Monday, February 09, 2009

"Ladies are unwell, Stone. Gentlemen vomit."(*)

(*) Photo and subject line are both from "My Favorite Year," which came up briefly during a discussion of geek references at yesterday's "Chuck" panel at Comic-Con.

It occurs to me that, with President Obama pre-empting "Chuck," "House" and "How I Met Your Mother"(**), and with my recent break-ups with "24" and "Heroes," the only Monday show I watch that's going to be new tonight is "Big Bang Theory," and I don't even blog on that one very often.

(**) If the press conference is short and CBS News doesn't want the extra time, CBS might run a "HIMYM" repeat, which is why you may see it in your favorite local programming guide, but it won't be new.

With all that in mind, and with the lack of a column in today's paper to pimp, it's open thread time again. For the next 24 hours (UPDATE: 12, actually, as I've been felled by a nasty flu bug and had to cut this short), ask away, or comment on stuff that hasn't been discussed elsewhere in the last couple of weeks, and I'll respond as often as I can. If your question doesn't get answered, it's either because it was asked in one of the last few open threads (you may want to click on the "open thread" label at the bottom of this post to skim them), or because I passed out from whatever

113 comments:

Chris Littmann said...

Time to give up on The Beast? This week's episode was, by far, the worst of the series yet. With script gems like "take a chill pill" and the moment where Swayze slapped a guy after he gave this weird "Who the hell are you?" line, I ended up watching the end of the episode MST3K style, constantly mocking everything. It tries to be to serious when it'd probably be better off as House/Bones, admitting there is humor to be had if you're going to unrealistically solve everything in an hour.

(OK, that wasn't a question so much as a rant, but are you giving up?)

Anonymous said...

Whedon's new show (something House) starts this Friday, right? Have you seen it? Is it any good? Hard to imagine it being as good a Friday show as FNL or BSG, but maybe?

Is the Terminator series kaput? I thought with new movie in the works and all the auxillary press around the Bale thing maybe there would be some good news for the show to come out at Comic-Con.

DonBoy said...

On Trust Me, which I've been enjoying probably beyond its actual merits: does it strike anyone else that "Trust Me" is a very bad title for this show? Not only does it not really connect with what's on screen, but the show had the misfortune to premiere within about a week of Lie to Me, for maximum confusion.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Chris, I watched The Beast this morning. Incredibly lame, and if there are a few more like it, I'm probably done.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Whedon's new show (something House) starts this Friday, right? Have you seen it? Is it any good?

I've seen it, I have mixed feelings about it, I interviewed Joss Whedon about it, and I'll be writing quite a bit about it later this week.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Is the Terminator series kaput?

Nope. It's airing alongside "Dollhouse."

Anonymous said...

Alan, is "Heroes" now worse than "Misfits of Science"? Is Hayden P. now Courtenay Cox in 1986?

BF said...

Just started watching The O.C. Complete Series on DVD. Think they'll ever correct the pull-quote from the "Fort Worth Star-Ledger" that's featured in the first couple of pages? I'm kinda hoping I've stumbled into a collectible.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, love your writeups. I was just curious how your job has evolved over the years? It seems like the amount of quality television is dwindling and I was wondering if you've found yourself watching fewer shows (and concentrating more time and effort on those shows), watching just as many shows as always, or, watching just as many shows as before, but with higher turnover (i.e. watch a new show for a couple of weeks, then give up on it and replace it with another new show, then give up on it, and so on)?

I know that I can count on one hand the number of shows that I'll watch in a week now. In part that's because of how cable television has changed scheduling (love both MadMen and Burn Notice, but they don't run at the same time). Mostly there just isn't anything to watch anymore.

Devin McCullen said...

Any idea what the likelihood is for Original Recipe Law & Order to be back next year? (BTW, last week's episode had to be the silliest ever.)

Anonymous said...

Two unrelated questions, but I've wanted to know about.

First, any indication yet that the DirectTV/NBC deal for FNL worked? When can we at least start ASKING NBC if they're bringing FNL back next year?

Second, do you watch any reality TV? I think you mentioned American Idol once. I admit I don't watch much mainstream reality TV, but Ace of Cakes on the Food Network is awesome. Actually, anything on the Food Network Channel is pretty good, or History Channel, or the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food.

Jeff said...

I like HIMYM but every episode that depicts Minnesota is horrible. It's as if the writers just picked a place in the Midwest and started writing about it without any knowledge at all.

There are plenty of ammo to use when making fun of Minnesota. They just come off writing like New Yorkers.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I was just curious how your job has evolved over the years? It seems like the amount of quality television is dwindling and I was wondering if you've found yourself watching fewer shows (and concentrating more time and effort on those shows), watching just as many shows as always, or, watching just as many shows as before, but with higher turnover (i.e. watch a new show for a couple of weeks, then give up on it and replace it with another new show, then give up on it, and so on)?

I feel like I watch at least as many as ever, and certainly moreso than when I started out in the mid-90s and there were really only shows worth watching on the broadcast nets.

I know it feels like a bit of a dry spell right now, with the end of The Wire and The Shield and the impending end of Battlestar Galactica, but as I said in my Wire finale review, I firmly believe more great shows are coming. (And there are still plenty of great ones now, like Mad Men and Chuck and The Office, and...)

Mrglass said...

President Obama pre-empting "Chuck," "House" and "How I Met Your Mother"

Damn you, Barack, damn you! Half of my TV week gone right there. Please consider Tuesday nights for your next press conference.

"Is the Terminator series kaput?

Nope. It's airing alongside "Dollhouse."


On Fridays, so in other words, yes...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Any idea what the likelihood is for Original Recipe Law & Order to be back next year?

Dunno. As with any NBC bubble show -- particularly one which the creator believes should only air at 10 p.m. -- it's in danger of getting squeezed off the schedule. But I could see a scenario where it and SVU wind up on Sundays after football season ends.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Any word on whether William Petersen might return to CSI anytime soon? Both he and the producers went out of their way to talk about how he'd love to do it, they'd love him to do it, Grissom's not dead and hasn't even sold his place in Vegas, etc.

Alan Sepinwall said...

First, any indication yet that the DirectTV/NBC deal for FNL worked? When can we at least start ASKING NBC if they're bringing FNL back next year?

I've given up on trying to guess what NBC will do about anything under the current administration.

Second, do you watch any reality TV? I think you mentioned American Idol once. I admit I don't watch much mainstream reality TV, but Ace of Cakes on the Food Network is awesome. Actually, anything on the Food Network Channel is pretty good, or History Channel, or the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food.

I wrote up Man vs. Food a little over a month ago (check either the December or January archives). I do weekly write-ups on Idol. I used to do regular coverage of Survivor and The Amazing Race, but eventually gave up on both shows, feeling I'd seen all I ever needed to of them. I still watch Top Chef but never feel compelled to blog on it.

Andrew said...

So what are your thoughts on the Emmys reverting back to a nomination system based solely on popular vote? Is it as crassly, transparently populist as it seems?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Any word on whether William Petersen might return to CSI anytime soon?

I have no insider info, but I imagine if/when he comes back, it won't be "soon." Grissom may not have sold his place, but I get the sense Petersen needs some time away. The absolute earliest I'd expect to see him (and even that's a rush, I think) would be some kind of season finale cameo.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So what are your thoughts on the Emmys reverting back to a nomination system based solely on popular vote? Is it as crassly, transparently populist as it seems?

I think any system that involves members of the television Academy, either en masse or in smaller self-selecting groups, to pick either the nominees or the winners, isn't worth wasting any angst on. There is no perfect system. They put The Wire and Battlestar Galactica in front of the blue ribbon panels and they still couldn't get nominated.

Anonymous said...

Alan-

You and I are going in opposite directions- I liked the Beast this past week, thought it was strong. I also thought last night's Conchords was the weakest of the season. Not enough Bret and Jemaine and the Gaffigan character didn't do it for me.

Now on to Wire related questions- I know you gave up on Damages, but how can you bail with 2 of Baltimore's finest getting some good screen time recently on Damages?

Also- The new DirectTV series WOnderland has some Wire flavor as well. Has that show filmed years ago? I swear the towers were shot in one episode, and a recent episode showed Regis & Kathy Lee and Van Gundy coaching the Knicks.

Andrew said...

Is Crusoe done? While it started off mildly amusing, it got pretty frustrating when 3 out of four episodes would be about other people coming to the island. Were you still watching at the end and, if so, what did you think?

Anonymous said...

I really like this idea of an open thread. You're a commentator and insider whose thoughts are actually worth reading, and I'm enjoying your interactions with your readers. Any chance of this being a weekly feature?

Any scuttlebutt, good or bad, on the possible HBO series Washingtonienne?

MattB said...

Speaking of Man vs Food, thanks for writing it up the other week - I'm glad I discovered that show, I can't explain why but something about it is fun to watch!

Josh said...

At the risk of overloading (and probably getting a bunch ignored), I figure I'll drop a few pressing questions off and hope some get answered.

A couple of questions:

1. Do we have any idea when Pushing Daisies' final eps will actually end up online? Just wondering if that will ever really happen, or if it'll just get pushed to DVD.

2. Are you watching Life on Mars at all? Just wondering - the episodes with Sam's parents were really outstanding, particularly the last one before the break. It's definitely sporadic, but when it's on, it's REALLY on.

3. So, I hear Milch's new HBO show is dead. Do we have any idea why? And what's going on with the rest of HBO's slate, specifically that Scorsese show that's upcoming?

4. Finally, two upcoming shows: have you seen any of the new season of Breaking Bad or anything at all of East Bound and Down?

Thanks, Alan - since discovering you thanks to the Sopranos, you've become for TV what Ebert is for movies to me - a reliable source and someone who I enjoy reading.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Now on to Wire related questions- I know you gave up on Damages, but how can you bail with 2 of Baltimore's finest getting some good screen time recently on Damages?

Because my love of Lester Freamon and Bill Rawls doesn't translate into undying loyalty for any and all future projects featuring the actors who played them -- particularly if it's on a show that annoys me so much of the time.

Also- The new DirectTV series WOnderland has some Wire flavor as well. Has that show filmed years ago?

Yup. Debuted in the fall of 2000, yanked a little over a month later.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Is Crusoe done? While it started off mildly amusing, it got pretty frustrating when 3 out of four episodes would be about other people coming to the island. Were you still watching at the end and, if so, what did you think?

I never heard anything about a back nine order, so I assume it's either done or close to it. I enjoyed the pilot well enough, but it became clear within a couple of episodes that the show had nowhere else to go (as you say, every other episode was about invading forces), and it wasn't worth any kind of longterm investment by me.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Any scuttlebutt, good or bad, on the possible HBO series Washingtonienne?

Nope. Too early in the pipeline for me to know much of anything, or to care.

Alan Sepinwall said...

1. Do we have any idea when Pushing Daisies' final eps will actually end up online?

Nope. Go read my account of the Steve McPherson scrum from the end of press tour (it'll be in the January archives) for his non-answer about that.

2. Are you watching Life on Mars at all? Just wondering - the episodes with Sam's parents were really outstanding, particularly the last one before the break. It's definitely sporadic, but when it's on, it's REALLY on.

It was a little too sporadic for my tastes, and I may have stopped watching before they got to the "really on" episodes. I put on the recent one with the Johnny Sack/Christopher Moltisanti reunion, got about 20 minutes in, got distracted by something and never felt compelled to return to it.

Again, I was never hugely in love with the original show, either. I just think the format makes it too easy for the show to simply become a '70s cop show, and that in and of itself doesn't interest me unless the execution is much better than what I've seen so far from Life on Mars USA.

3. So, I hear Milch's new HBO show is dead. Do we have any idea why?

New regimes rarely have interest in championing the last projects of the old regime. (Though I've been gratified that David Simon's "Treme" still seems to be moving forward, at least at the pilot stage.)

4. Finally, two upcoming shows: have you seen any of the new season of Breaking Bad or anything at all of East Bound and Down?

Saw the Breaking Bad premiere, which was great. Have two other episodes I need to watch sometime soon.

Haven't watched Eastbound yet, but need to in the next day or so. Waiting for my sinuses to clear up, because comedy is never as funny with a head cold.

Josh said...

Dang. I was hoping there was SOMETHING new on Daisies. What a bummer. Thanks for the info!

And good to know that Breaking Bad is strong. I watched the recent marathon and got completely hooked - really excited for the new season.

One last question (I promise) on the AMC subject: do you know if they ever plan on marathoning Mad Men? I'm really wanting to see the show, but they never re-run it.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bryan said...

Alan, I don't think I read this here (I think I actually heard it on the BS report interview with Peter Berg)

Evidently though- to help with ratings- us Directtv FNL fans should be tivo-ing the show and watching it within three days- is that right? He was very vague. Thanks

Alan Sepinwall said...

Let's save spoiler-y questions about shows that I've written blog entries about for those particular blog entries.

Anonymous said...

Alan, is there a way to access your older posts discussing Doctor Who? My kids and I have been playing catch up with the good dr and I would love your insight. On a side note Blink terrified my 12 year old. We both screemed and she now hates statues. Thanks

Hatfield said...

I hope Eastbound & Down is good, because Danny McBride is hilarious and I'd hate to see his streak end.

That reminds me, I've always wondered what happened to 12 Miles of Bad Road. I know HBO decided they hated it, but hadn't they finished seven episodes or more? In cases like that, does the show just disappear forever? I remember in 2007 (I think) HBO promoted the hell out of it, so it seemed odd they would cut the cord like that.

Alap said...

i posted this under another thread last week, but it didn't have a home there, so maybe this is it:

just wondering if you've been checking out the 2nd season of spectacular spider-man, which premiered in canada a few weeks ago.

it looks like the action sequences have actually gotten better--it's one of the few shows where three-fourths of an episode can be a long-ass fight scene and not even bore me a little bit. the way the animators get spider-man to move, he's like michael jackson plus adrian peterson plus cirque-du soleil-guy, but airborne.

domino87 said...

Besides TVTattle, what other sites do you usually check throughout the day?

I just finished watching Firefly, and loved it. What were your thoughts on it?

With my newfound mancrush on Nathan Fillion(much like yours with Jon Hamm), I'm somewhat excited to see the premiere of Castle. Have you seen the pilot/ have any hope for the series?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, is there a way to access your older posts discussing Doctor Who?

I should probably insert a disclaimer at the top of each open thread to answer this type of question: you can search for reviews of any old show in the search box on the top left of the main page. Put "Doctor Who" in quotes, and then the first post you find will have a Doctor Who label that will give you more entries.

Because Blogger now only shows a limited number of results on one page, and doesn't allow you to jump to additional pages for older results, you may have better luck doing a search for "Doctor Who" and the name of the episode.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hatfield, I've seen all the episodes of 12 Miles of Bad Road that were produced, and HBO absolutely made the right decision to dump it.

(Why I watched all seven or eight of them is a mystery I'll never solve. My only working theory is that my desk was particularly messy that week.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

I just finished watching Firefly, and loved it. What were your thoughts on it?

Loved it, and loved "Serenity" even more. Fillion is incredibly badass in it.

I've seen the "Castle" pilot, and it's "The Mentalist" with a different actor and a character with infinite financial and political resources. How much you like it will largely depend on your feelings towards Fillion, and particularly Fillion in what seems to be a largely comic role.

Vaughn said...

First thing that came to mind to ask: did you ever watch the short lived Jeffrey Donovan vehicle "Touching Evil"? After his sensational turn on "Burn Notice" I decided to check it out, and... wow. What a fantastic little show with a fantastic little cast -- Vera Farmiga, Zach Grenier, Kevin Durand, and Bradley Cooper all appear. It has this wonderfully serene and low-fi quality that's unlike anything I've seen on TV (especially in the procedural genre). I believe the USA network decided it wasn't "commercially viable" -- shame.

Art Fleming said...

Do you know if the remake of Outrageous Fortune by Rob Thomas is still alive?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Do you know if the remake of Outrageous Fortune by Rob Thomas is still alive?

Long dead. Long, long, long dead. Dead dead dead.

Anonymous said...

Bummer about Pushing Daisies (which I still find somewhat ridiculous that they still can't even answer the question as to what the holdup on the last 3 episodes is, let alone air them), and bummer about Outrageous Fortune. It was the project I look forward to the most out of all the other Rob Thomas TV projects.

Anyway, questions:-

- Is there an official date of season 2 of Breaking Bad? When is it?

- When will My Boys be returning? Summer?

- How is Scrubs doing in terms of ratings on ABC? With all the day/time switches in the ABC schedule, should we prepare ourselves that this is really the final season of Scrubs?

-Kind of random, but when will South Park return?

Anonymous said...

Do you think "Profit" could've succeeded on like FX?

Zack Smith said...

I recently discovered a treasure trove of sitcom scripts, including episodes of SUNNY, SCRUBS, THE SIMPSONS and many classic shows. It's online at:

http://www.zen134237.zen.co.uk/

My question is, do you ever read scripts before a show airs (or in some cases, is cast), and if so, does it affect the way you see the show? For example, have you seen a good script become a mediocre program, or even the reverse?

Reading through the scripts on this site, I was unnerved to find the pilot to VERONICA'S CLOSET was actually kind of funny. This threatens my belief system.

For that matter, what are some of your favorite TV scripts that you've read (as opposed to watching a well-written episode)? Were there any unique styles of writing that stood out for you? LOST scripts that are online are interesting for the way they explain what the characters are thinking (and for the amount of swearing in the scene descriptions), but they don't contain a great deal of detail about the mysterious so-and-such.

Thanks for the open thread!

Alan Sepinwall said...

My question is, do you ever read scripts before a show airs (or in some cases, is cast), and if so, does it affect the way you see the show?

I really dislike reading scripts independent of the shows, because it definitely queers my take on the finished product. Comedies in particular; the jokes never sound as funny as they will coming from the mouths of the right actors, and yet by the time I see the show, I know all the punchlines in advance.

I'll do it in extreme circumstances, like when NBC handed out copies of the Amy Poehler pilot script last month so we would have something to ask Poehler and the producers. (This was also a rare instance where I laughed quite a bit at the script.) But I avoid it if I can.

Alan Sepinwall said...

- Is there an official date of season 2 of Breaking Bad? When is it?

March 8.

Dunno about the other three questions.

Anonymous said...

Wonderland!! I remember watching -- and really liking -- that show years ago. Of course, they yanked it after just two episodes.

Great cast: Michelle Forbes, Ted Levine (Wild Bill from Silence of the Lambs), Kyle Secor...

Alan, what did you think of that show, if you can remember that far lol.

Also, do you ever watch any kids shows (sitcoms mostly), either for your job, or at least with your child(ren), and if so, do you have any professional or personal opinion?

With two young daughters, I'm subjected to a fair share of kids "comedies". Most of them, from an adult perspective, are really lame (Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place), while some of them are actually pretty funny (Drake and Josh, Life With Derek, and of course, Sponge Bob).

Thanks for the time!

Hatfield said...

Wait...so you're saying it wasn't any good?

Haha, thanks for the answer. I'd also like to mention two other things:

1.) Jon Hamm has recently been on the podcasts of both Dave Dameshek and Bill Simmons, and I know how much you love him. The Simmons one is from last week, but I think the Dameshek one is from last month or maybe December

2.) You mention how much you love Firefly and Serenity; any chance of giving them the full Sepinwall treatment at some point?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, what did you think of that show, if you can remember that far lol.

I remember Wonderland being too jittery for my tastes at the time, and even Peter Berg has admitted (in his own recent appearance on the ubiquitous BS Report) that he needed to calm the hell down with the photography and editing. DirecTV sent me a bunch of episodes, so maybe I'll take another look when I have a spare minute -- which should be around 2012 or so.

Alan Sepinwall said...

2.) You mention how much you love Firefly and Serenity; any chance of giving them the full Sepinwall treatment at some point

It'd need to get in line behind Sports Night, and The Wire season 2 and 3, and anything else I made empty campaign promises about when the writers strike began. One day, it'd be cool, sure.

And that gets back to that question about whether I find myself watching less quality TV. The DVD boom, and now the streaming video boom, means that even if there's nothing current that I'm all psyched about, I can always dip back into the recent (or even not-so-recent) past to find something incredible to discover (or to re-discover).

LA said...

Freaks and Geeks fans - Busy Phillips has a small part in He's Just Not That Into You. Her unmistakeable voice tipped me off as I haven't seen her in anything since F&G, but I thought to myself, "that sounds just like Kim Kelly!" Sure enough, it was. She looks great.

Also, I listened to that Jon Hamm ESPN radio interview that was recommended a few posts down, and among other things, he reported that shooting for season 3 starts in April. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, what are some of the shows growing up that you loved, and now you cringe at? I watch "Growing Pains" now and I can't believe I watched it religiously.

On the other hand, "Wonder Years" still holds up...

Andrew said...

Any chance of doing reviews of the Prisoner? Lord knows you have plenty of other shows that you have promised to take on, but with the AMC miniseries coming up, does it fall on your radar anywhere?

Lane said...

I don't have anything to add except.. "THE HIMALAYAS!?!?!!"

Anonymous said...

Are you sure HIMYM is a repeat tonight? I just checked around, and many places are claiming its new, despite the Obama thing. Which is why BBT is also new, just at 930.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm positive it's a HIMYM repeat. (If, assuming Obama doesn't spill into the 8:30 timeslot.) The person I spoke with at CBS is high up enough in the food chain to know for sure.

Bobman said...

Also, the CBS website confirms that they're showing the episode Little Boys from 2007.

Not that we don't believe you, Alan. :)

Anonymous said...

Damn :( Thanks for the quick conformation Alan!

Chief said...

Yo AS,

Have you thrown in the towel on Big Love? And do you like Bones?

Stylist Mick said...

Do you watch Bones? I thought they handled the conclusion of the Gravedigger a bit hastily and just rushed to conclude that storyline (with the "very special guest star" trope used to give gravitas to the role) when they could have built a larger mythology.

Brian said...

Anything we should be on the look out for this March, TV-wise? Anything slide across your desk that seems worth your/our time? Something maybe sillycrazyfun like The Middleman?

And this sort of ties in...Kings? Got a chance to check it out and if so, any positive feelings there?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I've explained my feelings on Bones in previous open threads.

As for Big Love, I've run out of interesting ways to say, "I really like the stuff with the wives and wish that the Juniper Creek people would all go away forever," so I gave up on blogging it. At this point, I'd be judging it -- particularly an episode like last night's, which was all about how Juniper Creek is not going away -- not on what it is, but on what I want it to be, and that's not fair.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Anything we should be on the look out for this March, TV-wise? Anything slide across your desk that seems worth your/our time? Something maybe sillycrazyfun like The Middleman?

Breaking Bad, as mentioned, is back in early March. March also gives us the return of Reaper, and the debuts of Castle, the new Cupid, HBO's Number One Ladies Detective Agency (the pilot for which is wonderful), Better Off Ted, Party Down, and some other things, all of which have the potential to at least be interesting.

And I have several episodes of Kings in my bag, but, like so many things... not enough hours in the day yet. (I may have to postpone the next open thread for a while, frankly.)

Dan said...

Alan: What made Rob Lowe step down as a regular on The West Wing in season 4? Did Brothers and Sisters already start shooting back then? Was he working on another project? Or was he just flat out dumped from the cast?

I am still watching season 4...so if you can answer without spoilers I would appreciate it. Unfortunately I know that his run as a series regular is over (thanks to IMDB telling me he's only in 88 of the 130 episodes).

renton said...

With so many traditionally "summer" series (Burn Notice, Rescue Me and Big Love, to name a few) airing in the winter and spring, what can we expect to see this summer (aside from Mad Men, Weeds and True Blood?)

BTW, my captcha word was "funksta," which is by far, the coolest one I've ever had.

Alan Sepinwall said...

What made Rob Lowe step down as a regular on The West Wing in season 4?

Ego, plain and simple. Lowe thought of himself as the lead on "The West Wing," despite increasing evidence to the contrary with each passing season, and eventually, he left.

(Also, his "Brothers & Sisters" gig was years later. In between, he starred in two awful shows: "Lyon's Den" and "Dr. Vegas.")

Anonymous said...

While in UK last year, I did remember watching the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency pilot and really loved how it translated from the books. Now, I know they had problems because Anthony Minghella sadly died around then; the show hadn't really been mentioned after wards. So, will there be an actual TV show with multiple episodes now, or is it just going to be shown as a standalone tv movie of sorts?

Pamela Jaye said...

actually, if someone could explain Trust Me vs Lie to Me - that would be god, cause for some reason I'm recording both and I don't know the premise of either.

Ben said...

Alan,

How on earth did Bradley Cooper get the plum task of hosting SNL? I know him from Wedding Crashers and I realize he is part of the ensemble cast of "He is just not that into you" (he'd probably rank no better than 8th on a Q rating from the folks in that flick)?

Love the blog, thanks

Pamela Jaye said...

I still have probably 10 shows, but most of them air either on Thursdays between 9 and 11 or Mondays between 9 and 10.

I'm waiting for Tuesday to clear out so maybe my brother can drag the DVR to a Linux meeting and "present" it.

Nicole said...

I was wondering the same thing about Bradley Cooper. He was great as Will on Alias and all, but I didn't think he was considered that big of a star to host the show.


Alan, is NBC still going to air Merlin mid season? I read this months back, but haven't really heard anything further. And if so, have you seen it yet? (It's aired in the UK already, but I assume that you wait for the legal copies before you review them :-)

Pamela Jaye said...

Damn you, Barack, damn you! Half of my TV week gone right there. Please consider Tuesday nights for your next press conference.
Really - the wost *possible* night of the week

what tme is he doing this? don't they usually do them at 9? do the networks really need to "lead in" to this?
couldn't the President do *his own* Previouslies?

wait. he's on at 8? why?? doesn't he know that's 5pm on the WC?

Ben said...

Another question for you - in your opinion, what was the biggest reason for the decline of NBC from their Cosby/Cheers/Seinfeld/ER high to their Kath&Kim, etc lows?

Pamela Jaye said...

Re: Life on Mars - I actually had to check the production numbers, but my DVR now keeps that info

(as opposed to back when it would record an ep based on the guest cast and then dump the guest cast info after recording leaving me wondering why I recorded Las Vegas and then dmping it only to get an email asking if I liked seeing Donny Osmond on it)

the last two eps were sadly and obviously out of order. it was annoying.

Pamela Jaye said...

Is Fillion in a full of himself "comic role" or some other type of "comic role"? I was bored by what I saw of Firefly (1.5 episodes) and most of Serenity, but I loved him as Captain Hammer (of course that was writen by various Whedons)

yeeouser
my captcha

Pamela Jaye said...

Dr Vegas co-starred (well sorta) the Enchanting Amy Adams (well at least till she either quit or got fired - I can't remember the story but you can google it. I never knew about it till Enchanted (perhaps it's on an Amy fan site) as the show itself didn't last long.

I guess Rob has learned to live with being part of the chorus (lucky for us), as Calista Flockhart said somewhere that it's a race between the two of them as to who can get done with their scenes faster so they can get home to their kids.

Pamela Jaye said...

Y'know, Alan, I thnk I recently read you saying ER was "interesting" and I was surprised. Can you say why, or would that be a spoiler? (I hate spoilers too but wouldn't mind a scipt of an old Scrubs ep that ended up heavy laced with ad-libs (it is only Neil Flynn or does Johnny C ad lib too?))

Bill Lawrence was looking for anyones top 5 favorite shows last time I peeked into his blog "My Scrubs Ramblings"

Tim Cooke said...

Hi Alan

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on The Larry Sanders Show? For originality and creativity (not to mention comedy), it ranks up there with Fawlty Towers and Seinfeld for me.

LA said...

Bill Lawrence was looking for anyones top 5 favorite shows last time I peeked into his blog "My Scrubs Ramblings"

@Pamela Jaye - is that at ABC.com or somewhere else?

Thanks.

matt said...

Were you a fan of Farscape when it was on the air? I miss that show.

Anonymous said...

Some great recaps of Lost on Ack Attack, at theackattack.net.

Also, a new feature, a comic about Ben as dad to Alex.
http://www.theackattack.net/?p=465
This second one made me laugh out loud and I just had to share.

Michelle

Zach Haldeman said...

A while ago you brought up the new Prisoner website and said you might watch all the episodes of it. Did you ever get around to that? If so, what did you think?

Also, last week you ranked each season of The Sopranos - how would you rank each season of The Wire? (I remember #4 being your favorite, but otherwise I have no idea.)

Matthew L said...

I have a question about the writing of The Wire. I know the show was created by David Simon and Ed Burns, and that the first season was, in part, based on a real case. Do you happen to know whether the storylines in any of the other season were based on real cases or events?

Also, what contribution did Ed Burns make to the actual development of each season's story. I ask this because most episodes tend to have a "story" credit to David Simon and whoever wrote the screenplay for each episode - a credit I assume means that Simon and the screenwriter worked out together how the story broke down in the particular episode. But it seems to me that if Ed Burns was involved in the actual development of the overall story for each season (which I had initially believed to be the case), then he seemed reasonably undercredited in the show itself.

I don't know why this is bothering me, but it has been something I've been wondering about this year as I watch the show.

Craig Ranapia said...

On the Dollhouse tip: Am I the only one worried that even Joss Whedon is (most diplomatically, I must say) kinda grossed out by the stream of softcore shots of Eliza Dushku?

It says to me that Whedon and Fox aren't really on the same page about the show, and that can't be good. Yes, I do get that the audience for Dollhouse has to get beyond Whedon's fanbase, but I just don't believe there's a motherlode of dateless 13-18 year old males who are going to be home alone on a Friday night with nothing but a box of tissues for company.

Craig Ranapia said...

HBO's Number One Ladies Detective Agency (the pilot for which is wonderful)

And what is the status of that project? If my memory serves, the pilot did rate well when it screened in the UK last Easter (off the back of very heavy promotion on the part of the BBC); also receiving mixed, but generally positive, reviews. But I've got to wonder whether the criticism of the acting would have been less muted if director and co-writer, Anthony Minghella (who was also a very well-liked figure in British film and television circles) hadn't died a few weeks before.

Christina said...

As bits and pieces of Watchmen footage leak out, I was struck by how much the Mad Men title sequence resembles the Comedian's fall from a skyscraper window. And the white flashes of Lost's time skips look exactly like Veidt's midnight in Manhattan. The gears of Osterman's watch presage the Frozen Donkey Wheel. And Dharma Initiative echoes Ozymandias' mysterious island. So much great TV stuff seems borrowed from Watchmen, no?

Pamela Jaye said...

LA yes, abc.com but it's easier just to google "my scrubs ramblings", i'd bet
I did post it in... probably the last thread that mentioned Scrubs at all.

Pamela Jaye said...

my scrubs ramblings
Why TV is so bad, or is it (i think that was it)

Number Five said...

It's a What's Alan Watching press conference, hooray!

Speaking of doomed-to-fail Fox sci-fi series, Alan, have you heard any recent news about Virtuality? Last I'd heard, Fox wanted it to be more mainstream. Is that just code for dumbing it down, or are there other aspects to their desired changes? How hopeful/not hopeful are you it will air mainly the way Ron Moore and Michael Taylor envisioned it? Finally, is there a premiere date or scheduled night?

Thank you and all hail Television!

Craig Ranapia said...

Speaking of doomed-to-fail Fox sci-fi series, Alan, have you heard any recent news about Virtuality? Last I'd heard, Fox wanted it to be more mainstream.

Which I still think is not subtle code for "the married gay couple is going to give the Hannity/O'Reilly demo brain-bleeds, why don't you try a really annoying faux-lesbian instead -- they're all the rage".

Pamela Jaye said...

It's a What's Alan Watching press conference, hooray!

yay! it so beats the real world variety

i have to go find out how old Helen Thomas is...

Pamela Jaye said...

It appears to be over, but also either my DVR is broken, or it ran past 9

i've got Medium listed for 10, will it be late or not at all, and the same question for Big Bang Theory at 9:30

Stef said...

I was almost in scene of Washingtonienne a few weeks back - they were filming in the street right in front of my office on Pennsylvania Ave.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hey folks, unfortunately, I think I have to cut this one short closer to the 12-hour mark than the 24-hour one. I picked up some kind of nasty flu bug (possibly from Comic-Con, and I'm not even sure what I'm typing right now is English). We'll try again in a couple of weeks.

Going to pass out now.

Pamela Jaye said...

darn, i was almost interested, and then i found it was an HBO series.

Pamela Jaye said...

get better, Alan

if anyone else has a clue what the timing is on NBC and CBS... please don't make me watch Heroes and 2 1/2 Men!

Hatfield said...

Feel better, Alan! I was just gonna say how genius I think these open threads are. Since Alan is down, can anyone else tell me the name of a sitcom that was on within the last 10 years that had a cute, slightly bigger redhead working in an office as a main character? This is killing me today, and I may go insane if I don't think of it soon.

Matthew L said...

As bits and pieces of Watchmen footage leak out, I was struck by how much the Mad Men title sequence resembles the Comedian's fall from a skyscraper window. And the white flashes of Lost's time skips look exactly like Veidt's midnight in Manhattan. The gears of Osterman's watch presage the Frozen Donkey Wheel. And Dharma Initiative echoes Ozymandias' mysterious island. So much great TV stuff seems borrowed from Watchmen, no?

My copy of the Watchmen graphic novel has a back-cover blurb from Damon Lindelof, who I think I heard was one of the few people to have already seen the full film. So they're definitely aware of Lost. But to go so far as to say these shows were "borrowing" from Watchmen seems a bit of a reach. Donkey wheels and gears existed long before Watchmen, flashes of blinding light aren't a new idea, and the only real connection between the symbolic falling in the Mad Men titles and the actual falling of the Comedian is the fact that both are falling froma skyscraper. On the other hand, I can definitely see the possibility of Watchmen being a partial inspiration for Dharma. Definite similarities.

Pamela Jaye said...

Less than Perfect, I think. But I didn't watch it. I did watch Almost Perfect. If i have the right show, note that the actress recently did an arc on The Big Bang Theory (i think) and then vanished without so much as breaking up with Leonard

Pamela Jaye said...

Big Bang fans with DVRs - CBS looks to be running about 5 minutes late.

NBC, not a clue

Matthew L said...

can anyone else tell me the name of a sitcom that was on within the last 10 years that had a cute, slightly bigger redhead working in an office as a main character?

Definitely Less Than Perfect. Not a show I ever watched, but when I do come across an episode I tend to find myself watching it, largely because Sara Rue is, as you say, terribly cute. Plus it had Patrick Warburton in later seasons, who is always interesting to watch. And I was surprised when I recently saw a rerun to discover that Zachery Levi was one of the core cast members.

Matthew L said...

And I forgot to say, Alan, sorry to hear you're unwell. Hope you recover soon.

Number Five said...

Bummer news...feel better Alan!

Anonymous said...

The Pilot for Eastbound and Down is comedy gold, if you like any of Danny McBride's past work you will love this show. It's just great, he is a ridiculous character in a show full of normal everyday people. It's like every little towns hometown hero who comes back, but instead of everyone loving him and him having it easy, it is the exact opposite. Great show, can't wait to see the eps directed by David Gordon Green.

Hatfield said...

Thanks, guys! Now that you've told me I'm upset I didn't think of it myself

Anonymous said...

BSG did NOT end up in front of the blue-ribbon panel. The Wire did, but it was the extra-long finale episode which (a) makes little sense if you haven't seen the show before and (b) ran 70 minutes vs. 44 minutes for the network dramas and roughly 50-55 minutes for the other premium cable dramas.

I know that second point might not seem like a big deal, but the panel was required to view all 10 dramas either all in one day or split over two days.

When you've been sitting on a hotel conference room chair for 8+ hours, watching mostly shows you'd already seen the first time they aired, every extra minute seems like an eternity.

As a series, The Wire deserved nominations. As one of ten episodes I watched that day, I assure you it wasn't in the top five.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

Last night's "Big Bang Theory" was one of the funniest ever. Christine Baranski was perfect, and the story line was great.

While Gabrielle Anwar has grown on me in "Burn Notice" I really liked the comment from someone a few weeks ago who said someone should give her a cheeseburger and teach her how to eat it. She looks unhealthily thin. I haven't seen this week's episode, so I can't comment on the speculation on plastic surgery.

Having said that, I love the British shows because they have people who look like real people--imperfect teeth and all. So many American "stars"--not necessarily actors--have had so much lip plumping and botoxing not to mention other procedures that they look grotesque (lip plumping to excess) or can't register an emotion (those very, very smooth foreheads); it's like the Stepford Wives or pod people. Also, I think it sends a very sad message to young people.

Thanks for the open threads from time to time. It gives people a chance to make some random comment that doesn’t seem to fit anyplace else. And BTW, I agree with those who liked last week’s “30 Rock.” I thought it was hysterical: “Semon del toro” indeed.

Hope you feel better soon.

Aaron said...

I can't find it anywhere, but do you have the interview you did for NJ.com with Neil Flynn available to post?

Craig Ranapia said...

While Gabrielle Anwar has grown on me in "Burn Notice" I really liked the comment from someone a few weeks ago who said someone should give her a cheeseburger and teach her how to eat it. She looks unhealthily thin. I haven't seen this week's episode, so I can't comment on the speculation on plastic surgery.

And that just says volumes about the 'damned if you do, damned if you don't, damned whatever the hell you do' wringer women in film and television go through about their bodies. It's fraking Kate Winslett -- she loses an ounce, and she's got an eating disorder. Put one on, and you get snide and bitchy posts from the usual suspects about what a pig you are.

LA said...

Pamela Jaye - Thanks!

(verification word: ovary) haha

Pamela Jaye said...

Hatfield,
If you are still here (or thought to subscribe to the topic) Sara Rue is going to be on tonight's rerun of the Big Bang Theory (CBS 8pm ET)