Test Pilot: File #44, The Shield

Test Pilot #44: The Shield Debut date: March 12, 2002 Series legacy: One of the best cop dramas, and series, of all-time Hello, everyone. Welcome back to your favorite discussion of television pilots on the internet, Test Pilot. Today we conclude our survey of the contemporary police drama. Hopefully we have done a fine job … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #44, The Shield

Test Pilot: File #41, Homicide: Life on the Street

Test Pilot #41: Homicide: Life on the Street Debut date: January 31, 1993 Series legacy: One of the most well-respected series of all-time, but still, somehow, undervalued Hey there, party people. Welcome back to the internet’s most popular discussion* of television pilots, Test Pilot. We’re still early into our contemporary police drama theme. Before you … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #41, Homicide: Life on the Street

Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?

I talk television with a lot of people. Friends, family, other critics on Twitter, vagrants on the street. I just love talking about TV. Because I don’t have the time and resources to do a podcast like I used to in college, I’m going to sort of replicate that experience in textual form in a … Continue reading Chitchat: Does Parks and Recreation have a Leslie Knope problem?

Test Pilot: File #29, Lucky Louie

Test Pilot #29: Lucky Louie Debut date: June 11, 2006 Series legacy: Louis C.K.’s first major foray into television, and one that should be forgotten 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 #29, Lucky Louie

Test Pilot: File #27, Carnivàle

Test Pilot #27: Carnivàle Debut date: September 7, 2003 Series legacy: A rabidly-beloved series that was deemed too dense and too slow for even the refined pallets of HBO’s audience 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 … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #27, Carnivàle

Compelled, not connected: On my lack of emotional connection to Boardwalk Empire (and why it doesn’t matter)

I don’t know about you folks, but to like a television program, I have to feel some connection to the characters in that program. I don’t necessarily have to adore every lead or cry when a character gets murdered, but I almost always have to care, in some way. Clearly everyone is different and what … Continue reading Compelled, not connected: On my lack of emotional connection to Boardwalk Empire (and why it doesn’t matter)

#TVFail Entry 10: The Wire, “Unconfirmed Reports”

The accused: The Wire, "Unconfirmed Reports" (Season 5, Episode 2) The crime: Stretching verisimilitude a bit too thin in the most verisimilitude-y series ever 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 … Continue reading #TVFail Entry 10: The Wire, “Unconfirmed Reports”

Surveillance Summer Watch: Hill Street Blues, “Gatorbait” and “Life, Death, Eternity”

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 SSW pieces, visit this page. Although Hill Street Blues is primarily … Continue reading Surveillance Summer Watch: Hill Street Blues, “Gatorbait” and “Life, Death, Eternity”

Test Pilot: File #19, St. Elsewhere

Test Pilot #19: St. Elsewhere Debut date: October 26, 2982 Series' legacy: Another jewel in the MTM crown, one of -- if not the -- most-heralded medical drama of all-time Authorship is a really tricky thing and perhaps no more so than in the world of television. Numerous scholars have discussed the problems with analyzing television … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #19, St. Elsewhere

Surveillance Summer Watch: Hill Street Blues, “Hill Street Station”

This is the next 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. Just a quick house-keeping … Continue reading Surveillance Summer Watch: Hill Street Blues, “Hill Street Station”

Surveillance Summer Watch: History Lesson — Announcing this summer’s viewing projects

As most of you know, the summer months are light on quality television or even decent television worth writing about. Because of this, many television critics and fans use this time to re-watch some of their favorite series or catch up on things they have missed over the years. Not only does it keep the … Continue reading Surveillance Summer Watch: History Lesson — Announcing this summer’s viewing projects

Season Finale — The Good Wife, “Closing Arguments”

After a season in which The Good Wife expanded its narrative scope dramatically (so much so, it's been rightfully discussed as the broadcast follow-up to The Wire), sometimes to its own detriment (let's just pretend that Hugo Chavez episode didn't happen, shall we?), it was kind of nice that the season finale dials things back and … Continue reading Season Finale — The Good Wife, “Closing Arguments”