1. Fresh Air’s TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series  Fargo, based on the 1996 Coen Brothers cult classic. Here’s what he says: 



When the news arrives that FX has a new series called Fargo, the expectation is that it will be either a sequel to, or expansion of, that 18-year-old movie. And certainly, the previews have done nothing to discourage that.

But no. The TV version of Fargo tells a completely different story, with completely different characters. Only the snow remains the same. Yet based on the first four episodes, this new Fargo is a worthy companion piece to the film. The Coen brothers are on board as two of the executive producers, so they clearly approve – though that’s pretty much the extent of their involvement. Instead, FX’s Fargo is written and concocted by Noah Hawley, whose previous credits include working on Bones, and not much else. This is his step up to the major leagues – and in his first at-bat in the bigs, he swings hard, and hits a home run.

His Fargo – this first season, anyway – is envisioned as a stand-alone 10-part story. If it continues to a Season 2, it will be with a completely different plot, characters, and cast. That’s the way True Detective launched itself this season on HBO, and you know how brilliantly that turned out. By designing TV shows this way – longer and deeper than a feature film but not running for years – networks can get A-list movie talent to commit, and writers can craft stories with the end in sight from the start.
FX’s Fargo benefits from that, greatly.

Hear the full review HERE. 



 

image via FX  View in High-Res

    Fresh Air’s TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series  Fargo, based on the 1996 Coen Brothers cult classic. Here’s what he says: 

    When the news arrives that FX has a new series called Fargo, the expectation is that it will be either a sequel to, or expansion of, that 18-year-old movie. And certainly, the previews have done nothing to discourage that.

    But no. The TV version of Fargo tells a completely different story, with completely different characters. Only the snow remains the same. Yet based on the first four episodes, this new Fargo is a worthy companion piece to the film. The Coen brothers are on board as two of the executive producers, so they clearly approve – though that’s pretty much the extent of their involvement. Instead, FX’s Fargo is written and concocted by Noah Hawley, whose previous credits include working on Bones, and not much else. This is his step up to the major leagues – and in his first at-bat in the bigs, he swings hard, and hits a home run.

    His Fargo – this first season, anyway – is envisioned as a stand-alone 10-part story. If it continues to a Season 2, it will be with a completely different plot, characters, and cast. That’s the way True Detective launched itself this season on HBO, and you know how brilliantly that turned out. By designing TV shows this way – longer and deeper than a feature film but not running for years – networks can get A-list movie talent to commit, and writers can craft stories with the end in sight from the start.

    FX’s Fargo benefits from that, greatly.

    Hear the full review HERE.

     

    image via FX 

  2. fargo

    coen brothers

    tv

    review

    david bianculli

  1. This review discusses the plotline of Mad Men, up through the end of Season Six: 

Our TV critic David Bianculli was given the tricky task of reviewing the Season Seven opener of Mad Men, without giving too much away: 

When we last saw Jon Hamm as Madison Avenue advertising genius Don Draper, Draper had stripped off the façade he had worn as protection throughout the series. He confessed to his true past, as a boy raised in a whorehouse — not only to his children, but to his colleagues at work, during a pitch to an advertising client. Immediately, he lost his chance to move to the West Coast office his firm was opening — and there were bound to be other consequences. This final season, it appears, will be all about those consequences.
Don always has been resourceful, and resilient, and those traits are in full display in the season seven opener. His confession last season has altered him — in his behavior as well as his demeanor, he’s a noticeably changed man. You can tell that even from one of the few scenes from Mad Men that reveals no secrets about where the series is going — just that Don is going somewhere, on a plane.



Photo by Michael Yarish/AMC View in High-Res

    This review discusses the plotline of Mad Men, up through the end of Season Six: 

    Our TV critic David Bianculli was given the tricky task of reviewing the Season Seven opener of Mad Men, without giving too much away: 

    When we last saw Jon Hamm as Madison Avenue advertising genius Don Draper, Draper had stripped off the façade he had worn as protection throughout the series. He confessed to his true past, as a boy raised in a whorehouse — not only to his children, but to his colleagues at work, during a pitch to an advertising client. Immediately, he lost his chance to move to the West Coast office his firm was opening — and there were bound to be other consequences. This final season, it appears, will be all about those consequences.

    Don always has been resourceful, and resilient, and those traits are in full display in the season seven opener. His confession last season has altered him — in his behavior as well as his demeanor, he’s a noticeably changed man. You can tell that even from one of the few scenes from Mad Men that reveals no secrets about where the series is going — just that Don is going somewhere, on a plane.

    Photo by Michael Yarish/AMC

  2. mad men

    don draper

    matthew weiner

    1960s

    amc tv

    david bianculli

    review

    TV

  1. Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Peabody Awards! 
The list includes Orange is the New Black, Key & Peele,The Bridge,  The Race Card Project, and our friends at This American Life. 
Two of our most talked about interviews of last year were with “the real Piper,” Piper Kerman, and Orange is the New Black show creator Jenji Kohan. 
Other interviews with Peabody winners include Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele and the star of The Bridge, Demian Bichir.
We’ve also got reviews of Borgen and Six By Sondheim! View in High-Res

    Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Peabody Awards

    The list includes Orange is the New Black, Key & Peele,The Bridge,  The Race Card Project, and our friends at This American Life

    Two of our most talked about interviews of last year were with “the real Piper,” Piper Kerman, and Orange is the New Black show creator Jenji Kohan

    Other interviews with Peabody winners include Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele and the star of The Bridge, Demian Bichir.

    We’ve also got reviews of Borgen and Six By Sondheim!

  2. peabody awards

    orange is the new black

    key & peele

    this american life

    demian bichir

    jenji kohan

    tv

    radio

    interview

    fresh air

    terry gross

  1. From ‘Middle’ to ‘Bad,’ and the questionable stand-up comedy before it all—Bryan Cranston joins us tomorrow.

    From ‘Middle’ to ‘Bad,’ and the questionable stand-up comedy before it all—Bryan Cranston joins us tomorrow.

  2. Bryan Cranston

    breaking bad

    malcolm in the middle

    tv

    interview

  1. David Bianculli of tvworthwatching reviews the new NBC show Crisis:


Crisis pleasantly surprised me. It’s about a busload of high school kids – children of the very powerful, including the President,  in Washington, D.C. – whose field trip to New York gets detoured by kidnappers, who grab the kids and use them as leverage to get their parents to do their bidding.


 I know, this sounds so much like Hostages, it could almost be a rerun – except, this time around, the characters are painted with more depth, drama and surprises are a lot more plentiful, and Crisis starts out almost like a season of 24  — except without the ticking clock, and without Jack Bauer.
View in High-Res

    David Bianculli of tvworthwatching reviews the new NBC show Crisis:

    Crisis pleasantly surprised me. It’s about a busload of high school kids – children of the very powerful, including the President,  in Washington, D.C. – whose field trip to New York gets detoured by kidnappers, who grab the kids and use them as leverage to get their parents to do their bidding.

     I know, this sounds so much like Hostages, it could almost be a rerun – except, this time around, the characters are painted with more depth, drama and surprises are a lot more plentiful, and Crisis starts out almost like a season of 24  — except without the ticking clock, and without Jack Bauer.

  2. crisis

    nbc

    tv

    review

    david bianculli

    tvworthwatching

  1. When you are the only Indian-American female lead in a television show, you seem to be making sweeping statements about that person simply because you are that person and the only one whereas, for instance, Steve Carell — he’s not making sweeping generalizations about white American men on his show because there’s so many different white American men on different shows. …

    So I get worried by doing this character that people think that I’m saying that about all those people. And I just have the weight of that on my shoulders, which is something that I do envy other performers for not having.

    Mindy Kaling on being an Indian-American actress on TV

  2. Mindy Kaling

    race

    TV

    Indian-American

  1. Game of Thrones starts up again on Sunday night. Peter Dinklage returns to the Lannister clan more influential than ever, thanks to a scroll that gives him power by proxy.

(via 'Thrones,' 'Killing' Return — And Revert To Old Habits : NPR) View in High-Res

    Game of Thrones starts up again on Sunday night. Peter Dinklage returns to the Lannister clan more influential than ever, thanks to a scroll that gives him power by proxy.

    (via 'Thrones,' 'Killing' Return — And Revert To Old Habits : NPR)

  2. game of thrones

    the killing

    tv

    hbo

    amc

    david bianculli

    peter dinklage

  1. David Bianculli reviews the new Keifer Sutherland drama Touch which premieres tonight on Fox: Touch is created by Tim Kring, whose last TV series was NBC’s Heroes. That program, also, focused on seemingly ordinary people who turned out to possess extraordinary gifts — and whose gifts, in turn, tied them to some sort of important destiny. … Touch, though, is less like the story of Peter Parker turning into Spider-Man than of Helen Keller finding a way to communicate.” View in High-Res

    David Bianculli reviews the new Keifer Sutherland drama Touch which premieres tonight on Fox: Touch is created by Tim Kring, whose last TV series was NBC’s Heroes. That program, also, focused on seemingly ordinary people who turned out to possess extraordinary gifts — and whose gifts, in turn, tied them to some sort of important destiny. Touch, though, is less like the story of Peter Parker turning into Spider-Man than of Helen Keller finding a way to communicate.”

  2. touch

    david bianculli

    tv

    tim kring

    heroes

  1. David Bianculli’s making a menu inspired by TV shows which was inspired by our donut post last Friday. If you have any suggestions, let him know.

  2. tv

    david bianculli

  1. Even at this early point in the latest, very welcome comeback by Bill Moyers, only one nagging question remains: How long will it be before he books Stephen Colbert?

    — David Bianculli talks about Bill Moyers’ appearance on The Colbert Report and his return to TV.

  2. bill moyers

    the colbert report

    tv

  1. If there are water coolers and if there are offices, one person goes up and says, ‘Did you see Dexter?’ And they’re like, ‘No, shut up, I didn’t see it. Tell me in a year.’ This is not the way to have a conversation.

    — David Bianculli, on spoiler-culture.

  2. david bianculli

    spoilers

    tv

    culture

  1. Tomorrow: David Bianculli’s best and worst TV picks for 2011. [His complete archive]

    Tomorrow: David Bianculli’s best and worst TV picks for 2011. [His complete archive]

  2. tv

    david bianculli

  1. TV critic David Bianculli talks up some of the twists and turns presented recently in some of his favorite shows — including Dexter, Homeland and The Walking Dead. 
NOTE: IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP ON THESE SHOWS PLEASE SKIP THIS REVIEW SO I DON’T GET 10,000 EMAILS TELLING ME OUR RADIO SHOW RUINED YOUR TV VIEWING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. YOU ARE WARNED, INTERNET. Thank you. :) View in High-Res

    TV critic David Bianculli talks up some of the twists and turns presented recently in some of his favorite shows — including Dexter, Homeland and The Walking Dead.

    NOTEIF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP ON THESE SHOWS PLEASE SKIP THIS REVIEW SO I DON’T GET 10,000 EMAILS TELLING ME OUR RADIO SHOW RUINED YOUR TV VIEWING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. YOU ARE WARNED, INTERNET. Thank you. :)

  2. tv

    dexter

    the walking dead

    homeland

  1. Fresh Air Offices 10:52AM

    Mel: I might need your help on webbifying your piece today because I haven't seen any of these TV shows.
    David Bianculli: Then what is it exactly you do at night?

  2. tv

  1. Posted on 15 November, 2011

    41 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from mroge

    Reege on his day: ”In the morning, you wake up at 7:30, you take a shower, a shave, jump  into your suit, make a little breakfast for yourself, look at the paper  and then come across the street at 8:20, check whatever’s in the papers  you didn’t see, [Michael] Gelman [the show’s executive producer,] comes  in at 9:00, at ten to 9:00 we get made up, at 30 seconds to 9:00 they  knock on our door, out she comes, we walk down the hallway and  we do the show. It’s as simple as that.” [complete interview here]
View in High-Res

    Reege on his day: ”In the morning, you wake up at 7:30, you take a shower, a shave, jump into your suit, make a little breakfast for yourself, look at the paper and then come across the street at 8:20, check whatever’s in the papers you didn’t see, [Michael] Gelman [the show’s executive producer,] comes in at 9:00, at ten to 9:00 we get made up, at 30 seconds to 9:00 they knock on our door, out she comes, we walk down the hallway and we do the show. It’s as simple as that.” [complete interview here]

  2. regis philbin

    tv