Top 7 YouTube Channels

Hey guys!

Today’s post is going to shift focus a bit. I’ve been talking a lot about movies. Favorite this, underrated that. But I also like to watch YouTube videos. Don’t you?

I don’t tend to watch films on YouTube, but there are a few channels I love watching throughout the week. Today, I thought I’d present what I think are the funniest, most enjoyable channels to tune in to. Who knows? You might just want to subscribe!

But before I get to my Top 7, I wanted to give an honorable mention to one channel in particular:

Honorable Mention: WatchMojo

WatchMojo would have made my list (likely at #2) had the quality of their videos not dropped in the last year. I used to watch their videos all the time. They really are the definitive Top 10 list YouTube channel, so if you love Top 10s, definitely check out their older videos.

They also have an affiliate channel called Ms Mojo which makes up for some of the lackluster content. However, it doesn’t the change the fact that WatchMojo’s videos have dulled recently. They proudly proclaim they’ve been “running out of ideas since 2006.” I think they finally have.

 

Thank you for your patience. Your Top 7 List will begin momentarily. BEEP!

7. JelloApocalypse

This is a channel I discovered while I was making this list. As a huge Pokemon fan, I came across one of their videos titled So This is Basically Pokemon on my Recommended page.

I’ve provided the video below. If you’re a fan, please watch it.

It’s amazingly accurate, right? I’ve been playing Pokemon for more than a decade and JelloApocalypse totally gets it. He also does other videos in the So This is Basically line such as Overwatch and Adventure Time. If you really like the content, you can go to his Patreon page and help him create more videos just like these. Also, I recommend his short Welcome To. . .series. Welcome to YouTube is hilarious!

6. PhantomStrider

This YouTube channel is all about animation – Worst Cartoon Characters, Best Nick Shows, Worst Animated Sequels. If you want you’re Top 10 list on a strict diet of cartoons and kid’s shows, then PhantomStrider’s got you covered.

Now there are a lot of Top 10-based YouTube channels on the web (*cough*<Watch Mojo>*cough*), but what I like about PhantomStrider is his goodwill towards all shows. He knows his list is full of personal opinions, not facts. He may hate something you love and vice-versa, but as he says, these are just his “silly opinions.” He’s just a sweet Australian/Canadian (you read that right) who likes to talk about cartoons, including international cartoons.

If you’d like a peak at what he does, here’s a short video:

5. BlameitonJorge

BlameitonJorge is sort of an acquired taste. It’s an odd mash-up of List videos discussing lost media and urban myths. Basically, if you want to know about what happened to that episode of Ren and Stimpy that you haven’t been able to find anywhere or you’re really into that Japanese creepypasta someone told you about, then this is the website for you. Once you’ve seen what he has to say about “A Day in the Life of Spongebob”, you’ll never look at the show the same way again.

Here’s a link to one of his most popular videos, 40 Lost or Banned Episodes of Kid Shows – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HuEtZH6WDw. The voice-overs may often be a tad ominous, but the info is so fascinating, you can’t help but come back for more.

4. REACT

For kids grossing out over disgusting food, for teenagers struggling to remember the name of that popular 90s song, for people of all ages trying hard not to laugh at hilarious viral videos, this is REACT. It’s a channel decided to people’s immediate reactions to various aspects of pop culture, from movies, to music, to games, to television. Whether happy, sad, surprised, or just plain confused, we see all ages learn something about themselves and the culture we live in.

I mainly watch it for the segments titled “Do They Know It?” which are a series of videos asking millennials how well they know pop culture from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. They quiz adults on modern culture as well, but the teenagers give the greatest reactions. You realize how little they know about the time just before they were born.

There’s also another series in which REACT staff members battle each other to see how fact they can guess songs and movies. In that case, the inverse is true. I’m shocked at how much they do know! And how lightning-fast! Sometimes they know a song after hearing 1-second played. I can’t do that and I know a lot of songs.

What makes REACT so great is the ability to test your knowledge against your friends and family. In a way, it’s inteREACTive!

Try it out for yourself:

3. Dorkly

Dorkly is an odd amalgam of discussion videos with strange titles such as “10 Inappropriate Scenes in Kids Cartoons” and “7 Creepy Movie Sex Scenes that will Scar You For Life” and what they call “Dorkly Bits.” In these videos, they take gaming’s most iconic 8-bit characters, such as Sonic and Mario, and recreate their worlds to poke fun at them. These videos are so clever and so short too. Most are less than 2 minutes.

I keep coming back to Dorkly is because of their Pokemon Dorkly Bits. I’ve already mentioned I’m a huge Pokemon fan, and Dorkly does it right. They know Pokemon in and out and it shows. Here’s an example:

In addition to the Dorkly Bits, one of their most popular series involves a Pokemon trainer named Rusty who strives to become a Pokemon Master. However, his adventures are less admirable and more deplorable in nature. But they’re funny! Recently Dorkly has resumed his exploits in the Kanto region so check those out as well!

2. ERB (Epic Rap Battles of History)

Have you ever wanted to see Elvis Presley take down Michael Jackson in a killer rap battle? How about Batman facing off against Sherlock Holmes? If you answered yes, then ERB is the perfect channel for you.

Collaborators Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter take on the personas of dozens of historic and pop-culture icons, in a throw down of shady rhymes that will leave you gasping for air. Their name says it all – their raps are EPIC! Sadly, you have to wait for their seasons to start which often takes a year or so. Oh well, it’s worth the wait!

Note: Please be advised their videos often contain explicit language.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite videos:

And without further ado, my absolute favorite YouTube channel of all time. . .

  1. Screen Junkies

I am a certified Junkie! This is the absolute best movie-inspired YouTube channel ever. Hal, Dan, Nick, and the rest of the gang highlight a series of 3 weekly videos, each just as awesome as the last.

First, are there Honest Trailers, clever critiques of films that are quite funny and very truthful. You’ve probably seen at least one, but if you haven’t, here’s one of my favorites:

Next, is the Screen Junkies Show. This is a show hosted by Hal Rudnick who discusses best/worst movies and often-times interviews celebrities about their films. Once you’re hooked by the Honest Trailers, it’s a great way to get to know the group (and they’re awesome!)

Last, are Movie Fights. Movie Fights pits 3 members of the group against one another to debate such pressing questions as “What’s the Best Spielberg movie?” and “What’s the worst remake?” The videos tend to run over an hour, but luckily you can skip to a particular fight with links at the end of the video.

If all of this isn’t enough and you want a little more Junkie, you can pay $5 a month and access tons of content as a Screen Junkies Plus member. These are exclusive videos you can’t get on YouTube. That’s definitely a plus.

Overall, if you love movies the way I love movies, check out Screen Junkies. You won’t be disappointed.

 

So that’s my list. What are your favorite YouTube channels? Tell me in the comments.

I’ll see you next time!

 

 

 

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Overboard Remake – Anna Faris Joins the Cast!

Hi everyone

2017 is already two months over and some of the biggest movie announcements thus far are. . .

1.) Donald Glover will voice Simba in the Lion King live action movie.

2.) Matt Reeves isn’t, no wait IS going to direct The Batman.

and

3.) Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to direct one final picture.

 

But one announcement has just made headlines today and it’s a doozy.

Anna Faris has joined the cast of the Overboard remake!

Image result for anna faris

Yeah,  that was my face too when I found out! If you saw my previous post about this film, I said Anna Faris would be in my dream cast. And look at that! She’s now part of the film. Dreams do come true!

MovieWeb* reports that Anna Faris will not only be joining actor Eugenio Derbez in the film, but that the roles will be gender-swapped. In other words, Eugenio is going to play the rich playboy and Anna Faris is going to be the hard-working mom that tricks him into thinking he’s her husband.

I think this new angle could play out really nicely. It could also tackle some of the criticism that the original was sexist, despite its popularity. With the combination of two funny comedians at the helm, Overboard is getting the modern face-lift it never knew it needed. Looking forward to it!

No release date is confirmed, but I expect to see it out sometime in 2018.

*Source: Gallagher, Brian. “Overboard Remake Happening with Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez.” movieweb.com. 6 Mar. 2017.

5 Films to Put on Your Radar in 2017

Hello again, everyone!

Recently I compiled a list of movies I’m looking forward to the most this year and split it into 2 parts –  Part 1 and Part 2. Most of these movies are pretty high profile. However, there are many films that do not get the same attention, that get pushed under the rug and swept away with all the dust bunnies.

Well, I’ve dusted off a few of those bunnies and look what I found in their fur!  5 Movies that probably aren’t on your radar, but definitely should be!

Thanks bunnies!

  1. Table 19 

Summary: A romantic comedy about a woman who attends a wedding and gets stuck with the guests the hosts likely regret inviting.

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Steven Merchant, Craig Robinson

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRVzyiM8Sgo

Radar Reasons: First of all, take a look at that cast! Lots of funny people. Stephen Merchant is a riot, and Anna Kendrick is a sweet, awkward charmer. Plus, it comes out this Friday, March 3rd! The reviews so far haven’t been great, but I still want to grab a seat at Table 19. I hope you do too!

2. Colossal

Summary: A sci-fi film about a depressed woman who can control the actions of a Godzilla-sized creature wrecking havoc in Seoul.

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSnhfr0MxGU

Radar Reasons: The trailer! Totally threw me for a loop. What seems like a typical romantic comedy becomes an intriguing film with a unique concept and limitless potential. It’s always a good thing when you’ve watched a trailer and still wonder what’s going to happen next. Will she use the beast for good or bad? Seek justice or revenge? Reviews so far are positive, so we’ll see how this one fares at the box office once it opens on April 7.

3. This Beautiful Fantastic

Summary: A fantasy film about a children’s author who strikes up a friendship with her mean, elderly next-door neighbor.

Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Tom Wilkinson

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq_7LPpKcT8

Radar Reasons: I like this one because it’s a fairy tale of sorts. And because it’s British. The smaller production value adds to the simplicity of this sweet, romantic fantasy. Plus, the fact that my aspiration is to one day be a successful children’s author makes me already have something in common with the lead character. This (hopefully) beautiful fantastic film arrives in theaters March 10.

4. Their Finest

Summary: A British comedy about the filming of a propaganda film that embellishes the truth surrounding the Dunkirk evacuation to enhance soldier morale during World War II.

Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDdbBRlszHQ

Radar Reasons: Ah, I did it again! Another British film, but this one’s more obviously a comedy. With a lot of wit and a dash of romance, this looks to be a fun British farce. And if you’re wondering, the reviews thus far have been positive. Note: The poster is the UK’s release date. It comes out April 7th in the U.S.

 

5. The King’s Daughter (also called The Moon and the Sun)

Summary: A fantasy film about King Louis XIV’s plot to capture a mermaid in order to possess immortality and his daughter’s attempts to save her.

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Benjamin Walker

Trailer: Not Available

Radar Reasons: When was the last time you saw a movie with mermaids?  If your answer is The Little Mermaid, then you’ve probably been waiting a very long time. I came across this one when I was compiling this list, and I’m glad I did. Based on the book The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre, The King’s Daughter looks to be an epic fantasy/romance/adventure with a bit of royal intrigue. It was originally going to be released in 2015*, then was moved again to 2016, but it now looks like it will finally come out this year. Flippers crossed!

 

Well, those are my 5 picks for this year. Are there any that pique your interest? What under-the-radar movies of 2017 should I put on my radar? Tell me in the comments!

Happy March!

 

*Source: Lincoln, Ross A. “Paramount’s ‘The Moon And The Sun’ Off Schedule, Release Set For ‘Same Kind Of Different’.” deadline.com. 20 Mar. 2015.

 

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017 – Part 2

Hey guys,

I know you’ve been waiting all week for it, so here it is — Part 2 of My Top Most Anticipated Films of 2017 list! If you haven’t read part 1, here’s the link:

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017 – Part 1

I’ve had a lot of fun compiling this list and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. Without further ado, here are my Top 5!

 

5.) Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Star Wars made a triumphant return with Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now, the intergalactic adventures of Rey, Finn, and Poe continue! I couldn’t be more pumped!

Reasons:

I have been a Star Wars fan for over a decade now. Although I initially didn’t like Episode IV, once I saw Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, I was hooked. They just got better and better after that.

Wait, did I just say they got “better and better”? Yes, I did. Nowadays, I regret saying that I preferred the prequels to the sequels, but at the time, they were fun, visually stunning films that modernized the franchise. The difference in quality is more apparent to me now, but I’m glad those films existed. They brought the franchise into the 21st century and inspired a new generation of fans. If we didn’t have them, maybe we wouldn’t have Episode VII. Food for thought.

Regardless, The Force Awakens was stellar. I really liked the new characters, particularly Finn and Poe, and I’m very curious to see how they’ll evolve over these next two installments. Plus, it’ll be fascinating to watch what happens to Kylo Ren as well, being the big, dark enigma of the franchise.

Will it live up to the expectations? No clue. J.J. Abrams isn’t directing Episode VIII, so that could be a bad sign. Still, he didn’t direct Rogue One either and look how successful that was! With two well-received films in the pipe, I, and probably many other fans like me, are confident that this franchise will satisfy audiences for years to come!

 

4. Untitled Disney Live-Action Fairy Tale

This one doesn’t even have a title and I’m excited about it. If you read my 5 Fun Fairy Tales post, you know I’m a big fairy tale fan. We live in an age where Disney live-action fairy tales are all the rage (see: Cinderella, Maleficent, The Jungle Book, and Pete’s Dragon.) With one of them coming out in March (and maybe also coming up on this list?), Disney decided to stake out a date in July for this little question mark. So, why has it made this list?

Reasons:

The mystery! What else? We don’t know anything about it! It’s the possibilities, and the lack of any real information, that make this entry so intriguing. Some of these possibilities include Mulan, Pinocchio, and even Dumbo. /Film has compiled this list of other likely candidates.

While all of them would be interesting, I’m particularly intrigued by Cruella and Maleficent 2.  Maleficent was great and I’m curious about what she’s been up to. As for Cruella, although I always despised the character, she could end up becoming a fascinatingly flawed character. Still, I think it’s going to be harder to make her relatable than it was with Maleficent due to the whole puppies-as-coats thing. Besides them, Genie, Prince Charming, and Rose Red also sound good. And what about the live-action version of The Little Mermaid? And The Lion King, one of my favorite movies of all time? So many possibilities! Looking forward to the announcement. Fingers crossed!

 

3.) Kong: Skull Island

In less than 3 weeks, Kong is going to hit the silver screen. And it’s going to be big! Now I’ve never been a King Kong fan, but Kong: Skull Island looks really cool. Here’s why:

Reasons:

Tom Hiddleston. I’m a huge fan of Tom and I’m particularly interested to see how he’ll do as the lead in a big blockbuster like this. It’ll be some new territory for him and I hope he comes out ruling the cinema (Get it? King Kong. Ruling. Royalty Puns!)

The Trailer. The film’s action and scenery look spectacular! We’re going to get Kong right where we want him, in the jungle along with plenty of other wild creatures fighting for supremacy. Plus, nice use of “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Are we getting a throwback soundtrack? Maybe?

The only thing I’m not a fan of is the war-vibe the film is giving off. One of its posters is even modeled after Apocalypse Now. I’m not into war films and I only like M.A.S.H. because it’s funny. In other words, don’t give me Ape-pocalypse Now. Just give me the King! Still, the trailers have been explosive, and because of John C. Reilly, a little bit humorous, so maybe it won’t be too dark.

 

2.) Beauty and the Beast

Reread Number 4 on my list. This one should come as no surprise. Beauty and the Beast is one of the most enchanting and lovely fairy tales of all time. Disney is finally giving it a live-action face-lift while still retaining its classic, old-world charm. From the costumes, to the sets, to the special effects, there are many reasons why this film looks like another fantastic entry in Disney’s recent live-action re-imaginings.

Reasons:

The casting. We’ve got Emma Watson as Belle, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. PERFECTION! I couldn’t have chosen better myself.

New songs. Turns out, we’re getting new material from composer Alan Menken, who worked on the Disney animated version of Beauty and the Beast back in 1991. One is a brand new song that will be sung by the legend herself, Celine Dion! With the lovely duet of the title song  from Ariana Grande and John Legend already released, I can’t wait for the rest of the soundtrack!

Disney. It’s Disney. Need I say more?

Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast both come out next month. Looks like March is shaping up to be a pretty good movie month!

 

Before we get to the Number 1 on my list, here are a few honorable mentions:

Wonder Woman – Sleek trailer. I like the casting of Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. However, D.C.’s not doing too well right now, so we’ll see how it fares.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Not a huge Pirates fan, but I have enjoyed some of the films in the series. Javier Bardem looks perfectly dark and creepy as a ghostly pirate. Yet the quality of the Pirates franchise has waned a bit since the original, so I’m not sure if this film will go over too well with audiences.

The Mummy – I really liked The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. It was a fun action/adventure film, perfect for a Saturday morning. I think that’s why I’m looking forward to this film with Tom Cruise. I keep hoping it’s going to have some of the fun of the Brendan Fraser film, but if not, it’ll help launch a really cool Universal Monster film franchise, so there’s that.

 

And now, my Number 1 pick. . .

1.) Thor: Ragnarok

The third installment of the Thor franchise is my Number 1, Most Anticipated Film of 2017. Why? One word. LOKI! Okay, well he’s the main reason, but I’m happy to say there are a few more reasons why I think this Thor is going to be something really special.

Reasons:

The Director. Taika Waititi is the director of the indie films What We Do in the Shadows and Eagle Vs. Shark (both funny, strange films that I recommend.) A sense of humor is something the Thor franchise is in desperate need of. While Thor: The Dark World had some funny moments thanks to Loki, once he *Spoiler Alert* “died”, there wasn’t much left to chuckle over. With Waititi at the helm, this could be the most surprising entry of the Marvel Universe.

Hulk vs. Thor. Who doesn’t want to see Hulk and Thor in a gladiator match to the death? We’re going to get to visit of planet of Hulks too? AWESOME!

Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster. A genius with a pension for games, crafting all kinds of challenges to conquer his opponents. C’mon, who doesn’t love to see Jeff Goldblum playing a charismatic genius? MORE AWESOME!

Finally, the mystery. Just like my 4th entry, there’s so very little information about this film and that’s makes it all the more exciting. We’ll hopefully get a trailer at San Diego Comic Con this year, but in the meantime, it’s fun to think about the potential of this one. Bring on the trailer, people! I want to see this puppy in action. November 3 can’t come soon enough!

Oh, and tell me you haven’t at least once substituted “Ragnarok” in the theme song to “Fraggle Rock.” Well, you’re about to. . .

 

That’s it! My picks for 2017. Will they be successful? Will they be good? What do you think? What movies are you looking forward to this year? Tell me in the comments.

See you again, same Grinch time, same Grinch channel!

Overboard Remake Info + Dream Cast

Hey everyone!

Happy New Year! 2017 is finally here. Everyone has their dreams about what the year is going to be like. I dream that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is going to be the live-action remake we deserve. Speaking of remakes, Overboard is supposedly also going to get a remake.

You know, Overboard. That movie from 1987 with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, where Goldie plays a wealthy stuck-up wife who falls over the side of her husband’s yacht, gets amnesia, and wakes up in a the home of an employee she ridiculed who wants a little payback. It’s funnier and sweeter than it sounds.

Originally, Jennifer Lopez and Will Smith were attached to the film, with J.Lo. filling Goldie’s shoes and Will taking the producing reigns. But that was way back in 2010.

Recently, there’s been a big development in the film since then. A post by TV3 claims that Bob Fisher, one of the writers of Wedding Crashers (2005), will be co-directing the film with producer Rob Greenburg (who’s worked on How I Met Your Mother and Frasier.)

Even more interesting than that? It’s going to have a Spanish lead. According to The Tracking Board, actor Eugenio Derbez of Instructions Not Included fame, will star as Dean (I.e. Kurt Russell’s character.) It you don’t know who he is, here’s a picture:

Supposedly, they hope to attract a bilingual audience, thereby expanding their key demographic.

What a surprising turn-of-events. Definitely a different direction for the film. I hope it works out really well.

But. . .if I had my choice, this would be the cast I would pick:

Kurt Russell -> James Marsden

Wouldn’t that be fun? James is funny, handsome, and I could see him being the kind of rugged character Kurt Russell plays. Don’t you wish you woke up married to him? I could also see Chris Pratt in the role, especially because of my next choice. . .

Goldie Hawn -> Anna Faris

We’ve seen Anna play the crazy, stuck-up blonde before in Just Friends and I’m sure she could play Goldie’s part, Joanna, with the combination of pretentiousness and heart that the role requires. Plus, she’s just as cute and likeable as Goldie was, and despite the character’s initial mean streak, she’s the kind of girl you’d be rooting for in the end.

Mike Hagerty -> Danny McBride

In the role of Dean’s best bud Billy Pratt it’s hard to see anyone else but Danny McBride. I could see him drinking beers, cracking jokes, and just being an absolute riot. Throw in a bit of sincerity, and you have what could be one of Danny’s most memorable roles. Nick Offerman might be a good choice too, if Danny is unavailable.

Edward Herrmann -> Ed Helms

You can’t tell me you couldn’t envision Ed Helms being the smug, selfish jerk that is Joanna’s husband, Grant. He’s played relatively nice guys in the past, but if you’ve seen him on The Office, you know he can be cocky and funny.

Katherine Helmond -> Swoosie Kurtz

Playing Joanna’s mother can be no one else but the always fun, Swoosie Kurtz. She was boozy and loveable on Mike and Molly, but I bet she could play pompous and rich very well. Also, RED HAIR! So, there’s that.

 

This would be my ultimate dream cast for the remake in production. Sadly, based on the direction they’re going, I don’t see this being any more than a dream.

What do you think? Do you agree? Who would you cast in the Overboard remake? Tell me in the comments.

 

Best wishes to the real Overboard remake and to the New Year! Let’s hope 2017 makes many dreams come true.

 

 

 

 

 

Lucifer and Pure Genius: 2016’s Best New Shows (and Why You Should Be Watching Them!)

Hey Guys!

2016 is almost over! It’s been a rough one in the real world, but in TV world, things have been quite interesting. I’ve always been more of a movie buff than a TV guru, but sadly, this year, the big screen didn’t generate as many memorable blockbusters as in previous years.

However, on the small screen, there was a pair of wonderful surprises that made watching television fun again — Lucifer and Pure Genius. Both of these shows have great lead characters, good supporting casts, interesting storylines. And heart. Lots of heart. If you haven’t watched them before, I’m here to tell you why you should watch them (and hopefully, save them from cancellation!)

Lucifer

This was my most anticipated show of 2016 and it didn’t disappoint. Centered on the devil  as he helps the LAPD solve heinous crimes, it’s a supernatural cop procedural that never forgets to keep it cheeky and fun. Lucifer has quips for days, which keeps the mood light amidst the seriousness of the subject matter. Tom Ellis’ performance is full of pathos, humor, and tenderness. I adore watching Lucifer discover his own humanity, seeing his relationship with Chloe (the cop he works closely with) change, and witnessing him want to punish the bad guys rather than encourage them.

Here at Pop Culture Grinch, we love characters that have a change of heart. Just as wonderful? Seeing the devil realize he has one. Bad has never been so good!

Speaking of changes of heart, the supporting characters have even morphed over time too. The most improved character is definitely Maze. She is Lucifer’s demon sidekick, who started off being more of a boring, manipulative second-in-command. Over time, she’s reflected Lucifer’s humanizing journey, by becoming friends with Chloe and her daughter (just as Lucifer has) and getting therapy (like Lucifer has.) I love seeing her try to hide the seeds of goodness underneath her cool exterior. Next to Lucifer, she’s become my favorite character to watch. She’s funny and bad-ass. A lethal combination.

Also, Detective Dan (or as Lucifer so adroitly calls him – Detective Douche) has changed too. He’s more of a goofball than he ever was, and surprisingly, it works for him. Rather than constantly compete with Lucifer, he works with him, and even envies him. Another great example of the development of this show and its cast.

To me, the storylines that work the best are the ones that primarily involve the main characters, rather than the crimes themselves. Every character helps bring out Lucifer’s true nature. His transformation is at the core of the show, and each character has a hand in it.

Chloe helps him realize what’s like to care about someone besides himself. Dan helps him understand what it’s like to be a good man and father. Maze helps him see the life he could have had while reflecting the life he has now. Chloe’s daughter helps him bring out the friendliness in his fiendish nature. His therapist helps him uncover pieces of character he never knew he possessed. All of these characters, and more, shape Lucifer, for better or worse. They are the ventricles through which blood pumps to the heart of this show — Lucifer himself.

Already in its 2nd season, this is a show that deserves more time on screen. It’s funny, charming, and surprisingly heartfelt. Plus, it returns to Fox on January 16. If you haven’t watched it yet, make watching Lucifer your New Year’s Resolution. Worry about getting in shape in 2018. The devil won’t mind!

 

Pure Genius

Talk about surprises. This show came out of nowhere and proved itself to be the most beautiful, heartwarming show I’ve seen on television in a long time. Scratch that. The most beautiful, heartwarming show I’ve seen on television. Ever.

Pure Genius is a medical drama focusing on the exceptional doctors of Bunker Hill, an innovative, technologically-advanced hospital, and the eccentric billionaire who devised its creation. Patients that come here have unique medical cases, and are treated for them without having to pay. It’s a premise that speaks to the current climate of technology and to our own sense of humanity.

As a person who would rather go to the doctor’s than actually watch an entire season of a medical drama, I was uncharacteristically intrigued by this show. It was formally introduced to me through CBS’ 2016 fall preview where it first piqued my interest. Out of curiousity, I decided to watch the pilot. I’m glad I did. The actual show, especially its subsequent episodes, ended up far exceeding my expectations.

The reason? Its indelible lead character, James Bell. James is the quintessential eccentric genius, with a heart even bigger than his own eccentricities. Augustus Prew, who plays James, imbues him with gentle emotion and quirky facial expressions. James cares deeply for every single one of the patients that comes his way, and we see that clearly in each episode.

Another fascinating component to the show? James is dying. And he’s dying quickly. He has a disease called GSS (Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease) that affects the brain, causing dementia and involuntary muscle coordination. In 5 years time, he will no longer be able to communicate or function properly. In that time, James is desperately  searching for a cure in the hopes of living a normal life someday. This uncertainty keeps the show tense as everything hinges on one single question — Will he find a cure?

I’d love to see the show tackle this disease as the years progress.  It would be interesting to see it progressively take over James’ body, how it would affect him and his relationship with his friends and colleagues. I’d be holding my breath every time there’s some revolutionary break-through that could be the answer. That’s good television!

Besides Pure Genius‘ memorable lead character, the show’s medical cases themselves are also fascinating. From an astronautical appendectomy to a chain of kidney transplants, they’re unique and add an extra dimension to the show. Another thing I like is that Pure Genius always manages to balance the doctors’ interpersonal  lives with the patients’ stories. It never feels like the cases are put on the back-burner to the doctors’ relationship drama. Instead, they empower, enlighten, and entertain. It would be a shame to see Pure Genius end so prematurely. James doesn’t give up on his patients. I hope CBS doesn’t give up on this show.

It returns this Sunday, January 1. Start the year off right. Tune in!

 

Conclusion:

Two great shows like Lucifer and Pure Genius are what give me faith in TV. Faith that it can be real, and warm, and tender. Faith that heart and soul can be just as interesting to watch as greed and manipulation. If that’s what you enjoy too, then give them a chance. Who knows? Maybe the devil and the genius will get another shot at life.

2017, here’s lookin’ at you, kid!