No Picture
Drama

“The Newsroom” recap: The Blackout, Part One: Tragedy Porn

In case you haven’t been following Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, here’s some backstory: America put itself in the hands of corporate charlatans who lied a lot about everything to justify sociopathic behavior, and enough people thought that was OK because institutions they count on to be watchdogs of bad intentions, lying and horrible outcomes stopped watchdogging after being consolidated into media conglomerates who prioritize the will of advertisers who much prefer a citizenry stupid enough to be advertised to. That established, Olivia Munn, who plays Sloan on The Newsroom, needs to be better at what people supposedly do on HBO […]

No Picture
Drama

HBO’s “The Newsroom” Episode 7 recap: “5/1”

Ep. 7: Preview Some disclosure before I recap Episode 7 of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom: I had lived in Brooklyn, NY, for 12 years as of Sept. 11, 2001, lived under the plume, share with most New Yorkers a disinclination to gab overly about it and, entitled to or not, tend to look sideways at anyone who waxes glib or maudlin about it. So when I look sideways at the The Newsroom’s glib- and maudlin-impregnated coverage of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, it should be understood that I damn well get the gravitas of the event. The borrowed […]

No Picture
Drama

“The Newsroom” Episode 6 recap: “Bullies”

OK, I was wrong last week. Not wrong about the creeping patriarchal self-image Aaron Sorkin is constructing in HBO’s The Newsroom, so patriarchal that last week’s homage to the movie Rudy suggests a Sorkin remake would better be titled The Awesome Coach Who Let Rudy Play. But wrong about Olivia Munn going back to the bench with the other guys who are not as important as the show’s Four Very White People Who Might Have Sex At Some Point. Munn’s Sloan, a hot brainiac economist for some reason working at a cable news channel, moved to this week’s A-story, but […]

Drama

“The Newsroom” Episode 5 recap: The Glass(-Steagall) Ceiling

I found out Olivia Munn’s character’s name (Sloan) on this episode of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), producer of a news-show-that-tells-the-truth™ and ex of that show’s once-egomaniacal-but-now-Arthurian anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), needs to talk economic stuff for some event but doesn’t know any economic stuff — so she asks Sloan, a hot brainiac economist for some reason working at a cable news station, to tutor her. Sloan tells her about a New Deal law called Glass-Steagall that regulated banks and “helped lead to the longest sustained period of economic growth in U.S. history, 60-year expansion of […]

Drama

“The Newsroom” Episode 4 recap: Love, Gun

Kathryn Hahn popped up on Episode 4 of The Newsroom, playing a rambunctious, randy, pistol-packing date of curmudgeonly hero Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). McAvoy, you’ll recall, is a conservative TV anchorman who, in midlife pique, has decided to tell the truth, working in tandem with MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) his former girlfriend-who-blew-up-the-relationship-by-schtupping-her-ex, and their unabashed truthtelling putting both on a hot-seat. As important, Kathryn Hahn was on-screen for two minutes. I point this out because Kathryn Hahn rules your face, whether you know it or not. But there was too much going on in this week’s episode to give Kathryn Hahn anything […]

No Picture
Animation

Cartoon Network brings “Black Dynamite” animated series to Adult Swim

Cartoon Network’s late-night Adult Swim block goes into lulls where it seems to bide its time between cool new ‘toons, over-hyped one-season wonders and new seasons of its stately franchises (still waiting on Season 5 of One of the Best Things on TV, The Venture Brothers), often filling the gap with live-action Dadaist crap by some guy who knows the Tim & Eric Awesome Show yayhoos. I’m not sure what category Black Dynamite, the animated adaptation of Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns’ over-the-top 2009 blaxploitation-spoofing feature film, will fit into just yet — other than it is […]

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Drama

“Breaking Bad” Season 5 premiere recap

A scruffy, stolid, bespectacled guy gabs absently with a chatty Denny’s waitress. He makes the number 52 with the bacon on his plate. It is his birthday, he says, which she says rates him a free meal. He meets a guy in the bathroom, exchanges money for a car-key, leaves a hundred for his free birthday breakfast and exits to appraise the trunk full of the heavy machine gun and cache of ammunition he just purchased. Thus begins the long-anticipated Season 5 of AMC’s Breaking Bad, creator Vince Gilligan telling us again subtly what he has been telling us for […]