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Matt’s Journal: January 1: “Top Ten TV of 2015”

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Everyone has New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone sees those New Year’s Resolutions fail. It’s basically a requirement of modern life that we try at the beginning of every year to make big changes to our lives, we give a valiant effort for 1-2 weeks and then we give up and go back to eating nachos and watching Wheel of Fortune (how are Pat Sajak and Vanna White still on tv?) Most of the reason for Resolution failure however can be found in the expanse of the goals. People too often want to introduce revolutionary change in their life, when what might make them happier and more successful is a gradual change to their everyday existence. So while I probably should exercise more (and will try), volunteer to help others more often (a noble goal) or find a wife (a high mountain indeed), my goals this year will be much more attainable in my working life. Two Resolutions for this year…get the “Matt Jones Podcast” started and write more. That’s it…easy, doable and I am committed to making both successful.

With that in mind, the idea of a daily journal seems the most fruitful. I tried this once before and I quickly lost interest, but that was because my mind was on other things. Not now…it is time to write again, in part on UK sports but also in part on whatever strikes my fancy. I am committed to doing it every weekday and some weekends, come hell or high water (the latter of which could be fixed by calling 1-800-SERV-PRO). You will be able to see all of the past ones by clicking on the section of the KSR app (which you should have if you don’t) and by the “Matt’s Blog” button on the top of the page (which you should be using to filter posts if you aren’t). Some will appear on the front page of the site and some won’t. If people like it, I will be happy. But if they don’t, I am determined to not let it change my resolve. This journal will be used like the radio show and podcast…to document what is on my mind, while also giving any fact checkers for future political runs substantial amounts of background material to use in commercials against me. See, we all win! And if you are about to say “STICK TO SPORTS!!!!!” save your breath. I am not going to…sorry. Although I will try to limit my anti-Trump comments to one a week.

With that in mind, it is New Year’s Eve and I am at home watching football alone. That may sound sad to you, but it is a decision I do not regret. I hate New Year’s Eve for a variety of reasons that could be their own journal but I will pass on for now. Suffice to say that the buildup is nearly always a letdown and a disproportionate amount of my least favorite nights of my life have been when the ball dropped (that’s what she said). While I will use future journals to talk about the state of the UK Football program and some basketball scuttlebutt, tonight’s is going to be much more joyful. With 2015 coming to an end, I am going to put on my inner pop culture critic hat and give my list of MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS of 2015.

Now the list comes with a bit of a caveat. We are currently in the best time for television in the history of the medium. Simply put, there is more good television on now than at any time ever. I haven’t watched all of it, or even close to all of it (I do have the semblance of a life). However late at night before I go to sleep, I usually watch some shows and this represents a change for me from recent years. From 2005-2010, I probably watched five shows total: Sopranos, Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office and 30 Rock. Most everything else on tv sucked. Not now…below are my 10 favorite comedies (I will do the Dramas tomorrow), but know that there are great shows that I simply haven’t watched. I hear wonderful things about Manhattan, The Affair, The Knick, Silicon Valley, Transparent and others, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. This is what I have seen and specifically what worked for me in 2015. Who knows…it might work for you too:

COMEDY

10. The Last Man on Earth: There hasn’t been a comedy with a better premise in a decade. Will Forte is the last man left on earth and his job is to survive and entertain himself in solitude. The audacity of the idea is amazing and for it to be able to keep a person’s interest in such a confined world is impressive. When the show debuted last year, I loved it and thought the first few episodes were inspired greatness. Since then, it has added characters (which to be fair, I guess it had to) and I think has lost a bit of quality. Still the writing is good, Kristen Schaal as the annoying wife is hilarious and Will Forte is consistently funny. I still will DVR every episode, so its a win.

9. Married/You’re The Worst: I put these two together because both are on FX, usually on the same night and they share a self-loathing brand of humor that I love. “You’re the Worst” is probably the better show and few sitcoms can deal with depression in a way that is so consistently funny. But the characters on “Married” make me laugh and the idea behind it (that being married in your 30s is kind of a bummer, especially when you think deep down that you are still young and potentially cool…and you are neither) hits close to home as my potential future. Both might not be your cup of tea, but they are mine.

8. Louie: Here’s the thing about “Louie.” It is only barely a comedy. Most of the show isn’t funny and it is actually more of a profile of real life for a certain segment of people in New York than a knee-slapping good time. However the raw realness of the show and the way that is showcases Louie’s personal emotions in its individual episodes is something that I find fascinating. The last season was not his best and I wonder just how much more he really has to give. But before “Louie” I had never seen a show quite like this and I usually find something I like from every episode.

7. Grinder: At times I feel like I am the only person watching this show, but I don’t care. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage’s spoof of an actor who plays a lawyer on TV, only to believe he can be a lawyer in real life is so absurd and ridiculous that I can’t help but praise each episode. The writing is witty, Lowe is hilarious and the supporting cast is one of the best on any comedy. I thought when 30 Rock went off the air that the idea of a Network comedy ever being absurd and successful was over and it would be up to cable/HBO/Netflix to produce such shows. Grinder reaffirms my faith and seems to be only getting better.

6. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Being smart is hard. Being smart and funny is harder. Being smart and funny while trying to tackle really difficult subject matter is damn near impossible. John Oliver’s show does it as well as any I have ever seen and may be the smartest, non-boring television I ever seen. The format works for Oliver in a way that is different than what Jon Stewart did so well. He takes long-form topics, explains them in detail and with humor and in so doing, makes them like funny medicine that you feel good ingesting. His piece on the Kentucky Governor’s election was brutally hilarious (and clearly had no effect), but was just one of a weekly selection of home runs from our British friend. If you want to laugh and feel smart, watch John Oliver on Sunday night…but then get on Facebook and read your distant relatives’ political opinions. We don’t want you getting to high and mighty.

5. BoJack Horseman: I just picked up this show this week during my vacation and I love it. Cartoons are hit or miss with me as their ability to not be hampered by reality can turn them into either unique, witty commentary (Simpsons, South Park, etc) or have them hit into absurd realms of comedy that are simply outside my taste. BoJack walks the line perfectly and is one of the best blends of goofy double-entendre, joke-a-second word play (think a faster paced Naked Gun) with deep story lines that actually can be quite thoughtful. An alcoholic washed-up sitcom star horse would not seem like the best vessel for comedy based on loneliness and depression, but it actually works and when combined with some of the best pop culture references of any show I have seen, the whole combination really works. This is one of the few shows (Andy Griffith, 30 Rock, Curb) that I actually think I might like better on repeat viewings and may easily rank higher on my list next year.

4. Master of None: I watched the first episode of Asiz Ansari’s new show and kind of hated it. The pilot episode tried a little too hard to be cute and while my initial reaction may have been due to my past dislike of Asiz’s comedy (I dated a girl once who loved him and I never understood why), I do think the the show changed for the better after their first shot. However from Episode 2 on (which brilliantly contrasted the lives of new immigrants to their Americanized kids), the show was a bullseye. Like a millenial version of “Louie”, Asiz sets in comedy in the real world (or at least the real world of New York) and what makes the show funny is less a string of jokes than revelations about life. I found his dating relationship the second half of the show to strike very close to home (don’t make me analyze why) and the “Nashville” episode is one of my favorites of any show (in part because it had Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Tom T Hall on the soundtrack). It is always nice to be wrong and I thought Asiz’s show would be mediocre at best…instead I can’t wait for Season 2.

3. Catastrophe: Probably almost no one reading this has watched this Amazon show and if you haven’t I understand. When it comes to TV, Amazon is Netflix’s redheaded stepchild (although I hear good things about “Man in the High Castle” and critics love “Transparent”). But “Catastrophe” is worth your time and was one of my favorite surprises of the year. The show builds around a relationship of two people who become pregnant after a one night stand and then try to create a life together for the best interests of the child. The interaction between the new couple is awkward, funny and contains some of the most realistic dialogue of those newly dating speak to each other that I have ever seen on television. It made me laugh quite a bit, but I also was really invested in the two characters, an odd thing for me even on a show I like (I never cared whether Jim and Pam would get together). Watch it since no one else you know likely has and then you can hold it over your friends’ head…with the added bonus that it is also really good.

2. The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt: I loved “30 Rock.” I still think it might be the smartest network comedy of all-time and (along with Seinfeld and Andy Griffith) my most quotable show ever. So when I say that Kimmie Schmidt is in the same league as “30 Rock”, that is high praise indeed from me. I love Tina Fey’s sense of humor and in Kimmie Schmidt, she has found another perfect vehicle. The storyline (a woman was kidnapped for years and is released knowing little about the world in New York) is ridiculous but the acting and comedy is not. I love everything about the show…the writing is crisp, the characters are hilarious and the stupidity is at just the right level. Netflix allows Fey to push the envelope a little bit more than on “30 Rock” and the season only got better as it went along. I recommend this show to almost everyone I know. Most shows on this list require a certain sense of humor…to me if you have ANY sense of humor at all, you like Kimmie Schmidt. Watch it and thank me later.

1. VEEP: For me, “Veep” is perfect. It is smart, clever, well-acted and about politics. I couldn’t ask for much more. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss may be the best female comedy actress of our generation as I can’t think of another who has been so good on two shows. This season saw her run for President, allowing the ridiculousness of a campaign to infest a show that was already terrific political satire. What is amazing is just how much our current campaign has veered off the rails to make some of the scenes from Veep actually look like predictors of the 2016 race. I would nominate the “Testimony” episode scene where they read Jonah’s nicknames as perhaps my favorite comedy scene of the year. Everything about this show is great and this was probably its best season of its four year run. For me it was the comedy of the year, and thinking about it has me laughing so much, I may just watch it again.

So there you go…I will do dramas later this weekend, after we hopefully take out Stefan Moody and Ole Miss on Saturday. I hope you have a Happy New Year and enjoy the day of consistent football. Your winners today will be Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford and Ole Miss. Invest accordingly. Hope we have a fun year together in 2016 and let’s start it off by finding this panda in the picture below (it really isn’t all that hard) Find_the_panda_puzzle

Article written by Matt Jones

35 Comments for Matt’s Journal: January 1: “Top Ten TV of 2015”



  1. belgium
    10:02 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Nice start to the new year, and you are spot on with your top ten. The problem with a top ten list is what to do with number 11. You mentioned “Silicon Valley” – it is hilarious, and being from Mike Judge of course it is a dark horse. I would also recommend, if you have never watched, Venture Brothers. It is starting season 6 in a couple of weeks, Brilliantly funny cartoon that is a combination of the superhero/comic book world and a meditation on failure.



  2. UKcrazy
    10:04 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Great article! I watched making a murderer after your initial post and loved (strong word) it. Do yourself a big favor and watch Silicon Valley. It is one of the funniest comedies I have ever seen.



  3. Big Blue Mist
    10:18 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Come join UK Wildcats- Big Blue Mist on facebook. Go Cats.



  4. ukcamel
    10:20 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Great list, would also recommend Fresh of the Boat. Funny, sometimes topical without being preachy, and great nostalgia for those who grew up in the 90’s.



  5. Gary Slucher
    10:26 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Stick to sports . It is called Kentucky sports radio. not what movies I like, what TV shows I like, and if you want to talk about politics and you are anti Trump you have picked the wrong area of the country to do that. I love your radio show and read this web site 4 times a day for sports info about UK not your views on other stuff and if you are going to go there i’ll have to get my sports stuff elsewhere.



    • Kentucky 22
      10:32 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Hey Gary, this is his site. He can do whatever he wants.. Stay cool Gary!

    • It’s also a slow UK sports day.



    • CATandMONKEY
      11:53 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Gary, this site has been far more than sports since day one. Skip the stuff you don’t like. Scroll on by.



    • UK Big Board Update
      2:34 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Bye, Felicia!!!



    • Ha!
      3:00 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Hey Gary, you don’t see Matt coming to your job and telling you how to flip burgers, do you?

      This is his site and he can post whatever he wants.

      GTFOH



  6. Trevor Lamont
    10:33 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    I completely agree on Veep, Master of None, The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, Louie, and Last Week with John Oliver. Really haven’t seen the others but may need to check them out. My fiance loves Making of a Murderer. ๐Ÿ™‚



  7. roundball fool
    10:38 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Very cool list, Matt! I feel the same away about 30 Rock, Seinfeld and Andy Griffith.

    I’ve been meaning to check out Grinder. Will do.

    We also enjoy “Black-ish” and “The Goldbergs” on network TV.

    Keep up the great work. My family and friends truly enjoy KSR’s unique take on UK sports mixed with some pop culture and politics.



  8. SinceStollField
    10:46 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    You’re probably not going to like his upcoming article on his favorite shower curtains for 2015.



  9. inside info2
    10:56 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    just googled “top 10 comedies of 2015 articles by critics with actual writing ability”. stick to sports. go into politics with this and start to lose page views.



    • ehatt
      11:43 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Where have you been? He’s been into politics for over a year. It’s his own personal section on the website he runs. The main focus of this blog will never deviate from mainly UK sports so I doubt his page views will dip that much.



    • CATandMONKEY
      12:00 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

      See my reply to # 6 above. Where have you been? Matt managed to get several clicks, a page view AND a comment from you and you don’t even like this article. Pretty effective writing, on Matt’s part.

      Maybe the title (at the top of the page) could have given a clue to the subject within:”Top 10 TV of 2015.”



  10. Muchacho
    11:01 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Rick and Morty is the best and funniest animated show right now, by a wide margin.



  11. 2thepoint
    11:04 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Do what you want Matt. I look forward to your articles ever how long or short they may be. It doesn’t mean I will like them because all of us are different. But, be considerate of what others may or may not like such as the article today when you attacked Wheel of Fortune. I don’t particularly like Pat Sajak or Vanna White, but I do like the program. Contrary to those movies you mentioned the program does make one think a little. I hope you do write about politics, because it is sorely needed. The political system is a mess with loud voices sucking all the air out of a what is left of American democracy.



  12. Yev
    11:06 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    You lecft off two great ones. Episodes, a 30 minute sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc (despite what you might think, he is awesome in this role) and Better Call Saul, the pseudo-prequel to Braking Bad.



  13. Trevor Lamont
    11:10 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Matt, some of us sports nuts / BBN Memebers are actually into things other than Sports. I enjoy you and your teams takes on topics outside sports along with the BBN stuff. Keep it up! Do you boo boo, do you!



  14. dcgirl
    11:26 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Love your list. VEEP is the best. Catastrophe is great. Transparent, Halt and Catch Fire, and Man in High Castle also pretty good.



  15. @BallBlog_Chad
    11:44 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Geez, I’ve never watched any of those, except about 5 min of The Last Man on Earth … never even heard of the rest of them



  16. Millie
    11:50 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    I loved Catastrophe.



  17. "Gary" and "inside info" are d-bags
    11:52 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Modern Family is on my top 10 comedies. Love the list besides that being left off.

  18. We don’t all make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t.



  19. Keith Myath
    11:55 am January 1, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t get it with the “stick to sports” comments. Do you think the other 500 times that comment gets posted on a non-sports article that Matt really didn’t care? But your comment…this time it was YOU that said it. Your opinion is so gosh-darn important that he’s going to stop doing exactly what has made him successful and listen to random guy that has neither a successful radio show (in an age where that medium is dying) nor a successful website.

    I mean, there are how many dozens of sports shows that just talk sports and bore all but the most fanatical of sports nuts? Go listen\watch\read one of them. Life is about balance. If all Matt talked about was sports for his entire life, he would get burned out quick. You know, like with the CBS sports thing.

    But no, go ahead and keep telling him that he’s going to fail if he doesn’t do it exactly the way you tell him to do it. While you are on HIS site, listening to HIS show. There’s a reason people are here to comment about what his site says and not the sites of the very small minority that think they can somehow do this better.



    • CATandMONKEY
      12:02 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Best comment of the year, so far!



    • Ha!
      3:01 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

      Those people are losers….



  20. Alan
    12:08 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Great article Matt! You got me started on the Grinder and I agree, it’s great. Looking forward to more of your blogs! Happy New Year!



  21. Question
    12:17 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    I guess another resolution is not requiring registration for comments. Political discussion would be fine, but it’s not objective on ksr so it’s just propaganda. And that’s fine. The people who agree with liberal politics were already convinced and conservative people are never going to agree. Kind of like readers of the herald leader.



  22. ekywildcat
    12:56 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    Any comedy list without Andy Griffith on it is a joke…and also Go Cats and Donald Trump. The end of Obummer is in sight. Wuhoooo!!!!!!!



  23. RealCatsFan
    1:03 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    First – I found the Panda!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Second – my time management must suck. I don’t see how some folks find the time in a busy day to watch all these TV shows! Not saying this to be critical, just more amazement than anything else. Between working 50 hours a week, coaching youth sports, fixing stuff around the house, and carting kids around I barely have a few spare minutes to watch some UK games, browse this site and a couple others, catch the news, and squeeze in about 6 hours of sleep. Wish I could keep up with all these great shows on TV, but there is no way. My hats off to you folks for finding a way. My resolution centers more on getting a modicum of exercise each day – that should be THE MOST important thing that I do each day – after all, I want to be around to see my grandkids someday. Peace out, BBN, and Happy New Year!



  24. Wynn
    6:40 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    It’s “Aziz”, Matt, not “Asiz”. It’s not like facts are optional.



  25. Sheeeeeiiit
    7:48 pm January 1, 2016 Permalink

    I am glad you’re writing again. I found KSR when you were writing about the Pitino/ Sypher Trial. I really enjoyed your style then. You made that entire circus enjoyable. Not sure if that was good or bad but I did have fun reading your reports. Beisner was a close second to your writing. Now The site is great with Drew and Tyler but it will always miss your writing. So I really hope you keep it up. Looking forward to the podcast as well.