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5 TV Shows that are Worth it - 12 Days of TMA

We continue our 12 Days of The Movie Advocate Series today with a look at 5 TV shows that we think are "worth it."

Ryan's List:
5. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW)

A big “FUCK YOU” to Netflix streaming for this entry. It just kept showing up on the “Suggestions For You” category, and finally, one lazy weekend, I gave in. “That was terrible,” I said to The Boyfriend upon conclusion of the first episode, “d’you wanna watch another one?” Now I’m hooked like a toddler on meth, even though I barely follow the plots. Team Damon, all the way.

4. HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL (HGTV)

I HATE ALL THESE PEOPLE. THEY DO NOT DESERVE SUCH NICE HOMES.

3. AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)

Is it good? Not really. “American Horror Story” is totally offensive to gays, black people, those with Down’s Syndrome, teenagers, abortionists, Jessica Lange, women in general, psychics, psychologists, men, real estate agents, and ghosts. The plot is ridiculous, even for a haunted house show. The acting is hammy bordering on unwatchable. The violence is gratuitous, the nudity even more so. The tendency to use real, horrible tragedies (Columbine, for serious.) as inspiration for a cable-soap about ghosts and demon babies is about three bridges too far. But GODDAMN if I can’t take my eyes off it. (that may have something to do with Dylan McDermott’s impeccable naked ass, which is in virtually every frame, and should be credited separately in the opening titles)

2. ENGLIGHTENED (HBO)

The penultimate episode, in which Diane Ladd’s character wandered around her house and then went to the grocery store, was probably the most riveting 30 minutes of television in 2011 and nothing happened. The plot moved forward about ¾ of an inch. NOTHING HAPPENED. It’s Office Space as an existential ½ hour comedy. I Heart Huckabees meets Mary Tyler Moore meets Norma Rae. Laura Dern is the best thing to happen to pay-cable since Lisa Kudrow (LONG LIVE THE COMEBACK), and the show will almost certainly never see a second season. A bleak, hilarious, watch-through-your-fingers half-hour that I look forward to all week long.

1. !!!!!!!!!!GAME OF THRONES!!!!!!!!!! (HBO)

I wasn’t expecting to like it. Castles? Dragons? Knights? Are you fucking kidding me?! Then I watched the first episode. It’s TV for smart people (I had to take notes, seriously) and people who like to see graphic, televised sex (I DO)! All the actors are good! The sets look expensive and convincing! There’s incest and crazy plot twists and intrigue! Sword fights and beheadings like CUH-RAZY. Also, Jon Snow is my TV boyfriend, and we’re getting married soon. We’ll live at The Wall, and I will warm his furs and pour his mead, and scratch his Direwolf behind its ears, and do his bidding as he so chooses. If you don’t like this show, we can’t be friends.

Justin's List:
*Honorable Mention - Louie

I just started watching this show a couple of days ago. I'm about halfway through the first season. Louie fills the void that I have after a disappointing season of Curb your Enthusiasm. Louie C.K.'s television persona manages to be more sympathetic than Larry David's, and while the show doesn't have the same level of virtuosic plotting that the best seasons of Crub does, the slice of life style of the show manages to be incredibly moving and funny all at once. If I could verify that the rest of the episodes are as good as the ones I've seen, this would easily be #1.

5. Deadliest Warrior

The vast majority of pop-educational TV on the air is a bunch of big, dumb ridiculous B.S. Deadliest Warrior is the logical conclusion of History Channel programming. If you're not familiar with it, the premise is that two historical figures are compared to each other through weaponry and "x-factors" like courage or determination, and then a computer simulates who would win in a fight. The cast hacks at pig carcasses with swords and runs obstacle courses with historical weapons and then debates which person ate better. The match-ups range from drunken argument material like, who would win in a fight between a samurai and a viking? To the completely absurd like Al Capone vs. Billy the Kid.

4. Viva Pinata!

Wins the award for the weirdest kids show ever made. Sadly overlooked by people who would actually enjoy it. The premise is that there's this place called Pinata Island where the Pinatas leisurely spend their days in candy gardens fattening themselves up to be launched out of a cannon and broken to pieces at birthday parties. They're supposed to be honored about being smashed to bits for candy... It's a neon colored existential kids show. My favorite character is the Fudgehog.

3. Spaced

If you haven't seen Spaced, you need to. Spaced was a sitcom from the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz team. It's currently on Netflix Watch Instant. I would suggest the episode, "Epiphanies" from season one as a good barometer of if you'll like the series, or not.

2. South Park

I don't know how this show keeps getting better. On average, the season that just concluded was the best so far. There's some Colorado pride in this pick as well. I strongly suggest watching the episode, "You're Getting Old," if you're a lapsed fan. By far, South Park is the smartest show on TV.

1. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is my favorite show currently on air. the series deals with the goings on at the Parks and Rec department of a small town in Indiana. I really like that all the characters feel real, and are likeable. Parks and Recreation has the best writing of any TV show going on today.

Josh's List:
5. 24/7 Flyers and Rangers

The second installment of the best sports documentary out there. It's like "Hard Knocks" but better because you have zero preconceived notions about the players. I also love that they shoot it like its a Nat Geo show about animals.

4. Workaholics

It's like "It's Always Sunny" but a lot faster and a lot stranger. Probably the number one source for inside jokes at work for me too.

3. Wilfred

Who knew Elijah Wood was funny. A remake of a very dark comedy from Australia, this show captured my heart instantly. I think the exact moment came when I saw the dog take a rip from a bong and pass it to Wood while they were talking about ways to kill a man. Wilfred is someof the strangest and most hilarious TV you will see, hands down.

2. Game of Thrones

Forget "Boardwalk Empire", this is the best drama on HBO right now. Acting and story are right on and it is rare for me to say that for a fantasy show. I haven't read the books, but I don't have to because Iknow the show is better and who wants to read the page count equivalent of four Bibles.

1. American Horror Story

There have been shows that scare me and shows that intrigue me, butthere has never been a show that made me yell "oh shit" at 10:30 at night at the top of my lungs. We are like 10 episodes in and I literally have no idea what is going on or going to happen, but I needto watch more, I haven't felt this way about a show since season three of "Lost."

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