There were some bumps in the first couple of episodes of Stephen Colbert's "Late Show," but Thursday's interview with Vice-President Joe Biden made a powerful case for why Colbert can be both different and great as a traditional late night talk show host. Though there were some light moments, the bulk of it was very serious, as these two men — who clearly have great affection for one another — discussed their faith, the similarities in their upbringing, the tragedies each of them has endured, and their different memories of Biden's late son Beau. It was a genuine, powerful conversation, and the type that Colbert obviously would have been happy to carry on for several more hours.
It's been two Fridays since the last Ask Alan, so it's time once again for me to provide rapid-fire answers to your questions. I was able to squeeze four in this time out — covering a show that got renewed and then canceled, actors with multiple hits, an alternate reality where Vince Gilligan asks my advice for writing "Better Call Saul," and the wild improbability of anyone ever coming close to the "M*A*S*H" finale ratings — and hopefully I didn't talk too fast in the process.
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley will be the first to insist that he is not Tommy Carcetti, despite the ample parallels between his own rise from Baltimore mayor to Maryland governor, and the assumptions of many Baltimoreans that Carcetti, like so many of the show's characters, has an obvious real-life inspiration.
The thing about bad movies (and bad TV shows, for that matter) is that almost all of them are the product of just as much sweat as the good ones. Few people set out to make a bad film, nor do most creative people (at least, those not involved with the "Entourage" franchise) decide to put in the minimal amount of effort to get it done. When you talk to writers and directors about their failures, they'll often tell you that they worked even harder on those than on the successes.
In its original three seasons (two on HBO, one on Bravo) back in the early days of the century — and the reality TV boom that came with it — "Project Greenlight" was responsible for three bad movies. ("Feast," the horror film made for the Bravo season, has its defenders; the other two do not.) But in demonstrating how good intentions — from star producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, from their red-faced producing partner Chris Moore, and even from the four men (including a directing team) chosen to make the films — can be trumped by bad choices, worse circumstances, and the unrelenting grind of making even the smallest and simplest of movies.
A few thoughts on the end of "Key & Peele" — both the finale that just finished airing and the series as a whole — coming up just as soon as I dial 911...
Happy Wednesday, boys and girls! The holiday and a desire to discuss Stephen Colbert's debut pushed this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast back a day, but here it is. In addition to "Late Show," we review "You're the Worst," "The Bastard Executioner," and "The Mindy Project," revisit the "Mr. Robot" finale, and conclude our summer finale rewatch series with the most-watched finale of them all: "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" from "M*A*S*H."
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.
"You're the Worst," the great romantic comedy about two awful people struggling to accept that they have real feelings for each other, returns for a new season, on a new channel (so you will probably have to make new DVR season passes), tonight at 10:30 on FXX.
Yesterday, I spoke with the show's creator, Stephen Falk, about what makes "You're the Worst" tick. Today, it's the turn of stars Aya Cash and Chris Geere, who have their own takes on Gretchen and Jimmy's relationship, the explicit sex scenes of the pilot (and why they're relieved that didn't continue), Jimmy's fake mustache, and a lot more.
At the TCA panel to discuss his new job as host of "Late Show," Stephen Colbert didn't want to go into specific details about his plans for the show. At one point, I asked him directly if he was planning to use the same format — monologue, desk piece, guest, guest, musical guest, goodbye — that had been the familiar structure of the genre practically going back to its origins in the 1950s.
Welcome to the final installment of our summer trip through "The Sopranos" season 1. When I revisited early seasons of "The Wire," as well as the whole run of "Deadwood," I did separate versions of each review for newcomers and veterans, but over time realized that the newcomers weren't commenting much, if at all, and that it therefore made sense to simply do one review. Any significant spoilers for episodes beyond the one being reviewed will be contained in a separate section at the end of the review; so long as you avoid that, and the comments, you should be fine.
Thoughts on the season finale, “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano," coming up just as soon as I remind you that I'm not a big Renee Zellweger fan...