Yearly Leftovers – my favorite bits and bites from 2012

Sick of making leftover turkey sandwiches? Read some of my leftover TV favorites from 2012! A smattering of things that I haven’t had a chance to write about that I’ve loved over the past year. No lists, no numbers, just some of my favorite stuff. 

Gravity Falls’ title sequence – It seems that more and more that title sequences for television shows are becoming short, efficient works of art.  I can’t think of a show that has a title sequence that is quite as brilliant as the one for Gravity Falls. Every episode begins with a beautiful sequence, animated to look like a time-lapse film, that takes us through the weird and wonderful town of Gravity Falls. The title sequence smartly recalls the title sequences of Twin Peaks, The X-Files and even Northern Exposure but its frenetic pace, quirky music and in-jokes tell us exactly what we are getting ourselves into.

The Human Centipede sketch from Key and Peele – Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are such immediately likeable performers. Why? Because they seem to be having as much fun with each other as we are watching their show. They are creative, smart and (most importantly) funny while taking on race and class and (sometimes) gender. However, my favorite sketch from this past season really had very little to do with any of those things. It is a sketch from the Halloween episode of the second season (it’s an all around really good episode). The sketch starts with a couple on a date and devolves into a reunion of sorts between three men that were in a human centipede together. What is great about this sketch is that, as repulsive as the thought of a human centipede is (and it is so repulsive that I will never watch the movie), two of the young men that chance upon each other in an outdoor café treat it as a positive event, a bonding experience in their lives. It’s thoroughly disgusting and ridiculous, hilarious and short with something that most sketches don’t have: an ending.

The Brienne/Jaime Lannister buddy comedy on Game of Thrones – There are few things in life or on television that I like more than when two people who are seemingly worlds apart come together to learn life lessons about each other and themselves. And there was nothing that made me happier on the past season of Game of Thrones (though Ygritte and Jon Snow’s frozen spooning comes awfully close) than when the giantess, Brienne, and Jaime “the prettiest boy in all the land” Lannister got together for some butt-kicking and verbal sparring. Better still: it all played out as a sort of road trip that I hope and pray continues into next season. I haven’t read the books and don’t plan to any time soon so I really don’t know if this little adventure will last. No spoilers please!

The guy on Girls– Adam Driver who plays Adam on Girls really is an odd duck. I’m not sure what alien planet he originates from but I enjoy the heck out of him on the show. I don’t think Girls is perfect or always that funny but when it makes me laugh it usually stems from something that Adam does or says. Adam’s character progression in the first season was one of the saving graces of the show.

Twisty-turny TV – Homeland’s “New Car Smell” and Park and Recreation’s “Halloween Surpise” – These episodes really have nothing in common except for one thing: I did not see them coming. I love that after 29 years of television viewing I can still be legitimately surprised.

The sexiest show on TV: The Hour – I don’t much care about the season long story arcs the The Hour throws our way. Sure they are fun, twisty, supposed mind-fucks but to me they just get in the way of the characters otherwise endlessly flirting with each other. To my mind the show would be much improved if the flirting was the big draw. When you put that many good-looking people on one show you kind of owe it to your audience to turn the flirt levels up to 11. What I do appreciate about the sexiness of The Hour is that everyone flirts with each other no matter if they have any intention of getting into the other’s pants, sexual orientation be damned. Romola Garai could glance furtively at a toaster (with those sexy librarian glasses on) and I’d think she would want to fuck it. One other notable improvement this season is they gave Oona Chaplin way more to do. And, with the addition of her cooking show she got to flirt with the audience too. Thanks, The Hour.

The Greatest Event in Television History – Really, the name sums it up. The Adult Swim short has been floating around on the Internet for a while. Few things delighted me this past year as much as this “event” did. The re-creation of the opening title sequence of the 1980’s show Simon and Simon was executed perfectly with hilarious results. It certainly didn’t make me want to watch Simon and Simon but I would watch an hour-long show of “the stars of today” re-creating the title sequences of ANY late 70’s or early 80’s television show. You can have that idea for free, Hollywood.

So, thanks 2012 TV. You were plenty good to me.

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