Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Bass Player Wanted'

'HIMYM' ends 2013 with a whole lot of the Mother; better late than never?

<p>Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Back when I was still doing actual weekly "How I Met Your Mother" reviews, I started keeping a checklist of things that I had come to expect from this final season, like Marshall being elsewhere, the Mother being absent entirely, an utter lack of recognizable emotion, etc. Well, "HIMYM" closed out 2013 with a kind of anti-checklist episode, as "Bass Player Wanted" offered up a whole lot of Cristin Milioti, finally brought Marshall to the Farhampton Inn, and had some nice moments between Lily and Robin and between Ted and Barney (even if some of it is wrapped up in dumb ideas like Ted's inability to get over Robin).

What did everybody else think? Does seeing Milioti this much please you, or just make you even more frustrated that it took this long? And are you hopeful to see lots of Marshall interacting with the rest of the cast in 2014, or are you expecting some kind of contrivance where Marshall is frequently stuck in an obscure corner of the hotel?

'Homeland' producer Alex Gansa talks season 3

Getting into some unanswered questions from the Showtime drama's finale

<p>Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

"Homeland" concluded its third season last night with what turned out to be the show's highest-rated episode ever. I reviewed the finale last night, and I spoke briefly with the show's co-creator Alex Gansa about some of the decisions made by both the "Homeland" creative team and the characters that shaped the third season, coming up just as soon as I get out my Sharpie...

Season finale review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Manhigh'

Bill makes his presentation, Margaret confronts her husband and Ethan goes to California

<p>Caitlin FitzGerald and Michael Sheen in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Caitlin FitzGerald and Michael Sheen in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” just concluded a debut season so strong that I ranked it the fifth-best show overall of 2013. I interviewed creator Michelle Ashford here, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I can spot a statistically average masturbator from a mile away...

'Masters of Sex' creator Michelle Ashford talks season 1

Does the show favor Johnson over Masters? And what will season 2 look like?

<p>Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime
Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” just concluded a debut season so strong that I ranked it the fifth-best show overall of 2013. I reviewed the season finale here, and I talked to the show’s creator, Michelle Ashford, about the finale, about what liberties she’s comfortable taking with the real story of Masters and Johnson, about how she intends to handle the story’s big span of time when there’s no way her series will last as long as the partnership, and more, all coming up just as soon as I tell you babies grow on trees…
 

Season finale review: 'Homeland' - 'The Star'

Carrie tries to get Brody out of Iran

<p>Damian Lewis as Brody in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Brody in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

A review of tonight's "Homeland" season finale coming up just as soon as you explain a Baby Bjorn to me...

Review: 'Treme' - 'Dippermouth Blues'

Albert gets sicker, while Antoine gives fake trombone lessons to a movie star

<p>Melissa Leo as Toni in &quot;Trem&eacute;.&quot;</p>

Melissa Leo as Toni in "Tremé."

Credit: HBO

A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I teach you the "Ghostbusters" theme...

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'All That's Left Is the Hugging'

Kristina accepts defeat, Julia visits Ed and Amber cries... a lot

<p>Mae Whitman in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Mae Whitman in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I offer to trade my vote for a new playground slide...

Golden Globes TV nominations go crazy for the new

After yesterday's predictable SAG nominations, a more eclectic mix

<p>We're as pleasantly surprised as Tatiana Maslany that she got a Golden Globe nomination.</p>

We're as pleasantly surprised as Tatiana Maslany that she got a Golden Globe nomination.

Credit: BBC America

In a year overflowing with bold and often brilliant new TV series, yesterday's SAG Awards TV nominations erred too much on the side of the familiar, with Kevin Spacey as the only actor on any new series to be recognized. Whatever the faults — and/or lack of credentials — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has, its membership has never been accused of leaning too much on the tried and true. They love shiny new things, whether that's attractive young actresses, movie stars transitioning to television or new shows that the Golden Globes can be the first awards to give a stamp of approval to.

That love of the new was reflected throughout today's Golden Globe nominations. The HFPA is by and large a silly organization, and their TV awards an afterthought to help fill out the ballroom and the telecast, but their nominations are a hell of a lot more interesting — for good and for bad — than what the SAG voters gave us yesterday.

FX orders 'Tyrant' to series

Channel won a bidding war for political drama from 'Homeland' producers

<p>&quot;Tyrant.&quot;</p>

"Tyrant."

Credit: FX

"Tyrant," a drama that's had a more newsworthy-than-usual development process, has been ordered to series by FX.

SAG Awards TV nominations favor the familiar over the new

Kevin Spacey from 'House of Cards' is the only acting nominee from a new series

<p>Kevin Spacey from &quot;House of Cards&quot;&nbsp;got a SAG&nbsp;nomination.</p>

Kevin Spacey from "House of Cards" got a SAG nomination.

Credit: Netflix

One of the defining traits of The Quality TV Deluge of 2013 has been the arrival of so many impressive new series to add to a  landscape that already included the shows of HBO, AMC, FX, et al. The likes of "Orange Is the New Black," "Masters of Sex," the different Sundance series, "The Americans," and more added so much vitality to television — and so many indelible performances, like Tatiana Maslany playing a half dozen roles on "Orphan Black."

If showbiz awards are designed in part as a historical record of what a particular year was like, then today's Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations didn't do a great job of telling the story of 2013. It featured most of the usual suspects(*) like "Breaking Bad" and "Boardwalk Empire" and "Modern Family" and "Downton Abbey," and as a result there was virtually no room to recognize newcomers.

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