"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" wrapped up its seventh season in style tonight, with the gang trying desperately to show up their tormentors at their high school reunion. The switch in perspective in the final scene was one of the biggest laughs the show gave me all year, and that's saying something, considering how strong this seventh season was. There was only one outright bad episode, "Frank's Brother," and even there I can respect that they were at least trying something different that didn't work. (That, or I can again note that Frank tends to be much more useful for generating stories than generating laughs.)
The gang wraps up a terrific seventh season with a two-tiered dance number
The first in a weekly series to make the show's impending absence a little easier
"Community" technically isn't gone from NBC just yet. On the East Coast, NBC just got finished rerunning "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," and we'll have at least one or two other repeats before "30 Rock" takes over the timeslot in January and "Community" goes on an indefinite hiatus. As I said last week, this isn't forever. NBC will have 12 episodes sitting around, and some of their scheduling moves are going to fail, and "Community" will be back to at least finish out this third season.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 107: Golden Globe and SAG nominations, 'Enlightened' & 'The Life & Times of Tim'
In a bonus podcast, Dan and Alan talk meaningless awards shows and HBO half-hours
Bonus podcast time! We decided to do an extra Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week to talk about the silly awards nominations, the end of "Enlightened," and the surprising but welcome return of "The Life & Times of Tim." Fewer topics than Monday's show, and no sports blather segment, yet we still almost hit an hour. Apparently, we had a lot to say about the HFPA.
Johnny Galecki over Jim Parsons? Callie Thorne? No 'Breaking Bad'? Business as usual.
A great year for veteran series
Yesterday, we published my video essay on my favorite overall shows of 2011. Now it's time to present the first of two written lists, this one focusing on the best returning shows of the year. If you watched the video, you know that 9 of the 11 shows (there was a tie) were returning series, and that therefore there's not going to be much change to the returning shows list. Still, I add one show, get to expand a bit on my thoughts on some others, and also add a list of honorable mentions at the end.
What's the future for independently produced and distributed content?
Over the weekend, Louis CK released his latest stand-up comedy special, "Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater," an hour of all-new material in which he talks about parenting, sex, God, the environment and more. It is, unsurprisingly, a very funny hour of entertainment, as you might expect by the man who currently stands at the top of the stand-up pyramid.
Also unsurprisingly, given the circumstances behind the production of his great FX show "Louie," CK has used the special as an excuse to try out a new business model. "Live at the Beacon Theater" had no theatrical run, no DVD release, nor even a partnership with a large online media company. You simply go to CK's own website, spend the more-than-reasonable sum of 5 bucks, and you can download a copy of the special without any kind of restrictions as to what method you use to view it, how you want to copy it, or anything.
A field of nominees designed to make the Golden Globe picks look good?
A strong year for veteran series like 'Breaking Bad,' 'Louie' and 'Parks and Recreation'
It's that time of year, everybody, where critics of every stripe have to break down the best things they covered over the last 12 months into a list of 10 (or thereabouts). Eventually, all the members of Team HitFix will be rolling out his or her top 10 list, but I get to be first up at bat this year. (Katie Hasty should be up next with some thoughts on the year in music.)
Checking back on the Laura Dern/Mike White series as it wraps its first season
When "Enlightened" debuted back in October, I called it an awkward comedy that I had very little interest in watching any more. Since then, a number of critics I respect (including James Poniewozik, Tim Goodman and Dan Fienberg) have kept making passionate arguments for the show, and it made me curious to check back in to see if perhaps I had missed something the first time around. I caught up through last night's season finale, and I have a few thoughts coming up just as soon as I'm not a yoga instructor...
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 106: 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Luck,' 'Boss' & more
Alan and Dan also answer your mail and do even more sports talk
It's a finale-heavy episode of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as Dan and I discuss how "Boardwalk Empire," "Sons of Anarchy" and "Boss" wrapped up their seasons, briefly discuss HBO's "Luck" sneak preview, answer your mail and once again dip a toe into the waters of sports discussion (this time at the very end of the show, for the benefit of those of you who don't want sporting peanut butter mixed in with your TV chocolate) .