Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall
Dan and Alan also answer listener mail about 'Dexter,' 'The Walking Dead' and episode titles
We were on the verge of devoting most of this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to my irrational love of unheralded Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert (who has yet to play a game in the NBA, of course) when we put the call out on Twitter for extra listener mail questions, and you guys delivered. Combined with your terrific questions and some stronger material to review this week, it's a pretty eclectic podcast. So thanks!
Listener Mail: The "Dexter" Twist (28:15 - 37:55)
Listener Mail: Old Cast, New Show (38:00 - 43:30)
Listener Mail: Episode Titles (43:35 - 47:45)
Listener Mail: "Saturday Night Live" (47:50 - 56:30)
Listener Mail: "Boardwalk" history (56:45 - 01:01:20)
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
Ray and Tanya found success, but ended up with... cows?
Tanya (Jane Adams) and Ray (Thomas Jane) plot a way to get their money back on "Hung."
While the show that HBO aired right before it last night is understandably getting more attention today, "Hung" did air its third season finale, and having written about the premiere a few months ago, I wanted to swoop back in (if only to satisfy the 12 of you who commented last time) with a few thoughts on the season as a whole, coming up just as soon as my "Dark Side of the Moon" sparks a bidding war...
Jimmy flashes back to his college days in season 2's horrifying, riveting penultimate chapter
Gillian (Gretchen Mol) and Jimmy (Michael Pitt) on "Boardwalk Empire."
A review of last night's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I don't like the way you loom...
Cullen and Elam square off in the ring, and Doc tries to make a deal
Cullen (Anson Mount) and Elam (Common) put up their dukes in "Hell on Wheels."
Tonight's "Hell on Wheels" was the last of the episodes AMC sent out to critics before the season began, and while I assume I'll be getting a new batch soon, we'll have to play it by ear in terms of how/if I cover it in the coming weeks. (The show is going to be helped by the fact that so many other cable dramas have wrapped or are about to wrap their seasons; within a couple of weeks, it'll be the only one still going for a little bit.)
In terms of "Bread and Circuses," it wisely focused on the uneasy alliance between Cullen and Elam, letting them work out some of their differences in the boxing ring (and letting Anson Mount and Common show off some very sculpted torsos for the 1860s), and it gave me just enough of the Swede to compensate for time spent on the show's less interesting areas (the cliched/fetishized Native American characters, Doc Durant trying to get the maps from Lilly).
What's everybody thinking at this point? By the fifth episode, I imagine the show has shed all the viewers who have decided by now that they just don't like it, so for those of you who are sticking with it, what's the appeal for you?
Carrie tries to turn an asset, while Brody gets an offer
Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) on "Homeland."
A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as this isn't my first polka...
Eddie Murphy, Corin Nemec and Fran Drescher in the unsold pilot that gave this blog its name
Corin Nemec in the "What's Alan Watching?" pilot.
It's December, which is list-making time in the entertainment journalism business, and I've noticed a lot more chatter this year on Twitter between different critics as they try to figure out their best-of and worst-of lists. The other day, someone asked whether NBC's horrible "Wonder Woman" pilot - which never aired, but leaked briefly on the Internet - should be eligible. That got me thinking about ye olden days of the '70s and '80s when TV networks would actually air some of their unsold pilots, especially when they were two hours long and could be presented as a TV-movie, or if they had something special that the network could promote one time, even if no one felt it would work as a series.
One example of the latter kind of Busted Pilot Theatre was the show that gave my blog its name: 1989's "What's Alan Watching?," a one-hour family comedy starring a pre-"Parker Lewis Can't Lose" Corin Nemec as Alan Hoffstetter, a suburban teenager who tried to escape his unhappy life by spending hours in front of the TV, often having fantasies where the TV characters would talk to him.
Chris challenges the origin and nature of Leslie and Ben's romance
Leslie (Amy Poehler) has reason to smile on "Parks and Recreation."
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I eat an unreasonable amount of St. John's wort...
A strong Jeff/Shirley story is paired with a silly Annie/Abed/Troy one
Annie (Alison Brie) and Troy (Donald Glover) on "Community."
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I review frozen pizza on YouTube...
Brilliant-but-canceled detective series still has no DVD set, but you can watch all the episodes
The guys from "Terriers" still don't have a DVD, but they've come to Netflix.
I have a lot of things I should be watching today for next week's reviews and podcast, yet I'm sorely tempted to devote the entire day to watching "Terriers" now that the brilliant-but-canceled FX detective drama has arrived on Netflix Instant.
Too much explaning, not enough entertaining in prequel miniseries
Q'orianka Kilcher, Charlie Rowe and a CGI Tinkerbell in "Neverland."
There's an old saying in showbiz that a magician never reveals his secrets. The magician obviously doesn't want to put himself out of work, but he also recognizes that, to an extent, the audience doesn't want to know how the trick works, because it's more fun on some level to accept that something magical just happened.
the latest Syfy re-imagining of a beloved public domain title (following 2007's "Tin Man" and 2009's "Alice," all directed by Nick Willing), isn't big on belief. In providing an origin story for Peter Pan
, Captain Hook and Neverland itself, it wants you to know exactly how the magic works, how every trick is done, and why J.M. Barrie was foolish to not give everything a proper name, date and location.
It is, unsurprisingly, not the least bit fun.