It struck me last night that where “Vegas” has gone right and the quickly cancelled “Pan Am” and “Playboy Club” went wrong is in the presentation of its period detail. “Vegas,” like “Mad Men,” allows the sounds and styles of the 1960s to wash over viewers in a way where the time period is obvious but isn’t directly pointed out. There aren’t winks about pregnant women smoking or comments about constant drinking (Savino does drink more or less constantly, but few others do, and there’s no attention brought to it). Most refreshingly, there are no pseudo-clever jokes made with historical hindsight. In “Vegas,” the 1960s are a backdrop, not a reason for existence … READ MORE
Now here’s the stuff! After a shaky few weeks, Sons of Anarchy gives us a great, dense episode that answers old questions, brings up new ones, and even has its own complete in-episode dramas. Jax is at a breaking point with everything surrounding him, pressures from the club, his family, Pope, Eli, Frankie, Nero, the RICO case, the cartel … the list goes on and on. Still, Jax keeps his cool, maneuvering his pieces to battle Clay as club business, meaning that the club could vote to exile him and kill him. It ain’t easy bein’ a Son. For more on the episode and why if you don’t do what I say then you’d better get used to living in a brothel, hit the jump … READ MORE
Hurricane (now post-tropical storm) Sandy has made its major impact, though continues to drag its remains across the Northeast; similarly, the news media’s frantic coverage of the storm reached its apex sometime around Monday night. Viewers lamented the loss of the historic floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which — according to CNN’s Piers Morgan via “the National Weather Service” — was under three feet of water. Turns out though, it wasn’t true … READ MORE
After several weeks of complaining that “The Good Wife’s” Cases of the Week had been unconnected filler at best, “Waiting for the Knock” did away with the show’s procedural formula and made it all about the investigation and drama, to great effect. In fact, “Waiting for the Knock” may be the best episode so far this year (though not without its issues) because it played upon the series strengths which, strangely, recently have not been about courtroom drama (even Cary got a small part to play!) The theme of “Waiting for the Knock” seemed primarily about separating business from the personal, and how the two really are inextricably linked … READ MORE
“Q&A” may be the quietest Homeland episode yet, but it packed a powerful emotional punch. I’ll admit, my attention span is not what it used to be, but for the full hour of “Q&A” I was riveted, unable to look away, and not once tempted to cast a stray eye to my nearby phone. If Claire Danes‘ acting tour de force this season so far was in “State of Independence,” Damien Lewis certainly came close to matching it in “Q&A.” Brody’s spectrum of emotions as he went from standing firm, to being incredibly frightened (but still lying) and finally to the immense relief of telling the truth was captivating stuff. It was calm (for the most part, minus Peter’s Bad Cop routine, which was brilliant — he really is a great interrogator), but there were turgid rivers of emotion underneath everyone’s skin, and moving forward, things will only get more complicated. For more on that and why you are drowning in lies! … READ MORE
“Sunday Best” is likely to be a polarizing episode of Boardwalk Empire — if you liked the characters that were focused on so closely, you’ll love it. Otherwise, it probably felt like a largely useless hour of television. No extreme violence or politics or excessively complicated plotting, just family and lots of emotion. Many of you have commented this season that the series has felt adrift because of That Big Decision that ended last season, really rerouting the course of the series. Since then, Boardwalk has struggled mightily to find itself again, and give us a clear picture of where things are headed. Though “Sunday Best” was languid in its pace, it did outline a turn for the rest of the season that portends well … READ MORE
Though “Jungle Gold” is a good companion series to “Gold Rush,” the two could not be more different in their portrayal of fortune hunting.
After the success of the original gold-mining series Gold Rush (whose third season premiere intros intoJungle Gold), Discovery has taken its fortune hunting in a new direction, tagging along with two Utah men (George and Scott) who have gone to the dense jungles of Ghana to try and strike it rich during Ghana’s current gold rush. … READ MORE
The Discovery series plays up the allure of the mining gamble where hard work doesn’t always pay off, and luck has the final say.
Discovery’s gold mining series Gold Rush has returned for a third season keeping up with the life and trials of three (now split into four) crews of men in various areas around Alaska’s Klondike region, who earn their living (or in many cases, don’t) by mining for gold. The series will be looking to retain its position as the network’s top-rated show, and while in many ways it presents itself as any other docu-series following those with strange or tough jobs, there is something to Gold Rush that does give it extra spark … READ MORE
— There have been several Arnold Schwarzenegger sightings this week as he is in town filmingBreacher (also called The Ten, since it’s inspired by Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians) around Tucker and off of Lawrenceville Hwy. The movie also stars Malin Akerman, Sam Worthington,Joe Maganiello, Josh Holloway and a bunch of other people you have definitely heard of.
— One tipster reported seeing Arnold and his entourage at the Loews Hotel in Midtown Saturday night. And according to @AJCBuzz, “the former Governator was spotted Sunday at STK, Midtown’s swank and celeb-friendly steak restaurant.” … READ MORE
In case you hadn’t heard, “Vegas” has been picked up for a full season by CBS, so for now everyone can rest easy about cancellation. It wasn’t likely, anyway — the show has been winning its Thursday-night timeslot with a hefty viewer load, which I (obviously) think it deserves. There’s something almost quaintly lovable about the series — it’s not loud or a whirlwind or chock-full of violence and gore and shock, but it’s good. Not great, not yet, but it’s solidly good … READ MORE