” GLaDOS said and a door opened up. Rick grumbled and started to walk into the next test chamber with Morty following close behind. There was a device on a pedestal in front of them with a spotlight shining down on it. Rick picked it up and examined it.

“Listen, it sounds like you have a lot of history before we got here. We’re not interested in a crossover, let’s just end this now and I’ll go get drunk and maybe I won’t come back here and burn this place to the ground.” Rick said, belching again just as he started the last word.

“I don’t think you’re in a position to bargain, Rick. We can test or I can throw Morty into boiling lava. It’s your choice, both would be fun for me and, in the end, we’ll test anyway.” GLaDos said. The room started to rearrange itself into a series of platforms and white surfaces. Rick looked around and examined his surroundings. It looked like some sort of obstacle course.

“This portal gun looks pretty crappy, GLaDOS. I mean, what’s it got in here? Some sort of subspace converter, something for quantum tunneling. I bet this thing still runs on fleebs. Wait, it’s not pre-fleeb is it? I bet if I sold it I would only get, like, two schmeckles maybe. My gun is waaaay better.” Rick said with a disdainful look at a nearby camera that was pointed their way.

“It is more than adequate for testing. If you do not begin testing, I will fill this chamber with nerve gas.” GLaDOS warned.

“Oh Geez, Rick. Let’s just do it.” Morty said.

“I huff nerve gas before I get out of bed in the morning. You’re gonna have to do better than that!” Rick said with a grin. A green gas started to filter into the room but Rick pointed the portal gun and fired and the gas was sucked through a hole in the black ceiling.

“Wait. What’s going on? How did you do that?” GLaDOS said. For the first time, she sounded less than bored and more than concerned.

“I fixed this portal gun while we were talking. I used the alarm clock and you don’t want to know where I was storing the other parts.” Rick said, his grin getting very big.

“Gross,” Morty said.

“I give in. You can leave. I have learned my lesson” GLaDOS said simply.

“Oh no, you don’t. Now we’re gonna test my way!”

“But I let you go, I don’t want to be dismantled again.”

“I don’t give a fuck! That’s my catchphrase! I say it all the time!” Rick yelled with glee and Morty knew from experience that things were about to get very dark, very quickly.

Top 11 Christmas Episodes

December 20, 2015

Top 11


11. Scrubs – My Own Personal Jesus

Probably last on the list because it leans heavily on the belief in God and the low production values. It largely deals with how hospitals are one of the worst places to be during the holidays. In the emotional parts of our lives, it can sometimes bring the worst of us bubbling to the surface. A young Catholic surgeon loses his faith while on call on Christmas Eve. He feels he has been proven wrong in his assertion that God watches over all of us. In the end, his faith is restored and we’re reminded that even if you don’t believe in God, you can believe in people. The subplot has plenty of comedy about dealing with people you don’t like but coming together anyway. It’s a welcome balance to the sad but uplifting main plot.

10. Rick and Morty: Anatomy Park

Alright, this one is only this low on the list because half of it is a Jurrasic Park/Innerspace parody. That plot has little to do with Christmas besides taking place inside a homeless man in a santa suit. The title characters (and Jon Oliver) are busy dealing with the strange problem inside Ruben. While all of this is going on, the rest of the family is playing host to Steve’s parents and trying to get along during the holidays. The family in Rick and Morty are pretty disfunctional. They’re perhaps the most disfunctional family I’ve seen in fiction that still stays together. Steve, the father, decides to disconnect his family from electronics for the holiday so they can connect with one another. He’s not prepared for the consequences of his action. The episode teaches that sometimes our family can annoy us and drive us crazy, especially around the holidays. That’s ok. It’s very normal.

9. Futurama – XMas Story

While the episode is largely silly, like most Futurama episodes there’s a deeper message involved. The surface story is about how a Santa Claus robot has gone crazy in the year 3000 and will murder anybody after sundown. Naturally, this is because its naughty/nice processing unit has been damaged. However the episode more expertly deals with two characters who are feeling lonely on Christmas because they have no family. Both of them fail to see that they can always fall back on their circle of friends because friends are our extended family. They also tackle the folly of being selfish especially around the holidays. There’s also a mostly subtle message that possessions are fleeting and no thing can take the place of a kind thought.

8. Boston Legal: Loose Lips

Now, I’ve only seen the first season of Boston Legal but it’s definitely got cynical edge to it that you might think would clash with Christmas. The thing is, beneath that cynical and bitter surface, Boston Legal has heart and that especially applies to its star, James Spader. His character likes to pretend he has no heart and that he’s the villain but in the end he often does the right thing in spite of himself. Christmas is all about that sometimes. Christmas can be the one time all year where we stop ourselves and do the right thing. Not because we’re supposed to but because we realize we want to be good just like Ebenezer Scrooge did. The secondary plot has to do with a confidentiality dilemma when a doctor’s patient may be planning to kill somebody. The main plot is much more Christmas-y and has to do with a Santa who was fired because it was discovered that he cross-dresses on his off hours. The main plot starts kind of comedic but ends up being pretty touching and features one of those good mall Santas.

7. 30 Rock: Ludachristmas

30 Rock was a clever show that was always funny but every episode devolved into insanity unless it already began insane. This is one of those episodes that starts with a lot of crazy concepts and premises and just runs with it. There’s weird amnesia, crazy alcoholic christmas and paper shredders that are easily mistaken for a photo scanner. There is a clash between those who just want to have fun with those who would dictate how you should celebrate Christmas. In the end, maybe it’s not such a good idea to meddle in how other people celebrate as long as they’re responsible and safe. The main story hammers home how everybody’s family is pretty crazy so there’s not much point worrying about the grass looking greener on the other side. It’s best to just live and let live most of the time.

6. Bones: The Santa in the Slush

Bones has always been a good show. Some of my scientist friends might have problems with it but I’ve liked the show because it has compelling characters and stories with a lot of heart. Even the worst episode of Bones is head and shoulders above a lot of other stuff on television. The show has had a long run so it has a lot of holiday episodes to choose from. I had to go with The Santa in the Slush because of the interesting imagery of the episode. It starts with the discovery of a murdered mall Santa and the mission to discover who could do such a thing. Now, these days its popular to depict mall Santas as alcoholic jerks who are just faking it for cash. However, I love a good story about a true mall Santa who loves kids and is sticking it out in the trenches as a true foot soldier for the North Pole. We all want to believe in magic. Whether it’s the magic of Santa or the magic of human kindness, we all want to believe. This is a good story that shows that there are people out there who really believe in humanity and what’s right in the world.

5. Supernatural: A Very Supernatural Christmas

Brothers have history together. I lived in a house (several in fact) with my brothers for 18 years and then spent holidays and some summers with them. Granted, we never had the history the Winchesters had but we went through a lot of stuff together. Even in moments where that’s not being directly dealt with that is the major undercurrent of the show. So how do two guys who grew up experiencing Christmas in motels on the road view the holidays? Both Sam and Dean have had a taste of normal Christmas but that’s gone for them. The episode also deals with various mytholigies that surround Christmas. Some have been forgotten and some were appropriated for use by Christianity. It’s a fun but creepy look at those myths coming to life.

4. Veronica Mars: An Echolls Family Christmas

Since this episode occurs in the first season, Veronica is very much separated from the friends and family (minus her dad) that she used to celebrate with. This isn’t necessarily a happy episode, especially for one set at Christmas. That’s fine as the holidays are not always so happy and problems don’t just magically stop during the holidays. This episode primarily focuses on the Echolls family’s dysfunctional problems. There is a more lighthearted whodunit trying to figure out who stole the poker winnings from the last poker game with Veronica taking great pleasure in shaking down the rich boys (even her ex). In the main plot we have a much more dangerous mystery that includes cheating, stalking and holiday parties. It foreshadows a lot of stuff later in the series. It’s a good dysfunctional look at the holidays because we’ve all experienced that at one point or another.

3. Leverage: The Ho Ho Ho Job

When your main cast is a bunch of ex-criminal vigilantes who no longer have any family connections, you don’t really expect to have a Christmas episode. However, from its inception, episodes of Leverage are about restoring hope to the hopeless and defending the defenseless. Most of the characters are loathe to get into the Christmas spirit but all they need is a little push from the suddenly cheery orphan thief to try and stop a holiday heist. They take the case of a mall santa who may as well be the real man in red. In the end the crew and even some of the villains embrace the season. It’s a lot of fun and doesn’t delve into the somewhat dark histories of the characters but does show them getting a little light in their lives.

2. Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

It was hard to pick just one Doctor Who Christmas episode but I managed to whittle it down eventually even though I could probably do a separate list. British shows tend to run a little dark around the holidays and Doctor Who is often not an exception. This one starts with a mother taking her kids to the country for the holidays while trying to keep it secret that their dad recently died. While there is a horror/science fiction plot at work, there is a bigger discussion on the nature of the collision of happiness and tragedy. The Doctor does his best to heal this broken family and in the end I was so filled with joy that I cried.

1. Community: Comparitive Religion

The first season of Community was like a force of nature when it showed up. It was a little more cynical and bitter as the characters were still feeling out their relationship with one another. Still, by Christmas at the end of their first semester they had grown into a tight group that genuinely liked each other despite all of their flaws. However, sometimes it is the people with the best intentions who can cause the most pain. Shirley is a devout Christian and chooses to impose her will and control over her non-Christian friends using motherly guilt. The episode features a pretty even-handed look at how many different cultures in the United States celebrate Christmas because it’s fun and not because they’re Christians. In the end, everybody learns that family means togetherness and that’s way more powerful than any religion in the world. It manages to achieve this message without putting anybody’s beliefs down and isntead preaching peace and the ability to live and let live. It’s a violent but strangely joyous way to celebrate the holidays.

Media Update 8/20/2015

August 20, 2015


Rick and Morty (Season 2)

I cannot recommend this show enough. On its surface, it looks like a silly animated sci-fi adventure. It is that, as it was created by Dan Harmon (creator of Community) and Justin Roiland (Voice actor extraordinaire). However, the show is really surprising for a lot of reasons. First, the show is incredibly smart. Like Community, the show is very aware of genre and itself and constantly goes in directions I wasn’t expecting. Second, the show is actually really dark. On numerous occasions the show has gotten me laughing and then shown me something heartbreaking or horrifying and I can’t stop laughing due to momentum. It’s not just stunts meant to shock you. Everything on the show is calculated to tell you more about the characters or the world they live in. The second season builds on what the first season achieved and makes it even better. The sci-fi concepts are often tried and true but the new spins their given make the show fresh, funny and smart as hell.

 


Bones (Season 9)

I caught Bones when it first came out because I was a pretty big fan of reruns of Angel and Buffy and David Boreanaz was supposed to be the star. What I got was a pretty smart procedural show that focuses on forensics in a way I hadn’t really seen before. I know the science doesn’t always match up with real world science but I’m always willing to accept that for the sake of good stories. Bones gave me good stories but it did so by giving me good characters. Booth and Bones (the leads of the show) are very different but complimentary characters. It’s fun to watch them interact with each other and with other characters. The supporting cast has always been excellent and has only become more excellent as it grew. I stopped watching the show at some point, probably because I was distracted by some other show. This week I decided to reconnect and randomly started at Season 9. It was really good. If anything, the show has gotten better as Bones, who is hyper-rational, has become a little less robotic and more human as the show has progressed. I adore the supporting characters, especially the token artist character Angela who has somehow learned to live and work with scientist types. I’m looking forward to watching more episodes but I may try to find where I dropped off and continue from there instead. Or not. I’m not a stickler for continuity.

 


Supernatural: The Animation

I wasn’t expecting to stumble on this show this week. I’ve only seen the above trailer and the first episode but I think I can comment a little on it. I’m a fan of Supernatural because it really pays off for fans who stick with it. Also, the characters and actors are top notch and could sell even the weakest scripts. Thankfully, the writing is pretty good and has kept me entertained when I decide to catch up on the show in bursts. The CW show is an hour long supernatural drama where two brothers combat the forces of evil. The anime is a half hour anime adaptation done by a Japanese studio. Each episode is a condensed version of an episode from the original series. The first episode adapts “Skin” into an episode called “Alter-Ego” and it’s actually pretty good. They alter the original plot but you still hit the basic plot points that the original hit. It’s pretty good but so far it just lacks the gravity of the original. The American version uses Jared Paladecki’s voice but Jensen Ackles was busy so it sounds a little like Sam is talking to some other brother we never knew about. Still, it’s worth a look for Supernatural fans to see a slightly different take on the original show.

 

Awesome Links of the Week:
Rick and Summer Beat Down (from Rick and Morty)
Castiel Meets the Ghosfacers
I Burgie Burgie Commercial
Rick and Morty Meet the Simpsons

 

Updates:
– I finished Season 4 of Bob’s Burgers and it’s so good but I have to wait for Season 5.
– I finished Season 2 of Agents of Shield and I can’t wait for Season 3! (But I have to)
– I wish I had a DVR but I must rely heavily on Netflix and Youtube.
– I’ve started work on reviewing things for Halloween 2015. I love Halloween!

Top 11 TV Shows On Right Now 2014

September 24, 2014

Since I did this list two years ago, eighty percent of the shows I loved ended or were canceled or moved to Yahoo.  Thankfully television is a non-stop fountain of good (and bad) shows.  So here’s another Top 11 list excluding Pro-Wrestling.  (See Why I Love Pro-Wrestling for that)

1. Gravity Falls

Released by Disney, this cartoon is endearing and really funny.  The characters are so well rounded as well as intelligently written.  The jokes come fast and furious and the writers have a knack for hitting you with a quick tag after something sad or endearing happened that catches you off guard.  Speaking of endearing or sad, it’s not always the happiest show.  Sure, we’re not talking deep agony but characters get angsty, frustrated and angry at one another.  On top of that, there’s a complex X-Files like mystery arc going on in the show and often a mystery or paranormal happening of the week.

2. Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail

I have watched a lot of stand up shows since discovering them in the early nineties.  They usually consist of one comedian doing a long set or several comedians doing short sets, edited for television.  Most of the lesser known comedians stand in front of a backdrop  with their name on it.  This show is not that.  I am a huge fan of both Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani separately from their podcasts and stand up routines.  They have put on a weekly comedy show in the Meltdown Theater in the back of Meltdown Comics for years.  Just recently they got a deal with Comedy Central to film it.  Short clips of the stand up acts are intercut with the comics hanging backstage and shooting the bull.  It’s really, really entertaining.

3. Rick and Morty

This show is absolutely insane.  It should be, it comes from the mind of Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (Accomplished Voice Actor) who are long time friends.  I think I’ve mentioned how big of a Dan Harmon fan I am but I hadn’t really experienced much of Justin Roiland.  Justin Roiland plays the two leads, a boy and his mad scientist grandfather, and is an amazing voice actor.  He usually does high squeaky voices for his roles but in this he does a ten year old boy and mimics and embellishes Dan Harmon’s speech pattern to portray Rick Sanchez, mad scientist.  I can’t push this show enough.  It’s kind of an unexpected hit.

4. Once Upon a Time

I am a huge fan of fairy tales, myths and legends.  More than that, I’m actually a huge Disney animated films nerd.  So what happens when you take myths, legends, fairy tales, Disney and real life and throw it in a blender?  A show I binge watched the hell out of.  The novelty that sucks you in is getting to see your favorite characters in a different light (Bisexual Mulan, anyone?).   What kept me around was the great acting and compelling stories.  The story is that all of these legendary characters have been thrust into the real world and merged with mundane people.  The way the show operates is that each episode is divided between the present and a series of flashbacks.   The present scenes forward the central plot and the flashbacks help to flesh out the characters’ history.

5. Arrow

This show surprised the hell out of me.  When I heard that there was going to be a Green Arrow origin show, I thought that it would be like Smallville.  Smallville was often good but just as often it was “good enough”.  Smallville also often felt soap opera-ish and succumbed to the CW formula more often that not.  Arrow feels different.  It feels a lot more like the great work that’s being done by Marvel Studios and also the great work at DC Animated.  The show has been through so many twists and turns that I honestly do not know where it is going next.

6. Adventure Time
It feels like this cartoon has become a national obsession.  I know that it became an obsession of mine for a little while when I found out about the Marceline/Ice King storyline.  Tears nearly fell people.  The show is funny, weird, sad and exciting all at once or sometimes just in various combinations of the four.  It certainly does not hurt to have John DiMaggio voice one of the major characters of the show.  I have rarely seen a cartoon of this magnitude maintain such a consistent mythos that it can draw from.  Even so it’s very accessible for the first timer and there are several jumping on points.

7. Doctor Who.

The show that literally keeps reinventing itself to stay fresh.  I held off on writing this because I had not started watching the new series but now I am four episodes in.  It remains brilliant and an entirely different dynamic from the Matt Smith era and the David Tennant era or any era before it.  Peter Capaldi brings a lot of gravity and dry, dry humor to the character that it’s such a pleasant surprise when we’re hit with a bit of silliness now and then.   A lot of people claim that one Doctor is better than the other but I can’t decide.  It’s always shaky going from one Doctor the next but once you get a few episodes in you should be sold.

8. The Blacklist

James Spader is a very loveable asshole on this show.  Even though it is increasingly hard to tell who is a good guy and who is a bad guy, The Blacklist is an amazing show.  It has an ensemble cast but the show would have been nothing without James Spader.  I thought that this show would be just another procedural, just this time with the CIA instead of law enforcement officials.  On the surface, the Reddington character is very much like Richard Castle or Patrick Jane.  A maverick outside who eventually becomes accepted by the authorities because of how good they are at solving crimes.  Not so here.  After an entire season we are no closer to discovering if the central character is a good guy or a bad guy.  I really like that.

9. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
I am huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as created by Disney and Marvel Comics (although Disney only became involved a few movies into the process).  Since this show is connected to that universe, I wanted to devour it before it even hit the plate.  I was a huge fan of Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson from the MCU and he remains a huge selling point for the show.  The ensemble is strong but really keeps me coming back are the subtle and not-so-subtle connections to a greater universe.  To have Glenn Talbot or Maria Hill or Victoria Hand or any number of minor characters from the comics show up fleshes out a universe that is already getting pretty meaty.  This show has steadily gotten better as it has progressed and I suspect that will continue to happen.

10. Perception

This is your usual procedural like the ones I alluded to above where an outsider consults with law enforcement and helps them do a better job.  In this show, Dr. Daniel Pierce is a neuroscientist and an unmedicated schizophrenic.  Since we follow the character of Dr. Pierce, we are never quite sure what is real and what is brain chemistry.  The show’s strength relies mainly on Eric McCormack (aka the only person stomachable from Will and Grace) who puts in really strong performances.  He is assisted by a great ensemble cast.  Rachael Leigh Cook kicks major butt as a tough but loyal FBI agent named Kate Moretti who is also a major highlight of the show.

11. Grimm

Once again, I love fairy tales and myths and this show comes at them from a different angle than Once Upon a Time or most shows that I have seen.  This show posits that the creatures from the tales were always there among us but were able to hide their true natures from humanity and blend in.  The Big Bad Wolf is a clock repairman down the street and the three little pigs are arson inspectors downtown.   Through the main character, a human who can see the true natures of these creatures, we see glimpses into a completely foreign society buried within our own.

Some that didn’t make the list:  
Community – because it left Television and is now an internet show .
Game of Thrones – because you root for somebody and then they die.
True Detective – because the season ended and I’m wary of how Season 2 will go.
Sherlock – I think of the series as mini-movies not television episodes. Excellent series, though.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report – It was hard leaving them off but they’re great.
Other shows – I either don’t like them or have not seen them yet.


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