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Best of the Small Screen, Drama No. 1

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Over the past 25 weeks I've been taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today, it all ends with my No. 1 drama (at least until "Game of Thrones" ends its run).

The Wire (2002-2008)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 5/60
Network: HBO
Starring: Dominic West, Wendell Pierce, Lance Reddick, Michael Kenneth Williams, John Doman, Clarke Peters, Sonja Sohn, Jim True-Frost, and Andre Royo
Creator(s): David Simon
Favorite Episodes/Season: Season 4; 3.11 "Middle Ground," 3.12 "Mission Accomplished," 4.13 "Final Grades"
About: Simon is a great writer who has a knack for capturing important stories in life. He created "Homicide: Life …

Summer TV Roundup, Week 15

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September is achingly close, and that means the fall TV season. But before we get there, networks and streaming services are still providing a flood of new content. In these weekly posts I review the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this summer. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on HBO (Premiered August 8)
About: "Hard Knocks" is the original football documentary series, following a different NFL team through training camp, pre-season, and cutdowns each year. This is the 12th iteration, and this year we get the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I love the series for the inside look it gives to the life of an NFL team, and gets you hyped for the NFL season. But as a piece of entertainment, it really lives and dies on the players it finds to follow and connect with. Unfortunately for HBO, this Bucs team doesn't seem to have a lot of personality or …

The Real War Begins

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There’s a tradition in Game of Thrones around the penultimate episode. And it’s something all long-time viewers and fans know to be weary of. Think of “Baelor,” “The Rains of Castemere,” “The Dance of Dragons,” or “Battle of the Bastards.” People talked about it as being weary of the ninth episode of the season, but it’s really because it’s the penultimate outing.
Season seven of Game of Thrones doesn’t have nine episodes. It will only run for seven episodes. But the showrunners haven’t forgotten about the penultimate episode. “Beyond the Wall,” the penultimate episode of this shortened season, delivered another classic in the cannon of the show. And, much like other penultimate episodes, it was at turns thrilling and heart-breaking.
Earlier this Spring I saw the image above of an ice dragon. It was beautiful and captivating, and something that I couldn’t let go. At one point I even named one of my Fantasy Football dynasty league teams the Ice Dragons. But the question was whether we…

2017 Broncos Season, Pre-Season Week 2

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The Broncos are 2-0 this pre-season, but there are still plenty of questions to answer.

Pre-Season Week 2: Broncos 33, San Francisco 49ers 14
Pre-Season Record: 2-0 (0-0 Home)
Key Play: In the first half, with time winding down, Trevor Siemian connected with Jordan Taylor on a 17-yard pass for a touchdown to push the score to 20-0 before the half.

Recap: The Denver Broncos got a win in their second pre-season game and, more importantly, might have gotten some clarity and direction in their most pressing area of concern, who will start at quarterback. Paxton Lynch started on Saturday night, going 9-for-13 for 39 yards, and rushing three times for 27 yards. On the surface, that doesn't seem too bad. But if you watched, you'd have seen a young quarterback who struggled with some decision making, had trouble with accuracy on throws down the field, and frequently panicked in dumping the ball off or running. That's not great. What compounded matters was that Trevor Siemian came in…

Player Profile: Jay Cutler

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Well, we’re finally to the pre-season, and real football is right around the corner. And by real football, I mean the official Fantasy Football season. I mean, come on, that’s what we’re all here for anyway, right?

But before we get there, we have to survive camp and pre-season. And in terms of fantasy, that means trying to recover from crippling injuries. One of those came when Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill — already working his way back from a knee injury that ended last season early — took an awkward step and re-injured his knee. He’s now had ACL surgery and is out for the season.

That instantly left folks wondering what the Dolphins would do. Would they turn to Matt Moore, a well-paid backup who was serviceable to end 2016, including a playoff start. Would the Dolphins consider Colin Kaepernick, whose talent on the field seems to get lost in the off-the-field stories. Or would they sign Jay Cutler, the 34-year-old who seemed set to move to the booth but had worked with Dolphins coac…

2017 Broncos Season, Week 2 Expectations

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The Broncos head into the second week of the pre-season on Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers with plenty of questions to answer. They've also spent the past few days in joint practices, which is always a chance to measure yourself against other teams.

As we head into this second pre-season game, it's time to consider what we need to see in this second game, or at least what we'd like to see.

* Someone taking control in the quarterback race. It's Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, and the first game didn't offer anything concrete. It seems like Siemian has taken the lead in practices, and if Lynch doesn't shine in the game, the Broncos could, and should, make a decision. It will help the team to have a decision made.

* Improvement on both lines. Allen Barbre has gotten run with the ones this week, and may do the same in the game. Clearly, the Broncos' offensive line needs to play better. So, too, does the defensive line, which has been really banged up…

Best Movies of Summer

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Technically summer (both the season and Box Office cycle) is still going. But, let's face it, the big blockbusters have come and gone. Now is a fitting time to take a moment, step back, and hail the best of summer. Below is my favorite films from this summer season, which also happen to be some of the best of the year so far.

Blockbusters:
* Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (May 5): It's easy to forget this now, since it's almost September, but summer kicked off with this sequel to the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it was awesome. The soundtrack was great. The performances were great. The film was a fitting follow-up, albeit not quite topping the original.

* Wonder Woman (June 2): It's been rough for DC as they've tried to create their own cinematic universe. They have some great heroes and properties, but they hadn't really made the most of them in their new cinematic universe. That is until Patty Jenkins saved the day with "Wonder Woman," w…