Category Archives: TV

More From Me At The TV Addict

Yesterday Daniel Malen at the TV Addict ran my second piece for them.  The idea I pitched was a game for readers and site contributors alike, which we called “Play Fantasy TV: Choose Your Own Adventure.”  Everyone wants to think they’d be able to make great art, no matter the medium, so I wanted to put that to the test.  I pitched a TV show I’d love to see, explained the main influences, wrote an outline for a pilot, and a vaguer direction for the rest of the first season.  I want the TV Addict’s readership to chip in with comments to act as a virtual writers’ room, and I want friends and family to pitch their own ideas using the rules I listed in the piece.

Here’s a quick look at the article, but click here for the whole thing.  And keep coming back for more, because I have other ideas brewing, and Daniel’s regular television coverage is phenomenal.

The Show: P.I.

Reductive Combination Comparison: Robert Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE meets THE THIN MAN film serials of the 1930s.

The Concept: A fun-loving drunk/private detective aims to take on the lower stakes cases (a tier above cheating spouses but not CHINATOWN-level regional power plays) other fictional detectives shy away from, but of course always finds himself embroiled in labyrinthine plots. Each season will focus on one main case and the odd jobs he takes to support his drinking. They’re usually connected in some way.


Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Internet, Media, TV

Read Me at the TV Addict

Daniel Malen at the TV Addict graciously gave me a chance this week to write about Bob’s Burgers, a show I love dearly.  I found the connections between eldest daughter Tina Belcher and the current problems facing my generation.  It is the first of hopefully many things I write for the website as I march towards making this writing thing a career.  Go check it out and read other great TV Addict content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Stuff, TV

‘Rubicon’ is Worth Keeping Around.

The ratings haven't been great, but hopefully they're enough to keep 'Rubicon' on the air.

AMC, if you’re listening, it would be in your best interest to keep the low-rated conspiracy thriller Rubicon on your schedule for the foreseeable future.

Why?  Because, after what was, admittedly, a glacially slow start, the show has whipped itself into can’t-look-away shape and I’m engrossed in both the overarching conspiracies at the American Policy Institute think tank, as well as the minutia experienced by API’s employees, including star James Badge Dale’s Will Travers and his team of government policy savants and their bosses, with its scenes involving both massive secrets and true-life depictions of working in an office.

The most interesting thing about the series is the way it treats the inner workings of the think tank, where there are very human reactions to things like the prospect of bombing a public street in order to kill a high-ranked terrorist.

With the show’s renewed interest in its characters after the relatively boring first two episodes, there’s a reason to care about what happens in this world, and enjoy the nervous energy of the proceedings at every turn.  No, it’s not as good as Breaking Bad or Mad Men — and who’s to say it won’t get that good in time? — but it’s got a ’70s vibe to it that bring to mind classics like Marathon Man and there’s nothing wrong with that.

With the way the show’s been going in recent weeks, it appears to be building to climactic scenes like that, and it’ll be well worth the network showing some faith in the show’s abilities to gain a larger audience and granting a second season.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

Rob’s Interest Round-Up! Manny Ramirez and AMC’s Emmy Wins.

School is back in session, so my days of pretending like this website is my job are over.  However, I’d like to still do a couple posts a week and they’ll probably have fewer words but more subjects.  Sorry about the lack of depth, but I’ll work on honing it and making it awesome in coming weeks.

Ramirez begins his fourth Major League stop in Chicago

First up on the agenda is the White Sox’ waiver claim of Major League Baseball’s oddest customer, outfielder and designated hitter Manny Ramirez, showing their affinity for aging members of those great ’90s Cleveland teams, having let go of Jim Thome before this season.  If Manny feels like playing up to his abilities — and his numbers this year say otherwise, with his paltry eight homers and 40 RBI — the team could get the boost they need to get to the playoffs.

That said, it’s not going to happen.  Ramirez, 38, has been a shell of his former self this year, whether it’s from lack of effort — always a possibility with him — regular aging, or removing banned substances from his diet after his 50-game suspension last year.  Plus, the Twins, who picked up the rejuvenated Thome prior to this year, just acquired reliever Brian Fuentes from the Angels and he solidifies an already solid bullpen, complementing the rest of Minnesota’s all-around fundamentally solid club.  With a handful of games to make up in the next month, it doesn’t appear likely the Sox are heading to meaningful October games.

AMC shows won the majority of drama Emmy's on Sunday's telecast.

In other news, it was great to see Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul win his first Emmy for his performance as Jesse Pinkman, meth cook.  In fact, it was great to see all the Emmy love for the AMC shows I fell in love with over the summer, with Paul’s always amazing costar, Bryan Cranston, winning his third consecutive award for being the best lead actor on a drama, and Mad Men winning the best drama category again.

I didn’t really watch the ceremony beyond flipping through channels during the commercials of Sunday’s new Mad Men episode — I’d much rather watch the show that’s being awarded than the show that’s doing the awarding, after all — but I did see Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s acceptance speech and can only congratulate him on a job well done.


Filed under Sports, TV

‘The Walking Dead’ Trailer Looks Amazing.

AMC’s announced its newest series, the highly anticipated zombie thriller, The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name, will be premiering Halloween night with a special 90-minute episode, and released the show’s trailer today.

You can’t get much cooler than that.  Written, executive produced, and directed by Frank Darabont, who knocked The Green Mile out of the park and whose The Mist adaptation wasn’t half bad (he also directed The Shawshank Redemption, which I’m embarassed to say I haven’t seen), the show looks to be the snazziest genre series premiering this season.

The first season will only consist of six episodes, and although nothing in Hollywood is guaranteed, based on the positive vibes from everyone involved in the production to the excitement exhibited by the journalists covering the series will at least guarantee a second season if the show even has middling ratings.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

AMC’s Newest Series Goes The Crime Route.

The AMC network greenlit another series, based on the Danish show Forbrydelson (Crime), adapted by Verna Sud (Cold Case), and with the network’s track record, it’s at least worth a look.

AMC: trying to catch lightning in yet another bottle.

Following the leads of Mad Men (amazing), Breaking Bad (currently my favorite show on television for scenes like this), Rubicon (which I’m going to watch once I’m back at school and have cable again), and The Walking Dead (October can’t come soon enough), this currently untitled American version could be more icing on the cake for the network, which keeps hitting home runs with everything it produces.

The show, which stars Michelle Forbes, Billy Campbell, and Mireille Enos, follows the investigation of the murder of a young girl named Rosie Larson.  One crime sets the entire series in motion.  Clearly, this isn’t just another CSI procedural.

With the focus on a single crime and its Pacific Northwest locale (it takes place in Seattle), the show even has shades of Twin Peaks, although I doubt there will be any Red Rooms or mystical killer Bobs walking around.  With the child crime themes and “gripping character based story,” this is also very reminiscent of Gone Baby Gone, a gut punch of a movie, but one of the most engrossing movies I’ve seen in a long time.  If the show follows that film’s lead, I think AMC’s going to have another winner on its hands.  Of course, they need to name it, though.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

‘Lost’ DVD Bonus Vignette Sneak Peak: Cool!

One of the coolest special features on the upcoming Lost season six DVD set is a 12-minute vignette called “The New Man In Charge,” starring Ben Linus and Hurley, which occurs after the events of the series finale, and Access Hollywood has a really cool preview of it.

After a few months off from watching Lost, spending my time working out and watching slightly more realistic things like Breaking Bad and Mad Men — both of which are amazing — this has me jonesing for the escapist genre qualities of the sci-fi drama again, and I’m excited to rewatch the series, particularly with the extra mystery solving promised in “The New Man In Charge.”

As for those dangling mysteries left by the show, it’s apparent by this one minute clip that one of the big season two questions is answered (for those of you who haven’t seen the show, I’m not going to ruin, or spend a ton of time explaining, which mystery that was), so I’m pumped for what other fun reveals the show’s creators have in store for us.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

‘Dexter’ Finally Snaps In The Fifth Season Trailer.

Dexter, Showtime’s blood spatter analyst/secret serial killer series, has been one of the top shows on television for some time.  Its ability to mix disturbing, gritty stories with dry humor never fails to entertain the hell out of me, and it appears the show is turning everything up a notch for its upcoming fifth season.

After the events of last season’s show stopping finale, Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) world has gone haywire.  He now has three kids to deal with and that giant monkey on his back of being a closeted serial killer.  It almost sounds like the premise for a goofy family comedy, but going out on a limb, I’d be willing to bet that’s not the direction the producers will go.

Season 5 looks amazing.

Show runner Clyde Phillips says he and the other writers are going to try mixing things up this season after last year’s “big bad,” John Lithgow, knocked his guest starring performance out of the park.  There will be a few mutli-episode arcs involving different antagonists for Dexter, and, as the trailer indicates, the A-story will involve Dexter dealing with his wife Rita’s (Julie Benz) murder at the hands of Lithgow’s Trinity Killer and learning to be a single father.

As much as I love Dexter, I hope the producers plan on this being its final season.  If they play their cards right, they can wrap up every major character arc, allowing Dexter’s detective sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter, Hall’s real-life wife, the oddest kissing co-star siblings since The Brady Bunch) to come to terms with their deceased father’s demons, her partner, Quinn (Desmond Harrington), to realize his suspicions about Dexter are founded, and most of all, it allows Dexter to either give in to his “dark passenger” or to give it all up in the name of protecting his family.

But then again, nobody saw Rita’s death coming, so the Dexter writers might be able to produce another couple seasons after this “logical” conclusion.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

HBO Hopefully Gearing Up For Greatness With ‘Boardwalk Empire.’

Buscemi stars in HBO's new fall series, 'Boardwalk Empire.'

Boardwalk Empire, the 1920s period drama about prohibition in Atlantic City, from writer-producer Terrence Winter (The Sopranos) and one of my idols, Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Goodfellas), and starring the always great Steve Buscemi (Fargo), debuts on HBO September 19, and I will absolutely be watching for all the corruption, political and literal back stabbing, and acting gravitas this series promises.

Watch this trailer to see what I mean.

Despite its television budget, this show looks beautiful.  The period clothing and those lush exterior shots of the boardwalk of old are mind blowing.

But, of course, it’s the talent involved, both behind and in front of the camera, that will get me watching.

If Scorsese, one of the greatest living filmmakers was drawn to this project, then Winter — who, I’ll admit, is an unknown to me as I’ve never seen The Sopranos — must have written one hell of a script, based on the book by Nelson Johnson. Scorsese directed the pilot, but his role as an executive producer indicates he’ll be involved with the series well beyond the first episode, and that is certainly something to get excited about.

Taking a look at the cast, it’s apparent the show is going for mostly talented character actors to surround their star, Buscemi.  This allows his wiry neuroses and magnetic charm to take over and carry the show.  It will be interesting to see what he can do as a man of power instead of the odd bit player.

I wish this was on right now.  But I guess I’ll have to wait.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV

New ‘Weeds’ Trailer: Zany Good Fun.

Showtime released a new trailer for the sixth season of their suburban mother/pot dealer comedy, Weeds, and I’m excited about what could be the show’s final year.

This trailer shows the family on the run after li’l brother Shane’s misguided attempt to protect the family in the season five finale.  It looks nuts, and I wouldn’t take the show any other way.

Say what you will about the show “not being good since season (insert whichever one you want here),” but I watched the entire series last summer during the spat of boredom in which I also began this website, and it never failed to make me laugh.

The show may have lost any semblance of reality, but that’s freed it to become TV’s leading example of absurdist humor, as Nancy’s (Mary-Louise Parker) devolution from well-meaning-but-failing mother to perhaps the worst television mom ever has been hilarious every step of the way, from getting her California suburb burnt to the ground to marrying a Mexican politician/drug lord.  The supporting characters, like Justin Kirk’s Uncle Andy and Kevin Nealon’s pot-smoking accountant, Doug Wilson, never fail to disappoint in their dialogue or their half-baked schemes to make extra money.

Weeds is still funny and I’m looking forward to season six.

1 Comment

Filed under TV