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Web TV: The Scripted Shows of Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix

By on May 13, 2014 in Previews | 0 comments

With Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix establishing themselves as 21st-century television networks, a certain someone in my life thought it might be wise for me to make a guide to the programming available on those services. I’m only listing shows that are scripted, geared toward adults, presumably still in production, and produced (at least in part) by the service in question. (Hulu has a silly habit of labelling content produced by networks overseas as “Hulu Originals.”) AMAZON The After — A mysterious apocalypse unites eight strangers in this drama from X-Files mastermind Chris Carter. Starring Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Sam Littlefield, Louise Monot, Jaina Lee Ortiz, and Adrian Pasdar. Alpha House — In this political satire from Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, four senators share a house in Washington, D.C. Starring John...

The Shows of Summer

By on Jun 14, 2012 in Previews | 0 comments

Feeling a certain malaise now that the traditional broadcast TV season is dormant until September? Feeling reluctant to crack that copy of Infinite Jest on your bookshelf? Unenthused about taking in the sunshine and warm weather outside? Have no fear: summer TV is here! And here’s your handy breakdown of the estival new shows (“estival: appearing or belonging to summer”—thanks, Merriam-Webster!), each listing complete with the official description and with my pithy remarks. Never mind the fact that some of these shows are already on the air. Just keep thinking that my blog is the timeliest of all blogs. May 11: Common Law (USA) This series is “about two cops with a problem—each other. Despite their differences, they are incredible detectives. When things come to a head during their ‘seven-year itch’ as partners, their captain forces them into...

“Newsroom” Preview Suggests Sorkin Masterpiece

By on Apr 5, 2012 in Previews | 0 comments

Aaron Sorkin is an idol of mine—a true wordsmith whose whip-smart writing has exalted Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on television and A Few Good Men, The American President, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, and Moneyball on film. (And now he’s even getting in the Broadway game, teaming up with Hugh Jackman and Wicked songster Stephen Schwartz for a musical about Houdini.) So imagine my unbridled glee when I heard that he was coming back to television. (I wasn’t sure he would after the untimely demise of Studio 60). And I was even more psyched when I found out that he’d be berthed at HBO, where he’d presumably have more creative freedom and less pressure to deliver instant ratings. Add to that an interesting cast including Jeff Daniels, Jane Fonda, Allison Pill, Dev Patel, Sam Waterston, Olivia Munn, and Emily...

2012 Pilot Watch

By on Feb 8, 2012 in Previews | 0 comments

I’ve barely had the opportunity to check out this current season’s new shows (damn you, full time job!), but it is indeed February which means the networks are busy ordering pilots for next fall. After studying the lineup provided by EW.com, I’ve made the following observations. Warning: harsh and perhaps unfair first impressions ahead! Remakes are no longer en vogue but are still extant: NBC has producer Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) putting his own spin on The Munsters in a pilot called Mockingbird Lane, and ABC and the CW are both developing Beauty and the Beast adaptations. Some pilots’ titles are very literal, which can either be a good thing (Fox’s comedy Prodigy Bully) or a bad thing (CBS’s drama Widow Detective and ABC’s drama Devious Maids). Other terrible titles abound throughout the list. I love the idea of ABC’s...

A Show of a Certain Quality

By on Dec 7, 2009 in Previews | 0 comments

Last week, Entertainment Weekly sent me a preview of TNT’s new comedic drama Men of a Certain Age. (I know—it’s kind of legitimate-TV-blogger of a thing to happen!) It premieres tonight at 10/9c, so I thought I should watch the preview and get my thoughts up here post haste. The show centers on three men (played by Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula) who became friends in college and stayed close throughout their somewhat-successful adult lives. But now that they’re hitting the half-century mark, they’re realizing that their dreams didn’t quite make it to fruition. They’re not have midlife crises, per se, but midlife assessments. Having just checked it out, I found the show to be nice and pleasant. That sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I mean it in the best sense. Nothing climactic or explosive happened, nor did...

V-Day Has Arrived

By on Nov 3, 2009 in Previews | 0 comments

2009-2010 New Series Preview, Part 5 First off, forgive me for not updating sooner.  My laptop computer apparently aired its series finale, so to speak, and my internet access has been limited. But TV shows go on, blog or no blog, so this show must go on! In a little over an hour, the final show to make a fall premiere will make its debut: V on ABC. Just another example in the everything-old-is-new-again trend, V is a reimagined version of a miniseries-turned-sequel-miniseries-turned-series that NBC aired 25 years ago. In those productions, the “Visitors” were reptilian aliens who made camp above the world’s major cities and attempted a hostile takeover. And, by all reports, the shows were campy fun with an emphasis on the campy. (I hear the aliens ate guinea pigs…?) The remake seems pretty similar, if perhaps a bit more serious. The motherships swoop in and...