Top FX Shows Of 2010

I was listening to The Film Vault podcast today (an Adam Corolla offshoot podcast, and only because I was caught up on my Fantasy Focus and I forgot to download new B.S. Report) and as you guessed it, it's a podcast dedicated only to movies. The host was criticized because in last week's podcast, he was doing a fantasy football draft in the middle of the show- a show dedicated only to movies. Now I personally liked it. Not only because I'm a huge fantasy football fan, but because it was a nice change of pace from the monotony of the movies talk.

It's this same logic that makes Bill Simmons, Matthew Berry, and podcasts with myself and The "Bright" One so entertaining- talking about one subject is very boring. You have to add pop culture references and witty banter to a subject to make it interesting. (Although this analogy doesn't REALLY hold up for a podcast dedicated to movies- an integral part of pop culture- but you get my point.)

Which is why, on a sports blog, I will discuss TV shows- in particular, TV Shows on FX. Now this is not a novel concept (mainly by me) seeing as last year GOI did a poll about the greatest characters on TV at the time and I did a list of the top 50 stand up comedians of our generations. But what can I say, I love to babel and go on tangents.

As of this writing, the best network to produce TV shows right now is FX. USA shows are a big guilty pleasure of mine an I love Monday night comedy on CBS (How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) and Thursday night comedy on NBC (30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Rec, Community)- but as a whole, those and all cable networks put out consistent crap. There's one network right now completing 70% of its passes, hitting .400, has a 98% free throw percentage (look, sports references! Also, the network isn't perfect) and that's FX.

In 2010, the network continues to put out great show after great show and the vast majority of them are awesome. And a great part of their network is that they put all of their shows On Demand (take a hint ABC) so you can watch them at one in the morning when you can't sleep. Not that I do that. Maybe.

So now I'm here to guide you through this great river of TV wonder.

1) The League Thursday/10:30

-Why draft Felix Jones in the 5th when you can get the same production from Ricky Williams in the 9th?
-Thank you stripper!
Advice I did not follow because I drafted Jones.

This story follows 6 guys in an 8 team fantasy football league (I know eight teams is pretty lame, but you get over it). Surprisingly, the main part of the show is not the fantasy football aspect of it, but how these guys just interact with each other and how they interact with their wives/ significant others/ dates. The fantasy football league (at least in the first season) is mainly the glue that connects these guys and gives them an excuse to hang out together. Even if you do not follow fantasy football, although you won't get 100% of the jokes, the show is still a riot.

The humor is pretty low brow, so if you're a stuck up comedy snob, this show is not for you. But if you enjoy the comedy styling of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or old Judd Apatow movies, this show is right up your alley. Very few shows literally make me laugh out loud, and The League is one of them. The show mainly follows around five guys from the shows inception (they add the 6th in season two) and they have great chemistry which works for because many of the jokes are ad libbed.

I will say though, and TBO had to tell me this, right now The League is currently on it's second season. Go out and watch all 6 episodes of the first season before you start watching the second.

P.S. Josh Cribbs is starting on a dude's team in an episode and one guy asks is wife if he should start Ricky Williams or Toby Gerhart. I don't think Cribbs or Gerhart is even owned in the 14 team GOI league, nevertheless in a measly eight team league.

2) Justified Expected to come back in 2011

Dear Lord, before we eat this meal we ask forgiveness for our sins, especially Boyd- who blew up a black church with a rocket launcher, and afterwards he shot his associate Jared Hale in the back of the head out on Tate's Creek bridge
I did a mid-season, best shows of 2010 rankings and Justified was number three on my list (behind Mad Men and 30 Rock) which you can read here. Essentially it follows around a U.S. Marshall Kentucky man named Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant).

This show is the quintessential guy show. Raylan Givens is the master of the Man Cards and he can take yours away if you don't act like him. He spends half the show either shooting at people, killing them, or threatening to hurt them. The other half he spends it boning a childhood friend of his whom just shot her deadbeat, wife-beating husband.

But Raylan Givens is also a well developed character. You get to know the back story of his good-for-nothing, two-timing father, his ex-wife whom Raylan loves very deeply, and his relationship with the people he works with (mainly his boss).

Unlike the crappier NBC version of this show currently playing called Chase, this show is not only creative, but well written and has heart. Plus a lot of shit getting blown up and people getting shot.

3) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Thursdays/ 10:00

You can't nullify a contract by eating it!
Admittedly I was probably the last person to get on board the It's Always Sunny bandwagon. Everyone who had seen the show RAVED about it but I couldn't get into it. Then DME showed me an episode, after a year of law school, about eating contracts. And then right then and then I was hooked. Even coming from me, if you haven't seen It's Always Sunny right now, either stop reading this and go watch like ten episodes or just go away (for PC purposes I won't say the exact words I want to, but hopefully you can read in between the lines.)

The best way I can describe the show is it's an EXTREMELY raunchy and inappropriate Seinfeld. And it really fits the bill perfectly.

Trust me, it's hilarious

4) Archer Reportedly coming back in January of 2011

- Lana. Lana. Lana. Lana. Lana. Lana. LAAANNNAA!
- What!?
- DANGER ZONE!
During my mid season rankings, I ranked Archer as my 10th favorite show.

For anyone who actually knows who H. Jon Benjamin is or knows what the show Frisky Dingo is about, you're already hooked on this show. Benjamin is a great voice actor who was on some great Adult Swim shows like Home Movies and Lucy: Daughter of the Devil. He's also the other dude who's kinda short and fat on Demetri Martin's show Important Things. Even if you haven't heard of him, he's hilarious.

The show follows super agent Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) as he interacts with his super hot co-worker/ former lover Lana Kane (voiced by Aisha Tyler), his mom (voiced by Jessica Walter) who also runs the agency (and the reason Archer still has a job) and Lana's current boyfriend who's an accountant for the agency Cyril Figgins (voiced by Chris Parnell)

Imagine if Austin Powers was actually smooth and a complete douchenozzle who says inappropriate things at the right time. You got some idea of who Sterling Archer is. Despite it's Adult Swim humor and clearly geared towards 16-29 year old (even though my dad loves the show as well), it actually sneaks in a handful of really smart Jon Stewart-esque jokes in there.

The only reason this show isn't higher is because a handful of episodes in season one were pretty bad, but there were also a handful of fantastic ones that made the show. The only reason this show isn't lower because my friends and I quote it all the time. Mainly the "Danger Zone" quote.

5) Terriers Wednesday/10:00

I've only seen a few episodes and I don't remember/ can't find any good quotes so none for this section :(

For those of who who actually watched/ remember Grounded For Life, I think you'll already on the right track for this show- because both star Donal Logue (like Topher Grace, he's just too cool for school to have a full, normal name)

I will say that I enjoy this show, I think Logue is really funny on the show, I love the chemistry he has between him and his co-star Michael Raymond-James, and the show takes a creative take on the whole P.I./ Cop drama that's both entertaining and character driven,

But I'll leave it up to a real TV critic, Alan Sepinwall's (as featured on The B.S. Report) hitfix.com buddy Daniel Feinberg to explain it best

6) Louie Season just ended, watch it at FX.com or On Demand

This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me, and my dad hung himself in front of me, while masturbating
I gotta say, I think Louie is by far and away the worst show on FX this year (that I've seen). I know every single critic from Alan Sepinwall to Ken Tremendous from the blog formally known as Fire Joe Morgan loves it. Everyone who's a critic seems to think this is the funniest show on television right now and deserves every award Jesus can cum out. But I gotta tell ya, I don't see it.

Listen, I'm a Louis C.K. fan. I love his stand up and I was just as excited as anyone to watch this show when it came out. And when I was bored at night, I would watch Louie so I've seen practically every single episode, and I flat out just don't like it.

It's written, directed, and starring Louie C.K.- and I think that's a gift and a curse. It's a gift in the sense that Louie C.K. ha complete creative control so he can do whatever he wants- and he can do it for cheap so the studio is essentially always making a profit on the show no matter what. It's a curse, because I think Louie should just have a say in the creative process, but have people who are more experienced/ actually know what they are doing to write and/or direct the show.

I think the premises and ideas are funny, but I think they're poorly executed. I think scenes go on too long, Louie can just be too awkward (The Larry David effect on Curb), and Louie seems more content making statements on how Americans date and interact with each other more than just be funny.

But there is one saving grace to the show, and it's the same reason I'll even consider watching the aforementioned Demetri Martin show- and that's the stand up on the show. Louie C.K. is still a phenomenal stand up so the third to half time he does stand up on the show, I really enjoy and laugh at it.

7) Sons of Anarchy Tuesdays/10:00

I don't watch this show so I'm not going to be a hater and judge it. But I will say it looks really bad, I don't know anyone who watches it, and I have absolutely no desire to see any episode. But for what it's worth Alan Sepinwall said on a recent Simmons podcast he likes it. But he also didn't praise The League THAT much.

12 comments:

big DSC said...

Love this list. Couldn't agree more with your thoughts on Louie. The "show" part isn't very funny.

I have been a fan of It's Always Sunny for while, but this seasons episodes have been lackluster.

As for Sons of Anarchy, it seems kind of lame if you haven't watched an episode. I picked up on it about a year ago and it is must see TV for me now. Very good stories and characters.

Dmitry said...

I was doubting louie after the first 3 eps, but since then I have loved it. Stand up is great, but i love love the scenes too. When he goes to the black nightclub, when he follows that cashier home, bj at the dentist, the scenes with his mother are so fantastically awkward. And hopefully that dark haired chick stays around as louie's alter ego

I've saw the season premier of Sunny in Philly and really liked it but have no time for it.

1.E&D
2.The League
3.Louie
4.Big bang theory
5.NBC Thursday

Thats it. Thats the list

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Ok, I really like the league, but no episode of that show has made me laugh as much as episode 3 of the latest always sunny. In my eyes, that's #1

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

I only watch the following TV shows right now:
-The Office
-30 Rock
-Eastbound & Down
-the league
-Always sunny

I miss Heroes :(

And I really need to watch more Mad Men. I havent even seen season 3!

Online Discovery Channel said...

I really like the list and i completely agree with your thoughts.

Sexy Rexy said...

Thank you all for the positive feedback. I'm glad I didn't get a, 'This is the worst list ever, you're an idiot, go kill yourself' sort of response

I'm not a huge die hard It's Always Sunny guys just because it's been less than a year since being addicted to the show, but after the first few episodes of Sunny I still love it and think it's hilarious

Louie can just get too awkward for me. Michael Scott on The Office can get too awkward for me and Louie takes it to Larry David level where I just feel uncomfortable and not amused. That scene where Louie is with the Black comedians and he's at the club and he's going to put his hands on the girl because the black comic did it, I literally had to fast forward b/c I knew what was going to happen and I can't watch hat stuff.

Although the entire episode where his mom comes out was hysterical. But overall, I think Louie tries to make broader societal points (and pts I agree with him on- like the religion episode and his view on dating) but it's just not funny to me.

The shows I go out of my way to watch:
- Mad Men (best drama on TV right now)
- 30 Rock (not the funniest comedy, but the BEST comedy on right now)
- The League (THE funniest show on TV right now)
- Eastbound and Down
- Community/ Parks and Rec/ The Office
- I right now am watching the Big Bang Theory instead of community b/c stupid CBS doesn't put their shows On Demand and NBC is awesome about that so I'll watch BBT, Office, 30 Rock

On Demand I'll watch the other FX shows like Terriers, IASIP, and recently Louis b/c it's on.

Also, gotta love the Jersey Shore. It's the worst crap ever but it's awesome

By the way, have you guys seen Outsourced? It's awful

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Remember when you refused to watch parks and rec like I told you "because it wasnt funny."

Boooooo

You are to Parks and Rec what I am to Jason Kubel

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Also, the boat EP of always sunny had me "on the floor laughing." I wasnt rolling on the floor laughing, but I was definitely OTFL.

Sexy Rexy said...

When I'm wrong, I'll own up to it. But in my defense, the first season and a half on Parks and Rec was awful

And I have not seen the boat ep of IASIP, as awesome as FX is about actually having content On Demand, tey don't post it right away like what NBC and USA does so I have to wait an extra week just to get the chance to watch it.

Plus right now I need to catch up on the last episode of Mad Men because last Sunday was SNF featuring the Bears get slaughtered- so that priority #1 for On Demand viewing

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Another great show is Dexter. I've only seen a few EPs, but it's AMAZING thus far. And yes, I know I'm like a bazillion years behind on this show.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

and PS, I too admit when Im wrong. Just look on the Hardball Times tomorrow and when I eat a piece of paper on national tele-er, the blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey there :)

What was the most impressive and worst film of last year in your oppinion? In my view it might have to be:

Finest: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Worst: A Nightmare on Elm Street


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