Devin and I welcomed returning guest Erin Vail for a discussion of D.C. TV shows, prompted by the series premiere of BrainDead and the excellent fifth season of Veep, which wraps up on Sunday.
Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. If you have the time, rate and review us on iTunes as well. We’d greatly appreciate your support.
Midway through the first episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host did a bit in which he both satirized the media’s obsessive coverage of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and admitted that he’s powerless to avoid doing his own obsessive coverage. Colbert promised his audience he would only eat one Oreo, symbolizing one Trump joke. But the Oreos were so enticing, and the pleasure from ingesting them so rewarding, that he couldn’t help but indulge in one, then another, then half the box at once, and then a second box.
This bit was superficially about Trump, but it’s also a symbol of what Colbert’s trying to do, and what he’ll have to do, with this new show. For nine years on Comedy Central, Colbert cultivated an unprecedented strain of politically-infused comedy so draining that he’s told multiple interviewers that he had planned to leave the show even if CBS hadn’t come calling. But replacing David Letterman, in timeslot if not in substance, is an opportunity for Colbert to flex different muscles and achieve a childhood dream.
David Letterman signed off without a tear in his eye or a break in his voice. The final hour-and-change looked back fondly on some of the silliest highlights of Letterman’s television career and ignored most of the darkness that sometimes pervaded the legendary host’s broadcasts.
This week in New York City, the four broadcast networks are unveiling their fall schedules, complete with renewals, cancellations and pickups. Though a volley of announcements earlier this week robbed the announcements of much of their suspense, and the very idea of a fixed schedule is irrelevant to a large percentage of the TV viewing public, these announcements remain interesting as the last vestiges of an outmoded business model.
ABC is up second. Click here for the network’s fall schedule with HitFix TV reporter Joe Adalian’s analysis. Notable points:
This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discussed David Letterman’s retirement announcement, our mixed feelings about the modern obsession with superhero movies and our opposing perspectives on Matt Zoller Seitz’s recently published manifesto “Please, Critics, Write About the Filmmaking.”
David Letterman and late-night — 0:57 – 19:00 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (completely spoiler-free) — 19:50 – 26:15
Debating Matt Zoller Seitz’s film/TV criticism piece — 26:20 – end
Happy New Year! 2014 promises to be an exciting year, but Devin and I decided to look back before we look ahead. On this week’s episode of The M&M Report, we talked about an amazing year in television. We looked back at six of our favorite shows, debated the merits of binge-watching, discussed the first-world problem of “too much TV” and gave thanks for this TV Golden Age we’re living in.
Keep in mind that we weren’t listing our favorite shows of the year – for instance, I didn’t even talk about Breaking Bad, the show of the year by many standards. Rather, we offered some suggestions of really good shows that we enjoyed and we think you might too.
Tune in to find out which show Devin’s mom abandoned, why Mark likes shows about interesting communities that seem to exist even when the cameras aren’t watching, and what happened to Devin’s plan to binge-watch the entirety of Breaking Bad over winter break.
Devin and I are really exciting to keep the podcast alive in the new year, and we hope you’ll take the journey with us. Thanks for listening!
(In addition to this podcast, you can find my thoughts on the year in television here, here and here.)