Showrunner Series: Ryan Murphy = Matthew Weiner (Except, you know, awful)

I received the book Prime Time, Prime Movers for Christmas and have been plowing through it over the last week or so. As these things go, reading a book about the big individual creative forces in television history has me thinking about contemporary writer/producers. Therefore, today, I debut a new occasional feature where I will discuss … Continue reading Showrunner Series: Ryan Murphy = Matthew Weiner (Except, you know, awful)

#TVFail Entry 14: CSI:, “19 Down”/”One to Go”

The accused: CSI:, “19 Down” and “One to Go” (Season 9, Episodes 9 and 10) The crime: Embodying the internal tension between character and procedural in contemporary network crime series 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 … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 14: CSI:, “19 Down”/”One to Go”

#TVFail Entry 2: House, “Simple Explanation”

The accused: House, "Simple Explanation" (Season 5, Episode 20) The crime: Presenting a terribly manipulative version of the "Very Special Episode" gimmick. 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 … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 2: House, “Simple Explanation”

How much can a great ending save a mediocre (or worse) season?

Tonight, the finale to Sons of Anarchy's third season airs on FX. It's a 90 minute episode that, as you can see, showrunner Kurt Sutter has been hyping on Twitter. The last two Sons finales have been pretty damn great, as have the other extended episodes of the series so I should be filled with … Continue reading How much can a great ending save a mediocre (or worse) season?

Hawaii Five-0, “Ohana”

Though I really enjoyed the Hawaii Five-0 pilot, I didn't have high expectations for subsequent efforts because of a lower budget, (probably) lesser or cinematic direction and less time to get the characters right. However, episode two, "Ohana," is just as good as the reboot's pilot effort, featuring some nice action sequences and a surprising … Continue reading Hawaii Five-0, “Ohana”