Posts by Todd VanDerWerff

  • The ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Series Finale: A Show About Failure Goes for a Happy Ending Anyway

    ‘How I Met Your Mother’ aimed for something in line with the finales of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Roseanne’ (both of which were also wildly divisive, for what it’s worth). Leaving the characters in a place of happy stasis wouldn’t have been in keeping with the show’s spirit. Yet at the crucial moment ‘HIMYM’ could have truly left its mark, it choked and tried to split the difference.

  • TV Land’s ‘Kirstie’: A Sitcom You Never Watched Made Up of Other Sitcoms You Did

    ‘Kirstie,’ which wraps up its first season on Wednesday night, is basically just asking what would happen if Rebecca Howe and Carla Tortelli from ‘Cheers’ ended up working with Kramer from ‘Seinfeld,’ and then all their famous friends dropped by, an episode at a time.

  • Dads

    We Went There: The (Probable) Last Days of Dads

    When you go to a sitcom taping, you are taught how to laugh. It cannot be one solitary bark, nor can it be a polite chuckle. It cannot take the form of a wry grin, and it can’t stay all at one pitch. It must rise and fall, like a sitcom story itself, starting out […]

  • Dexter

    Dexter’s Terrible Final Season and How Breaking Bad Ruined the Series

    Think back to the late fall of 2007, if you can. If you were a TV buff at that time, there were a handful of shows that mattered. The Sopranos had just ended its run, while Mad Men had just begun. 30 Rock had come roaring onto the scene over the course of the calendar […]

  • Tom Cruise and Chris Hardwick

    A Day Inside Comic-Con’s Hall H: Worshiping in the Ultimate Movie Church

    “No, no, no,” the tall guy in the hoodie says into his phone. “I’m past the pirate ship.” He cranes his neck up to look at it, a giant promotional buy for something no one will remember in a year’s time. “Yeah, no. I got here at five.” It’s a little after 6 a.m. on […]

  • Orphan Black

    Orphan Black, the Pre-Recap-Era Throwback Sci-Fi Show You Should Catch Up With

    The early-to-mid ’90s were the best time to be a fan of TV sci-fi. That’s not to say that’s when all the best TV science fiction shows were airing, since nothing could be further from the truth, but it was a time when there were enough sci-fi shows worth discussing — The X-Files, first and […]

  • Justified

    Justified Season 4 Finale: Haunted by the ‘Ghosts’ of Harlan County

    In the end, it all comes down to choices. Ava chose to shoot Delroy and, in the moment, it seemed the right thing to do. But over time, that decision has caught up with her, and she’s run out of options. She’s hauled off to jail shortly before the end of “Ghosts,” and it seems […]

  • Justified

    Justified Season 4, Episode 12: Anything for a Little ‘Peace of Mind’

    The good guys always win on Justified. OK, yes, if you want to get particular, you could point out many instances where some petty thief or clever con man ultimately got away with his or her scheme in the run of the show — and even in the run of this season. But the overall […]

  • Justified

    Justified Season 4, Episode 11: The ‘Decoy’ and the Brutalized Constable

    There’s no word for “Decoy” other than “awesome.” It plays off all of the plots from this season so far, sending them colliding in a story that pulls together almost everything we know about Harlan County, Kentucky. It’s a great character piece, it’s a genuinely thrilling hour of action, and it deepens the themes the […]

  • Justified

    Justified Season 4, Episode 10: Everyone Wants to ‘Get Drew’

    “Get Drew” is the Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird of Justified episodes, and I mean that largely as a compliment. It’s an episode where everybody pairs off to haul in Drew Thompson (whom I’m going to call “Shelby” in this review for old times’ sake), while Shelby and Ellen May make a break for […]

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