6 items from 2015
You wouldn't know it by looking at her, but Marg Helgenberger's a full-on television icon with three decades of credits on some of the most beloved series in history: regular stints on "Ryan's Hope," "China Beach" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" to her latest gig on "Under the Dome," as well as guest spots on everything from "Matlock" and "The Larry Sanders Show" to "Frasier" and "ER."
Given how good the small screen's been to her throughout her long career, you probably won't be surprised when you find out which famous TV lady is her long-term professional role model, as Helgenberger shares some updates about her return to the "CSI" mothership for its final send-off in the fall and her enigmatic new role in hermetically sealed Chester's Mill.
Moviefone: What can you tell us about the big "CSI" finale, which you'll be a part of?
- Scott Huver
One plays a struggling lawyer; the other, an accomplished doctor. When Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Michael Sheen (“Masters of Sex”) sat down in Variety’s Actors on Actors studio, the two thespians found common ground over the challenges of playing the same character over several seasons — and their wicked sense of humor quickly shone through.
Michael Sheen: What made you sign on for “Better Call Saul”?
Sheen: Were you the first choice to play Saul?
Odenkirk: I heard that I was. Everyone else was sick or working or underage.
Sheen: It’s hard to think about anyone else playing that part now.
- Debra Birnbaum
This review contains spoilers.
Having had major problems with Better Call Saul’s fifth episode – although it’s been very interesting seeing how varied other people’s reactions to Alpine Shepherd Boy have been – I feel that I can say, unequivocally, that Five-o is an absolutely superb piece of television.
But should I say “unequivocally”? Maybe not. Maybe, for viewers who haven’t watched Breaking Bad, spending an entire episode with Mike Ehrmantraut wouldn’t have that much of an impact? Granted, his appearances so far have been effective and tantalising, but if you didn’t already have multiple TV seasons of history with the character, would Five-o’s reveals mean anything, or would they lack the weight that comes with prior knowledge and investment? It’s certainly possible, »
For all of the adoration that Breaking Bad received over its five seasons – and so much of it was well deserved – we really only got to know two characters during its run. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman became two of the medium’s most beloved characters partly due to how much alone time we got with each man. The rest of the ensemble were engaging, affecting and sometimes exasperating enigmas. We never learned much about the supporting players, and unraveling the hidden world behind the man who would be Saul Goodman has been a delightful treat for the past month. So, it is remarkable that a show with the name Better Call Saul has a tour de force episode where the protagonist barely appears. “Five-o” is all about Mike Erhmantraut, and it proves to be the hour of television Jonathan Banks needed to get himself ready for major Emmy consideration this fall. »
- Jordan Adler
The performances might be top notch, but is Better Call Saul's plot wheel-spinning rather than going anywhere?
This review contains spoilers.
1.5 Alpine Shepherd Boy
Bit of a weird one, this.
While by no means a bad episode, Alpine Shepherd Boy marks the first time since the premiere that I’ve become preoccupied with the question of whether Better Call Saul is justifying its own existence. All of the performances are typically on point, particularly Bob Odenkirk's, and many individual scenes are very good, but the whole thing ends up feeling like less than the sum of its parts. The show feels as though it’s spinning its wheels, and when you’re halfway through a run of only ten episodes, that’s a problem.
The two main issues I have with the episode are that it’s far too concerned with reiterating things that we already know, and »
A review of tonight's "Better Call Saul" coming up just as soon as I'm the one with the sex toilet... "I'm on the up-and-up. I will be good." -Jimmy Jimmy spends much of "Alpine Shepherd Boy" trying to find a professional niche, and the episode itself feels like the "Better Call Saul" creative team is still figuring out what exactly the series is, beyond a showcase for Bob Odenkirk and a chance to bring so much of the "Breaking Bad" team together again. Like the series' second episode, the hour is made up of a bunch of interesting individual pieces that don't entirely feel like part of the same whole. After a prologue detailing the immediate, traumatic aftermath of Chuck's sprint to steal his neighbor's newspaper, we spend a long time on Jimmy trying to cash in on the notoriety that came with his billboard "heroics," then get an »
- Alan Sepinwall
6 items from 2015
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