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The Top 30 Albums of 2017

29 Dec

Welcome back for another round of year end lists. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing a bunch of television, film, and music lists. Hope you agree, disagree, and learn about new things.

Rules: EPs allowed, soundtracks not allowed, album has to be released in 2017 and entirely made up of new material (so no Sufjan, Beach House, Conor Oberst, Radiohead, etc. even though any new songs are eligible for the songs list)

30. The xx, “I See You”

29. Zola Jesus, “Okovi”

28. Vagabon, “Infinite Worlds”

27. Alex Cameron, “Forced Witness”

26. Jay-Z, “4:44”

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One Million Views. Thank you.

15 Jun


Several days ago, this site hit one million views, a number I never thought would be possible unless I photoshopped a few extra zeros onto the view count. When I decided to start this blog in August of 2013, I was pleasantly surprised from the outset by how rapidly it grew. The fact that my articles have been viewed one million times (even if 999,999 were probably from me) is truly incredible, and I’d like to thank all of you for reading and commenting. Even all you accidental clickers out there still played a role.

This summer, I plan on continuing to go strong. I intend to cover a bit more television than I’ve been able to over the last few months–perhaps returning to old shows–and I will still be watching a ton of movies. There’s a lot of good stuff out there this summer. Once again, thanks.

Photo credit:

How Security Systems and Cell Phones Changed the Horror Genre

15 Nov

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Written by: Maria Leia 

The bloodcurdling scream. The dead telephone line. Suddenly the electricity doesn’t work and no one is around to help. It looks like someone is going to die. Or at least, it used to look that way. Nowadays, there’s always the silent alarm, the motion-sensored lights and the handy cell phone ready to come to the rescue. And when all else fails, a Twitter mayday tweet generally does the trick. Which means that as terrifying as those old horror tropes were, it is time for an update.

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Joe Biden Interview

11 Sep

Because everyone needs to watch this.

Video credit: CBS, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Series Premiere Review

9 Sep


Stephen’s back, and it’s a wonderful sight to behold. What I love most about this first episode is the fact that we get to see a genuinely excited Stephen Colbert, a guy who finally gets to be himself after years and years of playing “a narcissistic conservative pundit”. Now he’s “just a narcissist”, and we can see in every movement just how happy he is to be here. This is someone who’s building a late night show around pure talent and personality, not around the generic celebrity gushing that seems to dominate much of the country’s cultural conversation. This version of The Late Show is a blend of old and new, and it’s exactly what the format needs as we move forward.

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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart “Series Finale” Review

7 Aug


“Rather than saying goodbye or goodnight, I’m just going to say: I’m going to go get a drink. And I’m sure I’ll see you guys before I leave.”

Jon Stewart signed off on the night of the first GOP primary debate, an event filled to the brim with the “bullshit” he went on about near the end of his show (he was channeling George Carlin there). And that, to me, was one of the main draws of The Daily Show: its ability to intelligently evaluate and criticize the bullshit in our society, to trust its audience to recognize it when it popped up around us. Stewart was there for 16 years to point a lot of it out, but as he made clear last night, it was all just a part of an ongoing conversation. He’ll move on and we’ll move on, but informative discourse in our country will–and must–go on. He’s like a teacher and a friend and a parent saying “Go free, children. Be careful.”

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Thoughts on the 2015 Emmy Nominations

16 Jul



-This is actually the best the Comedy Series category has been in a while. Aside from Modern Family continuing to be the Meryl Streep of Emmy nominations, the other six shows are legitimately great. I’d be fine with any of them winning (although I’d still love to see shows like Nathan For YouYou’re the Worst, and Review here).

-Tatiana Maslany finally got the nomination she deserved a couple years ago. She’s a brilliant actress who deserves all the recognition she’s getting.

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True Detective: More Than What Meets the Eye?

13 Jul


Written by: Maria Leia

In its first season, True Detective developed a reputation for being the thinking man’s crime drama, a philosophical procedural whose finale disappointed some viewers when Rust Cohle’s nihilistic worldview gave way to a soulful epiphany following a near death experience in Carcosa. The first couple episodes of the second season have also been a letdown for those expecting the same kinds of profound platitudes and abstract imagery. While it’s true that the show has its flaws, to give in to the critical backlash is to miss out on what is still one of the most thoughtful and original programs on TV.

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The Stanley Cup Returns to Chicago

16 Jun

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What a year this has been for the Chicago Blackhawks. Yes, the team won’t be the same next season, but it’s great to enjoy one last Cup with this core and with all the new faces. And to be honest, the team will still contend for years to come. The Hawks, after all, will still have players like Kane, Toews, Hossa, and Keith, and management has made it their #1 priority to lock Brandon Saad up for a long time. Plus, rising stars like Teravainen, Van Riemsdyk, and Panarin will be extremely fun to watch next year. Enough about next season, though. Let’s take a look back at my top moments of the playoffs:

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Thoughts On the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber

31 Mar


Going into this roast, I knew that there was no way it would top 2013’s Franco one. That roast was one of my favorites because they brought up a bunch of his friends, and there was a genuine, good-hearted undercurrent throughout the whole night. The Bieber Roast is weaker than the Franco Roast, but there’s still quite a bit to like (and dislike) about it. Here are some of my assorted thoughts:

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