Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm
As summer TV begins to hand off to the fall season, some thoughts and observations on a few of the shows and headlines that stood out.
Instant Classic TV: I haven't been able to stop thinking about Sunday's episode of Mad Men, regarded by many as the high point of the season to date and a series peak as well, a blistering tour de force for Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss, who now have dynamite entries for their Emmy reel next year. (This season has been particularly strong for Moss, as Peggy Olson comes into her own: partying with bohemians, doffing her clothes to unnerve the chauvinistic new art director, and now standing up to Don.) "The Suitcase," so masterfully penned by Matthew Weiner that it wouldn't be a surprise to see him at the Emmy podium yet again next year, felt like watching a three-act play — or maybe a three-ring circus veering from drama to comedy back to drama, or perhaps an emotional heavyweight bout that went on much longer — and with more actual ferocity — than the legendary Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston rematch knockdown of May 1965.
After just five weeks on the air, FX has renewed Louis C.K.'s dark 11 p.m. comedy Louie for a second season.
FX President John Landgraf also announced Tuesday that the network had ordered Alabama, a comedy pilot set in outer space from Robert Ben Garant and...
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Neal's ego is about to get a major boost. Someone has pulled off a Caffery-style heist, and the suspect is traced back to a college, where a criminology professor (guest star Aidan Quinn) just so happens to be teaching a class about Neal. Catching the crook proves to be a real challenge, then, because if someone's thinking just like Neal, how's he supposed to stay a step ahead?
Read on for previews of Breakthrough with Tony Robbins, MasterChef, Growing Up Twisted, The Colony, Louie and Wipeout.
Jeers to Louie for trafficking in clichés and ugly stereotypes.
Louis CK's FX "comedy" has been praised for its edgy style, but when you look past the gritty-indie camerawork and ooh-aren't-we-daring? use of politically incorrect epithets (including the n-word in a repugnant vignette about how African-Americans allegedly don't leave tips), it's as boringly conventional as TV gets...
Jeers to Ricky Gervais for committing comedic malpractice on Louie.
The increasingly lazy British cutup—witness the low-effort, low-impact HBO cartoon of his podcasts, The Ricky Gervais Show—treated his guest role as Louis C.K.'s doctor...
Cheers to Reggie Watts for lighting up the small screen.
The incandescent comic/musician — who's like the love child of Zach Galifianakis and Jack Black, plus a giant Afro — tore down houses as the opening act for Conan O'Brien's just-concluded "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour." He made his network debut on O'Brien successor Jimmy Fallon's Late Night and performed one of his breakout tunes, "Big-Ass Purse," in TBS' recent special Team Coco Presents: Conan's Writers. Too bad ...
Denis Leary, Louis CK
If you're the sort that looks for role models on TV, then FX probably isn't your default destination. The network for bad boys (and the not-so-saintly women who often helped make them that way) kicks into high summer gear Tuesday night with the return of the blisteringly bitter Rescue Me (splitting its final season over two years, concluding in 2011 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11). It's joined this year by the not-much-sunnier comedy Louie, which premieres with back-to-back episodes.
Both are quintessentially New York series, finding extremes of very dark humor in the noise and grit and gutter mentality of surviving in the city—although in the case of Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), the self-destructive wretch at the booze-drenched heart and possible soul of Rescue Me, many could argue that he may have been better off dead....
When last we saw Tommy Gavin, he was bleeding out after Teddy shot him. You might not be surprised to learn that he survived, but it was touch-and-go, as you'll discover in tonight's Season 6 premiere. In fact, Tommy was clinically dead long enough to see his afterlife, and you can imagine where he was heading. Things on Earth aren't much better. For starters, no one will let him drink. And the shooting put the firehouse in the spotlight, and not in a good way. Incidentally, there'll be a Season 7 next year, with the series ending 10 years after 9/11.
Read on for previews of the World Cup, Wipeout, Deadliest Catch, The Hills, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and Louie.
Louie - Louis C.K.
For funnyman Louis C.K., having the final say in the production of his new FX comedy series, Louie, is key.
"When you have a writing staff, you have a community of people you have to convince of everything," C.K. says. "It's like being a dictator."
Check out Louie clips
The single- camera comedy, premiering Tuesday at 11/10c, features ...
Rescue Me, Louie
Rescue Me will return for its penultimate season in June, FX announced Tuesday.
The FX drama's sixth season will premiere June 29 at 10/9c, followed by the series premiere of the comedy, Louie...