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Top Gear is short a host again, Malfoy gets a job, and the Milli Vanilli of fireworks.

Thursday July 7th 2016

People Talking About TV

“You might, at this point, be thinking about Top Chef, or Gordon Ramsay, or any of the many competitive shows on the Food Network. You might be thinking, "I never find those compelling; how is this different?" Well, let me put it this way: I don't know that it's more exciting, but there are days in which you find yourself more in the mood for a relaxing evening having drinks with low-key, charming friends than for an hour spent watching a skunk and a rat fight over who gets to drag a rotten potato into a hole in the ground.” I think Linda Holmes just summed up reality TV, and also why The Great British Baking Show is so great and relaxing to watch.

“Jaime’s ultimate allegiances are one of the few remaining questions viewers have in terms of who will be on the side of "good" and who will be on the side of "evil." None of the characters have much reason to trust Jaime, but he also increasingly seems uneasy about siding with his sister. This makes him the Snape of the Game of Thrones universe (to toss in a Harry Potter reference at random), which means he’ll probably die, but in a way that makes everybody feel weird.” Vox ranked the 15 characters most likely to make it to the end of the series, or at least, most of the way to the end of the series.

“Responding to criticism that it had put on “the Milli Vanilli of fireworks,” this morning the network tweeted, “We are very proud of the 2016 Capitol Fourth celebration. Because this year’s fireworks were difficult to see due to the weather, we made the decision to intercut fireworks footage from previous A Capitol Fourth concerts for the best possible viewing experience. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”” People were not pleased with either Washington D.C.’s or Boston’s annual fireworks specials. 

“When I learned that my friend Kris was also watching the show semi-obsessively, he and I began theorizing about our strange attraction. What we settled on was this: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is the opposite of destination dining. It’s a travel show about going nowhere. It is the precise opposite of fomo: I never feel like I’m missing out on anything. I’ll never go to Bakersfield to eat “outrageous” Basque food, or seek out Asian Experience, an “outstanding” Thai (and pizza) joint thirty miles farther south, in Taft. But the show is a pleasing reminder of all the unassuming treasures just around the corner, all the entrepreneurs pursuing a modest, neighborhood version of the American Dream, the way landlocked immigrants often juggle their own aspirations with the expectations of whoever’s picking up the check.” An appreciation of Guy Fieri’s signature show, in The New Yorker, of all places. I’ve traveled a lot in the South, and I love BBQ, so Guy Fieri and I have crossed paths several times, though thankfully not at the exact moment. Sometimes the guy manages to get it right.

“Evil ants are kind of a big deal on CBS this summer, between these little guys and the ones from the alien space rock on BrainDead. Think about that for a second. Right now, at this moment, on America’s most popular television network, there are two separate shows about ants that are hellbent on world domination. That’s something. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s definitely something.”  I love the recaps of Zoo so much. I hope CBS keeps this terrible show on the air for years.


The Business

The revamped Top Gear is already short a host, as Chris Evans (not the Captain America one) is out, following low ratings, viewer complaints, co-worker complaints both real and rumored, and also allegations of sexual assault from a few years back. Oof. And the BBC thought Jeremy Clarkson was a lot to handle. Reportedly Matt LeBlanc will host alone, or with one of the other contributors from the show.

HBO apparently wants to turn True Blood into a Broadway musical, and honestly I don’t see a problem with this. The show was so over the top that breaking into song sounds about right.

Steven Universe will air a bunch of new episodes, one every weekday for almost a month, starting on July 18th. Cartoon Network doesn’t believe in your puny one episode a week for a couple months a year TV schedules.

The next season of Game of Thrones might be delayed, now that winter has arrived in Westeros they can’t really shoot in nice weather.

Casting: Tom Felton, who you probably know best as Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies, is joining The Flash as a series regular. Rob Lowe will play a hot military doctor on the next season of Code Black. Zachary Quinto will executive produce and star in Biopunk, a drama about biohacking. Andre Royo will play Sammy Davis Jr. on Masters of Sex. Retta has been upped to a series regular on the better than expected Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. Alex Kingston will play a “very eccentric character” on Gilmore Girls. Matt Lauria has joined the giant cast of Hulu’s Dimension 404. Ariana Grande will play Penny in NBC’s Hairspray Live! Vanessa Lachey will play the third lead in TV Land’s First Wives Club opposite Megan Hilty and Alyson Hannigan.

Renewals: TBS renewed Angie Tribeca for a third season, and Wrecked for a second. TNT picked up Animal Kingdom for a second season. Good news for Poldark fans, season two airs this fall, and the series has already been renewed for a third season. USA renewed Chrisley Knows Best for a fifth season.

ABC has already cancelled Uncle Buck.

The Russo Brothers are adapting the cult classic The Warriors as a TV show for Paramount and Hulu.

What To Watch

HBO's The Night Of, a new limited series that starts this Sunday is getting excellent reviews. Alan Sepinwall loved the first 7 episodes (they don't send out the final ep), and says it’s what HBO badly needs right now. The Ringer says it ”delivers on a particular strain of the old-guard prestige-TV promise.” (James Gandolfini is credited as an executive producer, and was set to play the role John Turturro took over.) Decider says it’s proof that we are in a “new golden age of crime TV.” (I agree) Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- More good reviews over here from Slate, IGN, and Roger Ebert. It basically looks like Serial, the TV show, which isn't a bad thing to be. Here's the trailer. 

Yay! Thanks to the new Netflix deal that speeds things up, season one of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the (equally as good as the first) second season of Jane the Virgin are now on Netflix.

Here’s Decider’s picks for the best stuff to watch on streaming this month.

Now that Game of Thrones has finished up for the year, here’s a list of 6 shows that might help with your withdrawal. I completely agree about Rome. Backstabbing (literally), blood, sex, messed up sibling relationships, and amazing production values. Plus there’s quite a bit of crossover of the cast.

Speaking of production values, here’s that and several other reasons, including hot guys, why you should give Netflix’s Marco Polo a try.

Did you skip CBS’s Supergirl? Are you slightly more interested in watching now that she’s not sidelined, but can join the rest of the costumed heroes once in a while over at The CW? If so, you can catch up on two episodes a week on The CW starting August 1st before the second season starts in October.

The A.V. Club is pretty shocked at how good the new version of The Match Game is, and I am going to have to take the writer’s word for it, because I watched 15 minutes of the first episode and I was sure this was actually just a really long 30 Rock joke. I kept waiting for Jenna Maroney or Tracy Jordan to come out.

I was just talking the other day about the weird mix of free TV over at Shout Factory, so here’s a quarterly reminder that you could be watching The Saint, Sapphire and Steel, Hill Street Blues, and the original puppet based Thunderbirds right now.

Person of Interest has ended its run, and IGN has the top 10 episodes. I really need to catch up on this one, now that’s it’s finished. It’s a much better show than I was expecting.

I've been catching up on season 4 of The Americans (so tense!) and Preacher. Mainly though I caught up on Maya and Marty, which I highly recommend. Hulu has the latest episode up where Jiminy Glick interviews Jerry Seinfeld, and Will Forte tries to act out a drama about the breakdown of the American dream with puppets and 7 broken fingers.  It's so stupid and amazing.

Odds and Ends

Game of Thrones! Here’s a round-up of all the many musical projects from the cast. Here’s a list of all the ways Cersei is actually worse in the books. Slashfilm graded some of the fan theories (Caution! Potential spoilers!) from plausible to preposterous.

Uproxx ranked the “most soul crushing moments” from the Whedonverse. It’s hard to argue with the top spot, Buffy really earned its several spots on the list, but I’m not sure I’ve recovered from everything that happened to Fred in the final season of Angel.

Timothy Olyphant, who is always a hilarious pain in Conan’s ass when he's on, and Jerrod Carmichael, want you to know that TV is a lie, and this deleted bit from Conan is the loosest Conan O’Brien has been on TV in years. Maybe because he knew it wasn’t going to be on TV?

Ah, news bloopers. You never get old. (To me anyway.) Lots of Australian morning TV in this one.

Speaking of bloopers, here’s the blooper reel from the second half of The Wine Show. Who would have thought a show about drinking would have so many bloopers?

Trailers: Ash Vs. Evil Dead returns in October, and based on this teaser, there’s going to be even more blood and gutsOther than Donald Glover’s character being able to sleep anywhere, the newest teaser for Atlanta doesn’t tell us much.

If you have 7 and a half minutes, and you loved Frasier as much as I did, then you should watch this compilation of every one of Frasier and Niles’s horrified “Oh, dear Gods.”


That’s it for this week, but I will be back on Tuesday. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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