by Josie Kafka
This week: Walking and Talking--They Were Serious About That?--First-World Problems--Coming Soon to a TV Screen Near You--This Week In Casts--Better Than Cats
Walking and Talking
Aaron Sorkin’s new show Newsroom premiered last Sunday on HBO. It’s preachy but not wrong, trite but touching, interesting but (weirdly, intentionally) outdated. I enjoyed it more than I expected to, and it’s my recommendation of the week. (It beat out Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads, which faltered in its third episode.)
In an interview with the Onion about his new role, Newsroom star Jeff Daniels said, “I’d been looking at television for probably the last year and a half, either to develop something of my own or just go to a series, because it’s where the writers seem to be. Especially on the cable side. Every actor just wants good writing. Give me good writing, and I’ll play it all day.”
I know I’m preaching to the choir—heck, I’m practically preaching to the priests—but my heart is warmed by any acknowledgement of just how great TV has become in the past few years. Sure, we still have dreck like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and various inane reality competition shows, but if you want interesting characters and original, long-form stories written with intelligence, TV’s the place to go.
They Were Serious About That?
We don’t cover The Office here, but many of us secretly watch NBC’s once-great sitcom with the same schadenfreude typically reserved for discovering that an ex-boyfriend has wound up in a miserable relationship with a soul-sucking harpy. That Teutonic glee has turned to disgusted amazement, though, as TVLine reveals that NBC is seriously pursuing the Dwight Schrute spinoff show about running a beat farm with his wacky extended family, one of whom was a Nazi.
On late Wednesday night, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson ran with very little electricity. Seriously. Flashlights and stuff, although somehow the cameras were still rolling. I don’t quite know why I find this so funny. I also don’t know why they didn’t just call off filming for the day and show a re-run. I don’t even know anyone who watches this show that I’d barely heard of. So here’s a clip.
Coming Soon to a TV Screen Near You
Damon Lindelof has found his new project: an HBO series based on Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers, about the humans left behind in a post-Rapture world. It sounds to me like a cross between The Walking Dead and the Left Behind mega-series, but I’ll certainly tune in and probably love it. (I’ve got a whole complicated theory about why we love semi-post-apocalyptic shows so much right now.)
Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield (and The Unit) continues to explore his love affair with casual-wear uniforms in the upcoming Last Resort, about a US submarine gone unintentionally rogue. Last Resort will air Thursdays at 8 on ABC, and—here’s the cool part—includes Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse) and Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family, The OC).
This Week In Casts
Chris Zylka of The Secret Circle has been tapped to star in the ensemble cast of American Horror Story’s second season. He will be joining Joseph Fiennes, whom I’ve mentioned here just so I can get in my biweekly dig at FlashForward.
It’s confirmed: Chevy Chase will return to Community’s highly-anticipated/dreaded fourth season. I guess we know who won the Dan Harmon vs. Chevy Chase border skirmish.
Elizabeth Mitchell has joined the cast (As a regular? Semi-regular? It’s unclear.) of the upcoming Eric Kripke/J.J. Abrams collaboration Revolution, about a semi-post-apocalyptic (see above) band of plucky heroes who live in a world in which the electricity hasn’t worked for 15 years.
Let me say it again: Elizabeth Mitchell. Can I get a woo? And a hoo?
Better Than Cats
The cast of Firefly (a little show by some guy with some okay people in it) will reunite in San Diego for Comic-Con 2012 on Friday, July 13th. (Jewel Staite will be MIA due to prior commitments.)
There’s an interesting conversation about conventions (a conversate-a-con) going on in our Suggestion Box. What do you think? Do you attend cons? Do you wish you could but can’t afford the prices? Are you happy just reading the online recaps and watching the clips?