A year in TV shows: 2010

December 31, 2010 at 11:48 am (Tops, TV shows)

TV show of the year:

The Walking Dead (season 1)

This one’s a no brainer. AMC did it again, and Frank Darabont’s new series is a lot more than I was expecting. A spectacular, tense, intelligent zombie show, with believable characters, lots of drama, and some zombie action sprinkled throughout. Huge audience success brought an immediate renewal for season 2.

Runner-up:
Dexter (season 5)
Last year’s winner lost its place at the top, but is still going strong. Season 5 hasn’t been as memorable as season 4, maybe because it didn’t feature a character as great as John Lithgow’s was, or a mindblowing finale as last year. But Dexter is still exciting, very witty and very well written. And it has also been renewed for a new season.

Honorable mentions:
Breaking Bad (season 3) – as great as the first two seasons. Bryan Cranston is amazing in the lead role.
Fringe (season 3) – this show gets better every year. Season 3 is really amazing, too bad the audiences aren’t responding properly. I really hope it won’t be cancelled.
Nikita (season 1) – the new version of Nikita is surprisingly well done. It takes a few episodes to settle in, but once it does, you’re hooked for good.
Community (season 1-2) – my favorite new sitcom on tv. Totally hilarious, full of memorable moments, crazy episodes, and lots of movie references.
Justified (season 1) – awesome new show from FX, based on an Elmore Leonard story, with a great performance from Timothy Olyphant in the lead role.
Family Guy (season 8-9) – still the funniest animated show on tv. Although Futurama is really close.

Some other awards:

Best new show: The Walking Dead
Best sitcom: Community
Best animated show: Family Guy
Best crime drama: Southland
Best action: The Walking Dead
Best episode: The Walking Dead pilot.

Don’t forget to come back sometime this weekend, for my Top Ten movies of 2010.

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A year in video games: 2010

December 30, 2010 at 11:58 am (Games, Tops)

Just like last year, everything I’ve played was on PS3 and PC, that’s why there are no XBOX and WII titles in this list.

Game of the year:

Heavy Rain (PS3 exclusive)

The most spectacular, intense and revolutionary game ever, Heavy Rain is a breathtaking cinematic thriller in which every action you take influences the whole progress of the story and its outcome. A great story (that will soon be turned into a movie), and amazing visuals, make this the game of the year.

Runner-up:
Red Dead Redemption (PS3, XBOX360)
Another masterpiece from Rockstar Games, a truly engaging open-world western in the same class as the last GTA entries. Who thought riding horses and catching bad guys can be so much fun?

Honorable mentions:
MLB 10: The Show (PS3 exclusive) – Every year, this is the best MLB game out there. No exception in 2010.
DeathSpank (PS3, PC, XBOX360)  – The most fun (and funny) game of the year.
Hector: Badge of Carnage (iPhone) – First truly awesome iPhone adventure game.

Some other awards:

Biggest surprise: DeathSpank
Biggest disappointment: Gran Turismo 5
Best PS3 exclusive: Heavy Rain
Best sports game: MLB 10: The Show
Best visuals: Heavy Rain
Best scene: the mutilation trial from Heavy Rain (actually, almost any scene from HR is memorable and worth mentioning. This one, at least on an emotional and creepiness level, stood above others).

Most anticipated games of 2011

1. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (01.11)
2. inFamous 2 (TBA 2011)
3. Silent Hill 8 (TBA 2011)
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (TBA 2011)
5. MLB 11: The Show (March)
6. L.A. Noire (TBA Q2)
7. Killzone 3  (22.02)
8. Resistance 3 (06.09)
9. Alice: Madness Returns (TBA 2011)
10. Batman: Arkham City (TBA Q3)

Come back tomorrow, for my fave TV shows, and then during the weekend, for my Top 10 movies of 2010.

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A year in music: 2010

December 29, 2010 at 2:59 pm (Music, Tops)

I’m kicking off my yearly tops with the one for music. However, just like last year, I will avoid doing a proper Top Ten for music, mostly because I didn’t listen to so many albums worth recommending.

Album of the year

Deftones – “Diamond Eyes”

It was a much closer call than last year, because the runner-up is also quite amazing. However, Deftones’ new album beats Oceansize mostly thanks to its better production quality and lack of filler songs. “Diamond Eyes”, despite Chi Cheng’s absence, is brilliant from start to finish.

Runner-up:
Oceansize – “Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up”
Another great album from one of my all-time favorite bands. However, sound quality seems a bit lower, compared to their last release “Frames”; also the songs are shorter and lack the immense epic complexity they used to have. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a small step back from perfection.

Honorable mentions:
Stone Sour – “Audio Secrecy” – a couple of bad pop tracks keep this beast from being truly amazing
The National – “High Violet”  – same old amazing sound. Indie rock cannot get any better.
Korn – “Korn III” – Korn is back to their roots and back to their old-school sound.

Some other “awards”:

Best Romanian album: Alternative Quartet – “Linistea astupa goluri”
Biggest discovery: And So I Watch You From Afar
Biggest disappointment: Linkin Park – “A Thousand Suns”
Best artwork: Oceansize – “Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up”
Best lyrics: Oceansize – “Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up”
Best film about music: “Le concert”
Best soundtrack: Hans Zimmer – “Inception”
Hottest rock chick: Taylor Momsen – The Pretty Reckless

Most anticipated albums of 2011

Almost nothing is certain when it comes to future releases. However, 2011 promises new albums from: Radiohead, A Perfect Circle, Dredg, Glassjaw, Fightstar, Mogwai, The Mars Volta, Limp Bizkit, Thrice, Incubus, Evanescence, Cave In, Them Crooked Vultures, Foo Fighters, Staind, Seether, and many others. Should be a pretty good year for rock music – much better than the sub-par 2010, at least.

Come back tomorrow, for the best video games of 2010. 😉

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Golden Globe nominations – WTF?

December 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm (Movies)

The Golden Globe nominations have just been announced, and it’s safe to say it’s one of the weirdest, most surprising lists I’ve seen in recent years. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I have mixed feelings about it. Here they are.

Pros:
– Black Swan getting nominated at everything it matters: movie, director, actress, supporting actress. I was actually surprised to see Mila Kunis get some love as well (Natalie Portman was a lock)
– The Social Network kicking ass as well
– Inception getting a best movie nod (Nolan as director was also a lock)
– Emma Stone!
– 3 phenomenal soundtracks getting the recognition they deserve: Inception, The Social Network and 127 Hours. One of them has to win.
– Le Concert nommed for Best Foreign Film. Well done Radu Mihaileanu!
– The Walking Dead for Best TV series! After just 6 episodes. Tough competition though.

Cons:
– What the fuck happened with True Grit? Is it released too late for consideration? Did they not see it? I don’t get it. Everyone thought it’s a clear contender for both Oscars and Globes, the critics love it, and it’s the fucking Coens, for Christ’s sake.
– The collection of films nominated for “Best Movie – musical or comedy” may just be the worst bunch of movies in the history of the Golden Globes. If Toy Story 3 would have been nommed for it as well (not just Best Animation), it would have won easily.
– The Tourist, despite being a putrid piece of shit that everyone hates, gets 3 nominations.
– No Clint Mansell for Best Soundtrack, for Black Swan.

The Golden Globes take place on January 16th, followed closely by the Oscar nominations.

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