Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'Franklin & Bash' a thin, but appealing, summer trifle

The chemistry between Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer on the new TNT dramedy "Franklin & Bash," which debuts 9 p.m. Wednesday, is hardly on a par with the best buddy duos of pop culture. To put it simply, they're no Redford and Newman. Nor are they Lemmon and Matthau. Heck, they aren't even Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. No, if the bond between the actors resembles anything, it's the bromance between 80s mainstays Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. But you know what? For a lightweight summer series about a pair of wacky attorneys, the Gosselaar-Meyer team suits me just fine.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Too Big to Fail" captures the spirit of financial crisis

Some have criticized the HBO movie "Too Big to Fail," which debuts Monday at 9 p.m., as trying to cram too many characters and two much material into about an hour and a half. I say that somewhat overstuffed feeling is what makes the movie -- which depicts the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008 and Washington's response to it -- so effective. This, after all, was a major event in the country -- and one that many Americans might not have fully understood. So, if the movie, so packed with characters and well-known actors, feels a little chaotic and overwhelming, isn't that kind of appropriate?

My premature, mostly uninformed, picks for the best new network shows

Being a "small media outlet" (i.e. me and a laptop in the corner of my living room), I don't really have access to important events like the TV upfronts held last week. For those who might not know, upfronts are events where the networks show trailers of their new fall lineups to potential advertisers (and members of the media).
I might not have attended, but, thankfully, we live in an age where the majority of these trailers are posted online where anyone can access them.
So, of course, I spent over an hour yesterday looking at these trailers, trying to get a sense for the new season. It wasn't pretty. Most of the comedies seem, at best, a little too broad and, at worst, a waste of beloved talent.
Now, the trailers aren't always a good indicator of what a show will be like. A good pilot might not necessarily provide fodder for a good trailer. Likewise, an exciting trailer might simply be an artful combination of the sole strong moments of what is otherwise a weak show. But, with few exceptions, the trailers do usually give a good sense of the general feel of a season. And, so far, the season ahead looks bleak.
However, a few shows did look promising, if not a perfect. One or two of the comedy trailers did actually make me laugh, and there was at least one drama (unfortunately, a midseason one) that looks really interest. After the break, my picks for the shows to watch in the 2011-2012 season.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Justified" season finale recap: "Bloody Harlan"

Spoilers for the season finale of "Justified" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.