Cinemax’s “Banshee” concluded its third — and unquestionably best — season tonight with a whole lot of violence, mystery and big emotion that’s characterized the pulp thriller from the start. It’s not that season 3 did anything appreciably different from the first two, but rather a matter of the execution going up a notch, with more elaborate fight scenes (including an episode that was wall-to-wall action as the Banshee police precinct came under siege), more colorful villains, and more dire emotional stakes.
Hey, remember "Ask Alan"? We took a month or so off due to various pieces of travel and relocation on the part of me and the video team (you'll note I'm working in a different space now), but it's finally back, and hopefully returning to the biweekly model we were using earlier in the winter.
Two questions this week, one touching on the likely impact of HBO's new standalone streaming service HBO Now, and where Mike Ehrmantraut ranks in TV history after this week's knockout episode of "Better Call Saul."
As usual, you can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please put "Ask Alan" in the subject line. Or, to make your life easier, click this email link and it will do all of that for you. You just have to write the question yourself — and, as with the days of the Firewall & Iceberg video show, the more concise you can make your question, the better.
Every few years at press tour, I find myself sitting down with Bill Lawrence — creator, co-creator and/or showrunner of “Spin City,” “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town,” “Ground Floor” and NBC’s “Undateable,” which returns for a second season Tuesday night at 9:30 — to talk about the state of TV comedy. As a guy who broke into the business during the ‘90s sitcom boom (his early jobs were on “Boy Meets World” and “Friends”), who’s worked extensively on both traditional multi-cam sitcoms and filmed single-cam comedies, and has now worked for both broadcast and cable (with “Cougar Town,” which concludes its run at the end of this month, he’s done both), he can take a global view of the genre in a way many of his contemporaries can’t, and he remains one of the champion talkers among showrunners of comedy or drama.
The latest episode of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" featured a subplot where Captain Holt gave his underlings the following brain-teaser:
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I'm not a part of this discourse...
It’s not uncommon for actors on long-running shows to take a turn in the director’s chair. Some even turn that into their full-time job, like Laura Innes or Peter Horton. It’s rare that you see an actor be given quite so complicated an episode for his first directing job as “The Americans” handed Noah Emmerich tonight.
A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I interrupt a goat sacrifice...
A quick review of tonight's "Agents of SHIELD" coming up just as soon as I'm left with truncheon duty...
Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! We have some scheduling issues at the start of next week that makes the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast after this one questionable in date (though you'll likely still get one soon), so Dan and I wound up pairing this week's only notable premiere with two shows debuting a week from tonight, along with a couple of good listener questions and some discussion of last night's powerful "Better Call Saul." Enjoy.