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December 21, 2014

Festivus2009

All Danny wants for Festivus

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 5:02PM
I love Christmas. It is the best holiday. If all of the holidays grew asses, Christmas could kick every other holiday's ass by ripping off their ass and beating them to death with said ass.

It's perfect on every conceivable level. It aims to achieve total peace and tranquility of the human spirit and singularity of the soul through the selfless act of giving. Of course, in order for that to work, someone has to be on the receiving end and I'm more than willing to have my every dream fulfilled in the name of calming the cosmic waves.

So here's my wish list to Santa or Jesus or Buddha or whomever holds the universe in balance for things to suck less until the next holiday.

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The TV Squad Podcast: Doctor Who, what to buy with holiday loot, Brittany Murphy, and more!

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 24th 2009 4:31PM
TV Squad logoMerry Christmas! In this pre-holiday podcast, Brad Trechak and Jason Hughes join me to talk about our favorite holiday episodes (think Festivus, folks), as well as the following:

  • Brittany Murphy's death and how it caused NBC to pull a SNL Weekend Update bit from a few weeks ago,
  • It's David Tennant's last days as Doctor Who, and we talk about his popular run and what's in store for his successor, Matt Smith,
  • What TV-related items you can buy with the handful of gift cards you received during the holidays,
  • How we might be watching TV during the next decade. Will the 30th season of The Simpsons be available telekinetically?
  • Ask TV Squad, Comment of the Week, our picks of the week, and more!

Run time is 1:14:14.

You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

As usual, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick. Note that we recorded the podcast on Monday, and my pick of the week -- Jay Thomas on Letterman -- has already aired. Huh. I figured they'd wait until at least Christmas Eve for that one.

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Twelve Days of Festivus: Two series finales

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 22nd 2009 2:02PM
er cast
On the second day of Festivus, TV gave to me... two series finales.

Shows end all the time. Sometimes shows purposefully bow out to end on a high note, and sometimes shows unexpectedly get axed. Some pack a punch in their short lives, some get drawn out over several decades and end amidst a chorus of "Finally!" Seriously. Shows end all the time.

Which is why it's absolutely cruel that I was assigned to pick only two 2009 series finales to write about. Come on! Two. That's a lot of pressure to put on a girl.

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TV franchises offer up last minute Christmas gift ideas

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 22nd 2009 1:01PM
Lucy audtions for Ricky's show as a Barbie doll for CBS Consumer Products.NORAD is already tracking Santa Claus and his airborne reindeer team as it heads south from the North Pole and ignores boring Canada to give delightful Christmas presents to all the good American boys and girls. Fortunately, the U.S. Air Force apologized for that anti-aircraft missile that almost nicked Dasher. They sent a fruit basket and everything.

The point is that you don't have much time to snag holiday toys for your TV fan friends and those few kids you actually like. Fortunately, there still some popular toys out there that can serve multiple gift giving purposes.

The I Love Lucy Barbie from Mattel (right) sells for $45, so it might be more appropriate for an adult toy collector (an adult who collects TV-related toys, I mean). But, a Barbie is a Barbie, and few girls would turn one down -- even if it features Lucy Ricardo auditioning for a part in Ricky's show at the Copa.

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All Jason wants for Festivus

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 22nd 2009 10:33AM
Lost: The Final SeasonI am knee deep in the holiday spirit and drunk on power. Only I can reach the top of the tree, so what goes up there is up to me ... so long as my wife approves. With television mostly in reruns, I find myself with extra time in my head, and when I spend time in there I find things. Things like what I want for Festivus!
  • MTV and VH1 to play music videos. I'm from the MTV generation, which means I have no problem sitting around watching music videos for hours and hours. I love music. I love videos. The music industry would probably appreciate it, too. I don't like feeling like I need to take a shower while watching any one of their trashy reality shows.
  • Lost to blow us all away with a SATISFYING conclusion. No fade to black, no comas, no Bob Newhart waking up next to his wife. Make it work and make it make sense. If you do that, you'll have one of the greatest shows in television history. So, no pressure guys.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Three reality disasters

by Michael Pascua, posted Dec 21st 2009 11:00AM
Families from There Goes the NeighborhoodOn the third day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... three reality disasters!

For every good reality show that emerges, there are several horrid shows green-lit, giving reality television its negative light. I could have gone for days talking about tons of reality shows that were disastrous. Jon and Kate Gosselin became national disasters, but even their show had some merit watching a now single Kate deal with her family.

Here are three of the worst offenders of 2009, from least to most disastrous. Oh, and if you're wondering why a certain VH1 show that had Ryan Jenkins as a contestant isn't on the list, don't worry; we'll get to that later this week.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Four webby series

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 20th 2009 11:22AM
Felicia DayOn the fourth day of Festivus, TV gave to me... four webby series.

There's probably more original content being created for the internet than there even is for television. A lot of that is your neighbor sitting in his basement in front of his webcam seeing how many croutons he can shove in his mouth in thirty seconds, but there are places to find great original content, many times on par with what you'll see on television.

Syfy's Sanctuary is a show that began as a web series and has since become a successful TV series. But many web series live and thrive on the web, and belong only there.

A lot of our favorite celebrities have turned to this unrestricted format to create gems, like Will Ferrell's modern classic "The Landlord" from a few years back, or even last year's sensational Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog that brought Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Simon Helberg and Felicia Day into a mad scientist musical world created by Joss Whedon. Even the networks have gotten in on the action, creating original content for their own websites.

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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Allison's list

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 20th 2009 9:24AM

glee_fox_cast
What a year! Once we got over the WGA strike, the networks kicked it into high gear and got busy making TV. Except for NBC. Even Jeff Zucker has admitted that NBCU has failed to respond to the need for new programming.

Fortunately, the other channels have been busy and there's been a lot of great television... and some that's just plain awful. But I'm a half-glass full kind of person and I have good feelings about 2009. However, since I don't want to repeat my list from last year, I'll just mention that I could put these 2008 best choices -- Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, NCIS, The Big Bang Theory and Mad Men -- on my list again. But I'm going to go for an all new list and, thankfully, I had plenty of 'bests' to choose from.

Best
1. Glee. If there was ever a show that was made just for my personal taste, this is probably it. I love the singing and dancing. I get the characters. It even tickles me that I had just as much angst with bullies in high school as these kids. Every episode hasn't been perfect, but it's perfectly fine that they keep striving.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Five cancelled shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 19th 2009 10:00AM
Guiding LightOn the fifth day of Christmas, TV gave to me ... five cancelled shows ...

Every new season, a network will cancel a show (at least) that a ton of people like. Of course, every year the networks cancel shows that nobody likes. The five shows on this list include a little of both. Feel free to list other shows in the comments, but these are the five that stood out to me in 2009.

1. Guiding Light. I had to put Guiding Light at number one. You can't put the cancellation of a show that was on every weekday for 72 years at number three or number five. It just wouldn't be right, even if the show did limp to its end. The longest-running soap opera (and one of the longest-running shows on TV, period) started on radio in 1937 and switched to television in 1952 (it was actually on both radio and TV for a while). The last episode aired in September.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Six shows you should be watchin'

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 18th 2009 10:02AM
Modern FamilyOn the sixth day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... six shows you should be watching.

Every fall TV season brings out a new crop of fresh shows and despite the fact that some of them are ridiculously good, they slip through the cracks and not many people watch them. Not all of these are new and not all of them are suffering in the ratings, but some could still use your eyeballs. So take this list as a gentle nudge to start tuning in if you haven't already, because all six of these shows really are appointment television right now.

Modern Family (ABC; Wednesdays 8:30) -- Easily the best new comedy of the Fall '09 season, Modern Family has very quickly risen up most critics' lists and even nabbed a Golden Globe nomination earlier this week. The show features a spectacular ensemble cast that tackles just about any family related issue from dating to divorce by putting one of the most unique spins on the genre in recent memory. With the show on hiatus until January, now would be a great time to catch up on the first half of the season and if you don't, Fizbo the ass kicking clown, will, you know, kick your ass.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Seven shows a-thrivin'

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2009 11:03AM
john lithgowOn the seventh day of Festivus, TV gave to me... Seven shows a-thrivin'.

The 2009-2010 season is a great one to be on TV-- especially for returning dramas and new comedies. If we had 20 days of Christmas, I probably could have filled the list with shows that were either thriving right out of the gate or making a resurgence after being on the air for several years. As it is, we just have seven slots, so here are some noteworthy series that are thriving this year.

Dexter
I've always liked Dexter, but it's never been appointment TV for me. I've generally been content to wait until the season came out on DVD and knock all of the episodes out in a weekend. However, after a creative dip in season 3, I've found myself positively glued to my television every Sunday night that season 4 has aired. John Lithgow absolutely made the season as the creepy Arthur Mitchell. Plus the finale? I know some of you saw the big twist coming at the end, but I certainly did not. Who doesn't like to end a season with their jaw on the floor?

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All Joel wants for Festivus

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 16th 2009 11:25AM
Alison BrieIf anyone has followed our Festivus festivities for the last four years, you'll remember that every year I ask for certain gifts to appear under my aluminum pole, and it never happens. So if I were to air any grievances this year, that would be it.

But 2009's a new year, so I have a new list of gripes and wishes that I hope get fulfilled in 2010:
  • That I get the power to bend space and time. That's the only way I'll be able to watch and/or record the coming Monday slate: HIMYM, House, and Chuck will all be on at 8 PM. Maybe I need to wish for a couple of TiVo HD XLs to appear under my pole.
  • Speaking of Chuck, I hope they follow up last year's bang-up finale with a great third season. And I hope people watch.
  • That season two of Breaking Bad comes out on DVD soon so I can catch up in time for season three.
  • That more people discover that Conan's actually doing a good job on The Tonight Show.
  • That Comcast gives Jay Leno his own show... in daytime.
  • Southland does better ratings on TNT than they ever would have on NBC.
  • Continued laughs from rookie comedy sensations Modern Family and Community.
  • Alison Brie's phone number.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Eight stars a shinin'

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 16th 2009 10:02AM
jane_lynch_gleeOn the eighth day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... eight stars a shinin'!

There are a lot more than eight wonderful stars shining in the TV pantheon for 2009, but these eight are a remarkable bunch who have been exemplary this past year. They've left us with memories that'll last long after this Festivus has ended. So, in no special order, here are the eight stars a shining from the year gone by.

1. Jane Lynch. If the Emmy doesn't already have Jane Lynch's name engraved in a statuette for Glee, it will by the time the awards are handed out. Lynch has been the perfect villain, the villain you love to hate. But if she were just a one-note nasty, it wouldn't work. Lynch has shown the other side of Sue Sylvester. Her "swing" date showed Sue in love, and her visit to her sister Jean was a soft earthquake emotion. Jane delivers week in and week out. Her star is glowing.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Nine on-air breakdowns

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 15th 2009 11:00AM
Glenn BeckOn the ninth day of Festivus, TV gave to me... nine on-air breakdowns.

Director Alfred Hitchcock once said, "Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it."

Yes, having a camera stuck in your face for an hour or more a day must take a toll on your sanity. Your privacy is virtually limited. Your every move is scrutinized and criticized by faceless meanies. Your therapist is one session away from owning his own fishing trawler.

It's only a matter of time before the grasp of sanity is clipped away like a loose thread on a homemade snowman sweater and you turn into a blubbering, snotty, incoherent mess for all the world to enjoy. These are the personalities who lost it and may or may not have gained whatever "it" is back.

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Review: Aqua Teen Hunger Force - A PE Christmas (season premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 14th 2009 11:51AM
Master Shake
(S07E01) "Larger point: listeners ain't gonna know until they've already paid for the album!" - Shake

Those words, spoken by Master Shake, while recording his Christmas album with Meatwad, were intended to be a jab at consumers -- our Christmas album sucks but you won't figure that out until we have your money. On the contrary, the album (aptly titled "Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas") is an absolute goldmine of comical music hits for fans of the show.

However, last night's companion episode was anything but that. Paling in comparison to classic ATHF X-mas fare (like "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From the Future"), "A PE Christmas" could have truly captilized on the idea of Shake making Christmas music, but instead never took the idea far enough.

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