SONS OF ANARCHY Episode Recap: “Crucifixed”

by     Posted 1 year, 155 days ago

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At some point I should upload a scan of my notes for Sons of Anarchy, because they are far, far more chaotic than any other show I have ever reviewed.  Even Boardwalk Empire, with its myriad plots, can’t compare.  At least with Boardwalk, certain stories develop in their own world, like little vignettes whose significance may not be made clear now or ever, but they’re still enjoyable to watch unfold.  Sons of Anarchy has plenty of strange, throwaway plots too (look to almost any guest stars during the season and you’ll find the filler) and has been chastised by many, myself included, for being just about plot points more than character development (though not unusual for a series in its fifth season).  Still, one’s mind is impressively boggled by the incredible amount of layers in not just the outside forces pressing on SAMCRO, but the changing alliances within.  Hit the jump for my attempts at untangling some of the spider’s web.

SONS OF ANARCHY Episode Recap: “Andare Pescare”

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

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So much happens in any given episode of Sons of Anarchy it can be hard to know where to start.  Even though in each season the action does focus down to a core four or five characters, with a few constants (Jax, Gemma and Clay) and a few rotations (in the past, Chibs and Unser, now Bobby and Nero), with Tara always floating around in the background as the most unevenly written character maybe of any show I’ve ever given serious consideration to … there’s always a lot going on.  It’s helpful to have so many cards in play for Sons‘ incredibly complicated stories, though they can mange to veer too much into just a litany of plot points without enough character building.  But “Andare Pescare” actually slowed down for some telling conversations and interactions, which made it a fairly strong episode.  Hit the jump for why I don’t break into mausoleums — I’m not Tig!

SONS OF ANARCHY Episode Recap: “Ablation”

by     Posted 1 year, 169 days ago

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Now here’s the stuff!  After a shaky few weeks, Sons of Anarchy gives us a great, dense episode that answers old questions, brings up new ones, and even has its own complete in-episode dramas.  Jax is at a breaking point with everything surrounding him, pressures from the club, his family, Pope, Eli, Frankie, Nero, the RICO case, the cartel … the list goes on and on.  Still, Jax keeps his cool, maneuvering his pieces to battle Clay as club business, meaning that the club could vote to exile him and kill him.  It ain’t easy bein’ a Son.  For more on the episode and why if you don’t do what I say then you’d better get used to living in a brothel, hit the jump.

COMMUNITY Gets Thursday, February 7 Premiere Date as NBC Announces Full Midseason Schedule

by     Posted 1 year, 169 days ago

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At long last, Community has a premiere date.  The Dan Harmon-less fourth season of the whip smart comedy series was initially set to premiere this month on Fridays, then NBC announced that they were holding the show for an unspecified premiere date sometime in the future.  Many assumed that the network was saving the series as a replacement in the event that one of their new comedy shows got cancelled, but when Animal Practice was given the axe NBC gave the timeslot to Whitney instead.

The cast put together a sort of fan-appreciation video in the wake of the delay news, and now finally some good news has surfaced as star Yvette Nicole Brown announced on Twitter that the fourth season will premiere on Thursday, February 7th at 8pm.  Hit the jump for more. [Update: NBC has confirmed the date with the release of their full midseason schedule, which is included after the jump and announces a break for Revolution, a move for Smash, and more.]

SONS OF ANARCHY Episode Recap: “Toad’s Wild Ride”

by     Posted 1 year, 176 days ago

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Until the last few minutes of “Toad’s Wild Ride,” I was having a rather nice go of things.  Sons of Anarchy threw some weirdness at us this year, and a lot (and I do mean a metric crap ton) of violence, but in “Toad’s Wild Ride” there were some really interesting moments about loyalty and betrayal, especially bringing Juice’s story to the forefront.  Alliances change often on the show, but Bobby, Chibs and even Tig are firmly in Jax’s corner right now.  Clay is delusional if he thinks he could get back at the head of the table and past all of them.  I sincerely doubt, too, that Juice would ever fully back Clay in a coup, especially if Chibs was on the other side.  Still, seeing Clay carefully play Unser and Juice and the Nomads was fun to watch, especially the trick he pulled at Unser’s Airstream.  Clay is just as dangerous as ever, and now Jax knows that giving him a second chance was a mistake.  Of course, most of us would have thought the first time after someone tried to kill everyone we love but, you know, things are different in Charming.  For more on the wild ride and what Joel McHale has to do with it all, hit the jump.

Troy and Abed Try to Explain COMMUNITY’s Lack of a Premiere Date in Cast-Made Video [Updated with Clip from Season Premiere]

by     Posted 1 year, 180 days ago

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Community fans have become experts in the virtue of patience.  We’ve been jerked around so many times regarding when/where/if one of the smartest and funniest shows on TV will actually be on TV that we’re no longer shocked when NBC asks us to “trust them” and wait “a little bit longer” to see new episodes.  The upcoming Dan Harmon-less fourth season of Community was initially slated to begin on October 19th (ie. today), but NBC recently reneged on that decision in favor of holding Community and Whitney as replacements for when their new comedy series go belly-up.  Animal Practice was cancelled yesterday, but NBC naturally decided to replace it with Whitney instead of Community.

The wonderful ensemble cast knows how much the show means to their fans, so they’ve put together a great little video in which Troy and Abed try to explain why the show’s fourth season doesn’t have a premiere date.  The clip is filled with in-jokes and fan appreciation galore.  Seriously, this cast is the best.  Hit the jump to take a look.  Season four of Community premieres someday. [Update: We've updated the article with a clip from the season premiere.]

SONS OF ANARCHY Episode Recap: “Small World”

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago

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It’s been a rough week for TV characters across the board, and I was desperately hoping that Sons of Anarchy would be just as weirdly funny as it was last week.  Alas.  Despite Jax telling Tara that it was a quiet day, nothing could have been further from the truth.  Everyone had something difficult to deal with and, in a surprisingly high number of cases, people died.  Murder, suicide, more murder … there weren’t any laughs in Charming for the Sons or anyone else.  “Senseless,” Tara says to Gemma, thinking back on her afternoon seeing Otto.  “It’s been that kind of day,” Gemma replies, not knowing the half of it.  But let’s pause and consider how truly senselessly violent and insane “Small World” was.  Hit the jump for my picking apart the deaths this week and how much we did (or didn’t) need them.

NBC Delays COMMUNITY, Moves the Return of WHITNEY to Fridays

by     Posted 1 year, 191 days ago

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NBC continues to kick Community to the curb.  The studio announced today that it would be bumping the season four return of the fan-favorite show from their expected Friday, October 19th date to an unspecified future date.  Sophomore comedy series, Whitney, will also be moving to Fridays, but that show’s debut date is up in the air as well.  NBC cited the need for more time to make a marketing push in the case of each series.

I can’t imagine that Community needs to be marketed any more, with the off-season fireworks of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon being let go; the fourth season will be run by Moses Port and David Guarascio.  I also can’t imagine a scenario in which marketing will get me to watch Whitney.  In the meantime, NBC will air re-runs of the first season of Grimm from 8-9pm on Fridays, which will lead into new episodes of the supernatural procedural.  Hit the jump to see who will be returning to Community if and when it returns.

COMMUNITY Recruits James Brolin to Play Winger’s Dad in Thanksgiving Episode

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

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NBC’s Community will feature a holiday family reunion of sorts when Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) comes face to face with his father during the show’s upcoming Thanksgiving episode.  In the episode titled “Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations,” fans will finally be introduced to William Winger, the estranged father whom Jeff hasn’t seen since he was a child.  Playing the elder Winger is none other than James Brolin (Marcus Welby, M.D.).  Community season four premieres at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.  Hit the jump for more on season four and a set photo of McHale and Brolin.

Who Wants to Visit the Set of COMMUNITY? Because Alison Brie Would Like to Rap for You. Drop a Beat!

by     Posted 1 year, 239 days ago

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Rather than dump your hard-earned money into private school tuition, why not cut a check to go to Greendale Community College instead? The cast of NBC’s Community is getting ready to air season four this fall and they’d love for you to visit them!  All it takes is a winning charitable donation that benefits the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, and you and a friend will be heading to Greendale and going home with a signed script and photos! Hit the jump to find out how to win!

Malcom McDowell Teaches COMMUNITY a Lesson as a History Professor in Season Four

by     Posted 1 year, 243 days ago

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The Greendale Seven are about to be schooled by Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) when he joins the cast of Community this fall.  McDowell is set to star in two episodes as a history professor (I hope they find a way to work A Clockwork Orange in).  THR reports that his character will be named Professor Cornwallis.  McDowell is the latest addition to the faculty, as British comedian Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids) recently joined as well.  Look for Community’s return to NBC in its new time slot, Friday nights at 8:30pm starting October 19th.

Watch a Gag-Inducing Gag Reel from COMMUNITY Season 3

by     Posted 1 year, 250 days ago

Fans are approaching the upcoming fourth season of Community with more than a little trepidation, as this will be the first batch of episodes of the show produced without creative genius Dan Harmon onboard as showrunner.  Though the change will likely not be insignificant, it’s important to remember that the series has one of the most talented casts working in television.  A gag reel from the upcoming season three DVD has now landed online that puts these actors’ ridiculous comedic talent on full display, and it’s really damn funny to boot.  The highlight comes towards the end as Donald Glover throws out suggestions to Alison Brie and the actress pulls off a master class in reactionary facial expressions.

Hit the jump to watch the gag reel.  Season three is available on DVD on August 14th, and season four premieres on October 19th on NBC.

COMMUNITY Adds British Comedian Matt Lucas for Season 4, Plus an Awesome Fan-Made INSPECTOR SPACETIME Poster

by     Posted 1 year, 253 days ago

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When last we talked about NBC’s cult comedy series, Community, we were at Comic-Con, rejoicing that the entire cast would be returning, but lamenting the absence of creator and show-runner, Dan Harmon.  While we wait to see if new overseers David Guarascio and Moses Port can keep the old Community magic, season four will see an infusion of overseas humor with the addition of British comedian, Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids). Lucas, perhaps best known for British comedy series Little Britain, will star as Greendale Community College’s newest faculty member.  Hit the jump for more details on his character as well as a look at a great fan-made Inspector Spacetime poster.

Comic-Con: COMMUNITY Interview with Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, and Danny Pudi

by     Posted 1 year, 277 days ago

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Community is one of the best comedies on television.  But this offseason saw upheaval in the departure of Creator/Executive Producer Dan Harmon.  They were so unsure about a return that the last episode of the third season could act as a series finale.  Still, a fervent fan base has given the quirky show a fourth season, even if it comes with a move to Fridays.  The first table read is set for August 6th with shooting to begin August 13th.  Five of the cast sat down to talk about the upcoming season, the departure and the bit of plot they could share (the appearance of Jeff’s dad).  More after the break.

Comic-Con: COMMUNITY Panel with Cast and New Showrunners; Watch a New Gag Reel Here

by     Posted 1 year, 278 days ago

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Full disclosure: The line to get into Ballroom 20 was very, very long this morning, and the Community panel (the first of the day) had the audacity to start without me.  I was about 20 minutes late, and I don’t know what excitement happened without me.  It is probably for the best, since I was a rubbernecker looking to see how they would deal with the recent ugly firing of Community creator Dan Harmon.  (Answer: They addressed it without really discussing it, even when I wasn’t there.  Not surprising.)

There was a big group: Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi; writers Megan Ganz and Andy Bobrow; producer  Russ Krasnoff and new showrunners David Guarascio and Moss Port.  I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness and hit the jump for an abbreviated bullet-point recap, along with a brand new gag reel.

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