His ABC sitcom character hates everyone and everything but himself
One of my favorite random "30 Rock" gags of recent vintage is that the show-within-the-show only got on the air as NBC's way of apologizing for having aired "Bitch Hunter," a misogynist action drama starring Will Ferrell as a hero who barks out dialogue like, "Put the mimosas down, bitch!" Each time we'd see a clip of "Bitch Hunter," it would come with a credit listing the various writers and producers, which included eccentric former NBC president Ben Silverman, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner and (each time) "30 Rock" writer Jack Burditt.
At the time, I just took it as a friendly dig at one of the series' own writers. But having watched two episodes of "Last Man Standing" (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC), the Burditt-created sitcom in which Tim Allen plays a sexist, homophobic, xenophobic sporting goods executive, I had the following thoughts:
What did everybody think of the new HBO dramedy?
Okay, I offered my review of HBO's "Enlightened" this morning. Now it's your turn. What did you think of this collaboration between Laura Dern and Mike White? How do you feel about what we see of Amy Jellicoe both before and after she gains her alleged enlightenment? If you were a fan of Mike White's stint on "The Amazing Race," were you excited to see Victor from that season as one of the corporate lawyers? Glad to have Diane Ladd and Dern playing mother and daughter again? And do any of you plan to watch more than this episode?
Have at it.
What did everybody think of the HBO private eye comedy's return?
As I wrote about at the start of "Bored to Death" season 2, I think I've come to terms that the parts of the show I enjoy (George and/or Ray on their own, the three guys on a job together) and the parts I don't (anything to do with Jonathan by himself, and also some parts of Jonathan interacting with the other two) aren't going to change, that Danson and Galifianakis are just funny enough to overcome my dislike of the Jonathan Ames character and/or the way Schwartzman plays him, and that it's therefore not something I'll write about much.(*)
(*) If at all. I wound up not writing about season 2 again after that initial post, and we'll see if HBO winds up ordering a fourth season. For all the publicity about how Danson would get to do both "CSI" and this, it was easy to say, given that "Bored to Death" season 3 was already in the can. I have no idea whether CBS will let him do a fourth season, whether HBO would bother with a fourth without him, whether its banishment to Mondays (due to an overload of original programming) suggests HBO doesn't have future plans for it, etc.
For those of you who are still sticking with it, how did you feel about the season premiere? Are you glad to see Jonathan becoming more accomplished in both his professional lives? Did the level of violence (even if it was off-screen) seem off for the show? And how about Ray Hueston, part-time dad?
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 98: 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' & more
Dan and Alan also review HBO's 'Enlightened' and 'Bored to Death' and talk about cancellations and 'The Simpsons' renewal
An extra-long Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week features our final "Breaking Bad" discussion for a while, looks ahead to how "The Walking Dead" will succeed it in season 2, reviews some underwhelming new HBO and ABC comedies, discusses the current state of "The Simpsons," and more. The line-up:
The crew has memorable adventures in Germany
Corporate exec has New Age makeover in a series created by Mike White
There's a long and rich history of comedies about characters severely lacking in self-awareness. Just in the past decade, we've been blessed with "The Office" (both David Brent and Michael Scott), "Arrested Development" (most of the family, but especially Tobias and GOB) and "Modern Family" (Phil Dunphy), to name a few. People who aren't aware how the rest of the world perceives them can be incredibly amusing in the right context.
HBO's new "Enlightened" (it premieres tonight at 9:30) - in which Laura Dern plays a woman who never seems to realize how off-putting everyone finds her - is not the right context, unfortunately. Despite writing from Mike White - who's been involved in TV shows and movies as wide-ranging as "Freaks and Geeks," "School of Rock," "Pasadena" and "Year of the Dog" (among many others - it's stifling, awkward and just plain not funny.
On Gus, Tio and what exactly happened with that cigarette
"Breaking Bad" just ended its fourth season in memorable fashion. You can read my review of the season finale here, and I spoke with the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, about everything that went down and some of his plans for the series' final 16 episodes, all coming up just as soon as I spend time in an electrician chat room...
Can Walt and Jesse get Gus before Gus gets them?
Episode two keeps drawing connections between Carrie and Brody
Nucky confronts Jimmy in an episode about fathers and sons