Silicon Valley

Credit: HBO

How about a new comedy series from Mike Judge on HBO? Sounds good, right? If the buzz is correct then this new show is really great, and really funny.

Silicon Valley debuts on April 6.


Season Reviews

Tim GoodmanEmily Nussbaum (after her review of The Americans), Alison WillmoreMatt Zoller SeitzTodd VanDerWerffMo RyanWilla PaskinAlan SepinwallJames Poniewozik and Andy Greenwald.

Also, Alison Willmore interviewed creator Mike Judge.

Game of Thrones Season Four Where Were We

Credit: HBO

Season Four of Game of Thrones is set to start on Sunday and maybe you don’t remember where we left the major characters. Here’s an idea: read the rest of this post and jog your memory.

There are no spoilers unless you haven’t watched Season Three, in which case your decision to read this post is strange.

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Fifty-Seven Thousand Channels

On the way to answering why HBO can’t be like Netflix, at least right now, I gave a little history about broadcast network television in the US. When we left off, there were three networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — and HBO, plus a bunch of TV stations not affiliated with the networks.

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Why Can’t HBO Be Like Netflix?

“Why can’t HBO be like Netflix?” That is the question a friend asked me the other day. She was annoyed that she couldn’t subscribe to HBO without having a cable subscription. I started to explain it to her but it got very complicated and the more I spoke and thought about it the more I realized I couldn’t answer it easily.

The topic of television and Netflix and HBO and streaming and  broadcast and cable and so on is all very complicated. I decided maybe its better to start from the (sort of) beginning and go from there.

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What Should I Be Watching?

You know that friend who always knows what shows you should be watching? Yeah, that one. He’s annoying, right? I mean, he should get a life. Well, now you don’t need him.

Here is a list of upcoming new and returning shows and the dates of their season debuts. Tell your friend it’s not you, it’s him. You have a new friend, and he doesn’t drink all your wine.

Note that this list doesn’t include broadcast network shows. You should still watch some of those shows (Hannibal, Enlisted) but that’s another list.

The letters after the channel indicate if earlier seasons are available for streaming on YkiZiACkmazon Prime or 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8etflix. HBO series are only available for steaming on HBO Go.

Downton Abbey – January 5 (PBS) – YkiZiACk
Justified – January 7 (FX) – YkiZiACk
True Detective – January 12 (HBO)
Girls– January 12 (HBO)
Looking – January 19 (HBO)
Shameless – January 19 (Showtime)
Sherlock-  January 19 (PBS) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Broad City – January 22 (Comedy Central) – YkiZiACk
The Walking Dead – February 9 (AMC) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
House of Cards – February 14 (Netflix) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
The Americans – February 26 (FX) – YkiZiACk
Review – March 6 (Comedy Central) – Hulu Plus
Call the Midwife – March 30 (PBS) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Game of Thrones – April 6 (HBO)
Veep – April 6 (HBO)
Silicon Valley – April 6 (HBO)
Mad Men – April 13 (AMC) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Fargo – April 15 (FX)
Orphan Black – April 19 (BBC America) – YkiZiACk
Louie – May 5 (FX) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Penny Dreadful – May 11 (Showtime)
Halt and Catch Fire – June 1 (AMC)
Orange is the New Black – June 6 (Netflix) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Rectify – June 19 (SundanceTV) – 3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Tyrant – June 24 (FX)
The Leftovers
– June 29 (HBO)
The Bridge – July 9 (FX)
The Strain
– July 13 (FX)
Masters of Sex – July 13 (Showtime)
Manhattan – July 27 (WGN America) – Hulu Plus
The Honorable Woman – July 31 (SundanceTV)
The Knick – August 8 (Cinemax)
– August 9 (Starz)
Happy Valley – August 20 (BBC One) –  3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Boardwalk Empire – September 7 (HBO)
Sons of Anarchy – September 9 (FX) – YkiZiACk
Transparent – September 26 (Amazon)
Peaky Blinders – September 30 (BBC Two) –  3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8
Homeland – October 5 (Showtime)
The Affair
– October 12 (Showtime)
The Walking Dead – October 12 (AMC)
Black Mirror – December 1 (Channel 4) –  3ohmlq2rqnur0ajbydi8

Justified The Toll

Credit: FX

There are a number of previews of the new season of Game of Thrones airing now, and there is a quote in one or more of them that is one of my favorite quotes from the books.

I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.

This quote has been on my mind because of my excitement for the return of Game of Thrones, and I was reminded of it watching “The Toll”. Daryl Crowe turns himself in and gets his nephew Kendal to take the rap for shooting Art. Raylan wants to kill Daryl but says that he won’t, and that instead he will ruin Daryl’s life. One day joy will turn to ashes in Daryl’s mouth.

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The Americans A Little Night Music

Credit: FX

Elizabeth and Philip Jennings don’t exist. The woman and man who go by those names were both born and raised in Russia. They adopted the personae of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings to live in undercover in the US.

Elizabeth and Philip Jennings exist. They work together at a travel agency and both take active an active role in raising their two children.

All of the above is true, which is part of the reason that The Americans is so interesting. What makes an episode like “A Little Night Music” so interesting is that it’s not just the Jennings who are leading dual lives.

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The Good Wife Dramatics, Your Honor

Credit: CBS

Although I watch The Good Wife, I don’t usually write about it because it’s on network television, which means that there are a lot of episodes and I am not suited to keep up that type of pace. Basic and premium cable series with their shorter seasons are much more comfortable for me.

However, as you may have heard, something big happened in The Good Wife last Sunday. If you don’t know what it is or, more importantly, if you don’t want to know what it is, then stop reading.

I mean it. There are spoilers below.


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Game of Thrones Season Four

Credit: HBO

The new season of Game of Thrones is here. Yes, you should be watching the show. No, you should not start with Season Four. If you haven’t been watching then go watch the first three seasons and then come back here for links to recaps from various TV critics for Season One, Season Two and Season Three.

If you’ve watched the first three seasons then come here for the recaps for Season Four.

And enjoy.

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The New FiveThirtyEight

Credit: FiveThirtyEight

If you read my pre-launch post about the new FiveThirtyEight then you know that I was interested in seeing what Nate Silver and his team came up with. I can’t say that I was a regular visitor to the old site other than in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election but I did check in periodically to see what was going on. (The New York Times paywall may have had something to do with this.) Silver launched his new site a week ago, which means it’s time to assess how it’s doing.

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