Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall
Catching up on posts from the weekend
Joss Whedon writes and directs the series' last - and strangest - episode
River (Summer Glau) makes an interesting discovery in this week's "Firefly."
We're at the final regular stop on our summer trip through Joss Whedon's outer space Western "Firefly," but not the last stop, period, since I'll have at least a few things to say about the movie a week from today. In the meantime, a review of the final episode of the TV show itself coming up just as soon as I rub soup in my hair...
Charlie Hunnam is terrific as Jax takes center stage
It's Charlie Hunnam's season on "Sons of Anarchy."
Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX
“It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better,” Jax Teller warns a friend early in the third season of “Sons of Anarchy,” the superb FX drama about outlaw bikers. (The new season begins tomorrow at 10.)
If Jax and his fellow Sons of Anarchy are looking for a new motto for their motorcycle club, that line about sums it up. Like “The Shield” before it (where “Sons” creator Kurt Sutter cut his teeth as a writer), this is a morally-complicated drama about men whose problems tend to multiply, Hydra-style, every time they come close to eliminating one.
In the show’s incredible second season (whose complete snub by the Emmys says a lot more about the value of the Emmys than it does about “Sons of Anarchy”), the Sons had to deal with an all-out assault by a white supremacy group at the same time the club was going through a vicious civil war of its own. Those problems in some way feel quaint as season three begins.
Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss shine in an hour-long duet
Peggy on one of her many attempts to leave the office on last night's "Mad Men."
A review of last night's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I collect Indian arrowheads...
Secrets emerge when the FBI targets API
James Badge Dale in "Rubicon."
A holiday weekend review of tonight's "Rubicon" coming up just as soon as I find a cardboard box on my doorstep...
On Annie/Jeff, Abed/Troy, Britta, rules reference humor, and more
Did you need to know "Goodfellas" to appreciate this "Community" episode?
My summer of "Community" interviews continues. You've hopefully already seen my write-up of the "Community" panel at Comic-Con, as well as the video interview with Danny Pudi and Donald Glover and the Alison Brie interview. I have a couple more to go, including Yvette Nicole Brown, directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and one with Gillian Jacobs that I can't run until after a specific episode has aired, for reasons that will be clear at that time, but I wanted to finally post the conversation I had with creator Dan Harmon shortly after that Comic-Con panel. (Part of it will look familiar, since I excerpted the bit about John Oliver a few weeks back.)
Dan is the kind of guy who will give you a very thorough answer to each question you ask. This means I only got a handful in over the course of a half-hour interview, but it also means that you're getting a pretty exhaustive look inside the creative process of this show, as Dan explains exactly how the unexpected Jeff/Annie dynamic evolved from the pilot through the season-ending cliffhanger, the danger of trying to tell the audience who to like, the complicated process of making Britta funny, and more. If you're a fan of "Community" - and if you're not a fan, I strongly advise going to iTunes or Amazon and downloading a copy of the paintball episode ("Modern Warfare") or, if you don't have the cash to spare, going to Hulu and watching "Contemporary American Poultry" (which we discuss below), because this is just a fantastic comedy - hopefully this will give you better insight into how it became the show that it is.
A rundown of dates for all notable new and returning shows
CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" is one of a whole lotta new shows debuting over the next few weeks.
Credit: Art Streiber/CBS
Welcome to the busy part of the year in TV. The 2010-11 TV season, as defined by Nielsen, doesn't technically begin until Sept. 20, but nearly two dozen notable new and returning shows will be premiering before then, and then things get really crazy from the 20th onwards.
I'm still waiting for final versions of pilots before I feel comfortable weighing in on a lot of the rookies, but if you want a sense of some of the new stuff I'm looking forward to, you can read my post on the best shows I saw at press tour. Given the premiere crush, I can't promise to review everything myself, but Fienberg and I are going to try to hit as much as we can combined, and if I don't bother reviewing something (say, the CW's "Hellcats"), it's because I wasn't interested enough to spend time writing about it.
But for pure calendar purposes, here's a list of premiere dates for the notable new and returning show premieres planned between now and early October (note that ABC's "Body of Proof" and "Secret Millionaire" don't yet have premiere dates, while "V" is set to debut sometime in November):
How being friends off-screen helps their chemistry on-screen
Donal Logue and Michael Raymond James in FX's "Terriers."
FX's new detective drama "Terriers" (which debuts Wednesday at 10) is a buddy show produced by buddies, starring buddies. Yesterday, I posted my interview with two of the show's chief creative forces, Ted Griffin and Shawn Ryan, and you could see the kind of chemistry they have together. Shortly after I talked to those two at press tour, I sat down with actors Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James. The two met when Raymond-James was guest-starring on a season two episode of NBC's "Life," where Logue played Captain Kevin Tidwell, and they bonded over Logue's copy of Jack Kerouac's "Big Sur."
After the jump, the two guys talk about how living together during production only added to their chemistry, Logue's sister Karina being hired to play his character's sister, and the dark places you can wind up in when you're living on the road, and a whole lot more...
How to repeat a year in high school and hope nobody notices
The original cast of "Beverly Hills 90210," before Luke Perry was added post-pilot.
Today, as various corners of the Internets have no doubt made you aware, is 9/02/10, the one date per century that celebrates both the world's most famous zip code and the two TV shows that were set there.
I was reluctant at first to do any kind of post on the day, if only because I'm ashamed to admit how long I watched the original "Beverly Hills 90210." But I couldn't resist doing a quick post to bring up my favorite bit of "90210" lore.
Album to include Dr. John, Steve Earle, John BouttÃ© and more
Dr. John will be one of many "Treme" guest stars to appear on the season one soundtrack.
Back in June, I talked with David Simon about tentative plans to put out a soundtrack album for the first season of "Treme." That album now has a digital release date: September 28. (A physical CD will also come out sometime in the fall, date TBD.) And the list of 19 tracks is now out, featuring a lot of the great jazz artists who appeared on the show, plus several of the castmembers like Steve Zahn and Lucia Micarelli.
After the jump, the full track listing, plus a tidbit about my participation in the "Treme" DVD (which will be coming out much closer to the season two premiere, likely sometime in the spring):