Tag Archives: Hawaii Five-O

My Year End Wrap-Up 2010

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back and reflect on the best and worst of 2010.  I’m not going to be the least bit objective here.  This is my blog, so I get to ignore popular trends and public opinion.  You won’t find Lady Gaga or Dancing With The Stars or Harry Potter The First Part of the Last Book (Finally).  This is what entertained ME this year.

Best Books: This year, the recently published books that I most enjoyed were The Gates by John Connolly, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson, Operation Mincemeat by Ben McIntyre, and The Tower, The Zoo and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart.  The biggest disappoint was One Day by David Nicholls.

Best Television: All year long, the television show that has been the most consistently funny and worth watching is The Big Bang Theory.  Jim Parsons gets a lot of the credit, but I’m also a big fan of Kunal Nayyar as Raj.   Another excellent series is Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  My favorite new show from the fall is Hawaii Five-O.  The worst show this year  was the incredibly dull American Idol season.  I can’t even remember the finalists anymore, probably because I was watching NCIS instead.   (People who know me will wonder about General Hospital.  Just keep reading.)

Best Twitter:  Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds tweets with charm and whimsy, and his photos, while not always in focus, are always worth clicking open.

Best Movie:  This category is very tricky.  I only saw five films this year in a movie theater, and two of them were silent.   Of the talkies, Easy A was the funniest and most endearing.  Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are so appealing, you easily forget the shortcomings of the story.  Fortunately, none of the films I paid good money to see actually sucked.  Considering the clunkers released this year, that’s pretty good luck.   All the good films released this month will have to go into next year’s list, because I haven’t seen them yet!

Best DVDs:  Here is where I make up for all the movies I missed in the theater.   The best films I watched on DVD weren’t even released this year, but they’re worth mentioning.  I loved Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont, Patrik Age 1.5, In the Loop, The Band’s Visit, and Heartlands.  Note that three of these films are British, one is Swedish, and one is Israeli.  Not one American film made my list this year.  Unfortunately, the worst thing I watched on DVD this year was also British.  It was a short-lived TV series called Bonekickers.  Avoid it.

Best Streaming:  A special thank you to my downstairs neighbors Nathan and Eric, because I share their wireless DSL.  They upgraded the speed a couple of months ago.  Now I can watch programs on my computer without all the stops for buffering.  The best thing I watched streaming was the British comedy series The IT Crowd.  A special mention goes to the hours of entertaining clips I watched on YouTube.

Best Music:  The music that gets the most space on my mp3 player, and the most plays, is by Enation.  I’ve also enjoyed the new albums by Hanson (Shout it Out) and Jason Castro.

Best Music Video:   I love dogs, so my favorite is White Knuckles by OK Go.

Best Entertainment News:  This is a weird category, but I have been fascinated by all the news about the making of The Hobbit.  The director changes, the New Zealand union controversy, the casting news—it could all prove to be more entertaining than the movie itself.  If it ever gets made.  The worst news was when Entertainment Weekly magazine refused to honor my great subscription rate from past years, so I didn’t renew.

Entertainer of the Year:  This one is a no-brainer.  Back in July, I started watching General Hospital to check out James Franco’s guest appearance.  I became interested in Jonathan Jackson, who plays Lucky Spencer.  I thought my interest would last about a week.   Six months later, I’m still watching him on GH, listening to his band Enation, and checking his facebook page every day.  I’ve watched his movies, his YouTube videos, and his live streaming events on Ustream.   He even answered a question from me on his Twitter Q & A last month.  Jonathan Jackson gets this “award” not just because he has entertained me, but because he has done it in so many different ways.  Thumbs up!

Enation in the recording studio

Jonathan Jackson and Enation (click to see larger)

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Week One

So, the first week of the new fall TV season has come and gone.  Here are my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.

Hawaii Five-O:  It certainly started off with a bang.  The budget for the pilot was big, with helicopters and hummers and lots of explosions.  I would prefer less violence, but that’s pretty much always the case, and maybe I’m watching shows like this for the wrong reasons!  Alex O’Loughlin looks great, although for a guy living in Hawaii he needs to get more sun on that awesome chest of his. Oh, that’s right, his character just came back to Hawaii, so maybe they’ll let us watch him get that suntan.  Scott Caan is funny, but I want him to shave.  I like Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, too.  Now that the show has gotten our attention, let’s hope they settle down into some character development and good ensemble teamwork.

Lone Star:  I really want to like this show.  The cast is excellent, and it has a lot going for it.  Unfortunately, it caused me acute anxiety to watch this fellow trying to juggle two separate lives.  I don’t find anxiety a fun emotion.  Besides, as sincere as the fellow is about being in love with two different women, he’s still cheating on both of them.  The show got really bad ratings, and there is already a campaign on zap2it to save it.  I wish the show luck, but I don’t think I can continue watching.

NCIS:  This favorite came through in a big way.  I was dismayed at the cliffhanger last spring, when Gibbs’ father was confronted by the woman seeking revenge, but I underestimated the man.  He held his own in true Gibbs family fashion.  The rest of the hour was tightly paced, and they wrapped up the revenge storyline swiftly and to my satisfaction.  Everybody was in top form, and I’m looking forward to more.

NCIS: Los Angeles:  I keep watching this show, hoping it will settle and find its footing.  It’s still marinating, though.  This NCIS spin-off just doesn’t have the same balance of humor, ensemble rapport, and character appeal as the original.  I suppose I shouldn’t expect it to be the same, but it hasn’t yet carved out its own niche, either.  The new cast member is kind of cool, but again, I want him to shave.  I know it seems like I want to shave all the guys (yeah, you too, Chris O’Donnell) but I just don’t think facial scruff is attractive.

Criminal Minds:  I was worried that Tim Curry would be too creepy.  And he was.  Oh, my.  As the show bids goodbye to A.J. Cook, the writers are giving her some great material, and the fact that she’s performing it so well is a direct indictment of their decision to dump her.  I’ve said it before—I watch this show for the ensemble of good actors, especially Matthew Gray Gubler.  Recently the focus has shifted away from the group to center on Morgan, Shemar Moore’s character, and I hope that doesn’t continue.  The premiere did not inspire my confidence.

The Big Bang Theory:  It was a great season premiere, but the writers and producers are going to have to pay closer attention to the fact that the show is on now at 8:00pm instead of 9:30pm.  When Howard got a robotic hand stuck around his…privates, it was hysterically funny, but the watchdog groups may have a fit.

The Event: There’s no doubt the last few minutes of the pilot were amazing, and unexpected, but getting there was kind of confusing.  The story was going back and forth between several different timelines, or multiple flashbacks, and I suppose it will continue to do so.  Whether I will care enough to keep watching is less certain.

Chase: This is a show about a female US marshal named Annie Frost, who runs really fast, much faster than her male partners, so she catches up with the fugitives first, and they fight, and she overwhelms them and cuffs them just as the guys are arriving on the scene.  It would be more convincing if Ms Frost wasn’t as scrawny as a fashion model.  It would also be more satisfying to see her using her brains more than her arguable brawn.  And wasn’t it cooperative of the first fugitive to wear a bright red sweat jacket, so you could always spot him running through the crowds?  I don’t know, I suspect that this nod to female empowerment is quite possibly just male fantasy fulfillment.

I attempted to watch Blue Bloods, The Good Guys, The Mentalist, The Defenders, and CSI, but I’ve fallen out of the habit of watching three straight hours of television every night, and my attention wandered.  I’m not giving up on these shows, and I’m not criticizing them either.  I just have to try watching them again.

So, what are your thoughts?

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Anticipation

I’ve been waiting all summer long for this week, and it’s finally here.  New TV shows to check out, new episodes of returning favorites, a new weekly schedule to memorize—and the question, will it all live up to my high expectations?

I’m most nervous about two of my favorite shows, NCIS and Criminal Minds. NCIS lost some of its sparkle last season, and I never learned to like the annoying lady lawyer.  I’m hoping for a return to good form in the coming weeks, if they can quickly wrap up the Mexico revenge storyline.  Criminal Minds rearranged its cast this year, dumping A.J. Cook and reducing the appearances of Paget Brewster.  The end-of-season cliffhanger/first episode features a ridiculously disturbing Tim Curry, and I hope it doesn’t signify a trend.  If the episodes get too graphic, I simply can’t watch. 

 It can be tough squeezing in all the shows you want to watch without a DVR.  At least I don’t have cable, so those shows are off the table until they come out on DVD.  CBS moved The Big Bang Theory to Thursday night, and that’s going to be tough on me.  It’s difficult enough that Glee is on at the same time as NCIS.  Moving CSI: Miami to Sunday night now means that I will have to sacrifice it for Masterpiece Whatever (Mystery, Classic, Contemporary).  Why can’t they move something I enjoy to the wasteland that is Saturday night? 

 The new shows that I’m most excited about are Hawaii Five-O (since I adore Alex O’Loughlin) and Lone Star.  I’m going to take the time to check out The Defenders, Blue Bloods, The Whole Truth, The Event, and No Ordinary Family.  I have no real sense yet if I’ll take to any of them.  I know I already hate Rob Morrow’s scruffy beard.  I’m hoping the judge in his courtroom will order him to shave before he gets charged with contempt. 

 What are you excited about?

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Summer Heat

While most of the US is roasting in triple digits, good old San Francisco is cool and overcast.  My google toolbar says it’s 55 degrees (fahrenheit) at the moment.  We may get swallowed up by an earthquake at any moment, but I’m still grateful to be here!  Still, I don’t mind a little summer warmth, so here is my first annual list of Guys Who Are Heating Up Summer 2010 (in no particular order).

Alex O'Loughlin barechested

Alex O'Loughlin

Alex O’Loughlin:  I love this Australian actor, and I sure hope his third CBS series will stick around.  The reboot of Hawaii Five-0 begins in fall, and the trailers look promising.  This summer, both his cancelled CBS series have been airing, Moonlight (vampire in LA) and Three Rivers (transplant hospital).  I’d watch this guy in old reruns over stupid reality shows any day.  I didn’t see The Back-Up Plan in the theatres, so I’m waiting for the DVD release on August 24th. 

Matthew Goode:  Today A Single Man was released on DVD, and I was at the redbox at 8:20am to rent my copy.  I will be happily watching it tonight, as a reward for a full day of errands.  It’s awfully tough sitting here and not watching it right-this-very-minute.  I know Goode’s role in the film is small, but I just love him and Colin Firth (who probably deserves his own place on this list!), and I understand from friends that I will adore Nicholas Hoult after seeing this movie.

Zac Efron:  This cutie’s movie, Charlie St Cloud, opens at the end of this month.  Efron looks great in the trailers.  I read the book this film is based on, and it’s sweet and predictable and unchallenging, so the movie should allow me to sit back and enjoy the sights. 

Taylor Lautner:  See my last post for my impressions of Eclipse, but Lautner is the reason I bothered to see the movie, and he didn’t disappoint. 

Jonathan Jackson:  Not a lot is happening with his character, Lucky Spencer, on ABC’s General Hospital, but that gives me a chance to catch up on his character’s background.  As I said in a recent post, I just started watching GH and listening to Jackson’s band.  I’m responding to his GH character’s sensitivity, not to mention his delicate good looks.

 Joseph Gordon-LevittInception is opening soon, and I’m delighted to see this guy in a big film.  Well, I’m delighted to see him anywhere.  I’m a little worried about his haircut in Inception, but I know I can count on his performance being excellent.  He has never disappointed me. 

Russell Brand:  I’ve read My Booky Wook, and I love Brand’s unique way with language.  He cracks me up, too.  This is a guy who doesn’t have many filters, and he’s excellent at pushing boundaries too far.  I’m watching him with fascination wondering when he’s going to alienate everyone.  He reminds me of Pee Wee Herman, a twisted character created for a certain adult audience who became a mainstream hit, was given a real children’s show (which I never understood!) and then…well, you know the rest.  I’m not saying I want Russell Brand to blow it, I’m just not sure he can resist it.

So, who’s on your list?

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