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Ryan Murphy wins this round, Cop Rock, and how to handle spoilers in the age of streaming.

Thursday May 5th 2016

People Talking About TV

“I’m a near-absolutist about spoilers. I almost always care more about how things happen in a story than what happens. Back in 1998, somebody told me the ending of The Sixth Sense before I had a chance to see it, and I still enjoyed the film immensely, not as a thriller with a twist ending but as a tenderhearted supernatural character portrait about a man who died and then spent the next few months denying he was dead. I realize most people don’t watch things that way, though, so I try to be sensitive to that.(“Screw you for spoiling The Sixth Sense,” somebody writes in the comments section.)” Luckily for me, I am the same way about spoilers as Matt Zoller Seitz. But I know a bunch of people who are very sensitive to anything that might be considered a spoiler, so I understand. But I also get that people want to talk about it immediately, and Twitter is a good place to do that. There’s a poll on this article, if you want to weigh in on when it's OK to talk about it on social media. 

“TV has offered plenty of dramas built around men who hide their emotions from the world around them — just look at Dexter, which had its own stumbles in its final years (hopefully, Alicia won't also run off to become a lumberjack) — but female protagonists tend to be more open about their feelings at all times, just as society in general expects women to be. Every now and then, you'll see a China Beach or a Nurse Jackie built around a woman who doesn't like to show her true face very often, but no show has dealt with the struggle to defy societal expectations and keep one's feelings under tight wraps as often, or as well, as The Good Wife.” In honor of its final episode, Alan Sepinwall says goodbye to Alicia Florrick, who only let you see what she wanted you to.

“And I'm generally of the opinion that any subject can be a musical, if handled correctly. So the idea of a guy breaking into song as he's being arrested and a near-riot breaks out among his neighbors makes sense on paper, but even if you know you're watching Cop Rock it (this is the first number in the series) comes completely out of nowhere. And also you know who should not be allowed to write rap? Randy Newman.” Two writers at Previously TV had a few drinks and decided to watch Cop Rock.

“There isn’t a death problem on TV. There is, however, a “we think you’re idiots” problem. Thrones and The Walking Dead have treated viewers like idiots, but this is the savviest viewing audience that has ever existed. We know when we’re being bullsh*tted. And in treating us like idiots, producers and networks force actors into the uncomfortable position of lying to the very people who make their jobs possible.” Good piece on how much of a missed opportunity the whole Jon Snow situation was for Game Of Thrones.


The Business

Ryan Murphy now has another anthology show on FX. The 8 episode Feud will star Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, and will cover the time they spent making “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” Damn it, I am going to watch this one, aren’t I? I totally am. You win this round, Ryan Murphy.

Netflix has given a 10 episode series order to Dear White People.

Hulu has ordered more episodes of The Path and The Mindy Project, as well as an election special from Triumph The Insult Comic Dog.

Seth MacFarlane has been given a 13 episode series order by FOX for his untitled dreamed sci-fi show set 300 years in the future. He will star and executive produce.

It feels like there should be more episodes of SNL this season, but I guess that’s because I am in denial that it’s May already. So here's the hosts who will finish out the season. Drake will both host and be the musical guest on May 14th, and Fred Armisen, who seriously, it feels like he hasn’t even left, will host with musical guest Courtney Barnett on May 21st.

Casting: Vanessa Williams has joined the cast of The Librarians, a show that I decided was just too silly after one episode.

E! Has a third scripted series in development, which is described as a cross between Breaking Bad and the movie Go, which makes me moderately curious.

Will Supergirl move to The CW next season? Anonymous sources claim that might be on option, as are budget cuts.

Variety has a scorecard for all the networks, and lists what is working, and what isn’t. Looking ahead, I am most looking forward to what FX has in the works.


What To Watch

Marseille is now available on Netflix, but even if it is the “french House of Cards” I won’t be watching it because I am allergic to Gerard Depardieu. Sorry Netflix. Also, French critics aren’t that into it either. If it’s really good, I’m sure you guys will let me know that I’m wrong.

The A.V. Club gave the second season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, which is back tomorrow, a B+.

The Good Wife, who many call the “last great network drama” (certainly one that does 22 episode seasons) has it’s series finale on Sunday. Just don’t expect any surprise cameos from Kalinda.

SNL is back this week and Oscar winner Brie Larson (who put out a pop album, but she doesn't talk about it, so maybe there won't be singing?) is the host, with Alicia Keys as the musical guest. Here’s the promos.

Wallander returns to PBS on Sunday for more Scandinavian crime fighting.

I am slowly catching up on The Americans (I prefer to watch this one in chunks) and it’s been pretty hard to avoid all of the many spoilers this season, (yes, I know the biggest one, yes this is the one show where I kind of care about spoilers.) but according to Alan Sepinwall, Matt Zoller SeitzTodd VanDerWerff and Maureen Ryan, this week’s outing is one of the best the show has ever done, which is really saying something.

Peaky Blinders will be back for a third season on Netflix on May 31st, which is exciting, and which is also plenty of time to catch up. If you’ve always wanted a cross between Boardwalk Empire and Sons of Anarchy, but without the time commitment, and with harder to follow accents, this is the show for you. 

Mark your calendars for these returning summer shows. I can’t wait for more Mr. Robot.


Odds and Ends

Game of Thones! That bathing scene was apparently quite awkward for Kit Harington. There’s a new, and pretty bonkers theory about Hodor. Hodor? Hodor.

I am hoarding a couple of episodes of Outlander, so I can watch them all at once, so I am excited to see all of this season’s costumes in action. For the latest look at the costumes, check in with Tom and Lorenzo over here.

Speaking of costumes, nobody likes the new Power Rangers suits.

Trailers: If you've been meaning to catch up, the trailer for the second season of MTV’s Scream has tons of spoilers for season 1. Doctor Throne, Julian Fellowes’ follow up to Downton Abbey has a trailer. And Alison Brie! It arrives on Amazon Prime on the 20th.

The Tonight Show brought back musical beers for the cast of the new Captain America movie, and Jimmy and Sebastian Stan kind of have a moment.

The Late Late Show supersized their latest Carpool Karaoke with Gwen Stefani, George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Might as well end the week with all of The Muppets edited together to Outkast’s Ms. Jackson. I don’t think I will ever get tired of these.


That’s it for this week, but I will be back on Tuesday with recaps of whatever heartwarming stuff Game Of Thrones has in store for us this Mother’s Day. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier


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