Pointless Nonsense

Posted in comics, movies, top10, tv by Bill on June 8, 2016

Returning to the annual top 10, as usual timed around the TV season rather than the calendar.

TV Half Hour:
bojack

  1. Bojack Horseman continues to combine silly animal jokes, show business jokes, and incredibly depressed characters in a way that completely appeals to me. Season 2 was almost as good as the first, and season 3 is coming in July.
  2. Master of None is funny and raises serious issues without being preachy.
  3. The Venture Bros. had a new season, which had a ton of plot, and some very funny parts. But a little disappointing, given the two and a half year wait.
  4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine remains solid. How is Andre Braugher not winning Emmys for this?
  5. Archer is still churning out quality episodes. Kung Fu Krieger alone was worth the whole season.
  6. Rick and Morty – I’ve had “Get Schwifty” stuck in my head for almost a year now.
  7. The Grinder, sadly, wasn’t picked up for season 2. But it was definitely the best new network sitcom of the year.
  8. The Last Man on Earth isn’t the funniest show, exactly, but it has a weird mix of human drama and… I dunno. There’s something fascinating about the main character, where you’re always thinking “I get where you’re coming from, but why are you approaching the problem in the most dickish way possible?”
  9. The Detour managed to sustain an entire season, and somewhat surprisingly has a nice setup for a second season, for which it has been renewed.
  10. Peep Show‘s final season wasn’t its best, but Mark’s dinner party with “Moroccan” food was goddamn hilarious.

There are a lot of good shows on right now, since this leaves out Bob’s Burgers, the relatively satisfying end of Gravity Falls, Love, Kimmy Schmidt, Veep, Silicon Valley, and Blunt Talk, all of which I enjoyed quite a bit.

bcsTV Hourlong:

  1. Better Call Saul is still amazing, and violating my “prequels suck” stance.
  2. Jessica Jones – I think this is the best live action superhero TV season yet.
  3. Fargo got a little weirder this season, but I was surprised how the semi-anthology-ness of it didn’t kill the momentum of the first season.
  4. Game of Thrones – the weird nature of me doing this in early June is that I’m basing this on the last third of season 5 and the first 2/3 of season 6. But so far so good.
  5. iZombie probably shouldn’t be as good as it is, but it’s managing to recapture some of the Veronica Mars feel with a damaged/cute/smart/sardonic lead, an entertaining supporting cast, and an ever-expanding universe of small characters who pop back up often.
  6. Daredevil season 2 wasn’t as good as the first, but still very good.
  7. Person of Interest is dialing up the science fiction for the home stretch, which is the stuff that intrigues me the most.
  8. The Expanse has, unfortunately, not entirely lived up to the potential it had in the pilot, but it’s still pretty good. And I’d still call it promising. I may have to re-watch the first season at some point, though, because I already have only a fuzzy recollection of what happened, and it’s 6+ months until season 2.
  9. 11.22.63 wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it was a good story. Sarah Gadon should be in more stuff.
  10. Flash is still solid. I’m nervous about the implications of the season finale though.

Movies:

tfa

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – I want to say “duh” here, but a lot of the discussion I have about this movie focuses on a couple small problems and leaning a little too heavily on borrowing the original formula. But in creating a good movie in the face of massive expectations, bringing back the sense of fun and adventure to Star Wars, it really was a great achievement in mass-market moviemaking.
  2. The Nice Guys – I think the only reason I’m not a serious devotee of classic crime movies is that they tend to be overly serious, but when Shane Black does a movie like this, it keeps all the plot twists and cynical outlook but fills it with jokes, and I love it.
  3. The Martian took kind of a similar approach, cram a science fiction movie full of jokes to make it more palatable to a broad audience. And I already like scifi so it was great.
  4. Deadpool is ultimately really dumb, but also really, really funny.
  5. Captain America: Civil War was disappointing in some respects but it has a great cast and a really good big action sequence in the middle and snappy dialogue throughout.
  6. The Big Short – I lack the attention span/concern for the world around me to do much serious reading or viewing of documentaries or anything like that, so I’m pretty reliant on infotainment. And this was a good piece of infotainment.
  7. The Hateful Eight – QT does long, profane speeches and tense build-up to extreme violence very well.
  8. Inside Out – Fuck you, Pixar, for making me feel feelings.
  9. Ant-Man – I wonder how much I would have liked this without Paul Rudd’s charm and Evangline Lilly’s hotness, but whatever the reason, I did enjoy it a lot.
  10. Spectre – I guess Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie, and a good one to go out on.

Non-Superhero Comics:
injection

  1. Injection is Warren Ellis’s weird scifi/fantasy/horror thing with a bunch of oddball characters and… it’s hard to say much without giving things away. But I look forward to it more than anything else right now. My only complaint is that it’s doing the now-standard TPB worth of material followed by a hiatus, and the break before the start of volume 3 is about to begin.
  2. Saga: still good.
  3. Sex Criminals: also still good.
  4. Chew: nearing the end, and another one that’s still good.
  5. Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses: The Stray Bullets series took a decade hiatus and came back as if it never missed a beat. There’s been a heist in the works for about a year, but it’s never felt like David Lapham is stretching things out, he just has a lot of things going on at once between drug dealers, strippers/hookers, little kids, teenagers in love/lust, and even an occasional diversion into Amy Racecar fantasy world.
  6. Clean Room is another scifi/fantasy/horror thing, this one from Gail Simone. A lot more fucked up, and it is based around a Scientology-type religion that is either helping people or driving them to suicide.
  7. James Bond is Warren Ellis’ original comic story based of the Fleming novels (not the movies). More violent and less sexual than I’ve come to expect from the movies. The first storyline was really good, and I believe there’s another planned later this year.
  8. We(l)come Back is about an ancient war that secretly continues today, being fought by people who reincarnate into new lives every time they die. Lots of chase scenes and action. And it sorta takes off from there. Unfortunately, the original artist left, and I haven’t quite gotten used to the new one, but it’s an interesting story nonetheless.
  9. Lazarus is unfortunately experiencing some delays, and they only put out about 6 issues in the past year. But they’ve been excellent.
  10. The Legend of Luther Strode didn’t go out on its best volume, but Tradd Moore’s art is still really good, and I had a strong affinity for the Petra character all the way to the end.

usgSuperhero Comics

  1. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is an absolutely ridiculous series about a CS student/superhero who eats nuts and kicks butts. The qwantz guy writes it, and it’s just all-around great.
  2. Catwoman had a really top notch run by writer Genevieve Valentine that saw Selina semi-retire that Catwoman costume to take over leadership of one of Gotham’s crime families. It was a moody noir book for a while, and it was great.
  3. Batgirl wrapped up the whole “Batgirl of Burnside” business leading up to DC’s new Rebirth status quo, and it was a good run while it lasted. Cool design, good art, a less grim mood. A breath of fresh air when DC was locked in a single tone across almost their entire line.
  4. Howard the Duck is written by Sex Criminals artist Chip Zdarsky and it’s full of weird jokes like you’d expect from him. Always an entertaining read.
  5. Invincible had a weirdly long break while they prepped for a status quo change, a temporary return of the original artist, and prepping for what looks like some major stuff coming down the line. Hard to believe this is still going strong, but it really is.
  6. Batman saw the whole business with Bruce Wayne being “dead” and Jim Gordon in a robot suit taking over as Batman for a while. Not one of my favorite Batman runs, but it was still well done.
  7. Black Canary is hit or miss on the writing, but Annie Wu’s art and character design are awesome.
  8. Patsy Walker: Hellcat is another one of the goofy/light/fun superhero books I’m increasingly grateful for.
  9. Astonishing Ant-Man is also goofy and fun, but not really light. But it’s in the middle of a clever storyline about the introduction of a Hench app that allows you to hire villains and henchmen like an Uber ride.
  10. Gotham Academy, the last of the light/goofy/fun ones. Maps Mizoguchi is one of the better new characters they’ve had in a while.
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