<p>Phyllis Smith</p>

Phyllis Smith

Credit: Pixar/NBC

How Phyllis Smith's Sadness became the unlikely heart of 'Inside Out'

A sideways entrance into Hollywood, a script that was thrown out, all led to this improbable joy

Based on the box office results, odds are many of you saw "Inside Out" over the weekend, which meant you got to enjoy Phyllis Smith's extraordinary voice acting work as Sadness. All the major performances in that movie are wonderful (I may not be able to watch a live-action Richard Kind performance for a while without thinking of Bing Bong), but Smith's work, and the way that the movie uses Sadness, is ultimately what's put it in the discussion for being Pixar's best film ever.

It's a performance that almost didn't happen, twice.

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<p>True Detective</p>

True Detective

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'True Detective' - 'The Western Book of the Dead'

Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch make their debuts

"True Detective" is back for a new season. I posted some overall thoughts on the early episodes on Wednesday, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I display some Meryl Streep-type expressive creativity...

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<p>The Brink</p>

The Brink

Credit: HBO

Firewall & Iceberg, Episode 289: 'True Detective,' 'Mr. Robot,' 'The Brink' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Ballers' and 'Another Period'

The

Happy Friday, boys and girls! Time for this week's second and final Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. Tuesday's show focused mainly on finales, so today's will dwell on premieres, as we look to HBO's disappointing new Sunday lineup, plus cover a couple of shows debuting next week while Dan and the podcast will both be on vacation. 

As mentioned on Tuesday, our next finale revisit will be the end of "The Shield," which is streaming on Hulu Plus and available to download from Amazon, iTunes, etc.

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<p>Orange Is the New Black</p>

Orange Is the New Black

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'Orange Is the New Black' - 'Empathy Is a Boner Killer/Finger in the Dyke'

Nicky and Boo get flashbacks, Piper and Alex do improv, and Caputo tries to save Litchfield

We're continuing this weekly trip through "Orange Is the New Black" season 3, two episodes at a time. Thoughts on episodes 3 & 4 coming up just as soon as I can smell Trey Anastasio's BO...

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<p>The Daily Show</p>

The Daily Show

Credit: Comedy central

Jon Stewart & Larry Wilmore react to the Charleston church shooting

Earlier this week, we got a reminder of how much the TV world will miss Jon Stewart for all the laughter he brings, with his overjoyed reaction to Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement. Last night, we got a reminder of how valuable he can be even when there's nothing he can possibly joke about.

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Ask Alan, Episode 10: Sexist theme songs, weird credits, and Who's The Worst?

Ask Alan, Episode 10: Sexist theme songs, weird credits, and Who's The Worst?

Should we judge 'Green Acres' harshly? And can anyone be worse than Lou Avery?

Welcome to another installment of Ask Alan, where I take your questions on the past, present, and future of TV. (And since I was in LA last week, you get me on video three Fridays in a row.) As always, you can send questions — the more concisely-worded, the better — to askalan@hitfix.com. After various production and scheduling hiccups, we've finally reached double digits on this series, and seem in position for smooth biweekly sailing for a while.

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<p>Hannibal</p>

Hannibal

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Hannibal' - 'Secondo': The first silence of the lambs?

An old friend returns, Will visits Hannibal's childhood home, and Bedelia loses her patience

A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as I don't require conventional reinforcement...

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<p>Ballers</p>

Ballers

Credit: HBO

Review: Why did Dwayne Johnson choose HBO's 'Ballers' as his first TV show?

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
An 'Entourage' for the NFL seems a waste of The Rock's talents

I know exactly why HBO wanted to make its newest comedy series, "Ballers." It's created by "Entourage" producer Steven Levinson, it takes many of that show's lifestyle porn elements and applies them to the world of the NFL and, oh yeah, it stars Dwayne Johnson in his first regular TV role since he called himself The Rock and was a full-time part of the WWE's roster.

No, the question I have about "Ballers" (which debuts Sunday at 10 after the new season of "True Detective") is why exactly Johnson felt that this should be his first wholly scripted TV series.

"Ballers" isn't especially bad, but nor is it especially good. It's a show that's neither fish nor fowl: not nearly funny enough to really qualify as a comedy (and it's not until the fourth and final episodes sent to critics that it even seems to be trying all that hard to function as a comedy), not serious or complicated enough to qualify as a drama. It's just... a show. Featuring The Rock. And Rob Corddry. And, occasionally, cameos by real NFL players.

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<p>Deutschland 83</p>

Deutschland 83

Credit: Sundance

Ooooh, the Germans! (aka why you should watch Sundance's 'Deutschland 83')

'The Americans' meets the Berlin Wall in an entertaining new import

This is a crazy busy week in TV, especially for June (which is the new March, which is the new January, which is the new September), and I unfortunately don't have time to review everything (or, in some cases, like USA's "Complications," to even watch everything). Fortunately, the Internet sometimes allows me to point you towards other people's reviews of things I like but am too underwater to write about, like Sundance's newest import, the German-language (with subtitles) "Deutschland 83," which premieres tonight at 11.

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<p>Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell in True Detective</p>

Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell in True Detective

Credit: HBO

Review: Has 'True Detective' fallen victim to the sophomore slump?

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch have a very tough act to follow

Midway through watching the very first episode of "True Detective" season 1, Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle delivered what was already his fourth or fifth monologue about the pointlessness of existence, and I jotted down the following note:

Do I want to watch many hours of McConaughey saying this (stuff)?

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