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The Walking Dead irritates, The Grammys, and NBC gives variety shows another go.

Tuesday February 16th 2016
 

The Watercooler

“Rick and Michonne rush Carl to the infirmary, where Nurse Denise awaits. But Rick, like virtually every angry man in this show, decides to use his surplus of emotion by killing zombies. He runs outside into the zombie horde with a hatchet and just starts hacking ‘em down. Men, am I right? The others who are holed up in the infirmary quickly realize that Rick’s going to get himself killed, so they run outside too—not to save him from himself, though, but to start killing zombies too.” The Walking Dead is back, and the writing is already pissing off the recappers.

“On a visceral level, it was definitely satisfying. But the one thing I keep coming back to is how I reacted to the episode: I didn’t trust the writers to play fair. I expected them to cheat and play dirty, just to get a reaction. That’s direct fallout from last year’s Glenn fake-out, and while things will certainly keep chugging for the time being, how will it play long term, when new characters appear and new relationships start forming? How will it affect things when the new big bad finally appears?” The Verge is keeping track of the likelihood that they will just stop watching the show this season. It went up 5% after watching this week’s episode.

“We’re running low on recognizable Alexandrians. If this keeps up, the writers are going to have to spend time developing all new disposable people.” The A.V. Club gave the episode a B-, which seems charitable.

EW talked to showrunner Scott M. Gimple about the episode. I really wish these interviews took the same tone as the recaps. Everyone involved with the show knows the ratings are still great, so there’s no incentive to change unless people start giving them shit for their decisions.

Uproxx has
this week’s GIFs, and 10 questions they have after this week’s outing.

 



Taylor Swift (savior of the record industry) might have won album of the year, but the The Grammy’s really belonged to Kendrick Lamar. What a great performance.

Here’s the complete list of winners, and Vulture has the best frozen moments.

Lady Gaga was in charge of the David Bowie tribute, which is honestly kind of a perfect choice.

Speaking of costumes, Tom and Lorenzo and The Cut have opinions on what everyone wore on the red carpet.

Bieber and James Corden once again did some Carpool Karaoke.

 



Isobel: I’ve a letter from Lady Grantham.
Robert: “Dearest Robert, I’m leaving. It has nothing to do with your scheming wife. The fact that I bought you a bitch as a parting gift is merely a coincidence.” Tom and Lorenzo recapped this week’s episode of Downton Abbey with only imagined dialogue. I love that they dog apparently wasn’t to be trusted upstairs, so it was left to crap all over the servants workplace.

“"You want a free nurse to take a tiresome old man off your hands. You're a cool little miss, aren't you? I'd feel sorry for Larry if I didn't dislike him so much," all of which are delivered with icy perfection. Crookshanks tries to cool the agony of Violet's sick burns by asking her to leave, so that no one says anything that will make future meetings awkward, and Violet announces that there will be no future meetings: "Not if I see you first."” Go Fug Yourself has a lot more, but we both enjoyed Violet dealing with some unfinished business before she took her surprise vacation.

 

The Business

NBC has given the greenlight to Maya and Marty In Manhattan, the live variety show from Maya Rudolph and Martin Short. Despite not being totally on board with the concept, I’d watch that.

FOX has decided that we all need a TV version of the Lethal Weapon movies, and Damon Wayans (Sr.) has been cast in the Danny Glover role.

Dr. Dre will produce and star in Vital Signs, a show about his life that will be Apple Music’s first scripted show.

Chris Hardwick got himself yet another job,( though it’s just for the premiere and the finale,) as AMC has decided to do an after show for Better Call Saul. It’ll be called Talking Saul, which I guess sticks to the established naming pattern, but could have been catchier.

Speaking of nerds, AMC has ordered a late night talk show that will be hosted by Kevin Smith and Greg Grunberg.

VH1 ordered The Breaks, the drama about hip hop in the 1990s, to series.

Jonah Hill will host SNL for the fourth time on March 5th. Is it just me, or do they need to branch out with their hosts? Doesn't he host ever year? And can't the same be said of Melissa McCarthy? Both are solid, but it's fun to see new people try.

Casting: Daniel Craig will play a yet to be revealed role in the TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s PurityAshley Judd has also joined Twin Peaks. No news on who she will be playing, obviously.

Pilot News: Syfy has ordered a pilot for Prototype, a show about some random guys who “stumble upon an invention that challenges the very nature of quantum physics.”

Pilot Casting: Laura Dern will star and produce a show for HBO about death row, that will be written and directed by Alex Gibney. Mark Paul Gosselaar has been cast in Pitch, a baseball drama at FOX. Emily Kinney has been cast in Conviction, the one that also stars Hayley Atwell.

Day of Our Lives has been renewed for a 51st season51 seasons!

 

People Talking About TV

“One of the nation’s most intriguing TV journalists is meticulous in his preparation. Every video clip that appears on his show is fact-checked.  An attorney is often called upon to vet the contents of his reports. When some of his digging uncovered things related to the National Security Agency, he had staffers on his show give the agency a call to get its side of the story. The reporter’s name? John Oliver.” He claims to have nothing in common with 60 Minutes, but it's true, isn’t Last Week Tonight just a shorter, funnier, 60 Minutes? This week’s episode took on voter ID laws, which like a lot of the subjects the show covers, will made you mad.

PAW Patrol takes place in a (Canadian) town called Adventure Bay that apparently has no functional fire department, police department, or local contractors. So whenever someone around town has a problem, they have to go crawling to a volunteer squad of seven puppies (not even grown dogs!) and one (Canadian) boy, all of whom work out of the town’s space needle. This is what libertarianism looks like, people. Think about that the next time you read an Ayn Rand book.” A dad takes his annoyance out on PAW Patrol, a cartoon that you’ve never heard of unless you’ve recently hung out with a 3 year-old.

 

What To Watch

Broad City returns to Comedy Central tomorrow, but other than that it’s a slow couple of days, so now is your chance to catch up. I will be catching up on this weekend's TV, so my list includes Vinyl, Last Week Tonight and Better Call Saul.

Alan Sepinwall is super in favor of Triumph’s Election Special 2016. He says it’s “the most satisfying coverage I've seen so far of this ridiculous campaign cycle, and by far the most I've laughed at any TV show so far this year.”

Vulture defends Boardwalk Empire, they call it “the Golden Age of TV Drama’s hidden treasure.” I watched every episode, and mostly enjoyed every episode, but I seem to be in the minority. Is this because it was kind of slow? Because slow isn’t a bad thing when your cast is as good as the one on this show. Plus the costumes and sets are amazing.

 

Odds and Ends

HBO released a bunch of new photos (and a teaser trailer) from the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, and Uproxx has some thoughts. My first thought was man, everyone looks miserable! Miserable and really dirty.

Vanessa Bayer’s impression of Rachel from Friends annoys me just as much as the real Rachel from Friends, so good job. You should also watch the SNL movie trailer for the “Day Beyonce Turned Black.”

Lily Collins and Matt Bomer are currently filming the Amazon pilot for the Last Tycoon, and while they look fantastic in costume, I laughed when I scrolled down to the one of Bomer in modern sunglasses carrying a Trader Joe’s bag. I love seeing actors in period costume doing modern stuff.

Vulture made a list of every terrible thing that’s happened to Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a long list.

The Tonight Show decided to bring back “Tight Pants,” so that song will be stuck in your head for the next three days.

Trailers: It’s unlikely the ratings for the new Roots will be the same as the original, because nothing short of the Super Bowl gets numbers like that anymore, but damn, that’s a good trailerDaredevil also has a new trailer, also good, but things look complicated for Matt now that the Punisher has come to town. It’s a good week for Tom Hiddleston fans, with two whole trailers featuring him without a shirt. Despite the kind of basic trailer, I am looking forward to The Night Manager. (I’m also looking forward to High-RiseThings still aren’t working out for Richard on Silicon Valley. Things also aren’t working out over on The Americans. Can’t wait for the new season. Pee Wee’s Big Holiday looks just like you thought it would. Cameron Crowe’s Roadies looks surprisingly sweet. Less sweet is Confirmation, the HBO movie about Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings. Kerry Washington is perfect casting for Anita Hill. Buttercup beats up a lumberjack in the first teaser for the new Powerpuff Girls.

Susan Sarandon explains on Late Night how SNL approached her to do the digital short “Motherlover,” which ended up being surprisingly “tasteful.”

TVLine has some good suggestions for spin-offs of The Good Wife, and a couple they describe as ones they’d immediately cancel. I agree with both.

If Kanye West always talking about Kanye hasn’t already annoyed you, perhaps “I Love Kanye” put over the theme from Seinfeld will push you over the edge?

If you’ve ever wondered what Master Of None would have looked like if it was pitched in the 1990s, then you should probably just watch “Big Bud Lil Bud.” Let's never forget how the 1990s were a terrible time for sitcoms.

Not having seen every episode, or the movie, it’s actually pretty hard to tell if these lines were spoken by Deadpool, or Selina Meyers from Veep.

 

That's all for today, but I will be back on Thursday with a longer What To Watch. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier



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