May 1, 2013 |
Television is an unusually fluid art. Because a TV series exists in time, over time, change and revision are in its blood. It's as if painters went back to work on their paintings after they were hung in museums. Series of films or books based on repeating characters also evolve - Sean Connery, meet Daniel Craig - but their progress is relatively glacial. TV series are fruit flies by comparison, mutating not just from season to season but week to week. The inauspiciously titled "Family Tools," which premieres Wednesday on ABC, is based on a middling British series called "White Van Man. " On the basis of its pilot episode, taken alone, I might have warned you to be out of the house Wednesday night in case you might see it even by accident.
February 27, 2013 |
On a chilly morning at Santa Clarita Studios, the cast and crew of ABC Family's "Switched at Birth" are about to tape a scene at an outdoor carwash. It is not quiet on the set. A creaky cart rattles past. Rubber cables swoosh as they're dragged along the concrete. A hiss comes from the hot-coffee dispenser at craft services. In the distance, a car engine starts up. The collective sprightly chatter of milling crew members rises, then falls as a call for calm goes out. The director, in a North Face jacket and wool cap, shouts, "Action!"
April 6, 2014 |
If you thought the Louis CK episode of “SNL” was weird and dark, you ain't seen nothing until you've watched the Anna Kendrick episode. Just kidding. this weekend's show, with Pharrell Williams as musical guest, was as harmonious, lighthearted and girly as one would expect from the “Pitch Perfect” actress, serving as a spring palate cleaner between CK's episode and next week's, which will feature Seth Rogen as host and undoubtedly some pot humor and James Franco references. Not only was last night's episode musical, it was downright Disneyfied, with Kendrick performing a parody of “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast" during her monologue, enchanting everyone at the show (except for Lorne Michaels)
March 21, 2014 |
When telling a tale that includes centuries of endurance, moments of triumph, bursts of humor and sudden, unspeakable atrocities, what's the right tone with which to articulate it all? That's the trick historian Simon Schama had to figure out in his new documentary, "The Story of the Jews," which begins in the Middle Eastern desert about 3,000 years ago and tracks up to the more-or-less present. The program, in five hourlong parts, broadcasts on PBS on Tuesday and April 1. "I wanted to say, without putting on a ridiculous smiley face or making light of the tragic aspects, that there is a story to be told beyond one clearly framed by the assumption of catastrophe," the British historian said in Pasadena.
April 14, 2014 |
Things get small - really small - in this week's episode of " Cosmos ," which tackles the unseen universe at the atomic scale, from the teeming ecosystem inside a single dewdrop and the intricate machinery inside a plant's cells, to the subatomic particles at the heart of a giant exploding star. Carl Sagan famously observed that we are made of star stuff, but that star stuff in turn is made of atoms - the fundamental building blocks of nature - and there are more atoms in the human eye than there are stars in the known universe, according to our host, the Collection of Atoms Known as Neil de Grasse Tyson.
June 15, 2012 |
Loyal viewers of "Breaking Bad"know that we bid adios to drug kingpin Gus Fring in "Face Off,"the final episode of the series' slow burn of a fourth season (and anyone not yet up to that episode should quit reading now). Series creator Vince Gilligan and his writing team had effectively, and with great reluctance, signed El Pollo Hermano's death warrant a year earlier in the Season 3 finale. Series protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston) had defied Gus, and with egos this big clashing, Gilligan says, "it's like the tagline from 'Highlander': There can be only one. " The chess game between the two strong-willed, controlling men played out over the course of the season's 13 episodes with the meticulous Gus (Giancarlo Esposito)
August 23, 2012 |
Dan Harmon was unceremoniously dumped from his NBC comedy series "Community" after the end of last season, but he apparently bears no ill will toward the people who are keeping the series going. And for the first time, he's discussing publicly the source of his feud with star Chevy Chase. On Wednesday, Harmon participated in one of Reddit's "IAma" Q&As, in which people from various walks of life answer reader questions. Of the dispute with Chase, which resulted in Harmon swearing at the star during the "Community" wrap party and playing angry voicemails from Chase in front of an audience, Harmon wrote: WATCH: Fall 2012 TV previews "He refused to do the "tag" for the Digital Estate Planning episode (the 8 bit video game episode)
January 13, 2014 |
Sunday's episode of "Downton Abbey" on PBS featured a guest appearance by one of opera's biggest living talents: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The New Zealand-born soprano played Dame Nellie Melba, an actual opera singer who hailed from Australia and whose career spanned the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Downton" portrays Melba as a guest performer of the Crawley household, serenading the family after dinner with the aria "O Mio Babbino, Caro" from Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi.
February 5, 2014 |
Caity Lotz joined the cast of "Arrow" this season as Sara Lance, the long-lost sister of Laurel Lance and the newly minted costumed crusader Black Canary. In its second season, "Arrow" has upped its connections to the wider DC Universe, and in this week's episode, "Heir to the Demon," fans will get a look at Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) from the League of Assassins. They will also get a look at a more blissful time in the history of the main characters, back in the days before Oliver Queen's fateful boat trip that resulted in Sara's disappearance.
September 11, 2013 |
The series finale of “Burn Notice” will air on Thursday night, and when it ends so will the life of one of the show's main characters. That's all USA will say in advance of the highly anticipated episode titled “Reckoning.” The show follows the dangerous adventures of burned spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and his rag-tag group of spy friends as they use their super-human detection skills to solve mysteries and crack international cases. At the core of the show is its humanity as Westen negotiates his difficult relationship with his troubled mother Madeline, played by Sharon Gless.