Over the course of its first season, "You're the Worst" — a romantic comedy about two terrible human beings (played by Chris Geere and Aya Cash) who would vomit at the thought that they are the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy — went from a show I felt pretty ambivalent about to one of my favorite shows on TV. It's been nearly a year since the last original episode aired on FX, in part because the show has moved over to the younger-skewing FXX channel(*), but based on the new season's first two episodes (it premieres tomorrow night at 10:30), the wait was worth it.
Five years ago tonight, FX gave us "Terriers," a wonderful show with a terrible name and and a frustrating difficulty at breaking through the clutter even in the years before we hit Peak TV in America: there was no real way to sell it except to tell people they had to watch it. Every aspect of the show sounded done to death: detective show, buddy show, one's a recovering alcoholic, one's a reformed thief, they don't get no respect, blah blah blah blah blah.
In the strange new world that is Peak TV in America, the idea of getting excited about the start of the fall TV season feels on one level silly and antiquated. In a year when there will be over 400 original scripted shows in primetime, and so many terrific new shows have already debuted that I cringe just thinking about winnowing them down to a Top 10 list in December, what's the big deal about fall premieres?
For most of its first season, "Mr. Robot" has been running a half-step ahead of current events, with so many public real-world hacks seeming practically like viral marketing for the USA drama.
Last week, though, the intersection of art and life became truly unfortunate, when the on-camera murders of a TV reporter and cameraman in Virginia came uncomfortably close to a scene scheduled to air in that night's "Mr. Robot" season finale. Out of both sensitivity for the real victims, and perhaps a sense that no one would be able to watch that scene on that night without thinking only about Virginia, USA delayed the finale a week, finally airing it tonight.
"Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail supported that decision. When we spoke the day after it was made, he said he had no plans to edit the scene in any way, though he did talk in a larger sense about the strange feeling that came with life imitating his art so often, along with the audience's response to the show's various "secrets" (many of which weren't designed as such), coming up just as soon as I give you money for a new pair of shoes...
Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! I'm on vacation but Dan and I recorded today's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast last week. We talk about a new Amazon series, look at what's the end of Bryan Fuller's "Hannibal" (at least this phase of it), and in our penultimate series finale rewind, we have the pleasure of discussing "Made in America," the end of "The Sopranos."
(Note: The "Hannibal" discussion was recorded before I interviewed Fuller, so our take on the very final scene was not informed by what he had to say about it.)
Our final finale for this project: "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" from "M*A*S*H," which is on Netflix.
Listener Mail - Showrunners (00:15:05 - 00:23:45)
Listener Mail - How "Lost" would do today (00:23:55 - 00:31:15)
Listener Mail - TV about Teens (00:31:15 - 00:35:05)
"Hannibal" finale (00:35:10 - 00:59:55)
"The Sopranos" finale (00:59:55 - 01:23:20)
As always, send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
A few thoughts on the end of "Show Me a Hero" coming up just as soon as we get our clams to go...
Tonight, Bryan Fuller and company gave us the end of "Hannibal" as we know it. Even if the money and logistics can ever be worked out for some kind of movie or miniseries featuring Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, and this creative team, the show's time as an ongoing TV series is done, and it ended in a way that functions as a conclusion to the story, even if it's one that may outrage some fans. (My finale review is here.)
Earlier this week, I spoke with Fuller about that ending, potential ways he could continue the franchise, the challenges of finally doing a direct adaptation of "Red Dragon," and a lot more — including me having a very different interpretation of the post-credits scene than what Fuller intended — coming up just as soon as you take the key from around my neck...