As was made thumpingly obvious in its super-sized premiere, how much you enjoy Downton Abbey‘s third season is, more than ever for this series, predicated on just how much of an Anglophile you are. You have to be willing to go pretty thick into the weediness of British property rights and privilege, and to realize that as much as we have great affection for the Crawleys, they — like real people we love and put up with, such as family members — have their blind spots, their objectionable beliefs, their frustrating set ways. For instance, we don’t have to turn a deaf ear to anything as (to most of this family’s way of thinking) crassly complex as the struggle for Irish independence in order maintain the illusion of the Crawleys as a clan to care about. Me, I was amused as always, and was also perfectly content to feel irritation periodically mixing with my enjoyment of these toffee-nosed twits, these occasionally creepy-Crawleys. READ FULL STORY
Tag: season premiere (11-20 of 98)
Buckwild premiered on Thursday night, preceded by the usual this-is-the-end-of-civilization condemnation/hype that greets any well-promoted MTV reality series featuring youthful humans. But after watching the two back-to-back initial episodes, I’d say MTV’s main problem is that these West Virginia kids may be a little too likable to get all huffy and self-righteous about. READ FULL STORY
Here’s the thing: You’re not going to laugh very much, I’m guessing, at the 1600 Penn that premieres tonight. The debut lumbers along like the pilot for a complex drama, as though it had to carefully delineate each member of a wacky White House family headed up by Bill Pullman’s President, Jenna Elfman’s First Lady, her stepson played by Josh Gad, and the family’s other kids. But the show gets better; by the third episode, I liked the characters and I was laughing. READ FULL STORY
You can be sure that a character made a Real Housewives of New Jersey joke during the premiere of Made in Jersey on Friday night. This was practically required, to prove that Made in Jersey‘s producers are aware of the reality-TV competition, and of its edited ethnic stereotypes. But rather than looking a though it’s pandering or surrendering to the Housewives franchise, Made in Jersey did something good — it created characters that humanize a certain kind of lower-middle-class Jersey citizen rather than monster-size her or him, and did its best to suggest that even not-great scripted television frequently proves superior to the pinnacle of “reality,” at least as it’s packaged on Bravo. READ FULL STORY
Tense and well-acted by stars Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman, Last Resort is one of the most promising new shows of the fall season, as well as being one that carries a big risk of dropping in quality: It’s an absorbing curiosity.
The pilot that aired on Thursday night told a complex tale with swift efficiency. Braugher and Speedman head up a Navy ballistic missle submarine, the USS Colorado. As Captain Marcus Chaplin and XO Lt. Commander Sam Kendal, respectively, the ship receives an order to launch a missle at Pakistan. Something’s fishy about this drastic directive, however, and when Chaplin balks at firing, he’s relieved of command and his second in command (the “XO”) is put in charge. READ FULL STORY
Just putting this on your radar in case it’s not already: It’s worth checking out tonight’s season premiere of Hawaii Five-0. It’s got a crazy energy to its pacing, it’s got Christine Lahti as Alex O’Loughlin’s mother, and it’s got a day-time street shoot-out that marshals more ammunition than any such scene this side of Michael Mann’s Heat. READ FULL STORY
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