Too soon. We always feel that way when a season of FX's marvelously entertaining Justified comes to a close. It can't be easy sustaining that high-wire act of violent tension and wry bourbon-smooth humor, while staying true to the voice and tone of Elmore Leonard's creation of the laconic yet steely U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but they sure make it go down easy. The fourth-season finale (Tuesday, 10/9c) is titled "Ghosts," and it's a haunted hour, all right — haunted by what-ifs, by dreams deferred and hopes crushed by the weight of bad acts and Harlan County's history of bad people — but it's also a truly badass episode when it needs to be, with fateful confrontations and crazy twists, some satisfying and others troubling.
Alert to Great Pumpkin fans: You'll need to be almost as patient as Linus for this year's annual showing of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which ABC is saving for Halloween night itself, at 8/7c, kicking off Wednesday's great lineup of comedy (though considerably less great without The Middle in the equation). But unlike Linus, you will get your payoff, one considerably more satisfying than the rock Charlie Brown always ends up with after trick or treating.
Are there any timeless classics among Tuesday's Halloween sitcom treats? Perhaps not, but here are a few good reasons to watch (if storm coverage subsides):
The New Normal is American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy's first attempt at a sitcom — but not just any sitcom, a "gay sitcom" (at least according to all the various media outlets that label the series as "gay TV," "NBC's gay comedy," etc.). But while David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan's (Andrew Rannells) sexuality might establish The New Normal as progressive, the series is heavily grounded in TV storytelling tradition. Once you look past the same-sex aspect, it's easy to see how The New Normal has more in common with classic sitcoms like...
First, she took on Grey Gardens, and now The New Normal star Bebe Wood is coming for Honey Boo Boo.
The NBC comedy (Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) is planning an homage to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for its Halloween episode.
"Shania loves that show so they decide to go en masse as that family," co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
Get the scoop on The New Normal and more must-see new fall shows
The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo homage comes weeks after Wood delivered a spot-on Grey Gardens impression in the series' third episode. "The one thing that I've been absolutely shocked by is how many people have stopped me or written me about the Grey Gardens stuff we did," Murphy said. "Bebe is such an eccentric exotic child and she...
Another sign that summer is over (as if the scattered fall premieres weren't enough): USA Network draws the curtain on two of its better hot-weather diversions — although one will be back before you know it.