Blu-ray Review: BREAKING BAD – THE FINAL SEASON

BREAKING BAD - THE FINAL SEASON Blu-ray | ©2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Suggested Retail Price:$65.99 Distributor: Sony Home Entertainment For years, critics and fans have been gushing about the brilliance of BREAKING BAD. And while it took me awhile to become a full convert, I have to say, the final eight episodes (technically the second half of Season 5) provided some of the best television last year. Creator Vince Gilligan did an amazing job of paying off EVERYTHING that he set into motion over the course of the series run. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) started off as …Read On »

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TV Review: THE LEFTOVERS – Season 1 – “Pilot” – Series Premiere

THE LEFTOVERS - Season 1 poster | ©2014 HBO

Stars: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston Writers: Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta based on the novel by Perrotta Director: Peter Berg Network: HBO, airs Sunday nights Original Telecast: June 29, 2014 THE LEFTOVERS is another in TV’s recent fascination with genre stories that show society on the brink of extinction, aduction or tragedy and how they deal with these seen and unseen forces. From REVOLUTION, FALLING SKIES, the TNT series THE LAST SHIP and last summer’s UNDER THE DOME, there’s a similarity in tone and execution in all these stories with their success pending on how they keep the …Read On »

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Interview: LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof on THE LEFTOVERS

Justin Theroux in THE LEFTOVERS - Season 1 | ©2014 HBO/Paul Schiraldi

In HBO’s new series THE LEFTOVERS, premiering Sunday, June 29, two percent of the world’s population vanishes in an instant, leaving everyone else shocked, grieving and wondering what happened. LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof adapted THE LEFTOVERS for television from ’s novel. Lindelof is at HBO’s session for the Television Critics Association to discuss THE LEFTOVERS. Following the official panel, the writer/executive producer remains for a lot of follow-up questions. ASSIGNMENT X: Is THE LEFTOVERS ever going to tell the audience exactly what caused the disappearance and what happened to the missing people? DAMON LINDELOF: I think what I’d say is, …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Felina” – Series Finale

Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD - Season 5 - "Felina" ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Vince Gilligan Director: Vince Gilligan Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: September 29, 2013 I’ve had some time to digest “Felina,” the series finale of BREAKING BAD, and while, like the series itself, this episode is a great achievement and has given me ample food for thought over the past week, I feel uneasy because I can only offer support for it that’s a mile wide but an inch deep. That the show’s creators had enough of a handle on their dense and …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Granite State”

Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD - Season 5 - "Granite State" | ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Peter Gould Director: Peter Gould Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: September 22, 2013 Earlier in BREAKING BAD, at yet another juncture when Walt (Bryan Cranston) felt compelled to pull out all the stops to keep Jesse (Aaron Paul) from quitting their meth business because of his troubled conscience, Walt made the point that if there was a hell, they were pretty much both going there anyway, so what difference does a little more meth-cooking make?  In “Granite State,” BREAKING BAD’s penultimate episode, …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “To’hajiilee”

Dean Norris as Hank Schrader in BREAKING BAD - Season 5 - "To ha'jiilee | ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Vince Gilligan and George Mastras Director: Michelle MacLaren Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: September 8, 2013 Even if I were not a fan of BREAKING BAD and its characters, and not particularly interested in how the complex moral universe of this show is going to resolve itself in the next month, I’d still have to tip my hat to it only for the sheer skill and craft on display during the final half hour of “To’hajiilee.”  BREAKING BAD’s creators really put on …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Rabid Dog”

Aaron Paul in Season 5 - "Rabid Dog" - BREAKING BAD | ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Sam Catlin Director: Sam Catlin Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: September 1, 2013 The latest BREAKING BAD episode “Rabid Dog” concerns itself entirely with the question of what action Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) will take next.  Specifically, now that he’s finally seen through Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) mask and knows what kind of person is hiding behind it, what is he actually prepared to do to bring Walt down?  And while the answer to that question seems pretty straightforward at the beginning of …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Confessions”

Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt) in Season 5 - "Buried" | ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Gennifer Hutchison Director: Michael Slovis Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: August 25, 2013 As BREAKING BAD marches towards it’s conclusion, we’re seeing all the secrets its characters were hiding from one another come to light at an ever-quickening pace.  In one way, it’s very satisfying.  Great writing and the talents of these great actors have made their characters’ reactions to the horrible truths they’re learning incredibly memorable.  And yet, in “Confessions” there’s still something that feels obligatory about getting all these reveals …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Buried”

Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD - Season 5 - "Buried" | ©2013 AMC/Ursula Coyote

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Thomas Schnauz Director: Michelle MacLaren Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: August 18, 2013 If there were any doubts as to where Skyler’s loyalties belong in the looming showdown between Walt and Hank, “Buried” removed them completely, and did so in a way that made you believe, with Skyler’s help, Walt could actually get away with all his crimes, (whatever getting away with it means when you’re dying of terminal cancer).  But just as one door has opened for Walt, another one is …Read On »

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TV Review: BREAKING BAD – Season 5 – “Blood Money”

BREAKING BAD - Season 5 Key Art | ©2013 AMC

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk Writer: Peter Gould Director: Bryan Cranston Network: AMC, airs Sunday Nights Original Telecast: August 11, 2013 BREAKING BAD set the bar incredibly high for itself with the first part of its final season, which culminated last September and left everyone wanting more.  Given that those eight episodes built up to one of the most gripping and fascinating crescendos in TV history, it would have been a great shock if “Blood Money” the premier episode of its fifth season’s second half, could live up to what …Read On »

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