Raked TV Madness! The Elite Eight!

Wow. I’m pleased to say that we got some new blood in the competition, with brand-new voters jumping in with their picks both in the comments and on Twitter. Let’s keep that momentum going into the next round — The Elite Eight!

There were some definite surprises in the last round. Awake fans rallied once again to beat out Justified  by a large margin (they’re currently the ones to beat, folks), but Castle overtook Bones with a similar large number of votes. In a closer race, Community took out its 8:00 competitor Big Bang Theory, and with a mere one vote lead, Happy Endings overpowered Emmy-winning Modern Family.

Once Upon a Time easily beat Supernatural, and I was pleased to see that, while in close competition, Fringe took the lead against The Walking Dead and is moving on to the next round. Mad Men easily grabbed the attention of viewers over Boardwalk Empire, but probably the biggest surprise in the competition was Parenthood‘s defeat of Downton Abbey.

Now it’s time to choose the sole survivor for each division. On to the Elite Eight!
(Click for a larger image.)

For those of you who don’t have expert vision or magnifying glasses, here’s the breakdown.

Comedies:
Happy Endings vs. Community

Procedurals:
Castle vs. Awake

Supernatural/Fantasy:
Once Upon a Time vs. Fringe

Dramas:
Parenthood vs. Mad Men

We’re almost to the Final Four! Which one of these shows will move on to the next round? Who will be the division winner? Let me know your votes in the comments, send me an email, or drop me a line on Twitter. And spread the word. If we’ve learned anything from these winners, those with the most fans voting are the ones that move on!

You’ve only got two days to vote! The Final Four will be up on Wednesday!

This round has now ended. Vote for the Final Four!

Thursday Open Thread: Your TV Crush

You can’t deny it. We may be older, some of us in serious relationships (if not marriages), but there’s a part of us that just can’t wait to see that hottie-hot-hot on our favorite TV shows every week. Some of us may have gone so far as to start watching a show because said actor or actress is in it.

Hey, I don’t blame you. This isn’t Tiger Beat. This is Raked. And I’m with you.

Who Is Your TV Crush?

There are certainly plenty of hotties out there (hellloooo, Matt Bomer), but if I had to choose a real crush, it’s got to be Joshua Jackson. In case you’re wondering, yes, it took all my willpower not to say, “Pacey from Dawson’s Creek, ” but that is how long he’s probably been my TV crush. There were others, certainly. George Clooney, for example. But I’ve grown up, perfected my focus. (And if you notice the similarities, you’ll actually see that in some ways, Joshua Jackson is a young George Clooney.)

Now, I’m a happily married woman. And isn’t it a bit embarrassing to share this out in the open world? Well, a little. But it’s not a bad thing. He also happens to be a good actor, and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have started watching Fringe, which is one of the better shows on the air right now (is it too early to start the “please renew” speech?). If you like someone who’s actually in decent stuff, it actually works out for everyone around.

So good work, hotties. Your good looks and charm are working for us. Who’s your TV crush?

I realize I should be slightly red-faced in admitting my grown-up crush, but really, I’m just ashamed I used the word “hottie” so much.

The 2011 Awards: Part 1

It’s that time of year. I asked for some nominees from you, the readers, and now it’s time to announcing the winners of the 2011 Awards here on Raked. We’ve got a good mix of shows presented (and I hope you’ll agree), and just like last year, if you see a suggestion marked with an asterisk (*), that means that one of our readers suggested it for the list.

So enjoy Part 1 below. I’ll be following up tomorrow with more award winners!

The 2011 Awards!

Best Cliffhanger: Peter’s Disappearance, Fringe. This is one storyline that kept me going all summer long. And then the teasers, where you didn’t see him, and his voice just kept cutting in and out — that gave me goosebumps of anticipation! Come on, it even had it’s own tagline. That reminds me…

Best TV-Related Tagline: Where is Peter Bishop?, Fringe. Hell yes. Seriously. I think I still want this printed on a T-shirt or sweatshirt that I can wear in public.

Most Inventive New Show: American Horror Story. Sure, it had its flaws (Dylan McDermott for one; the antichrist for another), but when you can’t name another show like it and it gets consistent ratings, it’s certainly one to check out. This one has to be one of the most inventive new shows of the year, making me wonder most: What will next season be like?

*Creepiest Family Relationship: James and Angela Darmody, Boardwalk Empire. We had two gross examples of incest this year, both on the same network! Jaime and Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones, and James and Angela Darmody of Boardwalk Empire. I think the award has to go to the Darmody’s though, because even if it only happens once, having sex with your mom is way more disgusting than having sex with your sibling.

#1 Character I Still Don’t Care About: Stefan, The Vampire Diaries. The idea of Stefan becoming a baddie seemed like an interesting idea. But the implementation was sloppy, and he’s certainly no Angelus. In the end, I never really cared about him anyway, so bad or good, I just don’t care.

Best Hair: Bridget, Ringer. Considering that she went from drug addict stripper forced to come clean after witnessing a murder and going into police detection, she sure knows how to make a neat chignon. Kudos.

Worst Hair: Bridget, Ringer. That ponytail with hair extensions in one of the early episodes was an awful mistake.

Most Annoying Teenage Character: Josh, Terra Nova, and Haddie, Parenthood. It’s a tie! I couldn’t just pick one. Falling in the footsteps of Tyler from V, we have two fantastic characters that bring down a show with something as small as a roll of their eyes. Whining, pitching fits, running away — you name it. These kids make us wince when they come on the screen — and make us change the channel when an episode is dependent on their plotline.

Best Standout Episodes: How I Met Your Mother. From Marshall’s dad’s death to Barney’s discovering his father to Robin’s discovery that she can’t have kids, How I Met Your Mother has brought us some fantastic standout episodes in 2011. Sure, there may have been weak ones in between, but these are the ones that make us keep watching.

*Best Newcomer Actress: Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones. She was given the most difficult role of any of the kids. Sansa could play the lady at court, which isn’t easy, but it’s not particularly hard; Bran could play the broken kid; but she had to play the line of the willful tomboy girl without making it seem out of context given the setting. Also, the work she did in Ned’s final episode was just awesome. Plus, it’s a rather physical role, given the left-handed fencing (and I don’t think she’s left-handed either).

*Best Newcomer Actor: Joel Kinnaman, The Killing. He did a great job showing the audience a conflicted, unexpectedly deep character. Despite how they screwed him up at the end that somehow he was a traitor, his acting performance was still well-done.

Best Musical Episode: “Regional Holiday Music,” Community. Oh, sure, many of you are probably upset that Community won over Glee. I agree. I do have a big soft spot in my heart for Community, and to be fair, everyone expects Glee to have song and dance numbers. People never know what to expect with the gang at Community, which is why I give the award to the Greendale crew for their festive, musical Christmas episode.

Best Musical Performance: Michael’s Song, The Office. Again, Glee could have had a shot here, but it’s missing the sentimentality that The Office had as they gave Michael a final musical number before he moved to Colorado, which even became a Moment of the Week here at Raked.

Cutest Reaction to Pregnancy News: Booth, Bones. That smile that filled his entire face at the end of last season? I think it’s what any single girl telling the father of her accidental unborn child hopes for.

Best Episode of the Year: The Pilot, The Killing. The show flunked in its finale, but the first episode was probably one of the most well-done episodes I’ve ever seen. Michelle Forbes alone was incredible. This was the one show I recommended to anyone I saw after the first episode. (If only I knew how the season would end; perhaps I would have altered that recommendation.)

*****

And there’s Part 1!
Check back tomorrow for more 2011 Award Winners!

Fringe: Savoring the Memories

FRINGE: 4.06 “And Those We Left Behind”

Peter’s back! Peter’s back, Peter’s back, Peter’s back. But poor Peter. Walter won’t have anything to do with him, and Olivia is just civil and polite. Her usual (new) reserved self.

I have to say, after his return, Peter seems to be taking things rather well. He seems to get the fact that no one knows who he is and that Olivia is just going to keep him at arm’s length. He seems to know when and how to mention what he knows and how it helps. Really, the only thing that threw him was hearing that Walter lived in the lab. I really can’t wait to see how Peter tries to fix his relationship with Walter. Despite his love for Olivia, clearly, that’s what foremost in his mind right now, even if she could tell that she was important to him when she dropped him off at his old house. (By the way, would a house covered in sheets, dust, and cobwebs really have a flatscreen TV? Just sayin’.)

But this week’s episode really wasn’t about Peter, even if he claims the moster-of-the-week events were his fault. It was really about time anomalies caused by one man who just wanted to fix his wife.

I barely recognized Stephen Root in this episode at first. It took me a minute. But man, the relationship his character had with his wife was just so heartbreaking. This relationship was so real, and given her Alzheimer’s state, you could see why he so desperately wanted to go back into the past and just live together happily in their little bubble. He didn’t know he was doing anything wrong. He just wanted to be with her.

You know, there were parts of this episode that reminded me of Up. It’s all about living life. Seriously, this episode made me tear up. (Up made me sob buckets. I’m a wuss.)

Beyond the great job Root did with his story, there’s not much more to be said here. It was a pretty straight-forward episode. I really want to get back into the story arc, though, and find out why Peter’s back and what’s next. Will he ever get back with Olivia? Personally, I’d find it interesting if we found out that she and Lincoln had themselves a growing romance, all while Peter’s standing by. In fact, that’s not too far fetched, especially considering how the other Lincoln loves Faux-livia on the other side.

Speaking of, I can’t wait to see what Peter does when he sees the other side. I hope that happens soon. That will be something to see.

Friday’s ‘Fringe’: What’d You Think?

FRINGE: 4.04 “Subject Nine”

We can no longer ask, “Where is Peter Bishop?” Peter has been found, through means we have yet to discover. Much like Angel did in season three of Buffy, Peter just miraculously appeared. This time, in a lake in New York, that most people have never really heard of. How he got here — and why — is still yet to be determined, but I’m just happy to have that lovely little face back.

I have to admit, the promos tricked me. The promos kept asking, “Is Peter Bishop back?” Now, based on prior TV experience, I know never to trust that. So I went into the episode thinking, Of course, he’s not back. That’d be way too much of a spoiler if they told us in the promo. So along I went, thinking James Cameron Cameron James was getting his revenge on someone or something and doing all of it. So since I was so convinced it wasn’t Peter, I was completely shocked to discover that it was. But there are a lot of questions:

  • How did he go from mirror man to the magnetic blue ball? (I use very technical terms here on Raked.)
  • What made him become man? Was it Cameron?

Ok, so maybe there are only a couple that I can think of off the top of my head, but I do feel like we’re going into the next episode with a lot to figure out. Walter and Olivia are clearly going to be on the defense — he knows so much more about them than he should, and in FBI terms, that’s a risk.

I have to say, I was rather disappointed with the ending. I personally think the episode would have been much more cliffhanger-y and shocking if the last thing we saw was Peter come up from the lake with the Observer watching. I didn’t need to see him in the hospital. In fact, it was no surprise to me that Olivia still wouldn’t remember him. Would it have been interesting if Peter didn’t remember anything, and that was the cliffhanger? Possibly. But that’s not what happened, and what was revealed to us was nothing new. I wanted that shock to last me a week.

Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to the next few episodes, and I certainly hope they’re able to fill some of the holes. I guess the main question the show left us with is, What’s next?

So what’d you think of Peter’s arrival back on the scene? Let me know!

Fringe: Braaaaaaaaiiiins.

FRINGE: 4.03 “Alone in the World”

I think I might’ve simplified Friday’s episode with one headline. Sorry.

I want to know where Peter is! Please, please, please. Ok, so maybe I’m a little antsy. It’s not that I expected to know where Peter was by now (in fact, if I did, I’d be really upset, much like in West Wing after Zoey’s kidnapping — but that’s a different post entirely). But anyway, despite the fact that I’m still on the edge of my seat, desperate to find out where he is, we did get a monster-of-the-week episode here that wasn’t too bad.

Ok, so perhaps it was a little corny. The kid didn’t want to be alone, so he didn’t want Gus to be killed. Eh. And then he saves the day by letting him go. Ok, so major corn factor. But I did find it interesting to see that the monster was an actual brain (loved hearing about the synapses…I’m a nerd), though I must say one thing to the writers in this show:

There is no mid-town Boston.

And…

There is no subway. There’s  the T.

I made a quick note of this on Twitter, but I must emphasize. The show is set in Boston, and they do a good job trying to make Boston references. One of the attacks was in Roxbury Crossing, so I must say kudos for choosing places us Bostonians can recognize. But no one would ever say that it’s spread to a subway platform in mid-town, unless they really meant NYC. Sorry. I can’t even imagine what mid-town Boston would be.

Sorry, I’ll move on from my tangent.

I’m still enjoying seeing how different Olivia and Walter are without Peter, and we did finally find out how young Peter died in this altered reality. And on top of it all, we’re really showing how awesome Astrid is. She’s so good with Walter.

But please, oh, please never let me see Walter try to lobotomize himself again! Ack! Now, if it were me and I saw that, I would have turned to my cell phone and called an ambulance ASAP. From what I could tell through my fingers (yes, I was covering my eyes), she pulled it out himself. Uggh. Uggh. Uggh.

Oh Fringe.

Anyway, on to next week, where the promos seem like we might find out more about Peter. Is he back? Is he not? I don’t know. It all seems too easy…

Fringe: Where Is Peter Bishop?

FRINGE: 4.01 “Neither Here Nor There”

You didn’t think you’d find out the answer to this year’s biggest mystery in the first episode, did you? No, I’m not talking about who killed Rosie Larsen. I’m talking about the location of a certain Peter Bishop.

The first episode of Fringe this season was tantalizing. If you thought you’d get the same ol’ Fringe, you’re mistaken. It appears that when all those ghostly figures go back in time and show you what life would be like if you were never born, it turns out that things really are different. You can actually see how different characters are without Peter’s influence, since according to a few vague lines in the episode, Peter didn’t live past childhood. Olivia’s cold and down to business. Walter is still crazy, but rather callous. What’s more, he can hardly function. He can’t leave the lab. In fact, the only person that really seems the same is Astrid, who now more than ever is at Walter’s beckon call.

And this goes for the other side, too. Faux-livia is not the same girl we knew. Sure, she still has the family at her side, according to her short reference to the other Olivia, and clearly, they still swapped sides for a short time, since the bitterness is there. But she’s rather cocky and rather rude. Since I missed early Faux-livia and only saw her once she had returned to the other side and after her relationship with Peter, I can’t say for sure if this is the same Faux-livia pre-Peter or something new, but either way, she’s not what I came to know by the end of last season.

There are still questions, of course. Whatever happened to Faux-livia’s baby. Is there even a baby? Can people cross over to the other side? They were all very careful to just hand objects over and not do anything more. And what will Lee do once he sees himself on the other side?

In fact, what do people remember? Lee certainly doesn’t remember Olivia from the case last season (even he seemed different in this new season). The Observers remember it all, of course, and boy am I glad that the Observer didn’t completely erase Peter. Why?

Oh, Peter. I have to say, I nearly jumped out of my seat when I first saw him partially blip in during the first scene. It wasn’t just Peter’s face in a mirror or TV, people. Did I miss any other blips? Come on, I know some of you rewatched the episode just to find every detail and hint! Share, share!

Ultimately, I can’t wait to see where this orange season’s going. (Did you notice the theme is orange, not blue? Even that changed.) While the plot of this episode wasn’t my favorite (I think “ew” came to mind a lot), it did reveal a lot about the characters in a very unique way. But I can’t wait to find out…

Where is Peter Bishop?!

Fringe Renewed! Southland Renewed! Huzzah! Hurray!

Sure, there’s been a lot going on this week. Teases of death and heartbreak in Army Wives. Disappointing kickoffs in reality TV (very sad that Antonia went home on Top Chef this week). Horrible weaves in ANTM. Funny jokes. Proposals. Oh, the list goes on.

But all that gets pushed aside because two of my favorite bubble shows got renewed this week. First up, Southland.

Southland got picked up for a new season (ten-episode order) this week, which is fantastic. While the show has always been a favorite on this site (just ask JC), it’s had a rough road. Getting dumped by NBC, then picked up by TNT, only to have a weird “second” season. You know, it’s been a little hard to get consistency. Fortunately, with strong storylines and acting (along with a highly devoted Twitter following), TNT realized what it had and picked it up. Huzzah!

But the surprising winner here is Fringe, which just last night was renewed for a full 22 episode order. This is highly thrilling, especially after everyone assumed the show wouldn’t make it after being put in the ever-famous Friday night death slot. But it pulled through — and with some great episodes to boot! I will admit, I missed the entire second season of the show, but I’m back on the Fringe train, and I’m trying to catch up. Even having missed so much of the story arc, I’m completely invested, so for all you Fringe newbies, jump in now. We’ve got ourselves a fourth season. Can we go ahead and start rooting for the fifth?

Anyway, it’s been a good week for renewals. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for more of our favorite bubble shows!

*images from TNT and Yahoo! TV

Yep, I started watching ‘Fringe’ again. You can, too.

I’ve mentioned this on Twitter, but I haven’t formally announced it on the site yet. I’ve started watching Fringe again. Not to give FOX any big ideas, but it was the move to Friday that actually compelled me to watch again. For two reasons: 1) It didn’t conflict with any of my shows anymore (well, Say Yes to the Dress, but I live), and 2) I felt I needed to help save it from the Friday night death slot. Not sure if my viewership is helping, but I certainly hope so.

It’s not that I actually stopped liking Fringe. Actually, I was quite invested in it. But the timeslot in the second season conflicted with other things I was watching, and while I’d TiVo or plan to watch online, I just lost my footing and never caught up. And I hear a missed a kickass season. Even based on the “previously on Fringe” starters for each episode, I can tell I missed some good stuff. But at least I think I’ve caught on to the major things that happened, and I certainly want to go back and catch up eventually.

Sadly, this means I’m not quite in the position to start reviewing again, but maybe I’ll get there soon.

But really, I love it. It’s got the same quirkiness of Walter, but the other characters have really grown and found themselves, which is great. While I loved the first season, Olivia was rather stilted, and she’s finally come into her own and become this wonderful, likable character.

Perhaps not as likable as the other Olivia (I’ve heard her named Fauxlivia), who I think is my brand-new hero. Now, ok, perhaps I’m only thinking this way because I missed the entire season where she impersonated the real Olivia and stole Peter away from her. Deception was her middle name, I hear. But she’s just so fun and full of life. And her hair and clothes are awesome. Ok, perhaps those last two things are just me.

That being said, I want Peter with real Olivia, not the other one. I want Peter in our real world, not his original one. Is that greedy? I dunno.

All this to say, I started watching Fringe again, and I’m hooked. Think you can’t figure it out without seeing all the seasons? Well, I’m a TV blogger, and I can tell you that it’s still an enjoyable experience, and you’ll like it almost as much as if you’d invested the last year to the show. I say, jump on the train folks. Let’s ride it to Fringe town.

Ok, that was weird.

Anyway, great show, and let’s keep it going.

 

In other news, I totally geeked out last episode with the subtle references to the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. If you’re going to put a plot at something called the Rosencrantz Hotel, you know it will either play off Hamlet or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The minute Walter took out the quarter, I knew it would land on heads heads heads. Kudos, Fringe, writers! On that same note, did anyone notice if the hotel in the other world was called the Guildenstern?

 

*image from Yahoo! TV

‘Fringe’ sings?

Glee must be stopped. I mean, I’m all for creativity on television, and Glee has all of that, but there’s something wrong with this picture.

Especially when it makes other shows go all…singy. TV Addict just spilled some beans that we might a musical episode of Fringe. And by “might,” the episode has already got an air date of April 29.

It’s not that I’m against musical episodes. Buffy‘s musical is one of my favorite, but I can’t help but see humor in the fact that they did it. I enjoyed the Scrubs musical, and it had that haunting ending when the woman no longer heard everyone singing. But Fringe isn’t that kind of show. I mean, I don’t flip on Fringe to see wittiness and an occasional laugh, because while even Buffy was sci-fi, there was an element of play in the series.

Fringe is hardcore sci-fi, and I just wonder if there’s a place music and song in the series. And based on the description (at least the actress who plays Astrid’s comment), it sounds like they’re forcing performances in flashbacks and imaginings, which doesn’t really feel like Fringe at all. I could see a hallucinating patient in House doing this more than in Fringe. Are they going too far?

It’s not that I don’t think the cast has talent. I’d love to see Joshua Jackson dance and maybe even someone else sing. But it just seems forced on a series like this, and it certainly just seems like a stunt for sweeps. That craze for musical episodes passed about five years ago, and now the singing should be left to Glee.

Leave my sci-fi alone. Please.