Credit: CBS

Review: CBS’ ‘Mom’ returns as one of network TV’s most unique comedies

Allison Janney’s Emmy-winning performance is only one highlight of this multi-cam dramedy
When I do my Take Me To The Pilots entries each summer, I try to make them an optimistic survey of the season's new network shows.
Yes, I tear a few awful pilots to shreds, but all appearances to the contrary, I'm a genuinely generous viewer of new shows, especially new comedies, since we all know that landing on solid footing is slightly easier for a drama pilot than a sitcom.
Whenever I look at a pilot, I say "What is the pilot? And what is the show it's likely to become?" And in that process, the multi-part third question, phrased in different ways, is, "What is the best version of this show and what is the worst version and which potential outcome is more likely?"
So I look at something like the "2 Broke Girls" pilot and I could acknowledge that if the show were to focus on Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, if it were to find a clear through-line and stop wallowing in the blatant racism, xenophobia and complacent humor of the diner scenes, it might become a good show.
I watched a solid three seasons of "2 Broke Girls" before giving up on its ability or desire to become that better version of itself. Michael Patrick King and company are content with lazy stereotypes and double entendres and... That's their business. 
When it came to CBS' "Mom," last summer I wrote, "A version of 'Mom' that I would watch would continue to keep the recovery thread as close to the surface as possible, because that melancholy shading would benefit [Anna] Faris and also benefit Allison Janney, who is fine here, but isn't asked to do nearly enough." And I compared it to "2 Broke Girls," as if to pre-guarantee my disappointment, to cover for my resignation.
Read Full Post
<p>Kevin Zegers of &quot;Gracepoint&quot;</p>

Kevin Zegers of "Gracepoint"

Credit: FOX

Interviewer: 'Gracepoint' co-star Kevin Zegers on opening the door to suspicion

Check out two different interviews with the 'Gossip Girl' veteran

VICTORIA, BC. The fifth episode of "Gracepoint," the one airing on FOX this Thursday (October 30) night, features an absolutely dynamic scene between Kevin Zegers and Nick Nolte, exactly the kind of superb acting that's capable of carrying "Gracepoint" even if it remains a nearly beat-for-beat copy of "Broadchurch." [Two more episodes of similarity before, as promised, things deviate in Episode 7.]

Of course, I didn't necessarily know about the scene or when it would fit into the "Gracepoint" order when I sat down with Zegers in May in a leaky tent next to the British Columbia beach being used to shoot promotional images.

Instead, we talked about the approach Zegers was taking to his character, fledgling journalist Owen Burke, that would make him different from his "Broadchurch" equivalent." Specifically, Zegers emphasized his willingness to play Owen as a possible suspect in the murder of Danny Solano, making him at least a plausible killer, if not a likely suspect.

When I met with Zegers and co-star Jessica Lucas in May, I'd seen that Nick Nolte scene and we were able to discuss it on video.

So as I did with Michael Peña a few weeks ago, I'm doubling up on Zegers and Lucas interviews this week. 

Above, you can watch the two actors discuss their role and, specifically, the intimidation of Mr. Nolte.

And below, you can read my Q&A with Zegers from the "Gracepoint" set. 

"Gracepoint" airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

Read Full Post
Eliza Taylor of "The 100"
Eliza Taylor of "The 100"
Credit: The CW

'The 100' star Eliza Taylor on the season's mysterious new status quo

Plus, several other cryptic teases about 'The 100' Season 2

VANCOUVER, BC. I didn't get to write about it, but The CW's "The 100" got off to a promising start last week. 

I didn't especially like the post-apocalyptic drama when it launched last spring, but I've come to appreciate its regular doses of oddly edgy lunacy -- unpredictably deaths, unpredictably gory deaths, inappropriately timed sexual conquests, etc -- and also plotting so exhausting -- Grounders and Reapers and Mountain Men, Oh My -- that whenever I attempt to pay attention to what's happening, keeping up requires so much effort I almost have to set my quibbles aside.

In the premiere, we saw Eliza Taylor's Clarke begin to try to unravel the mysteries of Mount Weather, a seemingly civilized group of radiation avoiders she just knows are suspicious. We're also suspicious, because any group that has Raymond "Arlo Givens" Barry as its leader is up to no good. Plus, when was the last time a pack of starving people in a dystopia environment encountered a well-fed group with ample supplies of chocolate cake without something sketchy being afoot.

Read Full Post
<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Arrow&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Arrow"

Credit: The CW

'Arrow' star Stephen Amell teases the return of Nyssa and the arrival of Ra's Al Ghul

Plus, what are the 'Arrow' lead's thoughts on Twitter these days?

VANCOUVER, BC. A familiar face and a familiar name will arrive in Starling City on Wednesday (October 29) night's episode of "Arrow."

As The CW has been heavily promoting, Katrina Law will be back as Nyssa Al Ghul, League of Assassins veteran and daughter to the famous Ra's Al Ghul. As we learned last season, Nyssa had a rather close relationship with the late Sara Lance, so her return is likely to be intense.

Read Full Post
<p>Agents of SHIELD</p>

Agents of SHIELD

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: World Series blowout powers FOX to Tuesday win

Given a less-awful lead-in, "Agents of SHIELD" gets its best ratings since season premiere

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, October 28, 2014.

The Kansas City Royals' blowout of the San Francisco Giants in Game 6 of the World Series handed ABC an easy Tuesday win among young adults, though CBS was again the most-watched network thanks to the "NCIS" franchise. NBC's whole night was down from last week, while "Agents of SHIELD" improved a bit thanks to not having "Manhattan Love Story" as its lead-in.

Read Full Post
<p>2 Broke Girls</p>

2 Broke Girls

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: NBC, ABC split Monday thanks to 'Voice,' 'Dancing'

'2 Broke Girls' swaps in for 'Big Bang Theory' and lowers CBS' average with it

Fast National ratings for Monday, October 27, 2014.

NBC won Monday night among young adults thanks to "The Voice" and "The Blacklist," ABC among total viewers thanks to "Dancing with the Stars," and CBS took a hit as "2 Broke Girls" replaced "Big Bang Theory" in its Monday lineup.

Read Full Post
<p>Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold in The Flash</p>

Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold in The Flash

Credit: CW

'Flash' guest Wentworth Miller on Captain Cold and returning to acting

'Prison Break' alum turns supervillain tonight
VANCOUVER, BC. Actor Wentworth Miller, the Golden Globe nominated star of "Prison Break," hasn't been seen all that much lately. 
You have to go back to a 2011 episode of "House" or "Resident Evil: Afterlife" to see Miller's last mainstream credits as an on-screen thespian. 
On the other hand, screenwriter Wentworth Miller has been quite busy. "Stoker" played at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and earned some of that year's most respectful reviews. "The Disappointments Room" has attracted a cast led by Kate Beckinsale and is expected to open next fall.
Wentworth Miller, actor, will be back on-screen this week when he begins a key guest turn playing Leonard Snart -- bka Captain Cold -- on The CW's "The Flash."
Read Full Post
<p>Lyndie Greenwood of &quot;Sleepy Hollow&quot;</p>

Lyndie Greenwood of "Sleepy Hollow"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Sleepy Hollow' co-star Lyndie Greenwood on Jenny Mills' mental state

Actress discusses her Sarah Connor character intro and more

WILMINGTON, NC. We're finally reaching the end of the interviews I conducted during my time on the set of FOX's "Sleepy Hollow."

I've saved Lyndie Greenwood for last not because Jenny Mills is anything less than awesome. Anybody who can pull off a Sarah Connor-style intro is worthy of respect and Jenny has proven to be a valuable, if frequently underused, piece of the Revolutionary War/Apocalypse Scooby Gang.

No, I held my Greenwood chat for last just because it became a little truncated because we were summoned down to a makeshift nightclub to be extras in a "Sleepy Hollow" scene that I'm already apologizing for in advance. Whether I should be apologizing to viewers or to the editors who had to cut around me remains to be seen.

It's still a good conversation as Greenwood discusses Jenny's muscular introduction, her psychological state and some of her genre favorites. It isn't even slightly spoiler-y, so don't worry.

"Sleepy Hollow" avoided any kind of World Series preemption and its next episode airs on FOX on Monday, October 27. 

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot; finale</p>

The "Boardwalk Empire" finale

Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 254

Dan and Alan discuss the 'Boardwalk Empire' finale and review 'Benched,' 'McCarthys' and more


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! 

We had to push things up to Monday this week in order to review "Mike Tyson Mysteries." Or we had to push things up to Monday to be timely with the series finale of "Boardwalk Empire." Or maybe we're posting on Monday because it's another travel week for me and it was either this or no podcast and nobody wanted to miss out on our reviewing "The McCarthys."

The world may never know. 

But that's what's in this week's podcast. We have reviews of three new comedies, which you may or may not care about. None of them are great. 

But we also talked for more than 45 minutes about the "Boardwalk Empire" finale, the HBO drama's final season and it's general legacy. No, it's not quite a full "Boardwalk Empire" podcast, but it's a LOT of time spent talking about "Boardwalk Empire."

Today's breakdown:
"Mike Tyson Mysteries" (00:00:55 - 00:09:50)
"Benched" (00:09:55 - 00:19:20)
"The McCarthys" (00:19:25 - 00:28:05)
"Boardwalk Empire" finale (00:28:15 - 01:14:25)

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 or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 


And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

Read Full Post
<p>New Orleans Saints</p>

New Orleans Saints

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC wins sports-heavy Sunday night

On a night with two NFL games and a World Series matchup, the Peacock appears to have the edge

Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Live sporting events always make preliminary ratings inexact, and Sunday night was loaded with live sports, including a long football overrun on CBS, Game 5 of the World Series on FOX and a Saints-Packers primetime game on NBC. Most of the numbers you read below will change once the final numbers are figured out, but NBC should win handily among young adults no matter the East/West calculations, while sports-less ABC should be in fourth, getting no help from the low-rated "Star Wars Rebels" special.

Read Full Post