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The Daily Beast: "Downton Abbey: My Tea with Mrs. Patmore"

Sipping a cup of Earl Grey, Downton Abbey ’s feisty cook spills on the upcoming third season, a potential romance for her character, posing for German Vogue , and more. " Downton Abbey : My Tea with Mrs. Patmore," in which I sit down for tea with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol to discuss Season 3—which returns to PBS’ Masterpiece Classic on January 6—and a potential romance for Mrs. Patmore, posing for Bruce Weber, and the Mrs. Patmore doll. No, Mrs. Patmore cannot cook. It’s a question that is frequently asked of Lesley Nicol, the 59-year-old actress who plays the uppity cook on PBS’s sumptuous costume drama Downton Abbey . “There’s a thing in the U.K. called Celebrity MasterChef ,” Nicol says, sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. “I’ve been asked several times to go on that. I keep saying, ‘No, you have to be at a certain level before you even think about that, and I’m not there at all. When you look really hard, I’m doing a bit o

The Daily Beast: "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012: Borgen, Girls, Parenthood, Mad Men, and More"

From Borgen to Downton Abbey to Girls , Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez pick the 10 best TV shows of the year. Warning : may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer up our individual Top 10 TV Shows lists for 2012. My list, not surprisingly, contains shows like Borgen, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Louie, Parks and Recreation, Shameless , and others. What was on your list this year? Now is the winter of our (TV) discontent. After a fall season that largely failed to deliver on the promise of new shows—and, in some cases, returning programs as well—it’s time to take a look back at the year in television as a whole, as we try to remove such canceled shows as Partners, The Mob Doctor, and Made in Jersey from our collective memory. But rather than dwell on the very worst of the year (ABC’s Work It!),

The Daily Beast: "Is This The Real Carrie Mathison?"

Who is the real Carrie Mathison? I explore the thematic overlaps between two female spies now stealing our collective attention: Claire Danes’s character on Homeland and Jessica Chastain’s Maya in Zero Dark Thirty . WARNING: the following contains plot details from the latest episode of Homeland . If you are not up to date, read at your own peril. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Is This The Real Carrie Mathison?," in which I compare the similarities and thematic overlaps between Homeland 's Carrie (Claire Danes) and Jessica Chastain's pseudonymous CIA agent "Maya" in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming Osama bin Laden manhunt film Zero Dark Thirty , out December 19th in New York and Los Angeles. “We fight with what we have.” On the most recent episode of Showtime’s byzantine terrorism thriller Homeland, Carrie Mathison, the damaged, disgraced, bipolar CIA analyst played by Emmy-winner Claire Danes, finally came face-to-face with

The Daily Beast: "Ben Whishaw, The Hour's British Invader"

Q in Skyfall goes back in time to the 1950s newsroom in Season Two of The Hour , beginning tonight. I explore the range and appeal of talented British actor Ben Whishaw. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Hour 's British Invader," in which I write about the astonishing range of 32-year-old British actor Ben Whishaw, who held his own against Bond as Q in Skyfall and returns to television tonight with Season Two of BBC America's The Hour . You know Ben Whishaw. Or rather, you should know precisely who the British actor is, even if he isn’t yet a household name. You may have seen him as doomed poet John Keats in 2009’s Bright Star or as doomed playboy Sebastian Flyte in the remake of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. In this autumn’s Cloud Atlas, he plays five distinct roles, from a classical composer and a record-store clerk to a cabin boy and even a woman. And you definitely saw him in the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall, i

The Daily Beast: "Dallas Loses Its Schemer: Larry Hagman Dies at 81"

Larry Hagman, best known as the dastardly J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81. I explore the indelible mark Hagman left on television and popular culture. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Dallas Loses Its Schemer," in which I offer an obituary and appreciation for the late Dallas actor Larry Hagman, who passed away on Friday at the age of 81. Actor Larry Hagman, best known for his role as Dallas’s Machiavellian oil baron J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81, after complications from cancer. Hagman’s career spanned over 60 years, and included not only Dallas and its revival series, which launched earlier this year on TNT, but also the seminal 1960s comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, where he played Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson opposite Barbara Eden’s titular character. Hagman had, according to The Hollywood Reporter, filmed six of the new Dallas’s 15 episodes at the time of his death, with the second season scheduled to start on January 28. How the show

The Daily Beast: "Borgen, The Thick of It, Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend"

Clear the table, do the dishes, hit the couch—TV is ready for you, with a slew of marathons, miniseries and specials, from Borgen to Bond, from Sherlock to Louie . I offer my take on what to watch on TV and online this weekend. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Borgen, The Thick of It , Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend," in which I round up some notable television marathons ( Borgen ! Bond!) as well as selections from Hulu, Netflix, and on linear television, to keep you occupied (or offer you an escape) this holiday weekend. Thanksgiving isn’t just about gorging yourself on turkey and pumpkin pie--it’s also about getting prostrate on the couch after stuffing yourself … or getting away from your family for a few hours in front of the television. Fortunately, the television networks have realized that everyone during the long Thanksgiving weekend is in search of escape of some kind, and have gone out of their way to offer a

The Daily Beast: "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen"

Sofie Gråbøl may not be a household name in the U.S., but around the globe she’s now legendary for her performance as Sarah Lund in the Danish television drama Forbrydelsen . At The Daily Beast, I explore Lund’s appeal and the sensational third season of the original The Killing , which premieres on BBC Four in the U.K. on Saturday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen, " in which I explore both Sofie Gråbøl and Sarah Lund’s appeal and the gripping tension of Forbrydelsen III . It is tragic that American viewers have been denied the chance to become obsessed with Forbrydelsen and with the show’s magnetic star, Sofie Gråbøl. The Danish detective drama exemplifies the power of the provocative and globally significant Nordic noir genre, and the show's lead delivers one of television's most haunting performances of the past decade. Gråbøl, 44, has achieved cult status in Britain and

The Daily Beast: "Why Is No One Watching ABC’s Critically Acclaimed Drama Nashville?"

Nashville is one of the fall season’s few critical sensations. So why is no one watching? I explore the reasons why ABC’s country music drama isn’t a ratings success—yet. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Is No One Watching ABC’s Critically Acclaimed Drama Nashville ?" in which I offer praise of ABC's Nashville , and ponder why more viewers aren't watching this fantastic drama. The fall television season has been largely disappointing. Few new shows have captured the passion or imagination of viewers, and the war of comedies on the broadcast networks—with no less than three separate comedy blocks on Tuesday nights!—has turned out to be little more than a minor skirmish. So it’s all the more disheartening that one of the few bright spots on the fall schedule, ABC’s Nashville—which was picked up for a full season earlier this week—seems to be suffering as much hardship as a heroine in a country song. Despite overwhelming critical p

The Daily Beast: "Top Chef: Seattle Shows Signs of Returning the Culinary Series to Its Strengths"

I review Bravo’s latest culinary iteration, Top Chef: Seattle , which shows signs of improvement after the franchise’s recent rock-bottom season. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Top Chef: Seattle Shows Signs of Returning the Culinary Series to Its Strengths," in which I offer a re-evaluation of Bravo's Top Chef , which returns tonight with a Seattle edition and which shows major improvements from last season. I was almost done with Top Chef earlier this year, after a season of Texas-sized gimmicks and faux drama that left me nearly reaching for a knife of my own. (Or the remote, at the very least.) Bravo’s cooking-competition franchise had tumbled sharply from its previous high, following on the heels of an All-Stars season that focused on the culinary know-how of some innately gifted professional chefs, rather than on drunken shenanigans or behavior more worthy of a high-school clique. But last season, which found a group of chefs trave

The Daily Beast: "Mockingbird Lane: NBC’s Munsters Remake Offers Eerie Charms"

The Munsters return from the dead. I review the spooky, dark reworking of the TV classic, which is airing tonight, from the brains behind Pushing Daisies and The Usual Suspects . At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mockingbird Lane : NBC’s Munsters Remake Offers Eerie Charms," in which I review the backdoor pilot for NBC's Mockingbird Lane , a remake of classic sitcom The Munsters from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, which airs tonight. The Munsters are back from the dead, though possibly for just one night. The supernatural clan was the subject of the 1964–1966 sitcom (and its syndicated sequel, The Munsters Today, which ran from 1988–1991), notable for a few things: the show aired at the same time as that other spooky family sitcom, The Addams Family; the original series is still a cultural touchstone despite only lasting 70 episodes; and the show juxtaposed the supernatural—embodied by iconic characters from Universal’s library of ho

The Daily Beast: "Inside the High-End Fashion Sensibility on CBS’s The Good Wife"

Dior! Proenza Schouler! Vivienne Westwood! Prada! Jace Lacob talks to The Good Wife costume designer Daniel Lawson about how Alicia, Diane, and Kalinda’s evolving high-end styles showcase their character development. Plus, take a deep dive into a bonus gallery interview with Lawson in which we discuss drawing inspiration from the set’s design elements, the show’s use of color, Jackie Florrick’s ‘Elizabethan’ styling, political iconography, Matt Czuchry’s Cary, menswear, and more. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Inside the High-End Fashion Sensibility on CBS’s The Good Wife ," in which I talk to The Good Wife costume designer Daniel Lawson about all of the above and much more. If you've ever wanted to see me get technical with peplum jackets, this story is for you. (And the bonus gallery can be found here .) Within the cavernous warehouse that is home to the costumes for CBS’s sophisticated legal drama The Good Wife, there are apparently

The Daily Beast: "BBC Two’s The Great British Bake Off Is the Best Reality Show on TV"

The Great British Bake Off is a comforting show about baking—and it makes for truly addictive TV. Ahead of Tuesday night’s season finale, I explore the show’s charms and what it can teach the recently lackluster Top Chef . At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "BBC Two’s The Great British Bake Off Is the Best Reality Show on TV," in which I explore the deliciousness of BBC Two's culinary competition series The Great British Bake Off , my latest television obsession. The best reality show on television this year doesn’t involve wannabe singers, “real” housewives, or Honey Boo Boo, but rather a bunch of Brits baking cakes in the countryside. The insanely addictive culinary competition show The Great British Bake Off, which wraps up its third season tonight in the United Kingdom on BBC Two, isn’t remotely salacious or controversial, and that’s part of its inherent charm. (U.S. viewers, you can get your fix on YouTube for the time being.) Bravo’s hom

The Daily Beast: "The Good Wife: Has Season 4’s Kalinda Storyline Gone too Far?"

Has the legal drama’s steamy Kalinda/Nick plot gone too far? Maria Elena Fernandez and I debate the merits and flaws of this season’s most polarizing storyline on The Good Wife . At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife : Has Season 4’s Kalinda Storyline Gone too Far?" in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer up a he said/she said-style discussion on the Kalinda/Nick storyline on Season 4 of The Good Wife . Archie Panjabi’s Emmy-winning turn as Kalinda Sharma has been one of the highlights of CBS’ stellar legal drama, The Good Wife . But something happened on the way to fleshing out the fiercely independent investigator’s storyline—and not everyone is thrilled about it. Entertainment Weekly’s TV critic Ken Tucker last week criticized the show’s handling of the twisted dynamic between Panjabi’s Kalinda and Marc Warren’s Nick. “The intrusion of Nick, Kalinda’s ex-husband and played by State of Play ’s Marc Warren as though he’d wandered in fr

The Daily Beast: "Nashville: 5 Facts About Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio’s Stunning Duet"

Can’t get that song out of your head? Jace Lacob offers five facts about the stunning duet, a cover of The Civil Wars’ “If I Didn’t Know Better,” in ABC’s Nashville pilot. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Nashville : 5 Facts About Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio’s Stunning Duet," in which I offer up five facts about the gorgeous duet in the pilot episode of ABC's Nashville last night. If you watched Wednesday night’s premiere of Nashville—or caught the series opener on iTunes or elsewhere—you know that you don’t need to be a country-music fan in order to appreciate the soapy and seductive Callie Khouri–created drama, which revolves around the battle for dominance between a country-music veteran (Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton) and a young upstart (Hayden Panettiere). While the two musical adversaries all but threw daggers at each other in the series opener, Nashsville is not just about the Grand Ole Opry but a canny exploration of gender an

The Daily Beast: "Community: The NBC Comedy is Shelved Until Later, But Why?"

I explore NBC’s decision to hold Community until an undisclosed later date, which arrives during a television season that lowers the bar on expectations and on success. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Community : The NBC Comedy is Shelved Until Later, But Why?" in which I explore some of the reasons why NBC opted to hold Community until a later date. Community will not be returning on Friday, October 19, and will instead remain in limbo for the foreseeable future. While the news left Greendale fans panicking, the network claims it has made the late decision because NBC had focused promotional support on the network’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lineups, apparently forgetting about the existence of Community and Whitney, which were meant to return next Friday. The two low-rated comedies may instead end up filling in for the network’s other trouble spots in the coming weeks or months. While this sort of network scheduling second-guessing is onl

The Daily Beast: "Call the Midwife: Miranda Hart’s Chummy Browne Steals the Show"

Are you watching PBS' Call the Midwife ? If not, you're missing out. In an effort to lure you, I explore the charms of the delightful ’50s drama and its breakout character, Miranda Hart’s awkward and hilarious Chummy Browne. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Call the Midwife : Miranda Hart’s Chummy Browne Steals the Show," in which I praise both the British period drama and specifically, fall's breakout TV character, Miranda Hart's Chummy. Miranda who? Miranda Hart might not be well known in America, but that is about to change, thanks to her role in PBS’ period drama Call the Midwife, which airs Sundays at 8 p.m. (Check your local listings for details.) In fact, her disarming performance turns clumsy midwife Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne (or Chummy for short) into this season’s breakout character. Based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife centers on a group of young midwives and the nuns of nursing

The Daily Beast: "Parenthood: In Praise of Ray Romano"

Everybody loves Raymond, after all. I praise Ray Romano’s stunning performance as grumpy photographer Hank Rizzoli on NBC’s Parenthood , and declare myself a fan. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Parenthood : In Praise of Ray Romano," in which I do just that: praise the outstanding performance of Romano on NBC's underrated drama Parenthood , and discover that I am a Romano fan, after all. I have never been a Ray Romano fan. That seems like a good place to start. I couldn’t stomach Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano’s long-running CBS sitcom and, despite the coaxing of many critic friends, I never got into his short-lived TNT drama Men of a Certain Age. Romano has always seemed far too nebbishy and whiny for my liking. While that’s worked for him, I had never fallen for the comedian’s charms. That has changed irrevocably with Romano’s fantastic turn on Parenthood, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Thanks to his performance on the Jason Katims-c

The Daily Beast: "Review: Season 2 of Homeland and Season 4 of The Good Wife"

Set your DVRs! I review Season Two of Showtime’s Homeland and Season Four of CBS’s The Good Wife , finding common ground in their deft and subtle explorations of identity. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV's Kick-Ass Women Return," in which I review Season Two of Homeland and Season Four of The Good Wife , tracing the way that both shows explore their characters' shifting identities. In the season opener of Homeland, which airs on Sunday, Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison smiles. If you’ve been watching Showtime’s Homeland, the newly crowned winner of the Emmy Award for Best Drama, this seems entirely contrary to her character, a bipolar and deeply disgraced CIA officer who underwent electroconvulsive therapy in the first season finale. Carrie isn’t prone to happiness: she has been misunderstood, mocked, and kicked out of the intelligence community. For all of that, Carrie was also right that Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Emmy Award winner Damia

The Daily Beast: "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time"

Alex Kingston reprises her role as River Song in Saturday’s Doctor Who and travels back in time for the new season of Upstairs Downstairs . I talk to the former ER star about River, Downton Abbey , historical lesbians, and more. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time," in which I talk to Kingston about Doctor Who and "The Angels Take Manhattan," Upstairs Downstairs (which returns to PBS' Masterpiece on Oct. 7), Downton Abbey , River Song, historical lesbians, and more. Upstairs Downstairs isn’t typically known for its salaciousness. The costume drama’s legendary original run—between 1971 and 1975 on ITV—kept the characters’ sexuality more or less off-screen, but the recent BBC revival series, which returns to PBS’ Masterpiece on Oct. 7, has taken a more overt approach to human sexuality than its predecessor, with one character—Claire Foy’s Lady Persephone—painted as a notorious Nazi sympa

The Daily Beast: "Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded"

Mad Men is triumphant no more. I examine Showtime’s superlative terrorist thriller Homeland , which took home the Emmy for best drama Sunday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded," in which I take a look at Homeland 's victory at the Primetime Emmy Awards last night and look at why the premium cable drama toppled Mad Men . Not only did Mad Men not win the Emmy Award for best drama, the AMC period drama went home empty-handed Sunday, leaving the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards with not a single statuette in its possession. In the weeks leading up to the awards telecast, Mad Men seemed very much like a sure thing: it had won four of the four times it was eligible for Best Drama, and the odds seemed very much in its favor once more. In fact, Showtime’s Homeland—the taut psychological drama that also nabbed best-actor and -actress awards for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes—had cooled in

The Daily Beast: "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones"

Game of Thrones is beloved by viewers and critics alike. But the Emmy-nominated HBO fantasy drama is also a surprising favorite in the writers’ rooms of TV comedies around Hollywood. I talk to sitcom writers about why they’re obsessed with the sex-and-magic-laden drama, and how the show informs their own narratives. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones, " in which I talk to writers from Parks and Recreation, Modern Family , and Community about why they love HBO's Game of Thrones, nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Drama. Fox’s upcoming sitcom The Mindy Project, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, deconstructs the romantic comedy fantasies of its lead character, an ob-gyn whose disappointment in the dating world stems from her obsessive viewing of Nora Ephron films. At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in July, Kaling was candid about the role that When Harry Met Sally and oth

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win"

Will Breaking Bad unseat Mad Men ? Will Maggie Smith be crowned a winner? Ahead of Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, Maria Elena Fernandez and I predict the outcomes of the top races. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our predictions in ten of the key races in Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards. Will Mad Men remain triumphant? Will Downton Abbey 's Dowager Countess reign supreme? Let's take a look The Emmy Awards aren’t typically known for shocking anyone, but there are some unexpected twists every now and then. Just look at last year’s surprise Best Actor win for Kyle Chandler for the beloved, barely watched Friday Night Lights, and the look of absolute shock upon the face of Best Supporting Actress winner Margo Martindale. This year’s races are tighter than ever, especially in the acting categories, where no fewer than seven comedia

The Daily Beast: "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?"

The race for the Emmy Awards’ top drama prize is fierce (hello, Downton !). Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?" in which I assess the field to see whether Mad Men will make history with a fifth win. Can Mad Men could do the impossible on Sunday and win a fifth Emmy Award for Best Drama? After walking away with the statuette four years in a row, all eyes are on AMC’s Emmy darling, which could make history with a five-time win. Currently, Mad Men shares the record for most Best Drama wins with such notable programs as Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and L.A. Law, all of which were crowned victors four times. But a win at Sunday’s 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards would make Mad Men the undisputed drama record-holder, no small feat for a show that is about to go into its sixth season—reportedly the show’s penultimate—and whose loyal viewers are considerably dwarfed by HBO’s and Showtime’s entries. Ma

The Daily Beast: "Inside Downton Abbey Season Three" (SPOILERS)

Desperate for Downton Abbey ahead of its return? You've come to the right place. "Inside Downton Abbey Season Three," in which I sit down with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame, and members of the show’s sprawling cast—including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, and Brendan Coyle—to discuss what’s coming up on Season 3 (which launches on Sunday in the U.K. and January in the U.S.), including star-crossed romances, financial drama, the arrival of Shirley MacLaine, and much more. (Read Part 1 of this interview, in which Fellowes & Co. discuss the show’s 16 Emmy nominations and Season 2, here .) Downton Abbey viewers are anxiously awaiting Season 3 of the addictive British costume drama—which arrives on U.K. television on Sunday (although not until Jan. 6 in the U.S., when it returns to PBS’ Masterpiece)—searching for televised methadone to tide them over until Downton Abbey’s third season

The Daily Beast: "Abbey's Road: Downton Abbey's Emmy Bid,"

Can Downton Abbey topple Mad Men at the Emmys later this month? Jace Lacob talks to creator Julian Fellowes, as well as actors Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, and others about Season Two, WWI, and the show’s 16 Emmy nominations. (Come back tomorrow for Part Two, in which the Fellowes and the cast discuss details about Season 3 of Downton Abbey , which launches on Sunday in the U.K.) At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Abbey's Road: Downton Abbey 's Emmy Bid," in which I sit down with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame, and the cast (including Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, and others) to discuss the British costume drama's road to the Emmys, Season Two, and more. It’s hardly a surprise that the Television Academy would shower some love upon PBS’ Downton Abbey. After all, the Julian Fellowes–created drama—which airs in the U.S. on the 41-year-old anthol

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off"

Can’t remember how Revenge, Homeland, The Good Wife , or Dexter ended? Refresh your collective memory about the cliffhangers for 27 returning shows—and previews of what’s to come. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I refresh your memory about how 27 shows--from Revenge and Homeland to The Good Wife and Boardwalk Empire --ended last season... and offer a glimpse about what's to come. Carrie remembered stuff! Leslie was elected! Sheldon took Amy’s hand! Gloria is pregnant! Nucky whacked Jimmy! Victoria Grayson’s plane blew up! Dexter…oh, Dexter! The fall TV season is officially here, which means we can all breathe a sigh of relief and pull ourselves up from the cliff-hanging precipice. Sure, there’s a bunch of new TV shows across the dial champing at the bit for your attention. But we want to focus on your returning old favorites. What’s next on Scandal—will we find o

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV 2012 Preview: 7 Shows to Watch, 7 Shows to Skip"

The fall television season is here! But which shows should you be watching and which should you skip? I'm glad you asked. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Fall TV 2012 Preview: 7 Shows to Watch, 7 Shows to Skip," in which I offer my take on the upcoming fall season, with seven shows you should be watching (from ABC's Nashville to PBS' Call the Midwife ) and those you should be snubbing ( Partners, The Neighbors ). The fall television season is once again upon us, and overall the results are pretty depressing: there’s a decided lack of originality to much of the broadcast networks’ new offerings, as if they were somehow injured by the lack of interest in last year’s riskier programs. In fact, there is a whole lot of formulaic fare coming to your televisions, and a ton of new (mostly awful) comedies this year. But fret not: it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are at least a few promising new shows on the horizon, from the Connie Br