Everything happened as it should on last night’s “Breaking Bad” finale. The Nazis went down in a blaze of machine gun fire, Jesse escaped, Gretchen and Elliot were jolted out of their smugness, Walt copped to his own terrible selfishness in a final conversation with his wife. For a show that makes a point of not giving viewers exactly what they want or expect, the finale was uncharacteristically satisfying. There was no gut clench as the credits rolled, no wave of disgust for humanity—just a sense of inevitability and relief.
There’s a scene toward the end of the first episode of Showtime’s new drama “Masters of Sex” in which two test subjects embrace on a bed in a hospital laboratory. Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson, the real-life sex researchers from St. Louis’s Washington University who performed trailblazing studies on human subjects in the years before the sexual revolution, watch silently through a pane of glass. A scroll of paper charting the subjects’ heart rates unspools onto the floor nearby.
Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer who served everywhere from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. (The 2005 film Syriana, starring George Clooney, was an adaptation of several of his books about the intelligence world.) Who better, then, to discuss Season 3 of “Homeland,” which premiered last night on Showtime? Every Monday, Baer and New Republic Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner will chat about the previous night’s episode. The conversations contain spoilers.
It has been three decades since Robin Williams starred in a sitcom: “Mork and Mindy,” in which Williams played a wacky alien, went off the air in 1982. And now he is back in “The Crazy Ones,” a new CBS comedy from David E. Kelley (also behind “Ally McBeal”) that premiered last night.
During "Breaking Bad"’s pulse-racing episode last Sunday, viewers who follow Aaron Paul on Twitter got a stream of adrenalized commentary weighing in on the action. “My heart is pounding and I can’t breathe. Holy shit,” Paul tweeted as the Nazis launched a fusillade of bullets at launched at Jesse, Walt, and Hank. Then there was the tweet “Holy Fu#%ing shit,” as Hank fell to the ground.
From the brutal ambition of "Breaking Bad" to the hangdog masculinity of "Louie," the current TV landscape is full of different models of manhood.
Perhaps the most notable feature of Howard Kurtz’s new Fox News show “Media Buzz” is how relentlessly it reminds us to tweet at it. “We wanna hear from you!” Kurtz said at the beginning of Sunday’s show. “Send me a tweet!
Meghan McCain has described her new talk show—which premieres tomorrow on Pivot TV, a new network targeting millennials—as a middle ground between the Kardashians and C-SPAN. This is apt: “Raising McCain” takes reality TV’s confessional spirit and partygirl vibe and gives it all the drama and edge of a congressional livestream. McCain is committed to making political issues, from privacy to feminism, as platitudinous as possible.
For weeks, CNN has been promising that the new "Crossfire" would be a different kind of cable news show. “Americans are tired of cheap debate, but they want deep debate,” host Van Jones said in an interview before the show aired. “We want everyone... to be part of a conversation, not just part of a shouting match,” host Newt Gingrich explained in another interview.
Former New Republic staffer and conservative writer James Kirchick went on RT today to talk about the Bradley Manning verdict. Instead, he popped on a pair of rainbow suspenders and began to troll the RT anchors for two and a half minutes about everything: the anti-gay law, about the fact that RT is a Kremlin propaganda channel, about what happens to journalists in Russia.