<p>In a recent &quot;Rescue Me,&quot;&nbsp;Tommy and the guys went back to Ground Zero.</p>

In a recent "Rescue Me," Tommy and the guys went back to Ground Zero.

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Rescue Me' says goodbye in typically uneven fashion

Firefighting drama was strongest when focusing on 9/11, silliest when kissing up to star Denis Leary

Last week's "Rescue Me," the penultimate episode of the FX firefighting drama, spent most of its running time on the wedding of Tommy Gavin's eldest daughter Colleen to his colleague Black Shawn. It was a long sequence, alternately funny and unbearable. Then the episode segued rather abruptly into one of its hairiest, most riveting fire sequences ever, as Tommy and the rest of the guys on 62 Truck became trapped in an arson fire after turning away from a waiting escape ladder to try to rescue a few more civilians. Their only exit blocked, best friends Tommy and Lou faced each other, unsure of what to do next...

...and then the building blew up.

The episode was, in other words, seven seasons of "Rescue Me" in a nutshell: at times hilarious, at times obnoxious, and then so riveting that you will almost forgive it every one of its past sins.

Almost.

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<p>Charlie Hunnam and Maggie Siff in &quot;Sons of Anarchy.&quot;</p>

Charlie Hunnam and Maggie Siff in "Sons of Anarchy."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Sons of Anarchy' on familiar ground for season 4

HitFix
B+
Readers
A-
But is the back-to-basics approach too formulaic?

(Note: This column contains mild spoilers for the fourth season of "Sons of Anarchy," which premieres tomorrow night at 10 on FX. If you want to know nothing, don't read any further.)

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<p>Walt (Bryan Cranston)&nbsp;goes in for a check-up on &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Walt (Bryan Cranston) goes in for a check-up on "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' - 'Hermanos': The secret origin of the Chicken Man

A Gus spotlight episode also suggests he has things in common with Walt

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I add a plus-douchebag to a minus-douchebag...

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<p>Leon (J.B. Smoove)&nbsp;has a very good day on &quot;Curb Your Enthusiasm.&quot;</p>

Leon (J.B. Smoove) has a very good day on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Credit: HBO

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' - 'Mister Softee': Bill Buckner to the rescue?

Larry befriends the '86 World Series goat in an instant classic episode

A review of tonight's fantastic "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as Koufax gives me some kishka...

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<p>Matt Smith and Daniel Mays in &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Matt Smith and Daniel Mays in "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' - 'Night Terrors': Welcome to the dollhouse

'Sherlock' co-author Mark Gatiss pens a creepy tale

I'm on vacation, but I got to see tonight's "Doctor Whobefore I went away for a few days. "Night Terrors" was penned by Steven Moffat's "Sherlock" co-author Mark Gatiss, and I thought it was very strong on the creepy imagery (the dolls in particular) but a bit less effective on the sentimental side of things. What did everybody else think of it? And, given last week's discussion of how Amy and Rory are dealing with the kidnapping of their daughter, did you feel "Night Terrors," with its focus on parents and kids, did a good job of thematically dealing with that in any way?

<p>&quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;star Zooey Deschanel.</p>

"New Girl" star Zooey Deschanel.

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'New Girl' star Zooey Deschanel

Is it good or bad when people see so much of her in her roles?

(Reminder: I'm on vacation this week, but transcribed a few press tour interviews to keep the blog from going totally dark while I'm gone. I'll be back after Labor Day.)

"I kind of happen to like press conferences," Zooey Deschanel told me mid-way through an interview at FOX's press tour party.

Of course she would say that, not 12 hours after she had been the centerpiece of a press conference that was less a Q&A than an unapologetic lovefest.

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<p>&quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;introduces his niece to New York.</p>

"Louie" introduces his niece to New York.

Credit: FX

'Louie' - 'Niece': The guardian

Another relative comes to visit Louie

I'm on vacation this week, but I did get to see tonight's "Louie" right before I clocked out for the week, and since the series is having a very special season, I wanted to offer a place for everybody to discuss the latest episode while I'm gone.

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<p>Bel (Romola Garai)&nbsp;and Freddie (Ben Whishaw)&nbsp;on &quot;The Hour.&quot;</p>

Bel (Romola Garai) and Freddie (Ben Whishaw) on "The Hour."

Credit: BBC

'The Hour' - 'Episode 3': The man who knows

Bel and Freddie get a taste of country life, while Mr. Kish lurks

I'm on vacation this week, but I did promise to put up a post for people to discuss the latest episode of "The Hour," which features various personal revelations at the large country estate, Freddie advancing on the mysterious Mr. Kish, and various other bits of mid-'50s British goodness. What did everybody else think of it?

<p>Stephen Tobolowsky (seen here in his &quot;Californication&quot;&nbsp;role)&nbsp;has more podcasts coming soon.</p>

Stephen Tobolowsky (seen here in his "Californication" role) has more podcasts coming soon.

Credit: Showtime

Interview: Stephen Tobolowsky on the state of The Tobolowsky Files

What's coming next in the character actor's audio memoirs?

(Reminder: I'm on vacation this week, but transcribed a few press tour interviews to keep the blog from going totally dark while I'm gone. I'll be back after Labor Day.)

In my Nick Offerman interview, I lamented that one of the downsides to a press tour party where a broadcast network invites the stars of its affiliated cable channels is that in a small and/or dark space, it can make the party all but impossible to work in. In a good space, though, it can give the party a very eclectic feel, one where there's someone unexpected and interesting to talk to around every corner. The combined CBS/CW/Showtime party at the latest tour was one of those, held in an outdoor space on a nice night, where even though I had a list of the actors scheduled to be there I still kept being surprised by who I bumped into.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the night was realizing I was standing at the bar next to Stephen Tobolowsky, character actor extraordinaire as well as writer and star of one of my favorite podcasts, The Tobolowsky Files, an ongoing audio memoir in which Tobolowsky tells stories from his life - some about showbiz, many not, all of them hilarious or moving in some way. I interviewed Tobolowsky and producer/co-host David Chen last summer, but I was glad to bump into the guy (and to meet his wife Ann, a frequent subject of Tobolowsky Files stories), and to catch up on the state of the podcast, which has had an irregular schedule of late while both Tobolowsky and Chen have been busy.(*)

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<p>Nick Offerman, seen here with Kate Flannery from &quot;The Office,&quot;&nbsp;and with his own mustache in a nascent stage.</p>

Nick Offerman, seen here with Kate Flannery from "The Office," and with his own mustache in a nascent stage.

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Parks and Recreation' co-star Nick Offerman

On working with wife Megan Mullally, Patricia Clarkson as Tammy One, and more

(Reminder: I'm on vacation this week, but transcribed a few press tour interviews to keep the blog from going totally dark while I'm gone. I'll be back after Labor Day.) 

I've written before about how the nightly parties at press tour are this weird hybrid beast that's half-party, half-working event and not entirely conducive to either thing. Some of the venues are so crowded, dark and/or noisy that it's difficult to find people you might want to interview, and even harder to hear them if you do. NBC's shindig at this summer's tour - a party that featured talent not only from the broadcast network, but Bravo, Syfy, E! and most of the other channels in the new Comcast empire, and that took place in the very strange space that is The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel - was particularly tough to navigate.

Eventually, I realized that the only place where I could both breathe, see and hear was at the Bazaar entrance closest to the red carpet - which is where I happened to run into "Parks and Recreation" co-star (and soon-to-be TCA Awards host) Nick Offerman. Offerman not only plays my favorite character on one of my favorite shows at the moment, but is a fairly swell human being to boot. Most of the skills his "Parks" alter ego Ron Effing Swanson displays are abilities that the real Offerman can do. (Here's a link to the Offerman Woodshop, for instance.) d

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