Cameo of the Year

Stan Lee

Every year there are small performances and appearances that are fun for the audience… winks to the crowd… with cameos.  Some cameos are basically Easter eggs.  Some cameos are more intricate to the plot.  All are fun.

So here is the EYG Stan Lee Movie Cameo Award

Previous Winners John Cena, Two-Time Winner Stan Lee, Chris Evans, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman.

Runners-UpElton John (Kingsman 2), Weird Al Yankovic (How to Be a Latin Lover), Gwyneth Paltrow (Spider-man: Homecoming), Matt Damon (Thor: Ragnarok), Bruce Willis (Split), David Hasselhoff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Joe Manganiello (Justice League), Stan Lee (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok)

 

Winner:

Yoda (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

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There were a ton of great cameos this year.  I thought this award was going to Elton John for his over-the-top appearance in Kingsman.  Bruce Willis showed up and completely changed the perception of Split.

However, then a certain force ghost showed up…

The scene with Yoda and Luke Skywalker is one of the best scenes in The Last Jedi and is based solely in the character.  This was the old Yoda.  Puppet Yoda.  Not the CGI Yoda that we got in the prequels.  Frank Oz returned for the voice and it was wonderful and very funny.

And I guess Force Ghosts really do need to sit down.

Surprise/Disappointment

Here are the 2017 Gomer and the Spider-man 3 Disappointment of the Year Awards.

Gomer

There are few things better than going into a movie and being surprised by it, whether it is a movie that you haven’t heard of that turns out great or a movie you went into with low expectations only to see them blown away.  This winner is awarded The Gomer (in honor of the late Jim Nabors).

Previous winners of the Gomer includeThe Gift, Edge of Tomorrow, We’re the Millers, The Campaign, Ouija: Origin of Evil

Runners-UpBrigsby Bear, Get Out, Split, How to Be a Latin Lover, Annabelle: Creation, The Man Who Invented Christmas

The Gomer goes to….

Ferdinand

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Never thought in a million years that I was going to be as entertained by Ferdinand as I was.  I was sure it was just another time wasting animated film like Nut Job 2 or another Ice Age movie.  I was so wrong.  John Cena was great as the voice of the bull who would rather smell flowers than fight and Kate McKinnon was perfect as the Coach Goat.  Ferdinand caught me completely off-guard, and that was a good thing.

 

 

Disappointment

The other end of the spectrum is where the Spider-man 3 Disappointment of the Year resides.  These are movies where you have high hopes for a great film only to see them quashed by reality.

Previous “winners” of the Spider-man 3 Disappointment of the Year: In the Heart of the Sea, Amazing Spider-man 2, After Earth, Dark Knight Rises, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Batman v. Superman

Runners-Up: The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Wonder, Kingsman 2, Batman & Harley Quinn, The Dark Tower

“Winner” of the Spider-man 3 Disappointment of the Year: 

The Snowman

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I had high hopes for this one.  I enjoyed the trailers and I always love a good serial killer/mystery murder thriller.  That is what this looked like and it had Michael Fassbender in it as well.  How could it go wrong?  I am still not sure how, but The Snowman is in competition for the number one spot on the worst movies of the year list.  It was predictable.  It was poorly written.  Michael Fassbender’s characters name was Harry Hole (I kid you not).  Now, the character name is from the book series that this is based on, but still… it is not like you couldn’t adjust that name a bit.  Overall, it was one of the worst experiences I have had this year, and that made it a terrible disappointment.

I See Kid Actors Award

Kid Actor

Every year there are some amazing performances by actors who are not yet of age.  Children can really stick out if they are not solid performers.  None of these kids have issues …

Previous winnersEmjay Anthony, Jacob Tremblay, Millie Bobby Brown

 

There were a lot of great performances this year among the child actors.

Runners-Up:

#10.  Kelvin Harrison Jr (It Comes at Night)

Image result for kelvin harrison jr it comes at night

 

#9.  Noah Jupe (Suburbicon)

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#8.  McKenna Grace (Gifted)

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#7.  Ella Anderson (Glass Castles)

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#6.  Judah Lewis (The Babysitter)

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#5.  Lulu Wilson (Annabelle: Creation)

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#4.  Jacob Tremblay (Book of Henry, Wonder)

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Two great roles for Jacob, a former winner of this award.  Many hated The Book of Henry, but I loved it.  And you cannot disagree that Jacob was excellent there too. 

 

#3.  The kids from Stranger Things

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The Stranger Things kids, in particular Noah Schnapp, were great in their return to Netflix.  Schnapp has a chance for an Emmy nomination.  If not for a very strong year, this award would have been his Millie Bobby Brown won this award last year. 

 

#2.  The kids from It

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It was as great as it was because of the fantastic ensemble performances from these kids. Finn Wolfhard was both here and in the #3 ensemble.  

 

Winner:

#1.  Dafne Keen (Logan)

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Dafne Keen was so amazing in Logan.  It was a role that was vital for the success of that film.  If Laura (X-23) could not carry her own, Logan would have started behind the eight ball.  Laura had to act much of the movie without dialogue, showing her feelings, emotions and thoughts with her face and her body language.  And she kicked some serious butt. She was remarkable. 

2017 Sci-Fi Best and Worst

Best Sci Fi

Science Fiction is always a tough genre to do well.  The chances of creating something like Independence Day: Resurgence is much more likely than Arrival.  So we need to award those films that can do the genre well.

A couple of rules.  Though a super hero film could be considered science fiction, they will not be counted in this award.  I am also not counting Transformers… just because.

Best Sci-Fi Movie

Runners-UpLife, The Girl with All the Gifts, Valerian, Phoenix Forgotten, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Bright

Winner:

Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner 2049 was not very successful as a film.  It did not make much money at the box office against a very high budget.  Yet, what was created by Denis Villeneuve is amazing science fiction and a visual masterpiece.  So while this film is in the running for the John Carter Award, it will receive the Best Sci-Fi Award as well.

 

WORST SCI-FI MOVIE OF 2017

RUNNERS-Up Dark Tower, Alien: Covenant, Geostorm, 

Winner:

Ghost in the Shell

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I was so bored in Ghost in the Shell.  It was not that the casting of Scarlett Johansson was bad (though kind of iffy), but the fact that the story just was not adapted well from the source material.  Let’s just get Johansson that Black Widow movie, please.

 

Animated Movies

animationaward

The Frame Award is presented to the best animated movie of the year.  This year, there were not the number of quality animated movies as there was in past years.  In fact, there are considerably more bad animated films in 2017 than the good one.

Runners-Up:  Lego Batman Movie, Ferdinand, Despicable Me 3

WinnerCoco

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Coco is one of the best Pixar movies of all time.  It is a beautiful story of a boy named Miguel, who wants to be a musician, but his family never allows music in their life.  Miguel ends up in the land of the dead, but still alive.  This movie is about family.  It is about music.  It is about the Mexican culture.  It is an emotionally satisfying film that will have you sobbing.  It is one of the best films of 2017 and easily the best animated film.

 

Worst animated film

Runners-UpCars 3, Batman & Harley Quinn, Lego Ninjago Movie, Boss Baby, Rock Dog, Captain Underpants, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.

Worst:  Emoji Movie

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Ugh.  This was such a bad movie.  It was the same story as Toy Story but with stupider writing, animation, characters, voice acting etc.  Terrible.

 

 

Horror Movies- Best and Worst

Horror

2017 was a strong year in horror movies.  There were a few losers in there as well.  These are the Best and Worst Horror Movies of 2017

Best

#1.  It.  This is the best horror movie of the year.  It will be one of the top movies all around.

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#2.  Get Out.  Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was one of the best of the year.  It has a chance to be nominated for an Oscar.

#3.  Annabelle: Creation.  A sequel to a film that was terrible, turned out to be really well done.

#4.  Phoenix Forgotten.  A film that I liked way more than I thought I would.  It deals with the Phoenix lights seen in the sky by multiple people.  This was solid.

#5.  The Belko Experience.  Another film that was better than I thought it would be.  A group of people were trapped together in an office building and you have to determine who is going to die.

Good films, but not really horrorIt Comes at Night, A Ghost Story, Happy Death Day

 

Worst

#1.  The Bye Bye Man.  This guy shows up not only when you say his name, but when you think about him.  Really?  How does that work?  This one is truly bad and might be in consideration for the worst movie of the year.

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#2.  Wish Upon.  A box that can grant wishes, but bad things happen when granted.  And this dumb girl keeps using it.  Ugh.

#3.  Flatliners.  A remake of a cult favorite, but the remake is just stupid.  Badly done.  Cardboard cutout characters.  Boring film.

#4.  Rings.  Another sequel that should have stayed away. This one was delayed several times and you can see why.

#5.  Friend Request.  A loner starts to hang out with a popular girl and then she posts horrible videos. The popular girl deletes her friend and the loner dies and kills everyone.  This made little or no sense.

 

More TV

TV

Here are some categories that cover the whole range of the television world.

Best Return:  Stranger Things 2.  There was certain concern over the return of this series because many believed that they could not match what they had done in season one.  Obviously, those people were wrong.

Show that Fell FlatInhumans, obviously. It was so bad that had it not been only eight episodes, I would have stopped watching it.  This is such a sad state for a classic group of heroes.

Shows that I forgot about, but loved:  Trial and Error.  Looking back over some of the other shows, I noticed this show starring John Lithgow that I really enjoyed, but missed in this review.  I also had forgotten Sherlock and that would have made some of the lists.  Sorry guys.   There is just so much TV to watch.

Best Reality Show:  Not a fan of any of these types of genre TV, so I’ll say America’s Got Talent since it has been pretty successful this season.

Best Podcast:  Top Ten Show.  John Rocha and Matt Knost set a topic each week and list their individual top 10 lists and then combine it into a show’s list.  There is a lot of great movie talk along the way and some really entertaining conversation.

Most Improved Show:  How to Get Away With Murder.  Not as much improved as it is finding itself again.  This past year this show really recovered from a weak second season to be a powerhouse once again.

Best Animated: Rick and Morty.  This one should have been an easy one to guess since Rick and Morty wound number at number one of the Cable shows.  This is just a funny show every time out.

Gone too soon:  TV Talk and TV Fights.  I talked about both already, but I want to state again that both shows really got the bum rush.  Bring them back!

Top 10 Late Night Hosts

#10.  Seth Myers

#9.  Samantha Bee

#8.  James Cordon

#7.  Jimmy Fallon

#6.  Jimmy Kimmell

#5.  Michael Che and Colin Jost

#4.  Trevor Noah

#3.  John Oliver

#2. Bill Maher

#1.  Stephen Colbert  Image result for stephen Colbert

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Musical Episode:  Once Upon a Time, “The Song in Your Heart”.  This was so great.  I actually bought the soundtrack for my phone.  Favorite song:  “Revenge is Gonna Be Mine” by Captain Hook.

Best Show that I do not watch: Game of Thrones:  Some day maybe…

Shows that I stopped watching:  There are a bunch.  There are only so many hours in a day and when a show does not meet the minimum standard, it slips to the wayside.  These include:  Flash, Once Upon a Time, Future Man, Mr. Robot, Big Bang Theory.

Worst Return: Once Upon a Time.  After season six, everyone had a happy ending.  Why did you have to bring it back?  And if you were going to bring it back, why bury it on Friday?

Worst decision:  Having an Iron Fist series without going to K’un-Lun.  Going to K’un-Lun seems like a no-brainer.  Except for the NetFlix series Iron Fist.  Instead we get corporate business.

Favorite Online TV Talker:  David Griffin.  I miss David from the TV Talk days.  Sure he liked too much British TV, but he always had solid opinions to share and was calmer than Josh Macuga.

I tried, but…: The Handmaid’s Tale.  I tried to watch this, but I just could not get into it.

 

 

Top Actors/Actresses- Streaming

If you thought organizing that list of streaming TV shows was difficult, how about going through them to figure out the Best Actors, Actresses, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress?  insanity.  But I got it done.

Best Actor- Streaming Series

#10.  Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)

#9.  Tyler Alvarez (American Vandal)

#8.  Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter)

#7.  Neil Patrick Harris (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

#6.  Ian McShane (American Gods)

#5.  Dylan Minnotte (13 Reasons Why)

#4.  Peter Serofinowicz (The Tick)

#3.  Jon Bernthal (The Punisher)

#1.  TIE :  Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) and Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things 2)

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I couldn’t decide.  I was certain this one was going to Kyle MacLachlan when he was playing basically three completely different characters in Dougie Jones, Mr. C and the one and only Dale Cooper, but then Noah Schanpp blew me away with his tortured performance as Will Byers in Stranger Things 2.  So they will share! 

 

Best Actress- Streaming Series

#10.  Wynona Ryder (Stranger Things 2)

#9. Robin Wright (House of Cards)

#8.  Betty Gilpin (GLOW)

#7.  Krysten Ritter (The Defenders)

#6.  Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things 2)

#5.  Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black)

#4.  Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet)

#3.  Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black)

#2.  Katherine Layford (13 Reasons Why)

#1.  Alison Brie (GLOW)

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GLOW was such an entertaining show, and it was led by Alison Brie.  She took what could have been a singular character and made her multi-faceted.  Brie became the leader of the GLOW women and she made that show super. 

 

Best Supporting Actor- Streaming Series

#12.  Michael Horse (Twin Peaks)

#11.  Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things 2)

#10.  David Lynch (Twin Peaks)

#9.  Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal)

#8.  Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks)

#7. Sean Astin (Stranger Things 2)

#6.  Holt McCallany (Mindhunter)

#5.  Griffin Newman (The Tick)

#4.  Cameron Britton (Mindhunter)

#3.  Jackie Earle Haley (The Tick)

#2.  Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Punisher)

#1.  Marc Meron (GLOW)

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Marc Meron is playing a “redeemable asshole” who starts out more concerned about his own career than the woman he has working for him at GLOW.  That changes as the series progresses.  He is a drunk.  He is a smart-mouthed jerk.  But we love him any way. 

 

Best Supporting Actor- Streaming Series

#12.  Hannah Gross (Mindhunter)

#11.  Karly Rothenberg (American Vandal)

#10.  Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist)

#9.  Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black)

#8.  Emily Browning (American Gods)

#7.  Wai Ching Ho (The Defenders)

#6.  Liv Henson (Santa Clarita Diet)

#5.  Taryn Manning (Orange is the New Black)

#4. Catharine Coulson (Twin Peaks: The Return)

#3.  Naomi Watts (Twin Peaks: The Return)

#2.  Laura Dern (Twin Peaks: The Return)…. I am sure Diane would say… “F**k you, EYG”

#1.  Gillian Anderson (American Gods) 

Image result for gillian anderson american gods

Gillian Anderson appeared as Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie, Lucy Ricardo, Scarlett O’Hara in American Gods.  Her actual character’s name is Media, one of the new world Gods that opposed Odin and the old gods.  Either way, Anderson’s performances as these iconic people are some of the best moments of the series.

Top Streaming Shows of 2017

Okay, here comes the hardest of the categories of television to determine.  The Top 20 Streaming Shows of 2017.  This includes series from Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, HBO, Starz, and Amazon Prime.

Here is the problem.  There is legitimately 5-6 shows on these services that could, arguably, be the number one show.  It seems like every week Netflix is putting out a new series to binge. It is tough to keep up.

So this is my list of 20 series.  It is quite possible that I have forgotten something.  For example, I did forget to include Sherlock (BBCA) on the cable list.  Sherlock happened early in 2017 and it slipped my mind, however, it was truly wonderful.  Looking at the cable list, it would probably have come in around #4 or 5.  And that wasn’t even the number of shows available as is on these streaming services.  If I forget one or two, my apologies to them.

I started compiling the list by pulling out what I considered the bottom 5.  Shall we start…

 

Image result for big mouth#20.  Big Mouth (Netflix).  A good year for animation, this takes all the controversy and shock value of shows like South Park and Family Guy and amps it up to 11.  Very dirty and yet very funny… this is what adolescent children are really like.  And make sure you stay away from that pillow.

 

Related image#19.  Castlevania (Netflix).  One of the best adaptations of a video game put together ever.  The short four episode series left the audience wanting more.  We had Dracula in the first episode and just not enough of him the rest of the way.  But Castlevania is coming back for season two so hopefully there will be further excitement coming.

 

Related image#18.  House of Cards (Netflix).  Oh how the mighty have fallen.  This show was once in the top five, if not higher, but it has not aged well and it suffers from not being as wild and corrupt as the real world politics actually are.  It is too much like our current world and House of Cards is juts not the fun escapism that it once was.  Plus, you know, Kevin Spacey.

 

Image result for iron fist#17.  Iron Fist (Netflix).  This was the first chink of the armor of Marvel.  Up until Iron Fist, everything Marvel did was praised and loved by the masses.  Iron Fist ended that streak.  I still say that Iron Fist was not as bad as the world made it out to be, but there can be no denying that it simply did not measure up to Daredevil, Jessica Jones or Luke Cage.  I do have hope that they learn from the mistakes of season two and elevate this material, because Danny Rand deserves a huge hit.

 

Image result for comrade detective#16.  Comrade Detective (Amazon Prime).  This was so funny.  You had what was billed as a series from the 1980s that aired in Communist Romania during the midst of the Cold War. Supposedly, this series was discovered and dubbed in English.  With the voices of Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the series promoted Communist ideals while having a seriously epic mystery story.  Comrade Detective was a wonderful surprise that few were expecting, but all enjoyed.

 

Related image#15.  The Defenders (Netflix).  The Defenders was supposed to be the Avengers of the Netflix series, and it was sort of.  The show was fine, but there was just something that was missing.  It was not near as epic as it could have been. Still, we got the uniting of Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones, and the four of them together really was cool.

 

Related image#14.  A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix).  A series from the very early part of the year, Netflix adapted the Lemony Snicket books into an awesome series with Neil Patrick Harris returning to the over the top world of villainy as Count Olaf.  Plus, the addition of the narrator, Lemony Snicket himself, as played by Patrick Warburton was a stroke of genius.  The series did deviate from the books and the Jim Carrey movie somewhat, so you can watch them all and still be surprised.

 

Related image#13.  Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix).  This is extremely dark and funny.  Who would ever think that they would see Drew Barrymore chewing away on the dead body of a man?  And that it would be hilarious.  Drew gets turned into a type of a zombie and craves human flesh, but she clings to her humanity as her husband, Timothy Olyphant, desperately tries to save her.  But does she want to be saved?  How does her new form affect her family dynamic?  This was another awesome surprise from Netflix.

 

Image result for hulu's runaways#12.  Runaways (Hulu).  Marvel television had some setbacks in 2017 (especially Iron Fist and Inhumans) but they were back on their winning ways with the adaptation of the comic series Runaways.  It has been a slow burn so far into the season (8 episodes in and they haven’t run away yet), but I like how they are focusing on the characters.  And not just the characters of Chase, Molly, Gert, Karolina and Alex, but also their parents.  Their parents are not just the stereotypical evil villains.  They are real people who have made bad decisions and decisions for selfish reasons.  Plus, the show has Old Lace, the dinosaur.  Amazing!

 

Image result for the keepers netflix#11.  The Keepers (Netflix).  I was so compelled by this 7-episode documentary series about this cold case from the 1960s that I could not believe it.  The series tells the story of the unsolved murder of Cathy Cesnik, a beloved nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore.  But it turned into more than just a decades old murder case.  It looked at religion, the sexual misconduct by priests and other religious leaders and presents a haunting tone that sticks with you.  You cannot help but wish for more of a resolution than what you get and you will be thinking about Cathy for days after.

 

Image result for orange is the new black season 5#10.  Orange is the New Black (Netflix).  A consistent show, OITNB had a tremendous season with the riot at the prison putting the power into the prisoners’ hands.  What followed was a remarkable commentary on humanity and how these few freedoms could really affect how you are as a person.  The series left all of our main characters in a desperately precarious position as the police were on their way into the prison.  Who would live and who would die?  I guess we have to wait to find out.  Orange upped its game again this season.

 

Related image#9.  American Gods (Starz).  The adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel was startling good television despite the fact that the whole first season was nothing more than set-up for season two.  It took us the entire season to reveal that Ian McShane’s character was Odin.  The show also had perhaps one of the best performances Gillian Anderson has given in quite a while as one of the present day gods who showed up as Lucy Ricardo or David Bowie.  Well see what season two has in store for us.

 

Image result for 13 reasons why#8.  13 Reasons Why (Netflix).  The adaptation of a YA book turned into a sensation on Netflix.  Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford were truly wonderful in their roles as tortured teens, one listening to the suicide tapes made by the other.  It is a tragic story that still manages to show how important life can be and how it is important to treat each other with respect and love instead of with callousness and disrespect.  There will be a season two, but I kind of wish they would have left the powerful series as a one and off.  We’ll see what happens.

 

Image result for mindhunter#7.  Mindhunter (Netflix).  I have a hard time putting this at number seven because it was so great.  Based on one of my favorite books of all time, this follows the character of Ford, an FBI agent who helps revolutionize a style of interview that would lead to the ability to profile serial killers, rapists and bombers.  The series is outstanding and includes several actors playing real life serial killers.  Mindhunter was a new way to look into the depth of the human mind.

 

Image result for american vandals#6.  American Vandal (Netflix).  This is one of the most original series of the year.  A spoof of the Making a Murderer type of documentary, American Vandal follows an investigation searching for the truth of who spray painted a bunch of penises on the cars of a school’s faculty.  The mockumentary style is perfect for this subject matter that keeps you laughing with each and every unbelievable twist that the series throws at you.

 

Image result for glow netflix#5.  Glow (Netflix).  Only at number five?  I never would have guessed, because this series that tells the real life story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is some of the best television we have seen in years.  The wrestling part is so authentic that I, as a wrestling fan, had to stand up an applaud.  And the characters are so deep and amazing.  Alison Brie is the star but the real scene stealing performance was from Marc Meron as the “creative” force behind the show.  GLOW was more than a wrestling program, but it also showed what people can see in wrestling.  It is a special series.

 

Related image#4.  Stranger Things 2 (Netflix). There was some concern that the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things would not live up to the first season.  Season one came out of nowhere to be a cultural phenomenon.  However, that worry quickly subsided as I think the second season actually exceeded the first, especially with the tour de force performance from Noah Schnapp.  Noah had the least amount of screen time in season one, but here he was front and center and delivered a performance that many seasoned adult actors would wish they could do.  He displayed the full range of emotions and broke your heart with his struggles to overcome the evil within him.  Stranger Things was an epic success.

 

Image result for the tick amazon prime#3.  The Tick (Amazon Prime).  The return of the Big Blue Super Hero known as the Tick brought the humor of a super hero spoof back to our screens once again.  Improving upon the original pilot, The Tick brought us a great adventure with our favorite arachnid themed super hero (not including a spider) and his sidekick, Arthur.  Arthur continued to be the focus of the story, and we got some answers to those nagging questions such as Is this all just in Arthur’s mind? or Is the Terror dead?  The next six episodes of The Tick will drop in February and to that I say, “Spooooooooooooooooooooooon!”

 

Image result for the punisher#2.  The Punisher (Netflix).  Marvel TV got right back on track with the best version of the Punisher that has ever been on screen.  The show was brutally violent, filled with action, but also spent time to develop these characters.  I never thought the Punisher could be a character drama and be successful, but that is exactly what we got.  I loved every second of the series that was way more cerebral than I ever thought it could be.

 

Related image#1.  Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime).  I waited over 25 years to get this series, and it did not disappoint.  However, you absolutely had to be patient and be a fan to follow it.  I understand completely how people were getting frustrated by it.  I was too a few times.  I wanted the real Dale Cooper back.  Not Dougie Jones (though I grew to appreciate Dougie).  When Dale Cooper finally emerged from his Dougie Cooper dream-like state and proclaimed that “I am the FBI” the Twin Peaks fans everywhere exploded in joy.  It is one of the best moments of the year.  In true Twin peaks fashion, the conclusion to the 18-part series was anything but tied up Image result for log ladyinto a nice little bow.  In fact, it is like trolling its fan base.  However, if you look that the production value of the series, the humor and dialogue, the character development, the oddity, Twin Peaks was more than television.  It was like an 18 hour film that brought its fans along on a wild and somewhat satisfying ride, showing bits of what we loved and reminding us how damn good that cherry pie was.  There was also a beautiful goodbye to the Log Lady, Margaret, aka Catherine Coulson, who had died soon after the filming for the series concluded.  The scene where Margaret was on the phone with Hawk, telling him that she was going to die, was heartbreaking on the show and in real life.   Twin Peaks: The Return was some damn good television.

TV Game Shows

Game shows have always been a staple of television, and this year there were a couple that I had to see.

Top Six Game Shows

Related image#6.  The $100,000 Pyramid.  One of my old favorites from childhood returned with Michael Strahan in the Dick Clark hosting position.  The biggest difference was the bump in the amount available to the contestants.  $100,000 is a serious chunk of change.  Celebrities were always fun as well.

 

Image result for 2017 jeopardy

#5.  Jeopardy.  The Alex Trebek quiz show is always a classic and is entertaining every time.  There are great questions and very intelligent people involved.  It always makes you feel smart when you get a question that the contestants miss.

 

Image result for 2017 battle of the network stars ryan paevey#4.  Battle of the Network Stars.  Not really a game show, per se, but I absolutely loved the return of another childhood favorite.  The ABC competition had some flaws, but the idea is always a winner.  The show could have benefited from an audience cheering on the celebrities, but there were some real serious attempts at athleticism… and some not so much.  And there were several moments that can only be had by celebrities.

Image result for steve harvey's family on family feud#3.  Celebrity Family Feud.  Steve Harvey is always a hoot, but if you put him on a stage with a bunch of celebrities playing the classic Family Feud game, you have gold.  The best?  When Steve Harvey’s own family played the game this season… hilarity ensued.

 

Image result for 2017 match game#2. The Match Game.  Alec Baldwin led the second season of this classic game show where the contestants need to get ready to match the stars.  It is funny.  It is dirty.  It is controversial.  Some times you cannot believe what they have said.  I think Gene Reyburn, Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers would be proud.

 

Related image#1.  The Gong Show.  Who’s a cheeky monkey? Yes, I AM!!!! With its host, “British comedian” Tommy Maitland, I never thought that this show would become so vital in my life as it did, but I absolutely LOVED the revival of the Gong Show.   Sure it is stupid.  Yes, there are some TERRIBLE acts.  Actually, the worse the acts were, the better the show turned out.  But there were some great acts too.  Image result for 2017 gong show best acts zombie balletI will always remember the epicness of Zombie Ballet, creepy contortionist named Liv Twisted, Uprooted among others.  There were some Thursday nights when I went to a movie premiere and I found myself speeding home with the hopes of getting there in time for the Sing a-Long.  Shaving Cream was never so popular as it was with Albert.  Each and every Thursday, I was ready Related imagefor the funsies, and The Gong Show never failed to deliver them to me.  I do not care about those people who held their noses up for this show.  They are entitled to their opinion, though in this case, their opinion receives a big gong from me.   All I needed to send me into an ultimate Geek-gasm was a special guest appearance from the Unknown Comic!

Image result for 2017 gong show best acts zombie ballet

Actors/Actresses in Network Shows

The following are the top actors/actresses from the section of Network TV.

Best Actor in Network TV

#6.  Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor)

#5.  KJ Apa (Riverdale)

#4.  Kiefer Sutherland (Designated Survivor)

#3.  Ben McKenzie (Gotham)

#2.  Cole Sprouse (Riverdale)

#1.  Clark Gregg (Agents of SHIELD)

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Clark Gregg brings a perfect tone to Agents of SHIELD, a serious nature mixed with a wit filled with humor.  Agent Coulson is the heart and the soul of the show.

 

Best Actress in Network TV

#5.  Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time)

#4.  Chloe Bennett (Agents of SHIELD)

#3.  Kerry Washington (Scandal)

#2.  Minnie Driver (Speechless)

#1.  Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder)

Image result for annalise baby saves

Nothing has been as powerful this year as Viola Davis’s Annalise trying to save Laurel’s premature baby by giving the baby CPR.  Viola Davis is not afraid to let herself look as if she is falling completely apart either. Tears, snot, spittle…everywhere.  Just dramatic as can be.

 

Best Supporting Actor in Network TV

#7.  Mason Cook (Speechless)

#6.  John Ross Bowie (Speechless)

#5.  Michael Cerveris (Gotham)

#4.  Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)

#3.  Jack Falahee (How to Get Away With Murder)

#2.  Donal Logue (Gotham)

#1.  Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time)

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Colin O’Donoghue has taken the villainous scoundrel Captain Hook and turned him into a heroic figure on Once Upon a Time, and this past season, he even broke into song.  The musical episode of Once Upon a Time is surpassed only by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Once More With Feeling episode. Hook also was able to marry his true love in Emma in the season finale.  Now, in the recent season Colin is playing a different version of Hook.  He is a star.

 

Best Supporting Actress in Network TV

#5.  Morena Baccarin (Gotham)

#4.  Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time)

#3.  Karla Souza (How to Get Away with Murder)

#2.  Ming Na-Wen (Agents of SHIELD)

#1.  Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of SHIELD)

Image result for Elizabeth Henstridge shield season 4

Jemma has had a tough year.  When she found herself trapped in the Framework, a computer program world, she realized that not only was the love of her life Fitz running Hydra, but that she was dead.  So she had to drag herself out of the grave.  No matter what Jemma is going through, Elizabeth Henstridge gives an emotional and powerful performance.  She is long overdo for recognition for her outstanding efforts on Agents of SHIELD.

Top 25 Schmoedown Matches and More

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This is a new category to add to the Year in Review section of the EYG site.  That is because the Movie Trivia Schmoedown has become a huge thing on the internet and I never miss an episode. So I compiled a list of matches from 2017. I have also linked the YouTube video on the list.

After the list, I will be adding some other specific awards connected to the Schmoedown.  I know the Movie Trivia Schmoedown will be having their own winners and I have not been swayed by those (since I don’t know what they are a of this writing.)

Oh … and by the way, just like all of these lists in the Year in Review, there are SPOILERS in here, especially for the Schmoedown Spectacular 2, which was just released.  Be warned.

 

Top 25 Matches

#1.  JTE defeats Drew McWeeny, Oct. 3.  LINK  This match up went multiple sudden death rounds and was as full of drama as any have ever been.

#2.  Star Wars Iron Man Match- Sam Witwer defeated Ken Napzok Dec. 22 LINK

#3. Rotten Tomatoes defeated IGN, May 23rd  LINK

#4.  The Patriots defeated Team Trek, Feb. 14th.  LINK

#5.  Josh Macuga defeated “Finstock” Marc Andreyko, Feb. 3rd.   LINK

#6.  Dan Murrell defeated Mark Reilly and John Rocha, Triple Threat, July 7th   LINK

#7.  The Patriots defeated Modok, August 11   LINK

#8.  John Rocha defeated Dan Murrell, Feb 17  LINK

#9.  Above the Line defeated Wolves of Steel, Sept. 12  LINK

#10.  Star Wars 5-Way Match- Sam Witwer becomes #1 contender, Dec. 8  LINK

#11.  Free for All- Samm Levine winsLINK PART 1   LINK PART 2

#12.  The Patriots defeated Above the Line, Dec. 22  LINK

#13.  Kristian Harloff defeated Jeff Sneider, July 7.  LINK

#14.  Jeremy Jahns wins Fatal 5-way Innergeekdom match, March 31  LINK

#15.  Manager’s Bowl- Emma Fyffe wins, Dec. 22   LINK

#16.  Late to the Party defeated Critically Acclaimed, Aug. 25  LINK

#17.  Jeremy Jahns defeated Robert Meyer Burnett.  May 12  LINK

#18.  Kristian Harloff defeated William Bibbiani.  May 19.  LINK 

#19.  Top Ten defeated the Schmoes.  March 21.  LINK

#20.  Jason Inman wins Fatal 4-way match.  Nov. 24  LINK

#21.  Team Action defeated Top Ten.  Sept 13th  LINK

#22.  Jason Inman defeated Hector Navarro, Dec. 22   LINK

#23.  Blofeld’s Cat defeated “Nerd’s Watch” Rachel Cushing, hanidcap. Dec. 22 LINK

#24.  Hector Navarro defeated Jeremy Jahns.  July 7.  LINK

#25.  Mike Kalinowski defeated Brianne Chandler.  Oct 31  LINK

 

Image result for samm levine schmoedownPlayer of the Year:  Samm Levine.  This is a no brainer.  Levine ended the year as champion after winning the Ultimate Schmoedown singles tournament, winning the Ultimate Schmoedown team tournament (with Drew McWeeny), winning the Free for All.  Quite a run this year.

Image result for patriots schmoedownTeam of the Year: The Patriots.  Duh.  You may not like them, but you cannot argue with the fact that JTE and Jeff Sneider defeated everyone they faced this year.  Most of the matches were dramatic and close.  An argument could be made that Team Trek should have beaten them.  But in the end, The Patriots are 8-0.

Image result for rachel the crusher cushingRookie of the Year:  Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing.  Rachel has been on the precipice of being a champion, coming up just short.  You forget that Rachel is a rookie.  Her battle against Blofeld’s Cat in a handicap match showed how much heart she has.  She is a future champion without a doubt.

SpearSpearSpearBest Moment:  Andrew Ghai spears John Rocha.  I almost made this Ken Napzok turning heel, but when Andrew Ghai of Team Action tackled The Outlaw after Team Action’s loss was completely unexpected.  Now, it was so well done that I thought that it was maybe real.  If it were real, then I wouldn’t list it here because that would have been a terrible thing.  But as a WWE style bit, this was awesome.  And big props to John Rocha for taking that spear like a champion.

Image result for ken napzok turns heelBest Turn:  Ken Napzok turns heel.  Star Wars Champion at that time, Ken Napzok turned heel and joined the group he had sworn to fight against, The Lion’s Den.  Rachel Cushing talked him down and convinced him to have a match as Nerd’s Watch vs. Blofeld’s Cat.  Then, Ken no-showed the match, forcing Rachel into a handicap match.  Ken then arrived after her defeat to rub it in.  Just a huge heel move from a great performer.

promoBest Promo:  Ken Napzok and Kristian Harloff.  This was just epic.  After Ken had ditched Rachel, Kristian came into the interview area to confront Ken, and what happened was absolute gold.  Ken was absolutely on fire, spouting off perfect excuses for his turn, reasons that you could understand.  Ken even brought up Kristian not naming Ken commissioner.  It was amazing work from both of these men and it really added a gravitas to the storyline.

Image result for schmoedown spectacular 2Best Special:  Schmoedown Spectacular 2, Dec. 22nd.  Every special has been tremendous, but this one was extra special.  Great matches, lots of storyline work, amazing graphics from Bryan Ward, every back stage vignette is great.  It was so much fun and we got a good chunk of Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis (in the world’s greatest Tetris suit).

 

Image result for lions den schmoedownBest Faction:  The Lion’s Den.  They had a tough night at the Spectacular but they are easily the one that is above the others.  Now, perhaps Emma Fyffe will put together an awesome one, but, for now, the Lion’s Den continues to be the top faction.

Image result for lions den schmoedownBest Manager:  Tom Dagnino.  Another one who you may hate, but Tom Dagnino is entertaining.  He is great on the mike and just engages the audience to hate him.

 

Truly love the Movie Trivia Schmoedown and I am so looking forward to the next season of the show.  Congrats to Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis and everyone else involved in creating such a fantastic program for YouTube.

 

 

 

Top Network TV Shows of 2017

The next category of television we will be looking at will include the Network shows.  I have had less here than in past years, and there are many here that I have slowly faded out of my watching queue.  There are only so many hours in a day.

Still, there are some that I must see each and every week.

#10.  The Mayor (ABC).  Okay, so this is one that I have fallen behind again.  Each episode has had some familiarity to it and I have not caught up.  Still, it has appealing actors and a cute story to it.

#9.  Ghosted (FOX).  I have really liked this series, especially with the relationship between LeRoy and Max.  I wish the show had more time to expand on each episode’s story.  It should either have two part episodes or it should be an hour.  But so far, Ghosted has been very entertaining.

#8.  Scandal (ABC).  This is the final season for Scandal, and, unfortunately, they have turned the White Hat wearing Olivia Pope into a master villain, like dear old dad.  I assume the ending will be her eventual redemption, but, for me, it might be too late already.

#7.  Designated Survivor (ABC).  President Kirkman has had less conspiracy this season and more internal White House drama.  At times, the show is extremely solid, and other times it feels a tad fluffy.  Still, Kiefer Sutherland is always enjoyable.  But what about that final scene with Kirkman’s wife?

#6.  Speechless (ABC).  This comedy has been very consistent each week with a lot of laughs, some bad behavior, and a family who loves one another.  J.J. is allowed to be every bit as bad as his siblings can be and that is refreshing.

#5.  How to Get Away with Murder (ABC).  Holy crap, that mid season finale was intense.  Those scenes with Annalise desperately trying to save the newborn baby was insanity.  I was literally holding my breath the entire time until that cry came out over the black screen.  Amazing.

#4.  Whose Line is it Anyway (CW).  Improv continues to be fun and enjoyable as the best improvisation comedians on the planet show what they can do.  Colin, Ryan and Wayne are brilliant.  We also got a guest star of Chip Esten. Greta stuff.

#3.  Riverdale (CW).  Melodrama everywhere.  The first season was a creepy and extremely fun adaptation of  Archie and his friends.  It reminded some of Twin Peaks.  Season two has been a little less solid as the Black Hood storyline has stalled the season so far.  Hopefully, Riverdale can get back on track.

#2.  Gotham (FOX). Last year’s number one is still very high on my list.  I loved the Professor Pyg story that Gotham told this year (though I am not a fan of how it has seemingly ended) and you get compelling characters such as Penguin, Ed Nygma, Harvey Bullock etc.  Bruce Wayne needs a good spanking, but other than that… Gotham hits some serious heights.

Image result for agents of shield#1. Agents of SHIELD (ABC).  SHIELD reclaimed the number one show after we saw Ghost Rider, the LMD storyline, and this season’s trip into the future and space to battle the Kree.  AoS is well written and extremely witty every week and never fails to double down on the show’s strength… and that is the wonderful group of agents we love.  Friday night may not be a great night for SHIELD rating wise, but it still is the best show around.

 

Others: Once Upon a Time, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon,

Worst show I watched:  Inhumans.

The Anna Devane Kick Ass Female

KickAssFemale

This is the third year for the Kick Ass Female Award.  In a world where women’s power has become something even more apropos, this is the award for the ladies.  I have always been a fan of kick ass females, all the way back to Anna Devane on General Hospital.  So here is the official award, now and forever named after Finola Hughes’ GH character, one of my favorite females of all time.

Previous Winners:  Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Mockingbird (Marvel Comics)

#10.  Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).  Nebula came back and fought her sister Gamora and came to an understanding.  Nebula may have a big role against her father in the upcoming Avengers movies.

#9.  The Amazons (Wonder Woman).  The Amazons, led by Queen Hippolyta, were a major part of the DC movie Wonder Woman and they had an important scene in Justice League as well.

#8.  Lorraine (Atomic Blonde).  Lorraine had one of the best fight scenes of the year inside a hallway in a movie that was somewhat entertaining.

#7.  Carol (The Walking Dead).  The queen of the apocalypse continues to be the most dominant female on the Walking Dead.  Heck, I would rather see Rick, Daryl, Negan or any other character coming after me rather than Carol.

#6.  Hela (Thor: Ragnarok).  Hela became Thor and Loki’s sister in Thor: Ragnarok and came back to kick some Asgardian ass after the death of Odin.  Hela showed off both her dominant side and her beauty thanks to gorgeous Cate Blanchett.

#5.  Eleven (Stranger Things).  The one and only Eleven came back from the Upside Down to grab control of her powers and help battle the monsters tormenting her friends.  Plus, she got to dance with Mike.

#4.  Rey (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).  Rey has assumed the place at the top of the mountain among the Jedis and she battled Kylo Ren in the throne room of Snoke.  This fight scene was one of the best of the year.  Spoilers…. she then lifted some rocks.

#3.  Valkyrie (Thor: Ragnarok).  One of the true standouts of one of the best movies of the year, Tessa Thompson brought us a great character as well as a kick ass woman.  Valkyrie had her story that fit beautifully into the film, and she showed off her mighty skills.

#2.  Laura (Logan). She who would be X-23 was a brutal and wild animalistic little girl cloned from Logan.  Of course, the wild child was more than just a beast.  She was a huge part of the heart of one of the best movies of the year.  And the acting job Dafne Keen gave was amazing.

Related image#1.  Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman) However, it had to be.  After starring in one of the most beloved movies of the summer and easily the most beloved DCEU movie ever, Wonder Woman, as portrayed by Gal Gadot, shut all the haters and the doubters up.  I did not think Gal Gadot had it in her, but I was proven oh so wrong.  Wonder Woman was a transcendent figure in pop culture this year, and I can say that it is about time.