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What an outrageously abundant year it's been for great TV — and we're only halfway through. 2016 has been a small-screen gold rush so far, from low-key comedies to mega-glitz miniseries, the Battle of the Bastards to the City of the Broads, hilarious fake news to horrifying true history — with dragons and spies and crooks and drunks. When two of the year's best shows are totally different takes on the same 1994 murder trial, you know all bets are off.
So here's a salute to the 10 best TV shows of 2016 so far:
With 34 nominations and six wins, Alan Alda is an Emmy institution. He even won an Intl. Emmy in 2012. His first win came in 1974 for his iconic role as “Hawkeye” Pierce in “Mash” — when he triumphed over “Kojak” star Telly Savalas in an “Actor of the Year” showdown for a “Super Emmy” pitting the drama series winner against the comedy series champ. (The first, and last, time the Emmys ever tried that.) This year, Alda is in the running as part of the ensemble cast of Louis C.K.’s drama “Horace and Pete.”
After so many awards, what’s your best advice on giving a speech?
The only thing you have to be careful of is not to say “I thoroughly agree with you.” You can’t let that creep in. It is hard. The show business awards are different from most other awards. In most other awards they actually expect you to say something that’s worth listening to and they give you more than 30 seconds. The hard part is to think of something short enough to say that expresses something you mean.
Do any Emmy wins stand out more than the others?
The writing one meant so much. I wanted to be a writer and a good writer since I was 8 years old. To get an Emmy for writing meant so much that that was really spontaneous when I did the cartwheel on the way to the stage. I guess it’s stuck in my mind because, I’m 80 now, but a couple of months after my 80th birthday, I was on the beach in the Virgin Islands and I said, “I’m gonna see if I can still do a cartwheel.”
How did it go?
It doesn’t look a lot like a cartwheel, but it technically was a real cartwheel. I landed on my feet, staggered around a bit and pumped the air as if I had done something spectacular.
Has anything changed for you about going to award shows over the years?
I don’t think there’s been any change except as my grandchildren have got older they’re always rooting for me to get an Emmy or an Oscar nomination so they can come. They want to walk the red carpet with me. They were very funny when I was nominated for an Oscar [for “The Aviator”], they were doing the interviews instead of me.
What’s the best part of being recognized with something like an Emmy?
It can help the project you’re doing. I hope [“Horace and Pete”] gets nominations and wins some Emmys because I think it’s such a powerful piece of work that it would really benefit from attention being drawn to it by an Emmy or two. Of course, you can’t take it too seriously, because I think it’s true the day after an award show it’s very hard to remember who won, except the person who has the trophy to remind him or her. Still, it’s a wonderful thing. When I think of the surprise I felt the first time and I think of the amazement I felt as I got more. You can’t not feel terrific about it.
- Geoff Berkshire
There’s a lingering perception in pop culture that drug use is glamorous and au courant, something that builds character and renders a person sexy and intriguing, like an advanced degree in comp lit or the ability to acquire foreign languages easily. See Don Draper with a martini in one hand and a beautiful mistress in the other. Or Jessa on “Girls,” whose bohemian clothes and Rapunzel hair perpetuate the illusion that cocaine-cum-heroin junkies forever maintain the appearance of a Free People catalogue model. In real life, heroin junkies develop abscesses and hacking coughs, sores on their lips and acne. They look like ghosts. Even on “Nurse Jackie,” one of the decade’s most convincing portraits of drug addiction, there were just so many episodes where you had to suspend your disbelief — Jackie should have been dead by season two. Of course, then we would have missed out on five more seasons and Edie Falco’s most dynamic career performance, for which she won the 2010 Emmy for lead actress in a drama.
Because of addiction’s prevalence in our society — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 there were 10,574 heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. — TV is teeming with characters struggling with drugs and alcohol, from “Shameless” to “Mr. Robot” to IFC’s “Maron” and the sobriety sitcom “Mom.” And some shows do it well; if ever a series unflinchingly — if, occasionally, satirically — captured the gory violence of the crystal meth trade it’s “Breaking Bad,” for which Bryan Cranston pretty much monopolized the actor in a drama series category, winning the Emmy an astounding four times.
The Television Academy, in fact, has a history of rewarding small-screen lushes. For his iconic turn as the perpetually soused Hawkeye on “Mash,” Alan Alda won two actor Emmys. Candice Bergen won the Emmy for actress in a comedy series five times for playing a recovering alcoholic on “Murphy Brown,” and Ted Danson scored two Emmys for playing sobered-up baseball player-turned-bar proprietor Sam Malone on “Cheers.” Even Jim Parsons, who plays socially challenged theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper on the “The Big Bang Theory,” nabbed his first Emmy win for an episode in which he gets sloppy drunk. Hollywood, it seems, loves a character who can’t handle his booze.
But rare is the series that deals with addiction in a way that accurately depicts the frustrating, oft fatal, and sometimes even boring reality of what it is — a disease. There’s a general tendency among critics to assess shows on the strength of their entertainment value, and not how truthfully they convey what it’s actually like to be an addict — or live with one. “Ray Donovan” tackles heady addiction-adjacent subject matter like molestation and Irish-Catholic broods, and “Orange Is the New Black” features a cast of addict convicts, but there isn’t a small-screen counterpart examining, say, the lives of depressed, college-educated worker bees quietly dependent on benzodiazepines. And there are millions of those people.
Granted, most facets of addiction probably wouldn’t make for good television. Comedies like “Broad City” and “Freaks and Geeks” aside, in the real world there is nothing less interesting than watching potheads get stoned.
A life of abstinence, however, can be hilarious, which is why comedies like “Mom” and “Catastrophe,” with all of their off-color, self-effacing wit, so successfully chronicle the journey of the addict in recovery. On “Mom,” Emmy-winner Allison Janney and Anna Faris play a sober mother-daughter team coping with booze cravings, romantic dysfunction, and the daily challenges of being sober physically — but not necessarily emotionally. On Amazon’s “Catastrophe,” Rob Delaney nails the part of an affectionate and loving but also conventionally narcissistic man-child who quit drinking after he “shit at [his] sister’s wedding.”
What’s especially refreshing about both of these shows is that they debunk the myth that once you get clean you’re suddenly “fixed.” Instead, they’re predicated on the fact that addiction is a disease that people live with for their entire lives, whether or not they’re actively getting wasted. What’s so commendable about “Mom” especially is that it examines what most people do not understand — that sobriety can be the most difficult aspect of alcoholism.
On the flip side, Freeform’s now-canceled “Recovery Road” was a show that missed the mark entirely, serving up a candy-coated rendering of rehab that belies most everything we know to be true. The series’ collective flaws are best summed up in one line, said by a high school guidance counselor to Maddie (Jessica Sula), a strung-out party girl she’s threatening with expulsion unless she moves into a sober living facility: “You can go to school by day and spend your evenings getting sober.” As if sobriety is a part-time job. Maddie tries to keep her situation a secret, and the surrounding adults seem Ok with that — even though honesty is one of the primary tenets of recovery. You can tell what the network was trying to do — create a show about addiction that parents could watch with their kids. But that’s a pointless task if it doesn’t ring true.
“Shameless,” for all of its outlandishness — patriarchal drunk Frank Gallagher (Emmy-nominated William H. Macy) has survived liver failure, a kitchen fire, and being tossed over a bridge into a river — is the series that perhaps most accurately captures the pervasiveness with which alcoholism wreaks havoc on a family. Everybody suffers. Everybody is powerless. Denial rips through the family line. Whether they are using or not, all of the Gallagher kids are living with the –ism.
When it comes down to it, no fictional TV series can definitively capture the brutal truth of how drugs and alcohol destroy people’s lives. Rather, it’s documentaries like Steven Okazaki’s brilliant and harrowing “Heroin: Cape Cod” — which focuses on eight young addicts — that paint the starkest, most blistering, and most realistic portrait of addiction. Because addiction isn’t pretty, and it’s often not something that you want to tune in to watch.
- Malina Saval
Yesterday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences opened voting for this year's Emmy nominations, including the public release of ballots showing who submitted themselves and in what categories. That means it's time for my annual thought exercise, where I pretend that I'm an Academy member and try to figure out how I would fill out my ballot in the major categories. The whole thing becomes trickier with each passing year, just because there are so many shows and performances worthy of at least consideration: when I made my first run through the ballot, jotting down contenders in each big category, I wound up with 26 potential Outstanding Comedy Series nominees, for instance. It does give me a sense of how challenging this must be for the actual Emmy voters, especially since most of them have much less time to actually watch TV than I do. I'm using the same rules as usual: 1)I only consider shows and performances that were submitted. So even if I wanted to put, say, Hugh Dancy on my ballot for his work in the final season of Hannibal, I couldn't, because he only submitted his work on Hulu's The Path. 2)I can't move things into other categories to suit my preference. I can't treat Horace and Pete like a limited series, even though that's clearly what it was, because the Academy let Louis C.K. submit it in the drama categories, and I can't take a largely dramatic half-hour like Transparent or Togetherness out of the comedy categories. 3)I don't consider shows and performances that I didn't watch much, if at all, this season. Based on the last time I was a regular viewer of Penny Dreadful and Orphan Black, for instance, I suspect Eva Green and Tatiana Maslany would both be incredibly strong contenders for the drama lead actress category, but I haven't seen a second of either show's eligible season. Back in the days before Peak TV, it would make me crazy when actors were obviously nominated based on their work from previous seasons, rather than anything they had done in the current year, so I'm not going to make any nominations based on similar assumptions. Also, because so much of the biggest action this year is in the limited series categories (even sans Horace and Pete), I'm going to make picks there, when usually I've stuck with the comedy and drama fields. So here we go... Outstanding Comedy Series black-ish (ABC) Master of None (Netflix) Review (Comedy Central) Transparent (Amazon) Veep (HBO) You're the Worst (FX) As I alluded to above, this was a tough one, especially since there are so many different kinds of "comedy" up for consideration. I could have surrounded Transparent and You're the Worst with a bunch of other half-hours that trended more towards the dramatic this year (say, Casual, Baskets, Togetherness, and Girls), or put on both of the CW's delightful Monday hour-long comedies in Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, or loaded up on the resurgent broadcast network comedy scene and paired black-ish with the likes of The Grinder, The Carmichael Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Fresh Off the Boat. And I haven't even mentioned Broad City or Lady Dynamite or Catastrophe or Silicon Valley or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or a bunch of others that I'm not happy to not have on my final list. But these six were ultimately the ones that stuck with me the most, in some cases very long after they first aired. Outstanding Drama Series The Americans (FX) Better Call Saul (AMC) Happy Valley (Netflix) Horace and Pete (LouisCK.net) The Leftovers (HBO) UnREAL (Lifetime) Because so many great shows like Fargo and American Crime and The People v. O.J. Simpson have gotten themselves categorized as limited series, this wasn't quite as impossible a category to cull down to six choices, even if I changed my mind five different times between including UnREAL, Mr. Robot, or Halt and Catch Fire for that last spot. The Leftovers was my favorite show of last year, and assuming its final season gets bumped to 2017, Horace and Pete and The Americans are the two front-runners to finish atop my best of list for this year. With Mad Men gone, and limited series more competitive, I'm holding out the faintest of hope that Americans can follow the Friday Night Lights pattern and start getting nominated late in its run after being largely ignored early on. Outstanding Limited Series American Crime (ABC) Fargo (FX) The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) Roots (History) Show Me a Hero (HBO) What an amazing resurgence for a format the rest of the TV business had all but ceded to HBO for the last decade. All six of these projects were extraordinary in different ways, and any one of them would be a more than deserving winner, though I'm assuming People v. O.J. is going to sweep its way through most of the limited series categories. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series Anthony Anderson, black-ish Andrew Daly, Review Chris Geere, You're the Worst Rob Lowe, The Grinder Fred Savage, The Grinder Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent Some years, I set a rule that I will only nominate one actor per show, but I couldn't choose between the two Grinder leads, who were as perfect a crazy man/straight man pairing as TV has had in quite some time. Anderson and Geere did great work flipping back and forth between silliness and pathos this year (I still choke up thinking about Dre's Obama speech from the black-ish episode about how to talk to your kids about black people being shot by cops), Tambor was once again stunning in a largely dramatic performance (that is, again, eligible here, in a category that isn't Funniest Actor in a Comedy Series), and Daly's absolute commitment to the awfulness of Forrest MacNeil's life made the second Review season even funnier, and darker, than the first. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series Steve Buscemi, Horace and Pete Louis C.K., Horace and Pete Rami Malek, Mr. Robot Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul Matthew Rhys, The Americans Justin Theroux, The Leftovers Horace and Pete was another case of my inability to choose between two actors from the same show, as by the end, C.K.'s work was just as nuanced and devastating as the more experienced Buscemi's. Malek was so riveting that he made a lot of pieces of Mr. Robot work that would have failed utterly in the hands of an even slightly less gifted performer, Theroux's work in the last few Leftovers season 2 episodes left me a wreck, Odenkirk continues to demonstrate surprising depths as a dramatic actor, and it's absurd that Matthew Rhys has yet to be nominated for all he does on Americans. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie Bryan Cranston, All the Way James Franco, 11.22.63 Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero Regé-Jean Page, Roots Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Patrick Wilson, Fargo Cranston and Franco both gave tremendous performances in ultimately flawed projects. Isaac somehow made all the exposition and policy wonkery of Show Me a Hero entertaining and tragic, Page and Vance were enormously charismatic as men who were flashy on the outside and deeply pained on the inside, and Patrick Wilson basically turned into Gary Cooper and became the powerful, still center around which all the craziness of Fargo season 2 could orbit. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Aya Cash, You're the Worst Gillian Jacobs, Love Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Michaela Watkins, Casual Louis-Drefyus will — deservedly — keep winning this category until either Veep ends or she pulls a Candice Bergen and withdraws herself from consideration. So it almost doesn't matter who gets nominated alongside her. But the other performances I chose were all wonderfully nuanced and complicated as they painted very different portraits of women who are all damaged in some way, and any of them would make an incredibly deserving winner if Louis-Dreyfus were to pull a Larry David and somehow offend everyone in Los Angeles at the same time. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Shiri Appleby, UnREAL Kerry Bishé, Halt and Catch Fire Carrie Coon, The Leftovers Sarah Lancashire, Happy Valley Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones Keri Russell, The Americans The Pov structure of Leftovers season 2 rendered everyone but Theroux a supporting player, but since Coon submitted herself here, I'm picking her, because when she was on screen, she was spectacular. Bishé was the highlight of the much-improved second season of Halt, Lancashire remains indelible on Happy Valley, Ritter lived up to all of my hopes for Jessica Jones, and refer to my Matthew Rhys comment when it comes to his TV spouse. The real surprise of the group is Appleby, who had never suggested the kind of depth and force that her role on UnREAL has allowed her to play. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie Kirsten Dunst, Fargo Felicity Huffman, American Crime Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience Rachel McAdams, True Detective Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Lili Taylor, American Crime As with the corresponding male category, we've got a couple of performances here (Keough and McAdams) that transcended iffy shows. You could argue that any or all of Dunst, Huffman, and Taylor belong in the supporting field, but they were all wonderful, even if they all understandably seem destined to lose to Paulson. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series Louie Anderson, Baskets Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin Christopher Meloni, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley Timothy Simons, Veep Honestly, I could make this an all-Veep category — say, with Simons, Tony Hale, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole, Sam Richardson, and Matt Walsh (or swap any two of them out for Hugh Laurie and Reid Scott) — and it would be a completely respectable list. Instead, I decided to limit myself to one guy, and the New Hampshire election story has given Simons a chance to shine like never before. As for the others, Braugher is a national treasure, Camil may be playing the most reliable joke machine on television, Meloni stole First Day of Camp the same way he stole the original movie, and Miller got to add some surprising emotion to Erlich Bachman's usual hilarious buffoonery. And Anderson is, like Tambor, giving an almost entirely dramatic performance (and also playing a woman), but in a way that never feels like a gimmick. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series Alan Alda, Horace and Pete Dylan Baker, The Americans Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul Kevin Carroll, The Leftovers Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Lance Reddick, Bosch Even if the Academy at large didn't watch Horace and Pete, I expect Alda will be nominated on name recognition alone, and when they see him give the performance of his career, he'll hopefully win. Baker sketched out a complicated and tragic character in the space of 13 episodes, Banks continued finding new gravitas inside Mike Ehrmantraut, Carroll knocked me out as much as his more well-known co-stars, Dinklage remains so much fun that he can even carry a long scene where he's acting against thin air disguised as CGI dragons, and Reddick also did the best work of his career on the largely unheralded Bosch. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Ted Danson, Fargo Connor Jessup, American Crime Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager Zahn McClarnon, Fargo Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo Unfortunately, I assume John Travolta has one of these spots in the bag. And the only reason Jessup is here and not in the lead category is because he's young and relatively unknown. But this is still one of the most competitive groups in the whole field, and I'd love to see one of the more unheralded actors eligible win it, even though Danson and Laurie were both superb in the kinds of roles they don't usually play. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series Loretta Devine, The Carmichael Show Kether Donohue, You're the Worst Allison Janney, Mom Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live Amanda Peet, Togetherness Kristen Schaal, Last Man on Earth Janney, like Louis-Dreyfus, may have a stranglehold on her category for a while, and she's terrific enough — at both the light and dark parts of Mom — that I can't get too annoyed with it. This is another extremely deep category, which I tried to cover with a variety of different kinds of performances from different kinds of shows. There's Devine playing extremely big — and yet still human enough to be at the center of an episode about clinical depression — on Carmichael (where David Alan Grier would also be a fine nominee on the male side), McKinnon carrying SNL, Donohue and Peet doing a mix of utter silliness and something much messier, and Schaal turning out in time to be the very best part of Last Man. I'd have liked to find room for some of the Transparent actresses or Zosia Mamet or a bunch of others, but you've gotta make choices when you play this game. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series Amy Brenneman, The Leftovers Ann Dowd, The Leftovers Regina King, The Leftovers Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul Alison Wright, The Americans Constance Zimmer, UnREAL Nope. Not gonna leave out one of the three Leftovers ladies here. (As a past winner, King is the most likely to get an actual nomination.) Seehorn, meanwhile, essentially became co-lead for much of Saul season 2, and was so likable and vulnerable and interesting that it felt like she was adding to Jimmy's story rather than taking away from it. Wright was stronger than ever on Americans, even though Martha was in crisis throughout, and Zimmer was every bit Shiri Appleby's dramatic equal as part of the UnREAL two-hander. Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie Olivia Colman, The Night Manager Rachel Keller, Fargo Regina King, American Crime Cristin Milioti, Fargo Anika Noni Rose, Roots Jean Smart, Fargo Another category where I went with three from one show, reflecting both the great work of Keller, Milioti, and Smart, but also the relative shallowness of this particular field. King is one of several actors this year who, thanks to the proliferation of limited series and shows with shorter seasons, has a realistic shot at being nominated for two different performances. Colman had a bunch of great moments during The Night Manager (particularly the monologue about why her character was so interested in taking down Hugh Laurie), and Rose was one of the best parts of the outstanding Roots ensemble. What does everybody else think? What nominations are you most hoping to see? Alan Sepinwall may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org »
- Alan Sepinwall
Where to Invade Next? opens up in UK theatres today [read our review here]. Here at Flickering Myth I thought it’d be worthwhile to look back on the controversial filmmakers work to see if Michael Moore’s sentiment still holds up. Did some of his warnings come to fruition, or was it all sensationalism? Does Moore warrant such backlashes? And how sentimental is he truly? In short, below is the man’s list.
8 – Slacker Uprising
This will be brief entry for his most forgettable to-date film (I also bet some of you have never heard of this film), as I shall highlight why this is also Michael Moore’s worst.
Plot: Michael Moore travels across the country to various college and university campuses to get the slacking youth off of their sofas, and into the voting booths to get George W. Bush out of office. »
- Matthew Lee
Morgan Neville's 20 Feet From Stardom star Darlene Love, Richard Gere and Barbara Kopple hosted an invited Cinema 1 screening of The Music Of Strangers, followed by a performance from the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at Lotos Club. The director of Keith Richards: Under the Influence and together with Robert Gordon, the Gore Vidal and William F Buckley Jr Best Of Enemies documentary, gave me some insight on what Keith and Yo-Yo have in common. Yo-Yo shares a moment he loves with Cristina Pato in The Music Of Strangers and confirms his fondness of Ts Eliot.
Morgan Neville with Yo-Yo Ma: 'Yo-Yo is just trying to change the world' Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze Gaby Hoffmann, Alan Alda, Gay Talese, Heidi Ewing, producer Caitrin Rogers, Silkroad's Laura Freid, along with musicians Kojiro Umezaki, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Last year, Peter Dinklage took home his second Emmy Award for his role as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” Despite the impressive ensemble of the show, Dinklage could stand out again this year; he already has the best line of the season: “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” He could face competition from co-stars Kit Harington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, neither of whom has been nominated yet.
Jonathan Banks is a likely repeat nominee for “Better Call Saul,” but his co-star Michael McKean was a scene stealer as well, and also the biggest villain of the season as he looked to usurp his own brother. McKean is a beloved vet who has never received an Emmy nomination and is long overdue.
- Jenelle Riley
I stare at the mammoth pile of unread comics on my iPad and I get frustrated. I stare at my TiVo and I wonder if I’ll ever get to watch much of that stuff. I think of my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts and I consider plucking my eyes out.
How the hell did this entertainment gaper’s block happen? It’s not as if I prioritize work, family and meals over passive goofing-off. I am and always have been committed to the latter, and I’ve got my priorities straight.
Amusingly, that media pile-up just might have gotten worse.
It turns out that one of my favorite new shows of the past year, Louis C.K.’s dramatic series Horace and Pete, has not been cancelled after all. Time Inc. said it was and everyone believed them, particularly after Louis told Howard Stern he was losing money on the series that he produces, »
- Mike Gold
M. Blair Breard, C.K.’s producing partner, spoke about the origins of “Horace and Pete” on Thursday during her appearance at Variety‘s Entertainment and Technology Summit in Manhattan. The 10-episode drama series debuted with no advance promotion on Jan. 30, distributed via C.K.’s website. The first episode was offered via streaming or download for $5, with the price dropping to $2 for subsequent episodes that were released each week on Saturdays.
“The most amazing thing really was we were able to keep it quiet,” Breard said. “Nobody knew about it.”
The surprise factor was notable given the level of talent involved with “Horace and Pete,” a story revolving around two brothers and a sister who inherit a bar in New York. In addition to C. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Louis Ck says his web series, “Horace and Pete,” may not be over after all — and that “Two and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones could help continue the story. Ck spoke on Marc Maron‘s “Wtf” podcast Thursday about how he had always intended the show as a ten-act play — and Maron said reports of its cancellation were misleading. (You should listen to the entire podcast, because Maron and Ck covered a lot — including how Ck sought Jack Nicholson for the role that went to Alan Alda — and which Ck also offered to Joe Pesci.) News outlets including. »
- Tim Molloy
It’s last call for Horace and Pete.
Louis C.K. formally announced to his email distro list on Saturday that his self-financed, 10-episode web series won’t be ordering a double.
“So. That was it,” the multi-hyphenate entertainer wrote. “I didn’t want to say [before] that it was the last episode. Because I didn’t want you to know, as you watched the episode, that it would be the last one. But yeah, obviously, that was it.”
RelatedCable/Streaming Renewal Scorecard 2016: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s On the Bubble?
Horace and Pete starred C.K. »
It’s only fitting that “Horace and Pete” has ended just as quietly as it began.
Louis C.K., the creator, writer, director, producer and star of the surprise web series, annouced on Saturday morning in a newsletter to fans that the show’s tenth episode, released on April 2, was also its final.
“That was it. I didn’t want to say in the last email that it was the last episode because I didn’t want you to know, as you watched the episode, that it would be the last one. But yeah, obviously, that was it,” he wrote.
The online series, which co-starred Steve Buscemi as Pete to C.K.’s Horace — brothers and bar owners — launched on Jan. 30 exclusively on C.K.’s website, LouisCK.net. Alan Alda, Edie Falco and Jessica Lange also appeared in the drama. The first episode was available for $5, the second for $2 and the rest for $3 each. »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Comedian Louis C.K. recently pulled a Rihanna and Kanye West with his new show “Horace And Pete”: It arrived finished, out of nowhere, and as a total surprise to all his fans. But he didn’t make the show through a network, paid for it out of his own pocket, and then just quietly slapped it on his website without much promotion (it was really just up to fans and journalists to notice, and of course they did). A recent guest on "The Howard Stern Show," the comedian didn’t fully explain why, but in the process of describing the evolution of “Horace And Pete,” C.K. explains how he essentially blew up his own creative life as a means to create something new. In the process, he canceled his next movie and decided to drop his Emmy-winning FX show “Louie.” At least for now. Read More: Louis C.K. »
- Edward Davis
Read More… »
He’s too proud to pass the hat or stand on a street corner, but Louis Ck needs your financial help, thanks to “Horace and Pete.” The dramedy web series written, directed and created by the comedian stars Ck (a.k.a. Louis Szekely) and Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”) as the co-owners of a downmarket Brooklyn bar that serves no chi-chi mixed drinks, just Budweiser on tap. The show, which touches on health, politics and family matters, also stars Alan Alda, Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Steven Wright and Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story”). To call the show well-reviewed would almost »
- Michael E. Ross
(This column starts off talking about Horace and Pete in relatively general terms, for the benefit of the people who still haven't watched but are curious about sampling it. I'll get to spoilers for the finale midway through, with another warning before that.) Horace and Pete, Louis C.K.'s drama about a Brooklyn bar that's been run by the same family for 100 years, came to an end over the weekend, with even less fanfare than it had on arrival. News of the first episode simply appeared in the inboxes of people on the LouisCK.net email list that just said "Go here to watch it. We hope you like it." Saturday morning, the email read, "I have nothing clever to say. But I would like you very much to know that episode 10 of Horace and Pete is ready right here." That this was going to be the final episode »
- Alan Sepinwall
Thoughts on this week's Horace and Pete coming up just as soon as I tell you my dad walked on the moon... Wow. Like the opening of Laurie Metcalf's monologue in episode 3, Pete's climactic hallucination in this week's installment was a reminder of the power of this TV/theater hybrid style Louis C.K. is using for Horace and Pete. There's a cinematic way to present the same material — possibly with a different lens and other techniques to distinguish the hallucination from a real scene at the bar, and/or with occasional cutaways to where Pete really is during all of this — that could have been pretty effective in its own right. But by limiting himself to what could be presented on a live stage, C.K. not only left the uncomfortable question of Pete's real whereabouts up to our imaginations, and also captured just how real these hallucinations must seem to him. »
- Alan Sepinwall
'The Aviator' movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as bizarre billionaire Howard Hughes: Bloated biopic. 'The Aviator' movie review: What's not good for the Spruce Goose… Imagine Citizen Kane directed by the Steven Spielberg of The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan. The final result would look something like a Barry Levinson film – for instance, the superficial and phony Bugsy. Or, an even more appropriate example, the superficial, phony, and bloated The Aviator. Except, of course, that Levinson is not the man responsible for the 2004 mega-production starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric, billionaire ladies' man Howard Hughes. Strangely enough, that man is Martin Scorsese, the director of hard-hitting films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Gangs of New York. Scorsese, a fan of Old Hollywood, apparently wanted to have some fun with the reported $110 million budget (approx. $138 million in 2016) made available to him. The director no doubt had a ball while making The Aviator, »
- Andre Soares
Some thoughts on last night's Broad City episode guest-starring Hillary Clinton coming up just as soon as I look like a Bachelor contestant who quits because she's too good for the show... Clinton's cameo was the headline for "2016," if not for this new Broad City season as a whole. Unsurprisingly, though, her appearance (which Comedy Central put online in its entirety even before "2016" aired) was far from the episode's high point. With a few exceptions like John McCain or Al Franken (who had a head start), politicians who do comedy at best qualify as good sports, and that's more or less how Broad City used Clinton: a glorified prop for Ilana and Abbi to have a brief but amusing freak-out over. (My favorite part, and not just because it alluded to perhaps the series' best episode, was when Abbi, struggling for things to say about herself to the former First Lady, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Even though Louis C.K. formally announced an extended hiatus from his beloved and critically acclaimed FX series, “Louie,” we all know that the man isn’t the type to lay idle. In fact, just last month, the comedian launched a brand new series available only on his website, titled "Horace and Pete." For $5 for the premiere episode, fans were treated to an incredible ensemble cast led by C.K. himself and joined by the likes of Steve Buscemi, Alan Alda, Edie Falco, Aidy Bryant, Rebecca Hall and Jessica Lange. But what if the show was a sitcom instead? Read More: Review: With 'Horace and Pete,' Did Louis C.K. Con Us Into Paying For a Two-Act Play? Set in Brooklyn, New York, “Horace and Pete” stars C.K. and Buscemi as brothers who operate their family bar. Described by C.K. as "basically the bar from ‘Cheers,’ but in real life, »
- Nix Santos
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