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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Returning Shows We're Excited For (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 26th 2011 12:00PM
During the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.

And here it is: Our fifth and final critics roundtable chat, showing a little love for our favorite returning shows.


If you missed any chats this week, there's best new comedy, best new drama, worst new show and star we're happiest to see on TV. This one might be the most interesting because it's about shows you already know and love, too ... but it also highlights just how tough the competition will be for the new shows we've discussed, good and bad.

So now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan as we chat all about the returning shows we're most excited for.

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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Stars We're Excited to See (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 25th 2011 12:00PM
Zooey! Jorge and Michael! Sarah Michelle (with or without her magical crabs)! Welcome to Part 4 of our critics roundtable debate, all about the stars we're most excited to see on our TVs this year.

Here's a little backstory: during the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV, and this one has the most laughs.


I've split our chat into five insightful videos -- best new comedy, best new drama, worst new show and star we're happiest to see on TV (watch all four below), and returning show we're most excited for (posting Friday) -- so check back tomorrow for the last installment.

For now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to find out which stars we're most excited to see on TV.

And watch until the very end for a hilarious (to us, at least) crabby outtake ... anyone else ever sat through 'Simply Irresistible'?

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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Worst New Show (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 24th 2011 12:00PM
Welcome to Part 3 of our critics roundtable debate, all about the worst new shows of the upcoming 2011-2012 TV season. Yes, up until now these debates been a lot of sparkles and rainbows tied up in hope, but not this one -- the claws are out.

Here's a little backstory: during the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.

Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Comedy

I've split our chat into five insightful videos, and we'll be posting a new one here on AOL TV everyday this week -- best new comedy, best new drama and worst new show (watch all three below), then star we're happiest to see on TV (Thursday) and returning show we're most excited for (Friday) -- so keep checking back for more.

Right now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to get our brutally honest take on today's topic: Worst new show.

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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Drama (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 23rd 2011 12:00PM
Welcome to Part 2 of our critics roundtable debate, all about the best new dramas of the upcoming 2011-2012 TV season. Which new shows made the list? You'll have to watch and see ...

Here's a little backstory: during the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.

Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Comedy

I've split our chat into five insightful videos, and we'll be posting a new one here on AOL TV everyday this week -- best new comedy and best new drama (watch both below), worst new show (Wednesday), star we're happiest to see on TV (Thursday) and returning show we're most excited for (Friday) -- so keep checking back for more.

Right now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to get our honest take on today's topic: Best new drama.

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Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Comedy (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Aug 22nd 2011 12:00PM
The best part about the fast-approaching fall TV season isn't just previewing and reviewing the new series and interviewing the shows' stars -- it's catching up with the biggest, most respected critics from across the country to get their take on the shows as well.

So we thought we'd start the debate. During the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.

Fall TV Critics Roundtable: Best New Comedy

I've split our chat into five insightful videos, and we'll be posting a new one here on AOL TV everyday this week -- best new comedy, best new drama (posting Tuesday), worst new show (Wednesday), star we're happiest to see on TV (Thursday) and returning show we're most excited for (Friday) -- so keep checking back for more.

Right now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to get our honest take on today's topic: Best new comedy.

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Come up with a new theory: Sheldon does NOT have Asperger's

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 14th 2009 3:29PM
sheldon_cooper_the_big_bang_theory
The votes were counted and 77.2% of TV Squad readers believed Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory has Asperger's Syndrome. Based on Slate writer Paul Collins' article on the subject and reported by Joel, you were asked your opinion and agreed with Collins.

Well, majority may rule, but the writer is king. Big Bang co-creator Bill Prady knows the character better than we do, and Prady said Sheldon does not have Asperger's.

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The Ex List -- An early look

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 2nd 2008 1:03PM
The Ex List
When I first saw the pilot for CBS's The Ex List back in June, something about it bugged me. Sure, it was pleasant enough, and the show's premise -- a woman goes back through her past to find "the one," based on a psychic's reading -- seemed like it was fertile ground for stories and funny moments. Add in the presence of the charming Diane Ruggiero as show-runner, and there was potential for a pretty good Friday night diversion.

But it did bug me, and I couldn't put my finger on it until I saw the new version of the show's pilot, which airs tomorrow night at 9 PM ET. Yes, it's nice and pleasant. Even funny at times. But I don't care at all about Bella Bloom, her friends, or her quest. In fact, that quest seems a little sad to me. And the departure of Ruggiero isn't going to make that any better.

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Sure, 90210 was terrible ... but it's not made for me

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 3rd 2008 11:08AM
90210 castI decided to bite the bullet and watched the two-hour (!) premiere of 90210 last night. Because the CW decided to not bother sending screeners of either episode to critics, I was girding myself for a show that made me want to wince every thirty seconds or so.

In that regard, it didn't do as badly as I thought. I only winced about once per minute.

Of course, that wasn't a good thing. My fellow Squadder Kona gave the show a "liked it but it needs work" review, and I agree with her about the "needs work" part. I mean, come on! The kids were cliches, the acting was stiff, and the dialogue was boring. I mean, hell, even Jessica Walter's character seemed like it was a caricature of the "slutty, boozy old broad" character we've seen a hundred times before.

But as soon as I saw that girl's head lift up from Ethan's lap in that first segment of the show, I realized something: The CW doesn't want me watching this show.

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More about that House spinoff

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 6th 2008 11:01AM
house 2 with caneBack in May -- remember that far back -- Isabelle wrote about the fact that David Shore, creator of House, was contemplating a new show. It was a spinoff of House, but not a medical show. It was going to be in the private eye genre.

Newark Star-Ledger columnist Alan Sepinwall (with Dan Feinberg) did an interview with David recently and found out some more information about the spinoff.

"We brought in a character, partway through the year, [actor] Michael Weston as this private investigator House goes to. The spinoff would be less of a spinoff, it would be more us using House to launch it. It would be an independent world. A character out of the House mold, but definitely different."

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NYTVF: TV Criticism on the Web

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Sep 14th 2007 12:01PM
Alan Sepinwall and Tara ArianoI sometimes look around the internet and am amazed by the sheer volume of content. People can write about almost anything -- especially when they're obsessed with a specific topic. And a lot of people seem to be specifically obsessed with television.

Not that I can judge. I'm TV addict who writes for TV Squad. But I sometimes wonder if it all really matters. Is anyone listening to any of us? And more importantly, do we have any influence on the television world at large with our opinions and criticisms?

As a devoted TV addict, I headed out last week to cover the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) and listened in on a panel discussion which looked at the explosion of blogs and TV fan sites and questioned their impact (if any) on the industry.

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Great theme song, bad show - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 13th 2007 3:42PM

PsychThis article by TV critic Alan Sepinwall, where he talks about really disliking USA's Psych but loving the theme song, got me thinking: what bad TV shows have really great theme songs?

This is really hard, actually. I'm sure there are more examples of the opposite, great shows that have bad theme songs (or no theme song at all), but trying to come up with a list of bad TV shows that have great theme songs...that's pretty hard. The first one that comes to mind is John From Cincinnati, a show that has really disappointed me but has a great theme song ("Johnny Appleseed," performed by Joe Strummer) and great opening credits (old surfing footage). But other shows that I come up with - Gilligan's Island, for example - don't exactly have "great" theme songs, they're more fun in a nostalgic sort of way (and I'm not even sure I would call Gilligan's Island a "bad" show, because it goes beyond that to simple entertainment in that nostalgic way).

So what about you, readers? What TV shows can you think of that are bad but just happen to have a really cool theme song? (Edit: The Psych theme embeded after the jump)

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David Chase talks about The Sopranos finale

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 12th 2007 3:01PM
David ChaseGive David Chase some credit. He promised Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger an interview right after the finale of The Sopranos aired. Sure enough, even though he's on a sabbatical in France and is denying all interview requests, he kept his promise and spoke to Sepinwall yesterday, despite the controversy surrounding how his series closed out its run.

Did he reveal what happened in final scene, where Tony Soprano eyes some shady figures while waiting for his family to arrive for dinner, after it cut to black? Of course not. But he did try to allay fan's assertions that he pulled the rug out from under them.

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CBS reruns HIMYM's Slap Bet episode tonight

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 23rd 2007 1:03PM
Slap BetI usually don't highlight repeats, but this is a special case:

Tonight, CBS will rerun what I thought was the funniest half-hour of TV in 2006: the "Slap Bet" episode of How I Met Your Mother. I'm not the only one who thought the episode was a high point of the 2006-07 television season, though: The Boston Globe thought it was the 2nd best episode of any show that aired in 2006. And Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger felt at the time that HIMYM made what he called "The Leap" after that episode, meaning that the ep had propelled the show to a higher quality level (though, like me, he later realized that it was more of a "high-water mark." And, also like me, he fell into the trap of comparing subsequent episodes to it).

What made the episode so great?

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Exploring the new world of online deleted scenes

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 26th 2007 8:43PM
Steve Carell and Ed HelmsSunday's edition of the Newark Star-Ledger had a good article about the relatively new phenomenon of online-viewable deleted scenes, and how show-runners have been utilizing them. Alan Sepinwall, the paper's TV critic, spoke to Greg Daniels of The Office, Jason Katims of Friday Night Lights, and Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica, about how they've been able to throw in little plot or character details in the deleted scenes, knowing that the fanatical viewers of each show will see them on the web.

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CBS hands post-Super Bowl slot to Criminal Minds

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 4th 2006 4:14PM
Criminal MindsThe Newark Star-Ledger's TV critic, Alan Sepinwall, is reporting on his personal blog that CBS has decided to hand the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot to an episode of Criminal Minds.

There was some speculation -- maybe it was more wishful thinking than anything else -- that the network would follow their broadcast of Supe XLI with an episode of their emerging comedy How I Met Your Mother. But CBS decided to go with one of their tried-and-true procedurals instead.

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