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Best TV Episodes of 2012

One of the reasons why I like television so much is that it feels more communal than any other form of entertainment. Usually walking out of a movie, my friends don’t like to talk about it as much but if they finished a season of a show they need someone to talk to. So once again, I have recruited my friends to talk about their favorite episodes of 2012. Below you will see a wide range of opinions and writing styles which makes it all the more fun.

Small warning, there is occasional foul language and in one circumstance a lot of foul language. Most of the time, the author is vague about what happens in the episode or season, but in cases where that is not true, a spoiler warning is attached.

At the very end of this very long article, check out what episodes occurred the most Top 10 lists as I formulated the results of everyone’s picks.

Archer

“The Man From Jupiter” (Season Three, Episode 4)

Archer

By Ryan Lugar

Burt and Ernie. Buzz and Woody. Cheech and Chong. These are some of the most dynamic duos over the course of history, but they all fall second to one last duo. A duo that can do no wrong, in all the wrong ways. I am of course referring to Sterling Archer and Burt Reynolds. The combination of Archer’s black turtleneck and Burt Reynolds’ amazing moustache cannot fail.

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Best TV Seasons of 2012

Man, TV was awesome this year. That’s such a strange thing to type when we had a pretty lousy fall premiere season for the networks. Reality shows continue to plague existence and they only seem to be getting lazier. Did you know the CW aired a game show that is a mix between musical chairs and Wipeout hosted by Jamie Kennedy? That’s the world we’re living in.

Yet we’re also living in a world where there is an excellent show on every week of the year. By the time Breaking Bad concludes, Homeland is about to start and then Justified is on and then Game of Thrones begins and then Mad Men starts up and as that concludes it’s time for Breaking Bad again. That’s perfect if you only watch those five shows, but the truth is the calendar is jam packed with amazing programming. I juggle a lot of shows and there are still plenty that I am missing. (See at the bottom). Continue reading

Best Films of 2012

2012 was an incredible year for films. Every year has had a handful of really great films that inspire and awe, but this year was something special. Usually I post my Top 10 with a bunch of honorable mentions, but I loved so many movies this year I’m posting a Top 35. For most that is a really high number, but sadly that still only counts as my top fraction. For I’ve now seen 169 films from 2012 thanks to being a film critic for The Film Yap, working at the Heartland Film Festival and having way too much downtime while I’m in Texas.

Before I start, I do want to clarify that I have seen a lot but I haven’t seen everything. Some of the big ones that I’ll catch up with one day are Rush and Bone, In the Family, I Wish, Headhunters, The Woman in the Fifth, 2 Days in New York, The Gatekeepers, No, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, The Central Park Five, Room 237, Bill W., The Ambassador, The Forgiveness of Blood, Red Hook Summer, Detachment, Crazy Horse and Dark Horse. Also maybe one day I’ll see The Amazing Spider-Man but I still can’t bring myself to do it.

Anywho, HERE WE GO!

#35 – Compliance

Compliance

Years ago I heard the story about the brutal scams being performed in fast food restaurants but they always seemed too fantastical to be real. Why would someone commit a strip search of a fellow employee just because a voice on the phone told them to do so? Compliance takes you through the hours of such a crime and the context is surprising. Logic is questioned and the more suspense is raised, the more you grow concerned for humanity. It’s a difficult movie to forget. Continue reading

Best TV Episodes of 2011

One of the reasons I love TV so much is because the format is so freakin’ goofy. People don’t sit around comparing chapters in novels because we see it as a whole. With TV it’s as much about the parts as it is about the whole. Episodes are written to be seen separately and usually they’re viewed that way. A show can be terrible, but has one episode that is masterful. A series of great episodes in a row is an awesome feeling. It’s more common to rewatch specific episodes instead of a multiple season show.

Yesterday I wrote about the full seasons that were stellar in 2011, but I also want to highlight certain 30 or 60 minute blocks that were amazing. Instead of just having my opinion again, I brought in some friends. Each of us wrote about the best episode of some of the best shows of last year. Then we each supplied our own personal Top 10 list of the Best TV Episodes of 2011. We avoided spoilers as much as possible, but you are officially warned.

Breaking Bad

(Season Four, Episode 11, “Crawl Space”)

Breaking Bad2

By Dennis Sullivan, Senior at Ball State University

[Major Breaking Bad Season Four plot SPOILERS]

Imagine you’re in way over your head. And I mean way, way, WAY in over your head. You know you’re going to be murdered in the near future and because of your actions, everyone you love is going down as well. Your spouse, your children, your brother-in-law are all in danger.

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Best TV Seasons of 2011

2011 was a great year for television and this was a year without some amazing shows like Mad Men or Sherlock. Instead we had a great number of returning shows make up for the lackluster new network arrivals. Shows that continually challenged how to tell a story and steered characters into fascinating new directions. Without further adieu—and with very limited spoilers—here are my Top Ten Seasons of 2011.

10) Archer Season Two

Archer

If a comedy gets to its second season, that usually means it’s time for something special. By this time the writers and cast have really been able to spend time with the show so it’s ready to go beyond its premise into something really crazy. To put it crudely, Archer got nuts. Archer Sterling is James Bond without all of the qualities that makes Bond an honorable spy. This season his plots became more insane while never losing focus on any of its incredible supporting cast. There is a multi-episode arc when Archer gets breast cancer that goes beyond being unprecedented and enters a league of its own. What’s that league called? THE DANGER ZONE

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