Sociable

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emmys -- the good, the bad and the head-scratching

So, today the Emmy nominations were announced, and they were the usual mix of pleasing and puzzling. First, it was a really good year to be "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey" (moving from the miniseries category to the regular series category) or "Homeland" (unless you are poor Mandy Patinkin, who got lost in all the Downton love).

It was a bad year to be "Justified," which, other than a nod for Jeremy Davies as guest star, yielded pretty much no major nominations.

Here are some more of my thoughts on the good, the bad and the loony in this year's Emmy nods.
The good: Well, obviously, I love that "Breaking Bad" got so many nods -- not just for lead Bryan Cranston and second lead Aaron Paul, but also for the eternally overlooked Anna Gunn (who probably suffers from how much people seem to hate her character) and for season four MVP Giancarlo Esposito. Bonus: Mark Margolis's mostly silent (but brilliant) performance as Don Hector got a nod for best guest performance. I ding my bell in approval!

I also applauded the nomination of "Girls" in not just the best comedy category, but also in the lead actress category. Lena Dunham not only created one of the riskiest, funniest new shows of the year, she also gave an incredibly raw and daring performance as a fairly unsympathetic character. Love it or hate it (and her), "Girls" is an original, and it's nice to see something that risky get recognized.

Other things making me smile included the nod for Jared Harris of "Mad Men", whose searing performance in his final episode as Lane Pryce earned the nomination (even if he had little to in the episode leading up to it).
And yay to the "Homeland" love as well, with the expected best actress nod for Claire Danes, as well as a slightly more dark horse nomination for Damian Lewis.

The bad: Look, I love Michael C. Hall on "Dexter," but hated this latest season so much I couldn't even finish it. I guess we shouldn't punish him for that, but the truth is that Timothy Olyphant had a much stronger season on "Justified" than Hall did on "Dexter."  And yes, we love Kathy Bates and "Harry's Law" got canceled and all that. But there's just no way that she deserves a nod over Emmy Rossum, who continues to be amazing and heartbreaking on "Shameless."

Also,  I wish the Emmys could have found some way to show some love for HBO's "Luck." Yes, it met an unfortunate end, but it had some really good performances (including from marquee stars like Dustin Hoffmann and Nick Nolte), and I really think they deserved a little applause.

Lastly, how many times do we have to nominate Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men," people? I like him too, but the show stopped being good a while ago. I would have preferred to see the nod go to Danny McBride's brave, crazy work as Kenny Powers in the fourth season of HBO's "Eastbound and Down."

The insane: Um, I knew "American Horror Story" would be competing in the miniseries category (which is weird, but whatever), but I didn't know that ABC's short-lived "Missing" was using the same strategy. If it means Ashley Judd gets recognized for her fine performance on that show, OK. But it's still crazy. And it further illustrates to me that someone really, really didn't want "Luck" to get nominated for anything, or they would have used the same strategy for that show.

What did everyone else thing?

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Breaking Bad" recap -- Magnetic attraction





Spoilers for the season premiere of "Breaking Bad" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Breaking Bad" heads into first half of its final run

It is even worth reviewing "Breaking Bad" at this point? I mean, the series -- which begins the first half of its final run tonight at 10 on AMC --has pretty much cemented its reputation as one of the best shows on TV at this point. You don't really need me to tell you that it's good, right? But, if you love TV, it's not possible to stay silent about "Breaking Bad," because this is a show that's so weird and crazy and unlike any other show on TV.
After all, this is a series where the previous season's finale included a horrific shot of its chief antagonist with half of his face blown off, and revealed that meth-making antihero Walter White (Bryan Cranston) poisoned a child to manipulate his partner Jesse (Aaron Paul). But "Breaking Bad" isn't just about shock value.

In fact, the shocks are doled out so gradually that they never feel gratuitous. They almost seem incidental to the show's real mission, which is to painstakingly detail a seemingly normal man's transformation into a monstrous criminal mastermind. Showrunner Vince Gilligan and his team seldom miss a step in painting Walter's journey. Each bit of the process is show in loving detail, from the precise way Walt and Jesse make their meth to the methodical way Walt plotted his nemesis Gus's assassination to the hilariously long and detailed sequences of people getting dressed, opening bottles of wine or setting up completed pieces of equipment.

Take this season's premiere, which spends a good 10 minutes or so following Walt, Jesse, and reluctant cohort Mike (Jonathan Banks) as they calibrate a magnet. The magnet will eventually be used in a much more exciting scene (which I won't spoil here), Gilligan and co. wouldn't dare skip over this important step in the process.

There are plenty of shows about crime and antiheroes, but most of these "skip to the good parts," so to speak. They don't show a ton of process or buildup. Even the luxuriously paced "Boardwalk Empire" wouldn't spend 10 minutes on a magnet. Yet "Breaking Bad" is rarely boring and is often insanely thrilling.

The two episodes I've seen so far this season aren't among the show's more exciting episodes, but they do a good job of rebuilding the narrative after Gus's death and Walt's assumption of the role of crime lord. There's a lot of talk about what will happen next, and strong hints that, even with Gus gone, Walt will still have people to answer to. There's not a shocking moment akin to the finale of last season's premiere, "Box Cutter," but there's still plenty of good stuff.

Cranston and Paul remain arguably the best acting team on TV, playing off of each other's intense styles well (Note: At some point, the Emmys really should give a lifetime achievement award to the vein in Paul's forehead, which just might be the hardest-working body part in the TV business). Banks, whose role seems to have expanded this season (though, with this show, who knows) is also fantastic, and the second episode gives him a brilliant showcase. On a show full of complicated characters, Mike might be the hardest to pin down. He was loyal to Gus, seems loyal to Jesse and can't stand Walt, which all makes for an interesting cocktail. It will be fun to see where Mike is heading as the show nears its finish.

And yes, the end is coming soon. The series will air eight episodes this summer, and then air the final eight next summer. It will be sad to see this excellent series finish, but I'm looking forward to watching (and talking about) every minute of it.


Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Killing" finale recap: "What I know"





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



Monday, June 11, 2012

'Mad Men' season finale recap: "The Phantom"





Spoilers for this week's season finale below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Bloodshed





Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Ladies' night


Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Merry Krishna

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.


Monday, May 14, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Snoball the pig

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mad Men recap: If you lead, I will follow





Spoilers for this this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mad Men recap: Go get 'em, tiger

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.


Monday, April 23, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Hide and seek

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Am I weird for not liking "Veep" more?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the vice president and Tony Hale is her devoted lackey on HBO's "Veep"

Sometimes I just feel out of sync with the rest of the TV-watching world. The new HBO series "Veep," debuted tonight at 10, is the latest show to make me feel this way.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: How I learned to drive

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Justified" season finale recap: "Slaughterhouse"

Spoilers for the season three finale of "Justified" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.
There are a lot of reasons to watch "Justified." It's well-acted, the dialogue is witty and smart and the action scenes are some of the coolest and most entertaining on TV. But it always surprises me when this show hits a truly affecting emotional chord, as it did in the final moments of "Slaughterhouse."

The first three quarters of the episode were "Justified" in lean thriller mode, as Raylan hunted both Boyd and Quarles; Quarles kidnapped a terrified family and Limehouse revealed that he keeps more in his slaughterhouse than meat and tools (It wasn't really shocking to learn that one of the pig carcasses was stuffed with cash, but the shot of Limehouse slicing the beast open to reveal that bounty was enormously satisfying.)

But the last few scenes, in which it's revealed that Arlo killed the trooper, thinking he was Raylan, were almost as heart-breaking as last season's arc about the death of Raylan's aunt. Raylan's disturbed relationship with his father has always been part of what's driven him to be such a ruthless lawman. He knows Arlo doesn't love him (or, at least, not in any normal kind of way) and that he's tried to kill him in the past. But the look on Raylan's face when Arlo admits to killing Devil to keep Boyd out of jail is devastating. Not only does his father despise him, but he's decided to devote whatever affection is left in his twisted heart to Boyd. That's when Raylan and Art figure out why Arlo shot the trooper -- he saw a man who he thought was Raylan pointing a guy at Boyd, and chose to kill his son to protect Boyd.

To Art -- and to us -- that seems like a awful thing to realize. But, while it hurts Raylan, it doesn't surprise him. He knows how worthless his father is and that their relationship can never be repaired. He's learned to stop expecting Arlo to be a regular father. Yet, despite his diminished expectations of Arlo, Raylan's still hurt and angry enough to go running to Winona seeking some degree of comfort. He gets little, though he does get to see the woman he loves and feel his unborn child inside her. Those final moments are so moving and profound and cement "Justified" as a truly fine show with real resonance.

Anyway, here are some more thoughts on "Slaughterhouse":
  • With all that sadness, let's move onto some of the fun parts of this episode, shall we? Jere Burns has been terrific in his every scene as Wynn Duffy, and was particularly hilarious in the scene when Raylan interrogates him about the explosion. One of the funniest arcs of the scene has been Wynn, who once considered himself such a badass, realizing that Quarles is a zillion times crazier and more dangerous than he could ever be. It's equally funny to see him make the same realization about the roulette-playing Raylan.
  • My screener episode has incomplete visual effects, so I'm hoping that the final cut (no pun intended) of the scene in which Quarles gets his arm hacked off didn't look as phony as what I saw. Poor effects aside, it offered a nice cap to Quarles's season-long schtick with the gun rig. There have been so many comments about how easily that gun might jam, that it was a fun twist to have it be useless to Quarles for a completely different reason.
  • Another nice twist -- the back-up gun the Raylan brings to his meeting with Quarles (which he fully expects the ice-eyed carpetbagger to confiscate) is the gun used to kill Gary. I was a little worried for Raylan when we learned that he was stashing the gun in the radiator in his room. But it turned out that Raylan figured out a clever way to return the gun to Quarles without raising suspicion.
  • So Johnny is turning on Boyd because he blames Boyd for the gunshot wound that landed him in the wheelchair? Seems like he's taking a really long, slow road to revenge. It also seems that Johnny would know better than to launch an attack on Boyd, who always manages to figure out when someone's out to get him.
Thoughts?

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Things that go bump in the night

Spoilers on this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Mad Men" recap: Less attractive Betty

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"The Killing" recap: Can I have my backpack back, please?

Spoilers for this week's episode of "The Killing" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Game of Thrones" returns for its second brutal season





While watching the second season premiere of HBO's dark, compelling fantasy series "Game of Thrones," (which airs Sunday at 9 p.m.) I was reminded of, believe it or not, the raucous FX sitcom "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

OK, "The Killing" -- you get one more shot


Like many people who watched the first season of AMC's mystery drama "The Killing," which returns for its second season on Sunday, I have a complicated relationship with the series.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Mad Men" season premiere recap: You can be a real Dick on your birthday




After more than a year's hiatus, AMC's "Mad Men" returned to air last night with a two-hour episode. Spoilers are below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Luck" recap: Can you hear the thunder?




A recap of the final episode of "Luck" after the break. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Walking Dead" season finale recap: Beside the dying fire




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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Luck recap: An untenable position

Michael Gambon on HBO's "Luck"
Spoilers for this week's episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaking: Production ceases on "Luck" for safety reasons

HBO announced early Wednesday evening that it was ceasing production on its new acclaimed series "Luck," which it had earlier renewed for a second season. Below is the press release issued by HBO:

It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series LUCK.

Safety is always of paramount concern.  We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures.  While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.  Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision. 

We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation. 

Quote from Michael Mann and David Milch:  “The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers.  This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.”

The release seems to be a reaction to the death of a horse that occurred during the show's second season, chronicled in this LA Times article. Two horses had died during production of the first season.
It's a shame, as I really loved this show, but, of course, safety comes first.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Luck recap: Still in custody

Ian Hart as Lonnie on HBO's "Luck"
Spoilers for this week's episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is 'Game Change' oversimplified? You betcha! Entertaining? Darn right!

Ed Harris and Julianne Moore play John McCain and Sarah Palin in 'Game Change'
What you think of HBO's political docudrama "Game Change," airing Saturday at 9 p.m., will probably depend largely on your political ideology. If you veer to the right, you'll probably find it to be an unfair, broad depiction of the Republican side of the 2008 presidential race and a hatchet job on controversial vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (here played by Julianne Moore). If you lean left, you'll likely find it searing and laudable in its claim that Palin was, as one character says, "the greatest actress in American politics," and not much else.
And if you're just someone who wants a diverting entertainment and couldn't care less about the movie's ideology? Well, you'll probably be largely satisfied. This is a witty, quick-moving tale from the director and screen writer of that other HBO political drama, "Recount." Unlike that movie, which mainly chronicled players behind the scenes of the 2000 political election, this focuses on personalities most viewers are familiar with.
"Game Change" charts the McCain campaign more or less starting with his team's choice of Palin as a running mate. The film's main arc is, indeed, about Palin's journey from Alaska governor to political star to polarizing figure. And, while Moore will likely get attention and praise for her technically accomplished performance, I was much more interested in
the character who will be least recognizably to most viewers, McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, played with typical excellence by Woody Harrelson. Schmidt is the movie's engine -- he's the one who goes after Palin without properly vetting her, then recoils when he realizes that she's not the ticket to victory he imagined. Whether or not you agree with what he did, the movie takes pains to make us understand why he and his team made the choices he did. The character isn't always sympathetic, but he's always interesting and recognizable. Though Moore is getting the press, it's Harrelson who really deserves it. He's quiet when he needs to be, fierce when required and always riveting.
Thus, the movie's better when it's focusing on him doing damage control than when the spotlight is on Palin.Yes, Moore is good at mimicking Palin's famous gestures and vocal intonations, but there's not tremendous depth to the performance. Part of that is the screenplay's fault. Though there is some attempt to paint Palin as complicated (the movie, for example, shows that she's a loving wife and mother), we don't get much from her point of view.  This is a particular problem in the movie's last act, in which she famously "goes rogue" near the end of the campaign. This happens so abruptly that it's hard to get a feel for why this happens. One minute, she's an out-of-her-depth novice who bungles her Katie Couric interview and constantly calls Joe Biden "O'Biden," and the next, she's a cagey political shark. It feels rushed and unconvincing.
We don't get much insight into McCain (Ed Harris) either, though he's definitely portrayed in a more sympathetic light than Palin.
Overall, the movie is compelling and interesting, even if you don't agree with its point of view. I just wish it dug a little deeper and gave us more of a feel for this interesting moment in American history.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Luck" recap: Shake it, don't break it

Kerry Condon as Rosie on HBO's "Luck"





Spoilers for this week's episode of "Luck" below.  Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Luck" recap: People, let me tell you about my best friend

From left: Joan Allen, Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz and Dennis Farina on HBO's "Luck"

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Luck" recap: Becoming whole





A recap of this week's episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

HBO: It's not TV. It's really, really uncomfortable TV





If there's any genre of TV about which I'm especially picky and critical, it's the squirmcom. You know what I'm referring to: that particular brand of comedy that finds its humor in horrifically awkward situations created by characters who have a staggering lack of awareness, both of themselves and the world they live in.
The two giants of this form of comedy are, of course Ricky Gervais -- who created the incredibly squirmy series "The Office" and "Extras" -- and HBO -- which aired "Extras," Larry David's masterpiece of squirm "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and the one-season squirmfest "The Comeback."
Tonight at 10:30, HBO will debut its latest partnership with Gervais, the mockumentary "Life's Too Short," featuring Warwick Davis, the dwarf actor best known for his work in movies like "Willow," the "Harry Potter" films and "Return of the Jedi" (he played an Ewok, a fact that's referenced endlessly in the three episodes I watched). At 10 p.m. HBO will also premiere the third season of its extremely squirmy "Eastbound and Down," which has become something of a cult hit, likely due to Danny McBride's impressively committed performance as boorish ballplayer Kenny Powers.
Both "Eastbound" and "Short" feature obnoxious characters who don't understand why the world doesn't bow at their feet. In "Short," Davis plays a particularly boorish version of himself. He steals all the best roles requiring a dwarf for himself, even though he's running a talent agency for other short-statured actors. He dumped his wife because he thought he could do better (and soon realizes that he can't, and repeatedly breaks into his ex's house). He insults fans and generally behaves like a jerk. I guess this is supposed to be funny, but Gervais and his producing partner Stephen Merchant have gone to this well once too often, and to better effect. Yes, the lead characters of "The Office" and "Extras" were jerks, but, in both cases, there were sympathetic supporting characters who balanced the shows and gave them a sense of realism. Here, all the supporting characters -- including heightened versions of Gervais and Merchant -- are just as annoying as Davis. In fact, a lot of people who pop up here are actually cruel to Davis, mocking his height and lowered celebrity profile. I guess we're supposed to enjoy people taking this pompous actor down a peg, but it just kind of made me sad. Slurs against someone's height, weight, race, gender or the like don't become funny simply because the person being slurred isn't likable. And that's what these are -- slurs. Calling a dwarf "it" isn't a joke that could be funny with the right delivery. It's an insult.
Yes, there are parts of "Short" that are funny -- mainly the cameos by such celebrities as Liam Neeson and Johnny Depp. And Davis is a good sport with a decent sense of timing. But, on balance, "Short" is a lot of discomfort with very little payoff.
However, I have become a fan of "Eastbound and Down," even though that show is incredibly uncomfortable, and lacks the veneer of sophistication that adorns the Gervais shows. I'm not sure why I like it, other than I simply find it funny. McBride, whether he has a career beyond this show or not, is amazingly willing to behave like a complete jerk. Kenny Powers isn't simply unsympathetic. He's reprehensible. This season features him trying to raise his baby son, and it's the rare time when I feel a TV baby is actually in danger. There are also various strange subplots, including a jaw-dropping one involving Will Ferrell's return as demented car salesman Ashley Schaeffer. The season that debuts tonight is supposed to be the show's final one, and that's probably for the best. I'm not sure the show could keep up this level of insanity much longer.
 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Luck" recap: The rise of the Four Amigos

Gary Stevens plays jockey Ronnie Jenkins in "Luck"
Spoilers for the third episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Brace yourself: The second half of "Walking Dead" season two might not be terrible

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Though it started strong in 2010, with a good pilot and a lot of buzz, AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead" seemed to have lost its way by season two. As the gang looked fruitlessly for little Sophia and found themselves setting up camp at the seemingly idyllic farm of Hershel Greene, the show offered precious little zombie action and a whole lot of talking. They talked about religion and relationships and the wisdom of raising children in an apocalyptic hellhole. They talked about fears and love and duty. They just talked. A lot. And it was boring. So, by the time the first half of the season came to what could have been a gripping conclusion -- Rick had to kill Sophia, who had been turned into a zombie and was living in Hershel's barn -- I just didn't care any more.
So, it's with some hesitation that I tell you that the first episode of the second season's second half (which airs tonight at 9) is pretty promising. In short, stuff happens. Nothing that really moves the plot dramatically forward, but stuff. There's one zombie jolt at the beginning, some decent imagery and a fairly tense confrontation in the final sequence between Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Hershel (Scott Wilson), Glenn (Steve Yeun) and a couple of creepy fellow survivors (one of who is played by the always-welcome Michael Raymond James of "Terriers"). It's a decently dread-filled episode and gave me some hope. The real question, however, is where will the show go from here? Will there actually be plot movement, gripping action sequences and real character development? Or will we just spend a bunch of episodes watching Shane (Jon Bernthal) glower and listening to everyone else contemplate giving him the boot? This episode, admittedly, contains a really frustrating sequence between two character, in which one espouses a theory about Shane that the audience knows is true, but which another character stupidly refuses to believe. So maybe my hope is misplaced.
But I like pieces of "The Walking Dead" enough to give it a shot. Here's hoping that this is the beginning of good things.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seven things I learned from this year's Super Bowl

So, like a lot of people, I watch the Super Bowl primarily for the spectacle. Yeah, living New York-adjacent, I was happy the Giants won and all, but I was much more amped about Madonna playing "Like a Prayer" in the half-time show than I was about anything that happened in the game (side note -- so M.I.A. made an obscene gesture during the show? How did I miss that???!).
Anyway, the big draw for Super Bowl viewers like me is usually the commercials. Sadly, this year's crop was kind of weak, though I did have few favorite. I also found the commercials fairly educational in a way. Below is my list of seven things I learned from this year's crop of commercials. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Luck" recap: Exposition city

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Luck" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Luck" recap: Secrets, lies and bow-legged goats





I've written briefly about HBO's new drama "Luck" in this space a couple of times -- once in December, when HBO aired a sneak preview of the show after the "Boardwalk Empire" finale and once last week, in advance of the pilot's re-airing in its original time slot. But, as I really enjoy the show, I'm hoping to write a weekly recap. This is the first of those. Normally, I'd tell you there are spoilers below, but, if you haven't already seen the "Luck" pilot at least once by now, you probably don't much care about the show. Still, don't click through if you don't want to know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Fox drama is a "Touch" manipulative, but entertaining





Does Kiefer Sutherland have a lot of anger issues? I only ask because the former "Young Gun" rocketed back to stardom playing rage-spewing terrorist fighter Jack Bauer on "24" and, in the first few scenes of his new Fox drama "Touch," he also yells, says "Dammit" and generally act pissed.
But, ultimately, the new series, which has a sneak preview Wednesday at 9 p.m. (it will start its regular run in March) offers a kinder, gentler Kiefer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The week in I Screen: "Wheels" wraps its first season; "Justified" returns

OK, so, I've fallen behind again. But no fears -- I'm back with some thoughts on the new season of "Justified," and the first season of "Hell on Wheels" and the new show "House of Lies" (yes, it debuted two weeks ago, but stick with me).
And away we go!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

10 best of 2011... in 2012

Yeah, yeah, I know -- 2011 is over. You don't want to read about the 10 best shows of the old year. You're ready for the New Year. You're amped about the return of "Justified," "30 Rock," and the prospect of seeing Sucre from "Prison Break" in a dress on ABC. I hear you. But can you please bear with me for a wee bit? 2011 really did offer some mighty fine TV and I'd like to celebrate some of its offerings before we move on.
And I promise, next week we'll talk about the likes of "Shameless," "House of Lies," and how Albie's closeted boyfriend from "Big Love" looks in a pair of pumps.
But, until then, here's my list of the best TV of 2011 (Note: Some big spoilers below, so you might want to skip around the shows you haven't seen).