Astute TV viewers have already spent the past month sifting through dozens of new network shows, plus high-profile cable offerings like "Homeland" and "American Horror Story."
And now, just when you think that it's time to take a breather and let the dust settle, along comes a new Starz political drama from a two-time Oscar nominated director and starring one of the most decorated leading men in TV history.
Starz' "Boss" continues the small screen's recent fascination with the Windy City, featuring Kelsey Grammer as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, a man of great power forced to face his own physical limitations.
Premiering on October 21, the "Boss" pilot was created by
Farhad Safinia, directed by Gus Van Sant and the cast includes Connie Nielsen, Jeff Hephner, Martin Donovan and Fien Print Favorite Kathleen Robertson.
Starz has put together an exhaustive behind-the-scenes introduction to "Boss" and for the next few days, it's only at HitFix.
Pre-credit sequence. Oh right. Team Ozzy voted Papa Bear out last week. I've pretty much forgotten everything this season that doesn't involve Crazy Russell's Crazy Nephew Brandon. And we aren't even starting on Redemption Island. Instead, we're over at Team Ozzy, where Ozzy and Elyse are cuddling on the hammock talking about Ozzy's tastes in literature, particularly his childhood love of "Robinson Crusoe." Their closeness is scaring Jim, who doesn't want Ozzy to become another Boston Rob, running the table with the help of a pliable female alliance, so he decides he has to target Ozzy's power base and boot Elyse out. Jim takes Cochran aside and proposes his desire to make a big move. "She's so freaking hot," Jim laments, though Cochran helpfully promises to don alluringly arranged seaweed. Cochran doesn't trust Jim and his perfectly white teeth, but he trusts the idea of his not going home next Tribal Council.
The most heavily promoted team on this season of "The Amazing Race" didn't enjoy a particularly long run.
Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, both winners of CBS' "Survivor," intended to use their previous reality experiences in this Emmy-winning race around the world, but instead they fell victim to a series of missteps in Indonesia.
On last week's episode, it appeared that a misplaced clue and then a failure to properly read another clue doomed Jenna & Ethan in the show's first-ever Double Elimination episode.
But was that actually the way things went down? What really caused Jenna & Ethan to be the co-first team sent home on "The Amazing Race"? And what do they think of equalizers and Non-Elimination Legs and Twitter saves?
Click through for my full "Amazing Race" exit interview with the ever-candid Jenna and Ethan...
Of all of the parts of FX's "American Horror Story" that are difficult to explain, I'd have the most trouble summing up how Alexandra Breckenridge and Frances Conroy come to be playing the same character, complete with matching red hair and matching maid costumes.
The red hair has created an instantly new persona for Breckenridge, who admits that she's recently had a string of "bubbly" roles on shows like "The Ex List" and "Life Unexpected" (plus a brief turn on "True Blood" this summer). On "American Horror Story," she's sultry, dangerous and mysterious, but definitely not bubbly.
In August, at a Television Critics Association press tour party in Pacific Palisades, I caught up with Breckenridge on the beach at sunset to talk about her deliriously wacky new series, her deliriously different new look and why she prefers originals over remakes.
It's hard for female doctors working with Gregory House to experience any real longevity.
Dr. Cameron was around for a long time, but she was most recently seen causing romantic turmoil on "How I Met Your Mother" and then heading off to investigate fairy tales on ABC's "Once Upon a Time."
Thirteen hasn't exactly vanished from the show, but she seems to only be around when she has gaps in a busy movie career.
And then Joan of Arcadia was around for the better part of a season, until God told her it was time to move on.
[Apologies if fiction and reality got blurred somewhere there.]
This fall, House will welcome two new underlings, doctors played by Odette Annable -- most recently seen on FOX's newly resurrected "Breaking In" -- and Charlyne Yi, who won hearts in "Knocked Up" and won a Sundance screenwriting award for "Paper Heart."
Annable's character will make her first appearance in Monday's (October 3) "House" premiere, while you'll have to wait a week to see Yi.
Here's how the two actresses describe their characters, their own struggles with medical jargon and the "House" culture of side-smacking.
In this week's installment, Sepinwall and I say mean things about "American Horror Story," lament Martin Scorsese's failure to recognize George Harrison's true masterpiece, answer a bunch of listener mail and then I talk about "Breaking Bad" and Alan cringes because he's already seen the finale and doesn't want to admit what he knows.
Here's the breakdown:
"American Horror Story" - 00:40 - 17:25
"George Harrison: Living in the Material World" -- 17:25 - 28:45
"The League" -- 28:45 - 36:00
Listener Mail - "Arrested Development" movie -- 36:15 - 42:00
Listener Mail - Future "Louie"s -- 42:00 - 49:45
Listener Mail - Crippling implausibilities -- 49:45 - 54:35
"Breaking Bad" - 54:40 - 01:08:00
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.]
For eight years, Jack Bauer fought terrorism in a fictional world in which the real world still resonated.
On FOX's "24," the terrorists were fake, the politicians were fake and the adversarial nations were frequently fake, but from its premiere to its finale, 9/11 and an actual War on Terror provided an off-screen backdrop for viewers. In an era of actual paranoia and uncertainty, Jack Bauer couldn't truly keep us safe, but every Monday night, he was the living, breathing, decapitating, gun-toting embodiment of the Patriot Act.
In contrast, Showtime's new drama "Homeland" is set in a version of the real world, but one in which the fictional world is constantly resonating.
Although nobody is mentioning "Barack Obama" or "George W. Bush," the "Homeland" backdrop includes 9/11, includes the dead of Osama Bin Ladin and doesn't feature a single country called Arabistan or Freedonia. And yet, for all of the tangible horrors "Homeland" is able to evoke, what it evokes most successfully is two versions of "The Manchurian Candidate," Showtime's "Sleeper Cell," a dozen edgy conspiracy dramas from the '70s and, of course, "24."
Premiering on Sunday (October 2) night on Showtime, "Homeland" is a taut, marvelously acted thriller that will make you think fondly of classics in the genre, even if it doesn't necessarily make you think that hard about anything of contemporary substance.