Latest Blog Posts

<p>Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in &quot;Mud.&quot;</p>

Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in "Mud."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Roundup: 'Mud' wins the Oscar screener race

Also: The greatest short speeches, and the successful anonymity of Ron Howard

Being the first screener to land in Academy voters' mailboxes is a victory that sometimes brings more than just bragging rights -- especially for smaller films that might get lost in the crush later in the season. The early bird strategy has paid off handsomely for such performance-driven indies as "A Better Life" and "Frozen River" in the past, though it doesn't always get results: last year, TWC's "The Intouchables" didn't even wind up with a foreign-language nod. So, which screener was quickest on the draw this year? Jeff Nichols' coming-of-age tale "Mud" -- until recently, the year's highest-grossing art house release. Roadside Attractions are simplifying Matthew McConaughey's Best Actor drive for "Dallas Buyers Club" by running a supporting campaign for the star, who plays the title role. You can argue amongst yourselves about the rights or wrongs of that move, though the film's best shot at a nod is probably for Best Original Screenplay. Will being first pay off this year? [Deadline

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<p>Toni Collette in &quot;Hostages,&quot;&nbsp;Anna Farris in &quot;Mom&quot;&nbsp;and James Spader in &quot;The Blacklist.&quot;</p>

Toni Collette in "Hostages," Anna Farris in "Mom" and James Spader in "The Blacklist."

Credit: CBS/NBC

Fall TV Reviews: 'Mom,' 'Hostages' & 'The Blacklist'

The TV season officially kicks off tonight with a Chuck Lorre sitcom, a Jerry Bruckheimer drama, and James Spader

Hey everybody, as you know I am still in the hospital. Infections are tricky things, and we're just working to get this one under control.

I'll be fine, but for now — and even after I'm home — I'm going to be at half-speed, at best, for a while. With the TV season officially beginning tonight, this is not an ideal time for that, but what can you do? I'll be writing fewer reviews, what I do write will often be shorter than normal, etc.

As it happens, this is a pretty weak season in terms of new shows, so I have no problem cutting bait on long reviews (or reviews of any kind) of most of the newbies. When I have time or energy, I'll put together posts like this one with very quick hits on what's debuting that night, just so you have some sense of my initial thoughts. If I stick with a rookie, maybe down the road I'll do something longer. (And some shows, like "SHIELD," will get the fuller treatment up-front.) There may be shows that are just skipped altogether, maybe a lot, depending on how I feel as the week moves on.

Three premieres tonight, with a sitcom and two dramas. In order:

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<p>Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Granite State'

Walt skips town in the series' devastating penultimate installment

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha while owning three pairs of Dockers...

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<p>Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards</p>

Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Emmys: David Fincher and Michael Douglas headline movie vet winners

Steven Soderbergh, Jeff Daniels and James Cromwell also picked up prizes

It was a big night for prestige film personalities in front of and behind the camera at the Emmys tonight. Most notable was "House of Cards" and "Behind the Candelabra" directors David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh walking away with wins for TV Drama and TV Movie or Miniseries respectively.

In the case of Soderbergh, he joins rare air with names like Martin Scorsese, Bob Fosse and Michael Moore as one of only a handful of helmers to scoop up an Emmy, an Oscar (for 2000's "Traffic") and the Cannes Palme d'Or (for 1989's "sex, lies and videotape"). In the case of Mr. Fincher, well, I'm sure he'll get his fill of "He doesn't have an Oscar but he has an Emmy!" headlines tomorrow morning.

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Lena Dunham, Aubrey Plaza, Heidi Klum

Lena Dunham, Aubrey Plaza, and Heidi Klum busted out their best for the 2013 Emmy Awards -- but was it good enough for the red carpet? 

Credit: AP Photo

Red Carpet Winners and Losers at the 2013 Emmys

The stars get all dressed up for television's big night out

As Emmy Awards go, this wasn't the best of the times nor was it the worst of times. Most of the stars wore respectable (even boring) dresses, while a few brought the weird to liven things up (thanks, Aubrey Plaza!). Purple and nude (with a smattering of forest green) were the colors of the moment, and silhouettes ranged from slim and minimal to ridiculous (Lena Dunham, we're talking to you). Here's the roundup of the winners and losers of the Emmys 2013 red carpet. 

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<p>Michael C. Hall in the &quot;Dexter&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Michael C. Hall in the "Dexter" series finale.

Credit: Showtime

Series finale review: 'Dexter' - 'Remember the Monsters?'

Dexter tries for a happy ending, but has the series earned one?

A review of the "Dexter" series finale coming up just as soon as I tell you what the pen is for...

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<p>Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Acres of Diamonds'

Nucky explores a Florida business opportunity, Richard's homecoming doesn't go as planned, and Dr. Narcisse sows dissent between Chalky and Dunn

A quick review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I meet the world's tallest midget...

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Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin

 Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys fashion fail or fab: Pregnant celebs

Did Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin work their baby bumps?

Look, pregnancy isn't easy for anyone. I'm guessing Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin both would have preferred to stay at home, put up their swollen feet, and eat Cheetos in their sweatpants rather than go to the Emmys. But they toughed it out, somehow lifted themselves gracefully out of a limo while photographers were there, and made it onto the red carpet. So, kudos to them both!

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Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough 

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys fashion fail or fab: Julianne Hough

Is this sexy or does she appear thisclose to a wardrobe malfunction?

Julianne Hough is a beautiful woman. Seafoam green is definitely her color. But this odd leotard/evening gown mash-up is both too revealing and sorta saggy. I'm worried that if she doesn't keep her hand planted on her hip the whole top will flop down. Sucks to sit next to her, huh?

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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star and Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks</p>

"Mad Men" star and Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks

Credit: AP

Primetime Emmy Awards 2013 Live-Blog

From Neil Patrick Harris to all of the winners, we've got you covered

Happy Emmy Night, Everybody!

Are we all excited for the accelerated 55 minute show that will be over in time so that everybody can watch the penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad"? 

Crud.

Anyway, this'll be where I am for the next three hours. Follow along! Comment below! And check out my Full 2013 Emmy Predictions with Sepinwall so that you can make fun of how ineffectively psychic I am!

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Zosia Mamet

 Zosia Mamet

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys fashion fail or fab: Zosia Mamet

The 'Girls' star makes a statement - but is it a good one?

Well, this is awkward. I like the bottom half of this dress soooo much. And then there's this odd thing going on in the bodice, which seems to be saying, "Hello. I have small breasts. Please stare at them." I'm wondering if the black leather is there in case she needs an extra shoe or something. 

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<p>The CW's &quot;The 100&quot;</p>

The CW's "The 100"

Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The 100'

In The CW's idealistic future, everybody over 35 is in orbit somewhere

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"The 100" (The CW)
Airs:Midseason
The Pitch: "Imagine a world populated only by sexy young people, where the old people -- anybody over 35, really -- is off in isolation somewhere where they're entirely irrelevant." "Ummm... We're The CW. That's *all* of our shows." "Oh. Well. Um. In this one, the old folks are off in space somewhere." "It's like a metaphor! For all our other shows! Sold!"
Quick Response: As unlikely as it is that my "Pitch" was what actually sold "The 100" to The CW, this midseason drama is close to being parody, without being funny. If "Star-Crossed" is like somebody studied The CW's dramatic formula and delivered a pilot that checked every single familiar box in the most familiar way possible, "The 100" is like somebody was looking at that CW formula and started to get cocky and was like, "What if I take that formula and graft it onto a really silly YA-friendly high concept that nobody will ever think to question because the actors are all so darned cute?" Because dystopic futures with heavy-handed thematics are popular with the kids, "The 100" starts with an absurd premise -- 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse, humanity is floating in space stations and they decide to send 100 juvenile delinquents down to Earth to see if it's safe to repopulate. Of course, in this society, literally any minor crime can make you a juvenile delinquent, so it's much more "Lord of the Sexy Flies" than "The Dirty Eight-Dozen." For 44 minutes, Jason Rothenberg's pilot script is basically nothing but expositional dialogue, as everybody explains future tech and the global situation, rather than illustrating it, and all of the characters are introduced by having other people describe them -- "You're the guy who..." "You're that girl who..." "Isn't your father..." "That's just like somebody who..." -- rather than doing things that might teach you about the characters organically. Of course, Rothenberg would be right to point out that in a pilot that could plausibly have 100 main teenage characters, it's hard to introduce the whole world fluidly. Maybe that's why the Dirty Dozen was only 12, perhaps? It's not like there weren't 100 military prisoners who might have made that Anti-Nazi mission a bit easier. But in a movie, even learning 12 characters is hard. Seven? Now that would be magnificent! But 100? That's cuckoo bananas. And while several of the "100" stars are the latest models off of the CW assembly line -- Marie Avgeropoulos, for example, survived "Cult" -- most of them are unfamiliar (and some are really, really bad at the acting thing, even if they excel at the "good-looking" thing. So it's pretty people crash-landing on Earth and blathering, while it becomes increasingly obvious that there are weird things happening in the land we used to call home. It's "Carrie Diaries" meets "Chernoybl Diaries" in the future! Meanwhile, all of the recognizable actors -- Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Kelly Hu, Desmond from "Lost" -- are out in space being SO DAMN OLD and arguing about future-civics or something. The old people are in one clunky, exposition-heavy show. The young people are in a completely different clunky, exposition-heavy show. The old person show is boring. The young person show is annoying. The old person show reminds you of why there are so few old people in "Hunger Games"/"Divergent"/"Delirium." At least at the end of the young person show, there's a cliffhanger that may be silly enough to get a few people (sad people, like me) back.
Desire To Watch Again: I'm of two minds here: Ideally, a pilot with this much exposition really should have set its world up well enough that once we get to the second episode, things should fly. However, very little of the exposition in the pilot makes much sense, so I fear there's more explaining still to come. Plus, of the 100 juvenile delinquents, we've barely met any of them, so they could be awkwardly introducing us to new characters for years to come. I won't be staying with the show for that long, but it's pretty much inevitable that I'll watch a few more episodes.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Resurrection' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Surviving Jack' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

 

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