Jeffrey Malone’s 50 Favorite TV Shows of All Time

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You can learn a lot about people from their favorite television programs. TV viewing involves spending a lot of time with fictional characters and more or less forming relationships with them. Who we choose to spend our time with says a lot about our own personalities. With that in mind, here are the current standings for my 50 favorite shows of all time.



Billy on the Street: Best of Season 3

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Season Analysis: Season 3 of Billy on the Street leaned a little too heavily on the excessively staged stunts for my taste, but the vast majority of it is still pop culture maestro Billy Eichner interacting with New Yorkers, and thus it is still excellent.

Season 3 Superlatives:

Best Contestant: Elena

The first non-celebrity to return, Season 2 Quizzed in the Face contender Elena is the epitome of the type of New Yorker that Billy on the Street celebrates.  She played a round of “Cash Cow” against Lena Dunham (during which she misunderstood Billy’s pronunciation of “Weird Al” Yankovic) and stopped by later for a special round of “For a Dollar,” which featured this classic exchange between her and Billy:
Annie? They’re making a new movie of it?”
“Yeah, Quvenzhané Wallis, the little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild, is playing her.”
“Oh, I love her.”
“She’s not playing Annie!”
“Yes, she is.”
“Oh, Annie! I was thinking of that, what was that Woody Allen movie…”
Annie Hall?!”
(runs away) “Elena, never, ever speak to me again!”

Most Prepared Celebrity Contestant: Lena Dunham, who cruised through a round of “Steve Harvey or Harvey Milk”

Most Challenging Celebrity Game: “John Mayer or Pepé Le Pew,” in which Olivia Wilde struggled to identify whether such quotes as “Everyone should have a hobby, don’t you think?  Mine is making love” and “I really don’t want to be a hunk” were uttered by the bad boy of pop-rock or a cartoon skunk.

Best New Contestant: David, an aspiring novelist and screenwriter decked out in L.A. Kings gear who won Quizzed in the Face by correctly identifying that Charles Manson would be a fan of Family Guy.  When Billy expressed bewilderment about Kristen Chenoweth having sex with Aaron Sorkin, David noted, “She’s a trouper for that.”

Best Prize: The Good Wife coloring book (I gave one to my mom for Mother’s Day!)


And some more quotables:

From a round of “Humpty Dumpty or Mary J. Blige”
“Sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.” “Humpty Dumpty.”
“Fell off a wall, unfortunately.” “Mary J. Blige.”
“Could not be reassembled, unfortunately.” “Mary J. Blige.”

“Sir, for a dollar, name a movie.” “Uh, RadioShack.”

“Do you think Miley Cyrus is on point?”
“Ummm, I don’t really like her.”
“I don’t really know, there’s just something about her. I miss Hannah Montana.”
“Oh, come on!”
“I do! I do!”
“She can’t be that forever.”
“I know.”
“She’s a grown-up.”
“She could’ve done what she did so much better, though-”
“-like she could have done it so much better.”
“What are you talking about? Everybody’s talking about her. How much better can you do that?”
“I don’t know. I just, I don’t know.”
“Okay. What do these bozos think? Do you like her?”
“I do like her. I feel bad for her, though, because-”
“I feel like she’s going through such a hard time.”
“What do you mean?! She’s so popular! She’s completely in control, the whole thing.”
“She doesn’t have Liam anymore, and like-”
“She doesn’t need him, please. It’s the best thing that ever happened to her.”
“Okay, well, if she’s happy, then that’s all that matters.”
“She’s obviously very happy.”
“It’s like, this is the most successful she’s ever been. She’s smart, she seems edgy, the music is good. What do you think, idiot?”
“I- I love her.”
“I agree.”
“I think she’s doing a great job at introducing a new style to music.”
“I absolutely agree.”
“You look a little like a duck, but I love it.”
“Okay, bye.”

“Sir, for a dollar, any thoughts on Kaley Cuoco’s yearly Emmy snub?”
“On whose what?”
“Kaley Cuoco’s yearly Emmy snub.”
“How can I have an opinion?  I never heard of it.”
“Kaley Cuoco, she’s on, what, The Big Bang Theory?”
“I don’t have a TV set.”
“You’ve never seen The Big Bang Theory?”
(clears throat)
“I wonder what you’ve missed.”
“I wonder what you’ve missed.”
“What do you mean, ‘what I’ve missed’? I’ve missed nothing.”
“Muh muh muh muh.”
“Mi mi mi mi.”
“What do you mean, nothing?”
“I’ve missed nothing!”
“Who wrote A World Lit Only By Fire?”
“Who wrote A World Lit Only By Fire?”
“2 Chainz! Boom!”
“This is- someone’s gonna watch that?”

“Who let the dogs out! Who, who!”
“Goodbye, game over. Thanks very much. Go back to Florida. I mean, I can’t.”

“Miss, I know you’re getting out of a car, but it’s the 10th anniversary of The Passion of the Christ.”

“Miss… Vince Vaughn… What happened?”

“Sir, for a dollar, are you a Key or a Peele?”

“Sir, Meg Ryan said she would consider a return to television.” “I don’t care.”

And finally:
It’s not Pitbull – it’s Amy Poehler!

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2014 Thus Far

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It doesn’t take much time for the calendar to elapse for me to start putting together lists of the best television of the year in my head, and apparently I’m not the only one.  So I now feel compelled to unspool from my brain a preliminary list of the best of 2014.  There are plenty of shows not on this list because they have yet to debut or have just barely debuted, or because they were not quite as good as those that I selected.  It’s looking like, when all is said and done, this could be the most difficult year ever for putting together a definitive ranking.  It has been a strong year for new shows, with half of my selections having debuted in 2014 (or late 2013).

Here are my top 2, listed in alphabetical order:

Hannibal – Unbearable in the best way possible.
Hannibal - Season 2
Rick and Morty – More inventive than I thought was possible.

And now here’s numbers 3-10, also in alphabetical order:

Billy on the Street – There’s a lot of hilarious New Yorkers out there.
Broad City – Just the right amount of wild and zany.
Community – An excitable comeback.
Fargo – It’s got a lot of character.
Louie – I’m not sure if I would prefer to live in the dream world of Hannibal, or the dream world of Louie, and that’s a compliment to both.
Mad Men – Great job tying it all together.
Review – What is this thing we call life?
True Detective – Mystical, but also personal.

Billy on the Street: Best of Season 2

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Season Analysis: Billy on the Street still makes me laugh more than anything else, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Best Episode: Episode 6 (1/25/13)
I was not planning on picking a best episode of the season for Billy, because it is not exactly a show that makes sense to think of on an episode-by-episode basis.  But then Episode 6 of Season 2 happened, and it was undoubtedly the most satisfying half hour thus far of the entire series.  It featured excellent editions of “For a Dollar” and “Lightning Round,” as well as the best “Quizzed in the Face” contestant of the season – Samantha, who likes black guys – as well as the best celebrity guest – Nas, who stopped by for a round of “Media Mogul or Rabbi.”

Here are some other highlights from the season:

“Quizzed in the Face” contestant runner-up: Elena, who really needed to get on the subway

Best prize: A big picture of James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting the Oscars

“Miss, miss, for a dollar are you gonna miss the show Weeds?”
“What is that?”
“What is Weeds?”
Weeds, with Mary-Louise Parker.”
“It’s going, it’s ca-, it’s going off the air.”
“Ohhh, so I give you a dollar?”
“Oh, all right.”
“Okay, yes.”
“I don’t know-”
“Give me a dollar because Weeds is going off the air, and-”
“Where does this goes, oh the dollar?”
“Yes, I’ll give it to Mary-Louise Parker.”
“Ah, all right.”
“Thank you.”

“Sir, for a dollar, do you consider Bethenny Frankel our Golda Meir?” “I don’t even know who the f*** that is.”

“Miss, Hobbit got you down?”  “Get down, yourself, ma-”

“Were the Berenstein Bears Jewish?” “I don’t think so.” “OH BOY!”

“Miss, for a dollar, who farts more: Whoopi Goldberg or Blake Shelton?”
“I don’t know.”
“Take a guess.”
“Whoopi Goldberg or Blake Shelton.”
“I don’t like burgers.”

(to an Indian family) “Are you guys Mumford & Sons?”

“Sir, sir, for a dollar, imagine Kathy Bates on a bicycle.”

“Miss, I hate Claire Danes!”
(takes off headphones) “What’s that?”
“I hate Claire Danes.”
“She’s scary.”
“She is.”
“You want some pizza?”

“Miss, for a dollar, can you be intelligent and be named Cheryl?” “No.”
(cut to next clip)
“Miss, for a dollar, scream the name of your mother.” “CHERYL!”

“Sir, do you love Leonardo DiCaprio?”
“Leonardo DiCaprio.”
“You love him?”
“Why not?”
“He’s okay.”
“For a dollar, who do you love better: Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio?”
“Why neither?”
“They don’t turn me on.”
“Who turns you on?”
“A friend of mine sent me, put a Valentine-”
“Yes. I’m so glad I’m hearing this story.”
“And with a piece of chocolate, he must have given out 30, he must have given out 300-”
“Such a good story.”
“And it had a picture of Superman on it.”
“I love Superman.”
“And he said, and it said on the thing, ‘May you have a Super Valentine’s Day.’  In other words, if I’m gonna find someone, it’s gonna be from another f***in’ galaxy.”

“According to the TV show, what city is it always sunny in?
A) San Francisco
B) Sunny von Bülow
C) Philadelphia, or
D) (turns to camera and smiles) Louie!”

“Miss, miss, for a dollar, would you leave your family just to be able to smell Ryan Gosling’s balls?”

“Miss, for a dollar, who do you think is more sophisticated: Daniel Tosh or the stork from the Vlasic pickle commercials?”

“Miss, here we go, for a dollar:
Do me baby
Do the Humpty Hump
Watch me do the Humpty Hump

Sing. Sing.
Do me baby
Do the Humpty Hump

“I don’t speak Eng-”
“‘Humpty Hump.’ ‘Humpty Hump’”
“Humpty Hump?”
“Yes. Do me baby
Do the Humpty Hump

“Humpty Hump”
“Watch me, watch me, watch me do the Hu-umpty Hump.”
“Humpty Hump”
“Yes, do me baby
Do the Humpty Hump
Watch me do the:

“Watch me do the.”
“Humpty Hump.”
“Yes, here you go (hands dollar), th-thank you.”

“Sir, for a dollar, who’s the most famous ugly person?”

“Sir, do you think Gwyneth Paltrow will ever be happy.” “No, she’s too thin.”

“Sir, for a dollar, do you think Gisele Bündchen understands the jokes on Portlandia?”

“Sir, seriously, isn’t it time for an ABC Family original movie starring Anna Kendrick called WPE: Worst Passover Ever?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” “Thank you very much.”

“Every child I know loves Jessica Lange!”

Thursday is the Best Night of TV Ever!!!

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Year after year, Thursday continually proves itself to be the most loaded, most rewarding night of television, and I feel like singing that out in a blog post.  Here are all the shows that I have regularly watched on Thursdays this season (September 2011-now), ranked in ascending order of quality (of the current season).  And, for your entertainment, I have also included a memorable quote from several of these shows from their current seasons.

12. The Secret Circle
11. The Office (“I haven’t had this much fun since seeing Zoo E Desk Channel at the Cocarella Music Festival.”)
10. The Big Bang Theory
9. Up All Night
8. Awake
7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (“Dennis is asshole. Why Charlie hate?”)
6. 30 Rock (“I finally understand the ending of The Sixth Sense. Those names are the people who worked on the movie!”)
5. Billy on the Street (“I LOVE MERYL STREEP!”)
4. Archer (“Thanks, Holly Hindsight.”)
3. Beavis and Butt-Head (“Masturbation frequency dialed in.”)
2. Parks and Recreation (“Anyone want to go to JJ’s for some after-dinner omelettes?”)
1. Community (“Boopy doopy doop boop sex!”)