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A Q&A with “Togetherness” Creators Jay & Mark Duplass

10 January 2015 5:11 PM, PST

It’s a pretty good time to be Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, co-creators of HBO’s unconventional family comedy “Togetherness”. Having made their bones in independent film, the Duplass brothers are now in demand on TV both in front of the camera and behind it. This year, Mark will wind up his stint on FX’s “The League”, and Jay will return into season two of Amazon Studios’ acclaimed comedy “Transparent.” The pair also play the memorable. insufferable male midwives Brendan and Duncan Deslaurier on Fox’s “The Mindy Project.”

“We never planned any of this,” Jay admitted. “We honestly just thought that we would just make stuff on the side, that we would just probably be editors or something. That’s what we did in our early 20s.”

“Or teachers, even,” Mark added.

“We just feel crazy lucky!” said Jay.

Their latest project, “Togetherness,” »

- Melanie McFarland

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IMDbTV Pick: Fox’s “Empire”

7 January 2015 5:20 PM, PST

Out of all the new series premiering in midseason, Fox’s “Empire” may be one of the best bets and the biggest gambles. Though set in the world of the hip-hop industry, and buoyed by an infectious soundtrack produced by Timbaland, the show is less about rap and R&B than it is about power and deep-seated family conflict, played out in a very glamorous, high-profile arena. These are familiar themes to anyone who has ever been hooked on a primetime soap like “Dallas.” If that’s your bag, you should definitely check out “Empire.”

But it’s been a very long time since Fox or any network backed a drama led by an African-American cast for an extended amount of time. As diverse as the 2014-2015 season may be — and most of the credit for that goes to ABC, let’s be honest — “Empire” feels like one of those »

- Melanie McFarland

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Review: ABC’s “Agent Carter”

6 January 2015 10:38 AM, PST

Anyone who delighted in seeing Jason Bourne do serious damage to a knife-wielding opponent while armed with nothing but a pen, knows how satisfying it is to watch an expert fighter work magic with mundane devices. One can savor a similar thrill tonight during the first of two episodes of “Agent Carter‘s” eight-episode run on ABC, when the determined Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) efficiently beats a villain senseless with a stapler. I should mention that she does so while wearing a platinum blonde wig and full length evening gown. What’s that famous quote from the late, great Texas governor Ann Richards about women being just as capable as men? Ah yes: “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards, and in high heels.”

After World War II and Captain America’s disappearance, Peggy Carter dances as nimbly as ever… though the »

- Melanie McFarland

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Review: The Noble Effort That Is ABC’s “Galavant”

5 January 2015 10:58 AM, PST

 

There’s a curious frustration I reserve for a show like ABC’s “Galavant,” a musical comedy that gets pretty much everything in the prescribed formula right, yet still comes up agonizingly short of being recommendable. Granted, two words in the previous sentence disqualify this fairy tale…spoof? Parody?…outright, and that is the phrase “musical comedy.” Said term makes some viewers itch at the very reading of it, and if you’re one of these people, nothing that anyone says will convince you to watch this show.

But those viewers are less of a concern to ABC than whether “Galavant” will connect with everyone else — particularly those of us who, for reasons we can barely remember now, used to be head over heels in love with the only other musical series in recent memory to find success in primetime, “Glee.” If this odd comedy fails, it won’t be »

- Melanie McFarland

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