The study group turns on each other, and Chang plays detective
Leslie's book prompts a Birther-ism crisis
Alan also discusses the latest episodes of 'Modern Family' and 'Hart of Dixie'
Back in the early days of the old blog, I tended to do a lot of round-up posts where I offered quick thoughts on a bunch of shows at once. I phased that out after a while, as it became clear that readers didn't like them as much as the longer individual review posts, with the round-ups always getting a much lower comment total. But in an effort to cover as much of the new season as I can while still maintaining my sanity and a workable schedule, I'm going to try them out again from time to time, to hit up a bunch of shows that I've seen but don't have much to say about. These may be more trouble than they're worth, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Watch the first minute of the season 4 finale
The "Breaking Bad" season 4 finale airs Sunday night at 10 p.m. on AMC. Based on the 700+ comments on my review for the penultimate episode (a HitFix record, by a lot), and on my own advance viewing of what I think is an excellent finale, I imagine everyone will be eager to see and then discuss that episode on Sunday.
But while you're waiting, we have another sneak peek clip: literally the first minute or so of the episode, so you don't need to worry about seeing anything out of context. What you see if you click through(*) is exactly what you'll see as soon as the "Previously, on 'Breaking Bad'" clip ends Sunday night at 10:02-ish.
(*) As with the last time I saw this, I will remind you that if you don't want to see anything in advance, you do not have to watch it, and also that we are going to restrict any and all discussion of the scene to this post, and not in the comments of the most recent episode review. There's nothing that is going to alter people's perceptions of "End Times," or give away where the finale is going, but for the sake of purity, if you want to discuss this scene, do it here.
So enjoy, and I look forward to all the reaction on Sunday night around 11:08 p.m.
What did everybody think of the new FX horror series?
- Critic's Rating D-
- Readers' Rating A+
Okay, I gave my review of FX's "American Horror Story" yesterday. Now it's your turn. Was it too crazy, not crazy enough or just right for your tastes? Do you enjoy Dylan McDermott's yelling more when he's naked, or less? How do you feel about Mrs. Coach being in the same room with a gimp suit? And how 'bout that font?
I've seen three episodes and feel comfortable that this will never be a show I will enjoy, or likely write about again, but have at it. Is anyone setting the season pass?
Max and Jabbar fight, Alex cries and Zeek gets an acting gig
Martin Scorsese lets The Quiet Beatle's story speak loudly
- Critic's Rating B+
- Readers' Rating A
Despite being a founding member of the biggest band in the history of rock music, George Harrison had a way of sneaking up on people. The media dubbed him The Quiet Beatle when the Fab Four first started to break out, he was overshadowed by John and Paul as the frontmen and then by Ringo when the movies were made(*) and tended to get a couple of songs per album in what seemed like an act of charity from the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo. And yet he wrote one of the band's most enduring tracks in "Something" - so beautiful that even inveterate Beatle-hater Frank Sinatra called it one of the best love songs ever written - was the first Beatle to have a major solo success (with the "All Things Must Pass" triple album), helped inspire one of the great rock albums of all time ("Layla," which was based on Eric Clapton's attraction to Harrison's then-wife Pattie Boyd), kept the Monty Python film series alive and did a huge amount of charity work (most famously The Concert for Bangladesh). He lived a full, remarkable life, well beyond being the skinny guy who stood in between Jon and Paul on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
(*) Though George's big scene in "A Hard Day's Night" - where he shreds the middle-aged producer who's convinced he has his finger on the pulse of the youth market and yet can't recognize a Beatle in front of him - remains my favorite moment in the movie, and one of its most timeless.
Martin Scorsese's Harrison documentary, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" (it airs tonight and tomorrow at 9 p.m. on HBO) snuck up on me in the same way. There are times when it seems too long and self-indulgent, and others when it seems like Scorsese couldn't decide whether to do a Harrison documentary or a Beatles documentary and tried to mash the two up - and yet its cumulative power is very impressive.
Clay, Gemma, Bobby and Juice are all dealing with bad pieces of their pasts
Jess tries to help the guys get through a social occasion with their dignity intact
'Glee' creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk go even more over the top than usual
- Critic's Rating D-
- Readers' Rating C+
Let's say you had a friend in college… No, "friend" is too strong. Let's say you knew a guy in college who would show up to every party, have a few drinks and start acting crazy. For a little while, everyone would enjoy just watching him operate in a completely liquid state - sometimes doing genuinely entertaining things that he wouldn't have the nerve to do sober, other times just being an amusing mess. And then after the empty beer cans piled up, the guy's behavior would start becoming more unsettling, to the point where even the rubberneckers had to look away, feeling bad that they'd watched this wreck in the first place.
Watching a Ryan Murphy-created show tends to follow the same pattern. Both "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee" debuted with attention-getting premises and stories, where the execution was often less relevant than the "My god, did I just see that?" spectacle. And then Murphy keeps trying to outdo himself, going more and more over the top each time, until by the second or third season it's mortifying.
"American Horror Story" (tomorrow at 10 p.m., FX), the new drama Murphy co-created with "Glee" partner Brad Falchuk, speeds up the process, starting out as the TV equivalent of the college guy after eight too many beers, rather than ramping up to that awkward level. It is so far over the top that the top is a microscopic speck in its rearview mirror, and so full of strange sounds, sights and characters that you likely won't forget it - even though many of you(*) will wish you could.