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Showing posts with the label Fall Premieres

BuzzFeed: "Why Danish Political Drama Borgen Is Everything"

The Scandinavian drama, from creator Adam Price, is a dazzling exploration of the intersection between politics and the media that everyone should be watching. The television masterpiece returns to American screens — on KCET and LinkTV — on Oct. 4 for its third (and likely final) season. Minor spoilers ahead. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "Why Danish Political Drama Borgen Is Everything," in which I review the third (and likely final) season of Danish political drama Borgen , which returns to the U.S. on October 4. (After writing about the Nordic Noir phenomenon last June, I named the show the best show of 2012 when I was at The Daily Beast and I stand by that metric. This is unlike anything on television.) I’ve been passionately shouting at the top of my lungs about Danish political drama Borgen for the last year and a half. The groundbreaking and riveting show — which returns for a third season next month in the U.S. on LinkTV (and in Los Angeles on f

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: "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: "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

An Indelible Mark: A Review of Season Four of Fox's Fringe

Try as you might, there are some marks that can never be scrubbed out entirely. There are some people who leave an indelible impression on our souls which remains long after they've gone, an afterimage burned onto our retinas, an echo of a cry for help, a sigh, a plaintive wail, or a whispered declaration of love. Within the world of Fringe , Peter Bishop no longer exists. We saw him blink out of existence at the end of the third season finale, flickering before our eyes as two universes forgot all about him. Nature, of course, abhors a vacuum, so time and space rush to fill the void left behind when an item is plucked out of the timestream. What does all of this have to do with Season Four of Fringe ? I'm glad you asked. ( PLEASE DO NOT REPRODUCE THIS REVIEW IN FULL ON ANY WEBSITES, BLOGS, MESSAGE BOARDS, OR SIMILAR. ) The season opener ("Neither Here Nor There") contains a rather ordinary procedural plot, but it also reintroduces us to the two universes, and to

The Daily Beast: "TV to Watch (and Skip) This Fall"

The fall television season is now upon us, and the offerings seem pretty underwhelming for the most part. From must-watch entries like A Gifted Man, Revenge, Homeland , and Pan Am to the better-forgotten Terra Nova , I Hate My Teenage Daughter , Man Up! , and Grimm , I break down which new shows you should be watching this fall and which will have you running from the room, in my latest feature at The Daily Beast, "TV to Watch (and Skip) This Fall." What will you be watching this fall? And what are you skipping altogether? Head to the comments section to discuss.

The Daily Beast: "The Fall TV Season Begins!"

Time to head back to the couch, America. The fall TV season is here and all of your favorite shows—from The Walking Dead and The Good Wife to Dexter and Boardwalk Empire —and a slew of new ones are soon heading to a TV set near you. Will you find Ringer to be the second coming of Sarah Michelle Gellar… or is it the second coming of Silk Stalkings ? Time will tell, but at least your TV favorites are back with brand new seasons, and lots of plot twists. To refresh your memory after the long summer, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The Fall TV Season Begins!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I round up a guide to the good and bad times of last season--or in this case, 23 cliffhangers--and offer a peek into what’s coming next this fall.

Talk Back: The Series Premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead

Here's to hoping you did more on Halloween than just go trick-or-treating. Last night marked the series premiere of AMC's new horror series The Walking Dead . While you already read my advance review of the first three episodes here , now that TWD has premiered, I'm curious to know just what you thought about the zombie apocalypse drama. Were you put off by the gore and violence? Or was it just the right amount of muck and mayhem for you? Did you believe British actor Andrew Lincoln as a Southern cop? Were you on the edge of your seat the entire time? Watch through clenched fingers? Unable to look away? Did the pilot episode linger with you the rest of the evening? Also, were you struck by similarities to both 28 Days Later and Survivors ? Did you feel it advanced zombie mythology or, er, regurgitated it? And, most importantly, will you tune in again to The Walking Dead next week? Talk back here. Next week on The Walking Dead ("Guts"), Rick unknowingly c

Death Goes Walking: An Advance Review of AMC's The Walking Dead

Zombies represent a real nexus of fear for me, something approaching an all-out phobia. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that zombies--unlike, say, other horror-based characters like vampires or werewolves--are brought about by something uncontrollable like a virus. They become a faceless mob, hell-bent on feasting on human flesh, transmitting the virus as it takes over the world. Unlike vampires (whose hunger is based upon something entirely different and inimical), zombies have no intellect. Rather they represent something alien, chaotic, and unstoppable, a walking virus in rags and bones that doesn't realize that it has shed its last vestiges of humanity. One of the most eagerly anticipated new series this fall is AMC's The Walking Dead , a horror drama based on the ongoing comic book series by Robert Kirkman that's executive produced by Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd. The six-episode first season launches on Sunday, bringing a horror series to basic cable fittin

Talk Back: Sherlock's "A Study in Pink"

Now that Sherlock has premiered Stateside on Masterpiece Mystery , I'm curious to know what you thought of the modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes, from creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I reviewed the first three episodes of Sherlock here , and spoke with Moffat, Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman in a feature over here at The Daily Beast . But now that the series premiere--"A Study in Pink" (so clearly an allusion to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet")--has aired last night, I want to hear what you thought of the mystery series. What did you think of the partnership of Cumberbatch's Holmes and Freeman's John Watson? Did you like the way that Mssrs Moffat and Gatiss updated elements of both characters and included such technological advances such as iPhones, text messaging, and blogging? Did you love the way that director Paul McGuigan visually translated these elements to the screen with thought bubbles and the

Culture Clash: Brief Thoughts on IFC's The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

I really wanted to like IFC's David Cross-led comedy The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret , a co-production with Channel 4's More4 in the UK. After all, the series was created by Cross and Shaun Pye ( Extras ) and stars Cross, Will Arnett, The Inbetweeners 's Blake Harrison, and Sharon Horgan ( Pulling ). So I should really love it as I would seem to be the target audience for such a dark and depraved comedy of errors set against a backdrop of cultural differences between Americans and Brits. But try though I might, there's something entirely off about Todd Margaret , at least in the three episodes that were submitted to the press for review. I couldn't shake off the feeling that this wasn't so much the story of an American adrift in England but rather an effort to smash together US and UK comedy styles. It doesn't quite gel, however. The effect feels a bit like a traditional US sitcom and a quirky UK one at the same time but also like neither

Talk Back: What Did You Think of the Series Premiere of ABC's No Ordinary Family?

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... Michael Chiklis jumping over a building. Now that ABC has launched its family-friendly superhero drama No Ordinary Family , I'm curious to hear what you thought about the Greg Berlanti/Jon Harmon Feldman-created pilot episode. I was very frank about my own feelings about the pilot , which I've now seen no less than three different versions of since it was picked up to series in May. But now that the premiere has aired, I want to hear what you thought about the episode in question. Did you enjoy the pilot? Were you bothered at all by the tonal inconsistencies? What did you make of the various coincidences that sprung up throughout the pilot, from the appearance of other super-powered types to that final reveal at the very end? What did you think about the fact that their powers were all connected to their internal struggles and did you find that to be on the nose at all? And, most importantly, will you tune in again next week?

ABC's No Ordinary Family is Painfully Ordinary

ABC's superhero dramedy No Ordinary Family might be all the more frustrating because it has the potential to be something fun and irreverent, but instead is tonally inconsistent and plays too heavily with the sentimental and saccharine. To borrow some superhero parlance, rather than leaping tall buildings in a single bound, it thuds to earth with a sonic boom. Creators Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman want to have it both ways: he wants a superhero spectacle that borrows liberally from the success and charm of Pixar's The Incredibles but he also wants to tackle familial issues as well. When the Powells crash their plane into a remote section of the Amazon, they're granted extraordinary powers that separate them from mere mortals. Which would be enough of a suspension of disbelief but the powers they receive just happen to coincide with their particular cross to bear in life. Father and husband Jim (Michael Chiklis), a police sketch artist by trade, has lost his spa

Memory Lives On Forever: An Advance Review of the Third Season Premiere of Fringe

When we last saw Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), she had gotten left behind in the alternate universe while her place with her friends was co-opted by her dark-haired doppelganger and the extraordinary second season of FOX's Fringe ended with our Olivia a prisoner of the Department of Defense. Season Three of Fringe begins not with one opener, but with two, as "Olivia" and next week's "The Box" pick up the pieces of where we left off, offering not so much a window into the lives of the Fringe Division members, but two distinct windows into "over there" and "over here." The effect is as intoxicating as it is compelling, establishing from the start that we'll be tracking the goings on in both dimensions throughout the early part of the season. But rather than confuse the viewer, the season opener(s) offer the perfect jumping on point for new fans as well as the die-hards who are dying to know just what that final reveal means for Olivia,

Goodbye and Hello: An Advance Review of the Sixth Season Premiere of Bones

What happens when the glue holding a group of people together takes off for far-flung adventure? What happens to those left behind? And is it ever possible to bring those now distant people back together again? Can you fix what's been broken? Those are the questions hovering over the action on tonight's sixth season premiere of FOX's Bones ("The Mastodon in the Room"), which sees the gang at the Jeffersonian attempt to reform the gang when their individual sabbaticals come to abrupt ends. The cause? An effort to save the career of Cam (Tamara Taylor), undergoing intense scrutiny when she lacks the certainty to identify the skeletal remains of a child in the face of a massive media blitz for a controversial story: the disappearance of a two-year old boy. Is the tiny skeleton in the morgue the boy that everyone's looking for? Or is it an unrelated crime? Up until now, Cam's been in this fight alone, though she's had the support of tough-talking Caro

The Daily Beast: "Community: The Best Show You're Not Watching"

Community has zombies, outer space, and Joel McHale: why not more viewers? Over at The Daily Beast, check out my latest feature, entitled " Community : The Best Show You're Not Watching," in which I visit the set of NBC's experimental comedy Community (while they were filming their Halloween episode) and learn about zombies, outer space, stop-motion animation, and more, as I spend two days on the set with creator Dan Harmon and cast members Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, Gillian Jacobs, and Danny Pudi. Plus, be sure to take a look at the gallery, where you can see what's coming up on Season Two for your favorite Greendale characters, including Jeff, Britta, Annie, Shirley, Abed, Troy, Chang, and Pierce. (And you can read my review of the season opener here .) Season Two of Community begins tomorrow night at 8 pm ET/PT on NBC.

Sexpionage: Investigating NBC's Undercovers

J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims' new espionage drama Undercovers launches tonight on NBC, as the fall premiere week wears on. Will it perform better than FOX's Lone Star , which crashed and burned on Monday? We'll find out tomorrow. Here's what I had to say about the series over in my Fall TV Preview feature at The Daily Beast recently: WATCH: Undercovers (NBC; premieres September 22) While we can all agree that Alias went off the rails in the later seasons--thanks to the increasingly Byzantine Rambaldi plot--the early years were pitch perfect. Series creator J.J. Abrams--here teaming up with his Felicity cohort Josh Reims—has gone back to the feel of those early Sydney Bristow adventures but infused them with more romance and a hell of a lot more humor with their new show, Undercovers . Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw play the world's most gorgeous professional caterers, a married pair who just happen to have met while on their previous job: as two of the very

Talk Back: What Did You Think of FOX's New Comedies Running Wilde and Raising Hope?

As premiere week slogs on, I'm curious to know what you thought of the two newest comedy entries to the network lineup, with last week's series premieres of FOX's Raising Hope and Running Wilde . Personally, I wasn't much taken by either of them, with the latter being truly depressing to me because it represented what will likely be the best shot at an Arrested Development reunion we can hope for, as it brought together creator Mitch Hurwitz, Will Arnett, and David Cross in one place. But the pilot--both versions of it that I saw--left me cold and, while the second episode is sitting right next to me as I type this--I don't really have much impetus to watch it. Especially as the numbers last night were less than stellar. I feel the same way about Greg Garcia's Raising Hope , which tries way too hard to be wacky and zany and instead overflows with poop and vomit jokes, none of which were all that funny. But now that both episodes have aired, I'm curious

Moscow Mules and Mama Bears: Killer Frost on the Season Premiere of Chuck

And that's how you kick off a brand new season. Last night brought the fourth season premiere of NBC's action-comedy Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Anniversary") and I hope that the episode delivered all of the espionage-tinged goodness that I promised in my advance review of the season opener last week. I had also teased readers via Twitter about the premiere (" Chuck premiere: sexting, skydiving, Seinfeld references, (Harry Dean) Stanton? Sensational. Very fun opener.") and the episode held up extremely well under a second viewing in the time between now and then. For me, anyway, "Chuck Versus the Anniversary" was perhaps the perfect way to begin a new chapter in the life of Chuck Bartowski, a character who has slowly evolved over the course of three seasons from reluctant hero to tragic hero to, well, just plain hero. His decision to take hold of his own destiny, to set out with Morgan on a personal quest to track down his mother may have not