Name change meant to make it seem like more than just a cop show
On last week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, Dan and I talked with producer Shawn Ryan about whether "Terriers" had been hampered at the start with a name that, as Shawn put it, made some people think it was a reality show about dogfighting. The key, he said, was to find a title that intrigues viewers, and he feared that "Terriers" just wound up confusing people.
"Terriers" was one of two new shows Shawn has for this season. The other is a mid-season drama for FOX, initially called "Ride-Along," starring Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke (from "Brotherhood") as a pair of Chicago cops (she's the new superintendent, he's a detective) trying to clean up a corrupt department and city. So when I heard that "Ride-Along" had been rechristened "The Chicago Code," I immediately wondered if the "Terriers" experience had scared him and/or the executives at FOX into a title change.
Not the case, he told me by e-mail. Rather, the plan was to emphasize that the show was as much about the city as its police force.
Jax and company finally make it to Belfast in a 90-minute extravaganza
Paul greets three new patients, and gets a new therapist of his own
I gave a general review of "In Treatment" season three over the weekend, and I said my approach to reviewing each week was going to be to offer brief sketches of the four episodes after they all air. So thoughts on week one of Paul Weston's new year coming up just as soon as I sound like Miriam Webster...
Cruz Angeles looks at Los Angeles' love affair with Fernando Valenzuela
Cruz Angeles' "Fernando Nation" was one of the more straightforward, familiar of the "30 for 30" films, in that the meteoric career of Fernando Valenzuela was well-documented and Angeles didn't try to focus on an obscure area (ala the Ron Shelton film on Michael Jordan, minor leaguer). But if it wasn't a surprising film - and hampered from a story arc standpoint by how quickly Fernando went from phenomenon to journeyman - it was still an effective one, particularly in the material about Chavez Ravine (which I was not familiar with) and how Fernando's overnight success made the Dodgers a favorite of the Latino community in spite of the uncomfortable history with how the stadium was built.
What did everybody else think?
It's great to be back in Dillon, even if the final season doesn't get off to the most compelling of starts
Early in the fifth and final season of “Friday Night Lights,” one player on the East Dillon Lions receives a stack of recruiting letters from some of the top college football programs in the country, while the players in general aren’t happy with what they feel is a lack of respect from the Texas high school football establishment. Both these developments would seem somewhat improbable, given that the Lions won only two games last season, and one of those came against the worst team in their district.
But I can’t begrudge the Lions their pride, nor the “Friday Night Lights” writers for trying out these storylines. This team wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a joke after the Dillon schools were redistricted, with all the good players gerrymandered into the other side of town. And the show wasn’t supposed to be around this long, not after the first two seasons drew cancellation-level ratings on NBC, with the final three existing only because DirecTV stepped in to play white knight.
(As usual, DirecTV has an exclusive window for the fall and early winter, with new episodes airing on The 101 Network Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting this week. NBC will tentatively begin airing these same episodes in the summer.)
So given the show’s improbable survival, and that producer Jason Katims entered this season fairly confident it would be the last, I can’t begrudge him with trying out a few improbable story arcs for this victory lap year. This is a great show - one of the best dramas to ever air on network TV - and its creators and fans deserve some feel-good moments in the closing chapters, no?
Gender differences highlight a solid episode
Linda Hamilton and Robert Englund pay Chuck a visit on Halloween
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 43: 'The Walking Dead,' 'In Treatment,' 'Friday Night Lights' and more
The zombie apocalypse, scripted therapy, Texas high school football and more
No "Mad Men" for this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast? No problem, as Dan and I had tons of other things to discuss (so much, in fact, that we put off the "Boardwalk Empire" mid-season check-in for at least a week). We belatedly discussed "Sherlock," Dan watched "In Treatment" for the first time, we got our zombie on with "The Walking Dead," answered a bunch of reader mail and (at the end for the benefit of non-DirecTV viewers) previewed the fifth and final season of "Friday Night Lights." The rundown:
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Dexter tries to help Lumen get closure
Personal business kept me from doing a "Dexter" post last week, unfortunately. We're now a couple of episodes into Julia Stiles' mini-arc, and the combination of Lumen's presence and Dexter's ongoing Rita guilt has our man acting very reckless.
Some good stuff this week, including Lumen going through airport security, Harry showing Dexter the error of his ways and Masuka teaching Deb about the ways of body art. On the downside, the only reason I'm glad I didn't fast forward through all the Batista/Laguerta scenes is because it wound up tying back into the Quinn storyline.
What did everybody else think?
What did everybody think of the Sherlock Holmes update?
On Friday, I posted my review the Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss contemporary version of "Sherlock." I unfortunately don't have time to do post-game reviews of the three installments, but the series is so much fun that I wanted to give you - whether you already saw the series when it aired in England(*) or you're seeing it for the first time tonight - a chance to discuss the ways in which Moffat and Gatiss brought Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Inspector Lastrade and the rest of the Holmes universe into the 21st century.
(*) Keeping in mind, as always, that the spoiler policy around here means that if something hasn't aired in America yet, we can't really talk about. Nothing but the vaguest mention of episodes two and three, okay?
So what did everybody think of "A Study in Pink"?