Show Renewals, How Kevin Smith is Being Wiped from Your Memory and New Pilot Reviews

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win VIP passes to the grand opening event of the Cinemark Stroud Mall on Nov. 3! I’ve got five sets of four tickets each I’ll be giving away to five lucky winners. Go here for all the rules on how to enter. The deadline is Monday, so make sure you enter soon.

Some Wednesday links:

like it wasn't coming back. they can stay in those woods for, like, five seasons

With all the problems at AMC these days — the mess of The Killing, the ugly and prolonged renewal negotiations for Mad Men and Breaking Bad — at least it can rely on easy going with The Walking Dead. The show continues to get ginormous ratings, and AMC just renewed it for another season. Maybe it will go down as the most interestingly methodical show ever — I have no idea how this has become a mainstream hit — but at least people are watching a good TV show and AMC recognizes that with another season.

Who would have thought Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter had something to say about the Fox/DirecTV battle (naughty language alert)? He shot a promo that aired before Tuesday night’s Sons episode, which, not coincidentally, is the last Sons of Anarchy episode DirecTV customers will be able to see before DirecTV pulls the secondary Fox cable networks. For some strange reason, Fox wouldn’t let him air the script he originally wrote, they had to make him follow some lawyered-up script that stuck to the points. Prudes! Maybe it was the reference to DirecTV sodomizing its customers that gave Fox pause over whether to air Sutter’s script. All I know is that I probably couldn’t live without Sons, Always Sunny and Justified, so I would never order a cable service that doesn’t carry FX. Sutter, however, didn’t mention in the pre-show promo that he was about to pull a big joke on all of the show’s fans by having Juice not actually die.

if you're not watching this show, start now

Another third season that needed to happen — Comedy Central’s Workaholics. I’m not ready to call it the funniest show on TV because it’s still in its early grace period and both Parks and Recreation and Modern Family has been fantastic this season. But its definitely in the discussion, and this is coming from a guy who normally doesn’t get or understand stoner comedy. You’re either going to get this show or not, but for those who do, it’s a riot.

OK, time to pay up. Whoever had “death by misadventure” as the cause of Amy Winehouse’s death, you’re in luck. What is that? Isn’t that how Indiana Jones should have died? Do people who die in London car crashes after joyriding a Porsche at 11 mph also get that classification? Whatever it is generally, in Winehouse’s case it meant she drank herself to death. So much for all those stories about how she might have died from alcohol withdrawal. Sounds like she was squarely off the wagon.

ah ha, there's proof! they actually did appear in a movie together after GWH!

This is the third place I’ve seen this story, and it’s the third place I’ve seen the new Whitey Bulger biopic described as the “first real partnership since Good Will Hunting.” Can Kevin Smith sue over this? Did Dogma never exist? What about the Good Will Hunting sequel? Maybe Smith can re-enact the end of Jay and Silent Bob. Maybe he and Jason Mewes can just go door-to-door to every website that ran the story and just beat the crap out of the writer. I’ll give you a little peek into the lazy portion of the journalism industry, because I know exactly how this happened. The studio put out a press release about the movie, and called it their first significant/real/actual movie together since Good Will Hunting. The release went out to every entertainment website/publication in the world, but press releases don’t get typed up by seasoned writers at these places. They get typed up and put on the Internet (sometimes without editing) by interns or first-year employees making $20 grand a year. Even if these kids did catch the obvious oversight, when they brought it to an editor, that editor probably said, “Just type the f—– thing, please.” And that’s three Kevin Smith movies they appeared together in (four if you count GWH2) that are now apparently erased from memory.

Why couldn’t YouTube have been around 15 years ago? My two hours a day normally spent playing Madden, NBA Live or NBA Jams could have been better spent making up fake movie trailers like this one:

Some late season TV pilot reviews:

i can't be the only one who thinks she looks like penny from happy endings, can i?

ONCE UPON A TIME (8 p.m. Sundays, ABC): It seemed like an idea doomed to fail. Wait a month to debut one of your most high-concept, promising new shows of the TV season, and when you debut it, put it up against the World Series. Maybe the ABC people knew something the rest of us conventional thinkers didn’t. Maybe they knew Once Upon a Time skewed female centric (definitely), or they knew Peyton Manning would be hurt for Sunday’s Colts-Saints game and make it the worst game of the Sunday night schedule (doubtful) or maybe they knew the World Series would hold as much non-regional interest as a church pig roast (just lucky on that one). Or maybe they just knew they had a pedigreed, darn good show at their disposal destined for good reviews, and figured people would show up if they put it on Friday nights at midnight. That’s what Once Upon a Time is. A smart fantasy that has the feel of something you’ve never seen before on TV. Go back and read that sentence again. Doesn’t that sound like something that should be canceled within a month? Instead, about 13 million people showed up to watch, which makes it the biggest ABC debut of the year and guarantees it will be around probably through the end of the season — a season I’m all in for right now. It’s not dumbed down, it’s not pandering, it accepts that people are smart and can figure stuff out without being bashed over the head with clues. It’s just a really good, interesting pilot with a good cast and plenty of promise. GRADE: A-

looks like a party

BOSS (10 p.m. Fridays, Starz): So far, Starz’s foray into the original programming world is a bit suspect. It hit with the Spartacus franchise in the ratings and with critics, got great critical response and a cult following from Party Down, but mostly lost in its other ventures like Torchwood, Crash, Head Case and Camelot. But in this pay-TV day and age, you can’t just sit back and think that movies only are going to bring in subscribers. There has to be original content. So the network is at it again, and on the bright side, it’s coming with its best show yet. Boss is the story of Kelsey Grammer’s mayor of Chicago, who learns in the first scene that he’s got some kind of Parkinsons-type disease that is even worse than Parkinsons. He’s got five years to live, tops, but the symptoms already are taking shape and making him a little less aware every day. But of course he’s got to keep it all hush-hush, because, well, we don’t really know why. Maybe because he’s power hungry, maybe because he wants to use his political power to take down the current governor of Illinois, maybe because he’s just a weird guy who’s trying to hold on to something that isn’t there. He’s got a daughter he doesn’t speak with, a loveless sham of a marriage and a staff he doesn’t seem to trust or like. Nice life, huh? At its heart, the show hinges on one thing — how do you feel about backroom politics? Do you think it’s a 24-hour-a-day struggle, with leaders having to act like profane blowhards to get anything done? If you do, this show is for you. It’s the picture of politics you always thought was happening behind closed doors, but never could prove. But if you think that backroom politics is pretty boring for the most part, that no one really screams and no one throws people out of offices by their ear (literally), and if you would find that a pretty big leap from reality, then maybe this show isn’t for you. You will find every scene of the show far-fetched and comically overdone. I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve seen backdoor politics, and it doesn’t look like this, not even in Middle Smithfield. One thing I will say for its realism. I’d never seen a municipal government body run in this fashion, with so may Council members and the mayor serving as the president of Council. I thought it was just a way to put Grammer into the mix more and was calling BS. Then I looked it up — and that is how Chicago is run (nice checks and balances, by the way). So maybe Boss is more real than we’d like to believe. Either way, it’s a good show, even if they had to throw in a random sex scene and turn a perfectly respectable and powerful woman into a nympho for no good reason other than to show a hot chick’s boobs and butt. And I can’t believe that hot chick is Clare from 90210. I wouldn’t have come up with that in a million years. GRADE: B

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