12 items from 2015
The actors formerly known as Josh Lyman and Walter White are teaming up to take the White House.
The Steven Spielberg-produced film is based on the Tony-winning play of the same name and stars Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, revisiting the role he had in the Broadway production, as President Johnson.
All the Way takes place in 1964 — during »
Questions I have after watching two episodes of "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll," the new FX comedy created by and starring Denis Leary, which debuts tomorrow night at 10: In what year does this show think it takes place? Leary plays Johnny Rock, former lead singer of The Heathens, a band that had a meteoric rise and abrupt fall in the early '90s. Dave Grohl appears early in the pilot to explain that The Heathens were a huge inspiration for Nirvana. But Johnny, in both past and present, sports a rooster haircut that hasn't been fashionable since Rod Stewart and Ron Wood abandoned it in the mid-'70s. The Heathens' signature song, which provides the show its title (albeit one borrowed from a much better song — also from the '70s — by Ian Dury) is catchy, but sounds like a mix of punk and glam rock that had little place »
- Alan Sepinwall
Last night, LeBron James came as close as any player has in 46 years (since Jerry West in '69) to winning the NBA Finals Mvp for a losing team. What he did in carrying a team of scrubs and/or Knicks castoffs to within two games of a championship was otherworldly, not just for his own play, but for the complete ineptitude of his supporting cast whenever he wasn't on the floor. It had me wondering if there was a TV equivalent. I'm not talking about a great performance in an otherwise bad show, because we've seen plenty of those (Matthew Perry in "Studio 60," for instance), but a Hall of Fame performance that transforms a show that would otherwise be unwatchable into something seemingly great in its own right. I put the question out on Twitter this morning, and got some interesting responses: @sepinwall Orphan Black ... — Tormund Clientsbane (@LukeMayeux) June 17, 2015 Certainly, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Aaron Sorkin is an exceptionally talent writer who brings a playwright’s sensibilities to television which means his characters talk. A lot. But unlike so many prime time series, his characters actually have something to say. It’s a shame more people don’t want to hear whatever it is being discussed because Sorkin series tend not to last very long.
There were two seasons of Sports Night, four Sorkin-produced episodes of The West Wing and a single uneven season of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. For his self-proclaimed final act in television, Sorkin gave us three ever-shortened seasons of The Newsroom. This last ran on HBO and other than using a handful of words, could have easily aired on the major networks. After all, Sorkin didn’t pander with nudity or excessive violence.
The series’ conceit was that we were watching the fall and rise of network anchor »
- Robert Greenberger
Even when I watched far more reality TV than I do now, I had zero patience for dating competition shows. And I haven't watched a Lifetime show regularly since "Any Day Now" ended waaaay back in 2002. Yet I've already set a DVR season pass for "UnReal," Lifetime's new drama set behind the scenes at a thinly-disguised version of "The Bachelor." That's how good it is. "UnReal" (it debuts tonight at 10) was created by TV veteran Marti Noxon (whose Bravo show "Girlfriends Guide to Divorce" debuted earlier this year) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, adapting Shapiro's short film "Sequin Raze." The show aims to pull back the curtain on reality TV to demonstrate just how much of a role production plays in manipulating and/or altering events to turn complicated human beings into two-dimensional character types (the bitch, the virgin, the desperate cougar) who can fill familiar roles in the same old storylines. »
- Alan Sepinwall
A little over a year ago, my wife wondered why I was still sitting down every Monday night for "How I Met Your Mother," given how much I would complain about it to her afterwards. "Is this one of those hate-watching things?" she asked. I told her that life was too short for hate-watching — especially in this new Golden Age of Too Much Good TV — and that I was with "Himym" til the end because the show gave me enough occasional glimpses of what it was like when it was good that I kept sticking around to see if they could get it together one more time, especially for the finale. (As it turned out, no they couldn't.) "Oh, I get it," she said. "You're not hate-watching. You're hope-watching!" And there it was: Hope-watching. It isn't the act of enduring a bad show for the sole purpose of mocking it, »
- Alan Sepinwall
If you’re scoring along at home, Sarah Paulson is now 5-for-5 in American Horror Story. The Cupid and Studio 60 alumna has landed a role in Ams: Hotel, continuing her run of appearing in every iteration of the FX anthology series. Paulson starred as Bette Tattler/Dot Tattler in the most recent Ahs installment, Freak Show, and played Billie Dean Howard on Season 1’s Murder House. She scooped a pair of Emmy noms for her roles as Cordelia Foxx on Coven and Lana Winters on Asy… »
He has served as showrunner on Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” for the past two seasons but is exiting that post. The supernatural series has yet to be renewed for a third season.
“We are thrilled to be in business with Mark. He is a highly regarded showrunner and has emerged as a unique voice that crosses worlds and genres,” said Julie McNamara, exec VP of drama deveelopment, in a statement. “We look forward to a successful creative collaboration in the coming years.”
- Laura Prudom
Studio 60 should have killed, Mr. Sunshine was rather funny, and though I wasn’t a believer in Go On for a while, it got to me after a few episodes. None of them lasted two dozen episodes, but they didn’t get yanked after, let’s say, four either, so they got some chance to get moving. For whatever reason, where other Friends stars have had certain success (Joey, oddly enough, has one of the best shows on television right now), there’s a certain, “Look Dude, you’re Chandler,” vibe that seems to still be following Perry.
More importantly, there’s something very ’70s about The Odd Couple, as a play, an idea, and something we have to work with week after week. »
- Marc Eastman
One could excuse Matthew Perry if he feels snakebit. Since Friends disbanded in 2004, Perry has led respectable but ultimately rejected efforts in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine and Go On. Fortunately, Perry’s latest project, a sitcom reboot of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, has a few things going for it that his previous attempts did not. It’s got a solid foundation of well-known source material from the 1968 Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau film and the 1970s Tony Randall/Jack Klugman TV series. It’s got an incredibly simple premise. And it’s on CBS, who’s giving it a plum premiere … Continue reading →
- Ryan Berenz
"The Americans" is back for a third season. I had interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, as well as co-star Holly Taylor, and I have a review of the season premiere coming up just as soon as we go get a non-beer... "So it's all been bullshit — everything you've said to me." -Philip On the one hand, "Est Men" is so superficially similar to the last year's premiere that one might wonder if Weisberg and Fields felt the only way to avoid disappointing people who loved season 2 was to duplicate it. Once again, we open with a brutal action sequence in which one of our two leads barely escapes arrest or worse (with Elizabeth making short work of Agent Gaad and another fed), and we close with the shocking murder of a Kgb asset (Annalise, who makes the mistake of telling Yousaf too much in a place with no »
- Alan Sepinwall
While many may still be catching up on some of the great television from 2014, programming in 2015 is starting earlier than ever. Gone are the days of months-long hiatuses and January and Februarys full of repeats. This year looks to be just as jam-packed as last year, with interesting television coming from any number of sources. Here are Chief TV Editor Kate Kulzick and Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta’s picks for new premieres to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks.
Created by Dan Fogelman
Airs Sundays at 8pm and 8:30pm (Et) on ABC
Premieres Jan. 4th, 2015
Musicals have been a genre rarely explored on television, and fairy tales even less so. Thus, the idea of a new show in either category is an intriguing one and a show that combines the two, as Galavant does, is an exciting prospect. With a four-week run (eight half-hour »
12 items from 2015
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