Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Stalker

Kevin Williamson's Psychological Thriller is TV Worth Watching
Shari Anne Brill, TVFirstLook 

Dylan McDermott, Maggie Q
CBS crime drama Stalker (10pm) is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller about detectives who investigate stalking incidents, such as voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation for the Threat Assessment Unit (TAU) of the Los Angeles Police Department. It is perfectly paired with Criminal Minds, the network's other creepy crime drama. But Stalker is more than just creepy. It's a show that highlights a serious real-life problem.

Stalking is the willful and repeated following, watching and harassment of another person. Unlike other crimes, which typically involve one act, stalking is a series of actions that occur over a period of time and can spiral into horrific consequences for the object of the stalker’s obsession.

Over six million people are stalked each year in the United States. One in 6 women and one in 19 men have been staking victims, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. From the perspective of the victim, there’s nothing more horrifying than living in constant fear of being attacked.

News: Married

Good News for One of TV's Best (But Under-Loved) Sitcoms

Judy Greer, Nat Faxon
Props to FX for keeping a good thing going.

On Tuesday, the network announced that it has renewed two new comedies for a second season: You're the Worst and Married - easily one of this year's best new sitcoms.

On Married, stars Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, along with co-stars such as Paul Reiser, are in the throes of middle age: pre, post and in the thick of it. Nat and Judy are Russ and Lina Bowman. They're thirtysomething Los Angeles parents who are seemingly living the perfect American life with beautiful kids, a nice house and a handful of close friends.

Except, they're all also a hot mess with work problems, financial struggles and friends whose playtime toking is getting out of control. It's real life, just funnier.

Married's second season will air on FX while You're the Worst will move to FXX. Both shows have been picked up for another 13 episodes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stats: How To Get Away With Murder

Viola Davis Drama is the Fall TV Season's First New Hit

The debut of ABC's How to Get Away With Murder [last week] was the No. 1 biggest overall gainer of premiere week 2014-15, adding 6.0 million viewers after three days of playback.

In fact, ABC's new drama delivered the largest-ever total viewer increase in L+3 for any telecast on any network, beating the previous record holder (the 1/27/14 telecast of NBC's The Blacklist) by 7% (+6.0 million vs. +5.6 million).

HTGAWM soared to 20.3 million total viewers (from 14.3 million in L+SD) in the just released L+3 data.

Review: Manhattan Love Story

Sweet Love Letter to NYC is Derailed by Virtual Thought Bubbles

Jake McDorman
Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 8:30pm) is, at its title suggests, a love story that takes place in New York City. But it's also a love letter to the city.

On the show, Analeigh Tipton is Dana, a bright-eyed new arrival in New York City who's getting her publishing career started. She's set up on a date by her friends with the charming Jake McDorman's Peter. He's a would-be playboy who falls hard for Dana, and vice versa. Although, no surprise, not at first.

Manhattan is focused on their new love, which is sweet. But the entire show is nearly derailed by its obsession with virtual thought bubbles.

Review: Selfie

First Canceled Nominee: Selfie

Karen Gillan, John Cho
ABC's Pygmalion-inspired Selfie (8pm) would be the hands-down worst sitcom of the new fall TV season if NBC's Bad Judge wasn't also debuting. Both shows are terrible, but Selfie has occasional redeeming qualities.

Selfie induces a couple of chuckles, like when a pharmaceutical company's boss romantically kisses one of his male employees on the lips, to say "thanks." And there are secondary characters who aren't as appalling as Eliza Dooley (Doctor Who's Karen Gillan).

On the show, John Cho is a pharmaceutical salesman with serious marketing smarts. Like, he re-brands a medication that causes satanic hallucinations into a giant moneymaker. For reasons that are unclear - and make no sense, he uses his re-branding skills on self-absorbed, inappropriate and rude co-worker Eliza. (We know, groan). We'd all be better off if they just fired her.

Preview: We Need to Talk

CBS Sports Launches First-Ever All-Female Sports Show

CBS Sports Network tonight is debuting We Need to Talk (10pm), a weekly sports talk show - a View-style panel talk show with a rotating roster of co-hosts. It's the first-ever primetime sports show with only female hosts.

Review: Makers

PBS Celebrates Women's Achievements in Raced-Through Hours

Makers (PBS, 9pm), an AOL-backed initiative to chronicle women’s strides in traditionally male-dominated fields, kicks off with a decidedly entertainment-industry flavor, with the first two hours devoted to Women in Comedy and Women in Hollywood.

Those broad topics, admittedly, represent a lot to chew on in just an hour, but this PBS series does a credible job of racing through highlights while enlisting well-placed voices — including, in the premiere, the late Joan Rivers — to address the inroads women have made, and the doors that remain tough to kick open. Keep reading.

Preview: Live Free or Die

Modern Men Who Choose to Live in the Wild
National Geographic Channel

Live Free or Die (National Geographic Channel, 10pm) explores one of America’s most remote subcultures, following five people who have left the modern world behind to live in backwoods and swamps where they hunt their own food, build their own shelters, and survive only on what they can produce with their own two hands and sharp intuition. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The 50 Year Argument

Martin Scorsese's Worthwhile Celebration of the New York Review of Books
Washington Post

Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s fond documentary The 50 Year Argument (HBO, 9pm) looks back on five decades of the venerable New York Review of Books, a twice-monthly journal of reportage, analysis and, yes, very long book reviews. The film is notably and happily absent some usual wails of agony; unlike most documentaries about journalistic enterprises, it doesn’t spend time chronicling the demise of the printed word. 

Instead, “The 50 Year Argument” celebrates the magazine’s continued good health and relevance, tying its reporting on the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Egyptian revolution to the gems in its archives on civil rights and the war in Vietnam. 

Keep reading.

Preview: Gotham

Fox's Batman Prequel Formally Introduces Catwoman

Last week, when Fox debuted its dark, gloomy and thoroughly entertaining Batman prequel Gotham (as it turned out, to some 8.2 million people), viewers were introduced to Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his not-so-nice colleagues on the police force.

But other characters, like the Penguin and more so Catwoman, were shown in their pre-evil early days. In fact, Catwoman - as the girl Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) lurked silently in the shadows, not speaking a word.

Tonight, Gotham is all about the teenage Selina as Camren told TVFirstLook in last week's 5Qs on Friday).