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October 24, 2014

TV Squad Lists

Four Reasons Why 'Chuck' is an All-Time Favorite

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2010 11:06AM
ChuckOne thing that TV fans love to do is create their list for "My Favorite TV Shows of All-Time." Every few years I calculate mine, and for several years, the list didn't change that much.

Oh, maybe a couple of shows switched places or maybe a show dropped from number five to number eight, but for the most part the list stayed the same. That all changed a couple of years ago when I had to add both 'Mad Men' and '30 Rock' to the list. I still haven't figured out which two shows in the top ten I'll have to take off.

I'll also have to add a third show to that list, and that would be NBC's 'Chuck' (tonight at 8 on NBC). I don't know if it wedges its way into the top ten, but it's definitely top twenty. Here's why.

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Five Cop Shows That Should Never Be Remade

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 2nd 2010 6:24PM
Sgt. Esterhaus on 'Hill Street Blues'It's pilot time again and this season the networks have decided to turn back the clock, specifically on old cop and crime shows, to save their sinking ratings.

For instance, NBC is bringing back the mystery series 'The Rockford Files' with Dermot Mulroney in the role that James Garner turned into a classic TV crime fighter. CBS has also ordered a remake of the procedural cop classic 'Hawaii Five-O' with Scott Caan and Jean Smart.

Normally, my gut reacts to a TV remake the same way a person who just washed his car reacts to a line of dark clouds (a lot of cursing and shaking of fists at God or some other celestial being). However, if done right, anything has the chance to be good... unless it's one of the following cop serials, which should never be touched by a TV producer ever again.

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Ten Oscar Observations -- A Morning After List

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 8th 2010 2:00PM
oscars_abc_gold_2010"The morning after ... we ask the right questions. The morning after ... we make the suggestions."

Those are the lyrics to a song Barbra Streisand once sang and it occurred to me this morning after recovering from the long, long and rather uneventful 2010 Oscar ceremony last night on ABC.

Looking back through the bleary-eyes of my memories, there were quite a few things that could have been better, a few that were just plain lousy, and a few moments that lived up to the hype. Danny shared his view. Check out my ten Oscar observations list:

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Three Burning Questions About 'Undercover Boss'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 22nd 2010 5:02PM
7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto goes undercover in CBS' 'Undercover Boss'In my cubicle world days as an IT guy, I always wondered if upper management would have a much different picture of what went on among the rank and file if they just took some time to come to the office and do what we did. So the premise of the new CBS reality series 'Undercover Boss' intrigued me; a CEO goes undercover to work with various employees to see what really goes on where the rubber hits the road.

But after three episodes (and seeing the preview of the fourth), a few troubling questions have come up that make me wonder if this show is going to be as illuminating as originally thought:

1. Why so many food service companies? Of the five episodes already scheduled, three involve food service companies (Hooters, 7-Eleven and White Castle). I know these companies have more manual-labor, entry-level jobs than a technology company might have, and seeing the CEO of 7-Eleven struggle to make coffee is fun to watch, but the formula is going to get a little boring after a while, isn't it?

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'The Late Shift 2': Who Should Play Whom?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 11:06AM
News that New York Times reporter Bill Carter is working on a pseudo-sequel to his groundbreaking book The Late Shift' made a smile creep across my face. I haven't yet read the book, but the buzz it caused and the weird stories that came out of it just by word of mouth gave it an aura of mysterious wonder that made the television industry infinitely more fascinating than it already was.

It also spawned a pretty decent made-for-TV HBO movie. Now I don't know what kind of craziness "Round Two" has to offer, but the players involved are definitely going to have all sorts of wild secrets revealed from Carter's work and when it does, HBO is going to want the movie rights. So here's who should play who in this new tragic merry-go-round of television programming hilarity that shall be called 'The Late Shift 2'.

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TV 101: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 'Jersey Shore'

by Jay Black, posted Feb 10th 2010 3:02PM
This is how the world ends, This is how the world ends, This is how the world endsI have a lot of irrational fears: nuclear war, CHUDS, whatever the dark magic is that keeps Jeremy Piven's hairline in place ... the list is long and varied.

Ever since I saw the movie 'Contact', I've been afraid that the TV we pump into space is being watched by aliens far more advanced than we are. Imagine all that garbage floating up into the ether, being judged not by bloggers armed with keyboards and snarky bon mots, but by ETs armed with Gunstars and Death Blossoms.

Who knows what aliens might make of our current TV landscape? What if an alien culture used sophomoric double entendres to make declarations of war? In that scenario, it would take just a single episode of 'Two and a Half Men' to end the human race.

Even if the aliens understood what we were saying, most of what passes for entertainment doesn't make us look good - we've become a world obsessed with karaoke and sex rehab, mostly. In fact, there's only one show on TV today that I'd actually WANT aliens to see ...

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Six Reasons Why '24' Has Jumped the You-Know-What

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 8th 2010 11:00AM
24_fox_Jack_New_York
What is going on with Jack Bauer? Have you been watching '24' this season, the first time set in New York City? There were high expectations that this might be the best season yet for '24' because we'd be seeing a lean, mean, older Jack who has been through the wringer and knows all the tricks and turns of the business. Comparisons were made to Jason Bourne, but with the Bauer edge.

Unfortunately, we're not seeing the vim and vigor of 'The Bourne Identity' or any of the other Bourne pictures. We're not even seeing the quality of '24' from seasons past. Instead, '24' has turned into something else entirely -- an empty shell of its former self. It's time to call it a day for '24.' The show has definitely jumped the you-know-what.

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The Super Bowl Commercials: The Best

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 7th 2010 11:22PM
betty white super bowl snickersLook, I knew as soon as I saw the promo for 'The Late Show with David Letterman' that featured Letterman, Oprah and Jay Leno, that nothing was going to top that. There was just no way anything could be better than that 15-second ad. While I was correct, there were some commercials for non-CBS products that put a smile on my face. Of course there were many others that made me groan, wince or sigh, but Bob's handling those.

The videos below are from Hulu, because they were the first ones available. If you can't view them due to location restrictions, they will all be up at Fanhouse.

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Four Reasons Why Conan is the Winner in the Second Late Night War

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 3rd 2010 6:02PM
Conan O'BrienEveryone involved in the Second Late Night War got both criticism and praise. Yes, even Jay Leno got praise in some circles (just not from me). But now we've had some time to let the dust settle and take a closer look, there's a clear winner in this battle: Conan O'Brien.

Why? Well, some news from our friends at TMZ is a good place to start:

1. Conan is paying his crew himself. TMZ reported yesterday that some of the old 'Tonight Show' crew -- namely, the stage hands -- are being paid severance directly by Conan because they weren't among the staff being paid under Conan's separation agreement with NBC. According to the report, he's paying 50 staffers six weeks' worth of severance. Now, that's not going to help those staffers pay the bills until Conan comes back in September, but it's better than getting what NBC was offering, which was zero. The word mensch comes to mind when I read this story.

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Six Keys to Enjoying the Final Season of 'Lost'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 1st 2010 4:09PM
lost_abc_poster_season_6There's something reassuring about knowing that the end is near. Not the end of life, but the end of a long trip or the last pages of a book. Television viewers are no different.

The very idea that the upcoming return of 'Lost' -- it premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. (ET) -- will be the beginning of the end, the build up to the grande finale is both a joyful and bittersweet experience.

To make sure it's more of the former and less of the latter, here's a few keys that will ensure you will savor the return of 'Lost' so that it will be good to the last drop.

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Five keys to saving Better Off Ted

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 25th 2010 1:03PM
better_off_ted_abc
A couple of weeks ago, Kona wrote about the campaign to convince ABC to save Better Off Ted. Despite these grassroots efforts, the rating for Ted continue to be dismal and ABC probably has "cancel Better Off Ted" on the corporate to-do list.

That's a shame, because the more I watch of Better Off Ted, the better I think it is. Smart, funny, observant and surreal, Ted is an office comedy that makes deserves to survive. If more people gave it a shot, I think it would be a success. Maybe not a monster hit, but there aren't many of those in the sitcom field right now. Emmy winner 30 Rock is anything but a ratings hit.

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Five reasons why Jay Leno should be Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show guest

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 20th 2010 9:00AM

The Tonight Show
has a handsome list of throwback guests, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks who were the first and second guests when Conan O'Brien took over, on what is presumed to be his last show this Friday. Seriously, they still haven't resolved this thing. Say what you will about the dunderheads-in-chief at NBC, but at least they are consistent at failing.

And while it is nice to remind the audience and the network of the heavy hitters that Conan will have in his corner when he bids his former employer farewell, I'd like to see him take it one step further. Conan O'Brien should have Jay Leno (yes THAT Jay Leno, is there another?) as his final guest.

Sure, it sounds like a bigger pipe dream than mounting a Van Halen reunion tour with the undead corpse of Jimi Hendrix as the opening act, but here's five reasons why it would not only make sense for another small chapter of The Tonight Show dynasty, but for the television dynasty as a whole.

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Five ways to improve Dancing with the Stars

by Michael Pascua, posted Jan 13th 2010 9:00AM
Season nine winner Donny Osmond with his partner Kym JohnsonWith ABC confirming a tenth season of Dancing with the Stars on March 22, let's take a moment to realize several of the flaws with DWTS. Season nine popped up some very obvious problems. I'm not talking about ringers; there will always be someone who obviously has more potential than others. For example, the musician has rhythm, the athlete has endurance, and the actor can fake confidence. I accept that Samantha Harris isn't going anywhere.

I'm happy that DWTS hasn't added any judges like American Idol, and I don't mind judges ranking scores either. Here are five of the biggest pet peeves that Dancing with the Stars needs to fix.

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Best TV of the '00s: Late Night Moments

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Jan 2nd 2010 1:01PM

Joaquim Phoenix on David Letterman
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the funniest or most surprising late night moments of the last ten years.

In the past decade, late night shows continued to bloom in popularity. However, some of our favorite late night shows were shuffled around while some got new hosts.

No matter what network executives decided to do to the line up of US late night shows, their hosts and guest stars gave us plenty fantastic, OMG!, and WTF? moments that generated tons of watercooler talks and forum discussion threads.

Below are some of the best late night moments of the past decade as chosen by some of the TV Squad bloggers. We realize there are tough choices in this category, so we hope you'll add your own favorites in the comments section below.

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Best TV of the '00s: Dramatic Actress

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 1st 2010 11:02AM
allison_janney_west_wingMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the best dramatic actresses of the decade.

Television has always been good to the ladies. Actresses have flourished in dramatic series, and in the past decade, we've seen some amazing performances. There have been lawyers, cops, a U.S. president, nurses, doctors, judges, mothers, daughters and even a real housewife from New Jersey whose husband was in the waste disposal business.

Many of these women have already been honored with Emmys and Golden Globes... and now they get the recognition of TV Squad.

Here, then, without further vamping, the best dramatic actresses of the past ten years:

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