In this whole bizarre spat with Warner Bros., CBS and "Two and a Half Men" boss Chuck Lorre, Charlie Sheen has boasted that his life is all about "winning." To borrow a line from "The Princess Bride," he keeps using that word, but after news that Warner Bros. has fired him from the show, he may have to realize that it doesn't mean what he thinks it means.
Would it have been simpler for studio to cancel the show otherwise?
FOX animated comedy deftly blends the strange and the sincere
"Bob's Burgers" debuted during the TV critics' press tour, and between the time crunch and my difficulty in deciding how I felt about it, I put off doing a review. But the show has grown on me, to the point where I often tend to watch it before that night's respective episode of "The Simpsons." That's not a knock on "The Simpsons," which is having one of its stronger latter-day seasons(*), but simply an acknowledgment that even a strong "Simpsons" episode circa 2011 is repeating things the show has done 37 times already, whereas what "Bob's Burgers" is doing at the moment feels a lot fresher.
(*) The eyeball joke last night was a little too gross for me, but I've always had a low gross-out threshhold when it comes to eyeballs.
I have a few thoughts on the show - and then you're welcome to discuss that, "The Simpsons," or any of FOX's Sunday animated comedies - coming up just as soon as I take note of your Adam's apple...
Alan and Dan talk about the sci-fi thriller's return, the state of TV's biggest series, and more
It's Monday, which means it's time for a new Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which Dan and I talk about the return of "The Event" and the state of "American Idol," Dan offers a testimonial to "Greek," which is airing its series finale tonight, and we answer a bunch of your questions. The run-down:
Sci-fi thriller remains silly and frustratingly slow
What is The Event?
I know I opened my initial review of "The Event" back in the fall with that sentence, but now my question is different. Back then, I was asking what "The Event" - as in the NBC show, which returns tonight at 8 - was, because it was hard to tell if I was meant to take it seriously, or as a parody of all the most annoying aspects of "Lost" and "24." By now, I unfortunately know it's meant to be taken seriously, so I'm wondering what the actual Event - as in the thing that the show's characters keep warning us is coming, even if they won't tell us anything about it - itself is.
Because this is getting kinda silly.
Some of my favorites advanced, and some didn't.
It's week 2 for Hulu's Best in Show tournament, and while many of my favorites advanced, not all did. "Parks and Recreation" lost a squeaker to "The Office," "Glee" pretty convincingly beat "Friday Night Lights," and "Cougar Town" and "Louie" were both crushed by, respectively, "Modern Family" and "How I Met Your Mother."
What did everybody think of the new A&E drama?
The show gets better as things get worse - much worse - for the Henricksons
A quick review of tonight's "Big Love" coming up just as soon as I build bridges in Guatemala...
What did everybody think of the NBC reality competition?
As Fienberg and I discussed on this week's podcast, while I don't make much time for reality TV these days, I do remain fond of the various professional talent competitions produced by the folks at Magical Elves, most notably "Top Chef." "America's Next Great Restaurant," which debuted tonight on NBC, was very much in the Elve-ish wheelhouse, offering plenty of overlap with "Top Chef" but not so much that it made you wonder why we needed this show, too. And I remain impressed that the Elves - as opposed to Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and whoever else was making creative decisions on "The (Non-Celebrity) Apprentice" - recognize that while jerks can add a certain amount of drama, the real draw of these shows is in seeing talented people show off their talents. So while a couple of knuckleheads made this show's top 10, for the most part we have what seems like smart, energetic people with intriguing concepts. (I know that if the restaurant that won the last slot in the top 10 opened in my neighborhood tomorrow, I would be eating there.)
What did everybody else think? Too assembly line, or just different enough?
'Prison Break' alums struggle with another con-related drama
If you know anything about my tastes, you know I'm a sucker for underdog sports stories. But I'm only slightly less of a sucker for capers or action movies about tough guys with unique skills coming together for a mission - and particularly for its subset, in which the tough guys are bad guys who are forced by circumstance to be good guys. I've seen "The Dirty Dozen" more times than I can count. I dig TNT's "Leverage." One of the few comic book series I follow anymore is DC's "Secret Six," about a team of villains who invariably wind up acting as heroes (and which borrows characters from "The Suicide Squad," also about evil men reluctantly doing good).
So the new drama "Breakout Kings," in which a pair of US Marshals recruit a team of convicts to help them track down dangerous escaped prisoners, should be right up my alley. But the drama, which debuts Sunday night at 10 on A&E, is so flatly executed that its mediocrity overpowered my innate weakness for the genre.
The chefs get in touch with their roots in an Ellis Island challenge
A review of last night's "Top Chef" coming up just as soon as I find out that we're cousins...