Comedies often take longer to find themselves than dramas. You can look at “Parks and Recreation,” “New Girl,” or ABC’s “Happy Endings,” which begins its third season tonight at 9, as just three recent examples of sitcoms that didn’t fully understand their strengths and weaknesses until late in their first seasons or early in their second, and are now three of the funniest shows around.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 155: 'Happy Endings,' 'Don't Trust the B,' 'Mockingbird Lane' & more
After some recent scheduling weirdness, it's back to Monday for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as Dan and I talk about ABC's returning comedies, NBC's busted pilot theater, reality TV, "Homeland," and more.
In a no-brainer move on a day of no-brainer renewals, Showtime has ordered a third season of "Homeland."
The suspense drama is coming off a huge night at the Emmys, where it won awards for writing, stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and for Outstanding Drama Series, ending a four-year "Mad Men" streak. Its ratings are up over last season, and Sunday night's episode (my review is here) averaged 1.75 million viewers for its 9 p.m. airing, the most-watched episode to date. Showtime estimates that across its platforms (including On Demand), the season 2 premiere has been seen by 5.7 million viewers.
"The Emmy wins for 'Homeland' have certainly set the stage for a great second season,” Showtime president Nevins said in a statement. "The writers, cast and crew of 'Homeland' continue to create a remarkably entertaining and suspenseful roller coaster ride, growing audiences week after week. We can't wait for our viewers to experience what unfolds through the rest of season two. Our partners at Fox 21 have been tremendous, and we are thrilled to begin the planning for 'Homeland's third season."
A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I explain the difference between a fiddle and a violin...
My review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as my plan is the same as your plan...
A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm pardoned by the state of Georgia...
A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as you can break a hundred...
Okay, I've already posted my review of Cinemax's "Hunted," as well as an interview with creator Frank Spotnitz. Now it's your turn. For those of you watched tonight — or who saw the premiere a couple of weeks ago on the BBC — what did you think? Did you like Melissa George in full Sydney Bristow mode? Were you happy to see Mr. Eko, Stannis Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and various other notable British actors together in the same show? Were the interlocking flashbacks too much for you in this episode? Are you interested in the mission Sam goes on? Were you also troubled by Sam leaving the window shade up in front of her secret conspiracy compartment, even if Spotnitz insists (as he did to me in a deleted part of that interview) that no one can see the conspiracy wall from the street? And will you watch again?
I won't be doing weekly write-ups, but will come back after the finale airs with some thoughts. For now, have at it. And if you've seen multiple episodes in the UK, please confine your specific comments to the premiere episode.
October 19 is my birthday, and though I know NBC didn't originally schedule the start of "Community" season 4 for this night because of me, it felt nice to know I could celebrate the day with Troy, Abed and the rest of the study group. But as you know by now, NBC changed their minds and delayed the premiere, to a date and time unknown. (My guess is it either replaces "30 Rock" in early 2013 or replaces "Up All Night" if that show's ratings drop any lower.)
Because the "Community" cast and crew are aware of the crazy love their fans have for the show, they decided to provide them with some original content for the 19th, regardless, and came up with this very special edition of "Troy & Abed in the Morning," addressing the delayed premiere and the idea that October 19 (also Gillian Jacobs' birthday) isn't so much a date as a state of mind. I like this, not only because it's a funny video, but because it gives me an excuse to declare virtually any day to be my birthday. Thanks, "Community"!
Frank Spotnitz has been the man up front for the first two Cinemax original drama series. He wrote the first four episodes of the Cinemax incarnation of "Strike Back," and is the creator and executive producer of "Hunted," a new thriller starring Melissa George as British private spy Sam Hunter, who is betrayed, left for dead, and returns to work a year later looking for revenge on whoever it was that set her up. (You can watch an exclusive clip from the premiere at the top of this post.)