Chikara Season 14 Superlatives

chikara-footer-logoNow that Season 14 is in the books, it seems like a good time to look back and reflect on Chikara’s year that was. 2014 saw Chikara’s resurrection and return. That alone was a huge deal, but was it worth it? Did Chikara deliver the goods this year?

Generally, yes they did. Wait, that didn’t sound right…Generally, YES!

With a few minor exceptions, Chikara brought the heat all year. I don’t know if it was worth the absence, but I can tell you that I’m far less inclined to complain about Chikara’s “lost year” than I would have been before. The in-ring product was good to great and Chikara gave us a story I never thought professional wrestling could deliver. Fan favorites were killed and never returned. “POWs” were brought back, changed. Years of stories were paid off. I didn’t predict any of it because I couldn’t even imagine pro wrestling doing these things.

So, Season 14 delivered quality wrestling, novelty, and serialized storytelling on a scale previously reserved for HBO. It mostly worked. Everything made sense, was usually well-paced, and made an emotional impact on the viewer.

My negatives for the final season are few and far between. Plus, I’d feel stupid complaining about anything when most of my previous complaints were eventually revealed to be part of the story. The only unresolved issue was how the Flood expected to kill Chikara. How were they going to do destroy the promotion? By winning matches somehow? Claiming all the championships? Killing Chikara’s wrestlers? If the first two, how would that destroy the company? If the last one, why wrestle at all? Why not just ambush them all the time? Ultimately, I didn’t know what the Flood’s goal was and I can’t feel suspense without knowing that.

Overall, I’d give the season a solid 8/10 or something like that. I loved it and regret none of the almost immoral amount of time I spent watching it and writing about it.


There’s a lot to be excited about in Season 15. The biggest question is Continue reading

“AWK” for “Awkward:” A Dead Season Discussion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 1 (Part 2)

title cardCreated by Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation) and Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuted on September 17, 2013 on Fox. Although conceived as a vehicle for Andy Samberg in his first post-SNL role, a top-notch supporting cast turned Brooklyn Nine-Nine into one of the best comedies of the year, winning Golden Globe awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Actor in a comedy (Samberg), and earning Andre Braugher an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor in a Comedy along the way.

To celebrate the show’s Season 2 premiere, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I break down Season 1 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

As usual, SPOILERS abound. Also, possibly penis graffiti…


Welcome to Part 2, which is all about our Superlatives. What were the best and worst, the highs and lows, of Season 1? Let’s find out!

Best Performance
Jeff: Terry Crews. I must’ve been living under a rock, because I don’t think I knew about this guy until I heard he was the one Expendable I hadn’t ever heard of. He’s huge, he’s sensitive and he’s hilarious. (I liked Jerry Gergich’s “fart attack” on Parks and Recreation better though)
Patches: You’ve never heard of President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho? I’m doing the only thing I know how to do, which is to place Andre Braugher on a pedestal. Braugher, and the writers, forged the best gay character (I know of) on television. It’s a clear part of who he is, but it doesn’t define or trap him in any way. He’s a police officer who happens to be gay.

vlcsnap-2014-09-22-09h34m01s55Worst Performance
Patches: You’ve already mentioned her, but I’ll pick Continue reading

24: The Longest Dead Series Discussion of Our Lives – Superlatives

Title Card24 is a groundbreaking and important television series. Beyond the thrills, kills, twists, and tragedies is a show that reached a new level of serialized storytelling and set the bar for action and suspense on network television. Lasting for 8 full seasons and one “limited series”–204 episodes plus a TV movie–24 is one of the longest-running shows of the past 15 years. Others, like Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Smallville, two CSIs and two or three Law & Orders, may have run longer, but the argument can be made that none of those shows are equally as worthy of contributing to the debatably labeled and vaguely-defined “Third Golden Age of Television Drama” that began with The Sopranos in 1999 and is now fading with the end of Breaking Bad and the impending finale of Mad Men. Perhaps 24 doesn’t quite reach the dramatic heights of those shows, or others like The Wire and Deadwood, or even The Shield, Lost or Battlestar Galactica, but it was always a strong awards and ratings contender and it was just so addicting and fun to watch.

For the last year, we—Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix—looked back at the entirety of 24, from its 2001 premiere to 2014’s Live Another Day. This month’s discussion focuses on our Superlatives, the Best and Worst that 24 had to offer through 206 hours of television.

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time.


Season Rankings
Jeff: Three, One, Two, Four, Five, Seven, Eight, Live Another Day, Six. As much as I’ve turned around on 5 and as much as I find 7 to be a delightful breath of fresh air in the late-series doldrums, I’ve simply got to dance with the one that brung me.
Zach: Take Jeff’s and swap Five and Four.
Patches: Three, Seven, Five, Four, Two, One, Eight, Live Another Day, Six. My big upset here is Season 7, which was the first season since S3 to introduce characters I truly cared about and the only season to seriously grapple with the War on Terror and the show’s own ideology.
MegaMix: Gots to go Three, Five, One, Four, Seven, Two, Eight, LAD, & Six. Wow.

Best Season
Jeff: Season 3, home to (arguably) the best episode of the series, which is also, thanks to a presidential press conference moving it from Tuesday 4/13/04 to Sunday 4/18/04, the lowest rated episode in 24’s initial 8 season run.
Zach: Season 3.
Patches: Season 3. We’ve said all there is to say. Well, not really. But we’ve said all we’re going to say.
MegaMix: Tres.

Worst Season
Jeff: Season 6.
Zach: Season 1 of 2.4.
Patches: Season 6. Yup.
MegaMix: 6, but honorable mention to LAD. 6 sucked, period. LAD was a disappointment. Sometimes disappointments are worse.

Best Performance
Jeff: Kief aside, I’ll go with Gregory Itzin as Charles Logan. It’s a role made for sinking your teeth into, and Itzin devours it. Cherry Jones may be the only non-Sutherland to win an Emmy for 24, but Itzin gets my vote.
Zach: Kiefer Sutherland. The show simply doesn’t exist without him.
Patches: It has to be Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, right? Master of the tortured tortured torturer? For the sake of discussion, I’ll go with Dennis Haysbert who expertly portrayed the president we wished we perpetually had. I’m not sure anyone on television emanates Haysbert’s level of integrity, strength, patience, wisdom, and moral certitude.
MegaMix: Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian. Honestly, Kiefer was fantastic, but Mary Lynn came out of nowhere with this role. She’s mostly done comedic work outside of this and absolutely steals most scenes.

vlcsnap-2013-11-17-00h24m36s193Worst Performance
Jeff: It’s hard to find a main character who isn’t brought down by bad writing alone. I’ll go with the Season 6 Palmers, Sandra (Regina King) and President Wayne (DB Woodside). Both are as flat as their dialogue. Also, and this may be sacrilege, but as great as he is in certain moments, I often feel like William Devane as James Heller is reading off of cue cards.
Zach: Fuck off, Cheng.
Patches: Leslie Hope as Teri Bauer in Season 1. 24 casted well enough to avoid anyone terrible joining the main cast, but Hope’s performance struck me as bland, boring, and uninspired. The writers sure didn’t do her any favors either, but “listless” isn’t the best way to elevate a character.
MegaMix: Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer. As cute as she is, everything about her screams BLEH! She sticks out like a random cougar in the middle of a season. Continue reading