As mentioned a few days ago, my advance screener of Sunday's "Treme" didn't arrive in time, and then I was so swamped with "Lost," "Chuck," et al that I didn't get to watch the episode this morning. So a belated (and briefer than I'd like, just in the interest of getting discussion going) review of "Smoke My Peace Pipe" coming up just as soon as I find a rhyme for "infrastructure"...
Bad news comes in waves in a powerful episode.
Does it matter who wins this sleepy season?
It's arguable whether the "right" person wins each season of "American Idol" - certainly, fans of Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert would strongly disagree with that notion - but no matter who takes the crown tomorrow night, we can say it happened this year.
An old alter helps Tara fill in a gap of her history.
A quick review of tonight's "United States of Tara" coming up just as soon as I find a Leif Garrett record that sounds like "War Pigs"...
Fedak on the Shaw arc, Morgan's spy career, the future of Jeffster! and more.
"Chuck" season three has ended on a very strong note, and you can read my review of the two-hour finale here.
Meanwhile, I got on the phone with "Chuck" co-creator Chris Fedak to discuss the ups and downs of this season, and to discuss in incredibly vague terms what might be coming next year. (Fedak's even more spoiler paranoid than I am, so there's nothing there that's unsafe to read.)
So Fedak's take on the finale, the season as a whole, etc., coming up just as soon as I blame the CIA for my bachelor party...
Team Bartowski and family Bartowski come together in a terrific two-hour finale.
A review of the two-hour, two-part "Chuck" season finale (and, once again, how nice is it to be able to say definitively that it's just a season and not series finale?) coming up just as soon as I thank your very convincing facial hair...
A season finale recap brought to you by Danish Figure Skater Alan
A review of the "How I Met Your Mother" finale coming up just as soon as I do surprisingly well in the Baltics...
Bill Simmons chats with me and some of his friends about the "Lost" finale.
Bill Simmons invited me as the first of three guests (the other two are his buddy Gus and Chuck Klosterman) to talk about the "Lost" finale on today's "B.S. Report" podcast. (And recording that podcast overrode any attempt that Fienberg and I might have made to do a special Monday Firewall & Iceberg podcast devoted to "Lost." Rest assured we will spend a lot of Wednesday's show on it.) My thoughts aren't much different than what I expressed in last night's review, but Bill does suggest a couple of "Lost" spin-offs that hadn't occurred to me in all my talk of a Sawyer/Miles cop show or a Ben/Locke high school drama.
Perhaps when I've had a fuller night's sleep, my opinion might change, but I'm curious - especially since the comments in the original post have now topped the 400 mark - whether any of you woke up this morning feeling differently about "The End" than you did when it finished last night, whether for better or for worse.
And please remember, as always: be civil. You can disagree about the quality of the finale without attacking those you disagree with. Talk about the show, not each other.
The long-running drama goes out with one of its best overall casts.
When news broke a week and a half ago that NBC had elected to cancel "Law & Order" - and to do it one season shy of passing "Gunsmoke" to claim the title of longest-running primetime drama series - I began thinking back over the more than two dozen actors and actresses who have been regular co-stars on the series over its 20-year run, and I tried conducting a mental fantasy draft of "Law & Order" characters. If you kept everyone in a job they had held at some point during the series (i.e., Jack McCoy could be the lead prosecutor or the Manhattan DA, but no fair making Lennie Briscoe the precinct lieutenant supervising partners Max Greevey and Phil Ceretta), which combination would be most interesting?
As I pondered different groupings (and read your own), I came again and again to the same conclusion: the season five cast (Briscoe, Mike Logan and Anita Van Buren as the cops, McCoy, Claire Kincaid and wise old Adam Schiff as the lawyers) was so perfect that I didn't even need to do the fantasy thing. (Though I did think it would be interesting to see McCoy as the DA and Ben Stone as the prosecutor, both because the two would butt heads and because Stone would not be pleased to realize Jack and Claire were having an affair.) Not only were most of these characters the best individual examples of their respective position on the show (surely, any "L&O" fantasy draft would begin with Briscoe as senior detective), but they all worked so well together.
Then the mental game took a different turn. If there was no point to constructing a hypothetical lineup of cops and prosecutors, then what actual cast would rank second overall to that season five Murderer's Row?
My answer: the one you'll get to see for the last time tonight.
A few good retrospectives on the many days of Jack Bauer.
"Lost" said goodbye last night, and tonight we get a series finale double-feature, with "24" at 8 and "Law & Order" at 10. I'll have an essay on "L&O" up and ready in a few hours, but I've been struggling to find the time to write something on "24." Given how long it's been since I felt passionately about the show, that's probably for the best, as nobody needs to read the same list of complaints again at the end.
Instead, let me point you to two treatises on the show, one written by my current partner, the other produced by my former partner. (Unlike Jack Bauer, my partners have a pretty good mortality rate.) The first is Fienberg's "24" entry from his terrific Best of the Decade series from last December.
The second comes from my old Star-Ledger colleague Mat Zoller Seitz, who has spent the last couple of years cranking out a series of insightful and/or amusing video essays on movies and TV. (Here's one of the sillier ones, in which Matt and Sarah Bunting examine "The Ties of Zodiac.") Matt and Aaron Aradillas cooked up a five-part series of video essays on "24," starting with their look at the show's origins in the context of the TV of the Aughts.
So go read and/or watch, and feel free to share your (spoiler-free) expectations for tonight. With a movie in the works, Jack can't die, but is everybody else fair game?
The series finale satisfies on its own, but does it work as the conclusion to the last six years?
A long and rambling review of the "Lost" series finale coming up just as soon as I believe in duct tape...>