Todd mason


"My Bad, Too"

Finally back and with a good episode albeit one that felt a bit more Sitcom than we might hope for from Scrubsthe pace was right the performances on but the jokes were often just a bit too typical of what we might see in a shall we write lesser show Thats a problem that this series will continue to have as it wraps up on NBC this season and it appears makes its way to ABC for a very short final set of episodesit set such a high bar in its first seasons managed so frequently to pull together its disparate elements even the disparate styles of its performers so well that its almost unfair to expect them to sustain that level of quality into seventh and eighth seasonsparticularly with the syndicated and cablecast evidence of those earlier triumphs available every dayCarla having forgotten a playdate for her infant daughter spirals into an intense guilt trip against herself which Turk allays reassuring her that shes an excellent and attentive mother and th read more

"Black Swan"

An excellent return from hiatus Black Swan did most of what Numb3rs does bestThe opening montage contrasting the FBI agents taking down a meth lab probably not but possibly a slight nod to the most Numb3rs-like of the new series to begin since the strike Breaking Bad with the introductory lecture by the academics to a new class of teaching assistants was typically clever and mutually reinforcing even down the usual color-coding blues for the FBI sepias for academe When Don sees a possibly innocent bystander to the meth-lab bust as just a little to conveniently nearby and has the agents take him into custody as well the agents discover that hes part of a neo-Nazi group responsible for at least one IRS-building bombing But of course being a determined enemy of the state the would-be domestic terrorist isnt going to open up and tell whats being planned nor who or where his confederates are Happily for our team searching his van turns up a cheap navigation devi read more

Scrubs Reminder: Returns Next Week...Though Not Next Season, to NBC

Scrubs returns to NBC next week, to begin the last new episodes of the season, but NBC's announced schedule for next year doesn't include the series...so it might be up to ABC to run the last, short season as planned. Or will they be DVD-only? That seems unlikely, somehow. read more

"-30-"

"-30-" indicates the end of a newspaper article, in the early stages of production. And this was the end of The Wire, with both bangs and whimpers and the lives of the characters mostly just going on... with not a few surprising and unsurprising twists.Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon are made aware that their jig is up... their bosses at all but the immediate supervisory levels know about the fraud that they've been running on the department. Freamon learns just as he's reporting the last bit of useful investigation from the Clay Davis affair, the identity and the testimony of the leak in the Baltimore courthouse, who's been feeding confidential information to drug lord defense lawyer Levy and a number of his colleagues. Even as the false pretenses of the wiretap on Marlo and his gang make that bit of their investigation easy grounds for appeal by Levy, Levy learns that if he tries to pursue that route, he'll be hit with criminal charges that will put him away for years. Prosecutor... read more

Quarterlife: The Bravo Marathon Recap

Well, the Bravo marathon allowed us to see the content of the webisode that will drop tonight online a few hours early, and demonstrated that the Bravo bugs and banners are even more annoyingly distracting than the NBC or even Fox onscreen ads. While the season, one gathers (at least on the linear video side), ends with an apparently successful attempt by the landlord of most of the characters to get court permission to shut down their apartment house, we are reassured that the web series will continue (though if it will take a seasonal break is unclear to me). Dylan notes that perhaps they are all now adults, something of a breakthrough for her in the series, and the emotional strains on the various friendships seem to be at least mostly on the way to healing...and Debra makes her reappearance at the end of "Home Sweet Home," the final installment of the Bravo group...something that has a little more impact, probably, for those who've missed her in webisodes for weeks rather than... read more

Quarterlife's 3rd Life

quarterlife, as you might've read by now, scored Very low ratings for NBC in its first (and now apparently only scheduled) broadcast airing, and an announced schedule for the longform version so far as I know includes only a single stunt marathon, on NBC's cable sibling Bravo, Sunday, March 9 from 8a-2p ET. And, of course, the webisodes continue. read more

"Late Editions"

With only one episode left in the series, all the chips are coming home to roost, all the chickens are falling where they may, and the opera is very nearly over. George Pelecanos, the current dean of DC-based crime fiction (particularly since the death last week of Stephen Marlowe) wrote this one, from a treatment David Simon and he put together, and it's another episode that, while packed, allows us a little time to feel the import of these late moves, as we approach (to indulge in another cliché of the sort this show loves to mock) endgame.The biggest news in the episode is the successful execution of the arrest of most of the important players in Marlo's organization, including such de facto Marlo lieutenants as Cheese, by an operation under the direction of Lester. Lester's jubilation is tempered only by his cool as he makes a great show of confiscating Marlo's cell phone and the clock Marlo used to designate the coordinates of their meeting sites. Marlo, Chris and other up... read more

"Pilot"

Well, as one who's been watching the series, as I mentioned in the first post on this blog, in the webisode format, the most surprising thing to me about the longer form version of the pilot is that instead of giving scenes more space, if anything the transitions are just as abrupt and the pace is actually quicker, and I'd suggest more satisfying, than as seen in five to ten minute dollops. The plot is pretty straightforward: the series begins as a study of six post-collegiate young people who are trying to find their way in the world, in terms of business, artistic and related forms of achievement, and personal relationships. Three women, Dylan (Bitsie Tulloch, who had a recurring role in that other web drama, Lonelygirl15), Debra (Michelle Lombardo), and Lisa (Maite Schwartz), share a large apartment in Chicago; Dylan and Debra have been friends since before high school. Across the way, in the same apartment complex, Debra's boyfriend Danny (David Walton) lives in a smaller ap... read more

Quarterlife: Re-Drawn and UnQuartered

As you've probably read by now, quarterlife didn't begin as the web series it's been since last November, as well as a social networking site of some ambition beyond the show itself. As the potential fifth series producers Ed Zwick and Marhall Herskovitz would bring to ABC, after thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Relativity, and Once and Again, ABC passed, and the producers decided their concept of a series exploring young adults' lives, just after college but before they've actually settled into full-fledged careers and other aspects of "grown-up" existence, would lend itself handsomely to a webisode format, five to nine minute segments rather than 42 or so before the commercial breaks are added. And since Zwick and Herskovitz love to feature characters addressing the audience directly, in voiceover or, as in the brilliant Once and Again, in segments in which the characters' inner monologue is represented by their speaking (or staring silently!) directly into the camera (in bla... read more

"Clarifications"

This episode, with a script by Dennis Lehane from a treatment he co-wrote, is all about exposure, and what one has to do to cover over that exposure. Omar, particularly, could tell you a thing or two about overextending one's self, and leaving one's self excessively exposed, when one of cockiest of the youngsters working Marlo's corners manages to shoot the crusader in the head, just after he raids another of the drug sales units. Suddenly snuffed out, he goes from being the scourge of the city's underworld to, in the final scene, just another corpse in the morgue, accidentally mis-tagged. But at least his hand-written list of harrassment targets, recovered from his corpse by Bunk, is passed along to the former Major Crimes investigators, to aid them in connecting the dots in the Stansfield mob.Bunk also benefits by finally signing on to McNulty's scam investigation, gaining some priority for his lab work which fingers Marlo's right-hand thug Chris as the murderer in the beating d... read more

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