<p>Judy Greer, Sarah Chalke, Jason Biggs and Tyler Labine in &quot;Mad Love.&quot;</p>

Judy Greer, Sarah Chalke, Jason Biggs and Tyler Labine in "Mad Love."

Credit: CBS

Review: CBS' 'Mad Love' struggles despite solid cast

Focusing on sidekicks a smart idea, but something's missing

When a sitcom has fairly sane, normal characters at its center and one or more larger-than-life characters on the margins, fans and/or critics often suggest that the show would be better off refocusing on the funny sidekicks than the boring straight men. I lost count of the number of "Will & Grace" reviews I read (and possibly also wrote) insisting the series should be called "Jack & Karen," for instance, and most "How I Met Your Mother" fandom has been far more invested in narcissistic player Barney than hopeless romantic Ted.

Focusing a romantic comedy on the sidekicks doesn't automatically make your show brilliant, though, if CBS' new "Mad Love" (which debuts tonight at 8:30, after "HIMYM") is anything to go by.

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<p>Jeanne Tripplehorn, Bill Paxton and Chloe Sevigny in &quot;Big Love.&quot;</p>

Jeanne Tripplehorn, Bill Paxton and Chloe Sevigny in "Big Love."

Credit: HBO

'Big Love' - 'The Special Relationship': Ice to meet you

The final season's halfway point brings some interesting conflicts between Bill and his wives

Because of the Super Bowl, I didn't get around to last week's "Big Love" for several days, and my interest in the episode was low enough that it didn't seem worth doing a brief, belated post. Tonight's episode at least dealt with some interesting issues, with the "priesthood holder" issue moving to the forefront, Margene's ambition colliding with her reputation and Bill perhaps taking Barb a bridge too far with his latest request.

We're at the halfway point of the final season now. How's everybody feeling about it?

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<p>The cast of &quot;Downton Abbey.&quot;</p>

The cast of "Downton Abbey."

Credit: Courtesy of "Masterpiece"

Review: Belated thoughts on 'Downton Abbey'

Downstairs with the servants fascinated, upstairs with the lords and ladies much less so

I didn't review "Downton Abbey" when it debuted on PBS a few weeks back for several reasons: 1)It was premiering during a horrible time crunch for me vis a vis press tour, more high-profile winter premieres, etc.; 2)I'm not 100 percent sure I actually got a screener of it; and most importantly 3)I usually have very little use for stories about the complicated lives of the British aristocracy.

Life went on. Other US critics reviewed "Downton Abbey" and swooned over it, and I didn't doubt it was a very effective example of what it was. I've just never cared for what it is. We all bring our own preconceptions and prejudices to entertainment, and I can respect someone saying they don't want to watch a show about a cancer patient who cooks meth, even though I consider "Breaking Bad" one of the best things on television.

But two things conspired to get me watching "Downton Abbey" this weekend, and I have an explanation of that, and some thoughts on the miniseries, coming up just as soon as one of my snuff boxes goes missing...

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<p>Liz (Tina Fey) has an airplane nightmare on &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Liz (Tina Fey) has an airplane nightmare on "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

'30 Rock' - 'Double-Edged Sword': Blame Canada

Matt Damon returns in a momentous episode for Liz, Jack and Tracy

A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as my milk comes in bags...

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<p>Tammy (Megan Mullally)&nbsp;and Ron (Nick Offerman)&nbsp;behind bars on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Tammy (Megan Mullally) and Ron (Nick Offerman) behind bars on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron & Tammy II': Rock the cradle of love?

Megan Mullally returns for more Swanson-flavored lunacy

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I'm checking myself for scoliosis...

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<p>Holly (Amy Ryan)&nbsp;and Michael (Steve Carell)&nbsp;share a smooch on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Holly (Amy Ryan) and Michael (Steve Carell) share a smooch on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

'The Office' - 'PDA': Too close for comfort

Michael and Holly get their grope on in a hilarious Valentine's Day episode

A review of tonight's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I list all the kinds of honking...

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<p>Britta (Gillian Jacobs)&nbsp;and her friend Paige get down on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and her friend Paige get down on "Community."

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Early 21st Century Romanticism': People who need people

Jeff accidentally hosts a party, Britta makes an assumption and Troy and Abed woo the same girl

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I leap to defend the Barenaked Ladies aggressively...

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<p>Donal Logue in &quot;Terriers.&quot;</p>

Donal Logue in "Terriers."

Credit: FX

A 'Terriers' DVD update from Shawn Ryan

A 'major, major company' in talks for an exclusive DVD release

When "Terriers" was heading towards the finish line of its first, only, brilliant, abysmally-rated season, Fienberg and I kept trying to console ourselves and the private eye drama's other fans with the notion that the series had a clear beginning, middle and end and would live forever beautifully on DVD.

However, there hasn't been much news on the DVD front since FX announced the cancellation, John Landgraf spoke, I interviewed Ted Griffin, etc. And given that the DVD market has shrunk enough in recent years that not everything gets released anymore, I began to worry. So I checked in with "Terriers" executive producer Shawn Ryan, who's been busy with the launch of FOX's "The Chicago Code," and he had some potentially good news to share.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 59: 'Friday Night Lights' finale

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 59: 'Friday Night Lights' finale

Dan and Alan talk for a very long time about one of their all-time favorite dramas


Clear eyes, full hearts... bonus podcast! As promised, you get an extra Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week, in which Dan and I spend 80-plus minutes discussing the "Friday Night Lights" finale and answering your many, many, many fine questions about the series. If you're waiting for the DVD release on April 5th, or for the NBC run (which starts April 15th) to wrap, just download the podcast and save it for when you're ready. (I'm sure we'll also be bumping up this particular post as a reminder after it airs on NBC), but this was a really fun one to do. No need for a rundown, because it's all-"FNL," all the time.

 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.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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<p>Rob Brown in &quot;Treme.&quot;</p>

Rob Brown in "Treme."

Credit: HBO

HBO sets 'Treme' season 2 premiere date

New Orleans music drama returns in April, paired with 'Game of Thrones'

HBO has confirmed the season two premiere date for "Treme," the David Simon-produced drama about the music scene in post-Katrina New Orleans. As first reported by Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the series will be back on Sunday, April 24.

That's a week after the premiere of "Game of Thrones," HBO's long-awaited adaptation of George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of fantasy novels, which seems to make an unconventional double feature. On the other hand, my friends who swear by the Martin books insist it did for fantasy what Simon's "The Wire" did for cop dramas, so maybe they'll be more compatible that it seems at first glance.

The "Treme" season one DVD set (in which I appear on one of the commentary tracks) comes out on March 29, and in case you missed it in the fall, there's also a terrific soundtrack album. The show's first season was one of those shows that spanned the final days of the old blog and my arrival on HitFix, so you can find some of my season one reviews here, and the rest here.

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