5 items from 2014
Drew McWeeny has been covering "Marvel's Agents of Shield" for us all season, and like usual he had a thoughtful take on last night's episode. But given both how pivotal and unusual "Turn, Turn, Turn" was, I figured I would check in as well with a review — featuring spoilers for both this episode and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" — coming up just as soon as I have thoughts on Chachi... As Drew talks about often in his reviews, what Marvel is trying to do with this show in having it interact directly with the movies is pretty much unprecedented. The Picard/Data "Star Trek" films came out when other spin-offs were still on TV, but while there may have been some small bits of crossover (the Defiant from "Deep Space 9" getting damaged by the Borg in "Star Trek: First Contact"), it was never to the extent we got with the »
- Alan Sepinwall
In life first impressions count, and in television that’s doubly important. If the opening falls flat, if the pilot episode fails to set the right tone for the show, if the story doesn’t have that immediate spark to hook in the audience, chances are we won’t come back for more.
But it’s really all down to characters to make that initial impact with the audience. They need to be people we can engage with, whether it’s because we relate to them, because they make us hang on their every words or simply because we want to be like them. Some of the greatest TV characters have been successful because they entered our screens with such an impact we kept coming back for more.
In this article I look at some of the most epic character introductions in TV history. The characters that made us »
- Baz Greenland
Lowbrow comedy titan Seth MacFarlane executive producing a reboot of Carl Sagan’s iconic science series “Cosmos” sounds like a bad joke right out of, well, “Family Guy,” but somehow the improbable gambit works. Fox’s bold move to reserve 13 weeks of prime Sunday-night real estate for the kind of docu fare usually associated with PBS — however lavishly produced it may be — speaks volumes about both MacFarlane’s sway and the current “We’ll try anything!” state of the major networks. Whether or not a contemporary “Cosmos” clicks with viewers, it’s an undeniably welcome experiment and refreshing change of pace in the typically disreputable arena of unscripted TV.
Presumably, the biggest challenge here is convincing audiences “Cosmos” isn’t just an eat-your-vegetables proposition, despite an upfront sales pitch promising “the exploration of the universe as revealed by science.” Emphasizing MacFarlane’s involvement could just as easily swing expectations too far in the opposite direction, »
- Geoff Berkshire
A number of the Star Trek alumni are in attendance but the highlights are William Shatner and Karl Urban who are the headline guests. William Shatner is also scheduled to moderate a Next Generation cast reunion.
The Next Generation cast have spent most of the last two years having reunions at various events across the globe, mainly thanks to the 25th Anniversary of the show (they should really start calling them a Tng gathering); it will be interesting to see William Shatner interact with the cast even if Patrick Stewart is not on the bill.
At the press conference this morning, the jet lagged stars were wheeled out to answer some questions. Apart from them all being very happy to be in Germany, »
- Amarpal Biring
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
After the Dark (formerly The Philosophers: a thrilling combination of drama, near-science-fiction, suspense, coming-of-age agita, and intellectual exploration of ideas — pity it derails itself [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] A Field in England: Ben Wheatley’s head-scratcher about a band of English Civil War soldiers is an arty muddle [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
The Crash Reel: dazzling documentary portrait of a charismatic young man pushing himself to his limits, and challenging us to consider our own [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Gravity: stunningly accomplished space survival adventure: heartstopping and heartbreaking; the best film of 2013; just don’t call it science fiction [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to stream
- MaryAnn Johanson
5 items from 2014
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