Friday, June 24, 2011

"True Blood," season four: 'Suck' is in the eye of the beholder

As a fan of both the HBO series "True Blood" and the Charlaine Harris novels the show is based on, it pained me admit that -- following a fun and crazy second season -- the show's third season was a bit of a mess. Yes, there were occasional bright spots, such as Dennis O'Hare's marvelously hambone performance as Russell, the vampire king of Mississippi. But, mostly, the season was a fairly drippy love triangle between telepathic Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampires Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard). Or rather, it was a square, introducing luscious werewolf Alcide (Joseph Manganiello) to the mix.
Whatever -- it was dull. And when a show with this much eye candy manages to be dreary, something it desperately wrong. The season finale was particularly boring, ending in a snoozy cliffhanger that sent Sookie fleeing her romantic troubles for an exile in fairy land.
I had hopes that the fourth season, which starts Sunday at 9 p.m., would clean up some of the mess left in the third season, and go back to being bizarre, silly, and oddly entertaining. Based on the three episodes I've seen so far, my hopes have dimmed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Game of Thrones" recap: "Fire and Blood"

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

Monday, June 20, 2011

"The Killing" season finale recap: "Orpheus Descending"

Spoilers for "The Killing" first season finale below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

TNT's "Falling Skies" a modestly successfully alien invasion drama

Though I admired many bits and pieces of TNT's "Falling Skies," premiering tonight at 9, while watching the pilot episode, one thought kept recurring in my head: it's sort of like "The Walking Dead," but with aliens. Not only does it have the same basic concept -- a ragtag band of survivors unite against a seemingly unstoppable force that's destroying the world -- it has the same earnestness and the same long-boring-stretches-of-dialogue-punctuated-by-tremendous-violence pacing.
And the musical score isn't nearly as good. Still, "Falling Skies" is a decent bit of summer entertainment, and certainly above other recent attempts at alien invasion dramas, such as "V" (which I checked out of after two episodes). 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Men of a Certain Age" returns

"Men of a Certain Age," that fine celebration of American male middle age, returns for the second half of its second season tonight at 10 on TNT, and it finds our three heroes -- played with rumpled charm by Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher -- facing some important crossroads.