TV in 2012 Roundtable: Best Performances of the Year

Welcome to the TV in 2012 roundtable. I’ve assembled nearly 20 of my fellow critics, scholars and friends to reflect and review the year in television. Between now and the end of the year, the group will discuss various topics covering the highs, the lows and everything in between. See previous entries of the roundtable … Continue reading TV in 2012 Roundtable: Best Performances of the Year

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)

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”

2011 Dream Emmy Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

It’s that time again, folks. The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 14, which means I have almost an entire month to flood this space with hopes, dreams and predictions about what could happen come nomination time. To kick things off, I’ll be bringing back the Dream Emmy Ballot. It’s something I did last … Continue reading 2011 Dream Emmy Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

2011 Dream Emmy Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

It’s that time again, folks. The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 14, which means I have almost an entire month to flood this space with hopes, dreams and predictions about what could happen come nomination time. To kick things off, I’ll be bringing back the Dream Emmy Ballot. It’s something I did last … Continue reading 2011 Dream Emmy Ballot: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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”

Series Premiere — Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming”

Over the past few weeks, I've said a few times that I wasn't going to review Game of Thrones, at least not the first few episodes. And for the most part, that's still true. This post on the first episode, "Winter is Coming," will probably be the only one on the series for a bit … Continue reading Series Premiere — Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming”

Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

Let's play pretend for a moment (since I planned on writing this column had this thing we're pretending about actually happened), if you don't mind. Let us assume for the sake of argument that AMC's fantastic new drama series The Killing didn't open to nearly 3 million viewers, which is a sizable success for the … Continue reading Stuck in the middle — The failure of the complex, restrained television series

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The 25 Best Series, 25-11

2010 has been a fantastic year for television. This year brought us a slew of great new programs and if we include the second halves of all the series that debuted in the fall of 2009 (which I am for these features), we have probably just experienced the best run of newbies since 2004. While … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The 25 Best Series, 25-11

TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Top 60 Episodes, 60-51

2010 has been a fantastic year for television. This year brought us a slew of great new programs and if we include the second halves of all the series that debuted in the fall of 2009 (which I am for these features), we have probably just experienced the best run of newbies since 2004. While … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Best of 2010: The Top 60 Episodes, 60-51

2010 Emmy Predictions: Directing for Drama and Comedy Series

In case you didn't know (because I sure as heck didn't until I saw something the latest Entertainment Weekly), the Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sunday, August 29 on NBC. In the glow of some great nominations and not too many ridiculous slights (I'm resigned to the fact that Sons of Anarchy won't get its due), … Continue reading 2010 Emmy Predictions: Directing for Drama and Comedy Series