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Ash Vs. The Evil Dead, TV rediscovers the soap, and Norman Reedus rides a motorcycle.

Thursday October 29th 2015

People Talking About TV

Game of Thrones' Outstanding Drama win at the Emmys this year indicates a new era of perceived legitimacy for its genre, and I'm not talking about fantasy: GOT completely operates as a soap. All the scheming and vindictiveness would be perfectly at home on Melrose Place; the disguises, acceptance of the paranormal, and the absence and reemergence of obscure characters can all be found on Passions.” Now that we are finally moving away from the era of the anti-hero, we seem to be moving straight into the age of the soap. I am OK with that.

“In its way, that feeling is very true to life; you get together a few times over winter breaks, but it's not quite the same, and little by little you mostly drift away. But "realistic" is not by definition good television. (Hat tip to One Tree Hill, a show that assessed its college-transition odds, found them slim, and jumped the whole mess five years forward. Well played.)” Vulture asks why high school shows have such a hard time when their characters go off to college. 

House of Cards is an exaggerated look at the duplicitous nature of Washington politics (“Another murder, I mean really,” Clinton joked)—but the other two shows are essentially based on Clinton’s political career. She’s like an ER doctor who comes home after work to watch ER.Hillary Clinton was on the Late Show the other night and she listed three shows she’s been binge watching, and two of them, Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, are partially based on her. That's amazing. It's like when Mr. Burns has to go to the grocery store and thinks that everyone has a cereal that looks like them, so he buys Count Chocula.

“The protagonist either wins (if the fight takes place at the end of the episode), or loses in some inconsequential way (if it takes place in the middle). The outcome is never in doubt. You can fast-forward, go the bathroom, text or read the Internet while these fights are taking place and miss nothing. I know because that’s what I do every single time one comes on.” An argument that most TV fight scenes are boring. I can’t argue with that, but then not every show can be like Daredevil.

 

The Business

After renewing it for a second season back in July, HBO has cancelled The Brink. That ought to send a shiver down the spine of every show with modest ratings.

AMC has given a six episode order to an unscripted series starring Norman Reedus who will ride around America, on a motorcycle, and explore motorcycle culture in various cities. That is some excellent news for his fans, who are intense.

LeBron James will produce The Wall, a game show for NBC that involves trivia and ball tossing ability, (I guess we need to see that in action to get the picture) and it will be hosted by extremely busy person Chris Hardwick, who must have an identical twin brother or possibly a machine that makes clones.

Shondaland is producing a comedy about nannies that will be executive produced by Scandal’s Katie Lowes, a former nanny, and Kerry Washington.

NBC is developing a drama based on Charlaine Harris’s (True Blood) series of books. Midnight, Texas is set in a small town with lots of secrets. Supernatural secrets, obviously.

Casting: As with all casting for Twin Peaks, it’s unconfirmed that Jennifer Jason Leigh has joined the cast, despite being seen on set. Judy Greer booked a guest spot on Mom as a drunk the leads meet in a bar. Stephen Tobolowsky (who to me will always be Ned from Groundhog Day) will play a demanding CEO on Silicon Valley. Clea DuVall has joined the cast of USA’s werewolf drama Brooklyn Animal Control. Efren Ramirez will play Dean’s body double on The Grinder. Nathan Darrow, who you know as Meechum from House Of Cards, will play Mr. Freeze on GothamJessy Schram, who some people still dislike because of Veronica Mars, will have an 8 episode arc on Nashville.

CBS gave Life In Pieces a full 22 episode order, while FOX did the same for both The Grinder and Grandfathered.

The Weather Channel will move away from reality programming and back towards reporting about the weather, now that IBM has purchased the digital half of its parent company. Also, there’s probably a lot more weather now, thanks to climate change.

HBO has released some dates for upcoming shows- Vinyl will premiere on February 14th. Girls and Togetherness will both be back on February 21st.

NBC is scheduling Jennifer Lopez’s Shades Of Blue for January, but as long as Tom and Lorenzo keep making fun of the costumes I don’t think I will need to watch the actual show.

 

What To Watch

If you were worried that Ash Vs. Evil Dead might miss the mark, perhaps the news that it’s already been picked up for a second season will make you feel better? And that it’s getting good reviews? Or how about the fact that the trailer looks awesome. It starts on Halloween on Starz, and I am pretty excited. On a similar note, I quite enjoyed the 8-bit version of Army of Darkness. I may have watched that one way too many times.

French “zombie” drama The Returned, uh returns, to Sundance on Saturday night. I’ve been looking forward to new episodes for two years. A decent review from Tim Goodman is here. Mogwai does the soundtrack, and the one for season 1 was really, really good. Listen to it here.

Grantland has a review of both The Returned and Ash Vs. Evil Dead here, and the state of scary TV.

“It wasn’t just the simple moralistic plots, nor the parents-incensing violence, that the show’s creators lifted from EC mastermind William M. Gaines. They also faithfully reproduced his macabre sense of humor, expressed most plainly in the groan-inducing puns of the wraparound segments—those bookending appearances by rotting master of scaremonies The Cryptkeeper, who’s either the jokiest cadaver of all time or the world’s oldest, most putrid Catskills comedian.” The A.V. Club has the ten most representative episodes of sleepover staple (or the ones I went to anyway) Tales From The Crypt.

Manhattan got an A for this week’s episode, so this is me reminding you to watch this show because it’s one that could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Survivor’s Remorse (It's like Entourage, but about basketball, and it's actually good.) just finished up its second season on Starz, and here’s two glowing reviews that might make you give it a try. This one has been on my radar for a while, but I’ll admit that I haven’t watched it yet. 

Last night’s episode of Supernatural was set entirely in the Impala, which actually isn’t as dumb as it sounds. After several seasons of angst it’s nice to have an episode where the Winchesters are a bit more human.

Since Sam Raimi once again has a show on the air, Decider revisits Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and finds them to be just as fun and dumb in 2015 as they were in the ‘90’s.

Wired has a list of movies you should watch before they leave Netflix in November. I agree with this list. Yes, even Death Warrant.

 

Odds and Ends

Tom and Lorenzo have started doing posts on the costumes of Fargo, and if they are anything like the ones they did for Mad Men, then we are in for a treat.

If you like crayons and also shirtless men wearing kilts, then the Outlander coloring book is for you. But if you prefer Red Weddings and dragons, then perhaps the Game Of Thrones coloring book is more your style?

The Late Show had Anthony Bourdain on this week where he talked about the one thing he regrets doing on this season of Parts Unknown, and the wonders of being drunk at a Waffle House at 3 A.M.

FOX still hasn’t taken my advice to rethink the Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover episodes, and there’s a clip of Crane’s visit to the lab to prove it. It’s super weird, you guys.

How about to end the week we all click on (or not depending on your policy about SPOILERS!) everything we know about season six of Game Of Thrones, the first season without a book to adapt. Seriously, if you don’t want to know, don’t click.

 

That’s it for this week, but I will be back on Tuesday with a lot less Halloween candy and a recap of whatever crazy shit happened this week on The Walking Dead. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier


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