So remember how this morning, I suggested that "American Horror Story" might want to start fresh with a new cast of characters and a new story for the second season?
Well, that's exactly what's going to happen.
Ryan Murphy and company will say goodbye to the Harmons and tell a brand-new story
Bask in the deadpan, misanthropic splendor of April Roberta Ludgate
When I wrote about why "Parks and Recreation" was my favorite show of 2011, I chose the clip from April and Andy's wedding ceremony to represent the reasons why. That whole episode was, to my mind, maybe the best the show has ever done, and a time capsule-worthy sitcom episode (certainly moreso than "Time Capsule" itself was). Both the episode and April and Andy's decision to get married on the spur of the moment were both incredibly silly and incredibly romantic, and the way the show turned April from a cynic sneering at everyone into someone who is reluctantly forced to acknowledge that she actually cares about a lot of people and things has been one of the best, most gratifying character evolutions the show has done. The April Ludgate of season 1 laughed at Leslie behind her back. The April Ludgate we know now thinks Leslie is awesome but doesn't like to admit it. Her heart has grown three sizes, but she keeps it hidden behind a cold, deadpan exterior. Like Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza's performance is all about minimalism, and because the acting is so small and quiet, any tiny deviation from the norm seems like a much bigger deal than when a louder, more emotional character like Leslie changes her mood.
The FX horror series ends its first season in a mostly upbeat fashion
I bailed on "American Horror Story" a half-dozen or so episodes into the first season. Just not for me. But my professional curiosity - coupled with a lack of original viewing options last night - led me to check out the season finale just to see what Murphy and Falchuk did in terms of wrapping up the season and setting the show up for the long haul. I'm mainly curious for the opinions of those who watched all the way through, but I have a couple of thoughts coming up just as soon as Lady Clairol and I get too chummy...
Dan and Alan offer their picks for the best shows of the year and discuss the 'Homeland' finale
It's time for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to count down our favorite shows of 2011. You already know what my top picks were, but now I can discuss them with Dan, here where his choices and/or rankings differ from mine, and listen to Dan's absolute dismay as I express my disinterest in his favorite character on a show on his list. Plus, at the end we break down our thoughts on the "Homeland" season finale.
A good news/bad news afternoon for HBO's boutique half-hours
This afternoon's HBO announcement that "Enlightened" had been renewed while "Bored to Death," "Hung" and "How to Make It in America" had been canceled was like a case study in how to manage the release of bad news.
The season builds to a harrowing, satisfying climax
"Homeland" just wrapped up its outstanding debut season, and I have a review of the season finale coming up just as soon as we're all out of paper towels...
Ellie and Awesome's pretend spy adventure turns very real
A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as the CIA brings me wine...
Animated comedy of embarrassment survived cancellation
HBO's "The Life & Times of Tim" returns from cancellation tonight at 9, and you can be forgiven for not even realizing the show was canceled. The animated comedy has always existed well below the radar, airing in latenight for its first season and on Fridays for its second. It has its fans - I happen to be one of them - but they seem neither as vocal nor numerous as, say, the people stumping for "Archer" or various Adult Swim series.
So it was a disappointment but not a shock when HBO declined to order a third season back in June of 2010, and then a pleasant surprise when the decision was reversed a month and a half later after the show was shopped elsewhere. It's rare to see shows comes back from the dead, and the low-key fashion in which the whole saga played out seemed oddly fitting for such a simple, deadpan comedy.
A few great newbies at the top, then a lot with obvious pluses and minuses
The season climaxes with Michael and Anson trying to outmaneuver each other once again
"Burn Notice" just wrapped up its fifth season, and I have some thoughts on the finale and the current state of the show coming up just as soon as I'm smarter than a keypad...