Best TV Performances of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

The extra-special-bonus Best of the 2010s lists keep arriving all this week! Yesterday, it was the Best Film Performances, now we’re moving to the small screen with the top TV Performances. And while the screens were smaller, the roles were arguably bigger, at least in terms of running time.

Regarding eligibility: all Lead and Supporting (but not Guest) performances from any show that aired at least one full season between 2010 and 2019 was eligible. Actors who played multiple characters in the same show were considered one performance. Actors who played the same character across multiple shows were also considered one performance.

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‘A.P. Bio’ Has a Striking Amount of ‘Community’ DNA

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CREDIT: NBC

Over the past few months, the delightful high school-set sitcom A.P. Bio has become one of my favorite shows on the air, but then NBC went a little cuckoo and cancelled it. There’s been some effort on the part of the cast, crew, and fans to find the show a new home, but unless that happens, we will have to be satisfied with two short-but-sweet seasons.

One of the reasons I love A.P. Bio so much is because it shares a lot of DNA with my favorite show of all time, which would be Community, another former NBC sitcom that was constantly on the brink of cancellation (though unlike A.P. Bio, it kept beating the renewal odds). Their premises and central characters are strikingly similar. In Community, Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is a high-powered lawyer who gets disbarred and must enroll at a community college. Meanwhile, A.P. Bio stars Glenn Howerton as Jack Griffin, a disgraced Harvard philosophy professor who is forced to take a lowly part-time teaching job at a high school in Toledo, Ohio.

As I watched and grew to love A.P. Bio, I kept noticing more and more Community similarities, to the point that I could detect analogues for all the major characters. So I’ve assembled below a side-by-side comparison of the Greendale Human Beings and their corresponding Whitlock Rams. Enjoy, and let me know if you need help reacting to riding that ram.

(Thank you to my fellow commenters at the AV Club and Disqus for helping me out with these comparisons!)

Jack (Glenn Howerton) = Jeff (Joel McHale)

CREDIT: YouTube

The protagonists who try to act above it all but eventually embrace the crazy scholastic ecosystems they’ve become an integral part of.

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This Is a Movie Review: ‘The Tiger Hunter’ is a Cliché, But Harmless, Fish Out of Water Immigrant Tale

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CREDIT: Shout! Factory

This review was originally posted on News Cult in September 2017.

Starring: Danny Pudi, Jon Heder, Rizwan Manji, Karen David, Iqbal Theba, Kevin Pollak

Director: Lena Khan

Running Time: 94 Minutes

Rating: Unrated, But I Would Peg It as a Light PG-13 for the Shenanigans That Arise When a Dozen Men Live Together

Release Date: September 22, 2017 (Limited)

Shout! Factory is primarily known for its home video releases (particularly its Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD collections), but the company is now branching into theatrical distribution with the release of The Tiger Hunter. Unsurprisingly given its distribution pedigree, this is a film that has the aesthetics and ambitions of a straight-to-DVD release. There is a certain lo-fi charm to the proceedings, thanks mostly to its largely agreeable cast, but with all the other movies that already exist in that, you have to hope that every new one aims high, and this particular movie mostly does not.

The premise commences as young engineer Sami (Community’s Dani Pudi) leaves his native India for the more promising professional and social prospects of 1970s America. So far, so good, so archetypical. Of course, hijinks ensue when the job he was promised turns out to be already filled by the time he arrives, so he is forced to move in with about a dozen other similarly broke and overqualified immigrants in a cramped Chicago apartment. And of course the big reason he is doing all this is so that he can manage to look like marriage material to the father (Iqbal Theba) of his childhood best friend/one true love (Karen David). And of course he is motivated/haunted by the legend of his late father (the pride of the village, thanks to his titular feline slaying). And of course he concocts a Three’s Company-esque scheme to appear more successful than he actually is to potential dad-in-law.

Ultimately, The Tiger Hunter wraps up in the “just be yourself” platitudes typical of not just struggling immigrant stories but also just about every film genre in existence that ever attempts to be inspirational. That lack of originality could be infuriating, but it manages to be bearable, mostly due to Pudi’s ability to earnestly sell lines like “I want to be a professional American” and his knack for claiming with a straight face that Mary Tyler Moore told him he was going to make it after all. If you are an immigrant yourself, you may recognize parts of your story in this movie, but mostly just the lazy afternoons that you spent watching random movies like The Tiger Hunter.

The Tiger Hunter is Recommended If You Like: Danny Pudi Loyalty, Holding out Hope That Jon Heder Still Has Another Hit in Him

Grade: 2 out of 5 Wacky Roommates

2015 Emmy Nominations Predictions and Wishlist

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For my detailed thoughts on my predictions and wishlists in the major Drama, Comedy, and Variety categories, check out these links:
Comedy
Drama
Variety

Guest Actor, Comedy
John Hawkes, Inside Amy Schumer
Michael Rapaport, Louie
Chris Gethard, Parks and Recreation
Dwayne Johnson, Saturday Night Live

Guest Actress, Comedy
Susie Essman, Broad City

Guest Actor, Drama
Mel Rodriguez, Better Call Saul

Guest Actress, Drama
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Linda Lavin, The Good Wife

Directing, Comedy
Rob Schrab, “Modern Espionage,” Community

Directing, Drama
Adam Arkin, “The Promise,” Justified

Writing, Comedy
Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television,” Community

Writng, Drama
Thomas Schnauz, “Pimento,” Better Call Saul

Animated Program
Bojack Horseman – “Downer Ending”
American Dad! – “Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas”
The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXV”

Commercial
Android – “Friends Furever”

Host – Reality/Reality Competition
RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Interactive Program
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Main Title Design
Man Seeking Woman

Single-Camera Picture Editing, Comedy
Bojack Horseman – “Downer Ending”

Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program
Too Many Cooks
Billy On The Street With First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird And Elena!!!

Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or a Variety Program
Community

Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role
Man Seeking Woman – “Traib”