Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall
Could a taco run provide an answer to one of the show's biggest mysteries?
Can a trip to Ricky's Tacos help Jason Isaacs solve the big "Awake" mystery?
Last week's "Awake" was the first episode of the series that NBC hadn't sent out to critics in advance, and as a result it was the first episode I didn't get around to reviewing, because it took me several days to see it. But "That's Not My Penguin" was perhaps the show's strongest episode so far, making the shrinks vital to the series again by pointing out just how unhealthy Britten's situation is if we believe that one of the worlds isn't real.
Thus far, Kyle Killen and Howard Gordon have put aside any doubts about the creative viability of the concept. This all may come crashing down eventually, but right now they're doing a fantastic job of juggling, and I can't wait to see what they do next.
And if you're as engaged by the show as I am, then you don't have to wait until Thursday night at 10 for at least a taste of the next episode, titled "Ricky's Tacos," as we have a clip — exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — from early in the episode in which a trip to the drive-through offers an unexpected clue for Detective Britten.
Enjoy, and I'll do my best to get to this one in a timelier fashion.
The night is dark and full of terrors for Don, Joan, Peggy and Sally
Christina Hendricks and Christine Estabrook in "Mad Men."
A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I start with the whole world and eventually check my apartment...
Theon goes home, Tyrion makes a move and Arya makes a friend
Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy in "Game of Thrones."
A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I've got armor on...
The 'Tiny Furniture' director talks about her comedy of sexual misadventure in Brooklyn
Lena Dunham on the set of HBO's "Girls."
When I first sat down to watch HBO's new comedy series "Girls,"
I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't at that point seen the movie "Tiny Furniture," which, like "Girls," was written by, directed by and starring Lena Dunham
. The actors were mostly unknowns, and though Judd Apatow was attached as a producer, I assumed with his feature career he wasn't going to be nearly as hands-on as he was with "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" a decade ago.
But the series — in which Dunham plays Hannah Horvath, a wannabe writer struggling with work, sex, friendship and money in Brooklyn — wowed me from the start. I'll have a review closer to the premiere (next Sunday at 10:30), but by the time I was done with the first three episodes I knew I wanted to talk to Dunham, and with her showrunning partner Jenni Konner
, whose career started as a writer on "Undeclared."
Though he'd probably still prefer you get to the end of a season before passing judgment
As you know if you've been reading me for more than five seconds, I think "The Wire" is the best drama to ever air on television. I'm also an enormous fan of the rest of David Simon's oeuvre, all the way from his book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," all the way up through "Tremé," which will be back on HBO this fall.
But I was very disheartened to read yesterday's New York Times interview with Simon, in which he seemed to suggest there was a right and a wrong way to watch his shows, and he disapproved of anyone doing it the wrong way. This passage seemed particularly contentious, to both myself and a lot of people I follow in Twitter, be they fellow TV critics or other TV showrunners who are fans of "The Wire."
Edie Falco dramedy much improved after shaking things up
"Nurse Jackie" (Edie Falco) is on the defensive to start season 4.
For the two-plus seasons I watched "Nurse Jackie,"
it was a show with a tremendous lead performance by Edie Falco
, a bunch of well-etched supporting characters played by Merritt Wever
, Anna Deavere Smith
and Peter Facinelli
(among others) and a reliably black comic sensibility that could deftly turn on a dime for more serious moment. But it was also a show that, like Jackie — a painkiller addict concealing her addiction, an extramarital affair and any number of other secrets — stubbornly, proudly in denial of the need to change things up even a little. Consequences seemed to hurtle at Jackie with regularity, but they were always quickly dodged.
After a while, that refusal to shake things up and force Jackie to deal with the wreck her life had become forced me to quit the show cold turkey. After I left, things got even worse on the no-consequences front, as last season's finale (which I later watched on a "Even you won't believe they did this" recommendation from a friend) went out of its way to tease anyone who thought comeuppance was coming. On the personal front, right when Jackie was on the verge of confessing her adultery to husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa
admitted an affair to her, allowing her to hypocritically reclaim the moral high ground, while at work, Ms. Akalitus (Smith) threw Jackie's drug test in the trash to protect her.
But sometime between that finale and the fourth season premiere (Sunday at 9 p.m.), "Jackie" co-creators Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem appear to have had a moment of clarity and realized that if their show kept running in place, it would suffer a slow, mediocre death. "Nurse Jackie" season 4 is all consequences, all the time — and is much, much more satisfying overall as a result.
Tracy regains his sense of smell, Jenna pranks the writers and Jack mentors Pete
Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger in "30 Rock."
A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I quote myself talking to Bruce Willis...
What did everybody think of the new ABC drama?
Kerry Washington in "Scandal."
Okay, I've already published my review of ABC's "Scandal" and interviewed producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the new drama? Do you truly understand what it means to be a gladiator in a suit, or do you think the client of the week should've just hired a traditional law firm? Did you enjoy Rhimes' trademark dialogue in a non-medical context? (And did Josh Malina and Liza Weil — both veterans of other rapid-fire banter-loving writers — work well with Rhimes' rhythms?) Are you happy to see Tony Goldwyn acting again, or did the stuff in the White House seem too much? Were you distracted by Henry Ian Cusick's true "wandering accent," or would it have been more distracting if he'd sounded mega-Scottish and called everyone "brutha"? And how about that Kerry Washington?
Have at it. Don't think I'm going to do weekly write-ups. I learned my lesson after a while with "Grey's Anatomy" that Rhimes' shows and I get along much better when I'm not reviewing every episode of them.
Figures from Becca's past return to cause tension in the present
Sean Bean and Ashley Judd in a "Missing" flashback.
I haven't written about "Missing" since the series debuted. Based on your comments at the time, and on the show's dwindling ratings, I'm guessing most of you haven't been watching it. But I did have one thing I wanted to discuss about tonight's episode, and how it ties back to something from the pilot, coming up just as soon as I have a butler...
A Ken Burns parody turns into a poignant Troy and Abed friendship story
Donald Glover as Troy in "Community."
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I buy a thumb icon at the app store...