A pair of 'Goodfellas'/'Sopranos' alums help judge an Italian challenge
The comedy heads into hiatus on a high note
Last night's "Cougar Town" was the last new episode of the series to air for the next nine weeks (and while it'll return later than originally planned, it will at least get a "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in once), and I have a review coming up just as soon as I get a rose on the gay hillbilly version of "The Bachelor"...
Final season to debut in April - after episodes are released on DVD
Apologies for "Friday Night Lights" taking over the blog this afternoon, but between the series finale airing a week from tonight on DirecTV and NBC just announcing the date when it will begin airing that final season, it's kind of unavoidable. Plus, the show's great.
Anyway, last week I noted that the season 5 DVD set would be released on April 5, and today NBC announced that the first episode of season 5 won't air on their network until 10 days later, April 15, at 10 p.m. So every single episode of the season will be available on DVD before any of them air on NBC. If you want to wait to watch 'em weekly, you can; if you want to binge on all 13 at once, you can do that without having to wait.
(BTW, after last week's post, I've decided that the simplest approach to reposting my DirecTV reviews is to wait till each episode has aired on NBC. If you're watching on a different schedule via DVD, they're easy to find in the blog's siderail.)
And though those of you without DirecTV may not want to listen to it until April at the earliest, let me again remind you that Dan and I are going to record a salute to "Friday Night Lights" podcast and are soliciting questions/topics of discussion in the post I just linked to.
Clear eyes, full hearts... fantastic final season. You're gonna love it - however you choose to watch it.
Dan and Alan will be looking back over the series in a bonus podcast next week
In case you didn't get to the end of this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast yet,or if you don't listen to the podcast in general but are a fan of "Friday Night Lights," Dan and I at the end said our intention is to publish a special bonus podcast next Thursday, the morning after the "FNL" series finale, in which we break down the finale and talk at length about the series in general.
(And, yes, this will spoil the hell out of both the finale and of season 5, so if you're waiting for either the NBC run or the DVD release, just save the podcast to listen to later. As with the individual "FNL" episode reviews, I'll bump up the time and date on that particular post after the finale airs on NBC.)
Dan and I have both seen the finale, and we have some idea of other topics we'd like to discuss, but this sort of thing has so many potential topics that we thought we'd solicit some outside feedback to help give the thing some shape. So if there are specific areas of these 5 seasons you'd like discussed, or questions you want answered, please e-mail us at email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org, and please use "FNL podcast" as your subject line so we can filter (though if I've done the e-mail link right, it'll do that for you already), and we'll try to incorporate the best ones into our discussion.
Because we've already seen the finale, and because our schedules may be freer this week than next, there's a chance we might try to record this within the next few days, so get those e-mails in sooner rather than later.
Several Bravermans get too stubborn for their own good
It's not always easy being Raylan Givens' ex-wife
Raylan Givens' ex-wife Winona doesn't appear in person in any of the Elmore Leonard stories that introduced the character who's now the hero of FX's "Justified." She's mentioned in passing a few times as Raylan laments how she left him for a real-estate salesman, but that's it.
"Justified" gave the character flesh in the form of actress Natalie Zea. But for a while in that first season, Winona threatened to become as irrelevant as she was in the books - to the point where Zea suggested it might be best if she and the series parted company. Fortunately for all involved, things changed quickly, and as the series prepares to start its second season (a week from tonight at 10 p.m. on FX), Winona is just as present and vital as the other supporting characters, and is trying to figure out if the night she and Raylan spent together near the end of the first season is going to lead to more - and if either of them want it to.
I spoke with Zea a few weeks ago at press tour about Winona's evolution, about her early frustration, working with Timothy Olyphant, and more.
Lights has to literally fight for his brother's life
Chance wonders if a client needs saving from his assassin wife
The recent "Human Target" double features aired while I was at press tour, and at this point my interest in the show has waned enough that I never bothered to chase any of those down. Last night, FOX aired a new episode in order to use up the remaining originals before the new 90-minute "Idol"/"Breaking In" schedule launches in a few weeks, and since it was a light viewing night, I gave "Kill Bob" a chance. And while the action sequences and the chemistry between Valley, McBride and Haley remains just strong enough that I'll watch under those conflict-free circumstances, the changes that the new production team have made have not only not made me more excited about the show, but have actually decreased my enjoyment level from last year's ambivalence. Ames adds little, the Chance/Ilsa romantic angst feels terribly forced, and adding some kind of personal parallel for each case has yet to make me care even an iota more about any of the clients.
Not sure if I'll get around to writing about the season's last two episodes, so I'm curious - particularly given the level of vitriol many of you aimed at the revamp - who's still watching, and how you're feeling about season two at this point. And, more specifically, what did everybody think of "Kill Bob"?
Cop drama leans heavily on star Michael Imperioli; is that enough?
There was a scene in the first episode of ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” that gave me expectations the show has struggled to live up to ever since. In the scene, a pair of Detroit homicide detectives are looking for a shell casing on an overpass and are frustrated to instead find bullet after bullet from unrelated crimes.
“This is what happens when you look for bullets in Detroit,” shrugs one of the cops, and the two men keep looking.
It’s a wonderful moment: darkly comic, as much about the culture of this city, the nature of these cops’ work and their own seen-it-all temperament as it was about serving the needs of that particular plot. In that scene, and a handful of others in the pilot involving star Michael Imperioli as an eccentric and inscrutable veteran detective, “Detroit 1-8-7” reminded me very much of one of my all-time favorite series, NBC’s ‘90s cop drama “Homicide: Life on the Street,” which at its best was as much about being a cop as it was about the cases being worked.
The Volkoff story comes to an end, but the series thankfully doesn't