‘Boy Meets World’ Spin-off ‘Girl Meets World’ Is Both New and Nostalgic

Last week, I hosted a screening event of old sitcom episodes from ABC’s ’90s TGIF lineup. Of all the shows we watched, the crowd was predictably most enthusiastic for Boy Meets World, singing the theme song and recalling specific jokes from an episode that aired 16 years ago. The pilot premiered in 1993 but remains fresh in everyone’s minds (syndication helps) because it was a show that we connected to, one of the last great coming-of-age sitcoms that was both funny and heartfelt, and because we really, really love nostalgia. There was never a question about whether Girl Meets World would eventually exist, only the question of when it would come to fruition. Now the question is whether or not it can stand on its own. … Read More

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A Eulogy for ‘Trophy Wife,’ ABC’s Best Modern Family

On Tuesday night, Trophy Wife aired its final episode after just one season. ABC had canceled the show five days earlier. The ratings were never impressive, the cast was pricey, it fell through the cracks, overshadowed by ABC’s other family-focused comedies — and it had the worst name of the bunch. But knowing this would happen didn’t soften the blow. Trophy Wife, created by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern, was one of those small, beloved (by critics and its loyal group of fans; I include myself in both categories) sitcoms that largely went ignored by the masses and the network. … Read More

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2014-2015 TV Season

Upfronts! It’s the exciting time when networks announce new and returning shows, the sad time when networks announce that your favorite sitcoms are canceled, and the overwhelming time when networks announce their fall schedules and you scramble to plan your life around television. Here is a helpful and exhaustingly comprehensive look at the 2014-2015 fall TV season, featuring everything you need to know: snazzy preview trailers, details about upcoming programs, when old favorites will be airing, and which network has the worst promotional photos. (Spoiler: It’s… Read More

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‘Nashville’ Is Finally Getting Country Music Right — But a Location Change Threatens to Kill Its Authenticity

Late last week, as fan favorites like Community and Trophy Wife were getting the axe, a series in the midst of change was renewed for a third season. ABC’s Nashville has remained on the bubble between cancellation and renewal for much of its second season, as its melding of the country music business and network television continues to extend beyond just plotlines. The show has transcended commentary on country music to become both a microcosm and a mirror of that world. But in order to continue building its TV viewership among country listeners, the show must continue to shoot in Nashville — a choice that’s up for debate at the moment. The authenticity that makes the show succeed depends on it. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Finale Recap: “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”

If you were playing any kind of Scandal drinking game last night, you have my sympathy this morning. The devilishly addictive political thriller wrapped its shortened third season with “The Price of Free and Fair Elections,” a finale that packed at least one shocking twist into every act, before raining down about a dozen of them in the last ten minutes. Murder, betrayal, confessions, lies, gross sex, an out-of-left-field family reunion, an election, an explosion, an escape — the episode really had it all. Its script, written by Scandal mastermind Shonda Rhimes (with the help of Mark Wilding), crammed so much action into a single hour of television that it basically qualifies as poetry. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 17: “Flesh and Blood”

Every halfway decent TV show that is built on multiple storylines and suspense has at least one episode per season when everything comes together. “Flesh and Blood,” the penultimate installment of Scandal Season 3, was that episode. Not only did it bring together everything from the terrorist plot to the election to young Jerry Grant’s paternity, but it even briefly managed to get most of the show’s major players into the same room, for a scene that kicked off a whiplash-inducing hour of nonstop action. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 16 Recap: “The Fluffer”

What does Olivia Pope want? Three seasons in, that’s become the central question of Scandal, the protagonist’s internal conflict surpassing even the most suspenseful storylines about the White House, B-613, terrorism, the election, and even the love triangle and family ties that place Liv at the epicenter of each drama. And it’s a question that’s becoming increasingly hard to answer as talk of white hats and black hats has blurred into a whole lot of moral gray area, and our heroine has received and refused countless opportunities to give it all up and start living “in the light” like a normal human being. … Read More

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‘Nashville’ Needs to Solve Its Character Problem

Last night on Nashville, we met yet another character: Scarlett’s abusive mother, Beverly. But wait, casual fans of the show may say, which one is Scarlett again? … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 15 Recap: “Mama Said Knock You Out”

No TV drama beats Scandal when it comes to sheer volume of insane plot twists, but it’s not every week that the show manages to funnel them into an episode that resonates on a thematic level. That’s what made “Mama Said Knock You Out” such a refreshing hour of television: it slowed down the story long enough to explore the impact of nearly three seasons’ worth of constant upheaval on Scandal‘s characters. The episode centered around family, both literal blood relations and the bonds of love and trust isolated people build with kindred spirits. … Read More

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