A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I get my free stress ball...
Does the end justify a meandering episode?
Will Forte tries to bring a little Bella/Edward/Jacob action to Pawnee
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as a fish ends up dead in a cowboy boot...
Pierce tries to ruin the group's attempt to do a good deed
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I mourn the death of an imaginary waiter...
A Chicago native gets to play Chicago's top cop
On FOX's excellent new cop drama "The Chicago Code" (which premieres Monday at 9 p.m.), Jennifer Beals plays the newly-installed superintendent of the Chicago PD, Teresa Colvin. Colvin is relatively young for the job, and a woman - a woman who looks like Jennifer Beals, no less - and so she gets very little respect from certain corners of the rank-and-file, and from some of the crooked politicians she's trying to get rid of. But they underestimate this tough, smart, reform-minded woman at their own peril.
Similarly, if you're still thinking of Beals as the 19-year-old in the off-the-shoulder sweatshirt from "Flashdance" (still by far her highest-profile role), you may be surprised by just how good she is at the center of this ambitious drama, which comes from "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan.
At press tour, I talked with Beals about her research for the role, and about her own view of the Chicago PD as a girl growing up in that city.
A pair of 'Goodfellas'/'Sopranos' alums help judge an Italian challenge
A quick review of last night's "Top Chef" coming up just as soon as I get some soup in Wisconsin...
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
A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I enjoy this lollipop...
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.