Nip/Tuck: Season 5 - Probably the worst season ever. The story arcs are anything but compelling, and the writers continually grasped for straws from the previous seasons' leftovers. There's a hint at the end that they're gearing up for a reboot. I'm hoping they give this show a massive facelift.
Jumanji, 1995 - No. I mean, I know it's a kids' movie, but the assumption that the audience has an IQ on par with characters this dumb is just insulting.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2008 - I had hoped the critics were too harsh, but no. It really just doesn't inspire. It's clunky and just doesn't flow the way the first couple movies did (The 3rd was over-rated). Harrison Ford is still (surprisingly) believable in an action role, and a lot of the right elements were there, but it just didn't happen for some reason.
Star Trek, 2009 - Saw it at the show. An amazingly well-balanced blend of action and humor. Most astounding of all? They actually found a way to make Trek cool for the first time since Part Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!
Rome: Season 2 - I was never happy with this series, and by the end I think they knew their cable empire was crumbling and so rushed through decades' worth of story just to put closure to it. Still, there was a lot of imagination involved in breathing life into figures whose history and deeds survive, but who are their characters? In the end, I actually liked this series more than I realized.
The Sopranos: Season 6, Part II - That other HBO show about violent ends comes to a similarly abrupt end. I always saw room for improvement here, but my criticisms are dulled by the fact that the show was innovative and eschewed clichés or even predictable story arcs right up to a conclusion that pissed off many... who apparently never understood the series after even six seasons.
Rolling Stones: Shine a Light - Scorsese directs a little concert with some interviews and a handful of guest performers. No surprises here. It's like The Last Waltz with better music and less character.
Fun with Dick and Jane, 2006 - Not much new and different than the original other than the casting of Jim Carrey which actually makes it work a lot better this go round and helped distract me from Tea Leoni (ugh; something about her. She's some sort of female Nick Cage to me).
PICKS OF THE LITTER: Star Trek finally managed to overtake Star Wars for the opposite reason as the latter failed in later years: It humanized characters to the point even those of us without Aspergers or social anxieties can actually care for them. And the The Sopranos? Not a perfect series, but the influence it had will be marked. Watch this and think back to what tv was like before it.
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