We are 10 days away from the 10th anniversary of the premiere of "Deadwood," David Milch's revisionist Western and one of the greatest drama series to ever grace this medium.
The final season of "Mad Men" begins on Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. Of course, calling it "the final season" is more of a letter of the law than a spirit of the law thing, since AMC will show seven episodes this spring, then take the show off the air until 2015, when the final seven episodes will air. Contractually for the cast and crew, it is all one season, and unlike the "final" season of "Breaking Bad" — which was split into two batches of 8 episodes apiece that aired over two summers — all of them are being produced in a row.
Just a few housekeeping notes before I head to California for a few days:
Okay, so tonight was a Mother-less "How I Met Your Mother," which either means we get an opportunity to table discussion of the "Is the Mother dead in 2030?" question(*) or it means that her absence will make us focus on that issue all the more.
(*) Cristin Milioti gave an interview where she called the idea "insane," but it's also possible that she's being on message for the producers, who've been known to dissemble in the press before. Or people have pointed out that last week's episode was called "Vesuvius," and that earlier in the season Ted realized that word didn't fit in a puzzle, which could mean the whole thing could just be one more head fake from Bays and Thomas. It is up to you to decide what option you prefer.
"Daisy" was otherwise another final season episode that was very broad for much of the running time, with callbacks to old characters (the Captain and BoatsBoatsBoats) and running gags ("The Mosby Boys"), but that then went for a big emotional ending, and a new glimpse of the future.
What did everybody think? Did you like Tracey Ullman as Robin's mom? Did it all hang together, or did the conclusion feel unearned? Or did you just spend the entire thing pondering the latest Mother mystery?
Have at it.
There was a period after the instant, explosive success of "Lost" where J.J. Abrams seemed to be creating every new drama on television. I say "seemed to" because in most of those cases, these shows — "Six Degrees," "What About Brian" and "Alcatraz," among others — were shows from Abrams' production company that traded on his name in their marketing, but didn't have him around as any kind of hands-on creative force. Every now and again he might actually co-write or direct one of the pilots with his name on it (for the short-lived "Undercovers," he did both), but Abrams often seems to be most useful simply using his muscle to get shows on the air, and then as a hook to use in marketing. Some of these shows last a while — "Fringe" went five seasons, and "Person of Interest" and "Revolution" are still around — while others have demonstrated the limits of Abrams' name as a drawing card.
With "his" new NBC drama "Believe" (it sneak previews tonight at 10 before moving to Sundays at 9), Abrams has cleverly outsourced the name-branding to one of the few creators in the business with an even higher profile at the moment: Oscar-winning "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuarón, who co-created the series and directed its pilot episode. As co-creator of the show, Cuarón seems less likely to vanish like Martin Scorsese from "Boardwalk Empire"(*), but I also don't expect him to direct an episode again anytime soon.
Earlier tonight, "True Detective" concluded its first season — and, with it, the stories of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart. I reviewed the finale here, and as a bookend to a conversation we had before the season started, I spoke with the show's creator, Nic Pizzolatto, about the finale and the season as a whole (along with a vague but intriguing hint about season 2, which hasn't been officially ordered yet, but only because I suspect HBO is waiting until they've signed the actors they want before announcing). That's coming up just as soon as I strike you as more of a talker than a doer...
A review of tonight's "True Detective" season finale coming up just as soon as I ask you what "scented meat" is...
A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I offer you a serious piggyback...
However improbable its existence may be, however unconventional its funding was, the "Veronica Mars" movie exists. And it's a blast.