On Sunday night, "The Newsroom" comes to an end — and with it, apparently, Aaron Sorkin's time in television.
"Key & Peele" tweaked its format for its fourth season, whose finale aired last night(*). The main title sequence was replaced by one that spoofed the "True Detective" opening credits, and the live audience stand-up segments were replaced by Key and Peele bantering on an endless road trip through the desert. The driving scenes serve the same function as the ones with the audience — setting up the themes of sketches, and giving viewers a sense of the chameleon-like stars' real personalities — and are likely cheaper and easier to produce. But the two changes felt more than merely cosmetic/logistical. Instead, they seemed like the perfect aesthetic shift to reflect the much heavier comic tone of this season.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is in every way a less legitimate organization than the Screen Actors Guild, yet the Golden Globe TV nominations list is always so much more interesting than whatever SAG puts out the day before. The HFPA shares the SAG voters love of famous movie actors deigning to do television, but they couple that with a love of all things new and shiny that can sometimes be ridiculous and other times be awesome.
I am what James Poniewozik at Time would call an Everybody Gets a Trophy kind of person. With the Baseball Hall of Fame, I'm a big Hall kind of guy. (Vote Tim Raines this year, people!) I like honoring as much excellence as I can, whenever I can, even if it comes at the risk of making everything a bit less special because so many things are being called special.
A review of tonight's "Arrow" coming up just as soon as I get a Christmas tree inversely proportional to the size of my family...
Back in the fall, I was reasonably impressed with "Kingdom," the new drama airing on DirecTV's Audience Network. It seemed to be transplanting bits of pieces of recent cable dramas (a splash of "Sons of Anarchy," a healthy serving of "Lights Out," etc.), but with solid writing and directing, and an excellent cast led by Frank Grillo.
It's that time of year, boys and girls! Time for the annual Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Best of 2014 episode! Yes, I already published my top 10 list, and Dan already published his, and HitFix has already published its 2014 TV critics poll, so it's not like there will be anything new to anyone who's been visiting the site in the past week. But we still get to go back and forth and talk about a lot of shows we love, after a discussion at the top of the show of the critics poll results. It's all one big best-of smorgasboard, so no rundown required this week.
That said, SPOILER WARNING: We do at various points probably give away some stuff in our individual show discussion. I can't think of anything hugely major, like deaths and whatnot, but I know it is a thing people often ask when we do retrospective things like this.
As always, send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
Technology makes a convenient villain in science fiction(*). In our books, movies and TV shows, computers, robots and other inventions are forever gaining sentience and turning on us, punishing mankind for the hubris of trying to make like the Almighty.
(*) Also, at times in traditional fiction, like in the way the combined works of Aaron Sorkin can be read as one long screed against that damned Internet.
A few thoughts on the "Sons of Anarchy" series finale coming up just as soon as I give you my blanket...
The TV categories of the Screen Actors Guild Awards are more or less an afterthought, just a way for the union to avoid offending the large chunk of its membership that works in television by including them in what's a glorified Oscar precursor ceremony. And the TV nominations tend to be about the least adventurous and interesting of any even semi-notable TV awards show. (The Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced tomorrow, will be silly and ill-informed in many ways, but they'll at least have some memorably oddball choices.)