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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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 14 Recap: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Another Washington power player bites the dust — and interpersonal tensions run higher than ever in American politics’ most exclusive social circle. Last week, I predicted that if Jake’s bullet ended up inside anyone (I mean, besides his and James’ two faceless associates), it would be David. Today, I think it’s time to admit how terrible I am at predicting where Scandal is going with just about anything. … Read More

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What the ‘Veronica Mars’ Flixster Fail Tells Us About Big Media and the Web

Happy Monday, Marshmallows — did you enjoy the Veronica Mars movie that you paid for? Were you thrilled to see Ms. Veronica back in action? Were your expectations met w/r/t the Logan vs. Piz conundrum? Were you delighted by its “everybody’s back, plus James Franco!” casting? Most importantly, were you, y’know, able to watch the movie? As we noted Friday, Warner Brothers made the dubious decision to make the digital reward promised to Kickstarter backers available only via their Flixster app and Ultraviolet service, an interface that is, to put it mildly, problematic. (To put it less mildly: it blows.) And your film editor wasn’t the only one kicking and screaming over the endless logins and failed downloads; by 11:30 Friday night, director/creator Rob Thomas was emailing us with fixes and apologies. But was it too little, too late? … Read More

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