House of Cards – season 3

Robin Wright was excellent again this year. As she always is. Directed two of the episodes.

Lars Mikkelsen is superb as Russian President Viktor Petrov (More evil than Putin!)

Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper should win any and all supporting actor awards this year.

Mahershala Ali is very believable as Remy Danton. Derek Cecil is superb too as Seth Grayson.

Spacey? Well. You love ‘im or you hate ‘im. I guess that’s great acting. It’s a very good role.

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Even with the fairly unbelievable plot lines, House of Cards is must viewing.

The Americans (2013 TV series)

The Americans is an American television period drama series created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg. …

Set during the Cold War period in the 1980s, The Americans is the story of Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple living in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. with their unsuspecting children …

The first season of The Americans received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it received a 90% approval rating …

Click PLAY or watch a Season 1 trailer on YouTube.

I was hoping for more Cold War spy capers, less personal drama. But I MIGHT continue to season 2. I’ve heard it gets better.

Fargo – the TV series

Fargo … is inspired by the 1996 film of the same name written and directed by the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series. It premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX. Future seasons will follow an anthology format with each season being set in a different era along with a different story, cast and set of characters.

The first season, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and Martin Freeman, was met with considerable acclaim. It won the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Directing, and received fifteen additional nominations including Outstanding Writing, another Outstanding Directing nomination, and acting nominations for Thornton, Tolman, Hanks, and Freeman. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film for its first season.

On July 21, 2014, FX renewed Fargo for a ten-episode second season to premiere in fall 2015. …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo was crazy scary. Of course Billy Bob is always scary. He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries.

Similar to the original film, each episode begins with the superimposed text:

“This is a true story. The events depicted took place in Minnesota in 2006. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

However, like the film, this claim is completely fictional …

It’s very good. But very violent.

Transparent (TV series)

Transparent is an American comedy-drama television series produced by Amazon Studios that debuted on February 6, 2014. …

The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) is transgender. …

I watched the first 5 episodes of season 1.

Not bad. Quirky. Some interesting dialogue. Every member of this extremely dysfunctional family is interesting.

But I was turned off by TOO much emphasis on sex. Seems they are working through some sort of fetish checklist.

I’ll quit. And move on to Fargo. Fargo the TV series.

Ultimate Survival Alaska

Season 3 started today, Jan 4th, 2015.

Extreme.

Ultimate Survival Alaska is an American television reality competition … that premiered on the National Geographic Channel on May 12, 2013. …

Ultimate Survival Alaska focuses on survivalist men and women who are dropped off in the Alaskan wilderness where they compete with each other in various wilderness races. …

ultimate

Click PLAY or watch a Season 3 trailer on YouTube.

official website

top 10 TV shows of 2014

TV critic David Bianculli:

10. Tie between Louie (FX) and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).

9. Homeland (Showtime). “I think it bounced back this year after a bad previous season.”

8. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central).

7. For the last time on my list, The Colbert Report (Comedy Central).

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6. True Detective (HBO).

5. Fargo (FX).

4. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (PBS).

3. The Walking Dead (AMC).

2. Justified (FX), which is about to come back for its final season. “I think this is one of the most underrated shows on television, and it has one last chance to close its book and get some acclaim.”

1. The Good Wife (CBS). “They have the deepest roster of really strong regulars and guest stars. … What I love about the show is that everyone’s motives are always suspect.”

NPR

I’m going to miss Colbert. :-(