“Cosmos”: Science Rules

Cosmos

How do you summarize the history of the universe in forty-two minutes?

If you’re Seth MacFarlane, you summon the convenient power to bend an entire television network to your will. You gather a small portion of the obscene amount of money at your disposal, and you invite your friend Neil DeGrasse Tyson to embark on a journey with you. And then you set out to re-introduce the world to the pleasures of space travel and the power of scientific exploration.

The result is Cosmos, a thirteen-episode reboot of Carl Sagan’s wildly popular 1980 PBS series, which sought to make the most daunting aspects of our world and the surrounding multiverses both comprehensible and appealing to a mass audience. The original series came at a time when space discovery had begun to seem commonplace, even though we had only scratched the surface of the knowledge we’ve recently acquired. This new series arrives at a moment when space programs are in serious financial trouble and the prospect of exploring other worlds seems like a cop-out when we’ve got so many problems of our own on this one.

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The M&M Report, Episode #3: The Adventures of Soy-Soy

Hostages

Devin Mitchell and I are back with another lively episode of The M&M Report. This week, we briefly talked about the terrible Emmy awards. After Devin was too traumatized about Jeff Daniels to continue on that subject, we dissected six new fall shows, from the pretty good Brooklyn Nine-Nine to the awful Dads. Be sure to watch out for our discussion of the CBS drama Hostages, which inspired genuine fits of uncontrollable laughter from both of us.

Best of all, we kept it efficient this week, at least in comparison to our mammoth overrun last week.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to comment or let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or criticisms.

Also, an update from last week: Devin won our Emmy Predictions contest! Granted, he did it with only six correct guesses out of fourteen categories, but it beats my paltry score of 4 out of 14. I grudgingly admit that Devin is better at predicting the Emmys than I am…until next year.

See below for a breakdown of our topics:

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Take 5: “Mad Men,” Fall TV, Pixar and More

Jon Hamm

Each week, I take a survey of the five most notable pieces of entertainment news and synthesize them for your reading pleasure for my The Eagle column Take 5. From the bifurcation of Mad Men Season 7 to the postponement of the next great Pixar adventure, it was a busy week.

AMC will air the final season of “Mad Men” in two seven-episode arcs, one in 2014 and one in 2015.

AMC will commission spinoff series tied to its established hits “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead,” rankling viewers who are craving new originals rather than tired retreads. Now, AMC has announced that it will split the seventh and last season of “Mad Men” into two years to capitalize on ratings, buzz and Emmy awards before the show can finally ride off into the sunset. This same strategy worked like gangbusters for “Breaking Bad,” but “Mad Men” may be approaching its expiration date faster.

Read the rest here.