We're about 15 minutes from the start of the winter 2015 Television Critics Association press tour, or TCA for short. If you've been following me for a while, you know all the ins and outs of press tour. If you haven't, the primer that I published again back in the summer is still very useful(*).
A few quick thoughts on the final season premiere of "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I flirt with a Fu Manchu...
I posted my review of "Marvel's Agent Carter" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched the two-hour premiere tonight, what did you think? If you had watched Hayley Atwell in the "Captain America" films, how do you think she did carrying the full load? If you were new to the character, was she interesting? How do you think they handled the period setting? Were you excited by the Andre Royo guest appearance? Amused or annoyed by the oblivious sexism of most of Peggy's colleagues? How did you feel about Jarvis? Peggy's blonde disguise? And was I the only person who watched Peggy beat up bad guys with a stapler and immediately say, "Hayley Atwell is... The Stapler!"?
FOX's new "Empire" is the kind of unapologetic melodrama that can go to commercial with Taraji P. Henson pronouncing, "I'm here to get what's mine!," followed by a melodramatic musical sting. It's from Lee Daniels, who co-created it with Emmy-winning writer (and sometime-actor) Danny Strong, so it ain't subtle. And yet... the scene I found myself enjoying the most in the pilot episode (it airs tomorrow night at 9) is a relatively quiet one, where Henson's Cookie and Terrence Howard's Lucious are swapping stories from their time as a couple. He's now a Jay-Z-esque hip-hop mogul, and she's just out of prison and, again, here to get what's hers, and both would like nothing more than to absolutely destroy the other — but even as they're swapping barbs and holding metaphorical knives behind their backs, it's clear that they still enjoy each other's company on some level, and that the attraction they had decades earlier hasn't completely been extinguished.
Happy Tuesday and welcome to 2015, boys and girls! Time for our first Firewall & Iceberg Podcast of the new year, and the last one before press tour starts tomorrow. I'll be getting into town on Friday, which means odds are very good for at least one in-person podcast, and there's even a chance — please curb your excitement — for some kind of one-shot revival of the video show with us in the same studio. But before all the LA-based shenanigans began, we had a lot of things to talk about, including the debut of four new shows and the return of two of our Sunday favorites.
As a drama, "Banshee" is preposterous. It is ludicrous. It regularly defies laws of both plausibility and physics, and there's usually at least one moment per episode where I have to pause the action because I can't stop laughing at how ridiculous it all is.
And that is why I've come to love it.
A quick review of tonight's "Gotham" — and thoughts on future reviewing plans for the show — coming up just as soon as I believe a giant bullfrog lives in my abdomen, controlling my thoughts...
Days before the premiere of the fourth season of "Girls," HBO has ordered a fifth.
One of the smartest things Marvel has done with its movie output is to let each film exist as its own entity. There are callbacks to previous films, and hints about future ones, but you don't have to have seen "Thor" to appreciate "Iron Man 3" (or vice versa), and the movies represent many different genres, sometimes even within an individual series, like how "Captain America: The First Avenger" is a retro war movie, while "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a paranoid spy thriller.