That’s Auntertainment! Episode 46: Bob Odenkirk and Better Call Saul

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CREDIT: Screenshot

God d*** it, folks, it’s showtime!

How to End an Episode

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In the past few weeks, Paramount+’s Evil concluded its third season, and Better Call Saul aired its series finale. So that makes this the perfect time for me to talk about how these are my favorite current shows when it comes to episode endings. They always leave you wanting more. Their cuts to the Executive Producer credit shots are generally silent, but they feel deafening.

With Evil, it feels like a thick book has pretty much plopped down on the table right in front of me. Whereas with Saul, it’s like someone has just walked out of the room and closed the door with absolute certainty. I want to know what happens next, but I also know I’ve just gotten exactly how much I was supposed to get.

This musing originally appeared in the Official Jeffrey Malone Newsletter. Subscribe here!

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 8/12/22

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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law being green (CREDIT: Marvel Studios)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Emily the Criminal (Theaters)
Fall (Theaters)
Mack & Rita (Theaters) – Starring Diane Keaton.

TV
A League of Their Own (August 12 on Amazon Prime Video) – Co-created by Abbi Jacobson.
Never Have I Ever Season 3 (August 12 on Netflix)
RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race Season 2 Premiere (August 12 on VH1) – Apparently this season has taken inspiration from The Masked Singer.
South Park: The 25th Anniversary Concert (August 13 on Comedy Central)
Better Call Saul Series Finale (August 15 on AMC)
The Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers Docuseries Premiere (August 15 on Hulu)
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Series Premiere (August 18 on Disney+) – The “she” being Tatiana Maslany.

Music
-Sylvan Esso, No Rules Sandy

Sports
-2022 Little League World Series (August 17-28 on ESPN)

Jmunney’s 2022 Emmy Wish List, Part 2: Drama

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CREDIT: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Fun (or Frightening?) Fact: this year’s Emmy ballot includes nearly 3000 performers. We’ve all known for several years now just how overwhelming television has become, but somehow it still had room to launch into another level. So for my personal wish list, I decided not to think about it too hard. I’ll just include however many or however few selections per category I’d like to. I’ve probably forgotten some worthy contenders, but I won’t stress about it too much. We’ll find out what the TV Academy thinks when the nominations are announced on July 12!

Severance and Winning Time are the big-time rookies in my book, but Better Call Saul still needs plenty of love! Especially Patrick Fabian in his unforgettably [SPOILER] outing as Howard Hamlin. Speaking of shows with Bob Odenkirk, Undone is in the Animation field on the ballot, but it belongs in Drama. “No more Drama”? More like plenty of Drama!

KEY:
Bold=My winner
*=I have placed this nominee in a different category than the Emmy ballot.
**=Not on the Emmy ballot

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Evil
The Good Fight
Riverdale
Severance
Succession
Undone*
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 4/15/22

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Roar (CREDIT: Apple TV+)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Father Stu (Theaters)

TV
Roar Season 1 (April 15 on Apple TV+) – A new anthology series. I’m definitely going to watch the episode with Alison Brie.
Better Call Saul Season 6 Premiere (April 18 on AMC) – Final Season Alert!
Russian Doll Season 2 (April 20 on Netflix)

Sports
-NBA Playoffs (April 16-Mid-June on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV)

The Best TV Episodes of 2020

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(CREDIT: FX/YouTube Screenshot)

When making Best Episode lists, some TV critics limit themselves to one entry per show, but I never operate by that self-imposition, as certain shows are just masterful when crafting a single hour or half-hour (or whatever runtime they feel like using), and that ought to be reflected in the ledger. So you’ll find that several shows have wound up more than once in this list, and those tended to be the ones that also fared the best on my Best Shows of 2020 list. You’ll also find at least one program that didn’t make my Best Shows list, as it’s possible to have one excellent outing within an otherwise disappointing season. So forthwith, if someone who missed all TV in 2020 asked me for a refresher, here is where I would direct them:

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The 67 Best TV Shows of 2020

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Clockwise from Top Left: What We Do in the Shadows, Never Have I Ever, Better Call Saul, How To with John Wilson (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots)

Last year, I decided to rank as many TV shows as I felt like recognizing in my year-end list, and that worked out so well that I decided to do it again for 2020. So welcome to my ranking of the 67 Best TV Shows of 2020! Not every show is accompanied by a blurb, just the ones that I felt like I really needed to say something about.

I worked with a self-imposed rule that I had to have watched at least 50% of a show’s 2020 output for it to be eligible, but there were some shows that I’ve only just begun to watch that I wanted to recognize as well, so they’ve got their own Honorable Mention section. And there were also some shows that aired relatively few episodes in 2020 to the point that I didn’t think they should be eligible either, so they’ve also got an Honorable Mention section. And then there’s one more show that’s managed to establish its very own Honorable Mention section, and that’s where we start.

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Jmunney’s 2020 Emmy Wish List, Part 1: Drama

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

The 2020 Emmy nominations will be announced on July 28. As per annual tradition, I have assembled a Wish List for as many categories as I have something to say about. There is no minimum or maximum number per category, nor is there any strict adherence to official Emmy rules. And of course, there is the necessary caveat that I have not seen everything. Even with much of the country shut down for the past few months, that’s impossible.

I’m kicking off my Emmy Wish List discussion with some Drama this year. The top shows in this field are absolutely-without-a-doubt Pose and Better Call Saul. The former was nearly my favorite show of 2019, while the latter is right up there for 2020. And you know what? I just couldn’t pick between the two of them for Outstanding Drama Series, so I’m calling a tie! Nor could I pick between Bob Odenkirk or Billy Porter for Lead Actor, so it’s another tie! (I’ll probably pull for Bob come the night of the ceremony, as he’s yet to win, while Billy is the reigning champ.)

The Albuquerque and ballroom crews are dominating most of the acting categories, especially Rhea Seehorn, who I believe was a co-lead this season though she was once again submitted as Supporting. Stunningly, she’s yet to ever be nominated; that had better change this year. Meanwhile, also on BCS, Tony Dalton made an undeniable impression as Lalo Salamanca in his first full season as a regular cast member.

Over in Supporting Actress, I’ve got the ladies of Pose all stacked in there, much as the Game of Thrones ladies were last year at the actual Emmys. And also much like the actual Emmys, my top pick is actually from another show; in this case, Carly Chaikin, who got to do her most complicated work yet in Mr. Robot‘s final season.

Other notables: Evil makes a strong impression in its first season, Rosa Salazar shows up for a rotoscoped performance, and my Guest picks come almost entirely from The Mandalorian.

KEY:
Bold=My winner
!( )!=I haven’t caught up to the current season of this show, but I still wanted to recognize it.
*=I have placed this nominee in a different category than the Emmy ballot.

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Evil
!(The Good Fight)!
The Mandalorian
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mr. Robot
Pose
Stargirl
Undone

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Best TV Shows of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

As a voracious consumer of Peak TV, I could have easily filled my list of the Best TV Shows of the 2010s with hundreds of entries. But instead, I chose to zero in on a golden set of 25 that I am absolutely sure I love and will continue to love for years to come. These are the shows that affected me profoundly when I first watched them and that continued to linger in my brain and my soul as the decade marched on.

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 2/21/20

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CREDIT: James Minchin/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Brahms: The Boy II (Theatrically Nationwide) – Boy, I don’t know if this’ll be any good, but I’m rooting for Katie Holmes.
The Call of the Wild (Theatrically Nationwide) – Harrison Ford + (CGI) Dog = A Good Time?
Emma. (Limited Theatrically)

TV
Fresh Off the Boat Series Finale (February 21 on ABC)
Better Call Saul Season 5 Premiere (February 23 on AMC)

Music
-Best Coast, Always Tomorrow
-Grimes, Miss_Anthrop0cene

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