Friday, May 19, 2017

Julian Gressel Scores His First MLS Goal for Atlanta United FC


Atlanta United FC rookie and former Friar Julian Gressel connected with a lefty strike for his first MLS goal against the Timbers in Portland.  The goal was the lone score for ATL and tied the game up against Portland 1-1 in the 45th minute.  The Timbers are in 4th place in the Western division and own a very strong homefield advantage with their crowd, so the goal must come extra sweet for Gressel against the good competition and hostile environment. 

 

Gressel was rightfully named the man of the match with his first goal.  Here's looking its the first of many to come for the PC product.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jarrod Neumann and Tate Boyce Receive All-American Lax Recognition for PC Friars


Inside Lacrosse released their first ever selections for their Media All-American Teams for this NCAA season and the Providence Lacrosse team was able to receive some recognition for their stellar season this year, with two members of their team being represented.

First up, being selected as a Third Team All-American was Senior Defensemen Jarrod Neumann.  Neumann, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, was integral to the Friars success this season, helping lead them to their first ever appearance in the Big East Championship game.  The team was anchored by their defense and Neumann was a huge part of that success, recording 27 groundballs and causing 18 turnovers during the season.  Neumann, the Northampton High School (MA.) graduate, also earned First-Team Big East honors and All-Tournament Honors for the Big East Tournament this year. 


Sophomore Goaltender Tate Boyce, along with Neumann, comprised the backbone of the Friar defense.  Boyce was named as an Honorable Mention All-American and looks primed to edge his way onto one of the 3 teams come next season.  The loss of Neumann will obviously hurt the defense, but Boyce sported a .569 save percentage and a 8.05 goals against average, both ranking 6th in the Nation.  Boyce was named Big East Goaltender of the Year, First Team All-Big East, and to the All-Big East Tournament Team.


The only Big East players named to the First or Second All-American Team were from Denver in Trevor Baptiste (1st) but Villanova Wildcat midfielders Jake Froccaro and Jack Curran were both named to the Third Team, along with Denver's Connor Cannizzaro.  Neumann, Boyce, Froccaro, and Curran made up 4 of the 7 players from the Big East Conference to be recognized by Inside Lacrosse for their play this season with Denver Defender Christian Burgdorf also receiving honorable mention honors.

Monday, May 8, 2017

PC Men's Ice Hockey Announces End of the Year Player Awards for the 2016-2017 Season


The Providence College Friars Men's Hockey Team announced their annual awards for their players for the 2016-2017 College Hockey season.  

Here's the list of the awards for this past season:

Lou Lamoriello Award (Team's Most Valuable Player): Brian Pinho


Gates Orlando Award (Most Points): Brian Pinho; 40 points


Robert Gaudreau, Jr. Award (Most Goals): Erik Foley; 15 goals


Michael Boback Award (Most Assists): Brian Pinho; 28 assists


Ron Wilson Award (Best Defensive Player): Kyle McKenzie


Thomas Eccleston, Jr. Award (Unsung Hero): Robbie Hennessey


Rev. Herman Schneider Award (Most Valuable Freshman): Josh Wilkins


John Ferguson Award (Highest GPA): Alex Cromwell (2x Winner)

PC Lacrosse Loses A Heartbreaker in the BE Championship 10-9 to Marquette

Providence Friars 9 
Marquette Golden Eagles 10

Photo via Glenn Osmundson / Providence Journal
Providence had a chance to win their first Big East Tournament Championship on their home field against last year's Big East Tournament Champion Marquette in front of a crowd of 2,398 on a perfect day for college lacrosse.  From all accounts from those in attendance, both coaches, and the guys on the field, the crowd and atmosphere were unbelievable as they witnessed a spectacular game from both teams in a back-and-forth match.

Providence was able to start quickly and take a 2-0 lead right off the bat while also holding the Golden Eagles scoreless in the first frame.

Marquette answered the call with 4 straight goals of their own to take a 4-2 lead and 4-3 lead into the half after a goal by leading PC goal-scorer Brendan Kearns (31 on the season).

Senior Ryan Schaffer netted his second straight hat trick in this game with all the goals coming in the second half, pouring in another three goals for the Friars while Ryan Nawrocki put two in the back of the net.  Those two guys helped Providence tie things up at 6-6 heading into the 4th quarter.

Marquette was able to score the eventual 10th goal and game-winner with 4:04 left in the 4th quarter.  They needed every single one of their goals as Providence made a valiant comeback attempt at the end of the match, narrowing the margin to 1 with a goal by scoring goals with 1:44 and 1:25 left in the game, both by Schaffer.  PC had a chance in the last seconds but a costly turnover sealed the game for the Friars in the end.



The killer for Providence in the game were the turnovers that don't show up on the above stat sheet for the game. The Friars had a total of 16 turnovers, 11 of which came in the 2nd half.  It was their face-off edge that really helped PC stay pretty even with Marquette throughout the match.

Schaffer's hat trick goals...

Number 1.

Number 2.

Number 3. 

Some additional highlights from the game for your viewing pleasure.



Head Coach Chris Gabrielli has done a great job with the Friars lacrosse team in his fifth year with the school as they were able to win their first ever Big East Tournament game this year against #15 ranked Villanova in the Semifinals.  The Friar squad looks poised to potentially take that next step as a team next season, especially with Big East Goaltender of the Year Tate Boyce returning as a Junior next year.

Post-Game Press Conferences:

Marquette



Providence


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Movie Review: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)


Movie: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Director: Wes Ball

Writer: T.S. Nowlin (screenplay) & James Dashner (novel)

Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Barry Pepper, Aidan Gillen, Lili Taylor, Rosa Salazar, & Ki Hong Lee

One-Line Plot Synopsis: After escaping the Maze, the kid runners must now make it through a dangerous desert filled with a whole new set of threats.



One weird thing about me, and I'm sure there are many, is that if I start a series or franchise, even if I dislike it, I feel some odd compulsion to finish it no matter what.  Unfortunately for me, it looks like they're going to keep churning out movies in this Maze Runner series.  The first movie was basically a poor man's Divergent, which is already a poor man's Hunger Games.  So, we're almost dirt poor when we get to the Maze Runner.  

Also, maybe this is just me, but The Scorch Trials is a pretty damn terrible name for a movie. Also, there weren't any Trials actually in the movie, so it must just be the name of the book...and no, I don't feel like looking up if that's true or not.

I'm pretty sure that Aidan Gillen can only play schemers and villains.  There something about his voice and mannerisms that just makes you not trust him no matter what kind of character he is playing.  Even when he played Tommy Carcetti in The Wire, there was something about him that you knew was kind of slimy and untrustworthy.

That's also what makes him perfect at playing Littlefinger in Game of Thrones.  It perfectly fits how you're supposed to feel about his character.  Gillen plays the villain in this movie but there's not really much depth going on with his character, plus the zombies, or whatever they actually are, provide much more scare than Gillen's character does.  His voice is that perfect blend of threatening and menacing though, so I'll give him that.

The action scenes in this movie were subpar.  Whenever the main character (Thomas) is running away from the zombies, he is always doing a half run and half look behind him thing that makes him basically jog the entire time.  It's incredibly annoying and frustrating once you realize it's happening because it then becomes the only thing that you notice...and basically 80% of the movie is the kids running, so that kinda stinks.  I don't know if he was in front a green screen a lot of the time so he kind of had to run in place or not but it looks ridiculous.  

Rating: 4/10

P.S. It's always nice to see Barry Pepper but he's better than this.

Movie Review: Begin Again (2013)


Movie: Begin Again (2013)

Director: John Carney

Writer: John Carney

Cast: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, James Corden, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfield, Mos Def, Catherine Keener, CeeLo Green, 

One-Line Plot Synopsis: A down-and-out music producer (Ruffalo) has a chance encounter with a singer-songwriter (Knightley) which brings them together for a musical colloboration.



Don't be scared off by Adam Levine being in this movie, it's really a movie about Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo more than it is Levine...even though it is a movie about music.  I was a little hesitant going into the movie based on Levine looking like he had a major role based on the trailer but I came away wanting to watch it again.

John Carey knows exactly what he's doing with movies about music.  After directing the Oscar Nominated and personal favorite of mine, Once, he is able to center a romantic film about relationships around musical passion and how those things can enhance one another, especially with regards to intimacy.  I'll get to Carey's next movie Sing Street later on, but just as a little bit of a spoiler, he's able to do it again.

Begin Again reminds me of Once in so many ways.  It revolves around characters who have experience heartbreaks and through their longing for that feeling and previous connection, they uncover an unrealized creativity and depth to their feelings that they can put into their music.  It comes across beautifully and extremely heartfelt in such a genuine way.

I would highly recommend watching this movie if you enjoyed Once.  You'll get a lot of the same feelings from this viewing experience as you did from that one.  Plus, who doesn't like Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo?

I'm not going to lie, I fucking love this song.  How come Adam Levine had to go straight pop after the amazing Songs About Jane album?  There's a reason this song was nominated for an Academy Award.


He could be making songs like this instead of the same song on the radio every couple of months.  In his defense, they're pretty catchy the first couple of times and the money is probably awesome.

Rating: 8/10

Movie Review: Spy (2015)


Movie: Spy (2015)

Director: Paul Feig

Writer: Paul Feig

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Morena Baccarin, & Miranda Hart

One-Line Plot Synopsis: A CIA operative who has been stuck behind a desk for her whole career, volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the underground arms trading black market.



The dynamic comedic combination of Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig continues to churn out good comedies.  Spy marks the 3rd collaboration between the two, following the huge successes of Bridesmaids and The Heat.  The two also followed up Spy by working together on the female-led version of Ghostbusters and are now in works on The Heat 2.

It seems like Paul Feig is the only one cashing in on female driven comedies these days but he is more than making a case that there is an audience that is there that wants to consume funny female movies.  In the past, there was a notion that these types of movies wouldn't make any money unless there was a big name actor attached.  Spy actually spins that notion on its head by having McCarthy be the actual lead in a movie that starts off with her behind the scenes of a Bond-like Jude Law.

Jason Statham also pokes fun at the types of characters he plays by basically being an incompetent special agent as opposed to his usual suave and super qualified guys he plays in movies like The Mechanic and the Transporter franchise.

I really enjoy Melissa McCarthy and she has been killing it on SNL as Sean Spicer these days. 

As always, I have to include my favorite Paul Feig clip from Heavyweights.




Heavyweights is so underrated.

Rating: 7/10

PC Lacrosse Taking on Marquette in the Big East Championship Today

Providence Friars 10 (10-6)
#15 Villanova Wildcats 7 (9-6)


Providence College takes on Marquette in the Big East Championship today at 4:30 PM after upsetting Villanova 10-7 in the Big East Semifinals at Chapey Field.  With a win in the Finals today, Providence will punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.


This would be the Friars first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2007 if they take down the Golden Eagles at Chapey Field this afternoon.  The 10 wins totaled with the victory over Nova are the most wins in a season for the Friars since 2006.  This will also be the Friars first appearance in the Big East Championship game since the Big East has made Lax a full fledged sport for the conference.  

After falling behind 4-2 in the first quarter, the Friars stormed back in the second quarter, never losing steam through the rest of the game.

Freshman Tim Hinrichs had the goal of the match, firing a shot from midfield to close out the first half with a hell of a buzzer-beater.  The play actually checked in at number 3 on Sportscenter's Top 10 plays.

Sophomore Providence Goaltender Tate Boyce, who was named Big East Goaltender of the Year in a unanimous vote, made 16 stops for the Friars, including a stellar breakaway save on a Nova Wildcat Christian Cuccinello in the first half.

Senior Ryan Schaffer netted a hat trick in the game but it was his 2nd goal of the match that was the prettiest.

Providence is the 3 seed in the Big East Tournament and will face the 4 seed, Marquette, who upset the number 1 seed, Denver, in the Finals.

The game today will be nationally televised on FS2 at 4:30 PM and will take place at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium on the Providence College campus.

P.S. That field is a sweet fucking spot for a Big East Championship. 

GO FRIARS!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Julian Gressel Wins Male Athlete of the Year for a Team Sport


Julian Gressel won the male athlete of the year award for a team sport at the Providence College All-Sports Gala.  Gressel is currently playing in the MLS for Atlanta United after being selected 10th in this past year's MLS Draft.

Gressel was named a First Team All-American after leading the Providence College Men's Soccer Team on a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, upsetting the top-seeded and undefeated Maryland Terrapins along the way in a comeback for the ages.



Gressel led the Friars in goals scored during the regular season while captaining the squad and also won the Golden Boot Award for scoring the most goals during the NCAA Tournament as well.

Kyron Cartwright Awarded the Father Morris Memorial Award at the All-Sports Gala

Providence College is hosting their All-Sports Gala tonight and PC Men's Basketball player Kyron Cartwright had been awarded the Father Robert Morris Memorial Award for the 2016-2017 year.  The award is given annually to a student-athlete who has had a profound impact impact on PC.

Congrats to Kyron on being a great representative of Providence College both on and off the court!

Rodney Bullock Returning to PC Next Year



After initially entering the NBA Draft without hiring agent, Rodney Bullock has decided to come back to Providence College for one more year with the Friars.  The invitees for next week's draft combine were just announced and with Bullock not making that particular list, he has decided to officially withdraw from the draft process and not wait and see if he could secure any workouts with individual NBA teams.

Bullock averaged 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last year, leading the team in both categories.  Providence now returns their top 8 rotation players, Drew Edwards coming of a redshirt season and will be adding a top 15 recruiting class to their team.  Things are certainly looking bright next year in Friartown.

Cooley chimed in on the decision from Rodney to come back saying, "I'm excited, I think he has a chance to be one of the best small forwards in country next season." 

Not to brag, but I totally called Rodney coming back to school and thought it made total sense for him to test the waters of the draft process (let's just forget that I got the Bentil call wrong when he declared for the Draft the year before).

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ricky Council II Officially Transfers to UMBC


Ricky Council II has made it official and is transferring to UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).  Council will have to sit out next year per NCAA regulations and will have two years of eligibility remaining after that.  Here is the initial post I wrote about Council when he first announced he was transferring from PC.

Council was never able to force himself into the rotation in his two years at Providence College under Ed Cooley, tallying a grand total of only 66 minutes (3.3 mpg) across two years while in uniform.  In that short playing time, Council scored a grand total of 17 points and all but 1 of his 25 shot attempts were from three-point range.  Unfortunately, he was only 4-24 (16.7%) from three over that span.  To be fair, it's almost impossible to have any kind of rhythm on your shot when you come in sporadically and only at the very end of the game so I'm not sure how much stock you can really put into those shooting numbers.  You can however, easily see that he loves to shoot from long range.

Council, a former three star recruit out of Moravian Prep in Durham, NC was billed as a guy with long range ability coming out of high school.  Moving over to the American East conference to a top half of the league team may just be the right fit for him going forward.  I think an increased amount of steady playing time will make him more comfortable on the floor and could translate to an increase in confidence for the young man.  Here's a little mixtape from his time at Moravian Prep.



Ricky has very good size for a shooting guard (6'5'', 200 lbs.), that could eventually pose match-up problems for teams playing UMBC in his upperclassman years.  It would probably go a long way to develop a go-to post move that he could use when matchups dictate that he could take advantage of a smaller player in the American East conference.

As far as UMBC as a team...they finished 5th in their conference last season in a year dominated by Vermont who went undefeated at 16-0 in conference play, the first time a team has done so in the conference.  The team's overall record was a respectable 21-13.  UMBC has one NCAA tournament appearance in their team's history, a 66-47 loss to Georgetown in the first round of the 2008 season as a #15 seed.  Taking a look at their roster, let's see what year some of their better players are to try and get a feel for where Council can fit in after next year.

Jairus Lyles (18.9 ppg/6.6 rpg/2.6 apg) - Will be a Senior next year.
Will Darley (16.2 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.9 apg) - Will graduate this year.
Joe Sherburne (10.9 ppg/4.0 rpg/1.6 apg)  - Will be a Junior next year.
K.J. Maura (8.9 ppg/2.8 rpg/4.3 apg) - Will be a Senior next year.
Rodney Elliott (8.3 ppg/1.9 rpg/1.5 apg) - Will be a Senior next year.
Jourdan Grant (7.1 ppg/3.3 rpg/2.0 apg) - Will be a Senior next year.
Nolan Gerrity (5.2 ppg/4.2 rpg/0.5 apg) - Will be a Junior next year.

Out of the top 7 scorers from last year's UMBC Terriers squad, 1 is graduating this year and 4 will be Seniors for the upcoming season when Council will be sitting out and graduated by the time he is eligible to play.

Joe Sherburne and Nolan Gerrity are the two players who will Seniors when Council will be suiting up.  Sherburne is a 6'6'' Guard who can shoot the three, connecting on 45.0% of his three pointers last year on 4.4 attempts per game.  Gerrity is a 6'10'' Forward who was already second on the team in rebounding in his Sophomore season.  Sherburne looks to be similar to what Council wants to be as a player, but I can still envision them playing next to each at the 2 and 3 spot based on both of them having good size.

From all accounts, Council was a really good teammate and excelled in the classroom as well.  Here's to wishing him the best of luck in his new opportunity and to his future success both on and off the basketball court.

Once A Friar, Always A Friar.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Top TV Dramas of 2016


First off, let me address the two Amazon Pilots that I watched this year since they each only had one episode.  There seemed to be a lot more Pilots to watch last season and they all got picked up even though most of them weren't that good. 

The Interestings.  Man, what an easy title for a show to be mocked and turned into a million puns.  I'm not even kidding when I say that this show sucked, like a lot.  I hated it.

The Last Tycoon.  To be honest, I can't even remember watching it, but I wrote down that it was a lot better than The Interestings, for whatever that's worth.

There were two more shows that I started but then stopped because there's just too much TV (and good TV at that) to stick all the way through a show that isn't doing anything for you.  Of course, if you hear through word of mouth that a show drastically improve as the season went on, you can still go back and watch it.

Spotless (Netflix - Season 1).  A French crime show starring LaFlamme from Goon as a forensic specialist and the guy from the opening scene in Inglorious Bastards who is hiding Jews as his fuck-up of a brother.  Both of them were better in their previous roles.

Eyewitness (USA - Season 1).  I thought the main young kid was pretty good and everyone else was not.

Onto to Dramatic TV shows that I watched this year, which totaled in at 45.  Even some of the ones that came outside the Top 20-25 were shows I really enjoyed, which just seems crazy.

45. The X-Files (FOX - Season 10) - The "re-boot" of The X-Files turned out to be just a 6 episode Miniseries.  The best episode was the one where Mulder & Scully meet the Were-Monster played by Flight of the Conchords' Rhys Darby.  I always thought X-Files was at its best when it incorporated humor like that.

44. Ballers (HBO - Season 2) - I can't be the only one who thinks this show stinks can I?  If I gave out Razzies for TV shows, the guy who plays Vernon Littlefield would win every single award every year.  I don't think he's ever acted before.  

43. Fear The Walking Dead (AMC - Season 2, Part 2) - So much worse than The Walking Dead.

42. River (BBC America - Season 1)

41. Vikings (History Channel - Season 4) - Bjorn is now the best part of this show and its really not all that close.  Ragnor was taking drugs this whole season and thus every scene with him was all tripped out and hallucinations.  Meanwhile Rollo was stuck in France with flowing Farrah Faucet hair.




40. Fear The Walking Dead (AMC - Season 2, part 1) - Just because it was better than the 2nd half of the season where people in the show are morons, doesn't mean it was any good. The most hateable character of the year goes to....Chris Manawa.  I hate you.

39. The Walking Dead (AMC - Season 6 Part 2) - The show is basically only good at season premieres and season finales now.

38. Orphan Black (BBC America - Season 3)

37. Animal Kingdom (TNT - Season 1) - I wish this show were on Cinemax or something.  It was always just OK and it has a really underutilized cast if you ask me.

36. Togetherness (HBO - Season 2) - A step down from the last season.  I did really like the relationship between Brett and the Uber passenger.  The play stuff was a little weird for me but I continue to think that Steve Zissis is one of the most underrated actors working in TV.

35. Marvel's Like Cage (Netflix - Season 1) - Cheesy as hell.  The darkness that Jessica Jones and Daredevil bring to their shows was missing in Luke Cage.  It had a real PG-13 vibe to it.  Cottonmouth, played by (Oscar Winner) Mahershala Ali was fantastic, but once Diamondback took over that Big Bad role, the show fell apart.  Diamondback was the most over-the-top non threatening villain I've seen in a while.  Side note, Jidenna's "Long Live The Chief" fucking bumps.




34. Vinyl (HBO - Season 1) - Both the show and Bobby Cannavale's Richie Finestra were utterly ridiculous.  I keep going back to watch this scene though, even though I was thoroughly annoyed with what the show was and what the show could have been.  Instead of focusing on music and the band, the show really centered in on Finestra and his drug use/murder which was 1/10 as interesting as the other characters and storylines.





33. Glitch (Netflix - Season 1)


32. Longmire (Netflix - Season 5)

31. Narcos (Netflix - Season 2) - I feel like I'm way lower on this show than the majority of people, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  In other news, I'm all in on Pedro Pascal.  Narcos got renewed for two more seasons that will follow the drug trade to US.

30. Peaky Blinders (Netflix - Season 3) - I always feel like Peaky Blinders should be better than it is.

29. The Path (Hulu - Season 1) - The three leads are personal favorites of mine for different reasons.  There's just so much great television these days that I enjoyed a bit more than The Path.

28. House of Cards (Netflix - Season 4) - The latest season of House of Cards got it back to where it was before whatever Season 3 was happened.  I think the road to becoming the President was much more interesting than it is when Spacey is actually President.

27. The Last Kingdom (BBC America - Season 1) - Basically a better version of Vikings.

26. Outsiders (WGN - Season 1) - This one caught me by surprise as it's on WGN, whatever the shit station that is.  My guy Joe Anderson is the lead and flanked by David Morse and Ryan Hurst (Opie from SOA).  My favorite character is Hasil played by Kyle Gallner, who I'm not familiar with besides this.  He does have a pretty cool look going though.



25. Preacher (AMC - Season 1) - This show is a lot of fun and the fight scenes...whenever they come along...are really well choreographed.  Also, my guy Joseph Gilgun (Cassidy) from Misfits (another awesome show) is brilliant in this.



24. Black Mirror (Netflix - Season 3) - Black Mirror episodes are standalone but with the same theme surrounding our dependence on technology.  The new season had 6 episodes.  Just going through them quickly, ranking them best to worst: 

Texting Instructions
Video Game Chip
Time-Hopping between decades
Electronic Bees
Army Roaches
Bryce Dallas-Howard Rating System

23. Bloodline (Netflix - Season 2) - Not as good as the first season.

22. Mr. Robot (USA - Season 2) - Same.

21. NSU German History X (Mitten in Deutschland) (Miniseries) - Really good although I was it was shorter episodes but more total episodes.  It was almost like three mini-movies.

20. Bosch (Amazon - Season 2) - I'm a big Bosch guy.  I've always really liked 

19. 11.22.63 (Hulu - Miniseries) - I know this will be cliche as hell, but the book is a lot better than the show.  The book, by Stephen King, is really long and focuses a lot more on the interpersonal relationships of the story and less on the thriller aspect of the JFK assassination.  Obviously if you were going to pitch this as a mini-series, it makes sense to make the JFK assassination the center of everything but my favorite part of the book was actually when Jake Epping was a teacher in his life in the past as he waited out the time until the Dallas assassination attempt.   There is just a lot of nuance that is better suited for a book format than a television one.  I still really enjoyed the adaptation.

18. Westworld (HBO - Season 1) - Previously listed as an un-filmable adaptation due to the scale and advanced CGI that would be needed, Westworld finally got its chance on HBO.  A really interesting and thought-provoking premise on the deepest, darkest desires of our human nature and also a sci-fi look at AI.  The show dragged in the middle of the season but the last 2 or 3 episodes really brought the show up to another level.  If it can keep that kind of momentum going through the majority of the next season, this show will shoot up the rankings.

17. Pitch (FOX - Season 1) - I did not even come close to realizing how much I was going to like this show.  It completely took me by surprise and the acting was way above what I was expecting coming into the show.  Also, Zack Morris with a beard works.  Kylie Bunbury as the first female to ever to play in the MLB, Ginny Baker, is both drop dead gorgeous and a really good actress.  I hope I see her in some stuff going forward.




16. Billions (Showtime - Season 1) - At first I thought the portrayal of Axe was way over the top but after the first 2 episodes it really started to work as he became more or a character rather than just a caricature.

15. Happy Valley (BBC America - Season 2) - First of all, everyone in this show is great...everyone.  The addition of Shirley Henderson to this season as a creepy little stalker of a convicted murderer was perfect casting.  If you don't know her, she played Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies.  Her voice and mannerisms define that character to a T.

14. The Fall (Netflix - Season 3)  I'm still trying to figure out how Jamie Dornan is the same guy who plays the lead in 50 Shades movies.  He's so damn good in The Fall but everything about 50 Shades is horrible.  How can he have such amazing chemistry with Gillian Anderson, a detective investigating his murders as a serial killer and nothing with the piece-of-wood Dakota Johnson.  Side note, Gillian Anderson has gotten hotter with age.




13. Marcella (Netflix - Season 1) - Incredibly good crime drama.  Good to see my man Apollo from BSG in there two but always weird to hear him talking in his native British accent.  Also, I can't be the only one who thinks that Nicholas Pinnock looks exactly like Chiwetel Ejiofor in this right?




12. The Night Of (HBO - Miniseries) - Incredibly well done miniseries, so well done in fact, that it wish it was a series and not just a miniseries.  Riz Ahmed was superb and its always good to have Michael Kenneth Williams in anything.  I could have definitely done without so much foot story for John Tuturro but maybe that's just me.  At times the show was a bit slow and I think that's because of so much of John Tuturro's side stories rather than the much more interesting crime story.

11. Quarry (Cinemax - Season 1) - A show that may have went under the radar to some if you don't get Cinemax.  A returned Vietnam soldier comes home and finds that its almost impossible to get a job as most people are against the war and the soldiers that participated in it, so he reverts to what he's good at...killing people, but this time getting paid for it.  Lead actor Logan Marshall-Green is a dead ringer for Tom Hardy too...along with both of them being awesome.




10. Banshee (Cinemax - Season 4) - Another Cinemax show popping up on the list.  I am such a massive Banshee fan, I'm kind of sad that this was the last season of the show.  Between the Amish, Native Americans, White Supremacists, and regular criminal elements, this show really touched on a ton of different race and religious sects within one show.  The fight scenes in the show can't be touched by any show and I still go back and watch the MMA fight between Lucas Hood and the fighter who abuses women.  I also see big things (hopefully) to come for Tom Pelphrey (Kurt Bunker) who played an ex-white supremacist who is trying to remake himself as a cop.  That guy is really damn good.





9. The Americans (FX - Season 4) - I don't think The Americans will ever not make the Top Ten for a year in TV for me.  It's so good with so many good performances.

8. Daredevil (Netflix - Season 2) - The Punisher was a great addition to the second season of Daredevil, and although I didn't particularly love what Elektra brought to the show, she is definitely someone who can handle fight scenes.  Whoever choreographs the fight scenes for Daredevil needs some kind of award.  I'm not sure if I enjoyed the stairwell fight scene or the jail fight scene better when all was said and done, but both were top notch, action-packed awesomeness.  There were too many fight sequences this season where the lighting was too dark to pick up on everything going on, so that would be my one gripe with this season.







7. 3% (Netflix - Season 1) - If you don't mind subtitles (and I certainly don't), then I would highly recommend that you check out 3%.  The story takes place at a time when 3% of all 20 year olds are chosen to go to live out their lives in an exclusive world with the cream of the crop of civilization after competing in a series of tests to determine who is worthy of being chosen.  Otherwise, they continue to live out their lives in a poverty stricken wasteland with the rest of the 97%.  This Brazilian series reminds me a lot of the movie Cube in that you must use teamwork and the combined strengths of individuals 


6. Halt & Catch Fire (AMC - Season 3) - After a major comeback season last year in the second year of Halt that smartly and impressively pivoted in-between seasons to focusing on Cameron and Donna rather than Joe and Gordon, the show stayed on top of it's game in season 3 and had its best season yet.  I would have never thought after the first season that Halt would reach these heights but the dynamics of relationships and perfect feel of the 80's set this show apart in 2016.  This show might have the highest score of the Bechdel Test on TV.  For those of you who don't know what the Bechdel Test is, it's a system that determines whether a work of fiction has at least two women (or girls) who talk to each other about something other than a man (or boy).  Only about half of films made actually pass this test.  Halt & Catch Fire thrives on it.



5. Stranger Things (Netflix - Season 1) - The show that took the country by storm and brought Winona Ryder back into the mainstream.  Now, it's all well and nice that Miss Winona is back in something worthwhile but in my opinion, she's my least favorite part of the show.  The 4 main kids are the reason that this show kicks ass.  It's basically like a combination of E.T., Stand By Me, and Goonies.  Also, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is going to be a star.




4. Better Call Saul (AMC - Season 2) - Last year's number three on my list, every single person on this show is perfectly cast and the acting is as good as it gets on television.  The same feel, tone, and quality of Breaking Bad has carried over in a way that I never would have expected in a show surrounding Saul Goodman.  I can't wait for Gustavo to get involved in this show and kick it up a notch.  Also, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) is sneaky sexy as hell.




3. Game of Thrones (HBO - Season 6) - One of the better seasons of GoT that there has been so far.  With the next seasons being shorter than the best ones that were only 10 episodes each to begin with, I think it might be hard to live up to the seasons passed.  There were so many good scenes to choose from, including the Battle of the Bastards which can hold its own when compared to the large battle scenes of major motion pictures like Braveheart, Troy, and Gladiator.  Maybe the most underrated scene of the season was the speech by Lady Mormont...is it bad that she scares me just a little?



And of course this is pretty bad ass.



2. Rectify (SundanceTV - Season 4) - The Final Season of Rectify wrapped up a perfect 4 seasons of television for the show created by Ray McKinnon.  Rectify was like a show made specifically with me in mind with a beautiful soul at the center of everything.  The four seasons were a heartbreaking and emotional journey that delved into the introspectives of human nature and relationships.  I'm going to miss this show.


1. The People vs. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime (FX - Miniseries) - I can't seem to figure out who I liked the most in the show.  Was it Johnnie Cochran?  Marcia Clark?  Christopher Darden?  There really isn't a wrong answer.  I hope that FX continues with putting out miniseries' of this caliber in the future.  I don't even care that Cuba didn't even try to do an O.J. impersonation because everyone else was so freaking amazing.