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Carol gets the spotlight on The Walking Dead, The Tick will return, and every woman on TV has the same hair.

Tuesday March 15th 2016

The Watercooler

“Seriously, go watch the scene where Carol bums a cigarette from the B-team and begs Alicia Witt and the others to just leave, because if she stays she will be killed. “What, you gonna kill me?” asks Alicia Witt. Carol whispers, “I hope not” and there’s such an incredible honesty there, like Carol has completely stopped talking to Alicia Witt and is instead talking to herself, wishing, begging to avoid a situation where she doesn’t have to kill again. It’s fantastic.” Io9 would like you to know that Melissa McBride crushed it on The Walking Dead this week.

“The problem is that her actions and motivations were so muddled and inconsistent throughout the episode that the whole thing became difficult to sustain. We’re not even sure if Carol’s hyperventilating was a put-on or not. The writing wasn’t always clear as to whether we were watching a cooly calm Carol assessing the situation and playing a part to get the better of her captors or whether we were watching a true meltdown.” It seems like the show really needed to show what happened to Carol during that time jump, because all of the recaps I read showed that there’s some serious confusion about what is going on with Carol.

“It’s something I almost want to see again before assessing, even if that would mean watching the rest of the episode again—Carol’s panic attack and desperation to protect Maggie and her baby are so convincing that it’s hard to be sure just how much of it she’s faking. The idea that Carol would be deeply invested in protecting a new mother makes sense as a concept, but right now it plays more as like a choice made by the writers to give her something do, rather than an internal development.” See? The A.V. Club gave this week’s episode a B.

Uproxx has this week’s questions.

The Business

Netflix has ordered eight episodes of Easy, an anthology series from Joe Swanberg. The cast includes Aya Cash, Orlando Bloom, Marc Maron, Jake Johnson and Hannibal Burress.

The Tick is back! But there’s good news and bad news about Amazon’s new version. The bad news is that the cast will have to be different. Deadline has the details on casting for the pilot.

Casting: Neil Patrick Harris will play Count Olaf in Netflix’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, and Patrick Warburton will play Lemony Snicket. Kenan Thompson will help out on NBC’s Maya and Marty In ManhattanChris Noth has joined the third season of FX’s Tyrant. Sam Neill will play the patriarch of a Texan family in AMC’s drama The Son. Reelz has decided we need more movies about the Kennedys, so Matthew Perry will play Ted Kennedy in The Kennedys- After Camelot.

Pilot Casting:  Gallagher will play the billionaire grandfather of the main character on NBC’s Cruel Intentions. Clayne Crawford, who is so good in Rectify will play the Mel Gibson role in FOX’s Lethal Weapon. This makes me slightly more interested in watching it. Christopher Mintz-Plasse will be one of Joel McHale’s annoying millennial co-workers in The Great Indoors. Jordin Sparks will play a recurring role on ABC and Kevin Williamson’s time travel pilot Time After Time.

The Oscar winning screenwriter for The Big Short is developing a U.S. set modern day civil war drama for Amazon. 

Renewals: It seems Supernatural is a lot harder to kill than the creatures hunted by the Winchester brothers, as The CW has renewed it for a 12th season. Other shows to get a renewal include Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Reign, Legends of Tomorrow, The Vampire Diaries, Jane the Virgin, iZombie, Arrow, The Originals, The Flash, and The 100. Cinemax has renewed Robert Kirkman’s Outcast before the first season has even aired. WGN has renewed their Appalachian set drama Outsiders for a second season. Freeform has renewed Shadowhunters for a second season.

Cancellations: Royal Pains, which I was not aware was still on, will end after the upcoming 8th season. Switched At Birth will end after the upcoming fifth season.

A study found that 31% of people who have access to Netflix don’t actually pay for it. My household is probably the opposite of most, in that my parents mooch off of me. Hi mom! Hope you are still enjoying Suits!

People Talking About TV

“Many of comedies consistently do just that, but to their great credit, most of them don’t feel the need to pat us on the head and patronize us. There are weird experiments and controversial ideas and political agendas all over the TV comedy landscape — and that does feel very much of this cultural moment, in which old hierarchies and attitudes are wobbling and evolving all over the place. Few dramas feel truly subversive or dangerous at the moment; more than ever, comedy is the place where it feels like anything could happen.” Maureen Ryan makes a good argument that comedies have taken over from dramas for a new golden age of TV. The list of shows she mentions in the next paragraph includes Veep, Broad City, Master of None, Transparent, Catastrophe and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, which is a good place to start if for some insane reason you only watch prestige dramas.

“Everything from when the heat started to take over the narrative of the challenge to when Caleb was ultimately taken out of the game via medivac was absolutely incredible television. It was impressively shot and edited, it was dynamic, it was vital, it was surprising, and it was thrilling. Also, it made me feel disgusting.” Survivor came very close to actually killing someone on the episode that aired last week, and this isn’t the only review that was pretty horrified by how it has handled. As someone who really feels the heat, (And the cold. Native Northern Californian over here.) just reading this recap made me feel anxious.

“Josh’s frank acceptance drives the humor of the show, but more than that, his reaction to his changing sexuality normalizes and humanizes the gray area between straight and not. Later, Josh labels himself as gay and comes out to his divorced parents, but before that distinction is set in stone, Josh answers all questions about his sexuality with a frustrated “I don’t know.” In a televised world dominated by hyper-confident straight couples, gay men, and lesbians, the words “I don’t know” are a rarity. Josh’s sexual uncertainty shows that sexual uncertainty is possible and, more importantly, it’s OK.” I need to catch up with the later seasons but I highly recommend watching the first, excellent season of Please Like Me. It also co-stars a totally adorable dog.

“It doesn't matter if you watch a little TV or a lot of TV, dramas or comedies, network shows or Netflix, you've likely noticed a startling trend. An epidemic, if you will. Everyone (well, every woman) on TV has the same damn hair. The same straight-up-top, loose-curls-on-bottom hair.” Racked looks into why every woman on TV has the same hairstyle. One you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.


What To Watch
Season 4 of The Americans starts tomorrow on FX, and at this point this show is like The Wire, you are either one of those people who finally watched it and can’t stop telling everyone how great it is (because it is) or you are in the majority who haven’t seen it yet and are missing out on one of the best TV shows of all time. Anyway, don’t take my word for it, read the glowing reviews for the new season from The A.V. Club, Roger, IndieWire, The New York Times,  and Vulture.

“Buffy telling the wild nights of her vampire killing past and Xander goes: “So, you’ve done some beheading in your time.” Whatever writer came up with this sexual innuendo and then got it approved…I applaud you.” It’s the 19th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s premiere, and Decider found someone who has never seen the show to do recaps. As someone who still quotes the show on a regular basis, please don’t judge the show on the (kind of terrible) pilot. 

I’m just going to keep mentioning how great HBO’s Togetherness is, and linking to super positive reviews like this one, until I’ve convinced all of you to give it a try.

Mark your calendars: AMC has announced that Preacher will premiere on May 22nd after Fear the Walking Dead’s mid-season finale.

Odds and Ends

California has provided a very large share of contestants for the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, and I would like a breakdown of what percentage are actually from Southern California, so I can add that to my list of things (besides not putting rice in burritos,) to hold against the southern part of my state. Also, here’s 2 minutes of the most recent Bachelor staring into space.

Conan had Conor McGregor on and he and Conan played versions of themselves in UFC2. Guess who won? (it’s not hard to guess who won.)

Trailers: I only needed to watch 15 seconds of the trailer for PBS’s Soundbreaking to know that I will be watching every episode when it airs in November. Titus has the best nickname for Kimmy from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Can’t wait for season two. The trailers for this season of Orphan Black are weirdly edited.

The BBC just aired the first episode of Versailles this week, and it’s getting all kinds of complaints for being too racy. Obviously a lot of other viewers do not share this opinion.

Here are some of the ways TV shows have hidden a star’s pregnancy, from CGI, big coats, lamps, or in 30 Rock's case, holding a giant ham with a top hat.

Thanks for reading! I will be back on Thursday with more.

-Alana Cloutier

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