The female prison dramedy "Orange Is the New Black" is the fourth Netflix original series to debut this year (all 13 episodes of the first season should be available to stream after 12 a.m. Pacific tonight), and battling it out with the horror series "Hemlock Grove" for the lowest profile. "House of Cards" was the splashy, expensive acquisition, bought out from under the noses of HBO and company, starring Kevin Spacey, directed by David Fincher, and arriving with all the polish and fanfare of a premiere cable drama. The new season of "Arrested Development" was the resurrection of a beloved comedy series that was canceled much too soon in the mid-'00s. And yet each was something of a disappointment: "House of Cards" felt formulaic and emotionally empty, while "Arrested Development" struggled to recreate the old magic with the characters mostly separated.
Many elements of FX's new crime drama "The Bridge" (it debuts tomorrow night at 10) may seem familiar. One of its two main characters, El Paso homicide detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) suffers (undiagnosed) from Asperger's syndrome, putting her into good, if socially clumsy, current company with the likes of Temperance Brennan on "Bones," Will Graham on "Hannibal" and both the Cumberbatch and Miller versions of Sherlock Holmes. It will spend most of its first season dealing with the pursuit by Cross and Mexican cop Hector Ruiz (Demián Bichir) of a baroque serial killer, which invites immediate comparisons to "Dexter," "Hannibal," the current season of "The Killing" and virtually every other serial killer-obsessed cop show of the moment. And it is, like "The Killing," a remake of a popular Scandinavian series, "Bron," which was set on the border between Denmark and Sweden.
But what makes "The Bridge" special, and potentially great, is an attribute more often applied to real estate than TV drama: location, location, location.
I can tell you who the new TCA Awards hosts are with just two words:
Okay, maybe two more (plus an ampersand):
Key & Peele.
A quick review of tonight's "Under the Dome" — most likely my last on the subject — coming up just as soon as I know about the Sherman Anti-Trust Act...
We're back on Monday again for this week's busy Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, which had so many notable premieres — "The Bridge," "Camp," "Orange Is The New Black" and "The Newsroom" — that we passed the 90-minute mark without even dipping into the mailbag. Comic-Con may leave next week's schedule up in the air, but whether it's Monday, Wednesday or later, we'll be following today's "The West Wing" pilot discussion by looking at the pilot of "The X-Files."
A quick review of the "Family Tree" season finale coming up just as soon as I steal a toy from a kids charity...
A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I give you an electrolyte replenishment formula...