Best in Show 2017

Se alguém tivesse passado o ano em coma e acordado só agora com vontade de ver TV, a primeira série que eu recomendaria binge watch seria a excelente The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), seguida de Big Little Lies (HBO). As duas são adaptadas de livros de autoras de bestsellers, cada uma em seu tempo, e que hoje vivem um pequeno renascimento. Na TV, Big Little Lies, é um alívio de se ver: gente bem vestida, trilha ótima, locações incríveis. This Is Us, em sua segunda temporada ficou mais escura mas não menos bem escrita.  Game of Thrones ficou mais grandiosa, sem ligar a mínima para roteiro mas cada vez mais veículo de cultura pop. Depois viriam as comédias inglesas e inteligentes, como a genial Catastrophe, na terceira temporada, e Fleabag, que foi lançada no ano passado, mas qualquer um deveria ver de novo. Gostei muito de Mindhunter (Netflix) e de Manhunt (Discovery), The Americans (AMC) sempre foi boa, a israelense Fauda foi uma ótima surpresa. Mas quanto à qualidade do roteiro, da história, da consistência de personagem, tema e tudo mais: Better Call Saul (AMC) continua imbatível, sendo que um episódio em particular nesta temporada, Chicanery, chegou a ser shakespeariano!

 

Best in Show 2016

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The year that was we all want to see behind. But TV was good, extra good. Even when it looked back to events that happened 10 years ago, like The Trial of The Century or the ones in Stars Hollow. The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) and Gilmore girls A Year in the Life (Netflix) were the best things on TV. We can immerse into any of those two worlds and pick up exactly where we all left off. Haven’t seen Black MIrror or The Girlfriend Experience, so that’s that.. But The Crown is fantastic, the best thing Netflix has done to date.
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Jon Snow is alive, and Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon, but The Americans is still my favorite.  The Affair is still brilliant,  a lesson on character development.
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From the new shows, This is Us (NBC) is great, especially after the dirt our president dragged us into, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Fleabag (Amazon) is really funny. And James Corden is brilliant, Carpool Karaoke is pop culture at its best. Stranger Things (Netflix)? good to binge and fun but a little too much ado about nothing.  On the non-fiction side, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown is absolutely fantastic.

And here is what everybody else thinks: Vulture then Variety, and the NYTimes.
Adweek hasa also the best in digital, magazines, TV news.

Best in Show

tv1It’s December and the avalanche of Top 10 lists in the trades indicate a much needed Holiday break. However, there’s so much good TV that I don’t think I’ll have one this year, since I have to catch up with what I didn’t see (like How to Get Away with Murder, and Olive Kitteridge, just to name a couple). So here’s my own Best of and a few links of lists I actually like.
The Americans on FX is probably one of the best dramas on TV and this season was great.
Fargo was downright excellent.
Homeland is back! And what a comeback!
The Good Wife will be good forever, it seems.
Rectify is the quintessential slow-TV, but it is really good, although not in HD.
The Honorable Woman was excellent.
Game of Thrones is addictive.
The Affair is fantastic, a great storytelling format, deep thought provoking narrative in so many ways.
Master of Sex has high and lows, but it’s overall good.
Silicon Valley was a pleasant surprise.
And in the category não-vi-e-não gostei,i.e., rejecting-it-before-I-had-even-seen-it: Jane The Virgin is just a great series, and Transparent, an amazing surprise.
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History was lengthy, and interesting, and captivating. The type of thing I would like to do one day.
Fortunately the (comedy) Newsroom is over. The overrated and boring True Detective will probably keep up the hype, and The Leftovers was interesting, albeit incomprehensible. All the new comedies were crap, Scandal sits alone in the category over-the-top-soap, and the female presidents won’t last.

Brian Lowry’s best TV Surprises
Alan Sepinwall’s
Vulture ranked it’s top 10 TV shows of 2014
Variety’s Best Dramas
Variety’s Best Comedies
Entertainment Weekly’s
Hollywood Reporter’s

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Top 10 2011

2011 was a year of no jobs, no Steve Jobs,  the patience of Job I don’t have, to finally end the year with no job. Amy Winehouse passed, but George Harrison reborn, at least to me.

The best album of the year was Adele’s instant classic 21; pulled by instant classic single rolling in the deep, the song I listed as most played on my itunes; certainly recipient of multiple grammys to come. She ended the year with no voice. Ha. Isn’t it a trend? Red Hot Chili Peppers came out with a great single, and so did Paul Simon. Who knew. I discovered Foster the People, Fleet Foxes, Black Keys. Only Woody Allen took me to the movies, and I saw Midnight in Paris twice. I haven’t seen Hugo yet, but I guess it will rate high. I love The Good Wife on TV, I am watching Homeland, and I am sure I will like Revenge. A few History docs are OK, CNBC is a surprise finding, Hung and Dave’s Old Porn are funny. But the best of the year is certainly Suits, followed by Necessary Roughness. Perfect writing and acting.

Otherwise, I translated a recipe book, I wrote 75 culinary blog entries. I discovered the love of writing about food; and the joy of finding different adjectives to describe something that is delicious… Oh jeez.

Top 10 in music

1. Adele
2. Bon Iver
3. Florence and The Machine
4. Foster the People
5. Fleet Boxes
6. Wilco
7. Wild Beasts
8. Metronomy
9. Amy Winehouse
10. Black Keys

This last one with the best video clip of 2012…and it’s only january! Lonely Boy is brilliant! I miss my Top 10 friends. Will read Tony’s but Z has fallen to top 20 now. Isn’t that just too bad?

 

the decade that was

Inspired by Entertainment Weekly I was firmly decided to list 100 things that amused me the most in the past decade. But then where to start? if from number 100, I couldn’t be sure if I’d make it to #1. Then what would be best? I used to love making top 10 lists, and compare them with my friends  Tony and Zeca. It mostly ranged around films and albums. Zeca was so obsessed with lists that even friends became subject of ranking (btw i don’t think I ever got the #1 position). And for that reason maybe I should not rank my moments at all. So no criteria whatsoever; and from the top of my head:

Gnarls Barkley is the new king of pop, period. Everything from Gnarls Barkley is creative, from videos to music. Crazy and Hey Ya, by Outcast, are probably the best pop songs ever written. Gorillaz was wildly creative and always entertaining. Ricky Martin probably changed history, as ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ opened the door for the hispanic boom in the US, and forced americans to admit they are a diverse culture.

Brokeback Mountain has one of the most perfect broken-heart quotes ever: I would like to know how to leave you. Slumdog Millionaire catapulting Bollywood to the rest of the world excited me. My friend Fernando Meirelles’ City of God show casing his talent to the world.

The Lives of Others was one of the best movies ever made…. the story of our lives….
Shrek….another one of the best movies ever made, of course.
Atonement, the book.  Jonathan Frazen turning down Oprah….The Corrections is great. I also like the one-hit-wonder Lovely Bones. And I absolutely hated the Da Vinci Code.
Jack Bauer….24….that has me sitting on the edge of the sofa every time he’s on and shouting ‘now’.Six Feet Under…and the boom of the DVR. How could I have ever lived without it?
Anthony Giddens, and his amazing insights on intimacy and the new social order.
Eats Shoots and Leaves about the we do with punctuation.

I haven’t read Corman McCarthy’s The Road…. Should I wait for the movie?

OK, this is enough for now. here’s the a new decade coming in to entertain me and inspire me.  I write from one of the most liberal cities in the world, Amsterdam, that is really a sleeping village,but a lot of fun.

the year that was

So here I am looking back at the year and before I start reading the Best of’s lists, choosing best flicks and great songs, I ponder about this country, and… oh boy….the year that was! I realize I live  in a country where its congress investigates social climbing and party crashing in Washington, as well as if chimps are pets to be kept at home (after one was accused of improper behavior), while the economy is still in the slumps, and unemployment rates soar. I live in a place where hordes stare in front of the TV after a father pimped the image of his child pretending he was lost in a balloon in the sky. I see the new york media thrive in unemployment publishing its meaty Daily Gloom for everyone to suck on. New York! who knew!?! after having gone through the worst, where’s the spirit for chrissake? Maybe I am an optimist being realistic, certainly am not a pessimist. But ah….the irony.  It’s been a year of Bernie Maddof. And me, a highly qualified, exceptionally talented, and kick ass amazing executive over a year unemployed.  I do look forward though and expect the best. And my name is Candide and I live in the best of worlds (grin). Well for the first time in many years I focused on personal relationships, something that was in the back seat. I’m living the most challenging relationship ever, where I get to discuss everything and all things, and that is great and exhausting at times. It is intimidating to unprepared men. It is adult and it is humane. I can easily state that I, we, grew as human beings, and hopefully will have a wonderful continuum….. He lies.