Friday, December 25, 2015

2015: Dual Redundancy's Year in Review

Somehow 2015 was even a busier than 2013 and 2014 combined!

This year we did 34 podcasts with four different hosts, well five if you count Dopey the Dick. One of which was our historic 100th podcast where in true meta fashion we looked at how other shows’ celebrated their 100th episode.

In 2013 we introduced the weekly wind down podcast and the number of shows we have been covering only seems to go up. 2013’s number of 26 has nearly tripled plus we covered numerous movies, a video game and one very horrific Lifetime movie. These shows included canceled freshman shows like Best Time Ever, The Brink, The Comedians, and Wicked City plus one time special events like The Wiz Live and A Very Murray Christmas! Finally, we tried to stay on top of all the changes in late night including James Corden, Trevor Noah, and Larry Wilmore’s debuts, Jon Stewart’s farewell and Stephen Colbert’s return!

Besides our usual weekly wind downs and prediction specials, we also had a variety of notable episodes including a two hour Survivor series retrospective and a 30th Anniversary Back to the Future podcast (where we eclipsed the runtime of the actual movie). In March we of course had our annual March Madness bracket. After looking at television shows, movies, and film actors we decided to find out who was “top of pop.” It was a big year for Taylor Swift who easily beat Justin Timberlake in the finals for favorite artist in pop music.

From all of us here at Dual Redundancy thank you so much for making 2015 so great. We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store! A 30th anniversary podcast on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? An in-depth look at Fuller House  and whatever happened to the milkman and paperboy? A president who once hosted a reality show on NBC? Only time will tell!

The Best of 2015: David's Top 10 TV Shows of 2015

Every year I try and name my top television shows of the past year. As every year goes by the list gets longer and longer (top 12 shows of 2012, top 13 shows of 2013, etc.) In hopes of not having to write a novel for 2068 I’m capping my list at ten, even though 2015 was the year of #PeakTV. 

The list will be in alphabetical order because with such a variety of shows and genres I find it near impossible to say one is “better” than another. “Better” at what exactly? Every show has a different agenda and it is not my place to put Broad City under the same level of scrutiny that I do a show like Mad Men. I also do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum but there are some details I could not ignore, so you have been warned.

Unfortunately there will be noticeable absences from my list. I’m doing my best to catch up on The Leftovers and The Americans, which I have heard are both amazing. Plus many shows released their entire season in the last few weeks of 2015 (Transparent and Making a Murderer). Since this is not my real job and no advance screeners were available I was unable to see everything. However, these ten shows I did have a chance to see and love:

Better Call Saul (Season 1)

This shouldn’t have worked. Let’s give the comedic side-character his own spin-off! What could go wrong? Well it turns out nothing can when you have Bob Odenkirk, Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad team! While some may say season one was slow, it’s probably because we are used to the speed Jesse was traveling in the last episode we saw. We knew Odenkirk was funny but his dramatic work especially alongside his brother Chuck (Michael McKean) was a great surprise.

Podcast Appearances: Premiere & Finale 

Fargo (Season 2)

I hate comparing shows but this year we saw the sophomore seasons of two critically loved miniseries largely from the mind of one individual. One of which (Fargo) could earn the number one spot if I was doing an order, the other can’t even be mentioned in the same sentence. (Since this is a new sentence the other show was True Detective). Everything we loved about season one of this FX series was back and multiplied by ten. Editing, directing, writing and an ensemble so good that if I listed them all we would have a run on paragraph! Creator Noah Hawley could catch lighting in a bottle twice but will the third time be a charm too?

Podcast Appearances: Premiere & Finale

Hannibal (Season 3)

Before 2015 I did not see a second of Hannibal and three seasons later I still can’t believe a second of this show aired on a broadcast network. A kaleidoscope lesbian sex scene, scene transitions using melted butter and oh yeah, a cannibal cutting into his ex-patients’ head with a buzzsaw. While the pacing of the season was a little choppy (the creator was forced to speed up his timetable) I am glad we got a beautiful and fitting end to the Will and Hannibal relationship. But if we got another season I would be the first one sitting at that table!

Podcast Appearances: Premiere & Finale

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Miniseries)

HBO had the most outlandish character in all of television this year and he was completely real.Throughout February I heard rumblings online about how great this show really was but it was not until the eve of the finale when Robert Durst was arrested that I caved in to see what the fuss was all about. Two days later when I made it to the finale and heard Durst’s open mic, my jaw had to be lifted off of the ground. While the production timeline is a little fuzzy and perhaps blurs journalism ethics, it is hard to deny it was such an addicting television show.

Podcast Appearances: Series

The Last Man on Earth (Seasons 1 & 2)

Nothing may be ever able to top “Alive in Tucson” (the show’s pilot) but this is one of the few shows that I feel compelled to watch live every week. It is unlike anything on television and the most creative broadcast network sitcom. From solo episodes like the pilot to vignettes of Phil’s brother in space, you never know what, or who, will surprise us next. There are still some kinks to work out but when this show swings for the fences it always connects.

Podcast Appearances: Season 1 Premiere & Season 1 Finale

Mad Men (Season 7 Part 2)

While the AMC mandated break up of the final season did hurt the overall strength of season seven, the final four episodes of this half season were some of the show’s best. Everyone had their moment in the sun including Peggy Olsen’s badass arrival to McCann and January Jones’ awards worthy portrayal of Betty Draper and her sudden illness. Don’s finale could have been the brilliant “The Milk and Honey Route” but thankfully we got “Person to Person” where he had the chance to say goodbye to the three most important woman in his life before he has a groundbreaking idea. It was a perfect ending to a great show. Plus as for series finales go at least nobody became a lumberjack.

Podcast Appearances: Midseason Premiere & Series Finale

Man Seeking Woman (Season 1)

Alright you caught me. My bias is seeping into this list but anything I can do to support this show I’m willing to do. Whether it is dating a literal troll or going to a wedding in hell, anything is on the table. For those unfamiliar with the show Jay Baruchel plays Josh who finds himself in awkward and very surreal circumstances in the search for love. There’s time travel, a war room designed to create text messages and an Adolf Hitler appearance from Bill Hader. This show is near impossible to explain but if this sparked your interest season two drops on January 6th…

Podcast Appearances: Premiere

Mr. Robot (Season 1)

Much like The Jinx it was not until the week of the finale that I caved in and fell in love with Mr. Robot. Maybe I was thrown off with the title or maybe I just unfairly judged the show’s network, either way minutes into the pilot I was fully on board! Elliot’s dark and suspenseful attempt to take down E Corp with the mysterious anarchist Mr. Robot was one rollercoaster (or Coney Island ferris wheel) that I was not ready to get off. I have no idea how they can top the turns and surprises of season one but with a show that can eerily predict the future I’m sure Sam Esmail has it all figured out. 

Podcast Appearances: Season (Spoiler Free)

Nathan For You (Season 3)

Much like Man Seeking Woman I need everybody to stop what they are doing and watch this docu-reality series starring this Andy Kaufman-like performer who graduated from one of Canada's top business schools with really good grades. If you checked my dopamine levels at any point during one of these episodes it would be sky high! What started as a spoof of business makeover shows, season three became something else entirely. With an original fitness routine, a slice of life theater piece, and a heroic stunt so big it required seven months of training I can’t even imagine where Nathan will take season four. 

Podcast Appearances: Season

Silicon Valley (Season 2)

There were so many amazing comedy series that could be in this spot (Broad City, Louie, Veep, etc.) but I’m going with the sophomore season of this HBO series (which also won the Critics’ Choice Award for comedy series). While I enjoyed season one, season two fixed any faulty wires and thus a solidly consistent comedy was manufactured. Somehow despite more episodes and losing an hilarious supporting actor, the show only become more awkward and hilarious. An exciting arbitration arc (when have those two words ever been used together?) and guest work from Chris Diamantopolous and Matt McCoy ended the season on a cliffhanger that has me more and more excited for season three.

Podcast Appearances: Premiere

Five Honorable Mentions (to make 15 in honor of 2015): 

Do you agree with my list or did I forget to include one of your favorites? Send me your thoughts or lists either in the comments below or @eastwoodmcfly. For even more television coverage from 2015, listen to all of our podcasts on either iTunes or on YouTube.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Podcast Episode 119: Fargo Finale, Nathan For You and Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In this week's episode Dave, John and Kyle react to AFI’s annual top 10 lists (2:20), as well as the nominees for the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards (9:45) and the 21st Critics’ Choice Awards (21:05). We also discuss Quentin Tarantino’s latest comments in the press (29:55). Finally, we review the season two finale of Fargo “Palindrome” (36:45), Nathan For You’s third season (49:30), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (55:45).

You can also listen to past episodes of the podcast on iTunes or on our YouTube channel.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Podcast Episode 118: Winding Down 2015: Your Favorites in Movies, TV, Music and Pop Culture

A former reality TV host turned presidential candidate, #PeakTV, and some hotline bling! 2015 was a crazy year and before we can say “Hello” to 2016 we need to wind down the good, the bad, and the ugly from the past year.

In this week's episode all the Dual Redundancy hosts are here to look back at entertainment in 2015. We also reveal the results for your favorite movies (2:45), TV shows (17:45), musical artists (41:35) and pop culture moments from 2015 (51:40).

You can also listen to past episodes of the podcast on iTunes or on our YouTube channel.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Initial Reactions to the 2016 Golden Globe Nominations

While the Golden Globes do not automatically lead to Oscars (Red, The Hangover, Rush, etc.) they do signal the start of the awards season. Even though every year I dread looking at the curveballs they will throw, I still end up spending way too much time talking and writing about them. So without further ado I’ll congratulate the HFPA for sucking me back into this mess and share some of my initial reactions of today's nominations.

Carol walked away this morning with the most nominations (five) followed by The Big Short, The Revenant and Steve Jobs (four each). Despite this Steve Jobs was the only film of the four that did not receive a best picture nomination. Too bad Aaron Sorkin could not add a musical number to qualify it for a comedy/musical spot.

Speaking of musical/comedy, the best picture nominees included The Big Short, Joy, Spy, Trainwreck, and…The Martian? While the Globes are known to bend rules to include certain works and actors (The Tourist) this one had me scratching my head. While so many movies and shows have elements of both nowadays, Paul Feig said it best when he tweeted “a comedy's a film whose #1 goal is to make people laugh. If that wasn't the filmmakers' top goal, it's not a comedy." While I have yet to see Joy, I don’t think Matt Damon’s solo struggle on Mars was supposed to be hysterical.

As for other movie nominations I’m sure many expected to see more love for Bridge of Spies and The Hateful Eight, which both failed to receive a best picture or director nod. Others may have hoped for nominations for Straight Outta Compton or Creed. I’m still surprised that Johnny Depp was snubbed for Black Mass, especially after being nominated for The Tourist (yes, that is the second time I brought The Tourist up). As stated above, the Globes are known for the stars they try and sneak in to the ballroom so the absence of Depp and Tom Hanks left me curious. However, they did manage to nominate Mark Ruffalo for playing a manic-depressive father in the “comedy” Infinitely Polar Bear instead for the drama Spotlight.

Moving over to television Netflix had a great morning with eight total nominations followed by HBO with seven. Despite airing the ceremony, NBC failed to receive one nomination including for the farewell season of Parks and Recreation. I was ecstatic to see some love for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, Fargo’s stupendous second season and the surprise freshman drama Mr. Robot.

Like the globes themselves the HFPA love shiny and new things. The last three years of comedy series winners (Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Transparent) all won for their first season (or the first half of their first season). This year the comedy series category is still full of surprises. Four of the six nominees are from streaming services in a category without one network show! Casual and Mozart in the Jungle’s surprise nominations allow them to join Emmy favorites Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, Transparent and Veep in this category.

Last year’s drama acting winners Kevin Spacey and Ruth Wilson are also absent this year yet Jon Hamm is back after two years of being snubbed. However, Mad Men failed to earn a drama series nod for their final season. Instead freshmen series like Mr. Robot and Narcos earned spots next to Empire, Game of Thrones and Outlander.

Like most awards shows the Globes are nearly impossible to predict but that won’t stop me in the coming month to do just that. Be sure to keep a look out here and on iTunes for future podcasts where I keep diving deep into these nominees and predict the winners. Until that podcast hits be sure to let me know who you think was snubbed or deserves to win a trophy on January 10th!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Podcast Episode 117: The Wiz Live, A Very Murray Christmas and The Walking Dead

In this week's episode Dave and Kyle react to the 2016 Writers Guild Awards Nominees (1:35), news of a possible Dexter revival (11:15) and The Man in the High Castle’s controversial subway ads (15:50). We also discuss a movie to be released in 2115 (21:25), a Rambo television series (24:50) and how FOX will stop reporting certain ratings (27:50). Finally, we review NBC’s The Wiz Live (35:10), Netflix’s A Very Murray Christmas special (47:10) and the first half of The Walking Dead’s sixth season (52:30).

You can also listen to past episodes of the podcast on iTunes or on our YouTube channel.