Television Show Review: Eureka: Season 4.0

Eureka: Season 4.0 created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia (NBC Universal Television, Universal Cable Productions)  Starring Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Erica Cerra Eureka Reprised For those unfamiliar with the Syfy television series Eureka, the show documents the adventures of a former United States marshall in the not-so-quiet town of Eureka, located somewhere near Portland, Oregon. The television show lasted a total of five seasons, just now ending in the year 2012.  However, I didn’t want to merely review the last season, as the final season is inextricably tied with its predecessors, Seasons 4.0 and 4.5. The town of Eureka houses a top secret government facility in which the greatest scientific minds America has to offer reside and work.  Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) is the town’s sheriff and former United… Read More →

Television Show Review: Breaking Bad: Season 5

An Announcement I am pleased to announce that I’ll be contributing reviews occasionally for Fieldnotes Magazine, a recently launched publication providing practical wisdom for emerging leaders. A Review My first review highlights the first half of Breaking Bad: Season 5. Midway through the fifth season of Breaking Bad, a watershed moment occurs—one with familiar but important resonance for those who would lead any enterprise. Anti-hero Walter White (Bryan Cranston) sits upon a newly-established throne as the kingpin of the New Mexico methamphetamine business—merely a year removed from learning of his terminal cancer and devising an illicit plan to earn money for his family upon his passing. So check out my review and give Fieldnotes a follow, it’s an excellent source of content!

Television Show Review: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8 created by Larry David (HBO Films) Starring Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, and Susie Essman.   The Arid Wasteland of Network Television  Seinfeld is brilliant television. Now fourteen years removed from the last episode, Seinfeld receives regular air time on multiple channels. Its staying power is uncanny. Seinfeld’s jokes and awkward situations are countlessly retold in friend groups nationwide. In all honesty, I am surprised at Seinfeld’s staying power. With quirky writing a shade toward highbrow, I find Seinfeld’s stay on network television remarkable. The 2000s, to an extent, represent a failure of mimicry. Even though the networks endlessly search for the next smart hit comedy, the drive for profits and viewership causes plugs… Read More →

Television Show Review: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season Five created by Matthew Weiner (Lionsgate Television, Weiner Bros., and American Movie Classics) Starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery, Kiernan Shipka, Robert Morse, and Jared Harris. Recommended, Highly  In replacement of a spoiler warning, if you haven’t watched Mad Men, stop reading this review and rent Season One. Actually, before you do so. I need to make sure you’ll like it. There’s nothing worse than highly recommending something that someone doesn’t like. Mad Men is a slow-boiling character-driven drama. If you need a fast-paced plot, death, mystery, and explosions. Steer clear! If you like complex characters, though, you need to watch Mad Men. For Matthew Weiner and company, Season 5… Read More →

Television Show Review: Spy

Spy: Series One created by Simeon Goulden (Hat Trick Productions, 2011.) Starring Darren Boyd, Jude Wright, and Robert Lindsay. Same Old Story You’ve assuredly heard the story before. Man gets divorced, wife hates him, and son has the sarcastic and sardonic wit of a 45 year-old. He works a dead end job at a computer store, all the while unaware that he is a failure. Or, maybe you haven’t heard the story. Created by writer Simeon Goulden, Spy is a new brand of television. It was created explicitly to be aired on the BBC digital-only channel, Sky 1. The resulting Hulu release in America is the American response to the innovation. Silly Spy Spoof The basic premise of the television… Read More →

Television Show Review: Whites

Whites directed by David Kerr (British Broadcasting Corporation. 2010) Starring Alan Davies, Darren Boyd, and Katherine Parkinson. Celebrity Chefdom In a world where Gordon Ramsay rules, Anthony Bourdain sarcastically entertains, and celebrity chefdom somehow continues to rise, it was only a matter of time before a comedy in the culinary world would emerge to please the masses. I was thrilled to see Whites arrive. But, I was equally as disappointed to see it quickly vanish, cancelled after one season. Based in Reality Roland White (Alan Davies) had a seemingly promising career ahead of him. Alas, he is now a past-his-prime chef in a dead-end restaurant, at the White House Hotel. Roland is a gifted-but-lazy chef. The show’s writer, Matt King,… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Pitch

The Pitch directed by Philip Lott (Studio Lambert. Premiers Monday, April 30 on AMC.) Mad Men as Reality TV Even though I savor the subtle intricacies of character development in AMC’s Mad Men, I can understand how one could be drawn to the business of advertising depicted in the show. With storyboards and persuasive language, the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce seek to persuade by creativity. With this aspect acting as the foundation of AMC’s most famous show, there is no wonder AMC developed The Pitch, a documentary-style reality television series highlighting two rival ad agencies competing for a client. Competition: The Core of Capitalism  In the sneak peak episode, ad agencies McKinney and WDCW fight over the next… Read More →

Television Show Review: Awake

 Awake created by Kyle Killen (Letter Eleven, Teakwood Lane Productions, 20th Century Fox Television. Airs Thursday night on NBC.) Starring Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, and Dylan Minnette. Cogito Ergo Sum  René Descartes seemingly graces the annals of history exclusively for the quote, “I think; therefore I am.” The sentence is an answer on a high school history quiz; it is chiseled in the foundations of university philosophy departments. Unhooked from its preceding line of reasoning on the pursuit of epistemological truth, the sentence sounds painfully obvious. By positing that thinking is his conclusive proof of his existence, Descartes asserts that all other sensory experience might be false. As such, the all-too-familiar notion of a realistic dream offers questions. If a… Read More →

Television Show Review: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire: Season One created by Terence Winter (Home Box Office, Leverage Management, Closest to the Hole Productions) Starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, and Kelly Macdonald. In Praise of the Anti-Hero  Not to say that the anti-hero is a recent development in storytelling, but it seems like the last ten years have seen a rise in the flawed protagonist. Whether Dexter Morgan in Dexter, Walter White in Breaking Bad, or Don Draper in Mad Men, many current shows extol depravity and require the viewer to root for the “bad guy”. Boardwalk Empire’s Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) is another character to add to this list. Boardwalk Empire: Season One tells the tale of prohibition-era Atlantic City and the politician who… Read More →

Television Show Review: Dexter: Season 6

Dexter: Season 6 developed by James Manos, Jr. (Showtime Networks, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company) Starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas, James Remar, and C.S. Lee. I Might Be an Anglophile Without intentionally positioning myself as an anglophile, I appreciate the reserve under which English television operates. No matter how massive the hit, English writers and producers understand that quality trumps quantity. As such, these television professionals would rather sacrifice paychecks than integrity. Not so in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Case in point, the best episodes of Showtime’s hit series, Dexter, exist in its rear-view mirror. With Season 6, the viewer continues on a plot development holding pattern. The setting remains the same—a… Read More →