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Question: It seems that many TV critics (you being a notable exception) are coming down hard on The Newsroom, and I was wondering if you have an idea of why this is. Yes, it's preachy, but every Aaron Sorkin show and movie is. Successful, intelligent career women are portrayed as being driven mostly by their hormones, but that's true of every woman character on TV that's written by a man (unless played by Julianna Margulies or Connie Britton). And some of the plot contrivances (the wayward e-mails, the Bigfoot obsession, the cute blonde assistant who is smart when the plot needs her smart and dumb when the plot needs her dumb) are cringe-worthy. On the other hand, you've got a talented, likable cast ably delivering some of the snappiest dialogue on TV, which right there puts it ahead of 95 percent of everything else.
I'm not saying it's not flawed, but the pluses outweigh the minuses by quite a bit, and the show is wildly entertaining. So why the heavily negative reaction? Is Sorkin held to a higher standard? Are journalists taking more shots because the show is set in a milieu they know (a newsroom) rather than the White House? Curious on your take on this. — Rick
Get ready for another superhero series!
This fall on The CW's Arrow, fans will get to follow the exploits of DC Comics' Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), a playboy who spent five years on a deserted island after a horrific boating accident. The prodigal son will return home and use the alias Green Arrow, a superhero who's super handy with a bow and arrow, to save his precious Star City from the criminals who lie in wait. Arrow has all the trademarks of a great superhero series, including a lost love — Katie Cassidy as Dinah "Laurel" Lance — and the loss of a, spoiler alert, parental figure.
VIDEO: Check out a first look at Arrow
With the premiere of Arrow, The CW has the chance to once again be the home to a long-running superhero series that will not only attract Smallville followers, but also comic book aficionados and fanboys — and even fangirls! — alike. But — and this is a big but — the writers behind Arrow need to adhere to certain rules in hero series as to not make the same mistakes of the past. Therefore, we've created a list of things that Arrow should and shouldn't do in order to be successful based on tried-and-true heroic formats:
Josh Lucas, Molly Parker
No terra firma for The Firm. Its two-hour debut stands on this shaky ground — 46 percent below the demo rating of The Cape's premiere a year ago, making it the worst all-time start of an NBC regular season drama. Quite telling: the show lost viewers with each succeeding half-hour. Surely, the network is missing Sunday Night Football already.
Dorian Missick is joining Southland as the new partner of Det. Lydia Adams (Regina King), a show rep confirms.
Missick, 35, will recur as Ruben Robinson, a tough but intelligent and thoughtful detective trainee who is "smitten" with Lydia and eager to...
Malik Yoba, Azita Ghanizada, David Strathairn
The networks are still holding out for a superhero. While comic-book films Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern all hit No. 1 at the box office recently (with mixed staying power), TV has been slower to cultivate a new generation of caped crusaders.
But have no fear, citizens of TV land: Help is on the way. Super-heroes play a role in...
Burn Notice has sucked in True Blood's James Frain to guest-star on an upcoming episode, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Frain, 43, will play the powerful owner of a pharmaceutical company behind several medical breakthroughs, who is willing to go to great extremes to protect its...
Lucy Lawless, No Ordinary Family
You know what the opposite of super is? When a show that's on the bubble scores a fierce guest star and utterly wastes her. Kind of like No Ordinary Family did last night.
When news broke that the live-action answer to The Incredibles had locked in Lucy Lawless for a four-episode arc, we were all like "our hero!" Not that the show is The Cape-bad — it's actually quite fun, despite two charmless kid characters — it's just that nobody is watching. You'd need Clark Kent's hearing to pick up any buzz on this one. So the hope was that maybe the flawless Lawless' stint as Mrs. X could save NOF from its villainous ratings and bring some heat to the Powells' home.
Scott Patterson and Sarah Roemer
Jeers to NBC for airing The Event despite troubling parallels to tragic real-life events.
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As news continued to break of a potential nuclear catastrophe in Japan, the network's ill-fated sci-fi series unveiled an episode that invoked containment domes, fallout zones and a possible meltdown at a nuclear power plant. It seems the aliens use uranium to create portals to bring in more of their own, which was the real reason behind the Chernobyl disaster (there was even a deformed alien survivor of the 1986 calamity in the Ukraine). President Martinez (Blair Underwood) juggled a visit from the Japanese prime minister with the decision to remove uranium rods from a nuclear facility ...
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Question: Hoping you might have some thoughts on Supernatural this season. Like a lot of fans, I've been seriously disappointed by the fact my favorite show seems to be floundering without Eric Kripke at the helm. I'm finding season 6 to be an incohesive mess, with little apparent "through line" when it comes to plot and characterization, and disappointing underuse of both Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins. I'd love to know how you see things, and what your thoughts are for the show moving forward to a seventh season? As you know, the Supernatural fandom is very active online, and I'm getting the distinct impression from go-to fan forums that a good proportion of the fandom is underwhelmed by season 6, and have either jumped ship or plan to if things don't look up after the show starts airing again. — Kate
Matt Roush: I gather you weren't part of the crowd at Sunday's PaleyFest lovefest in L.A., huh? These are almost fighting words when you consider how passionate the fan base for Supernatural is. I can't speak for any fan consensus, because I rarely seek out those forums so as to keep my own perspective untainted. But I'm not surprised to hear this season has been a letdown to many — although it doesn't get better than the recent "meta" episode, which I enjoyed greatly, in part as a commentary on doing a "season 6" when the fifth season was for so long regarded as the show's likely endgame...
David Lyons and Mena Suvari
Several months ago, The Cape's creator, Tom Wheeler, clued me in that he planned to kill off a series regular in his first season finale. Then ratings fell, NBC cut the show order from 13 to 10 episodes, and now the season finale appears to be the series finale. But for those loyal Cape fans out there, there will still be a significant death before the Cape hangs it up for good.
The concluding chapter will be available for viewing at http://www.nbc.com/the-cape/ beginning at midnight tonight, Friday, March 11.