Category Archives: T.V.

2015: Top T.V. Shows

Television is by far my favorite medium and in this era of “peak TV,” — in which you simply “can’t watch everything” — putting together a best of list can be challenging. The glut of quality T.V. leads to triage watching and forcing myself to give up on shows if I’m not hooked by the fourth episode. (Incidentally, it took five episodes to get me over my Wire hump and I’m thankful everyday that I did.) There’s only so much time we get on this planet which makes it our most precious commodity. Live your lives, people!

Anyway, there are far too many buzzed-about shows I just didn’t get around to (Fargo, Better Call Saul, Halt and Catch Fire, The Knick)

Or ones that my friends recommended but I couldn’t fit into my schedule (Bloodlines, The Leftovers).

There are shows that I gave up on that magically improve afterwards (The Walking Dead). And then there are shows I quit and then patted myself on the back as the Internet validated my decision. Looking at you season 2 of True Detective.

I got to the Season 3 finale of a lackluster Orange is the New Black, saw that it was 90 minutes and said Fuck. That. I mean, I do occasionally read and exercise.

I have my biases: half hour sitcoms with 10-13 episodes are my sweetspot.

Also, House of Cards is garbage and I will never get those hours of my life back. Thanks Netflix!

*Honorable Mentions.

You’re the Worst (FX), Scandal (ABC), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), Justified (FX), Louie (FX), Brooklyn 99 (Fox), Empire (Fox), Inside Amy Schumer (Comdey Central), Odd Mom Out (Bravo), Girls (HBO), Game of Thrones (HBO), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Ballers (HBO), Scandal (ABC)

10. Show Me a Hero (HBO)

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“The job will not save you.” Sometimes doing the right thing is the only reward you get in life. And only Wire-creator David Simon could take something as dry as a public housing policy implementation and make it gripping.

9. BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

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An animated series about a depressed anthropomorphic horse shouldn’t be this good.

8. Master of None (Netflix)

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Aziz Ansari, former Parks and Recreation star, comedian and author, delivers Louie for the Texting Generation. He lays bare the twin existential crises of being confused about how to create substantive relationships and stumbling while trying to build a meaningful adult life. Some of the stories (and worldview) are ripped directly from his is excellent book, Modern Romance.

7. Silicon Valley (HBO)

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Clever tech bro satire packed between even more clever dick jokes.

6. UnREAL (Lifetime)

UnReal exposes the sick, twisted heart of shows like The Bachelor.

They say you never wanna see how sausage gets made. This over the top send up of The Bachelor/reality TV is worse than sausage. It’s scrapple.

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

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These two “take it there” and then when you think it’s gone as far is it can they take it another direction you didn’t see coming (see: the “pegging” episode)

4. Mad Men (AMC)

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Watching the series finale of this show was like saying good bye to your old friends. Your racist, sexist, alcoholic friends.

3. Veep (HBO)

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The dog finally catches the car she’s been chasing. Now what?

2. The Americans (FX)

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The central mystery of this show (since we already know how the Cold War ends) is whether this family of deep cover KGB spies will remain intact through the conflict. Work life balance is a problem for more than just office drones.

1. Mr. Robot (USA)

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It was hard to watch this show pull off this insane high-wire act without reminding yourself that it was on the same network that brought you Monk and Burn Notice. It’s like show creator Sam Esmail politely accepted any network executive shownotes and then promptly wiped his ass with them.

Best of 2014: Top 10 T.V. Shows

The best/worst thing about being alive in the year 2014 is the plethora of entertainment here to distract you from existential dread enrich your life. No where is this more true than in the world of television. Here is the best from the past year.

Scandal (ABC), Blackish (ABC), Girls (HBO), True Detective (HBO), Brooklyn 99 (Fox), Parks and Recreation (NBC), The Mindy Project (Fox), New Girl (Fox), Nathan For You (Comedy Central), Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central), Louie (FX) Silicon Valley (HBO), Bo Jack Horseman (Netflix)

10. Homeland (Showtime)

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Can’t stay mad at you forever, baby!

9. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

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Loses the novelty of season one ( because you can’t catch everyone off guard twice). But the writing is just as sharp.

8. You’re the Worst (FX)

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Two assholes on a romantic quest for true love.

7. Mad Men (AMC)

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After years of swirling around the drain, Don Draper finally hits rock bottom and starts to pick himself up.

6. The Honorable Woman (BBC/Sundance)

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Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

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Friendship is rare.

4. Transparent (Amazon)

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You don’t choose your family.

3. Game of Thrones (HBO)

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Hard to top the masterpiece that was season three, but somehow it does.

2. Veep (HBO)

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The West Wing was idealistic. House of Cards is a cynical nightmare. But nothing nails the absurdity of politics and ambition as (hilariously) well as Veep.

1. The Americans (FX)

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This spy drama is the best show on TV about family and responsibility since The Sopranos and Friday Night Lights went off the air. But not as sentimental as FNL because Eric Taylor never left someone’s bullet-ridden body in a West Texas ditch.

Oh, Hello!

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Hey guys! Welcome to the New and Improved, more user-friendly Antoine Vanderbilt. I have left the wilds of tumblr and crossed over to wordpress and I’m sure those words mean nothing to you, dear reader. But essentially wordpress allows me to build a more complex, customizable website. You may have also noticed that the domain is now just antoinevanderbilt.com.

Among the new features are a comment section, search categories and facebook and twitter sharing icons. This started as a lark by a bored grad student to entertain his friends. But now it’s grown so if you want to share with your friends, then by all means share posts and tell them about the site. I’ll be posting regularly.

I’m keeping open the old Antoine tumblr site and if you want the link just head to the upper right hand corner of the page. As for content, nothing is really changing. I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS. So you can expect the same hard-hitting investigations, pontifications on chain restaurant social apps, sportsball rants, heartfelt essays, 3500 word thinkpieces about rappers and dead authors, and listssomanylists.

So please enjoy, share and comment because we’re only one more opinion short of a perfect world.

– Antoine