Cullen and Elam square off in the ring, and Doc tries to make a deal
Tonight's "Hell on Wheels" was the last of the episodes AMC sent out to critics before the season began, and while I assume I'll be getting a new batch soon, we'll have to play it by ear in terms of how/if I cover it in the coming weeks. (The show is going to be helped by the fact that so many other cable dramas have wrapped or are about to wrap their seasons; within a couple of weeks, it'll be the only one still going for a little bit.)
In terms of "Bread and Circuses," it wisely focused on the uneasy alliance between Cullen and Elam, letting them work out some of their differences in the boxing ring (and letting Anson Mount and Common show off some very sculpted torsos for the 1860s), and it gave me just enough of the Swede to compensate for time spent on the show's less interesting areas (the cliched/fetishized Native American characters, Doc Durant trying to get the maps from Lilly).
What's everybody thinking at this point? By the fifth episode, I imagine the show has shed all the viewers who have decided by now that they just don't like it, so for those of you who are sticking with it, what's the appeal for you?
Eddie Murphy, Corin Nemec and Fran Drescher in the unsold pilot that gave this blog its name
It's December, which is list-making time in the entertainment journalism business, and I've noticed a lot more chatter this year on Twitter between different critics as they try to figure out their best-of and worst-of lists. The other day, someone asked whether NBC's horrible "Wonder Woman" pilot - which never aired, but leaked briefly on the Internet - should be eligible. That got me thinking about ye olden days of the '70s and '80s when TV networks would actually air some of their unsold pilots, especially when they were two hours long and could be presented as a TV-movie, or if they had something special that the network could promote one time, even if no one felt it would work as a series.
One example of the latter kind of Busted Pilot Theatre was the show that gave my blog its name: 1989's "What's Alan Watching?," a one-hour family comedy starring a pre-"Parker Lewis Can't Lose" Corin Nemec as Alan Hoffstetter, a suburban teenager who tried to escape his unhappy life by spending hours in front of the TV, often having fantasies where the TV characters would talk to him.
Chris challenges the origin and nature of Leslie and Ben's romance
A strong Jeff/Shirley story is paired with a silly Annie/Abed/Troy one
Brilliant-but-canceled detective series still has no DVD set, but you can watch all the episodes
Too much explaning, not enough entertaining in prequel miniseries
- Critic's Rating C-
- Readers' Rating C+
What did everybody think of the new FOX comedy?
I posted my review of FOX's "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" yesterday. Now it's your turn. I couldn't stand it, but you may have felt more kindly about it, had more built-up affection for Jaime Pressly and/or Katie Finneran (or Chad L. Coleman from his "Wire" days), or genuinely found it funny.
What did everybody else think? Will you be tuning in next week?
Also, if anyone watches "The Exes" on TV Land tonight, feel free to discuss it here if you want.
Donald Faison, Kristen Johnston and company go for deliberately retro laughs
- Critic's Rating C+
- Readers' Rating B
In one of the few laugh-out-loud lines in TV Land's new sitcom "The Exes" (tonight at 10:30), we meet Eden, the pint-sized, sexpot assistant to divorce lawyer Holly. Eden is played by Kelly Stables, whom the Internet Movie Database very generously lists at 5' tall, and one of Holly's clients suggests that Eden "looks like someone threw a hot chick in the dryer."
Kristina goes back to work, Max goes missing, and Crosby likes Dr. Joe
The guys step to the forefront in one of the strongest episodes so far