Happy ‘Twin Peaks’ Is Back? Thank Millennials

I didn’t grow up with Twin Peaks. Neither did most fans of the show who I know, really — not the friend who dressed up as James, complete with leather jacket and guyliner, for Halloween; not the 20-something barista who slapped a “damn fine coffee” sticker on my local coffee shop’s tip jar. Like me, these friends and acquaintances found Agent Cooper through their laptops, not their televisions, and burned through the series in two weeks, not two years. In other words, we’re the new face of the Twin Peaks fan, and we’re a major reason why the show’s coming back in… Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: “The State of the Union”

Has Scandal lost its mojo? As unfair as it would be to make that call only two episodes into the show’s fourth season, last night’s episode worried me. After a refreshingly restrained premiere that reset the story without entirely rebooting it, “The State of the Union” found the White House preparing for Fitz’s big speech — and writer Heather Mitchell struggling to inject any sort of suspense or interpersonal drama into a show that made its reputation by going batshit crazy with those things. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 4 Premiere Recap: “Randy, Red, Superfreak, and Julia”

It may have taken you a minute, last night, to realize you were watching the Scandal Season 4 premiere and not an ad for an all-inclusive resort vacation. White sand, clear blue-green water, a happy couple in bathing suits, a copy of Gone Girl… As much as shippers may have longed for a full hour of Olivia Pope — sorry, Julia Baker! — and Jake Ballard making out on an island “a hundred miles off the coast of Zanzibar,” it surely came as a surprise to no one when a mysterious envelope delivered alongside their weekly boatload of wine catalyzed their return to civilization. I mean, this isn’t Lost (thank god). … Read More

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Ranking ABC’s Wednesday Night Family Comedies

Wednesday nights on ABC are now devoted entirely to family comedies: The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Black-ish. It’s the most thematically consistent comedy block since the network’s old-school TGIF lineup, with ABC apparently hoping that sweetly funny sitcoms about misunderstandings and hugs are going to be big. But not all family comedies are created equal — and certainly not these four — so here’s a ranking of last night’s premiere episodes from worst to best.  … Read More

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WTF Is Happening on ‘Scandal’ Right Now? A Season 4 Premiere Cheat Sheet

Gladiators! Can you believe it’s been over five months since we last heard from our white coat-wearing, white hat metaphor-loving heroine? Well, tonight Olivia Pope returns to primetime — and quite likely, let’s face it, to Washington — in Scandal‘s Season 4 premiere. But since it’s been so long, and since every Scandal episode packs more twists than a whole season of your average TV drama, you could be forgiven for having forgotten where this twisty, turn-y plot left off. So we’ve compiled a handy cheat sheet. Refresh your memory below, and come back tomorrow for our first recap of the new season. … Read More

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Viola Davis Shines in ABC’s Addictive, Flawed ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

How to Get Away With Murder is being heavily promoted as a Shonda Rhimes production, even by the network. ABC is betting big on an all-Shonda night that includes Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, but Murder was actually created by Peter Nowalk (who has written for those other two shows), with Rhimes acting as Executive Producer. Promoting it with Rhimes’ name is a surefire way to get viewers to tune in, though, especially because we’ve hit a point where any of her shows is practically guaranteed to be successful. The pilot episode isn’t exactly a great success itself, but it’s very good and definitely entertaining.  … Read More

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ABC’s Sherlock Holmes Riff ‘Forever’ Is Your Mom’s New Favorite Show

It seems the two rules of recent television seasons are: 1. every network must have some sort of male antihero prestige drama; and 2. every network must have a Sherlock Holmes-like procedural with serialized elements, whether the influence is straightforward (CBS’ Elementary) or slightly tweaked (Fox’s House). ABC’s entry into the Holmes genre is Forever, which centers on a very Sherlock-y doctor with an immortal twist. It’s not the most grabbing pilot of the season thus far, but it has a plain, bland quality that almost works. … Read More

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ABC’s ‘Selfie’ Is an Irritating ‘My Fair Lady’ Remake With the Potential for Greatness

“Potential” is a word that’s sure to be thrown around a lot during this upcoming fall TV season, and especially so for ABC’s SelfieSelfie, even if you dislike the title, is a show that you want to like. It’s a very loose, modern retelling of My Fair Lady (or Pygmalion) that revolves around social media. It features the very likable duo of John Cho and Karen Gillan. It’s from Emily Kapnek, who also created As Told by Ginger and Suburgatory. It is a show that you’ll hope will steadily get better because it has the potential to be great, even if the pilot isn’t. … Read More

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Boomer Audit: Trying to Make Sense of ‘The Flying Nun’

From 1967 to 1970, ABC aired a strange little sitcom called The Flying Nun. The very existence of this show, which I discovered in passing just a few years ago, doesn’t make much sense at first. The title reads like a throwaway joke from an episode of 30 Rock, which routinely took clever potshots at NBC (and television in general) by expertly creating fake, empty programs that revolved around a hilariously straightforward title. The Flying Nun would surely fit right in with the fictional shows Tank It or, more appropriately, God Cop. The Flying Nun isn’t a punchline, though. It was a very real show, and even a somewhat successful one, that spent three seasons detailing the adventures of, well, a flying nun. … Read More

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