Latest Blog Posts

<p>Would any &quot;Smash&quot;&nbsp;fan be sad if Julia's son Leo (Emory Cohen)&nbsp;never, ever appeared again?</p>

Would any "Smash" fan be sad if Julia's son Leo (Emory Cohen) never, ever appeared again?

Credit: NBC

What's wrong with these kids today?

Why do adult dramas like 'Smash' and 'Terra Nova' have such terrible teen characters?

I stepped back from regular reviews of "Smash" after last week's episode, but in watching Monday's, I couldn't help marveling at how most of the hour felt like Theresa Rebeck wrote it on a dare to prominently include every one of the most hated characters and stories the show has developed in its short, uneven life. Particularly amusing, but not in the way intentioned, was that we actually took several minutes to revisit the legal troubles of Julia's son Leo, who's not only incredibly irritating but has nothing to do with the show within the show. At least when we spend time with the horrible Ellis, it's within the context of making "Marilyn: the Musical," or whatever it's going to be called; why exactly are we spending time with Leo, who's part of a plague of Annoying Teenage Boys who have descended on television in the last few years?

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<p>Let's hear it for Sam Worthington in 'Wrath of the Titans,' everyone.&nbsp; No, seriously, let's give him a big hand.</p>

Let's hear it for Sam Worthington in 'Wrath of the Titans,' everyone.  No, seriously, let's give him a big hand.

Credit: Warner Bros./Legendary

Review: 'Wrath Of The Titans' represents a big step forward from the first film

If it's big monster action you want, the film certainly delivers that

As giant monster movies go, "Wrath of the Titans" is definitely one of them.

I have written about both version of "Clash Of The Titans," both the original Harryhausen film and the recent remake.  And now, Jonathan Liebesman has directed the sequel, which sort of veers off and does its own thing.  In that way, it falls right in line with the tradition of the Harryhausen sequel.  The Sinbad movies are all sort of generally connected and share a vague sense of continuity and reality, and when I think of the movies he worked on, not all of which were written and directed by the same people, I think of the monster fights.  The creatures.  The beasties.  The fabulous, fabulous beasties.

And about ten minutes into "Wrath of the Titans," a fabulous beastie shows up and goes on a rampage, and Sam Worthington fights it, and he sort of gets his ass handed to him.  Reeeeeeeeeal hard.  And I kind of loved it.

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<p>The &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;cast matches up relatively well with the &quot;Gilligan's Island&quot;&nbsp;characters.</p>

The "Community" cast matches up relatively well with the "Gilligan's Island" characters.

With Gilligan... Troy and Abed too... Ron Swanson... and Peggy Olson!

Could you recast 'Gilligan's Island' with the ensembles of current series?

Twitter can be a lot of fun. Twitter can be an enormous waste of time. Sometimes, it can be both.

Last night, while struggling with a review that I hope to be done with later today, I went on Twitter to try to clear my mind, and inevitably got distracted instead. It all began innocently enough. Tim Goodman was noting the rise of redheaded women on television, with the return of Christina Hendricks as Joan on "Mad Men," Mireille Enos on "The Killing" and the addition of Carice Van Houten as Melisandre in "Game of Thrones" season 2. After joking around about some kind of job swap — and noting that Christina Hendricks being on "Game of Thrones" would possibly shut down the internet, forever — I brought up the idea of doing a reboot of "Gilligan's Island" centered around Ginger Grant, since Bryan Fuller is already trying to do a darker spin on "The Munsters" for next season. The next thing you knew, Tim, Matt Seitz and I were starting to cast the thing, and at that point I decided to open it up to the Twitter-verse at large.

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<p>Pasha Lychnikoff, J.B.&nbsp;Smoove, David Walton and Jesse Plemons of &quot;Bent.&quot;</p>

Pasha Lychnikoff, J.B. Smoove, David Walton and Jesse Plemons of "Bent."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: A 'Bent' crime scene investigation?

Get a sneak preview of tonight's episodes of the under-rated romantic comedy

Last week, I published my review of NBC's "Bent," in which I said that I quite enjoyed the chemistry and banter between David Walton and Amanda Peet (and between Walton and the various contractors in his crew), but also that I was worried that NBC's scheduling — six episodes in three weeks, with half of them airing opposite "Modern Family" (even if they were "Modern Family" repeats) — was setting the show up for failure. Based on your reactions to the first two episodes, I was not alone on the first point. Unfortunately, the ratings for those episodes also proved my fears right.

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<p>Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in the first official still from &quot;Les Miserables.&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in the first official still from "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Hugh Jackman gets serious in first official still from 'Les Misérables'

Tom Hooper's film of the blockbuster musical hits screens in December

A reader asked yesterday why we haven't yet updated the sidebar with Oscar predictions for the 2012 season. In truth, neither Kris nor I think it's a particularly healthy practice, and with Kris about to set off on his honeymoon, I like to think that the question of who will win Best Supporting Actress in 11 months' time is the furthest thing from his mind. My mind, meanwhile, has a less ironclad excuse, but refuses to go there all the same.

For those that are daring to put their necks on the block with such projections, however, I imagine that one title is very much in their thoughts. "Les Misérables" is the umpteenth screen version of Victor Hugo's beloved doorstop of French literature, but the first of the blockbuster 1985 stage musical that ranks as the third longest-running show in Broadway history. Alongside the no-introduction-needed source material, the cast (Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway et al) is starry, the director (Tom Hooper) recently if unpopularly Oscared, the release date (December 14) in the prime of awards season. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching -- for those who regard Oscar punditry as a kind of mathematical process, this adds up to a frontrunner.

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<p>Zachary Knighton and Damon Wayans Jr. from &quot;Happy Endings&quot;</p>
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Zachary Knighton and Damon Wayans Jr. from "Happy Endings"

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Damon Wayans Jr. and Zachary Knighton talk 'Happy Endings'

ABC comedy stars talk about improv, improvement and Season 3 hopes
It feels early, but "Happy Endings' is chugging along towards its second season finale on April 4.
 
I recently sat down with Zachary Knighton & Damon Wayans Jr. and then with Eliza Coupe & Casey Wilson to talk about the ABC comedy's transition from an up-and-down first season that included a late premiere and out-of-sequence airings into what is often the fastest paced, quickest witted comedy in a network block that also includes a little show called "Modern Family."
 
The two interviews have some common themes, including the increased consistency of the second season, that prodigious punchline pace and, of course, hopes for the third "Happy Endings" season.
 
I'll be posting Wayans/Knighton today and Coupe/Wilson before the finale next week. 
 
Click through for the first conversation...
 
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<p>Nick Searcy and Timothy Olyphant in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Nick Searcy and Timothy Olyphant in "Justified."

Credit: FX

'Justified' - 'Measures': Feel the pulse

New partnerships are forged and plans are made, while everyone looks for Quarles

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I apologize for not giving you a full accounting of every second of my life before I heartlessly accept the gift of your feminine virtue...

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<p>Jake Johnson and Martin Starr on &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Jake Johnson and Martin Starr on "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Fancyman, Part 2': I get older, they stay the same age!

Dermot Mulroney sticks around, and Martin Starr advises Nick

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I dress up as your Aunt Frida at a seder...

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<p>Joel Kinnaman of &quot;The Killing&quot;</p>
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Joel Kinnaman of "The Killing"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Killing' star Joel Kinnaman explains what drew him to 'RoboCop'

How will his RoboCop be different from Peter Weller's version?
I sat down with Joel Kinnaman on Monday (March 26) afternoon to discuss the Swedish actor's second season playing Stephen Holder, recovering addict and aspiring Seattle homicide detective on AMC's "The Killing."
 
When last we spotted the jittery, enigmatic Holder, he seemed to be heading into some morally questionable territory in what proved to be a wildly polarizing Season 1 finale. Things only get more complicated for Holder in Sunday's (April 1) "Killing" premiere and much of my conversation with Kinnaman relates to that two-hour episode, so the full Q&A will post after the episode has aired.
 
While most of the interview focuses on "The Killing," I'm only human and, towards the end, I inquired about how Kinnaman, well-respected, but still largely an unknown to mainstream American audiences, came to land the lead role in Jose Padilha's upcoming reboot/remake of Paul Verhoven's sci-fi landmark "RoboCop."
 
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<p>The Shins, &quot;Port of Morrow&quot;</p>

The Shins, "Port of Morrow"

Review: The Shins' new album 'Port of Morrow'

What can be left to say about James Mercer?

The Shins’ “Port of Morrow” runs into the same problems that albums like those from the New Pornographers or of Montreal do. There is a calculation and formula to great pop songwriting, and its expert writers sometimes struggle to distinguish each song as an individual work. There’s only small windows of spontaneous possibilities, like the predictable pinch-hits of Nels Cline when a Wilco song gets lost.

With this set, there is no new argument you could lodge against Mercer as a songwriter that you couldn’t before: if you’re a fan, you won’t find any reason to be dissuaded. It’s his backers that have changed. Between this and 2007’s “Wincing the Night Away,” Mercer recruited an all-new, experienced band, and he reteamed with Broken Bells cohort Danger Mouse for production. But still, at the center, is Mercer’s simple melodies, verbosity and that talk-timbre voice. Mercer didn’t re-invent the wheel, it’s just housed somewhere else.
 
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Will 'Boyfriend' make Justin Bieber a radio star?
Credit: Island

Will 'Boyfriend' make Justin Bieber a radio star?

Could he have his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100?

Despite Justin Bieber’s phenomenal success, he has not been a Top 40 radio star. However all that could change with “Boyfriend.”

His sultry new single, which has been No. 1 on iTunes since its release at midnight March 26, is also earning rave reviews at radio. A Top 40 program director we talked to last week was positively buzzing about the song, noting it was Bieber’s strongest single yet.

If you look at Bieber’s Billboard Hot 100 stats, he’s only reached the Top 10 with two of the 21 songs he’s charted on the Hot 100 over the last three years. His peak came two years ago when “Baby” reached No. 5. His only other Top 10 tune is “Never Say Never,”  which reached No. 8.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach on &quot;The Colbert Report,&quot; defending &quot;selling-out&quot;</p>

The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach on "The Colbert Report," defending "selling-out"

The Black Keys take a crack at Spotify: What's the beef?

Does Patrick Carney have a point?

The Black Keys have been a vocal opponent of Spotify before. Only this time they've called an important music/media tech guy and "assh*le." Oh gosh!

Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney clarified the band's stance to Grand Rapids, Mich. radio station WGRD this week, indicating that the streaming service's royalties scheme doesn't have enough of a payout for the band to make all releases available.

"The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m totally not against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense," he said. "Trust me, Dan and I like to make money. If it was fair to the artist we would be involved in it... I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I’m sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they’re actually fair to artists.”

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