"How I Met Your Mother" is back for another season, and in case you missed it over the summer, I (and several other reporters) had a very interesting chat with Carter Bays and Craig Thomas about the show's immediate past and future back at press tour. I'll be talking about that in my review of the season six premiere, coming up just as soon as I have squiggly cartoon odor lines...
Garret Dillahunt is one of my favorite character actors on television. Whether he's a regular on a series like "Deadwood" (where David Milch loved him so much he cast him in two different roles) or just teleporting into a series for a guest spot or two (as, say, Russian gangster Roman Nevikov on "Life"), I know he's always going to do something interesting and memorable.
He has another regular gig, on "Raising Hope," Greg Garcia's new FOX comedy about a young slacker (Lucas Neff) who decides to turn his life around when he inherits the baby girl he fathered with a Death Row inmate. (It debuts Tuesday at 9 p.m.)Â Though I think a little of Garcia's "My Name Is Earl"-style humor goes a long way, I did laugh several times during the "Hope" pilot, including some things Dillahunt does as Neff's none-too-bright father.
When I was at press tour last month, I sat down with Dillahunt to talk about how he chooses the parts he does, why he got into acting, and more, all after the jump...
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 37: 'Chuck,' 'House,' 'Community' and lots of other returning shows
Time for part two of the three-part Firewall & Iceberg Podcast fall preview(*), with Dan and I pausing from our discussion of new shows to check in on a bunch of returning shows we've seen premieres for, some of which will be in heavy blogging rotation ("Chuck," "How I Met Your Mother"), some which may be covered more infrequently ("Glee"), some which are falling out of the rotation altogether ("House") and one that has surprised me by finding its way back in ("Fringe").
(*) I've been doing a lot of fall preview podcasting over the last week, including a guest appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast that we recorded on Friday and was posted today.
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
Since FOX canceled "Arrested Development" back in 2006, nearly every interview every actor associated with that brilliant but under-viewed series has done has featured a question about the possibility of an "Arrested Development" movie. Some are for it, some (notably Michael Cera) are against it, some say it's happening any minute now, some say it's probably never going to happen, but the questions, and the rumors, keep coming and coming from a TV press that comprised a huge chunk of the show's audience.
My philosophy on an "Arrested Development" movie has always been that I will not believe it exists until I am sitting in a movie theater, eating my popcorn, and the opening credits are rolling on it.
But after watching two different versions of the pilot episode of "Running Wilde" - which reunites "Arrested" co-star Will Arnett with that show's two top writers, Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely, and features "Arrested" alum David Cross in a recurring role - I'm starting to wonder if I even want to see an "Arrested" film.
One of the more intriguing pilots I watched earlier this summer was for ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7," which debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. Focusing on a Homicide unit in Detroit, the drama had two things going for it: a mockumentary format that actually added to the sense of atmosphere, rather than feeling like a gimmick; and Michael Imperioli's performance as inscrutable, frustrating lead detective Louis Fitch.
After the pilot was shot, the real city of Detroit banned camera crews from following cops around, and because of that (and, I suspect, because too many other ABC shows also have characters talking to the camera) the format was ditched. And with it went a lot of the show's character. The original pilot felt a bit like a 21st century version of "Homicide," focusing more on the cops than the cases, where the new version - particularly the second episode, which was filmed after the docu concept was ditched (where the final version of the pilot still has weird traces of it) - feels more generic, even with the Detroit location filming.
But Imperioli is still in it, and still strong. Because of him, supporting player James McDaniel (putting on a badge again in his old "NYPD Blue" timeslot) and the promise I initially saw in the pilot, I'm going to give "1-8-7" a few more shots. But in the meantime, here's an interview I did with Imperioli back at press tour, where we talk about other cops he's played, the appeal of this show to him, and, of course, "The Sopranos" ending.
A review of last night's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I'm a competitive fly fisherman...
One of the advantages of again working at a place with another TV critic is that I don't have to feel compelled to review everything during an insane week like this one, and particularly when the other critic and I would basically say the same thing.
Over the summer, Fienberg did early not-quite-reviews of the original versions of the network pilots, and his take on CBS' "Mike & Molly" is pretty much the exact thought I had while watching both the original version and the final cut (which is basically the same) that's airing tonight at 9:30. Specifically, I co-sign this part:
There are two pilots at war in the single pilot for "Mike & Molly." One is a character-driven story about two people falling in love. In that pilot, the two characters meet at Overeaters Anonymous and their struggles with their weight are definitely linked to nearly every punchline. The second is a story about two fat people in love. In that pilot, tables keep collapsing or being overturned and staircases turn out not to be wide enough.
(Dan posted a more in-depth final review last night, but the sentiment as expressed in the original post was easier to excerpt.)
As I've said repeatedly about "Big Bang Theory" (and as Dan talks about at length in the longer review), Chuck Lorre and his writers can never seem to decide whether they're laughing with or at their characters. When they decide on "with," they can be both very funny and unexpectedly sweet. When they instead choose "at" (think virtually any "BBT" plot involving Wolowitz), it's heinous. The good parts of "Mike & Molly" are just good enough that I'll give them a few weeks to see if they can settle on a take.
Feel free to comment here after the pilot airs tonight.
A quick review of tonight's "Rubicon" coming up just as soon as my cereal gets soggy...
A few weeks back, Fienberg and I were both invited (along with a host of other TV critic types) to appear in TV Guide Network's "25 Greatest TV Characters of All Time" special, which airs tonight at 8. I'm obviously not allowed to spoil the list, but since the channel's own story on the list gave away The Fonz, I felt safe in using a picture of Henry Winkler with this story.
Also, I should add that neither Dan, nor I, nor to the best of my knowledge any of the talking heads in the special had anything to do with choosing the list. The closest thing to input I had was choosing which names on the list I was going to comment on.
I'm told I made final cut, but have no idea how much I'll actually be in the thing, but if you want to see me and/or Dan, or if you want to work yourself into a lather - because list specials like this are designed to provoke counter-arguments so that people will keep talking about the list itself - feel free to tune in at 8, or at one of the many other points this week that TV Guide Network will repeat the thing.