Sunday, July 31, 2011

Falling Skies: "What Hides Beneath"

Season 1, Episode 8
The calm before the storm could use a little more spark

Friday, July 29, 2011

Louie: "Subway/Pamela"

Season 2, Episode 6
You take the good, you take the bad…

Wilfred: "Conscience"

Season 1, Episode 6
For once, a conscience that shouldn’t be followed

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Futurama: "All the Presidents' Heads"

Season 6, Episode 20
Finely, an episode with a decent sense of plotting

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Breaking Bad: "Thirty-Eight Snub"

Season 4, Episode 2
Another episode thrills using very little plot development

Falling Skies: "Sanctuary, Part 2"

Season 1, Episode 7
What? Things actually happen on this show???

Friday, July 22, 2011

Louie: "Country Drive"

Season 2, Episode 5
Louie, father not-so-extraordinaire

Wilfred: "Respect"

Season 1, Episode 5
Darkness done right

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Futurama: "Yo Leela Leela"

Season 6, Episode 19
A balancing act goes wrong

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Failed Pilot Project Case File #9: Arrested Development

Mitchell Hurwitz decided to make an extended cut of the pilot after the series got picked up. Why, exactly?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breaking Bad: "Box Cutter"

Season 4, Episode 1
The proper way to hit the reset button

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Falling Skies: "Sanctuary, Part 1"

Season 1, Episode 6
The “children are in danger” trope finally backfires

Friday, July 15, 2011

Louie: "Joan"

Season 2, Episode 4
The problem with Joan Rivers

Wilfred: "Acceptance"

Season 1, Episode 4
The moral queasiness of dog-rape

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Futurama: "Silence of the Clamps"

Season 6, Episode 18
Is ‘not bad’ ever really not bad?

2011 Emmy Nominations Breakdown

Another year, another slew of disappointments. That’s usually how it goes, right? While this year is not as egregious as some of the errors of years past, but as Myles McNutt points out, there’s always some disappointment to go along. Among the positive aspects, FX finally picked up some nods for a show other than Damages, with 2 nods for Louie and 3 nods for Justified. (Sadly, there’s nothing for Sons of Anarchy.) As for what got snubbed…well’s that a much bigger pile. (Seriously, you’re going to get sick of me talking about how much Community and Terriers got snubbed this year.)

For each category, I will offer my suggestions for who I think should have been nominated instead (as well as who they should replace), as well as who I think should and will win from the list of nominees. As need, I will also throw in a little analysis of the nominee list as a whole.

Please note that since I have not seen enough of them, I am forgoing the various Movie+Miniseries categories, and because I’m not a fan, I’m similarly skipping all talk of reality/competition/non-fiction categories. You can find a full list here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Traditional Audience Perceptions and the Failure of Open Letters

Or why cancelling Men of a Certain Age is harmful to television as a whole

Yesterday during my daily stroll through my the usual websites, I came across two open letters – one from Alan Sepinwall, the other from Mo Ryan – both extolling the virtues of Men of a Certain Age and reasoning/pleading with TNT to give the show a third season, and another chance to gain a substantial audience. As a fan of the show, my heart leapt while reading these two well-formed, intellectual, and heart-felt pleas for a fantastic show that for various reasons has never had a chance to connect with people. Though I finished these letters filled with a sense of elation, soon cold logic began to set in. I have seen this tactic used with shows in the past – most notably Terriers last fall – and never to my recollection have open letters saved a show. (Subway sandwiches and bags of peanuts are another story.)

This is not to say that the critics stumping for the shows are doing anything wrong, or that they are wasting their time trying to rope in new viewers through something other than advertising. As a fellow TV lover, I understand the compulsion to do whatever it takes to save a flailing show, and I respect these critics for taking these steps for a show that deserves it. This, then, is not a piece meant to decry those critics for their work. Rather, it is the failure of these open letters to make an impact, and the nature of the shows that tend to have such letters written, that reveal important trends in the viewing habits of the Average Viewer, the understanding of which is key to Men’s renewal.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Falling Skies: "Silent Kill"

Season 1, Episode 5
Humans of emotion, humans of action

Friday, July 8, 2011

Louie: "Moving"

Season 2, Episode 3
The blurred line between fiction and reality becomes problematic

Wilfred: "Fear"

Season 1, Episode 3
Expanding beyond Wilfred results in a higher quality

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Futurama: "Law & Oracle"

Season 6, Episode 17
A few movie references too many

Men of a Certain Age: "Hold Your Finish"

Season 2, Episode 12
The show’s happiest and most depressing moments, all in one hour

Friday, July 1, 2011

Louie: "Bummer/Blueberries"

Season 2, Episode 2
The freedom that comes with being cynical