Blogs > The Frye TV and Book House

Talking about what I'm reading and watching on TV.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

'The Americans' returns Wednesday

With the start of the year and the end of American football comes the best show on TV, "The Americans." And I say this having this fall started finally on "Game of Thrones," our top show to watch since "The Americans" perfect second season finale. It left us wanting more, and it's arriving on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

 It's one of the few shows I checked to see when it returns, so I knew, but it still was excitement I felt when seeing the ad in my Entertainment Weekly.  

Will the couple keep on surviving. While Carmelo Soprano knew of her husband's ill deeds, she was removed and isolated from the decision-making and the (almost) consequences; here, the couple is almost fully committed to the cause of answering to their Soviet spymasters. Seemingly, this even trumps the wellbeing of their two Americanized children.

Last season's speeded up the intensity quickly, with the killings of their only true friends, but the issue drove the plot very well. Likewise, is their neighbor, the FBI agent, slipping towards a messy fall?

We've watched three-and-a-half seasons of the "Game of Thrones" and we hesitated to finish too quickly because we didn't want to wait for season five. For "The Americans," though, I would binge watch except for not being able to wait for the latest from Peter and Elizabeth Jennings. I only hope the lack of awards and ratings drive this critically acclaimed show to an early end.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


The 12-day "Simpsons" marathon on FXX is proving a popular winner in the household. Got to admit the commercials featured on these shows have been getting lots of views as it's easy to leave the TV on that channel and catch glimpses of the show's incredible run. Now that I'm through the nostalgia of the glorious early-to-mid 1990s, I'm catching plots, jokes and guest stars I've missed in the 'more recent' years. On for a week, the episodes are still more than 10 years old this morning. Wow, considering executive producer Al Jean's incredible, long run with the show. With 552 episodes, when they do this again (as I hope they will), it will last even longer. How long will it go?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer time blues

These are good blues to have, being too busy to watch all the good TV available.

I still have on my DVR the last half of season two of "The Vikings," a blast of a show. Family turmoil has followed the season one conflict of warrior opposing his paranoid earl. Now treachery in the family and from a king who failed to honor agreements has our hero scrambling. Again, the story is fast moving, the sets and costumes incredible and the performances engrossing.

But we in my family enjoyed the end of season two of "The Americans," and following the story of spies and the interest we have in "Sleepy Hollow," we decided to blast through the On Demand version of the opening season of AMC's "Turn."

We cannot wait for season two in the spring of 2015.

More good stuff is there with this show, looking to add more history to the entertainment. It seems AMC is more interested in keeping its shows on for the long haul so I trust in giving this one a chance. Star Jaime Bell is great as the reluctant spy and anguished son who wants to do right by both his family, his community and his conscience. The full cast is delightful and makes all parts of the plot fun to watch, but the highlight is the villain, played by Samuel Roukin. You want him to die but love having him around to menace.

But why the blues?

All this World Cup evening catching up and all the activities of a fun summer are filling up the DVR.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HBO scores again with 'True Detective'

Another gem has started airing on HBO, home of  'The Sopranos,' 'The Wire,' 'Sex in the City,' and 'Six Feet Under.'

The network is back with another stellar drama, this one pairing stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, both of whom act as executive producers. Set in Louisiana, the story starts with the former state CID detectives on a ritualistic killing looking back on their discovery of the case nearly two decades earlier.

Only eight episodes long, the season is one quarter of the way through, so there is plenty of time to catch up, if you subscribe. If not, wait for this one on Netflix.

Moody with strong dialogue, the story builds strongly but deliberately. Keep an eye out for this one. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the show will take a week off for the Super Bowl and that it is one of HBO's strongest starts in years in terms of viewers. Many of the viewers were like me, catching up on DVR. Putting together the two hours together made for a furious start to a sensational show.

Despite other cable channels, especially Starz and Showtime, throwing out gems that fans savor, HBO is back with a solid hour-long drama worth watching.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New year's top shows

Fox seems to be leading the way, in my household, with new shows this year.

Sleepy Hallow, from the fall, returned, which was welcomed, but we have come to love Almost Human, the story of the angry police officer of the future who is teamed with an old-fashioned cyber cop that does have some emotions to relate to humans.

The swiping of digital reports and other various futuristic technologies make the show fun but the back and forth between the two buddy cops is the reason to watch. Bullets that follow you, ways to mask your face from cameras and DNA bombs are just some of the tools that criminals of 2048 get to deploy against police.

Brooklyn Nine Nine on Fox also seems like a good watch, but we haven't slowed down for a comedy, sticking with the likable Modern Family and now The Middle, both on ABC.

What we are most anticipating, though, is the return of The Americans for a second season as well as Defiance.

Check Almost Human out.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mentalist versus NFL

I love watching football, both English and American. I like the NFL games, the players and especially the coaches. The league? It's the enemy - to the players (non-guaranteed contracts, head injuries, suspensions) and to the fans (TV blackouts;pay, pay, pay; lousy Wi-Fi; gouging; and TV schedules).

Found an interesting item about a show that CBS switched to repeat due to the lengthy NFL game, and the best part is the anger of the fans in the comments. Fans of the show, 'The Mentalist,' that is, not of the NFL. Read the piece here.

But though the NFL with its replays and endless commercials and constant delays (oh, the joy of an English football game and its nonstop action), the problem with the TV schedule is the problem of the networks. Why do they keep the NFL game as a 3-hour event, when it regularly goes nearly 4 hours? Fox was the first to figure this out, replacing all pre-8 p.m. content with NFL highlights.

Poor CBS and its ancient way of looking at it, and poor '60 Minutes.'

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sleepy Hallow returns

My favorite new show of the fall is back tonight, "Sleepy Hallow."

I wonder how it will do now that the Halloween season has passed, but I think people will like it as it is following in the tradition of "X Files" in an overall mystery story with various other issues arising on a weekly basis.

They have a plan, it seems, for a potential seven-year run. Let's hope the writing keeps up and that Fox does not pull the plug early.

It is well acted and has strong stories, so far. But it has to be an expensive show to shoot, making their effort a real challenge.