Posts Tagged ‘I Speak TV’

It only recently occurred to me that virtually every post I’ve made of late has been focused on comics and/or superheroes. There are a few reasons for this, one of which is, shit man, that’s just what I like. I’m pretty knowledgeable on the subject and those tend to be evergreen posts. That Iron Man primer I wrote a couple years Lost-season1back? Always one of our top searches of the week. And for some reason people are always looking up Ghost Rider. Don’t ask me.

That said, once I realized just how singularly focused my posts had become, I started trying to remember what the hell else I like to write about. The answers, obviously – because I am a man of simple joys – are movies and TV (I am abysmal when it comes to talking about music, unfortunately, usually just variations on “This makes my ears feel happy!!!”).

TV, especially. You may not know this, but before we started up Threat Quality, I was pretty prolific at my old site, I Speak TV. Go check it out, it’s kind of fun to remember that once upon a time, people gave a shit about Heroes.

Anyway, a combination of frustration over the truly shitty Blogger controls, a new job where I was actually writing for a living, and coming up with topics for this site ultimately mothballed ISTV back in ’09, and as sites like Hitfix and AV Club started devoting more time to daily TV discussion, I didn’t think there was a lot more I could add anyway.

So I no longer Speak TV with regularity, except when pilots roll around, or Aaron Sorkin does something dumb, or superheroes make their unfortunate way to television. Still miss you, The Cape, you silly old thing.

Or when Lost did anything.  (more…)

I’ve had the good luck lately to be on the winning team, pop-culture-wise. I don’t have to worry about other people liking The Hunger Games, and ABC seems to have found a genuine hit in Revenge, so I don’t have to be an advocate there, either.

Which means I might’ve gotten a bit lazy, since I figured the mix of J.J. Abrams’ name, the post-House time slot and the 50/50 combo of cop-procedural/time-travel mythology would’ve been enough to get people to stay with Alcatraz, without me constantly banging a drum in a vain attempt to get people to tune in again.

Of course, I figured wrong. And so Alcatraz wraps up its first and potentially only season, with a ton of unanswered questions, because people aren’t generally trained on how to watch television these days. Which is to say, the rule is: “You gotta power through the first six episodes, because they’re probably not gonna be all that good, but there’s potential, which usually only gets reached in season 2, so please be patient.”

(With the caveat: “…If you liked the pilot at all.” Which is my way of saying, “You don’t have to support every damn thing just because you hope it’ll get better than crap.” Which is really just my way of saying, “Grimm is stupid.”)  (more…)

2 Broke Girls may be one of the most excruciating comedies I’ve ever watched for two reasons. The first: Kat Dennings and the other one are good. They’re funny, have easy chemistry with each other and are clearly making the best out of some abysmal scripts and stale hipster-bashing (and this is a show that thinks Coldplay is a “hipster band,” so it’s not even terribly GOOD at the hipster-bashing).

But the bigger problem: That Fucking Horse. The show is called 2 Broke Girls. I realize if they sell the horse, it’d be called “2 Girls Who Just Turned In a Tidy Profit From Selling That Horse,” and the premise would pretty much be over. But it’s just that the entirety of reality is flipped off for the sake of a dumb sight gag.

Let alone the fact that horses shit a lot. So…pretty sure the broke girls’ back yard is a major health hazard and they’d probably receive a hefty fine.  (more…)

When it comes to police dramas for me, the list pretty much begins and ends with “Homicide: Life on the Street.” It wasn’t the first to inject the notion of realism to cop shows (“Hill Street Blues” gets that honor, though that show was before my time), but it was the first that made me realize that yes, being a cop is an honor, a brotherhood, a matter of civic duty and all that, but it’s also a job. A shitty, fruitless, mind-numbing job.

There’s not a lot of busting heads or car chases or shootouts or criminal masterminds or slamming other cops against lockers. There’s paperwork, asking repetitive questions, arresting absolute morons, having tiffs with co-workers and not getting paid very much. “Homicide” made cop-work look like an absolute fucking grind, and as a result made me respect police work a lot more.  (more…)

TelevisionI know, I know. All this talk over the last couple weeks, about musical theatre and teh interwub, and we’ve been missing all the important things. I hear the cries of concern. They say, “We are fearful, Jeff Holland…what can you tell us of television in the summer?”

I am here to help. Allow me to venture down to the I Speak TV Global Stronghold (location: unknown, but let’s say somewhere just to the left of space-time). Yanking the tarps off our powerful machinery, dusting the cobwebs off our hyper-global interface monitors, telling our secretary, Irene, to hold all our calls, and finally, shaking the all-powerful eight-ball of mystery to ask: “Anything good on TV lately?”

The outlook is good.


(Checking out the season finales of the only shows on TV worth watching, part two: The Office, 30 Rock, 24, and How I Met Your OfficeMother):

“The Office”
After the extended dramatic arc of Michael, Pam and Ryan manning their own (ill-fated) company, followed by the dance/breather episode, I wondered what tone the finale would bring.


dollhouseSo good TV is wrapping up for the season, and it’s time to look at how things shook out.

This week, we’ll look at “Dollhouse,” “House,” “Fringe,” and “Lost.”

Let’s dig in:

ABC’s marketing department needs to be fired.

unusuals-abcIf you’re like me, you endured months of promos for “The Unusuals,” the new cop show set up in the unenviable post-“Lost” timeslot. And, if you’re like me, you quickly grew tired of the quirk being shoved down your throats.

“They arrest people in hot dog costumes and one-man bands! Ain’t that wacky? We think so, hee hee hee haw haaaaw!”

After three months of this, I not only didn’t want to watch the show, I was violently against it. But I am also a man who will watch almost any pilot, provided they give me something. And as annoying as the promos made the premise seem, “odd cops, odd criminals” is, to me, at least worth a gander.

So imagine my surprise when “The Unusuals” turned out to be not that odd at all. Just good.


Ahh, midseason: when half the network’s fall schedule has been decimated, and it’s up to a scrappy band of shows that weren’t ready in September to head once more into the breach, for queen and country, stepping over the corpses of kings‘Knight Rider’ and that Jerry O’Connell hotel show as they charge.


My belief that there absolutely should be nighttime soap operas is generally tempered by my acceptance that I am not the audience for them. I mean, honestly – what the hell do I care about the problems of the impossibly rich and good-looking? Their issues, as dramatic as they may be, ultimately don’t matter. They treat it like a matter of life and death, but…c’mon.


24-bauerIt’s taken me about seven years to accept this, but… “24” would be great if it wasn’t “24.”

Let me try that again.

If “24” weren’t beholden to its central conceit – a series of catastrophic events occurs over the course of 24 hours – it would probably be the greatest action series of all time.