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Entries in TV (272)

Wednesday
Jun252014

Eli Wallach (1915-2014)

The great character actor Eli Wallach didn't quite make it to his centennial, dying at 98½ but at least he lived long enough to get an Honorary Oscar a few years back. The Academy honored him for "a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters" even though they'd never nominated him.

I'm sure AMPAS didn't mean to include "Mr Freeze" on the Batman TV series as one of those characters but that's the one that's indelible for me. Is that wrong? When I was a child that show was always on through the magic of syndication. But Mr. Freeze was recast frequently (curiously enough two other Oscar favorites also played the chilly bad guy: three time nominee Otto Preminger and Oscar winner George Sanders). They rarely showed episodes in order so the memories of the faces get all jumbled up. 

He made a lot of career noise with his onscreen debut in Baby Doll (1956) for which he was Golden Globe nominated. But several fine characters and classics would follow like The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits, How the West Was Won, The Moon Spinners, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and The Godfather Pt. III.


What do you remember most about this actor?



Friday
Jun202014

TV 'Critics Choice' Winners

Allison Janney wins twiceThe TV critics really rolled out the red carpet for Ryan Murphy who took the non-competitive "Genius" award while two of his shows (American Horror Story: Coven and The Normal Heart) won prizes. Alison Janney also got the deluxe treatment winning supporting actress for "Mom" and guest actress for "Masters of Sex," both first season series, at this still fairly green awards show.

The new organization, an off shoot of the BFCA, mostly stuck with their favorites from last year repeating several wins like Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black and almost everything Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston had to step aside for Matthew McConaughey in True Detective, though. We knew that was coming and the Emmys will (probably) follow suit. Everybody in Hollywood loves a winner (a phenom we've previously discussed) so when you're winning no one wants to break your streak.

I suppose I should really watch Orphan Black. I've seen the first 4 episodes and found Maslany technically scarily gifted but the the show and supporting characters I enjoyed much much much less so. Does it improve?

The complete list of winners is after the jump....

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun102014

Visual Index ~ "Orange is the New Black" S2

Netflix, embolded by the success of their first few shows, is currently ordering up a ton of new series. But how will they ever compete with this one? Orange is the New Black will be to Netflix what The Sopranos was to HBO, the show that grants them legitimacy for years and years to come whether the follow ups are zeitgeist hits or duds. It's the show that'll make the creative talent come running to the company.

I know you've all been binge-watching so I selected Nicky (to the left) to send you a message since you DIDN'T send me your choice for "Best Shot" from any one episode. And it's not like you weren't watching, mister sister! Not that this Best Shot was a particularly easy assignment... [More]

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Tuesday
Jun102014

Best Shot: OITNB Season 2

No sophomore slump for this sensation. Orange is the New Black's second season arrived on June 6th for the masses to binge watch on Netflix. We ended Season 1 with a cliffhanger battle between Piper and meth-head hilbilly Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning,) which landed Piper in the SHU (solitary confinement) and as Season 2 begins she's being hauled off in the dead of night, completely unaware of what's happened, whether Pennsatucky is dead or alive, and where she's headed. The unfamiliar guards act as if she isn't even there.

Please tell me where we're going."

It's a sensible enough question, and a perfect one for a new season which no longer has the source material to work from (Chicago was the end of Piper's jail term in the book and here it lasts just the first episode of the season). Untethered to adaptation, and with the rich often fictionalized world of the prison already established where will Jenji Kohan take us? [More...]

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Thursday
May292014

We've Hit The Emmy Eligibility Wall. Who Are You Rooting For?

Saturday May 31st marks the final day of Emmy eligibility for the 2014 ceremony. Given the wildly varying schedules of television series in our modern 1,000+ channel world, episodes airing after this date will still apply if the season has enough episodes out to qualify. Eligibility periods can get confusing. Take Penny Dreadful on cable and Black Box (with Kelly Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave) on ABC for perfect examples. Both debuted before the cutoff date but neither of them have aired more than half their first season episodes yet so do they qualify or do they have to wait until next year? (Any Emmy trivia experts out there know?) 

Simpler examples that can still be a bit headscratching to the flow of the calendar happen over at Netflix. [Lots more after the jump...]

Click to read more ...