Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review - Madam Secretary


I'm never been the biggest fan of politics-central shows, but having gotten thoroughly hooked on ABC's Scandal, and seeing preliminary footage of this new CBS drama, I was looking forward to its premiere.

In Madam Secretary, Tèa Leoni (The Naked Truth) stars as Elizabeth McCord, a former college professor and CIA analyst who has been newly appointed as Secretary of State to President Conrad (Keith Carradine, Fargo) after the current one dies in a plane crash.  In her demanding new position, she utilizes her many strengths - including a flair for languages, an extensive knowledge of the Middle East and an ability to not just think outside the box but to ignore that there even is a box - must handle international diplomacy, battle office politics and circumvent protocol while negotiating global and domestic issues both at the White House and at home. 

The cast includes Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers) as Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver;  Geoffrey Arend (Body of Proof) as speechwriter Matt Mahoney; Patina Miller (All My Children) as press coordinator Daisy Grant; Erich Bergen as Elizabeth's assistant Blake Moran; Zelijko Ivanek (True Blood) as Chief of Staff Russell Jackson; and Tim Daly (Private Practice, Hot in Cleveland) as her husband Henry.


The pilot wastes no time getting right to McCord's very quick appointment to the position as Madam Secretary.  Leoni is very believable as a woman who would be chosen for the job - she has a natural strength and respectability, plus a sass and edginess that is very likeable.  This is not a woman whose time you'd ever want to waste.  This is set up very well by having the POTUS himself come to ask her in person to take the job.

We then jump ahead two months later, when McCord is submersed in the job. I like that instead of showing us the discussion with her family as to whether she should do it or not, we instead see how the family is coping with the change to their lives.  Her husband supports her - yay!  I also like how we just jump right into her at work.  It's so great to see another strong, confident female character who takes command of every meeting, every strategy, and how the people around her listen to her (Scandal's Olivia Pope and The Good Wife's Alicia Florrick would be proud).  Equally done well are conflicts she faces with coworkers, plans of action, and sometimes her own family.  Her husband is a great sounding board for her; when she's unsure of herself, he helps her figure out what she needs to do without directly telling her ... the mark of a great partner. 

The writing is intelligent but not so highbrow that you can't follow it, and I love moments like when Jackson sends a stylist to change McCord's look (she loves herself a pantsuit - a nod to Hillary C.?) and is told she doesn't have a choice in the matter, McCord simply replies "See, here's the problem:  I've never met a situation where I don't have a choice in the matter."  Even though she eventually did change her look (a temporary strategic move), it was on her terms to serve her own needs and not because someone told her to because she's supposed to look a certain way.  You go, lady!

I also love lines like this that show just what this woman is made of:  "What if I'm grateful for the opportunity to expose the world to a variety of cultural differences as we move toward a more global-thinking society." Thank you writers!


This show is off to a really good start thanks much to Leoni's character and how she's been developed, which you can see even in just this first episode - that's the mark of a great pilot.  I also appreciate another show that has great diversity of race without signposting it.  I know there's going to be a crisis-of-the-week format moving forward, but what's going to be fun to watch is seeing McCord deal with them in her own, atypical, balls-to-the-wind way (she totally kicks ass at her first state dinner!)  I sure wish we'd have more women like this in positions of power.

BOTTOM LINE:  I vote for this show to continue for many episodes to come.

Madam Secretary airs Sundays at 8pm on CBS.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reviews - Red Band Society and The Mysteries of Laura


Yes, Fall TV Season begins this week as several shows make their debuts and returns.  I've got my work cut out for me, but I'll try to review and comment on as many shows as I can over the coming weeks, starting tonight with the premiere of two new shows:  FOX's Red Band Society and NBC's The Mysteries of Laura (which technically premieres Sept. 24, but the net gave us a preview tonight).

"Everyone has two stories: the one they want you to know, and the one they don't."

Red Band Society is FOX's new dramedy about a group of rule-bending friends and the adults who mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence in Los Angeles' Ocean Park Hospital, which the net describes as "provocative, unconventional and unique."  
The series stars Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue) and - in the FOX tradition of launching fresh new stars, a la Glee and Beverly Hills, 90210 - a collection of charismatic young actors including Griffin Gluck (Back in the Game) as Charlie, a 12-year-old coma patient who acts as narrator for the series; Nolan Sotillo as Jordi, who comes to the hospital seeking treatment for his illness; Charlie Rowe as Leo, the group's charming leader;  Astro (The X Factor) as Leo's best friend, the rebellious Dash;  Ciara Bravo (Big Time Rush) as Emma, Leo's sometimes girlfriend who is battling an eating disorder (though she looks really healthy, but picky picky); and Zoe Levin (Arrested Development) as Kara, resident mean girl who may soon have a change of heart - literally and figuratively.

Spencer plays Nurse Jackson, who heads up the children's ward of the hospital and rallies the kids to make the most of their lives, and Annable plays Dr. Jack McAndrew, a top pediatric surgeon treating the young patients. The series' title comes from the red bands the patients wear in solidarity and support of each other and their shared situation.


I was giggling right from the start, which was a good sign, especially since we're dealing with sick kids here. Really great intro to the characters - you got a sense of who they are right from the start and, for those who seemed like horrible people, they made you look forward to their journey to hopefully become better ones.  There's great diversity of race in the cast, but they don't focus on it - nicely taking a page from Shonda Rhimes' playbook (see Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and the soon-to-premiere How To Get Away With Murder).  I think maybe the creators (from Amblin Entertainment - yep, Steven Spielberg's production compnay) are fans of Grey's ... a volunteer (Thomas Ian Nicholas, American Pie, Rookie of the Year), who comes to serenade the kids, played "How to Save Life," GA's anthem.  

The use of voiceover in a series is certainly nothing even remotely new (the aforementioned Glee used it throughout their first season), but I don't mind it here, especially since the narration is coming from a boy who isn't even conscious (for the most part - there do seem to be moments when they work him in awake, like in dream states).  I wonder how many episodes it will be until he (inevitably?) wakes up, and if he does, if he'll continue to narrate (Glee eventually tapered the voiceovers off).

What didn't work for me so much was how the director/cinematographer chose to frame certain shots.  I'm all for originality in filming, and FOX's series tend to have a certain unique look, but RBS way overdid it and too many times it just looked like maybe they didn't know how to properly frame the actors in the shot (off-center, too much space around actors' heads, etc).  It was more often distracting than clever, especially since they did it soooo much.  

I love the fictional hospital setting - if I had a kid who gods-forbid got sick, I would hope they would be treated in a place like this, where the patients could make the rooms their own, really cutting down the look and feel of a hospital.  Plus they seem to be in really good hands (Spencer's character is tough and brash but man, you know she's do anything for these kids).  There's a nice appearance by Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf in London).  Hope they bring him back.


RBS has nicely and realistically represented the many typical adolescent types:  the bitchy cheerleader, the prissy intellect, the shy new guy, the cool leader (nice commitment by Rowe, who looks to have shaved his head - though not his eyebrows, which chemo would likely have taken, but more picky picky - for the role of cancer-stricken Leo; the character also has one leg, so the actor has that to play with as well).  Though early, you know going forward this group is gonna be a solid unit, like a medically-focused Breakfast Club. 

BOTTOM LINE:  This show has heart and is off to a really solid start.  Sign me up to be a privileged member of the RBS!

Red Band Society airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.

Debra Messing returns for her third NBC series (she previously starred on Will & Grace and Smash) playing the title role of Laura Diamond, a brilliant NYPD homicide detective who fights to find balance between her day job on the streets and her personal life as mother of unruly twin boys (Vincent and Charles Reina) and a cop husband (Josh Lucas, The Firm) she wishes to make her ex, a desire he definitively does not share.
 A proclaimed dramedy, lighter moments come from Laura striving to wrangle - often not to the most success - the many challenges that come from being a modern-day working mom juggling home and work life.  The series co-stars Laz Alonso (Deception) and Janina Gavankar (The Vampire Diaries, The League).

Messing was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the other night and they showed a clip from the pilot.  Now, I think she is a very funny comedienne who did fantastic work on W&G, and I think she was good on Smash, but from those few moments I saw with her playing a tough-as-nails detective, going in to the show tonight I was cringing.  Castle's Stana Katic plays a believable cop.  So does Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay.  Ditto for Rizzoli & Isles' Angie Harmon.  But with Messing, I was waiting for her character to break up into snickering after cornering a suspect and threatening to shoot him, as though she were just playing a badass.   I mean, of the two pictures below, which do you buy more?

But I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt by watching the whole hour - even though no active detective would carry a humungous purse while on duty. I appreciate the attempts at humor - example:  Laura gets a 911 call and races to the scene of a crime, where she bitingly dresses down and threatens unimaginable punishment to the perps - her boys, who had covered their classroom walls - and themselves - with pink paint.  But overall the mom moments suit Messing better than the actual crime-solving ones.  The hand-held cam, which is clearly used to create dramatic realness, along with Messing's missing-the-mark delivery of cop talk and gun handling, just make this look like a spoof of cop shows (think Police Squad!)  If this show had gone that route more, I think it would work better.  But because they obviously want us to buy Messing in this role, it doesn't.  Nothing against her; I'm all for actors stretching into new and different types of roles.  Here, I just think she's miscast.  But nice appearance by Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars).

I also don't quite get the title.  The Mysteries of Laura?  I read that this is supposed to be likened to Columbo (hell, Messing wears a trenchcoat and her partner even calls her Columbo), which did have Peter Falk's character being kind of both cop and private detective and solving crimes that were more mystery-oriented, but his crime-solving technique was unique and therefore worked for that kind of setup.  Laura doesn't seem to display anything really original in her technique, so I don't think the title works.  But that's just the tip of what doesn't work for me regarding this show.

BOTTOM LINEGot slightly better toward the end and scenes for the upcoming season look okay, but ultimately failed to arrest my interest to continue watching.

The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC starting Sept. 24.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The New View


The View, ABC's long-running morning chat show featuring women form different backgrounds having discussions, talking about Hot Topics, etc., returned today for its 18th season, and for weeks there's been word of a huge revamping of the program, which comes on the heels of executive producer Barbara Walter's retirement and the departure of hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy.

I can confirm:  this is a whole new View

The table now consists of Whoopi Goldberg (above, 3rd from right) - the only host to return from last season - and new co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell (above, second from left), who returns to the show, having left years ago after just one season following a very heated on-screen argument with then-co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck; actress Rosie Perez (above, far left), who was a surprise choice for me, but I guess she successfully guest-hosted earlier this year; and Nicolle Wallace, a former White House advisor under George W. Bush and who notoriously worked on the McCain/Palin campaign (she was portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the HBO movie Game Change).

Also gone is long-time producer Bill Geddie and any remnants of the old set.  In is a much brighter, whiter set, bigger, cushy chairs and a smaller table.  The premiere had the usual round of Hot Topics, but mostly it focused on introducing the new co-hosts and learning more about them (which was most relevant in Wallace's case).  I wondered how Rosie O'D. would do not being the moderator (she was during her tenure) but she was fairly reserved, though she was still Rosie - loud, letting zingers fly, etc.  I've never been able to listen for Rosie P.'s voice for very long, but it was rather toned down, and she did well.  Wallace seems to be the one most out-of-place for me, not because she didn't hold her own, but she just didn't seem to fit the tableau.  But they needed a Republican on the panel so that all political views are represented, and she is intelligent and well-respected ... and has all those fantastic Palin stories ready to be shared.

There was a weird new segment called "Ro or Ro?", where the two Rosies quiz an audience member on which Ro did what.  I'm hoping this is not a regular feature.

They also did a tribute to Joan Rivers, who appeared on the show 34 times, so that was fitting,  They made mention of Robin Williams, and Rosie spoke briefly about him and depression, but I was surprised not more was said.  But Billy Crystal is set to be on later this week, so I'm sure he an Whoopi will talk more about him.

Basically, I'm not really feeling this new View.  I'm hoping it doesn't continue to focus so much on the co-hosts and gets back to its usual basic format, and I'm sure it will once we get past this first week.  It's just such a radical change, I suppose I just have to get used to it.

The View airs Monday through Friday at 10am on ABC.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014 EMMYS


The results are in and as usual there are some surprises (Orange is the New Black shut out), some not (Modern Family ... again), and some well-deserved triumphs (Breaking Bad and its cast).

While I would have been happy to see Matthew McConaughey make history (be the first lead male actor to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same calendar year), I can't deny being completely thrilled for Bryan Cranston's win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his stellar role as Walter White on Breaking Bad, which ended its five-season run this year (it also took Best Drama Series, Anna Gunn for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and Aaron Paul for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series).

Personal shout-outs to American Horror Story: Coven winners Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates as well as to Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Steven Moffat for Sherlock.  Boo for no wins for the amazing Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones.

And next year, Emmys, please recognize amazing shows like Suits and The Walking Dead in all categories!

Here are all the Winners:

Outstanding Drama Series - Breaking Bad
Outstanding Comedy Series - Modern Family
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Outstanding Variety Series - The Colbert Report
Outstanding Television Movie - The Normal Heart
Outstanding Miniseries - Fargo
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie - Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie - Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie - Martin Freeman (Sherlock)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie - Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Coven)
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program - The Amazing Race
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Allison Janney (Mom)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad - "Ozymandias")
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective - "Who Goes There") 
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Louis C.K. (Louis - "So Did the Fat Lady")
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series - Gail Mancuso (Modern Family - "Vegas")

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who Returns!


Welcome to the TARDIS, Peter Capaldi

What a wonderful introduction to the latest Doctor we were presented with last night with the premiere of Doctor Who Series 8 (in England, seasons are called series ...), which had Capaldi - a lifelong fan of the show - stepping into the iconic role previously played by 11 other actors, the last being the whimsically soulful Matt Smith, whose swan song aired last Christmas.

The great thing about Doctor Who, the reason it has continued on over more than 50 years, is because the character is able to regenerate whenever he's about to die - a process that has the Doctor completely changing how he looks and acts.  In reality, this process happens when an actor chooses to move on from the role, as Smith chose to do last year.  It can often be a daunting task for the casting director, trying to find the next Doctor, but apparently they had Capaldi in mind right from the start (in addition to loving the show, he actually appeared in an episode in Series 4 and also the spinoff series Torchwood).

Capaldi is the oldest actor to take on the role since its massive resurgence in 2005 (which started with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Smith, the latter being only 27 when he started in the role ... Capaldi is 57).  So this Doctor (who is depending on who you talk to is either the 12th or the 13th - Smith was officially considered the 11th and John Hurt was introduced in this year's 50th anniversary special as the 12th, though in the line of regenerations is actually the 9th because his Doctor regenerated into Eccleston's\, who is really considered the 9th ... have I lost you?) is going to be a far cry from Smith's man-child one.  He already seems a little darker, a little colder, but it's going to be fascinating watching where these new travels with him take us.

No doubt the Doctor's current companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) will be dealing with that right along with us (the companion is thought to be the voice of the audience, often thinking, feeling and expressing what the masses might feel).  It's bee thought that Clara had a bit of a crush on 11 (Smith), but now that same man is old enough to be her father, and the change happened in an instant, so there is clearly an adjustment period, for both her and us.

For me, I've had the chance to get used to the idea of a new Doctor, which I didn't before, as I pretty much binged watched the show from Eccleston's premiere straight through to and through Smith's.  So I went right from Eccleston, who I liked, to Tennant, who I loved (still my favorite Doctor), to Smith (that took some time).  But bidding Smith goodbye last December and now hello to Capaldi, I'm ready for the adventure to continue with this new Time Lord. 

So to Capaldi, I say Fantastic, Allons-y, Geronimo, and whatever catch word his Doctor adapts!

New Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America.  Past series are currently streaming on Netflix.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Well, I've finally gone and done it.  Caught up with a little piece of TV pop culture known as Sharknado.

I have never partaken of SyFy's infamous so-bad-they're-good creature features before, but I got a chuckle out of the sequel's sub-tag line, "The Second One" and figured I had to see what all the hilarious fuss was about.  So I recorded the double feature and settled in for the craziness.

My goodness.  Wow.  The first hurricane to hit Los Angeles brings with it mega waves that spool sharks into the streets and sewer systems, through Santa Monica, into Beverly Hills and Hollywood and eventually up into Van Nuys.  Being a resident of the city, I naturally recognized the many landmarks affected and watched them destroyed by flying sharks.

Oh, in case you didn't already know, they were flying because water spouts became tornados that picked up the many sharks, therefore making them - you guessed it - sharknados.

Fighting the good fight are Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210) and Tara Reid (American Pie) as Finn and April, ex-spouses who take down the sharks with guns, chainsaws and homemade bombs.  It is one f-upped adventure to survive, and there are many casualties along the way.  But this is by no means quality filmmaking.  The special effects are quite laughable, the continuity is ridiculously inconsistent (It's raining!  It's sunny!  It's pouring!), but it's not a surprise.  In fact, it's exactly expected in films like these.  It's part of what makes them so insanely fun to watch.  And why it promptly demanded a sequel.  How can it not when the the climax of the flim features Finn cutting himself and friend Nova (Cassandra Scerbo, Make It or Break It) out of a shark that had swallowed them both whole?

Sharknado became such a phenomenon, it seems like everyone wanted to join in the fun of Sharknado 2: The Second One.  Ziering and Reid returned for more action - which this time takes place in New York - and in addition to being joined by Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath and Kari Wuhrer, the many cameos include Kelly Osbourne, Robert Hays (playing a pilot, a humorous nod to his Airplane! days), Andy Dick, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, Judd Hirsch (another humorous nod - he plays a Taxi driver), Shark Tank's Daymond John (get it?), Perez Hilton, Robert Klein and Wil Wheaton.

The flick certainly doesn't fail to up the insanity.  The opening sequence finds Finn successfully crash-landing the 747 he was on with April, who were on their way to the Big Apple for a book signing (she wrote the natch best-seller How to Survive a Sharknado).  See, the pilots got sucked out of the cockpit after flying sharks took out the engine and disabled the jet.  Duh.  Also among the flight's casualties are Wheaton, who got sucked out the chewed out side of the fusilage, and April's hand, bitten off by an incoming airborne shark.

There's plenty of other gore and screaming and carnage in both *cough* films and the cheesy lines are among some of the cheesiest (feel free to grown and eye-roll all you want, but if you make a drinking game out of it, be warned - you won't last 10 minutes).  And yes, they even included several winks to Jaws, including the line "We're gonna need a bigger chopper." 

Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One are exactly what you expect, no more, no less.  But who cares.  Love em or hate em, they have secured their place in pop culture history. 

And no doubt, there will be Sharknado 3.  But what will they call it?  The Third One?  Back for a Bigger Bite?  Feel free to leave your ideas for titles in the comments below! 

Sharknado is currently streaming on Netflix and Sharknado 2: The Second One is replaying on SyFy Channel.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Recap - Comic-con 2014


My annual trek to and through Comic-con came to a close yesterday, and it was a whirlwind adventure as always (20 hours in line for Marvel!  Camping out with very cool people!  Navigating the tightly-packed Exhibit Hall!).  I actually got to attend two days this year and got into almost everything I wanted, while I got the inside track from friends on some things I missed.

Here are some highlights (TV-related, of course):

Once again the Supernatural panel delivered awesomeness across the board.  In attendance were showrunner Jeremy Carver and stars Jensen Ackles (Dean), Jared Padalecki (Sam), Misha Collins (Castiel) and Mark A. Sheppard (Crowley).  I actually got to see Misha a couple of hours before the panel, as he came first jogging by us in line and later brought by coffee for the fans.  Got a nice shot of him:

Jensen is directing an episode once again and it's gonna be one hell of a tale if the clip he brought for us exclusively is any indication.  He and the others expressed their gratitude to the fans, acknowledging that they're still on the air after 10 years because of us. (You're welcome! - happy to have you still around). 

The panel gave us some very general inklings into the upcoming 10th season, including their 200th episode, which Carver says will be "musical-ish", but whatever is coming, it sounds like it'll be amazing and fresh, which is important for a show that has been on so long.  They left us with a glimpse of the always-hilarious gag reel, which will be included on the Season 9 DVD release this September.

Supernatural (The CW) returns Monday, Oct. 6 at 9pm with a retrospective of the series, then the 10th season premiere is Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9pm.

I also got into the panel for the Cartoon Network animated series Teen Titans Go!, which was cool because voice actors Tara Strong (Raven), Scott Menville (Robin) and Greg Cipes (Beast Boy) were in attendance, and it's always cool to put faces to voices you know so well.  I am a huge fan of the original Teen Titan series, which was more mature and darker than the current Go! version, but the latter is quite hilarious.  Mostly I wanted to go to find out why they revamped the series to such a varying degree, but while I didn't quite get that answer, the panelists did mention that maybe in a year or two they will return to the original version.  I'll Go! for that!

New episodes of Teen Titans Go! air Thursdays at 6pm on Cartoon Network.

 Other panels I didn't go to but heard were fantastic were:


The panel for ABC's Once Upon a Time had a great turnout of stars, including Jennifer Morrison (Emma), Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Rumplestilskin), Josh Dallas (Charming), Colin O'Donoghue (Hook) and Emilie de Ravin (Belle), with a taped message from new mother Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White).  Not present were the newest cast members Elizabeth Lail and Georgina Haig, who are playing Anna and Elsa, respectively, from the hit movie Frozen, but the new characters were discussed.

Once Upon a Time returns Sept. 28 at 8pm on ABC.

The Vampire Diaries also had a great cast turnout, including stars Nina Dobrev (Elena), Paul Wesley (Stefan) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon).  A hilarious video the cast and crew made was shown and I'm so glad it's available to see.  It takes place right after the season 5 finale, when Damon and Bonnie (Kat Graham) supposedly crossed over to the other side.  But did they?  Or is this what really happened? 

The Vampire Diaries returns Oct. 2 at 8pm on the CW.


Here's a one-two punch I wish I had been around for (it was on Friday).  I hear both panels were spectacular, packed with cast members, lots of news and great footage.

At least I can share the trailer for season 5 of The Walking Dead that was shown with you here:

The Walking Dead returns Oct. 12 at 9pm on AMC.

So, another Comic-con come and gone.  Can't wait till next year!