"The Hour" wrapped up its first season tonight, and I have a few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I put on a fake mustache...
Early in the new season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" (the premiere is Sunday night at 9) aspiring crime lord Jimmy Darmody is told by his father, "You'll be judged by what you succeed at, boy, not what you attempt."
Few dramas on television attempt as many things as "Boardwalk Empire" does on a weekly basis. Fellow HBO show "Game of Thrones" feels like the only other current drama that has the same scope. "Boardwalk" not only has to recreate the Atlantic City of the 1920s, but toggle back and forth between the boardwalk, Chicago, Manhattan, Philadelphia and even the White House. It's both a crime story and a political story - and suggests that, more often than not throughout history, those are the same thing - with a sprawling cast of characters, some real and some fictional, and all with his or her own inner life and agenda. And it strives to pack every frame with details that evoke the sights, feel and sound of Prohibition-era America.
Judge "Boardwalk" on what it attempts, and it's extraordinary. Judge it on what it succeeds at, and it's still a very good show - and often great - but one that still seems to be figuring itself out a bit in year two.
A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I can name all 21 California missions...
With many of this season's new shows that seem to squander a lot of talent and/or an interesting premise, it's hard to know where to start in figuring out how to fix them. With CBS' new vigilante drama "Person of Interest" (which debuts tomorrow night at 9), the solution is simple:
Someone needs to buy star Jim Caviezel an alarm clock, or find some other way to wake him up.
A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I want iPads or organic vegetables...
I posted my review of CBS' "Unforgettable" this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched the pilot, what did you think of Poppy's accent, how the show displayed her memory, etc., etc.? Where would you rank this on the scale of the current field of CBS crime procedurals? And would you rather have Poppy playing Marilu Henner herself, or else have Henner playing the title role?
Have at it.
Premiere week has got me swamped, but I had time to watch the "Raising Hope" premiere at lunch today and wanted to at least get up a post about it to acknowledge the strong start Greg Garcia and company got off to for the second season. "Prodigy" was just the right mixture of silly and sweet - and, with the 9/11 joke, impressively hovering on tasteless without quite landing there - Garret Dillahunt continues to make me laugh with almost everything he says and does ("I made that boy with my wang!"), baby Hope remains adorable, and the three adult leads continue to work very well together.
I imagine I'll check back in at a later point in the season, but an excellent beginning. With any luck, "New Girl" will be a hit and, in turn, be a more compatible lead-in for "Raising Hope" than "Glee" turned out to be last spring.
What did everybody else think?
I posted my review of FOX's "New Girl" this morning. While some of you had already watched the pilot online, I'm sure others didn't see it until tonight, so now it's your turn. It seemed clear to me that reactions to the show will fall squarely in the area of "love Zooey, love her show" and vice versa, but I'm curious if that was actually the case. Did anyone go into "New Girl" predisposed to liking/hating her and come out feeling the opposite? Was the Douchebag Jar enough to redeem Schmidt? Will you be annoyed when Damon Wayans Jr. is gone next week?
Have at it.
In "Unforgettable" (10 p.m., CBS), Poppy Montgomery plays Carrie Wells, a woman with an extremely rare condition that allows her to recall ever moment of her life in perfect, vivid detail. The condition, which a handful of Americans have in real life, was the subject of a "60 Minutes" feature last year, in which it was discovered that one of the people who has it is former "Taxi" star Marilu Henner. In a bit of corporate synergy, CBS' entertainment division decided to turn the feature into a weekly drama series - with Henner on board as a consultant - and gave Henner's super power to Carrie, a former Syracuse cop who winds up helping out the NYPD.
CBS kept the "Two and a Half Men" season premiere - the first episode of the series with Ashton Kutcher, and perhaps more importantly, the first without Charlie Sheen - under careful wraps, to heighten anticipation and increase tune-in. (And based on some early morning tweets from CBS execs, it worked.) Fienberg offered his review of the premiere last night, and I have a few thoughts about how this whole affair continues to unfold coming up just as soon as I buy a Zune...