A few hours ago, ABC screened the pilot for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." for critics for the first time. (At least, for those critics who weren't in Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con a couple of weeks ago.) I'll obviously have much more to say about the show when it premieres on September 24 at 8 p.m., but I can say that it has the snappy Joss Whedon dialogue (with an assist from showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoe), Clark Gregg is fun, and it feels very much like a hybrid of Marvel Comics and "NCIS" (which will be its direct timeslot competitor). Maybe not a great pilot, but "Firefly" is the only Whedon show with a great pilot (not that FOX thought so, as they aired it last), and a lot of promising elements being put in place.
Whedon, Whedon, Tancharoen and the show's cast will be here at the Television Critics Association press tour in a few minutes, and I'll be live-blogging the panel. Two things to keep in mind: 1)I'll be typing quickly, so there may not be the right number of periods, if any, in the show's title or references to the spy organization; and 2)I will do my best to not give away any notable surprises from the pilot, but in the process, there may be some gaps in the live-blog, as I imagine there will be questions asked about things we just saw.
Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor on "Doctor Who," and that sounds just marvelous.
Last night, I published the list of TCA Awards winners. It was, as I suspected, a fun night, not just because we got to honor some shows ("Bunheads") and performers (Tatiana Maslany from "Orphan Black") Emmy hasn't noticed, but because there were a lot of terrific speeches and moments. Key and Peele killed as the opening act, doing a TV-centric Obama and Luther sketch (Luther threatened a drone strike if Netflix didn't release its viewing data). Louis C.K. kicked off one running gag by dismissing the TCA Award itself as "a shitty piece of plastic," which several other winners also pointed out, until Mike Schur studied his and said, "It's fine." Kaitlyn Jenkins, aka Boo from "Bunheads," got choked up at the idea of her canceled show winning an award, and Norman Lear and Rob Reiner read hilariously from a transcript of Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman discussing "All in the Family" in the Oval Office.
It was a good night to be a TV critic, as the Television Critics Association bestowed its annual TCA Awards on an eclectic and very worthy collection of shows and individuals in a private ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.
For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.
While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.
We're doubling up on episodes 8 and 9 this week. Thoughts on episode both "Leviathan Smiles" and "Amateur Night" coming up just as soon as I distract the nations at large from my fiscal turpitudes and miasms...
Under any circumstances, the press tour panel for FOX's "Dads" was going to be an awkward affair. The live-action comedy from Seth MacFarlane and fellow "Family Guy" writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as best friends and business partners whose estranged fathers (Peter Riegert and Martin Mull) breeze into town and offend everyone with their old-school attitudes. Among other gags, it has Mull dubbing a boxing video game "Punch the Puerto Rican," has Riegert offended by being mistaken for the Eric Stoltz character in "Mask," and has Green and Ribisi convincing an employee played by Brenda Song to dress up like a giggling anime schoolgirl to impress a group of Asian investors.
FOX president Kevin Reilly began his press tour executive session with an Oprah Winfrey-length filibuster. Given the season his network had — with the collapse of "American Idol" ratings ending the network's long streak as the highest-rated network on TV — the move wasn't a surprise. Lengthy monologues are one way for TV executives to distract us from the recent bad news at their network (or, at least, to suck away all our will to live or ask tough questions). But Reilly's speech had less to do with trying to change the narrative about Fox than trying to change the narrative about the broadcast network business in general.
A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I pay for your Ju Jitsu classes...
After giving you a video podcast earlier in the week (which you can still listen to in the car and at the gym by simply not looking at the video), the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is back in its more traditional audio-only form. (For all I know, it's even in mono.) After a morning of Hulu panels, Dan and I adjourned to my hotel room here at press tour to discuss the latest doings at TCA, to review Larry David's HBO movie "Clear History" (which doesn't air for a week and a half, but next week's show will be busy) and to continue our summer pilot rewatch with "My So-Called Life," (The next pilot rewatch, for a date TBD: "The Wonder Years," fake music and all.) We're not sure when the next podcast will be, and whether we'll be doing both audio and video ones before I leave LA next week, but stay tuned to the blog, Twitter, etc. for the usual updates. The rundown:
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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.