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The Best Characters On Television Right Now

Khaleesi. Archer. Dr. Steve Brule. Everything Kumail Nanjiani does. Who are the best characters on the best shows right now? These folks: 

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   Here’s the thing: I love television. I get grumpy if I get off work after 7 p.m. because I know I’ll have to watch the second airing of many of my favorite shows, or I’ll have missed several innings of baseball. The struggle is real, folks.

    Because I love television so much, I decided to set out to make a listicle (sellout) of the best characters on the best television shows on the airwaves right now.

    Five shows that made the list come from the FX family of networks, which goes to show FX has the movies AND the shows.

    As with every ranking/list that appears on Mostly Sheep, this list is indisputable and final. The statements made here have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor do they have the coveted Film Actor’s Guild seal of approval. They do, however, represent the official views of Mostly Sheep, and as an avid televisioneer I implore you to watch these characters on these programs if you haven’t done so already.

    Without much further ado about nothing, here are (in no particular order), my favorite characters on the boob tube:

Molly (Allison Tolman) – Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton is great as the lead antagonist/drifter Lorne Malvo, but Molly bears the greatest resemblance to Marge Gunderson from the movie which this series derives. Molly is a no-nonsense police woman that isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions while also dealing with the loss of a good friend in the line of duty. Her naive boss and new captain (played by the always great Bob Odenkirk) insists she stop pestering “the victim”, but Molly has a hunch. Her job is all she’s got, she lives with her parents, how can you not root for her?? Yah, this is a good twist on the cult classic about tha Northerners, don’t cha know. Now my fingers are crossed for the Coens to help produce a TV show about The Dude. Fargo is on now on FX.

Hank Moody (David Duchovney) – Californication

Hank Moody. I am going to genuinely miss this character and show after the final season wraps up (airing now on Shotime). Hank’s entire seven-season journey has been all about winning, losing, re-winning, and re-losing the heart of soulmate Karen (Natascha McElhone). It’s mostly his own fault, as a philandering, often egotistical writer who really only cares about Karen, his daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin), and big bald bubblehead agent Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) aka Uncle Runkle. But, Hank still struggles with normal problems: self-loathing, loneliness, alcoholism, parenting, and trouble finding a job (because he always gets fired for lack of caring). It’s one of my favorite shows of all time, it’s gonna be a drag when it’s gone. Also, Hank said “Mothafuckaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” before the dude in “The Hangover”. And it’s hilarious.

Louie (Louis CK) – Louie

Louie might be the best show of all, created by and starring possibly the best comedian out there today. Louie struggles with a lot of the same things that Hank does to varying degrees — the struggles of a single parent trying to survive in the entertainment industry, while looking for someone to share life’s woes with. Louie is socially awkward, which makes for painful but hilarious situations, that are sometimes relatable and sometimes mind-boggling. Louis CK says he takes a lot of his episode ideas from things that have happened to him in real life, which makes watching that much more cringeworthy, but amazing. Louie is finally back May 5 on FX.

Jordan Peele – Key and Peele

Jordan is the Batman of the Key and Peele duo on Comedy Central — he’s more versatile and dynamic, with hilarious voice abilities. That’s not to take away from Keegan Michael Key and what he brings to the best sketch show on TV, but Peele just makes me laugh harder every damn time. It’s difficult to put into words why Jordan Peele is so funny, it’s better just to watch: Continental Breakfast

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Khaleesi. Mother of Dragons. Daenerys Stormborn. The ruler of the unsullied. Tywin Lannister said in a recent GOT episode that Daenerys will eventually turn her attention toward Westeros with her three dragons, and I can’t freakin wait. With damn near all of the other likable characters killed off at this point, Khaleesi is like the Obi Wan of the realm — she’s our only hope.

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) – Game of Thrones

Tyrion Slapping Joffrey (Game of Thrones)

It’s hard to like any of the Lannisters, but the Imp makes it a lot easier. He dabbled as a philanderer himself early on, indulging in the fine wines and womens throughout King’s Landing. His humor goes unmatched, as does his integrity despite being one of the “bad guys”. Also, he has slapped Joffrey more times than anyone and that is glorious: 

Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) – Archer (FX)

H. Jon Benjamin could have been on this list multiple times, but I opted to put him on here only for his role as Archer. Archer is the best cartoon comedy there is, for its smart adult humor that is unmatched. It may very well be one of the best sitcoms, in fact, regardless of being a cartoon. Archer is the world’s greatest spy and a philanderer in his own right, and he also very well may have invented the turtleneck as a tactical outfit (the tactleneck). The show delivers punchline after punchline and mixes the best one-liners with some very obscure references. The fifth season, “Archer:Vice” just wrapped up and had many twists and turns that took the cast out of the ISIS environment, but the climax was still very satisfying (phrasing).  

Linda Belcher (John Roberts) – Bob’s Burgers

Linda is the quirky wife and mother in Fox’s best “Animation Domination” offering. She frequently bursts into song and weird noises despite having an awful voice (she’s surprisingly voiced by a dude), and brings a unique and eccentric approach to every Belcher situation. Linda is the best. All riiiiiiiiiiight.

Roger Sterling (John Slatterly) – Mad Men

    Roger Sterling is the grey-haired renegade of the Sterling Cooper Draper Price Cutler Gleason Crosby Stills Nash Simon and Garfunkel firm on AMC’s Mad Men, now sadly in its final season. Roger is now in a psychedelic drug phase, because it’s the late 60’s and hell yeah of course he is, and he also seems to be in some sort of swingers phase. He’s never been the sort of guy you root for, but his nonchalant business demeanor and hilarious digs at his partners and associates make him one of the more solid and compelling fellows on Madison Ave.

Adam “The Laugh Giver” Demamp (Adam Devine) – Workaholics

No one gives more laughs than this guy. Season four just wrapped up on Comedy Central, and it was as strong as ever. Adam is the guy that we all know — or a combination of guys we all know — the guy that thinks he’s an attractive meathead, the office clown that only rarely gets laughs from his own friends, the guy that tries so desperately hard to fit in and be cool. But he is cool, and he is hilarious. Never change, Adam “The Laugh Giver” Demamp. Never change.

Kumail Nanjiani – Portlandia, Silicon Valley

Kumail plays great characters in damn near everything, which is why I couldn’t pick just one. He’s in the great new show Silicon Valley on HBO (Richard Hendriks is the main character in that show, who is a very good character in his own right), and has several recurring roles on IFC’s Portlandia as a cool demeanored, frustrating, monotone salesman and waiter among other things. Like Jordan Peele, It’s hard to really put into words what Kumail can do, it’s much better just to watch him in action: Birthday Loan Salesman

Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney) – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Everyone on Always Sunny could easily be included in this list, but Charlie and Mac are just the best. Charlie is dim-witted and destined to do Charlie Work forever, and Mac is also dim-witted but a man of religion. Mac getting fat, or “gaining mass”, and Charlie’s musical “The Nightman Cometh” are some of the funniest moments I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly) – Check it Out with Dr. Steve Brule    

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. John C. Reilly’s trademark Adult Swim character is a satirical take on public access television. It’s just the absolute best. Check out grambling (gambling), you dingus: Casino Hunks

Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout, Carlos Gomez – Major League Baseball

So, these guys are actual Major League Baseball players and not necessarily on a TV show, though they are on TV and two of them (Trout and Gomez) play in LA, so close enough. Puig, though his fatal flaw is that he plays for the Dodgers, is ridiculously good at baseball and went through a hell of a lot just to get to this country. Mike Trout is the 22-year-old superstar that is the best player in baseball. Gomez pimps homeruns and hits and gets into fights because he likes to admire his work and have fun. All of these guys are a blast to watch. Sports: It’s television, too.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Parks and Recreation (particularly Ron Swanson, April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer) starring Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt  

Legit (FXX) starring DJ Qualls and Jim Jeffries

Broad CIty (Comedy Central) starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer and Hannibal Burress

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Denver’s Wes Watkins dynamic new future-funk EP is from another planet

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Future-Funk Party Starter | Wes Watkins

Dreams Out from Denver’s best kept secret Wes Watkins wears so many musical hats it needs a rack; downtempo G-Funk homage and sweltering nee-Soul / Rn’B are all over this release, all covered with a thicc pop glaze and a penchant for electronic-sonic experimentation that keep every song fascinatingly adventurous while maintaining a danceability and groove that easily, easily warrants multiple listens. Don’t sleep on this one.


Lo-Fuzz Folkie | Hoi Ann

The beauty of Hoi Ann’s Tangenier lies in both what you can hear and what it may want you to not hear. Lo-fi folk and bedroom-pop are easily tangible on its surface, but the buzzy electronic tones that sparingly flourish the 5 songs of this release lie low and create a unique aural atmosphere for listeners, like hidden secrets for your ears only.


Indie-Punk Sweeties | Gestalt

The pop-punk shred-bois in Gestalt are back at it again; The irresistible combo of the Get Up Kids earnest midwestern-emo and smart pop-punk wit of the Wonder Years is strong on the tracks that encompass LongBoix, as is an acute fondness and growing appreciation for the finer indie rock of yesteryear. Well I guess this is growing up.


Psych-Rock Screamcore | Gone Full Heathen

On their criminally good self titled EP, Fort Collins heavies Gone Full Heathen friggin dare you to try and trap them in a single genre. Nice try, but they’ll just chew right through your puny ropes using a gnashing blend of crushing stoner-rock laced hardcore punk and overdriven psych-rock / post-metal induced bite like the righteous rock and roll wolves that they are.


All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

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The Haze Craze for Lazy Days

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There are many different styles of beer. Ranging from light lagers (think Bud Light) and ales to sours, stouts, and IPAs.

Within those styles, however, are varying styles.

For example, one would think a sour beer is a sour beer, right? Wrong. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, which defines every style of beer, there are six recognized European sour styles.

For IPAs, there are seven. American beers have four; stouts have three… You get the point.

Even with viewing the list of recognized styles, it’s not a complete list.

Take New England IPAs (NE IPA), as a prime example. Many breweries are currently mass producing this style of beer, and it’s selling like crazy.

You may have heard one of your annoying beer loving friends talk about drinking a “juice bomb,” or a requesting a “hazy IPA” at the pub, and shrugged it off. It turns out, they (sometimes) know what they are talking about.

What makes NE IPAs so popular when compared to a more traditional, West Coast IPA? NE IPAs have all of the hop flavors, without an overabundance of bitterness.

Instead of constantly adding hops throughout the boil to achieve a fruity flavor balanced by bitterness, the NE IPA has a small hop addition at the begging, and then nothing else until after the boil has finished.

That translates into a beer with very little bitterness, and plenty of hop aroma and flavor. Hops like Citra, Mosaic, Mosaic, Galaxy, and El Dorado are most common in NE IPAs, according to the Homebrewers Association. Those hops tend to impart a fruity, and dare I say, juicy flavor profile.

Between the juicy flavor and the seemingly natural haziness to NE IPAs, it’s not far fetched for an NE IPA to look like a tall glass of orange or grapefruit juice, only carbonated and full of alcohol.

NE IPAs are starting to gain momentum here in Colorado, with breweries turning their focus to the haze craze. Specifically, Odd13, WeldWerks, and Epic Brewing coming to mind.

Odd13 is based in Lafayette, Colo. and has a long list of NE-inspired IPAs constantly rotating through the tap room and distributed throughout the state. Codename: Super fan and Noob are two beers that are found in cans, and both offer a different approach to the haze craze.

WeldWerks is based in Greeley, Colo. and has accumulated a cult-like following in just a few short years for its Juicy Bits NE IPA. The brewery just started self-distributing locally, so you’ll have to make the trip to the brewery and pick up a crowler or four. Be sure to check the WeldWerks Facebook page for availability and limits. Yes, they have to place per person limits on how much you can purchase.

Epic Brewing recently announced its NE IPA, which will rotate between four different flavor profiles throughout the year. The cans will look the same but will be different colors as a quick way to tell identify which version you have.

So the next time you walk into a brewery or liquor store, it’s OK to ask for a hazy or juicy IPA. It’s a thing, and, frankly, they are damn good.

On Tap: By the time this hits newsstands, ThunderZone Pizza & Taphouse will have opened on the CSU-P campus. Located at 2270 Rawlings Blvd., the ThunderZone features 32 taps, a carefully curated tap list, and is locally owned.

At the opening, the tap list includes tasty brews from the likes of Florence Brewing and Lost Highway.

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Senators upend GOP health care bill in true Trump style… Twitter

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WASHINGTON — When Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran decided they were in ready to disrupt the GOP rewrite of the health care law, they chose President Donald Trump’s favorite medium.

They could not support Senate Republicans’ plan, the somewhat unlikely pair of conservatives tweeted at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, giving no heads up to the White House or Senate leaders before pressing send.

The story behind the statement reveals two senators willing to be branded as bill killers and seemingly unconcerned with trying to soften the blow with party leaders.

The announcement, coming after some 10 days of conversations between the men, stunned official Washington and left Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate from being able to move forward with the GOP bill, effectively sinking the measure. It landed shortly after Trump dined with a group of senators to discuss strategy – unwittingly plotting a plan that would immediately become outdated.

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican leader, found out about Lee’s defection after the White House dinner of rosemary-grilled rib eye and summer vegetable succotash. He “had no idea it was coming,” Cornyn said.

Another Republican, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, found out from TV news.

Moran, a second-term lawmaker from Kansas who isn’t known for making waves, and Lee, a two-term senator from Utah who has clashed with Trump, have been talking over the past 10 days about the health care legislation and agreed the GOP bill did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare or address rising health-care costs. They decided to announce their position to make the bill’s fate clear and allow senators to move on, Moran said.

“It could have been prolonged for days or weeks while no one said anything,” Moran said in an interview.

Moran, who oversaw the Senate Republicans’ 2014 election campaigns, concluded last week he wouldn’t vote for the latest version of the bill but “gave myself a weekend in Kansas to think about it,” he said.

Lee had helped draft an amendment, along with fellow conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell skimpy plans alongside more robust ones to lower costs. Cruz agreed to some changes in wording by GOP leaders, but Lee thought the new language allowed too many Obama-era regulations to remain in place.

After talking again, Moran and Lee agreed Monday night on a statement drafted earlier in the day. They issued their statement shortly after a White House dinner attended by seven GOP senators – all likely yes votes on the health care bill. Neither Lee nor Moran attended.

A Lee spokesman said the statement – and its timing – “had nothing to do with the White House dinner. It was not a reaction in any way.”

The statement was made public as soon as it was ready, the spokesman said.

Neither Trump nor McConnell received advance warning about the statement, although it’s likely that neither the president nor the Senate leader was completely surprised.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spent the weekend calling lawmakers, including Lee and at least seven other GOP senators, according to the administration. Trump talked politics, while Pence discussed policy.

Trump called Lee on Saturday, and Lee told the president he was leaning against the bill, for the reasons he later made public.

Lee told Utah’s KSL Newsradio that he had a great conversation with Trump, when he told the president his “consumer freedom” amendment had been weakened and that he wasn’t sure that he could support the bill.

“He was encouraging to me and said, you know, ‘Just see what changes you can make to it,’ ” Lee said.

Lee and McConnell did not talk over the weekend, but Lee spoke twice to Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip.

Trump, who frequently takes to Twitter to announce proposals or denounce opponents, was blindsided by, of all things, a tweet.

He told reporters Tuesday he was “very surprised when the two folks came out last night, because we thought they were in fairly good shape. But they did. And, you know, everybody has their own reason.”

Moran said while he remained committed to repealing the health care law, Congress needs to make a “fresh start” on writing a replacement bill in an “open legislative process.”

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” he said, in a statement that followed the tweet.

In his own statement, Lee said the GOP bill does not repeal all the Obamacare tax increases and “doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Both explanations were issued on social media.

“Twitter is a nice medium to get your message out,” Lee’s spokesman said.

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