Pretty Little Liars premiered on ABC Family during the summer of 2010, and I tuned in exclusively because that was the first and only time I’d ever had a TV in my bedroom, so no program was spared my undiscerning eye. A couple friends also watched, and we’d have self-loathing conversations about how the first 50 minutes of each episode were packed with eye-rolling drivel, but the final ten minutes were so terrifying they would inevitably convince us to wait with bated breath for next week. Over the years, though, not only have the acting and writing improved drastically, but the plot has grown from one winding branch into a twisted thicket of mystery — one that won’t release us anytime soon. … Read More
Summer has commonly been a wasteland for television, but with the staggered seasons of original cable programming, the next few months feature a surprisingly terrific lineup of returning favorites as well as new series on cable, network TV, and on Netflix. While you’ve probably already made it through the fourth season of Arrested Development twice already, here are ten other series worth checking out this… Read More
HBO and AMC have really done it, haven’t they? With the debut of Veep at 10:30 Sunday, fans of good TV now have solid options on each network between nine and 11pm every Sunday. That means we’ll have to prioritize and maybe even — gasp — leave a few episodes unwatched by Monday morning. So, do we tune in to Lena Dunham and DVR Don Draper? How do we choose between The Killing and Game of Thrones? If we have to save something to watch later in the week, what should it be? After the jump, we provide some highly subjective suggestions. … Read More
How did you weather your first Sunday of quality television overload? With Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and (sigh) The Killing all jammed into one evening, we’ve resigned ourselves to spending the last wakeful moments of our weekend with some of TV’s most flawed and fascinating characters. (When Girls and Veep premiere, later this month, we’re really going to have to clear our calendar.) Above all, the new schedule — and particularly the return of Joffrey on Game of Thrones — has got us thinking that irredeemable creeps are having a sort of renaissance on the small screen. To celebrate the reassuring fact that they’re all entirely fictional, we’ve collected our top ten after the jump; leave your additions in the comments. … Read More
The Killing was supposed to be a hit. What could go wrong in an adaptation of an acclaimed Danish cop drama following a murder investigation in painstaking detail, starring Mireille Enos — who stole scenes as a pair of polygamist Mormon twins on Big Love — and airing on AMC, basic cable’s best bet for Quality Programming?
The first few episodes were satisfyingly dark and slow. We experienced the grief of murdered teenager Rosie Larsen’s family in agonizing relief, as though it were our own. If it felt like it was taking a while to get into the heads of even the show’s central characters — Enos’ Sarah Linden and her replacement/partner, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) — we trusted that the delay would pay off in realistically gradual revelations.
But then things started to fall apart. It isn’t that we didn’t learn more about many of the characters; the problem was that, in a transparent attempt to add extra twists and turns to the plot, nothing we discovered seemed to hang together. Rosie’s dad, Stan (Brent Sexton), is a warm and caring father — and a guy with secret mob troubles capable of beating a teacher (Brandon Jay McLaren) who’s a suspect in the killing within an inch of his life, in a fit of rage. The teacher, meanwhile, is an inspirational figure who not only happens to write Rosie overly personal letters and be married to a former student but is also involved in a completely separate scheme to save a young Muslim girl from an arranged marriage and female genital mutilation. Stan has somehow gone decades without realizing that his dopey friend Belko (Brendan Sexton III) is basically Norman Bates. Initially squeaky-clean Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) turns out to be pretty twisted — although perhaps not messed up enough, the final moments of The Killing‘s Season 1 finale suggest, to be the murderer. Rosie herself comes together as a faded copy of Twin Peaks‘ purposely surreal Laura Palmer, a smart, popular high schooler who has found her way into the world of casinos and high-priced call girls. … Read More
Editor’s note: Welcome to The Fug Report! Each week our fashion blogger friends Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the sartorial geniuses behind Go Fug Yourself, will feature some of the most memorable looks of the week in this space. We hope you enjoy it!
Ever notice how few substantive scenes the two most attractive people on Mad Men share? Although they’ve spent years in the advertising industry together — and surely each knows a few of the other’s secrets — Don Draper and Joan Harris tend to keep their relationship to exchanged pleasantries and occasional secretary replacement. But it looks like that’s all about to change in Season 5. Last week, Jon Hamm suggested that we’d see more of Don and Joan in the coming episodes, telling an interviewer, “The Don/Joan dynamic is something that we do explore, and don’t take this the wrong way, but we do explore as the show goes on. They have worked together for a long time, they know one another very well and I’ll leave it at that.” So, as TV pundits are already debating, does this mean we’re in for yet another office romance? We hope not, and we’ll tell you why in our roundup of possible TV hook-ups that should never happen, after the jump. … Read More
1. Apparently Michael Bay feels like Transformers already needs a reboot; the fourth film in the $2.6 billion franchise, which is set to be released on June 29, 2014, will provide “a new take” on the story. Before that, he’s working on Pain And Gain, a small budget action movie about “a group of bodybuilders… Read More
When Showtime’s celebrated Homeland wrapped up its first season earlier this week, many critics were upset with its final twists. But AV Club’s TV editor, Todd VanDerWerff, wasn’t one of them. He took to Twitter to stick up for the show, noting that its detractors were largely upset about the plot while its defenders lauded its character development and concluding, “If you’re watching long-form TV for plot, it will disappoint you.” In fact, it’s always fascinating and multi-faceted characters, and the way they grow over time, that hooks us on a show for the long haul. So, with an eye to how vitally important they are to the overall success of a series, we’ve rounded up the year’s best TV characters. Since we can’t watch everything, you’ll want to add anyone we missed in the comments. … Read More
With the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards coming up on Sunday, just about every TV pundit has posted a list of predictions. But here at Flavorpill, we’re less interested in who we think will win than who actually deserves to bring home the trophy — so we’ve put together a roundup of the nominees we’d give the Emmy to, if the decision were up to us. Remind yourself of who’s up for an award here, then peruse our picks after the jump and tell us who you’re pulling for in the comments. … Read More