Showrunner Series: Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, Flashbacks and Self-Awareness

Welcome back to the Showrunner Series, an occasional TVS feature where I discuss the work of one or more major television voice(s). When a great, popular television series says goodbye, members of that series’ writing staff are going to be hot commodities. They’re going to be asked to run their own series, pitch their own … Continue reading Showrunner Series: Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, Flashbacks and Self-Awareness

Love to hate, hate to love: On contemporary comedy’s reliance on bickering

Yesterday during the ABC Wednesday comedy showrunners panel at the Television Critics Association gathering, Modern Family honcho Steve Levitan made a comment about how he would like to see the “far right” to not like his series’ two gay characters, Mitchell and Cameron. The implication from Levitan’s statement being that everyone has to love Mitchell … Continue reading Love to hate, hate to love: On contemporary comedy’s reliance on bickering

Test Pilot: File #28, The Comeback

Test Pilot #28: The Comeback Debut date: June 5, 2005 Series’ legacy: A flawed, lukewarmly received mockumentary that was perhaps a bit before its time For nearly a decade-and-a-half, HBO has been the biggest power player in the television industry. More than any other individual network or entity, HBO has shaped our perceptions of quality … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #28, The Comeback

Just be funny: On why Happy Endings is the new Friends and how it’s hard to express that

One of the primary byproducts of today’s brand of online television criticism is the things that get left behind. Of course, there are literally thousands of programs airing right now that aren’t covered by the great, popular critics. There is only so much time in the day and clearly, television criticism has its aims, has … Continue reading Just be funny: On why Happy Endings is the new Friends and how it’s hard to express that

#TVFail Entry 12: Friends, “The One With Ross’s Wedding”

The accused: Friends, “The One With Ross’s Wedding” (Season 4, Episodes 23 and 24) The crime: Embodying the somewhat rare “double finale fail” with a problematic cliffhanger that emphasizes an even more problematic will-they-or-won’t-they relationship Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very beginning (hello, FlashForward, Lone … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 12: Friends, “The One With Ross’s Wedding”

#TVFail Entry 7: Moonlighting, “I Am Curious…Maddie”

The accused: Moonlighting, “I Am Curious…Maddie” The crime:  Destroying the series with the consummation of the unresolved sexual tension and setting a precedent for countless other series to either do the same or avoid resolution for far too long Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 7: Moonlighting, “I Am Curious…Maddie”

Surveillance Summer Watch: Season Finale — Cheers, “Showdown” Parts One and Two

This is the newest post in 2011′s Surveillance Summer Watch series featuring Cheers and Hill Street Blues. For the next couple of months, I’ll be writing weekly reviews of episodes from each series’ first seasons, with Cheerson Tuesdays and Hill Street Blues on Thursdays. For more information, see this post and for all the SSW pieces, visit this page. Whoa, here we are at … Continue reading Surveillance Summer Watch: Season Finale — Cheers, “Showdown” Parts One and Two

Surveillance Summer Watch: Cheers, “The Tortelli Tort,” “Sam at Eleven” and “Coach’s Daughter”

This is the newest post in 2011′s Surveillance Summer Watch series featuring Cheers and Hill Street Blues. For the next couple of months, I’ll be writing weekly reviews of episodes from each series’ first seasons, with Cheers on Tuesdays and Hill Street Blues on Thursdays. For more information, see this post and for all the … Continue reading Surveillance Summer Watch: Cheers, “The Tortelli Tort,” “Sam at Eleven” and “Coach’s Daughter”

#TVFail Entry 4: The Office, “The Banker”

The accused: The Office, "The Banker" (Season 6, Episode 14) The crime: Clip show. That is all. Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very beginning (hello, FlashForward, Lone Star) to the much-discussed clumsy conclusions of series we were convinced had it all planned out (nice to see you … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 4: The Office, “The Banker”

Series Premiere — Mr. Sunshine, “Pilot”

Of all the Friends actors, it always seemed like Matthew Perry would be the one to strike the balance between sheer popularity (like Jennifer Aniston) and just straight-up talent (probably like Lisa Kudrow, though she's not my kind of taste). Aniston and probably Courtney Cox were always meant to be more famous, but Matthew Perry … Continue reading Series Premiere — Mr. Sunshine, “Pilot”