An over-the-top season comes to an over-the-top end
Series as diverse as 'West Wing,' 'Rescue Me' and 'Battlestar Galactica' all told memorable post-9/11 tales
Like most of you, I spent the long, strange, tragic day that was September 11, 2001 glued to the TV set, rifling from channel to channel, hoping against hope that some channel, somewhere would offer a piece of good news - or even some kind of explanation for the day's tragedies that would help make sense of all the carnage.
Instead, what I got was a kind of uniform confusion. Every talking head on every channel was having the same reactions, at roughly the same time. (If you watch one of the many YouTube montages of the second plane hitting the South Tower, the reaction time between the explosion and each anchorman declaring that we're under attack is nearly identical from clip to clip.) And whenever emotion or the latest piece of bad news seemed to overwhelm the men and women on-screen, they turned to pop culture to help focus their thoughts, talking about how much these terrible images on our screens resembled something out of a disaster movie.
But if this was life imitating art in horrific fashion, art found ways to respond in kind. And no artistic medium was better positioned to respond to 9/11 than television, whether through news reports, fundraising specials, or even scripted dramas like "The West Wing" and "Rescue Me" and science fiction series like "Battlestar Galactica."
Larry returns for the mid-season finale, but is he the real threat?
'That's what the money is for!' and a farewell to Michael Scott
The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards are on September 18th, and it's time once again for Fienberg and I to discuss whom we think should and will win(*) some of the major categories. Next up is yet another twofer: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
Chris Rock, Pamela Adlon and Steven Wright stop by to offer Louie conflicting advice
A strong finale provides clues about both Ryan and Wilfred's pasts
Oscar-winning writer returns to his "Sports Night" roots
HBO has ordered Aaron Sorkin's untitled drama series about cable news to series, premiere date TBD.
The project features an impressive cast, including Jeff Daniels as the anchor, Emily Mortimer as his new producer, Alison Pill, Olivia Munn and Dev Patel as newsroom staffers and Sam Waterston as the wise boss. (Looking at this from a distance, the Sorkin shorthand seems as follows: Daniels is Casey, Mortimer is Dana, Pill and/or Munn is Natalie, Patel Jeremy, and Waterston a hybrid of Isaac and Leo.)
When it became clear that Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" wasn't working - in part, but not entirely, because the show-within-the-show never seemed nearly as funny as the characters insisted it was - a sentiment arose that viewers wish he had just taken the "Sports Night" approach to life at a cable news channel, rather than sketch comedy. Now he is, and with the backing of HBO plus the authority that comes with winning an Oscar for writing "The Social Network."
Can anyone beat Martin Scorsese and/or the '30 Rock' live show?
The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards are on September 18th, and it's time once again for Fienberg and I to discuss whom we think should and will win(*) some of the major categories. Next up is a twofer: Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
Old and new ghosts are laid to rest as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches
Freddie keeps investigating with reckless abandon, while Hector and Bel heat up
Demands on my time for the start of the TV season are once again keeping me from doing much more with "The Hour" than providing this space for everybody to discuss their reaction to the latest episode. (And, as of now, this is the last one I've seen in advance, so I may not even be able to do this much for the last two installments; at least, not in as timely a fashion.)
The fourth episode kept pushing both the spy story and the love triangle, and thus far I'm much more invested in the personal material, and whatever is happening with the show itself, than I am with Freddie's investigation into Kish, double agents and whatnot. Keeping in mind that we're not going to discuss anything from the final two episodes (which already aired in the UK), what did everybody else think of this one?