<p>Parks and Recreation</p>

Parks and Recreation

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Donna and Joe': A Meagle marriage

Donna and Joe get married, Jen Barkely makes Ben an offer, and Garry Gergich gets a special present

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I have a strong opinion on pockets...

Read Full Post
<p>The Man in the High Castle</p>

The Man in the High Castle

Credit: Amazon

'The Man in the High Castle' producer Frank Spotnitz on his Amazon pilot

Does 'The X-Files' alum feel confident, given how his pilot has been scored by Amazon customers?

Last week, I published an interview with Shawn Ryan, producer of one of the two best pilots from Amazon's latest batch. Today, it's the turn of the man behind the other top pilot: Frank Spotnitz of "Man in the High Castle."

Read Full Post
<p>Shameless</p>

Shameless

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Shameless' - 'A Night to Remem... Wait, What?': The hangover

Fiona and Gus get closer, while Frank wonders where all his money went

A few thoughts on tonight's "Shameless" coming up just as soon as I write the music for a video game called Ham Scramble...

Read Full Post
<p>Parenthood</p>

Parenthood

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' series finale deleted scenes feature the return of John Corbett

The Bravermans recall Sarah's past loves, and Hank and Ruby have a moment

Last night's "Parenthood" series finale (my review is here) featured a whole lot of new developments for the Bravermans, but it didn't have room for everything Jason Katims and company shot. 

Read Full Post
<p>The Legend of Korra</p>

The Legend of Korra

Credit: Nickelodeon

Element-ary, my dear: Catching up on 'Avatar' and 'The Legend of Korra'

Some belated thoughts on the Nick fantasy adventure epics

Even though a large part of my job is guiding people to TV shows they might find interesting, I rarely find it easy to point my own kids to things I think they should watch — or, better, to things we can watch together. There's too much good adult TV for me to keep track of these days, so I'm virtually lost when it comes to children's programming. Every now and then I'll stumble into something current and fun, like "Phineas & Ferb," or I'll pick out a vintage show that seems kid-safe(*), but they often want to watch the things their friends are watching, or just rewatch the same episode or even scene a thousand times in a row. (I can't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure the two kids spent a week at home where the only words they said to each other were, "Is mayonnaise an instrument?") And sometimes I'll find something that seems perfect for one or both their age groups — and that I also would enjoy seeing with them — only for them to reject it for some kid logic reason there's no arguing with.

(*) Though this is not always fool-proof. For a while, we were working our way through "The Cosby Show" on Hulu. Now, we are not.

One of my biggest successes in recent years was Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender," and later its sequel "The Legend of Korra."

Read Full Post
<p>Parenthood</p>

Parenthood

Credit: NBC

Series finale review: 'Parenthood' - 'May God Bless and Keep You Always'

Hank and Sarah wed, and the Bravermans play one last ballgame

And so we've come to the end of "Parenthood." I published some thoughts on the series' legacy this morning, and I have a review of the series finale coming up just as soon as we put on our onion goggles...

Read Full Post
<p>Parenthood</p>

Parenthood

Credit: NBC

As 'Parenthood' ends, will the network family drama end with it?

The wonderful, maddening, tear-jerking NBC series says goodbye

Though the Bravermans love them some baseball, "Parenthood" never had a regular sports component like producer Jason Katims' previous NBC drama, "Friday Night Lights." Perhaps to make up for this, "Parenthood" fans added a competitive aspect to their viewing: trying to outdo their fellow fans over how much a given episode made them cry.

Read Full Post
<p>The Americans</p>

The Americans

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'The Americans' - 'EST Men': The deep end

Philip and Elizabeth's old handler returns with an uncomfortable new assignment

"The Americans" is back for a third season. I had interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, as well as co-star Holly Taylor, and I have a review of the season premiere coming up just as soon as we go get a non-beer...

Read Full Post
<p>Fortitude</p>

Fortitude

Credit: Pivot

Review: 'Fortitude' a thriller that depends on location, location, location

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
A murder mystery gets tons of mileage from its remote Arctic setting

The idea that the location of a movie or TV show is a character in itself has become so overused in recent years that critics were startled to hear "Togetherness" co-creator Mark Duplass say at press tour that Los Angeles was not a significant character in the show, which they could have really set anywhere. And even the grand champion of the Location As Character shows, "The Wire," could have probably been set in a lot of different American cities that had seen better days; Baltimore was just the one David Simon knew best.

With "Fortitude," a new thriller debuting tomorrow night at 10 on Pivot(*), the location is so unique, specific and important to the story that the show would have no reason to exist without it. At its core, the plot is a familiar mystery about murder in a close-knit community that isn't used to crime on this level (see also "Broadchurch"/"Gracepoint" and "Fargo," to name just a few recent examples). But when you take that story and set it in a physically remote island town in the Arctic, where polar bears are so abundant that even kids have to carry hunting rifles for protection wherever they go? Then you have something potentially very special.

Read Full Post
<p>Holly TAylor in The Americans</p>

Holly TAylor in The Americans

Credit: FX

'The Americans' co-star Holly Taylor: 'Please right now initiate me into the KGB!'

What's next for Paige? Plus, why it's useful to have Felicity as your TV mom

No good usually comes from focusing on the teenage kids of cable drama anti-heroes and heroines. A notable exception: Paige Jennings, the eldest child of the KGB sleeper agents at the center of FX’s “The Americans,” which returns for a third season tonight at 10. “The Americans” actually got better in its second season by concentrating more on Paige, first with her investigating her parents’ odd comings and goings, then with her horrifying her secretly Communist parents by exploring Christianity, and finally with the KGB telling Philip and Elizabeth that they must recruit Paige as an asset to the cause of Mother Russia.

That last directive drives much of the conflict in the new season, and when I visited “The Americans” set in Brooklyn last month (the same day I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields), I sat down with young actress Holly Taylor to discuss the challenges of playing an ‘80s teen, her reaction to learning that Paige might be recruited, and the advantages of having Felicity Porter for a TV mom.

Read Full Post