Reviewing the Later Seasons of Firefly

firefly-serenity-crew

Fifteen years ago, Firefly premiered.

And slightly under fifteen years ago, it ended.

Continue reading “Reviewing the Later Seasons of Firefly”

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Emmys 2017: Which Shows Will Win?

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It’s that time of year again. The time when rich people gather into a big ballroom and repeatedly pat themselves on the back. The time when awards are handed out to people based on quality and also how much money they spent on campaigning. The time when a host makes some modestly humorous jokes and then disappears after the first twenty minutes. (Okay, I don’t expect much “modesty” from Stephen Colbert these days. But hey, twenty minutes.)

Continue reading “Emmys 2017: Which Shows Will Win?”

Was Ally McBeal a Feminist Icon?

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In June 1998, Time Magazine published an issue with a most unusual cover. The image displayed the pictured heads of four women: Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and… Ally McBeal. The first three heads were printed in black-and-white, the fourth in full color. Beneath the picture of McBeal were printed three boldened words: “Is Feminism Dead?”

Continue reading “Was Ally McBeal a Feminist Icon?”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 3)

CWHistory3

[By Jeremy Grayson]

At long last, here’s the third quarter of this historical opus. Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already, and then come back here. I’ll wait. I’m the patient type.

By the time she was first approached to run the all-new CW Network, Dawn Ostroff had thirty years of media experience behind her – twenty in radio news (where she had started work as a teenager), and another ten in television. In 1996, she had joined Lifetime, a network with programming aimed at women, and presided over successful shows like Any Day Now and The Division. In 2002, she left her post to become President of UPN. And when the struggling UPN was merged with the WB into a shiny new network, CBS President Les Moonves chose her to lead the way.

Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 3)”

The New “Tick” Dares to be Different

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[By Jeremy Grayson]

When he was first introduced back in 1986, the Tick was designed as a superhero parody – a deconstruction of the familiar tropes and clichés typically associated with the comic book brand. It was a tone that continued in the popular 1990s animated series, and in the early 2000s with the short-lived live-action series (which I wrote about earlier this week). Now, Ben Edlund and Amazon have brought us a new Tick – only this time (dramatic pause) it’s different.

Continue reading “The New “Tick” Dares to be Different”

The First Live-Action “Tick” was Cancelled Too SPOON

TheTick

[By Jeremy Grayson]

“Gravity. It’s a harsh mistress.” – The Tick (after falling down an elevator shaft)

Superheroes are everywhere these days, aren’t they? The summer movie season is flooded with capes-and-tights blockbusters. A heroic new TV series seems to debut every few weeks. They appear on all sorts of merchandise, ranging from backpacks and T-shirts to pencils and toothbrushes. And hey, sometimes they even appear in comic books.

Continue reading “The First Live-Action “Tick” was Cancelled Too SPOON”

A Complete Guide to Studio 60 (Part 1)

Studio 60

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

You like good TV, don’t you? I mean, you obviously do, or else you wouldn’t be on this site. We at Critically Touched write a lot about good TV, and great TV, and all the TV in between. Rarely, however, do we take the time to write about bad TV.

Continue reading “A Complete Guide to Studio 60 (Part 1)”

The 2017 Emmy Nominees Are Surprising… But Not Shocking

ThisIsUs

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

I make fun of the Emmy Awards a lot, and with good reason. They constantly pick the same shows over and over. They fail to recognize many of television’s greatest and most laudable shows. They constantly change their own voting rules, to the point that it all currently amounts to little more than a popularity contest. And when all is said and done, they’re just another awards ceremony in which Hollywood congratulates Hollywood for being Hollywood.
Continue reading “The 2017 Emmy Nominees Are Surprising… But Not Shocking”

8 Books for the TV Addict

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[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

People sometimes ask me: “How do you know so much about television?” (Well, technically, they ask “Why do you know so much about television?”) Truth be told, I was not born with a silver remote in my mouth. I accumulated this knowledge through reading. Lots of reading.
Continue reading “8 Books for the TV Addict”

Get Onboard: iZombie

Pilot

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

“I used to be passionate, inspired, alive. Now, I’m mostly just hungry. And… a zombie. So there’s that.” – Liv

Full disclosure: I’ve never been a fan of zombie fiction. The horror genre has delivered a seemingly never-ending string of vampires, mummies, and werewolves, and while plenty of ghoul-centric books, films, and TV shows have been spookily entertaining, zombie-centric stories, with their moaning, groaning, brain-chewing antagonists, have always struck me as repulsive. Continue reading “Get Onboard: iZombie”

15 Years Later, the “Kim Possible” Pilot is Still Fantastic

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

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Great pilots can be a mixed blessing.

It’s certainly important for a TV series to establish itself in its very first episode, the better to hook viewers in for the long haul. And given the many moving parts involved in crafting a new series – from characters to plot to tone to production – it’s always something of a wonder when a show hits the ground running in its very first episode. Continue reading “15 Years Later, the “Kim Possible” Pilot is Still Fantastic”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 2)

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

Welcome back to my brief and entirely unasked-for history of The CW. Part 1 can be read here. Go read that if you haven’t already. And then come back to this page for the Roman numeral-free Part 2…

While the WB was flying high on teen-targeting hits like Buffy and Charmed, rival network UPN wasn’t faring too well. Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 2)”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part I)

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

These days, I find myself losing track of more TV shows than ever. It’s the downside of having so much on the air – series that don’t click (or used to, but have now lost their luster) tend to pile on my DVR for a couple of months, before it finally becomes too much of a commitment to catch up. Too many other shows – both new and old – have my attention at any given moment to make room for all of them. Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part I)”

Star Trek Reviews: The Other The Wire

[Blogged by Noah Burns]

[Introduction]

This is the first installment in what will be a series of short, one-off reviews of some of my favorite episodes in the Star Trek universe. This series will include at minimum this review, a review of ‘The Menagerie’ from the original series, and a review of The Next Generation‘s ‘The Inner Continue reading “Star Trek Reviews: The Other The Wire”

Mary Tyler Moore: A Trailblazer Onscreen and Off

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Turning the World On With Her Smile]

There are few moments in the history of television as iconic as the one which caps off the intro to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

In this moment, we watch Mary Richards, the character played by the titular actress, as she gazes in wonder at the bustling urban sights of Minneapolis. She twirls a Continue reading “Mary Tyler Moore: A Trailblazer Onscreen and Off”

The 20 Best TV Shows of 2016

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[The Year in Review]

How do you define “Peak TV”?

At the forefront, the term refers to the fact that there have never been as many shows on American television as there are right now. (Close to 500 shows aired – either on television or one of the Internet’s numerous streaming sites – at some point in the past year. Continue reading “The 20 Best TV Shows of 2016”

How “Angel” Perfected the Art of the Spinoff

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[The Angel’s in the Details]

Television, as the current deluge of shows across broadcast, cable, and the Internet can attest, is quite the hungry beast, constantly in need of new ideas to freshen and sustain a year-round schedule. And with millions of dollars at stake each time a new series premieres, it’s understandable that Continue reading “How “Angel” Perfected the Art of the Spinoff”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Wormhole Version

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[To Boldly Binge…]

Life feels pretty short, doesn’t it? There’s never enough time to go all the places we see, or meet all the people we want to meet, or watch all the TV shows we want to watch. That last fact is especially heartbreaking, but it’s true: there’s just too much great television, and not enough time to c Continue reading “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Wormhole Version”

Was “Boomtown” a Great TV Drama?

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[A Yost Cause]

I like the fifth season of Justified.

I know plenty of people find it to be dull and disappointing. I know it’s considered by many to be the major sore spot in what is otherwise one of this decade’s most beloved dramas. But I like it.

Okay, let me clarify: When I say I like the fifth Continue reading “Was “Boomtown” a Great TV Drama?”

Heading Downstream: The Cracks in the Binging Model

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[To Binge or Not to Binge?]

Late last November, Netflix released the entire first season of Jessica Jones, its newest Marvel Comics-based series, for public viewing. That same day, Amazon Prime unveiled the full premiere season of The Man in the High Castle to any and all of its subscribers. Ever the diligent vi Continue reading “Heading Downstream: The Cracks in the Binging Model”

Charmless Television: Disliking Everything

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[A Very Special Day]

I don’t enjoy reducing my life to simple declarations. Many people I know have a motto, a line by which they live their life – but I’ve never been content with compressing the essence of my goals/views/emotions down to a single statement. (This may explain why I constantly find myself changing my Continue reading “Charmless Television: Disliking Everything”

Top 25: The Best TV Shows of 2015

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Intro]

There are many labels which people use to describe the current era of television. The Golden Age of TV. Too Much TV. Peak TV. Jeremy, Turn Off the Stupid TV. More attention is being paid to the genre than ever before, in part because there’s simply so much to pay attention to.

There certainly are a Continue reading “Top 25: The Best TV Shows of 2015”

Bottle Month: Homicide’s “Three Men and Adena”

[Blogged by Bertrand Schmendrick]

[Critic’s Note]

Hey, guys. Jeremy here. As most of you are undoubtedly aware, I had planned to wrap up Bottle Month with an article about one of my all-time favorite episodes of television, that being Homicide: Life on the Street‘s acclaimed “Three Men and Adena”. Unfortunately, I’m rather bogged down wi Continue reading “Bottle Month: Homicide’s “Three Men and Adena””

Bottle Month: Mad Men’s “The Suitcase”

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[The Suitcase]

Written by Matthew Weiner; Directed by Jennifer Getzinger

Original Airdate: September 5, 2010

No one could have anticipated it, but 2010 would turn out to be something of a “Bottle Year”. Within its twelve-month span, numerous shows would offer up episodes that experimented with the b Continue reading “Bottle Month: Mad Men’s “The Suitcase””

Bottle Month: Breaking Bad’s “Fly”

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Fly]

Written by Sam Catlin and Moira Walley-Beckett; Directed by Rian Johnson

Original Airdate: May 23, 2010

Welcome to another installment of Bottle Month, where I take a look at famous bottle episodes from some of television’s best shows. Last week, I covered Firefly’s “Objects in Spa Continue reading “Bottle Month: Breaking Bad’s “Fly””