A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I pee with extreme prejudice...
Max grows up, Victor calls the cops and Amy makes a big decision
Patton Oswalt helps Raylan with a bounty hunting gig, while Boyd hires some muscle
New network, new timeslot, same sweet, funny show
Kevin Reilly wants to 'put a little of the FOX back in FOX'
It's been a Freaky Friday week here at press tour. On Sunday, NBC made its first tour appearance in years where it had ratings numbers to brag about, which network boss Robert Greenblatt did at some length. FOX, meanwhile, is likely about to see the end of a long streak of being the first place network on television among adults 18-49, thanks to a dismal fall in which "X Factor" dipped, the Tuesday comedy bloc couldn't get off the ground, and "Mob Doctor"(*) would have been canceled after two weeks if FOX had anything on the bench to replace it with. So this time it was FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly who wasted no time with prepared remarks, saying, "Nobody's happier than us to get ourselves into a fresh year" before opening it up to reporters' questions within the first 30 seconds of hie executive session.
(*) In the post-executive session scrum, Reilly called "Mob Doctor" "the worst title in the history of the world." Shawn Ryan and the rest of the gang from "Terriers" might beg to differ.
Fienberg has a thorough play by play of what was said in his live-blog, so I'm just going to touch on a few interesting themes and tidbits from both the panel and the scrum afterwards.
Kevin Williamson and company didn't have a lot of insight about serial killer violence
Kevin Williamson knows more than a little about pop culture analysis. His "Scream" movies were loving deconstructions of the tropes of slasher movies, and other Williamson works like "Dawson's Creek" and the first "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movie featured plenty of meta commentary about the nature of the stories being told.
His new FOX serial killer drama "The Following," though, is played entirely straight. And when Williamson joined star Kevin Bacon and the rest of the show's cast at press tour, he was only a bit reflective of where the show fits into the long tradition of serial killers in pop culture, and not at all about what the show has to say about the many violent acts its characters commit (other than that they're horrific), and what place violent entertainment has in a post-Columbine, post-Aurora, post-Newtown world.
Michelle gets a new job while the girls pass a package around in the dramedy's welcome return
Dan and Alan also review Cinemax's "Banshee"
Time for a half-and-half installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, which covers both the first few days of the Television Critics Association press tour and the premieres of a bunch of pay cable shows this weekend, from Cinemax's latest drama to the return of one of TV's most divisive (and, from our POV, best) comedies. The lineup:
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Leg waxing, laser tag and bird autopsies?
Press tour eats into a lot of my TV-watching and reviewing time (much of what I write this week, review-wise, will be of shows I screened before I came to tour), but I did manage to catch last night's episodes of "Bob's Burgers" and "Happy Endings," and have a few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I mount a dead fly from my windowsill production of "Pippin"...
An Arlo Givens-related cold case ties together the FX drama's new season
New actors! A new musical! 'Bigger'! 'Younger'!
At NBC's executive press tour session this morning, network chairman Bob Greenblatt referred to "Smash" as "an unqualified success." When I asked him to qualify the success of a show that replaced its creator with a new showrunner, got rid of several castmembers, hired several new ones, is changing the stories and otherwise undergoing a significant creative revamp, Greenblatt insisted, "I can't qualify unqualified success."