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September 1, 2015


Talking TV Podcast Takes on 'HIMYM,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Doctor Who' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 21st 2011 2:45PM
On this week's Talking TV podcast, Ryan McGee and I delve into the return of 'How I Met Your Mother,' the great season 'Breaking Bad' is having and reader questions touching on 'The Killing' and 'Doctor Who.'

A couple of side notes: Ryan and I will be talking about 'Breaking Bad' every week from now until the show has its season 4 finale in October.

Also, we are dropping a special 'Fringe' podcast Friday night or early Saturday. We thought it would be best to talk about that show after everyone had seen the season 4 premiere, so look for that podcast then. I won't do a separate post on the 'Fringe' podcast, just check the Talking TV site or iTunes for it.

Running times are below.

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5 Things to Know About 'Revenge'

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 21st 2011 12:00PM
Emily VanCamp, 'Revenge'The new dramas this fall range from ridiculously unrealistic ('Unforgettable') to borderline frightening in their reality ('Person of Interest'), but only one offers that soapy quality that makes tuning in each week a delicious treat, and that is 'Revenge.'

When I initially heard that 'Revenge' would be premiering this fall (Wed., Sept. 21, 10PM ET on ABC), I was a bit surprised -- with the show's sexy Hamptons setting and murder mystery element, it seemed more suited to a summer premiere. But the more I've seen, the more I've realized that it's my new not-so-guilty pleasure, and those are good all year round.

Emily VanCamp stars as Emily Thorne, a gorgeous girl spending her summer in Southampton. But her life isn't all wealth and parties and hobnobbing -- turns out Emily's got some secrets. She's mingling with the highest of high society for one reason and one reason only: Revenge.

Special iPads were sent out to select press, loaded with goodies like photos, the iTunes file and music video for the show's theme song (Angus & Julia Stone's 'For You') and a "confidential" video message. Here's the scoop on the pilot and some teases revealed in those messages.

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Review: 'Revenge' Promises Soapy Escapism, But Does Emily VanCamp's Show Deliver?

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 20th 2011 3:00PM
Here's the analogy I'd use to describe 'Revenge' (10PM ET Wednesday, ABC):

Imagine choosing to indulge in a calorie-laden dessert. You haven't had one in a while, but you decide to treat yourself, because sometimes we just want things that are delightful at the time, even if we know they aren't good for us and may make us feel guilty later.

But imagine that the waiter brings that hunk of chocolate or black forest cake to your table and ... it's just not that good. You're fully ready for to indulge your less noble instincts, but the whole thing is just sort of tasteless and bland.

Do you eat it anyway? Maybe. Or, more likely, you just take a bite or two and push the thing away, conserving those guilty-pleasure impulses for something more deserving of them.

'Revenge' is that cardboard cake.

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Patricia Heaton On 'The Middle' Season 3, the Royal Wedding & Reuniting With Ray Romano

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 20th 2011 9:00AM
Patricia Heaton, Ray Romano, The MiddleWhen the Heck family returns on the Season 3 premiere of 'The Middle,' they'll be joined by a very special guest -- Patricia Heaton's former 'Everybody Loves Raymond costar Ray Romano.

But don't worry -- just because the ABC sitcom is now attracting guest stars like Romano, former 'Saturday Night Live' star Molly Shannon and former 'Glee' star Chord Overstreet doesn't mean the show will lose any of what star Patricia Heaton calls its "Heck style."

In the Season 3 premiere (Wed., Sept. 21, 8PM ET on ABC), the Hecks go camping -- Heck-style, of course -- and if you're thinking that sounds like a recipe for disaster, you're absolutely correct.

Below, Heaton sounds off on her hatred for camping, reuniting with Romano and which pop culture obsession Frankie will harbor next now that the Royal Wedding is over.

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Why I Have Trust Issues With 'How I Met Your Mother'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 19th 2011 10:30PM
It's good for the sake of 'How I Met Your Mother' that this is a busy time of year.

The first time I watched 'The Best Man,' the show's season 7 premiere last week, I was extremely irritated. By Monday afternoon, when I found time to watch 'The Best Man' again, I was so worn out from Emmy duty and other tasks that what's below isn't quite an energetic rant.

It's more an elegy of serious disappointment directed toward a show toward which I still have a great deal of residual affection.

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Reviews: '2 Broke Girls,' 'New Girl' & 'Whitney' Put Ladies at the Comedy Forefront

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 19th 2011 11:35AM
A lot will be written this fall -- and a lot already has been said -- about the bumper crop of new shows that revolve around female characters. Three women-centered comedies premiere this week, and they certainly have their share of interesting gender issues.

But before getting into that topic, it might be worth saying whether these comedies are funny or not, and whether they have the potential to be consistently amusing once they shake off the flop sweat that almost all comedy pilots display.

In order of both laughs and potential, I'd list the shows in the following order: The solid '2 Broke Girls' (9:30PM ET Monday, CBS) is at the head of the class, 'New Girl' (9PM ET Tuesday, Fox) is in the middle of the pack, and 'Whitney' (9:30PM ET Thursday, NBC) is the most problematic of the three.

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Warning! The 10 Least Promising Shows for Fall

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 19th 2011 10:00AM
Your time is valuable, and you don't want to spend it on shows that are either outright awful or seriously flawed, am I right?

That's the idea behind the following list of iffy and/or terrible new TV shows. They pay me to watch this stuff so you don't have to, and the goal here is to steer you away from fall programs that have awkward premises, wrongheaded casting or sub-par execution of decent ideas.

But never fear, I'll provide descriptions of each comedy and drama as well, on the off chance that you really want to check them out.

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'Two and a Half Men' Stars Talk Returning Faces, Dream Guests & Ashton's Trailer (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 19th 2011 9:00AM
'Two and a Half Men' star Angus T. Jones, Ashton Kutcher & Jon Cryer 'Two and a Half Men,' the reboot, premieres tonight (Mon., Sept. 19, 9PM ET on CBS), and I've got details on returning faces and dream guest stars, straight from the cast.

I sat down with stars Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones and new addition Ashton Kutcher on the show's set -- see part one of my interview with them here -- to try to get some scoop on the new season. We know Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) is obviously out, we keep hearing about a funeral for his dearly departed character and we've seen some photos of his old flames making a return, including Jenny McCarthy.

But what other familiar faces are stopping by the show again this season? "Welcome back, Judy Greer," Cryer said, about the multi-talented actress' return to the show in an entirely new role. "She was too good to only use as one person on this show."

"She's brilliant, and I think she's fantastic," Kutcher gushed about his old pal, who'll be playing his ex. "We've been having a lot of fun ... she's really funny."

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'Mad Men' Emmy Winning Streak Continues

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 18th 2011 11:35PM
'Mad Men' had to watch other dramas take home the acting, directing and writing awards Sunday night, but it still won big at the Emmys.

For the fourth year in a row, the AMC drama took home the Best Drama Emmy, and winning didn't appear to have gotten old for the show's ecstatic cast and producers.

Mad Men cast

Surrounded by dozens of producers, writers and cast members from the show, creator Matthew Weiner said, "Oh my goodness. I did not think that was going to happen."

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Margo Martindale Talks Emmys, 'Justified' and Her 'Gifted Man' Role

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 16th 2011 2:00PM
Whether or not Margo Martindale wins a best supporting actress Emmy on Sunday, the nomination for her role on FX's 'Justified' has already had an impact on her life.

I spoke to her last month about her new role in the promising CBS drama 'A Gifted Man,' and she said she was both surprised by the Emmy nomination and gratified by how it had raised her profile after decades in the entertainment industry.

"It's lovely to be treated with such respect," Martindale said. "That has changed, and I think it changed with 'Justified.' I have been working for a long time, but it makes me feel great at my age to have a wonderful dressing room, for people to tell me how wonderful I am at what I'm doing."

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Starz Pays Tribute to Andy Whitfield With 'Spartacus' Marathon

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 16th 2011 1:15PM
Starz will pay tribute to the late Andy Whitfield by airing a 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' marathon Oct. 2.

The actor passed away Sept. 11 after an 18-month battle with cancer. As Friday's Starz press release noted, the 39-year old actor's "fans, friends, and colleagues alike have compared Whitefield's own persona, to that of the noble, brave, honorable gladiator character he played on screen."

The episodes to be screened starting at 9PM ET Oct. 2 will include the premiere and season finale. The other three episodes were not specified, but they will be "fan favorites" that "showcase his most memorable performances," according to the network.

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Mariska Hargitay: I'm Open-Minded About More 'Law & Order: SVU'

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 15th 2011 4:15PM
Mariska HargitayMariska Hargitay said she's open-minded about sticking around for more seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU.'

When asked if Season 13 (premieres Wed., Sept. 21, 10PM ET on NBC) would be her last, Hargitay said, "I'm going into this with a completely open mind."

"What I've learned is you don't know what the future brings and everything is new," she said. "Everything is fresh."

Hargitay's longtime co-star Christopher Meloni left the show after Season 12.

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T.K. Faces Off Against His Biggest Rival on 'Necessary Roughness' Finale (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 15th 2011 7:55AM
'Necessary Roughness' S01/E12It was play-offs time in 'Necessary Roughness' (Wed., 10PM ET on USA), so everyone had to bring their A game.

Unfortunately for the New York Hawks, star player Terence "T.K." King (Mehcad Brooks) has been suffering from panic attacks, and on last night's season finale his state of mind wasn't helped by the fact that he knew he'd be going up against his biggest rival, Maurice "The Minefield" Manningfield (Terrell Owens).

T.K. was chilling at the club when The Minefield showed up. After the pair indulged in some harmless trash-talking Minefield went too far, and T.K. prepared to go toe to toe against him.

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Ian Somerhalder Talks 'Vampire Diaries' Season 3: Drama, Nudity & More

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 14th 2011 7:00PM
Ian Somerhalder, 'The Vampire Diaries'After last season's huge cliffhanger finale -- hell, cliffhanger season -- we're now faced with some big changes over at 'The Vampire Diaries.' Stefan is bad, Damon is good ... oh, this is gonna be fun.

I caught up with star Ian Somerhalder to talk all about Damon's latest dilemma: Having to take care of the girl he loves but can never have.

He also teased some more Damon drama in Season 3 (premieres Thurs., Sept. 15, 8PM ET on The CW), including how "pissed off" he is that his brother Stefan has taken off with that "prick" Klaus, and why Damon's annoyed with the idea of spending another three-quarters of a century in Mystic Falls.

Then we dished about the status of the Damon-Alaric bromance, all the nude scenes he's had this season and how, personally, he's enjoying the simple pleasures in life with his on-screen temptress and off-screen girlfriend Nina Dobrev.

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Review: 'The Secret Circle' Casts an Efficient Spell

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 14th 2011 12:30PM
'The Secret Circle' (9PM Thursday, the CW) does exactly what you expect it to do, yet that efficiency ends up being refreshing rather than maddening.

Slightly refreshing, mind you. 'The Secret Circle' will not redefine your idea of what a supernatural drama can be, what a CW show can be or what a program about witches and warlocks can be. All the pieces laid out here eventually end up in the exact places that you expect them to occupy.

Young woman discovering previously untapped abilities? Check. Dreamy guy to whom she is strangely drawn? Check. Bad girl determined to stir up trouble? Check. Layers of conspiracy and secrets in a small town with a dangerous history? Check. (Don't forget the poppy-yet-emo-ish soundtrack, which is also present and accounted for.)

Yet from its opening scenes, 'The Secret Circle' demonstrates an admirable confidence in its pace and destination, and it also has the excellent Britt Robertson ('Life Unexpected') giving the journey of Cassie Blake an emotional grounding that is likely to make the whole affair satisfying to genre fans and 'Vampire Diaries' devotees.

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