…One of those videos that makes every single one of us who wants  – or has ever wanted – to be a filmmaker in any media cry and scream and yell:


LB: Second Thoughts About THE CLOSER

by Larry Brody

Yesterday I complained about one of my no-longer-favorite shows, THE CLOSER. I was pretty steamed, and said the following:

…[A] week ago the series came back after a hiatus with a much altered Brenda. A cruel, abusive bitch who was perfectly willing to sacrifice a rape victim’s sanity to get her man.  The Southern charm which sheathed the character’s iron will for so long is gone.  And the iron will is a barbed, pointy razor. It looks like the show is headed for an ending (it’s going off the air at the end of the season) in which Brenda is fired/humiliated/possibly even jailed. As well she should be.

Last night, in spite of my good (or were they bad?) intentions, I watched the next episode, and…erm…um…it wasn’t so bad.

That is, it was bad, but in a classic TV cop show/procedural kind of way: A comedy episode featuring Flynn and Provenza, TNT’s answer to Laurel and Hardy, that went way over the top, bending real reality,  TV reality, and even THE CLOSER’s specific reality in more ways than Hugh Laurie used to violate the Hippocratic Oath on HOUSE.

Which means…sigh…I loved it.

Who cares about overcooked dialog and overwrought acting from an incredibly hammy guest star? What matters is that the basic feeling, the camaraderie that has been an integral part of the series since Episode 1 was back with a vengeance. And I appreciate vengeance. In fact, some of the most enjoyable moments of my life have occurred while exacting it–

 Oops. TMI. So sorry.

To cut to the chase – which the episode I just watched didn’t have – I’ve decided to forgive and forget. To cut Kyra and her support troops (she’s the Executive Producer, you know, which makes her the best-looking showrunner in town) more than the usual slack and watch the remaining three or four episodes. If I’m lucky, Evil Brenda will fulfill her arc with me understanding/empathizing instead of hating her…and there will be more hilariously out of place moments between Flynn and Provenza, and maybe even Provenza’s wonderfully  real (especially considering the script circumstances) First Ex-Wife.

Another Thought to Tack On: Like any True Fan, I’ve been trying to figure out who the mole in Brenda’s Major Crimes Division is. Until now, I was absolutely certain that we would learn it was none other than Chief Pope, who’s been sabotaging Brenda ever since she entered the race for L.A.P.D. Chief.

I’m no longer so sure, though, because Sgt.Gabriel, usually the primo of her detectives and the one who gets the most lines/face time, has had absolutely nothing to do and almost nothing to say in both recent episodes. Why play him down unless it’s to make it easier – structurally -to do a big and heartbreaking end-of-series reveal? He is, after all, the most idealistic of all the cops here, which makes him the one most likely to react to Brenda’s fascist pig (just a generational reference, kids; you can ignore it) the way I would – which is to say to do everything in his power, no matter how much he likes her, to get her to stop.

We’ll see in a few weeks.

Unless the show drives me nuts again and I go away.

Nikita Season 1 Finale – Recap and Review


**This episode originally aired in May 2011. If you are unfamiliar with the series, be aware this review contains spoilers.**

“You ask me what I want? I want what every other American wants right about now, job security.” – Percy Rose

It was a fitting end to the first season of this shockingly well done CW show. “Pandora” manages to successfully conclude each characters story arc, while raising new questions for the future and even throwing a few more twists our way just to keep us on our toes.

As the episode opens our heroes find themselves in some unfortunate situations.

Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) has a kill chip in her brain and must obey Division’s orders (or must she?)

Nikita (Maggie Q.) was shot and killed by Alex (or was she?)

And Michael (Shane West) is locked in a Division prison and can’t escape (or can he?)

No, no, and yes.

Meanwhile, Fletcher (Noah Bean) is in the heart of the CIA helping to decrypt a blackbox he believes will expose Division’s plan to attack the government. Unfortunately, Percy (Xander Berkeley) is smarter than the average bear and rigged the device to release a toxic gas designed to kill the director of the CIA. In doing so, he can blackmail Oversight to put a puppet in the vacated seat and thus gain control of the 37 billion dollar CIA budget. A nifty plan to be sure. And I must say, there’s nothing quite like watching Percy gloat when he has the most powerful people in the country at his mercy. He may be a psychopath, but he’s a badass psychopath.

Not to worry though, the Nikita crew is on their way to save the day, hurray I say!

We learn that Alex faked Nikita’s death and Nikita recovers just in time to storm the CIA and pull everyone out of the room as the gas is released. When Percy learns of Alex’s betrayal he orders Amanda (Melinda Clarke) to activate her kill chip. Amanda complies but immediately revives her with a shot of adrenaline. It turns out Amanda is planning a coup against Percy and she lets Alex go as her first act of open defiance. Michael manages to escape Division with the help of his old friend Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) allowing him to neutralize Percy and reunite with Nikita. Good guys win!

This was a great ending to a great season. The few criticism I would have would be that some of the twists were fairly predictable and the survival of our heroes depended largely on other characters acting uncharacteristically. But all that is overshadowed by the copious amounts of awesome that burst out of every scene. This is by far the best show the CW has produced in a long time, Bravo I say.


Thinking Man Rating: 12 Thumbs Up

Season 1

Thinking Man Rating: 15 Thumbs Up

**Be aware the Thinking Man rating system is based on awesomeness and should be disregarded if you are not now, or have never been, awesome.**

SOLVED: The Mystery of “Galactus is NIGH”

A TVWriter™ Exclusive!

Monday we posted about a Facebook page called “Galactus is NIGH, which had “almost 300 pics” of Comic-Con cosplayers holding up signs about an impending world-eating disaster, ending with the heartwrenching plea, “So if anyone knows anything about this…let us in on it, okay?”

(FTR: As of this writing there are almost 400 such pics on the site.)

Well, today our crack staff of investigative journalists is proud to bring you the answer, direct from the mouth of our new friend, Alfredo, who’s entirely responsible for the weekend panic in San Diego’s normally too-crowded-to-move streets. In his own writ:

The idea of the sign GALACTUS IS NIGH came from the comic book WATCHMEN. In the comic Rorschach carries around a sign that says THE END IS NIGH, and I was thinking what else brings the end, Galactus from the marvel universe. So I combined both ideas and that’s how I came up with the sign.

I was aware of the other protesters with the FEAR GOD signs, but my sign was not created to counter their signs, well not at first. I created my sign because I didn’t have a costume that year. I had my camera with me and I wanted to take pictures of cosplayers, but if I showed my friends the pictures they wouldn’t believe that I took t[them], so as proof I asked the cosplayers if they would hold the sign. And when I got home I wanted to put the pictures on Facebook, but I took so many picture I wanted more than my friends to see them.

So I created the page. And this was all on Thursday, the first day of comic con.

In other words, Alfredo e-mailed us when he heard we were sleuthing, saving TVWriter™ a whole lot of time and expense (and possibly a little fun too, dammit!) while proving he’s a good guy.

Thank you, Alfredo, for allowing the world to breathe a sigh of relief because Galactus isn’t really coming after all, whew, praise de Lawd, and all that good stuff. ‘Cuz we were really worried there for a minute. Especially LB, who, when he was writing-producing primetime cop shows was always getting in trouble because real life idiots copied his characters’ crimes – and was worried that now it was Galactus marching to his TV tune. Or, as LB told us:

“The signals from our old THE SILVER SURFER animated series have been traveling through space for about 15 years now, and I kept thinking, “What if they worm-holed their way to Galactus? What if he was on the way to earth to copycat the episode where he almost ate us How would I ever be able to live with the guilt?”

Um, sorry, Lar, but that guilt thingie was the least you’d have to concern yourself with, know what we mean?

So our lives remain unthreatened and all is well. But, just to be on the safe side, y’all, maybe you shouldn’t forget to “Watch the skies.”

Erm, looks like we can forget the skies and concentrate on something closer to home…

TV to Take Over Broadway?

Tired of reboots but love one of television’s biggest cult hits? Us too. So how do we handle this one?:

by Alanna Bennett

Bryan Fuller‘s been dropping hints of upcoming Pushing Daisies news for the past few months, and we have been clawing at our computer screens for just as long screaming “TELL US!” The Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, and Mockingbird Lane producer swore it had nothing to do with a return of the cancelled-too-soon show to television, or of a jump to the big screen. So what does that leave? Broadway, apparently!

Fuller revealed this little tidbit in a recent interview with TV-scooper extradordinaire Michael Ausiello while promoting his upcoming television reboot of Mockingbird Lane.

According to Fuller–who holds that it’s too soon to reveal anything too concrete, as these things have a way of changing through the stages of development–the project is working to reunite as much of the Pushing Daisies cast as possible.

“We’re working on something that is definitely a Pushing Daisies revival, and the idea would be to have as many cast [members] as we can to participate in it.”

…This wasn’t the direction we were expecting, but after some initial shock we pretty much came to the realization that we’ve missed the show so much that we’ll take anything they have.

Read it all