Friday, July 24, 2009

10 Not-Canceled-Yet Shows that are Mental Crack

Ever since the summer began, I have begun watching television shows again, albeit on my computer most of the time. I have discovered that some shows are absolutely addicting. Here are my top 10 current shows, in no particular order. Let me know if you disagree.

1. True Blood - This show is absolute crack for the mind. The storylines are insane, the characters are extremely loveable, and every episode manages to hit you with seemingly the biggest bombshell of your life. The killer isn't who you think it is, the monster isn't who you think it is, and nothing is ever what you think it is in this show. Plus, there is tons of blood, gore, sex, and creatures to absolutely fulfill your fantastical desires. Until the episode ends, of course.

2. The Real World: Cancun - With a fresh new cast and fresh new setting every season, The Real World somehow always ends up seeming to be a repeat of the same general plotlines, surprisingly. However, these plotlines never really get old, and when you add the hedonistic surroundings of Cancun during Spring Break to the mix, things get to boiling, FAST. Trust me, there is more sex, cursing, fighting, crying, and even blood in the first few episodes than one might find throughout entire past seasons. And trust me, when you hit episode 5, your heart will stop at least twice while you are watching it.

3. Damages - Glenn Close is a queen in the acting world, Ted Danson shows extreme dramatic versatility, Rose Byrne holds her own among Hollywood's greats, and the storyline will keep you invested, from the very first scene. The jumpy POV also keeps your attention, because in one episode, you might see someone dead, then see that person talking to a friend, then see that person being killed. From the moment Ellen steps out of that elevator in her trench coat, covered in blood, this show will have you hooked. Being a lawyer never seemed so downright dangerous.

4. Nip/Tuck - If you know me, then you know that if there is one show I am absolutely hooked on this summer, it's Nip/Tuck. The surgeries will awe you, sure, but when it comes down to it, it's the storyline that never lets you go. Drugs, sex, infidelity, pregnancy, sexual identity, abuse, body image issues, diseases, trust me, it's all in here, all given their appropriate times to shine and be spoken of. Sean McNamamara, Christian Troy, and their families are the most fucked up people you will ever have the experience of watching for 5 seasons. Plus, there is not a single actor in this show who's acting ability isn't of extreme quality. When you find out who is doing crystal meth and having sex in front of their newborn daughter, you might just start to cry. Beauty never looked so ugly.

5. Degrassi: the Next Generation - One thing is sure, Degrassi is a staple in teen drama, and won't be disappearing any time soon. While the newest cast members have yet to get their acting up to par like now college-attending favorites, the drama certainly doesn't end. I've always respected Degrassi for taking a typical teen issue, exposing it, and dealing with it positively in a way doesn't make people go "wow, that's so cheesy". And the storylines themselves improve as time goes on (can you say weed brownies, diabetic comas, and evictions from dormitories, all in the same 22 minute episode?). Anybody who watches one episode knows that Degrassi is your teenage do-right guilty pleasure. And... Drake used to play Jimmy on it.

6. Gossip Girl - New York Magazine didn't have the cast on it's cover with the headline "Best. Show. Ever." for nothing. This is my absolute favorite show. The storylines are literally too addicting to deal with, especially in the second season, and with the cliffhangers that the second season left us with, we know the shit is going to hit the fan. Plus, things are heading to college, which means no more private school exclusivity. Our privileged preps will have to survive amongst normal folk now, and we get to watch. Plus, Nate is going to Columbia, and GG films on location, so that is reason enough to watch. And, GG might just be the most talked about, buzzing show in recent memory, especially among the youthful crowd, prompting the question, if you're not watching Gossip Girl, what are you watching? Gossip Girl starkly proves that it's all fun and games, until the whole world is watching you play.

7. Southland - An NBC midseason replacement, Southland debuted at a random time of year and had an even more random number of season episodes, 7. I was looking for a drama, Southland had a short season, which always is good to me, so I said, meh, I'll take a look. What I discovered is NBC's audacity to look at South Central LA with less censors and more realism. The camera work is, at times, simply frightening with realism, and the acting and the storylines are stimulating and immediately pull you in. Not only will you not be expecting the teenage boy to be shot, you also won't expect to be shown the murder graphically, and you certainly won't expect it in the first 10 minutes of the first episode (well, you will now). That's the magic of "Southland", showing us that LA won't change without a gun fight.

8. Ugly Betty - Upscale fashion magazine, inhabited with the prissiest and most privileged of New York? Check. Evil super bitch willing to ruin anything to get what she wants? Check. Sluts, loyal gay dogs, manwhores, and prima donnas? Check. Ugly girl from Queens who has to deal with it all? Hmm.... something isn't right here. And "Ugly Betty" makes that clear immediately. The writing, the acting, and the storyline all create one overall feeling for the situation that Betty is in: awkwardness. And it's extremely funny. Vanessa Williams and Michael Urie as WIlhelmina Slater and Marc St. James, respectively, create one of the most over-the-top duos working on TV. And the antics never get old. Plus, Salma Hayek's parodies of campy telenovelas might make you laugh out loud. The Devil really does wear Prada, BUT ONLY THE SPRING/SUMMER 2009 LINE BECAUSE ONLY POOR PEOPLE WEAR PAST SEASONS! That's Ugly Betty for you.

9. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Not only the best of all the Law and Orders, SVU may just be the greatest crime drama on television today. It doesn't get old. It's been on for like 500 years, every episode is completely different and completely ridiculous, and yet, SVU is ratings gold. Why? Because America cannot get enough of sexual offenders. And neither will you.

10. Jeopardy - For every time you have flipped to ABC at 7 PM, looked at the set, which hasn't changed in maybe 60 years, mouthed the words "this is JEOPARDY", and stood in dead silence as you tried to answer questions that you have no knowledge of, Jeopardy has to make the list. I'm 17, I could've qualified for Kids Jeopardy and then went on that show and whipped all those little toddlers asses! This show will make you smarter. Or at least give you good tidbits to recite for awkward moments at the cocktail parties. What is... breasts? That is the question.

OK, I know there are tons of great shows out there, but these are the ones that have been keeping my attention so far. Let me know what I'm missing and why; I might make another list with more additions.

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Rebbie Jackson Ain't Got It Like Her Brother

Sorry, Rebbie, but this isn't gonna cut it, especially when everyone is looking at you saying, "your brother was the bomb! What happened?"

I completely love how awkward in her attempts to look magical at the beginning she is. She's like walking down the steps slowly and waving her arms with that constipation face on. Quality.