Cathy and her family prepare for the end as the Showtime dramedy concludes on a strong note
Daniel ponders a trip out of town as the terrific first season comes to a close
Some interesting pieces in a new sitcom from the 'HIMYM' guys, but it's a dead show walking
- Critic's Rating B-
- Readers' Rating A+
I hear it a lot: I don't want to waste time watching a new show that might be canceled; if it's a success, I'll try it. On the one hand, I get it: I've been frustrated (and, in some cases, sad) when a show I invested my time and energy into got canceled in the early stages, and in some cases might have preferred not to have seen it. On the other, I'm grateful for even the one season I got of "Freaks and Geeks" and "Terriers," and I know plenty of Bryan Fuller fans who revere "Wonderfalls" even though FOX pulled it after only four episodes.
That said, "Freaks and Geeks" is a classic, and was very clearly one from the first episode. The harder call is making an investment in a show that has potential it hasn't realized yet, and that might not be on the air long enough to figure itself out — or, in the case of a show like FOX's "The Goodwin Games," that will never have that chance.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 183: 'Behind the Candelabra,' 'The Goodwin Games,' 'Motive' & more
Dan and Alan also review 'Save Me,' talk about 'SNL' departures and a wacky 'Mad Men'
The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is actually on a Monday for once this week, though we'll be back to an irregular schedule next week thanks to both the Memorial Day holiday and Netflix's release of "Arrested Development." (Dan and I want to have enough time to watch it all.) In the meantime, we had an awfully busy podcast today, including reviews of three summer series, the best HBO movie in forever, analysis of two finales and debate about an especially wacky episode of "Mad Men."
A police procedural that doesn't bother with whodunnit, but doesn't replace it with anything interesting
- Critic's Rating C
- Readers' Rating B+
The broadcast network TV season doesn't officially end until Wednesday night at 11, but it already feels largely wrapped up. Many of TV's biggest hits, from "NCIS" to "Big Bang Theory" to "American Idol," already aired their finales last week, and while several big shows aren't done yet ("The Voice" will run into mid-June), the networks have already started slipping into their summer clothes. FOX brought back "So You Think You Can Dance" next week and is beginning the Summer Burn-Off Theatre run of "The Goodwin Games" tonight (I hope to write a short review of that later today, and I'll definitely be discussing it with Dan on the podcast), and tonight ABC launches another of its Canadian import dramas: the police procedural "Motive."
The paperback is being re-released tomorrow
Back in November, I self-published a book, "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever." It was a look back at some of the best and/or most influential dramas of the last 15 years — "The Sopranos," "Oz," "The Wire," "Deadwood," "The Shield," "Lost," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Battlestar Galactica," "24," "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" — told through both my critical eye and the voices of the men and women responsible for making them.
Don and Stan get a special shot, the agency loses a leader and Sally meets her 'Grandma Ida'
The Lannisters throw a wedding, Daenerys faces a new army, and Stannis meets Gendry
Promising pilots, puzzling scheduling moves and more
Upfront Week 2013 is over, and you can find all of HitFix's upfronts coverage — including schedules, analysis, new series photos and most of the trailers that advertisers were shown — here. Even after all five networks announced their fall and midseason schedules, even after we learned which shows were renewed and which were canceled, there remains a ton of uncertainty. Shows that looked good in trailer form might not work at full-length, and vice versa. A scheduling move that seems puzzling might turn out to be the most successful of the fall, and some decisions announced this week (say, FOX scheduling sitcoms on Friday) might never come to pass.
But there are a few things that Fienberg and I feel more confident about today than we did a week ago, plus one thing we wish we had an answer for already (and would vastly prefer one answer to another about it):
The Doctor uncovers Clara's secret and comes face-to-face with a surprising figure