Archive | September, 2012

HOMELAND Season 2 Premiere Recap: “The Smile”


The exciting thing about reviewing a show like Homeland that is in its sophomore season is that it’s so incredibly full of potential.  Unlike a new show finding its footing (which Homeland never had to do — it had one of the best drama pilots I’ve ever seen) or a show struggling to keep up with interesting narratives past its prime, I don’t think anyone would believe that Homeland had already peaked, or that it would provide any disappointments this year.  Admittedly, it’s a show that might struggle to keep its central conflict (between Carrie and Brody) going for many seasons longer, but for now it’s still deep in verdant storytelling … READ MORE 

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Bone For Tuna”


After I made a big case for the virtues of Boardwalk Empire‘s languid pace and subtle payoffs, this week nearly had me snoozing.  Plenty was set up, though —  “Bone For Tuna” was all about Nucky’s alienation, the stage for which was set with the opening dream sequence that melded together his feelings for Billie and his feelings about Jimmy … READ MORE

Five Questions For HOMELAND Season 2

Those of you who just marathoned the first (and newly minted “Emmy award winning”) season of Showtime’s exceptional psychological thriller Homeland won’t need much of a refresher course since your mind is probably racing as fast as Carrie’s trying to connect the dots about who’s lying, who is working for the good guys versus the bad guys, who isn’t sure, and the biggest question of the season: does Morena Baccarin look better with chin-length hair or a pixie cut?  Still, maybe it would be helpful to organize our thoughts into a rainbow chart of time anyway … READ MORE

ATLwood: Paul Wesley of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Talks About Atlanta

— Paul Wesley, who stars in The CW series “The Vampire Diaries” (which films in Atlanta!) was recently on Jay Leno‘s show talking about the heat and crazy weather in our fair city, as well as how he was almost robbed after filming one day (welcome to ATL… ): Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview.

— Midtown Patch had an article this week that asked whether being “Hollywood South” is a gain … or a pain? “Atlanta is home to more and more film and TV crews on our city’s streets, and Patch wants to know if all this glamor is worth the trouble.” What do you think? … READ MORE

ELEMENTARY Recap: “Pilot”

At last, after much discussion and speculation, CBS’s Elementary, a modernized adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s classic Sherlock Holmes stories, has arrived.  Much of the discussion revolved around the fact that the series has come pretty swiftly on the heels of the BBC’s hugely successful Sherlock, that also offers a modern take on the tales, which has aired here in the U.S. on PBS.  The other point of contention was the changing of Sherlock’s companion Watson from John to Joan, a decision that at first made Sherlock fans everywhere groan due to the expectation of a prolonged “will they won’t they” story line (Doyle would likely be spinning in his grave at the thought).  Still, those connected with the show assured everyone that there would be no romance between the two leads (though if it lasts for several seasons we’ll see if they keep to that promise).  For now the big question is how this series compares to its British brother, and either way, whether or not it stands on its own … READ MORE

‘Vegas’ Season 1, Episode 1

Westerns are making a comeback, and the broadcast networks are finally getting in on the game. While CBS churns out a great deal of popular police procedural shows (their bread and butter), they come out now and again with something truly different and great. “The Good Wife” (whose new season starts up this coming Sunday) has been the shining example until, perhaps, now. “Vegas” may take over as CBS’s best dramatic offering, coming out of the box with not only a strong pilot but an extraordinary cast … READ MORE

SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Laying Pipe”

Since I have to save the heavy, spoilery shit until after the jump I’ll start off by taking a moment to comment on some of Sons of Anarchy‘s lighter fare, which amidst everything else actually got a little screentime in this episode.  Something that has been sorely missing from the series in its last few seasons is the trademark humor that made it so uniquely engaging to begin with.  We got hints of it tonight, with Juice “graduating” and Gemma beating the crap out of Ashley Tisdale from Disney’s High School Musical (file that under dark humor, and how many women has Gemma assaulted at this point?)  Sons continues to get darker and darker, and with it, much of the weird fun has been snuffed out … READ MORE

‘Revolution’ Season 1, Episode 2

Perhaps the biggest problem with “Revolution” is not the wooden acting and dialogue or the chaotic nature of the storytelling, or even the fact that in its second week it has already established a repetitive narrative formula (Miles wants to leave the group, Charlie gives him Sad Eyes and does something naive / sentimental / impulsive, the group is in trouble, Miles saves the day and reluctantly re-joins the group, repeat) — its worst sin may be that it’s just kind of boring … READ MORE

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Spaghetti and Coffee”

For reasons unknown there seems to be a difficult balance between a show that’s too slow versus the kind that roars by so fast that the myriad plot points are lost as we try to lay catch up while collecting our jaws off of the floor. In the first camp you have series like Mad MenTreme and Boardwalk Empire, which all take a great deal of time in character study, something that can make viewers impatient, especially if there are ambivalent feelings about the characters in question … READ MORE




TREME Season Three Preview

Your heart aches, your toe taps … it’s Treme time!  HBO generously sent out the first four episodes of the returning David Simon-helmed New Orleans drama, and even though just the premiere episode would have sufficed in proving that the show just keeps getting better and better, it was nice to really get immersed back into its world.  Immersion is key with Treme, because the series is essentially a collection of vignettes about different aspects of New Orleans life, often with vague threads holding them together.  Initially the idea for the series was pitched to HBO pre-Katrina, and was meant to be just about the cities musicians, which still remains a strong theme in the current show.  But after Katrina the series obviously gained traction for a different reason, and there are few who would have handled the material so truthfully and so well as David Simon, who has created a number of critically-acclaimed dramas for the network (The WireThe Corner and the greatly under-appreciated Generation Kill) … READ MORE