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.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.


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‘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.

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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.

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‘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.

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