A couple of months ago, NBC aired a two-part remake of "Rosemary's Baby" that was completely lacking in suspense, pacing, anything new to say with the material or any reason to exist save for the brand name and the excuse to give Zoe Saldana a pixie haircut. The original film is such a classic that, even if it should never be excused from being remade, at least requires some genuine thought before attempting, which no one involved with the NBC version bothered to try.
Right about now, the lights should be on in the Beverly Hilton ballroom for the very first panel of the summer 2014 Television Critics Association press tour. I'm not due to arrive at tour until sometime tomorrow, but Fienberg and other members of the TCA should be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the 16-day event (which, for many people, will run straight into the start of Comic-Con).
For most of its first season, FX's "The Bridge" seemed as caught between two worlds as its two heroes, who worked opposite sides of the El Paso/Juarez border. In one world, the show was stuck adapting the serial killer story from the original Scandinavian "Bron," and not providing a particularly inspired take on an overdone subject. In the other world, "The Bridge" was having a lot of fun looking at the weird culture along that border, and in establishing the bond between Texas cop Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and her Mexican counterpart Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir). The second show was much more interesting than the first, but the first show kept swallowing the second one whole.
A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as the entire cast of "Perfect Strangers" disappears...
Continuing our periodic look at "Orange Is the New Black" season 2, I have thoughts on episodes 7 & 8 coming up just as soon as I'm in an M. Night Shalamalama movie...
Earlier this week, a former NBC sitcom made headlines by improbably returning from the dead, thanks to a website most people didn't even know was in the streaming video business. But the story of how "Community" will live again on Yahoo isn't nearly as far-fetched as the tale of another NBC Thursday sitcom, which few of the executives at the network understood, which was considered too weird and self-referential to ever succeed, and which — unlike "Community," the little cult engine that could — actually turned into the most popular show on television.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Happy Wednesday, boys and girls! Time for the last cross-continental Firewall & Iceberg Podcast for a bit, as I'll be in Los Angeles next week for the Television Critics Association press tour, then in San Diego for Comic-Con, and Dan and I will be recording some video and/or audio shows from the same room for a few weeks. Before my travels begin, we dealt with a couple of next week's drama premieres, answered your questions — including some more talk about "Community" and "HIEROGLYPH!" to follow yesterday's video discussion — and moved on to a pivotal episode of "Friday Night Lights" season 2, featuring both a trip to Mexico and the introduction of the mysterious Santiago.
"The Bridge" (00:11:40 - 00:20:00)
Listener Mail - "Hieroglyph" and shows that never aired (00:20:30 - 00:29:00)
Listener Mail - "Community" and shows with strange journeys (00:29:05 - 00:37:15)
Listener Mail - Swag (00:37:20 - 00:44:40)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 (00:44:45 - 01:03:50)
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
It's a happy Tuesday, boys and girls, because you get a new Firewall & Iceberg Show, in which Dan and I discuss the stunning resurrection of "Community" via Yahoo, of all places. But it's a sad Tuesday as well, because Dan and I also have to discuss FOX's decision to cancel "HIEROGLYPH!" before it ever got to air an episode, and whether that means we now have to retire that particular running gag. Oh, and we also discuss two new NBC summer sitcoms and the "Penny Dreadful" season finale.
As always, you can send us questions at email@example.com. There's also now a YouTube channel where you can subscribe to all upcoming Firewall & Iceberg videos, at https://www.youtube.com/show/firewalliceberg.
A review of last night's "24: Live Another Day" coming up just as soon as this is me being courteous...