Tuned In

Summer School Report Card: What's Been the Show of the Season?

It’s probably going to be a slow couple of weeks for coverage of current TV here because (1) it’s fall-screener season, which means I’m spending much of my time watching shows that won’t air for weeks or longer; and (2) it’s late August, so whaddyagonnado?

So this is as good a morning as any, before Labor Day, to look back at what was …

While I Was Out: Let Slip the Ducks of War

My first day back at work, I’ve been catching up on some screeners and episodes I missed while I was away, which is another way of saying that I have no real problems. One of those was “Duckling,” the hourlong episode of Louie set in Afghanistan, and while it’s too late and time too short for any complete review, it was a special …

Robo-James' Time Machine: They Were Still the One

It’s almost fall, which means that promos for new fall shows are starting to reach a crescendo. But one thing that we’ve lost amid all the multimedia advertising is what used to be a network staple: the fall-season promo reel. Above, see an example from the ABC “Still the One” campaign in 1977.

What’s most notable about this …

Robo-James' Time Machine: Angels in America

When you remake a TV show that used to be a pop-cultural phenomenon, you’re remaking the idea of it as much as you are the show itself. That is, when ABC airs its reboot of Charlie’s Angels (or in this case should we call it a re-booty?), only part of the intended audience will be people who saw and remember the original. In fact, …

Robo-James' Time Machine: Terra Nova 1.0

It’s fair to say that Terra Nova is the most anticipated new fall show, or close to it, if only because of all it’s trying to pull off—a TV show made on a blockbuster movie scale, with a massive budget, extensive CGI, location shooting in Australia, and a plot that incorporates dinosaurs, conspiracy and time travel. The jury’s still …

Robo-James Time Machine: On Account or Gift Certificate?

If all has gone well, by the time you read this Mrs. Tuned In, the Tuned In Jrs. and I will be in sunny rainy Costa Rica, a destination I am not ashamed to say we chose at least in part because it had looked so attractive on the Prize Puzzle in Wheel of Fortune. Many of my early ideas of leisure and luxury, to be honest, were probably …

Programming Note: Bad Robot!

Because you’ve earned a well-deserved break from reading me, I’m going to take one for the team and go on vacation starting tomorrow. Tuned In will chug along next week, with some daily posts automatically published by Robo-James, seen here picking up some extra money in a recent modeling gig at Comic-Con. (Fair warning to shutterbugs: …

Piers Morgan and Christine O'Donnell's Mutual Aggravation Society

Because the whole world (where “whole world” = media-obsessed people like me) seems to be talking about it this morning, I feel obligated to post the video of former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell walking off the set of The Piers Morgan Show on CNN last night.

Though honestly? I’m more interested in why in the world …

The Morning After: The Big 1-0

It’s easier for me to keep a positive image of Rescue Me in mind if I forget most of what happened in the middle of the series’ run: all the wackiness, the Tommy-Sheila drama and the various, familiar re-spiralings of Tommy into alcohol. The Platonic ideal version of Rescue Me in my mind would be a series that ended after, say, its …

TV Tonight: The Hour

AMC may have had a hell of a time figuring out whether to bring Mad Men back, for how much money and at what length, but other networks are not hesitating (despite the show’s relatively paltry ratings) to put their own versions of Mad Men on the air—or, at least, their own versions of social and personal drama set in a highly …

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