To whom it may concern at TNT:
Last Wednesday night, I published my review of the season finale of "Men of a Certain Age," which was as much about the idea that it could be the last episode of the show ever as it was about the episode itself. Ultimately, I struck what I felt was a happy but resigned note. You gave us two seasons of this marvelous show, after all - a show whose charms are incredibly subtle (so subtle that I'm not always able to properly describe them, and I love the show) in an era where only the noisiest and/or most high-concept shows seem to be breaking through, a show built around three men who were aging out of the infamous 18-49 year-old demographic even as the series began - when it would be easy to imagine you nice people rejecting the pitch in the first place, or thanking Ray Romano and Mike Royce for their time after the first season's modest ratings. I wanted more, but two years seemed improbable enough that I was bracing myself to leap straight over to the Acceptance stage of grief in the event you didn't order a third season.
But in the days since the finale aired, I haven't been able to get "Men" entirely out of my head.
A show too good to go away
To whom it may concern at TNT:
David Strathairn, Malik Yoba lead a promising cast
"Heroes" ultimately turned out to be a terrible show, but its initial success - and the way that certain viewers stuck with it long after it became clear just how terrible it was - suggested there was a significant appetite for that kind of TV show. So expect other networks to keep trying with superhero series until the next one hits. (And then for the networks to try even harder to copy that one.)
"Alphas," which debuts tonight at 10 on Syfy, was originally developed for ABC back in the height of "Heroes" mania. ABC execs apparently didn't feel comfortable with the idea at the time (though those same execs tried and failed with "No Ordinary Family" this past season), and eventually the script filtered its way on down to Syfy.
And the pilot is promising enough to make you understand why the project was able to escape years in development hell.
Larry has second thoughts about his lawyer, and tries to help out a Girl Scout
Eric seeks Sookie's help, while Jessica hangs out at Fangtasia
Once again, you know the drill: these "True Blood" posts are here for people who either can't wait for Leslie Gornstein's usual recap to go up on our Monkeys as Critics blog in a few hours, or who just want to do all their HitFix commenting on this blog. Couple quick thoughts on the episode after the jump...
Death takes a holiday in the sci-fi series' return
Tough choices abound in the series' moving penultimate episode
(I originally posted this review back when "Friday Night Lights" was doing its exclusive DirecTV run. The comments from that period have been preserved. For the sake of people who are watching the episodes as they air on NBC, I will ask anyone commenting from this point forward to only discuss plot events up to the episode in question. Do not discuss, or even allude to, anything that has yet to air on NBC. Thank you.)
"Friday Night Lights" has only one week to go in its final season, and I have a review of the series' penultimate episode coming up just as soon as I try to write down a speech while driving...
Larry David and friends head to New York midway through the season
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is never going to displace "Seinfeld" as the first thing mentioned in Larry David's obituary many years from now, even though "Curb" gave the world one of the all-time great obituary-related jokes (in the first season episode "Beloved Aunt"). But has the HBO show already done enough to accompany "Seinfeld" in the first line of that obituary?
I think it has.
Louie looks for a new place to live
Ryan resists Wilfred's advice at his own peril
The British sci-fi series comes to America in an ambitious but sometimes muddled new series
There are two different shows co-existing under the title “Torchwood: Miracle Day” (Friday at 10 p.m. on Starz). The first is a classic kind of science fiction story, built around a simple what if? question: what would happen if every person in the world suddenly became incapable of dying? The second is a familiar action thriller in which a rogue team of government agents try to find out who made everyone immortal, and why.
The second show is the one that Starz clearly signed on for when the pay cable channel became co-producer and American distributor of “Torchwood,” which had been a purely British series in its earlier seasons (and aired in these parts on BBC America). It’s a commercial, easy-to-sell idea, one featuring a few characters who will be familiar to hardcore fanboys and girls, as well as recognizable American faces like Mekhi Phifer and Bill Pullman. If this wasn’t a show about Torchwood was investigating the miracle, getting into gunfights and trading banter, it wouldn’t exist.
And yet, even as a fan of the 100% British incarnation of “Torchwood” (particularly the 5-part “Torchwood: Children of Earth” miniseries from 2009), I couldn’t help wishing that “Torchwood: Miracle Day” spent a little more time on the miracle and less on Torchwood.