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With thousands of TV shows being released every year, it is becoming more and more difficult (and impossible) to track, catch up, and pick your favorites. The quality of shows in 2017 in particular was ridiculously high that it would be torture to list down my top 30 shows without cutting a number of others I was extremely fond of. But I did anyway.

Here are 5 other recommendations I did not have room for in the list:

So You Think You Can Dance (Season 14, FOX) : This dance reality show has released its strongest season since 2008 (Season 4), and finally found its way back after a couple of uninspired and confused seasons – kids and stage vs street. On top of having unbelievably strong and memorable contestants (Lex, Logan, Taylor, Kiki), this season also ushered the return of some of the most beloved choreographers of the show’s 14 seasons (Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, etc).

Mindhunter (Season 1, Netflix) : For a show about the most dangerous serial killers of our time, MIndhunter surprisingly did not show us any bit of blood or murder. Instead, Fincher, Theron and company focused on a patient and methodical exploration of the start of criminal profiling in the US. It also witnessed the birth of one of 2017 TV’s most memorable characters – Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton).

Great News (Season 1-2, NBC) : Not shocking that the people behind 30 Rock created one of the most promising new comedies in 2017. Great News takes place behind-the-scenes of a cable news show where a promising producer’s career is challenged when her mother applied for an intern position in the same company. In a span of one year, the show was able to produce two hilarious seasons – the first one developing the silly dynamics in this workplace, and the second season welcoming Tina Fey’s evil boss and giving the show enough breathing space to jab at more relevant issues including office politics and sexual harassment.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Season 1, Netflix) : A sequel to both the 2001 movie and the First Day of Camp 2015 TV prequel, this instalment is unapologetically silly and just a LOT OF FUN. A camp reunion that ended with a presidential conspiracy and a very elaborate alien invasion plan sold by the best comedy talents working today. I have a feeling it might not work for everyone, but all Camp Firewood diehards would love every second of it.

Australian Survivor (Season 4, Ten) : 26 one-hour episodes of the reasons why this franchise is still alive until now – this season is littered with amazing moves, bad strategies, backstabbing, shifting alliances, best friends, great challenges, a KFC challenge, cookie secrets, a spy hatch, super idols, fake idols, and some of the most memorable (and beautiful) castaways in one season.

TOP 30:
30a
30. THE DEUCE (Season 1, HBO)

David Simon (The Wire) created a scarring tale of sex trade, porn, and power shifting on the streets of 1970s New York. We follow different night owls hustling the streets and telling their war tales through the dark alleys, under the colorful city lights, inside dirty motel rooms, and within the four corners of a struggling bar in Manhattan.

Watch for: Maggie Gyllenhaal’s stunning Eileen, a freelance prostitute in Times Square that became involved in the early days of the porn industry – not as an actress, but as a director.

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Bear with me on this. I love lists, and I used to do it A LOT. But the last 3 years or so, I got really really lazy with anything that has to do with blogging. But that does not mean I ever stopped watching. Not one bit. I’ve been watching as much TV as I can – and I’m telling you, you’ll never run out. People have been proclaiming the last few years as the golden age of television, and they’re probably right. Every network, cable channel, streaming site, even ancient relics like Yahoo are producing good-to-great shows. 2015 is the year of Peak TV. No one has seen them all, for sure. But whether you follow five shows, or 40 shows, you will find greatness along the way. Even the most inconsistent show can surprisingly come up with an episode that changes everything. So this made me come back to list-making. I was reading some year-end lists last week and I saw how different the lists could be from one person to the next. It’s such an exciting time to watch TV – but also such a difficult commitment.

For my rundown of 2015 TV, I will try to list my favorite shows of the year, my favorite television episodes of the year, and other random finds from excessive TV watching. Let’s do this!

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By Sanriel Chris Ajero

Same script, different casts. My top 40 films of 2010. This list only includes those of foreign origins. I made the same list with local films and it can be found here.

Before the top 40, here are other lists I need to get out of my system.

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By Sanriel Chris Ajero

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By: Sanriel Chris Ajero 

More than Christmas tradition to the Filipinos, the annual Metro Manila Film Festival is host to launching a good selection of local mainstream cinema. Its reputation propelled when it started producing some of the most unforgettable local films of all time. Within its 36 years of existence, the festival spawned the creation of such all-time gems as Burlesk Queen (1977), Kisapmata (1981), Himala (1982) and Bulaklak ng City Jail (1984) . Unfortunately, the festival also accommodated the production of lacklustre mainstream efforts that now defines the Philippine cinema for the majority of the Filipinos. The decline furthered during the past decade, as the festival yielded series after series of film franchises (Shake, Rattle and Roll; Enteng Kabisote; Mano Po) with only profitmaking as its main rationale and a slew of just crappy WTF productions (Hula Mo, Huli Ko; ‘Di Kita Ma-Reach; Hesusmaryosep!) that question its very existence.

It has been, therefore, quite a daunting and difficult task to skim over all the MMFF entries of the last decade and choose my favourite film for each year (Case in point: the last 4 years when not even one film was good.) Personally, I believe the last glimmer of MMFF hope stroke during the 2003 festival and it went nowhere but downhill since. And quite a fall it has been.

Without further blabber, here are my picks for the best MMFF films for each year of the last decade. PS: I cheated on some years.

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By Sanriel Chris Ajero

July, for a Filipino cinephile, equates to home-grown filmic orgasm. This, we thank Cinemalaya for. Having seen all the competing entries from the 6th Cinemalaya Film Festival and then some (35 total), I feel compelled to write at least a round up of the best I’ve seen from the fest. With this, I decided to devote my monthly viewing list to a pure Cinemalaya special. Since its humble inception, the fete has been a reliable goldmine of the very best in Philippine cinema every year. Year number 6 is no exception. With a newly opened category and an interesting mix of exhibition features, the festival gave room to more possibilities of greatness. Here’s a taste of the 10 best films from Cinemalaya 2010, highly subjected to my own bias.I

 

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By Sanriel Chris Ajero

I had no plans of continuing this monthly logs but I suddenly got inspired to do one for July (a Cinemalaya special so watch out for that). Having said that, it also wouldn’t make much sense if I skip May and June. So I got compelled to do one (plus I really felt the need to update this blog). I’m still kinda busy so I just squeezed in a few minutes last night to create banners for the top 6 films (yes, I did not see a great deal of good films those two months) I saw during May and June. So here goes.

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By Sanriel Chris Ajero

We are more than a quarter off of 2010 and my film viewing log has been cut to half as compared to last year. For personal satisfaction and to put myself under pressure, I will start doing a list of the best films I’ve seen per month. This first installment, however, is an exception. The first two months of the year was spent mostly to watch more films for the Best of 2009 that I did. So this list I’m doing now is basically for March and April viewing. Mind that I personally declared March to be a Filipino films month so expect more of those in the following entries.

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by Sanriel Chris Ajero

Simply put, 2009 has not been regarded, both by film enthusiasts and a majority of film critics, as a strong year for film. I, for one, personally disagree. I say these people must be watching all the wrong films. Under that realization I required myself to be of aid. For the past few weeks, I’ve been troubling myself trying to fit (not fill) all the films I enjoyed into a top 30 recommendation list like I did last year. I failed. So for this year, I’m giving 40 of the best films I’ve seen in all of 2009 instead. Rest assured that these are films I truly and genuinely enjoyed. But then I failed again. As I’ll also present 5 more films I tremendously like but I believe many have not even heard of.

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By: Sanriel Chris Ajero

2009 has been a generous year for the Philippine film industry. Most of the Filipinos, however, hardly even notice. It is the year when boundaries were crossed, walls were crushed, and hurdles were conquered – but nobody seemed to care. As the whole world delightfully discovers the immense array of talents our country has to offer, we were busy uncovering the latest disgrace concerning our dearly-loved wedded showbiz personalities. As the most prestigious of all film festivals, Cannes Film Fest, took its hat off to Filipino directors, we were busy marveling the outlandish skill of a doctor-turned-director in his breakthrough filmmaking career. As our small films gather thunderous uproar (whether good or bad) in the global film stadium, we were busy, glued to the screens, eagerly awaiting for the latest in the seemingly infinite collaborations of Mother Lily and Joel Lamangan. It is a sad reality, a bitter pill we, film buffs and film critics alike, have to swallow – that the majority of Filipinos are not yet ready. Be it for the giant leap in film appreciation we all want injected to each and every one, or simply for any sort of change. This is a maddeningly long process, but we are lucky to have some films keeping us company – and keeping us sane.

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