Author Archives: taylorjsimpson18

About taylorjsimpson18

Taylor J. Simpson is a firm believer that including middle initials in names makes them look more professional. A lifelong Boston resident and sports fan he is proud to join the Bucking Aikman team of like-minded individuals of lovers of all things entertainment. He is a Boston University graduate, with a major in Business Administration, a concentration in Marketing and a minor in pickup basketball and all things Internet. The ability to have conversations like "Who are the best 3 Mad Men online critics?" and "What were the top sports moments from The Wire?" are among his most useless skills. Follow him on Facebook or poke him on Twitter here

NBC Thursday Night Back and Forth


Fresh off of my trip to the big city I am returning to my wheelhouse – watching TV and telling the world my opinions. For the remainder of the NBC spring television season, I, Mark McDonough, with the help of friend and fellow watcher of things Taylor John Simpson, will be giving you a preview/recap of all the shows from that night. Each week will begin with this – an NBC Thursday Night Power Ranking from the previous week.

NBC has a three-hour program list on Thursday nights that is genetically engineered to my taste. I view each program in the lineup like it’s a relationship I’m in – pretty much the most meaningful relationships I’m in, to be completely candid. It starts off with Community (my one true love) at 8:00, followed by Parks and Recreation (my best friend) at 8:30, The Office (my ex-wife) at 9:00, Go On (my new crush) at 9:30, and finally Hannibal (my porn) at 10:00. There’s a reason why Hannibal is the longest out of all of them.

Some of these shows are in their first season (Go On, Hannibal) while others are in their prime (Parks and Rec) and some of them are on their last legs (Community, The Office).

This week it goes:

1. Parks and Recreation
2. Community
3. Go On
4. Hannibal
5. The Office
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Mad Men Season 6 Preview


This weekend on AMC the sixth and penultimate season of Mad Men kicks off. Just like last season, show-runner Matthew Weiner is chucking up the deuces on us with the opener, though beyond that there is little known about the premier. Weiner is notoriously tightlipped about letting anything leak out about his upcoming season, sending out screeners to neither television critics nor 23 year old part-time bloggers who live with their parents. But anyway, here are some predictions:

This season will win the Emmy for best outstanding Drama-

Let’s just get this out of the way now. Mad Men is riding on a 4-for-5 Best Original Series Streak, the one miss caused by Emmy voters going for the shiny new toy instead of the trusty something-or-other in picking Homeland last year. After the fall off last season with Homeland that shouldn’t be an issue this year. In a show with this much production value alone, most of the awards are deserved, though apparently AMC is the new home of Story Doesn’t Matter, so we’ll see if Something More is all it takes to rack up number Cinco.  Continue reading

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Throwback Thursday: ‘Melo and the Breakout Potential of the NCAA Tournament

Last Thursday Wooly Will Weir threw it back to 2009 for a little reminder of how exciting the games that’ll be played soon, but lets not forget about another great thing about the tourney, this is when future stars are born! March Madness is a time where many of the best amateurs ballers across the country get their first real taste of national exposure. The lights is on, and a good tourney can elevate a relative unknown player into the draft conversation and a tourney no-show can be more damaging to scouts than finding out a prospect has a couple of illegitimate kids. So here’s a highlight reel of someone whose legend began in upstate New York before he made his way to the Big City, the second biggest fan of Honey Nut Cheerio’s from Baltimore, Lala’s Full Court Life Guest Star Carmelo Anthony! The best purer scorer in the NBA today showed what he was capable of in the 2003 tournament, leading the Orangemen to a title in his one and only year of collegiate ball. And shout-out to one of the all-time great white sidekicks Gerry Macnamara, who most likely has a Google Alert set anytime his name is typed on the internet. Anyone have any guesses for this years breakout star? Sawed off shotgun to my head I would say Iona College’s Lamont “Momo” Jones. Carrying a 23 PPG average and a name like Momo I can’t expect him not to be this years C.J. McCollum or Jimmer Fredette. Comments open to anyone who feels like broadly speculating.

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Oscar Preview and Picks

Response to Mark McDonough Oscar Lineup

Hey McDonough I read your non-typewriter words and have some rebuttals (with some fresh material mixed in too). First question: why isn’t Joe Buck pissed, too? I picture him constantly scouring WordPress blogs, reacting like this when he sees his name being used without “the expressed written consent,” OR oral consent of the Fox Network. And good point about screenwriters being the great authors of all time, but going by that corollary this man could be considered a great poet of our time. Now as a 23 year-old straight male who spends an inordinate amount of time reading movie trade reports and FilmDrunk, I present my thoughts on the gay ESPY’s.
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Grammy Unrecap


The Grammy’s are low-hanging fruit for the music fan. Now this is America, and it’s an awards show on television filled with celebrities so of course plenty of people watched them, but mainly to complain about who won and to make fun of them on Twitter. It seems like for as long as I can remember following the Grammy’s, I’ve also been reading about the irrelevance of the Grammy’s and how out-of-touch they are. Some of that is deserved, at least in comparison with their fellow awards. Television shows have such defined gatekeepers in the networks that allow access to be judged that the Emmy’s only have a certain amount of shows to even be considered. There’s nowhere near as many eligible TV shows as there is music (check out any of the thousands of music blogs for proof). And although there are always Oscar snubs and winners that do not deserve to win at all (I’m looking at you Crash), at this point the Academy’s tastes are so well-defined and the industry has such a well-scheduled process to get films nominated that most oversights aren’t that egregious. It doesn’t take Nate Silver to know that an Abraham Lincoln period piece directed by Steven Spielberg released in December is going to get nominated. Now I believe the Grammy criticism comes for a couple reasons. One is that although of course there are technical aspects to it, music is so inherently emotional and personal. Now subjectivity is the name of the game when it comes to judging pretty much anything except for athletic endeavors.  The sports world is one of thorough arguments. Say that LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world or that NFL coaches should go for it more on fourth down, and there are hard stats to back your arguments. But when this man can be nominated for a Grammy it leads to debates about true artistic merit pretty easily. For many, the Grammy’s function more as the official moment to punch the ticket to hop off the bandwagon. That’s why instead of another online article ripping the Grammy’s apart I’ve just compiled a list of the musical projects I’ve enjoyed most this year. Instead of another piece of “how the Grammy’s lost their way” or “biggest overlooks” I’ve just focused on the music I listened to over this past year. Some of them got nominated and some of them didn’t, some of them won and some of them lost, some of them sat next to Vin Diesel and some of them sang a song more reminiscent of a performance art piece at the MOMA. So instead of nitpicking apart the performances and wins of the Grammy’s, here are my favorite projects of the last year, with song choices as well. Hey sometimes I guess I just like liking things.

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