Christmas Challenge: 30 Rock

30 ROCK
Secret Santa

Wow. This week has been a tough one to keep up with the Christmas Challenge. But I’m doing my best, and now, I have 30 Rock.

30 Rock actually has a number of Christmas episodes, but I let JC pick this one out for me. It has a good mix of everything Christmas: gift giving, Christmas carols, and the general outrageousness that is 30 Rock.

While Jack’s interactions with long-time friend (and possible love interest) Nancy was entertaining (especially when they would mention U-Face), I’ll stick with the Christmas-related stories in this review. I can’t say I was all too overwhelmed with joy as the boys ganged up on Kenneth, claiming they were all followers of a fake religion. While I’m sure a lot of it had to do with its bitterness, it also just didn’t seem all that funny to me.

On the other hand, I loved Pete attempting to get back at Jenna for not helping with crew presents this year by showing off the newest castmember and his fantastic voice. Of course, though, he’d become a softie and let her sing well, while he sang off-key and hideously. He’s just that nice of a guy.

Meanwhile, Liz was trying to find the perfect gift for Jack that cost nothing. Considering how much Liz is the focus in a lot of episodes of the show, she really wasn’t in much here, just standing on the periphery as Jack worked on his relationship with Nancy. But in the end, she found the perfect gift: a bomb scare that kept Nancy in town for just a little while longer. Nice one, Liz.

Recommendation: An entertaining episode, but probably not one that I’d recommend for annual viewing. Fun enough, though.

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2010 Awards, Part 2

Alright. So you saw the first set, now let’s move on to more! More awards and more reader picks. Once again, if the award has an asterisk, it’s a Reader Pick, with or without my explanation. If they added one, it’s there! If they didn’t, well, that just leaves me to give a reason <malicious laugh>.

So here we go!

The 2010 Awards!
Part 2

Best Guy in a Suit: Neal Caffrey, White Collar. Step aside, Barney. There’s someone else suiting up now, and damn, he looks good.

Best Woman in Heels: Maura Isles, Rizzoli & Isles. This woman sure gets a lot done in four-inch heels and a pressed dress, even when dealing with dead bodies.

* Most Wasted Potential: Glee. It’s true. For a show with a huge fanbase and mad props for creating a new TV genre, they lost their way by focusing on huge guest stars and a big production instead of a cohesive storyline.

Least Necessary Procedural: Law & Order: CSI edition. Oh, is that not a real show? I thought it was. It’s on every night for two hours at least, right? And it airs on every network? Wait, these aren’t all the same show?

Most Ridiculous Premise for a Procedural: Castle. Ok, I know you fans out there must like it, but the idea that a successful novelist gets to spend his time on all these huge cases as a partner of a detective is rather incredible.

Worst Show We’re All Watching: The Office. Where did the funny go? It’s run its course, but we all still watch it. And most of us don’t know why.

Didn’t I Used to Be an Important Character? Award: Alaric, The Vampire Diaries. Well, it’s true, right? Now he’s arm candy, and occasionally says something smart from a book.

Best Vampire Teeth: The Vampire Diaries. With the eyes and the subtle teeth, yes, the vamps in TVD certainly get the prize.

Worst Vampire Teeth: True Blood. I haven’t tried to watch this series, solely because these teeth are so bad and look so fake. Plus, I hear they make a sound when they come out.

Read more after the jump! Continue reading

2010 Awards, Part 1

Ok, guys, we’re nearing 2011. That means it’s time to honor those best and worsts of 2010. With the help our readers, I present to you the first part of the 2010 Awards here on Raked.

As you can see, we’ve got a good mix of reader nominations (marked by an asterisk*) and my own. For the most part, I tried to keep the reader’s reasoning with the award, but if nothing was there (or if I have my own thoughts), I did add a little myself. Keep in mind that this is just for 2010, shows that aired during that time period. Unfortunately, that put some good shows out of the running that might’ve ended before the cutoff last year–but it also gave us a good selection of bad shows to destroy, too.

So without further ado…

The 2010 Awards!
Part 1

Best Use of an Underused Character: Caroline, The Vampire Diaries. Caroline was a pathetic, superficial, shallow sidekick in last season’s Vampire Diaries. Now she’s a badass vampire who’s gained confidence–and screen time. Definitely worth the transition.

* Best Animation: Community’s stop motion Christmas special. Can’t argue with this reader’s pick. A mixing of humbugs, humor, song, and creativity provided us with one great holiday treat.

* Best Leave of Absence: Olivia Wilde, House. I’ll leave this explanation to our reader: “I call this the best because she is left to do some awesome scifi movies [Tron Legacy, Cowboys and Aliens, Now aka im.mortal], and also it allowed Amber Tamblyn to take her spot for a bit.” As for me, I second this, if only to get Amber Tamblyn back on TV.

Best Badass I Should Be Watching: Nikita, Nikita. I’ve heard good things, and the commercials are really tempting. Why am I not watching? I have no reason.

* Best Zombies: The Walking Dead. A reader’s pick, and to be fair, I can’t help but agree. But in the interest of complete transparency, I also don’t know what other shows had zombies this year. 😉

* Best Guest Star: Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee. As much as I’m tired of hearing about her, I can’t deny that people loved Gwyneth on Glee.

Read more awards after the jump! Continue reading

Kidney: What a funny word

30 ROCK: 3.22 “Kidney Now!”

Last night’s episode of 30 Rock was ridiculous. Now, it was funny, but it was ridiculous. Very, very ridiculous.

I’m not sure where to start. Let’s start with the part that I liked best. And that was…

The doctor. I don’t know why, but the idiocy of that man was the best. Sure, all his jokes seemed cliche. But just the fact that he wouldn’t fix the paperwork, insisted that he’d remember, and then proceeded to forget AND argue that he was right was fantastic.

Plus, Alan Alda was in it again. So that’s always good.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure this episode was just one of those moments when the writers behind the show teamed up to say, “How many guest stars do you think we can get to be in one episode?” And then they decided to test it out.

And it worked. I loved the song (yay YouTube).

And I loved Liz on the talk show. She sounded like she had such authority, and I was sure that it would turn on her. And it did. But it was still fun.

I wish I had more to say, but the episode seemed to speak for itself. I enjoyed it, and the song’s great. So watch and enjoy (and comment on your own thoughts below).

Finale, finale, finale

Well, since there was a large vast emptiness of nothing on last night (ok, I don’t watch Lost because I’m waiting to start it from the beginning and I’m not an Idol fan–and I did watch ANTM but I don’t write about it), I’ve got nothing to say here.

Just kidding. I’ll write about what’s on TONIGHT! And there seems to be a lot.

Seriously. If you don’t have TiVo, a DVR, a VCR, or an Internet connection, you’re in trouble. You might as well just shut off your electricity and read by candlelight because you’re just going to miss too much.

No, that didn’t make sense, but there’s a hub-bub of activity fluttering in this Raked brain, and I don’t know where to start!

How about at 8:00? Which will you watch? Bones? Smallville? I haven’t watched Smallville all season, but I’ll be certainly checking it out tonight. Why? Because two characters–maybe three–will be dying. Really dying. Not Heroes dying. Like, seriously, off-the-show dying. What’s your guess? I’m going to guess Tess and Doomsday but I’ve heard that both seem to have roles in the comic, so who knows? I would love for it to be Lana (hate her), but Chloe is always an option. It’d be a big deal if she died. But I love her. Keep her. Please?

But you can’t just miss Bones after last week’s episode. I mean, it was huge! And I hear that Booth and Bones will be getting it on, too. People have been waiting for that for quite a while now. And I hear that it’s not what you think and the sexual tension will not be gone from the show (if it gets picked up–it’s on the bubble). So there you go.

But what about 9:00? Nothing’s on then, right?

WRONG! We have the two-hour finale of Grey’s Anatomy. What do you think? Will Izzie die? I personally think she won’t, but I’d love for her to just so I can get my Death Count back up again. I mean, no one has died since Heroes! And I made up a song and everything!

Anyway, the big questions are whether Izzie will live and whether George will live. I know. Who even knew George was in danger?  But I will be watching, as painful as it is.

But don’t forget the finale and 100th episode of The Office, which comes with the return of Holly. As much as I can’t stand Holly and Michael, I’ll be watching. I mean, it’s The Office. For some reason, I must watch for the one occasional funny episode that’s left.

30 Rock also a finale. And if Alan Alda’s in it again, I certainly won’t miss it.

I’m sure I missed some others, but these are the ones that I care about. Either because I like the show, or big characters might die. Is it sick of me to be watching just for that?

If so, you’re sick, too.

Buzzingo!

THE BIG BANG THEORY: 2.23 “The Monopolar Expedition”

My dad’s a bigger critic of TV than I am, and even he was laughing at this episode. And you know, it really was funny.

Somewhat unrealistic, but funny.

Ok, considering the relationship to Sheldon’s research, I can believe the Sheldon would have been invited on this expedition. However, I don’t see the university allowing him to bring his own team along–especially if someone had to drop out to get Sheldon in–and I certainly don’t think that the team would have included the three other guys of the show, especially when one has his Master’s in engineering. It makes no sense.

And while it was a huge opportunity, I certainly wouldn’t be one jumping up and down to move to the North Pole for three months. I’d be in the boat with Raj and Howard’s mothers (hilarious interactions, by the way), and be saying no way.

But it’s a TV show, and you can suspend reality. And that’s where we have the fun.

I love that Sheldon is actually attempting to play pranks. He’s probably the best prankster of all of them just because he’s always so serious all the time, and the guys are afraid of crossing him (solely because he reacts so annoyingly).

And I must say that I really enjoyed seeing the Snuggie make another appearance on network TV. We have the Snoodle here. The Slanket on 30 Rock. Oh, Snuggie…

What about that Snuggie, though? Was anyone thrilled with the Leonard/Penny storyline? I mentioned in my post last week that the tension between the two has been so inconsistent that the recent buildup has been rather strange.

I understand her being disappointed they’re all leaving. She’s losing four of her friends. And she may have some feelings left there, but they seemed overdramatized. But maybe that’s the best way they could fit some reaction to their leaving in there. Or was that Big Bang‘s attempt at a cliffhanger? I don’t know.

I did enjoy, though, Penny’s reaction to Sheldon’s typical knock. Her knock back was HILARIOUS. Definitely one for the books.

Anyway, overall, I liked the episode, despite this more-negative-than-anticipated review. It was just funny, and I think that’s what the finale needed to be. We’re not watching Ross and Rachel here. We’re watching a bunch of nerdy, geeky guys. Who needs the drama?

Unless killer robots are involved. You can’t have those without drama. And fire. Fire helps.

PS – Enjoyed Sheldon inventing the word Buzzingo (Bazingo?), but it sounds a little too close to Elliot’s “Bajingo” in Scrubs. If you watch Scrubs, you know what I’m talking about.

NBC: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Well, NBC has announced it’s upcoming new shows, as well as some shows that will be picked up. And to be honest, I can’t say I’m over the moon about any of them. Well, maybe one.

What’s original here? NBC seemed to be one of the networks we’re more curious about, what with ER‘s  good-bye and their newest pitch to have Leno have a 10:00 daily talk show. And yes, that Leno plan is still happening.

And while I have mixed feelins about Leno’s show (I think it’s a terrible idea, though at least it will be a backup to reruns at 10:00 on other networks), that now limits NBC to two hours of programming. So what do we have?

Well, in place of ER, we’ve now got two new hospital dramas, one of which has Michelle Trachtenberg as a nurse–something I doubt very heavily. Sorry, Michelle fans, but somehow that just seems odd to me. Can she play an adult? I mean, I saw her relatively try in The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, and it was painful.

We’ve also got Day One, which apparently has someone from Heroes involved (let’s hope season 1) and involves people reacting after a global disaster. Didn’t we do this a few years ago and call it Jericho? The frontrunner of that show is Julia Gonzalo, the most annoying cast member of the lost Eli Stone.

And then what? Parenthood? Oh dear, Maura Tierney, is there no hope left? At least Monica Potter’s finding work after Trust Me was canceled.

But where, oh, where are the original premises? I’m most looking forward to Community, mainly because it stars Joel McHale of The Soup, but from what I’ve read on other blogs, people are less enthused because it’s “just another multi-camera comedy.” I’ll take that any day over another Parks and Recreation, which, by the way, has been renewed.

Speaking of renewals, what about the ones we’re really wondering about? No news on Chuck, and contrary to various reports this weekend, it looks like Medium hasn’t yet been decided on yet, either. From what I can tell, you’ll have to wait until May 19, when they announce the fall schedule.

These are two very popular series. I’m still surprised they’re being debated.

Meanwhile, we can expect the return of Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock, reality TV, and at least one Law & Order series.

What else is missing? My Name Is Earl. Again, very surprised.

I should mention that all of these might not be fall shows–some may be winter or “event”–but I think there are some surprises and disappointments here. With such original series as Chuck and, of course, Kings, we’re stuck with the old and the done.

So here’s what I suggest. If you don’t like what you see, and you’re waiting for your favorite NBC show to appear, you better get moving. Write to NBC, post blogs, do what you must. You’re running out of time, and we’re running out of quality.