Tag Archives: HBO

Review: Girls

ZOË RICE: Over the past couple weeks I’ve been asked repeatedly if I like the new highly buzzed-out series, Girls. But the more pertinent question for this series is, “Do you like Lena Dunham?” Her name hovers fixedly on the credits screen for a good few seconds as the titles go by: Starring…created by…directed by…written by… The upshot is that even if you only sort of like the show but really like Lena Dunham, you’re still going to make Girls appointment viewing. I think that’s where I am.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I think Girls may have been the best pilot I’ve ever seen. And two episodes in, I am absolutely devoted to this show, and Lena Dunham appears to be on my must-watch list among writers. That was quick. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

The Future of Netflix: Secure?

AKIE BERMISS: Netflix getting knocked off the throne of online streaming? I don’t think so. Take it from a guy who knows! I haven’t had a television for over a year. Any kind of home-viewing of movies or television shows is done from my computers. As such, I have Netflix *and* Amazon Prime. I rent movies from iTunes at least once a week. And recently, I’ve even begun thinking about getting a HULU+ membership. From all that, I can tell you one thing for certain: when it comes to streaming Netflix does it best, makes it the most available, and has the best potential for growth.

HOWARD MEGDAL But Blockbuster is precisely the comparison here. Netflix was first; that won’t give it a permanent stranglehold on the market. The question, at a certain point, will become: who do you trust to do it in a more customer-friendly way? The company that gave us the Quikster debacle? Or the company that has already laid waste to traditional publishing? Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Eric Holder and The Wire

AKIE BERMISS: When United States Attorney General Eric Holder not only mentioned but praised The Wire last week at a drug awareness event, you’d have though that the creator of that show would be happy to hear it.  Grateful, maybe?…

Posted in Arts & Culture, News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bored to Death: Season Premiere

HOWARD MEGDAL: There’s a marvelous shift between the pleasures of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, though both owe a lot to Jewish angst and tremendous performances. This year’s season premiere leaves me optimistic that the second season will only build on last year’s noble effort.

AKIE BERMISS: I couldn’t agree more with Howard. Bored to Death is a real treat. As preparation for the season 2 premiere, I watched the last few episodes from season 1 and was reminded of why I liked the show. Its absurd, kind of heart-warming, and bite-sized. The second season returns with all the things that made the show great — and less of what gave he first few episodes a bad after taste. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Boardwalk Empire

ZOË RICE: When they said Boardwalk Empire was the Sopranos set in 1920′s Atlantic City, man, they weren’t kidding. This could be quite a good thing, but there will be some other key differences besides setting. One can’t necessarily know for sure what Boardwalk Empire will become based on its premiere. But one can know it’s worth watching to find out.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Simply put, the finest drama since Mad Men. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Much like the assistant coaches under Bill Parcells finding success, it appears the writing staff David Chase had with The Sopranos is headed for similar successes- in Matthew Weiner’s case, Mad Men, and in Terrence Winter’s case, Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The State of TV

THOMAS DELAPA: Dazed and discontented viewers may well ask who took the “vision” out of television. It’s become our national id, where egos rule. But in an increasingly insular, home-theater society that wants its TV and MTV, nobody today is yelling “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going take this anymore.” Resistance seems programmed to fail. Like Chauncey Gardiner, the numbed voyeur of Being There, Americans like to watch.

NAVA BRAHE: Howard, I’ll give you The Daily Show, but I will not concede my belief that after The Sopranos finished, TV ended; at least for me.

JASON CLINKSCALES: I love television. I probably love it more because I’m the one who pays the cable bill, but I love it nonetheless. What I don’t love is how we talk about television. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Temple Grandin Review

AKIE BERMISS: I’m a big fan of all things HBO. I’ll admit that I keep expecting to be disappointed but HBO never seems to fail — and I always come out the winner. I don’t know who is in charge over there, but they keep making good decisions. And while the original series have fallen off in the last couple of years (nothing new really seems to stick, or, they seem unwilling to put the effort behind anything worth sticking with) I continue to be impressed with their selection of subjects. Temple Grandin caught me quite by surprise, honestly. I wasn’t expecting it. But once I saw the trailer I had a feeling I’d be all over it.

While I do disagree with Akie in giving blanket immunity to HBO- the destruction of Big Love this season has been more criminal than anything Roman Grant ever did- I must agree with his strong endorsement of Temple Grandin, one of the finer films I’ve seen in recent months. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heroes: Heroic?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: If I’m ever put on six months of bed rest, I will seek the abyss that will at that point be thirty seasons of Lost. This summer I was in the mood for much lighter fare. Heroes it was!

AKIE BERMISS: Can anybody out there save me from the torture that is heroes? I know its bad for me. I know its bad for humanity. But I can’t stop watching! Why? Wherefore this morbid fascination with such bald mediocrity? Its worse that reality television. With reality television its real people wasting their lives on television while the rest of us watch and laugh and shake our heads. Heroes is real actors THROWING their careers away while we all watch wonder: how did it get this bad? Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture, Orphaned Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HBO: Just another mediocre network/Still Not TV-HBO!

HBO’s best shows are long behind it.  Now the network needs to reclaim its big ambitions.

JEFF ELDRIDGE: It’s the static, predictable grousing of Nikki on Big Love.  It’s Tell Me That You Love Me‘s conflation of oral…

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost: Lost is awesome/Lost is frustrating, but awesome

Lost is awesome, but why?

TED BERG: Lost is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that it sits with Pink Floyd’s The Wall in the rare strata of cultural products that manage to achieve mass appeal almost in spite of…

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off