Monday, February 1, 2016

My Favorite Spots #1: Culver City Stairs

On January 1st, 2016, while on a "New Year, New Me" kick, I ran up the Culver City Stairs in an attempt to capture the sunset. I missed it by like ten minutes and also had the pleasure of coming to terms with how grossly out of shape I am.

The Culver City Stairs is pretty much the best hike in LA if you're calculating the ratio between the amount of effort and the quality of the view, because it probably takes 10 minutes to get to the top and it's pretty much in the top 5 views in LA.

This is the first picture I took in 2016, when I made it to the top just minutes after sunset. You can see the ocean, the Palisades on the far right, and west LA in the center.

While the record for climbing the 282 steps is 2 minutes and 9 seconds (set by Leony Mendez in 2015), I've done it three times now and I'd say 10 to 15 minutes is fine.

When I went on January 1st, it was my second time. I wore jeans, a sweater, and didn't bring a water bottle. I was naïve. I came back on a cloudy January 10th in the early afternoon to get some more pictures specifically for this blog post.

Okay so I went a little overboard with the "Saturation" feature on Photoshop, but I really wanted to make these look like a warm, sunny day. The Culver City Stairs are actually a nickname for the Baldwin Hill Scenic Overlook, located on the southeast side of Culver City. The stair size and spacing are incredibly irregular, with the largest step being an aggravating 20 inches and the smallest being 3.5 inches.

Here is the view from one of the landings, which are perfect for taking breaks. Everyone parks on Jefferson Blvd when they come here, but be wary if you're trying to find a spot in the 20 minutes leading up to sunset.

The top is a large and flat lookout area, with views to the east, north, and west. This is the north view, where you can see Century City on the far left, and Hollywood on the far right.

I tried to Photoshop downtown LA back into view because it was so overcast that day, but it didn't really work.

What you really want to do is come at sunset, so you get the daytime, sunset, and nighttime views. It's really awesome watching LA light up after it gets dark.

I love this view of Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.

Here you can see me, a certifiable fool, wearing jeans and a sweater to a hike. I wasn't camera ready at all, since I had been panting like crazy five minutes earlier. But hey, someone offered to take my picture.

Here is a flock of millenials enjoying the natural beauty of an LA sunset on the first day of the new year.

My one word of advice about doing the Culver City Stairs at sunset is not to wait around too long after the sun has gone down to return home, otherwise you'll need a flashlight to safely descend the steps.

But I'm very lucky to live in this neighborhood, since I can be sitting in my apartment one minute, and a 10 minute drive and a 10 minute hike later, I'm looking out over all of LA. 

So, to Runyon Canyon:

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are the best. When do we ever get the chance to make dramatic statements about the course of our lives? I revel in the corniness of over-the-top proclamations about the future.

Say Yes More
2015 got a lot of no from me. In January I moved across the country, and once I got settled it seemed to be that I would say no to anything that involved getting on a freeway… for good reason! But screw comfort zones, I’m tired of feeling like this was my last years’ resolution.

Leave LA a Lot
I think there’s a tendency to feel like LA is this giant, soul-sucking hellscape that drags on for hundreds of miles with no boundaries and you’re just stuck here sitting in traffic for the rest of your miserable existence and… where was I going with this? Oh yeah. I want to travel more. Writers need new experiences, and nothing promotes personal growth more than travel. There are a billion places left to for me to see! I’ve never been to Idaho!

Get A Mentor
No one makes it in LA without a mentor guiding them. As the capitalists say, it’s the number one way to get ahead in your career. My goal by the end of the year is to find someone who is doing what I want to be doing and to learn from them. We all know what happens to those who aren't properly mentored.

Learn A Language
I’m giving myself until midnight to decide… but by the end of the day I want to have taken the first lesson of Duolingo for a new language. Italian is calling to me like an ancient mother tongue, but Spanish literally comes up every single day in my life. Plus it's always been a secret dream of mine to learn Hawaiian.

Make a New Best Friend
This is a no-brainer. I feel like I include this on every New Year’s Resolution list I make, because making new friends is good for you! But what I found in moving to the West is that you need friends who are physically with you to make it in this cruel world. I want a support system to really make LA feel like a home and not “the loneliest and most brutal of American cities” (Jack Kerouac). And to all my friends back East… it’s a tier.

Running out of ideas… okay what did we learn from the events of 2015…

Pursue Your Passions
If One Direction can take a break to chase their individual dreams, so can I. And I have hobbies! I can do this. Obviously this involves writing more, and I like photography! And maybe I'll even try to get back into the YouTube stuff. I'm hip...

I tried reading lists of major world events from 2015 and I highly discourage it… that is some depressing stuff. I need to be grateful for what I do have, and give back to those who don’t. And maybe if I don’t have the money, at least I have the time and the energy to help out in some way.

Shut your whole face Zayn we haven't forgiven you yet.

I am not the worst chef in the world! I love the adult feeling you get when you’re in your apartment in your underwear, holding a glass of Chardonnay while stirring something in a pan… and Partition is playing…

Let’s face it, I ain’t going to a gym. That is not new year, new me. But I do like yoga a lot and I think I need it for all the driving I’ve been doing for Lyft. I feel like the Tin Man before they invite him to join their squad.

Find My Fashion
2014 was the year of plaid for me, and 2015 was the year of solid colored dress shirts. My closet went from a young Ennis Del Mar’s dream (minus the denim) to basically the entire X-Small Extra Tight Fitted stock at an Express store.


I know I know I’m hitting all the clichés, but I do need an excuse to read more! And not just every A-list celebrity’s memoir like I did last year… real books about real things! Maybe a classic or two.

That's all. Just some nice things to try to keep plugging along on this journey. Hope everyone enjoyed this post and came up with some of their own!

Monday, November 16, 2015

How to Lose a Job in 10 Days

Now I know the internet is more for putting out a better-than-life version of yourself in the hopes of making everyone else jealous. But I'm saving that for Instagram today.

Hopefully this will be some kind of cathartic experience for me.

Now I do have some disclaimers:
1. I did not lose my job on purpose just to write this article. That would be poppycock.
2. I have never seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But I am going to tell this story using Kate Hudson gifs.

So starting with Day 1, when I got my first ever job offer as a marketing coordinator at a direct marketing company. This was a few days before Halloween, my bank account was almost empty, and I had interviewed for dozens of jobs since my dogwalking work came to a near halt in August. This was me:

Day 2 was my orientation. I learned what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life! Just kidding, but the work was going to be rigorous and I had to constantly ask myself, "Is this what I really want?" before checking my bank account again.

I'm going to break my own rule for just a second because this line from Broad City was ringing in my head the second I took the job.

I even took myself on a shopping spree to Express because I was SO about that business professional attire. Before my first paycheck! Naïve adult mistake #1.

Days 3-5 consisted of me learning the ropes, shadowing my superiors. Basically, the company acted as third party marketing for big time clients who wanted to promote some of their products. I would be in actual retail stores telling customers about products or special programs they may not know about. That completed my first week, and I was ready to hit the pavement and start getting that commish!

I had so much going through my mind at this time. I had guilt from feeling like I was betraying the reason I came to LA, which was to become a writer. Frustration, that after 9 months in LA I had barely gotten in a few weeks of full time work. And finally desperation, that I wanted to make this work because the earning opportunities were very enticing.

"People" in this case is, of course, capitalism. But my manager did help me work through a lot of that, and I came to understand that I had to silence those doubts in order to take control of my own future.

So Day 6, my first day in the field. I'm excited. Also sick to my stomach nervous. Talking to strangers? That's my worst skill! But I knew that if I was ever going to get over those fears, this was a fast way to do it.

But of course, unsuspecting customers in retail stores have a way of reminding you just how cruel the world can be.

That's me. The whole first day. Every time someone said something rude to me, I would basically break. "Don't solicit me," "Go away," "Not interested," were some of the things I heard within 1 second of conversation. I never realized so many people were dropped on their heads as babies!

Day 7 was much of the same, and I wasn't getting the results my superiors wanted. But I still had my eyes on the prize.

For those who aren't familiar with Nine, this translates to:
1. Dark handsome guys
2. Skinny little ties
3. Shades in the middle of the night

Also just generally the fantasy of having a musical number where I'm surrounded by Italian guys and get to do a badass hair flip.

It all seemed within reach if I just sucked it up and learned to put on a warm smile. My manager kept referencing my background in acting, saying I already have the tools to be good at this. But each day was so exhausting. I would leave for work around 10AM and get home around 9PM. This could be my life for who knows how long!

Days 8 and 9 were kind of tense, as my bosses sort of implied that my results needed to improve... or else. I came in Day 10 and was greeted with essentially an ultimatum. They were very honest, and even quite friendly about it. If my performance didn't meet the basic requirements of an employee at the company, I wasn't worth keeping around. I got it. But boy was I scared of being out of the street again.

It was a Friday, my fifth day of continuous work (something I haven't done since mid-summer). I gave it my all. But I did come up short. It was the end of the line for my corporate career.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I learned a lot, I even improved on some of the skills I was looking to get better at. Within five days I was already getting less anxious at the thought of talking to people. A little.

But I am back to square one. Job websites, the witch is back! Hopefully things are different this time. I mean I do have those kick-ass dress clothes for interviews.

In the words of Jim O'Connor from The Glass Menagerie, "I am disappointed but I am not discouraged." I'm sad about how things turned out, but I'm optimistic about where things can go from here.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more LA adventures.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My HitRecord Story

In the Spring of 2013, I took a class called Surrealism and Film. The class kicked my butt, I never understood the films, and the word "surrealism" brings back painful memories. But for my final project we had to "create something surrealist," and I told my professor that I was interested in the idea of 2D animation.

We discussed how surrealist animators focus more on the process of drawing than on the outcome of the animation, and that by getting totally lost in each drawing, and letting creativity flow in a stream of consciousness style, I could create something very unique. She gave me 400 sheets of animation paper, a lightboard, and I got to work!

I started with an inspiration image, the first few frames of The Lion King, and my only goal was to never plan ahead, but to come up with what I would draw in each frame on the spot. With a DSLR camera I snapped the 360 pictures, uploaded them into Adobe Premiere, and at 12 drawings per second, I had a 30 second animation! 

Somehow I stumbled across Joseph Gordon-Levitt's website HitRecord a few months later, and uploaded the project there. Basically, HitRecord is a collective of artists looking to collaborate and create new work. Joseph Gordon-Levitt started the website as a way to give undiscovered artists an opportunity to showcase their work as well as work together. 

Soon enough, the art, performances, and videos were coming together, and the first 3 episodes of the new variety show, HitRecord on TV, premiered at Sundance in January 2014. They then aired the first season of 8 episodes, each with a unifying theme, on Pivot, from January to March 2014. 

This is where it gets good!

In November of 2014, one of the producers of HitRecord emailed me out of the blue, hoping to get in touch with me about an idea for a project. During a Skype call, we talked about me possibly doing another animation for a future episode, where the theme would be "The Number Two." I was so excited!

 On the inside:

On the outside:

I definitely thought I was finally being discovered.

So obviously I said yes! We went back and forth with some storyboards, I told them I wanted to do a 20 second animation that visualized some symbiotic relationships in the animal world as a way to express dualities in nature. 

This is from my original storyboard. A shark and remora enter, swim around each other, transform into yin and yang, that turns into an anemone and a clownfish, which becomes a dandelion and a bee, and finally a human blows the seeded dandelion into the air. We cut the shark because, as you can see, I can't draw sharks.

But 240 drawings later, I finished! Around Christmas of last year, I uploaded the animation to HitRecord's website. And what do you know, they used it! Season 2, Episode 2 "The Number Two" aired on June 19th, 2015. I should've participated in their sequence about what it's like to be the second child... what a missed opportunity!

But a few days ago, I finally got around to putting my animation on YouTube... for those who don't have the Pivot network on their TV. The experience was incredibly fun and if you're reading this, Pixar, I'm available.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ranking All 24 Scripted (Current) TV Shows I Watch

This is a fun article I wanted to try, because if you don't already know, I'm obsessed with TV. The only qualifications for making this list is that it had to be a scripted show that is currently still on the air (or not officially cancelled), and I had to have seen every episode...

So enjoy this 100% biased list that proves the following gif to be true.

24. American Horror Story (4 Seasons, 2011)

This gif itself is almost entirely the reason American Horror Story came in last. I have a hard time giving up on shows, and any show that has Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates I will watch regardless, but American Horror Story is a massive disappointment of a show. It's so high concept that I feel inclined to tune in each year just for the setup alone, but I know the plot will inevitably crash and burn. Each subsequent season (Murder House, Asylum, Coven, and Freak Show) has crashed earlier than the last. I literally needed a drink in hand before I could start Episode 2 of Freak Show.

Highlight/Best Season: Season 2 (Asylum) is a well-crafted, (most of the time) well-executed, and definitely well-acted mini series about the horrors of the 1960s asylums, including a great reinterpretation of Psycho/Silence of the Lambs/Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspiration Ed Guin.

23. True Detective (2 Seasons, 2014)

Okay this wasn't the easiest decision because Season 1 IS good, even with a rambling Matthew McConaughey. But this is a great example of another anthology show that probably should've taken more time to figure out what worked and what didn't before scrapping it all and starting over.

Highlight/Best Season: Woody Harrelson in Season 1 basically being the Jim of The Office to Matthew McConaughey's Dwight.

22. Modern Family (7 Seasons, 2009)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Television Academy darling Modern Family has FIVE Outstanding Comedy Emmys for its first five seasons. Like... what? Honestly, the show isn't BAD, it's just by far not the best comedy on TV, especially after Season 3. 30 Rock and Parks & Rec were regularly better than this fanfare.

Highlight/Best Season: Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) has been slaying as Mitch and Cam's daughter since she arrived in Season 3.

21. Girls (4 Seasons, 2012)

Girls probably deserved its Best Comedy Golden Globe for its first season. It was fresh, exciting, and an incredibly subversive take on female sexuality for television. Another great show that has fallen since its start.

Highlight/Best Season: Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) started as the virgin attending NYU, and has continued to have the best lines now that she is a post-grad drowning in a terrible job market.

20. Younger (1 Season, 2015)

Not really sure if I knew TVLand existed before I jumped at the chance to watch a show starring Sutton Foster AND Hilary Duff. If you haven't heard of it (which doesn't surprise me), Younger is about a 40 year old divorcee who pretends to be a 20-something because she thinks it will help her get a job. AND IT DOES! Great acting, kind of cliché writing, and a sort-of interesting take on millenials by the creator of Sex and the City.

Highlight/Best Season: SUTTON FOSTER.

19. UnReal (1 Season, 2015)

Beyoncé forgive me. I never, EVER thought I would watch a Lifetime show. Let alone ANOTHER one that spoofed a famous reality show (more on that later). But this dramedy about a small producer who works behind the scenes on a matchmaking show (à la The Bachelor) is a great summer treat. Her job is to manipulate the women into being as crazy as the American public expects of such a show, and she's GOOD at it. Which raises a lot of issues for her personal life. I can't vouch for where this show will go from here, but I'm along for the ride.

Highlight/Best Season: Shiri Appleby, who plays the lead, Rachel, works tirelessly to ground the show despite some crazy Lifetime-worthy plots. I believe she succeeds.

18. The Middle (7 Seasons, 2009)

The Middle gets that coveted post-Modern Family slot that Happy Endings so badly deserved. But as Modern Family grew into a ratings goliath and then was basically pushed into jumping the shark, The Middle stayed in its lane. It's fun while also being humble. It delves into financial issues in a way that the well-off Modern Family characters will never be able to match, so it feels relatable. I started watching it because it was like an underrated Modern Family, but I stayed because it's so damn funny.

Highlight/Best Season: As a middle child, I can firmly say that Sue Heck (Eden Sher) is the best part of The Middle.

17. Another Period (1 Season, 2015)

Now the theme song is stuck in my head. This amazing show from Comedy Central is the second reality show parody on this list. If Downton Abbey and Keeping up the Kardashians had a baby, it would be Another Period (no I didn't come up with that unfortunately). The show takes place at the dawn of the 20th century and follows the trashy Bellacourt family of Rhode Island. It is absurd and all of the characters say offensive things and none of them will ever get what they want.

Highlight/Best Season: Everyone on this show is so good, but Paget Brewster plays the morphine-addicted matriarch, Dodo Bellacourt, and has a cheesy British accent for no reason whatsoever.

16. Hotwives of Orlando (2 Seasons, 2014)

Okay, the LAST show that draws inspiration from an existing reality show. Hotwives of Orlando (renamed Hotwives of Las Vegas for Season 2) is a Real Housewives parody, and as someone who has never seen a Real Housewives show, I can guarantee that Hotwives has done its homework. The show makes drama out of putting your finger in another woman's face, throwing drinks, and telling other women to calm down. But it's so perfectly self-aware that you can't help dying every time one of those things happens. Can't recommend this enough to anyone who has Hulu Plus.

Highlight/Best Season: Phe Phe (Tymberlee Hill) is the only character who is in both seasons, and she has GOT to say whatever is on her mind.

15. Fresh off the Boat (2 Seasons, 2015)

Fresh off the Boat was one of the only new network comedies to survive the 2014-2015 TV Season. The reason is its diverse cast, stellar acting, and relatable family sitcom ideals. The story of a Taiwanese family moving from DC to Orlando in the 1990s is so funny, and I can already say that it has stepped up its game so far for the new season. I had a hard time putting it higher because it's so new, but if you aren't already watching this show, you should.

Highlight/Best Season: I'm a sucker for middle children, so I'm gonna have to say Emory Huang (Forrest Wheeler), only because he turns the stereotype on its head by being outgoing, smart, and probably the most ostensibly likable Huang.

14. Bojack Horseman (2 Seasons, 2014)

How can a show with a Beyoncé reference not be higher? Well... the show raises a lot of questions about bestiality that I'd rather not get into. In Bojack Horseman, anthropomorphic animals of every species live among our society as normal citizens, and our protagonist, Bojack, is the least likable of them all. Which is strange for a comedy? But I think its attempt to "get real" about issues of self-worth, happiness, and the vacuum that is Los Angeles, does well in this animated format. It can balance being crazy honest and being just crazy.

Highlight/Best Season: I despise blatantly stupid characters in comedies, but something about Aaron Paul as Bojack's roommate/squatter Todd is very endearing.

13. Veep (4 Seasons, 2012)

Veep! Another awards juggernaut. You couldn't let Amy Poehler have ONE Emmy, could you Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Anyway. Veep is a hilarious parody of the absurdity of politics, which I never thought I would care about. I mean... our ACTUAL politics are a parody of politics... right? But the show is so quick and smart that I thoroughly enjoy watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus stumble as the Vice President with a totally inept staff.

Highlight/Best Season: Sam Richardson as Richard Splett is too nice for Washington... but probably just the right amount of stupid.

12. Silicon Valley (2 Seasons, 2014)

I put this next to Veep because they're basically a tie for me. And that's saying something, because I have a REALLY hard time with mostly male ensemble comedies. But... imagine if Big Bang Theory wasn't super annoying? That's Silicon Valley. Nerdy guys that are honestly depicted as being real humans, rather than having to follow stupid network sitcom tropes by getting into clichéd shenanigans all the time? Silicon Valley makes me laugh, and I don't always know exactly why, but I'll keep watching to find out.

Highlight/Best Season: I think Season 2 really kicks the show up a notch, because you're already rooting for Pied Piper and it seems their obstacles are truly insurmountable.

11. Transparent (1 Season, 2014)

An Amazon series? That won two Golden Globes? And an Emmy? Sheesh, and I thought Amazon's next big trick was to have drones swarming our skies like the end of Wreck-It Ralph. Transparent is like one of those HBO shows that just does NOT care about whether or not you like its characters, which is the kind of show that I really love. Honest people who regularly make mistakes and refuse to learn from them. There's no gimmick, but instead the show wants to bring to light real issues for real people. And it feels like it cares about those people, and that feels good!

Highlight/Best Season: Gaby Hoffman as the confused youngest child who begins a path of self-discovery after her dad comes out as transgender.

TOP TEN, HERE WE GO! Note, these are not my favorite shows of all time, just my favorite shows still on the air.

10. Arrested Development (4 Seasons, 2003)

I'm including this based on the belief that there will be an Arrested Development Season 5, which... I mean... does Netflix have the authority to officially cancel it? Anyway, Arrested Development was the most underrated show of all time until it suddenly had a huge cult following and Netflix brought it back about 7 years after it was cancelled after its 3rd season wrapped in 2006. The first 3 seasons are amazing. The 4th is still pretty good! There was a mixed reaction when it dropped, which I blame on nostalgia getting in the way of people being able to appreciate Season 4 for what it was. You can't beg for a show to be saved and then expect a show that aired during the same time as Friends to be the same in our post-Facebook world.

Highlight/Best Season: Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Funkë, for sure. I will always love self-obsessed women in comedy.

9. Orange is the New Black (3 Seasons, 2013)

Netflix everywhere! How did they become synonymous with good programming? Orange is the New Black, that's how. This show is pivotal in showing the world that diverse, mostly female casts can make it in this cruel world of television. You treat your characters like 3-dimensional human beings, good storytelling will follow. People hate on Season 3 for lacking drama, but I think it has built such a strong base, that even when it is subtle it succeeds. There are just a million moving parts here, almost all of them interesting (sorry Piper).

Highlight/Best Season: Despite my defense of Season 3, Season 2 is the best, simply because of Vee Parker (Lorraine Toussaint). Also my favorite character is Taystee (Danielle Brooks).

8. Difficult People (1 Season, 2015)

8 episodes, and suddenly it's my 8th favorite scripted show of all time that is currently on the air!? Well... yes. One, because some of these shows peaked early and then had time to get worse, and two, because Difficult People is amazing. Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner kill it in all 8 episodes as two bitter New York comedians. They hate everyone around them and I feel them in their struggle. They just want to achieve their dreams without becoming mindless yes-men of the entertainment industry! You can even hate them if you want, because they usually do awful things, but they always get their comeuppance. And the show is smart as hell.

Highlight/Best Season: Julie and Billy win in equal parts here.

7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (3 Seasons, 2013)

I waited a long time to come around to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A cop show? Boring. But when I finally did give it a chance, it was magic. Imagine Parks & Rec meets... I can't name any cop shows I like. But Brooklyn Nine-Nine is consistently hilarious, with a ton of great ensemble characters that don't totally revolve around Andy Samberg. But seeing Andy Samberg in a cop's uniform...? Let's just say he could get it.

Highlight/Best Season: Hands down Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti). Brash, sassy, confident, self-obsessed. One of the best characters of any show on TV right now. Ooh maybe that'll be my next list.

6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (1 Season, 2015)

This isn't even the highest Netflix show on this list! But Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a delightful adventure, led by the amazing Ellie Kemper as Kimmy, the small town girl who is released from imprisonment in a post-apocalyptic cult bunker and moves to New York to experience the world. Robbed of all their Emmys this year! Pinot Noir deserved its own damn Emmy. The show isn't perfect, but it sure has hell has great writing and it is sincerely appreciated in our post-30 Rock world.

Highlight/Best Season: Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees (Friday the 13th reference?) is my favorite. I'm starting to notice my weird obsession with vain women who are sassy and entitled?

5. Game of Thrones (5 Seasons, 2011)

Why Season 5 won Outstanding Drama at the Emmys is beyond me, since I would rank it as my fifth favorite season of this incredible, incredible show. I started Game of Thrones around the time Season 3 was wrapping up, and I have been in love ever since. Some shows rely entirely on spectacle, but in Game of Thrones I truly believe spectacle is second to character. These people feel real, and they aren't even from our world (unless you subscribe to Snoop Dogg's belief that Game of Thrones is a historical drama?). That's what makes it good. The effects, the worlds, the hot people, that's all just icing on the cake.

Highlight/Best Season: The best season is Season 3 for the Red Wedding alone, but I still think about Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) every damn day of my life.

4. Sense8 (1 Season, 2015)

Sense8 did not get the attention it deserved when it dropped on Netflix in June 2015. Not only is the cast incredibly diverse and progressive, they are all played by amazing actors. And it's filmed on-location in 9 different cities! That's insane!! If you haven't seen it, it's about eight people who find out that they are actually connected, and can rely on each other's skills, languages, and even locations to escape their own individual drama. I can't wait to see where Season 2 takes this wonderful and very well-executed concept.

Highlight/Best Season: Lito (Miguel Ángel Sylvestre) is literally too precious. He is a Mexican movie star who deals with being closeted in the public eye, but he is also the most dramatic thing to ever happen to television.

3. Bob's Burgers (6 Seasons, 2011)

Bob's Burgers is one of the few things America did right. It is an amazing piece of comedy and deserves a million awards. Unlike in other animated shows for adults, the Belchers genuinely look out for each other, and regularly go out of their way to lift each other up. It's amazing and beautiful and I will never stop gushing about how awesome Bob's Burgers is. The show varies from parody to ordinary sitcom style, with wonderful pop culture homages to movies like The Breakfast Club or The Goonies. There aren't enough Bob's Burgers episodes in this world.

Highlight/Best Season: All the seasons are the best, and I am in a pickle trying to decide if Linda or Tina is my favorite... but I'm leaning towards Tina because she is so confident in her passions (horses, zombies, and most importantly, boys).

2. The Mindy Project (4 Seasons, 2012)

This show wouldn't be on this list if it weren't for Hulu Plus! Mindy Kaling left being one of the best writers on The Office to become her own Tina Fey. But Mindy is so different from the show creators/stars/writers that came before her, and her humor is so in tune with my interests (sass meets pop culture). She regularly takes creative risks, opting for her character Mindy to follow through with an unplanned pregnancy, even though a baby usually equals death for a sitcom. Her take on dating and motherhood is too clever for that kind of trap, and the show has flourished because of it.

Highlight/Best Season: Mindy. I'm sorry. She's the best part.


1. Broad City (2 Seasons, 2014)

I will FIGHT anyone who disagrees with this, but Broad City has 20 episodes of pure comedy gold. This little Comedy Central show takes all of the stress of being a 20-something and turns it into hysterical portraits of New York City life. All the way from LA, this feels relatable as hell, and the empowerment that comes from Abbi and Ilana just totally taking on the world together is beyond exciting. Broad City is, in my opinion, the best show on television right now because it satirizes so many things about our society, from social media to race/gender issues to what it means to be a millenial today.

Highlight/Best Season: Season 2 is even better than the first because it takes the show to a whole new level of craziness, and I'm gonna have to say it's a perfect tie between Abbi and Ilana for the best part about this show.

Anyway, if you stuck around this long, thank you! I believe we get the TV we deserve, and that by watching great shows, with diverse casts and comedy that is edgy without being offensive, more great shows will get made. So go out there and watch great television!