Tuned In Journal

'Bob's Burgers' served again on Fox

Tuesday, 06 March 2012 12:00 AM Written by

bobs_burgers_blog_s2PASADENA, Calif. -- Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” debuted last season and quietly developed into a cult phenomenon, improving creatively through its first season and earning a second season that debuts Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on WPGH.

Series creator Loren Bouchard (“Dr. Katz,” “Home Movies”) said “Bob’s Burgers” had a long period of development that gave the producers and cast time to tweak the show and learn to adhere to an ethic of telling stories with Bob’s family at the center.

“The easy thing to do when you write episode after episode is bring in the strange new character versus the family and I think we learned in the first season to write stories where the family are butting heads and extra characters are the gravy and not the meat,” Bouchard said in January during Fox’s portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

So the focus in season two remains on Bob (voice of H. Jon Benjamin, “Archer”), wife Linda (John Roberts) and children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal, “Flight of the Conchords”) and their home base of the Bob’s Burgers diner. But with the setting established, Bouchard is not afraid to grow the world in the same way that other animated shows have gotten more specific as they go along.

“It’s a great nerdy pleasure to start mapping it out,” he said. “You start knowing how the kids walk to school. You start knowing how big a cruise ship can dock down at the port before they dredge the harbor. It’s very sort of municipal.”

Read more after the jump. ...

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Megan Mulally joins 'Breaking In'

Monday, 05 March 2012 12:00 AM Written by

BI_group_mug_2Fox's "Breaking In" (9:30 p.m. Tuesday, WPGH) debuted last April, got essentially canceled in May and then got revived later in the year.This explains the first line of the second season premiere.

"Greetings and salutations, so glad to see you came to your sense and gave us another shot," security company boss Oz (Christian Slater) says in direct address to the camera before the camera pulls back to reveal he's talking not only to Fox execs and viewers but also to a client.

Read more after the jump. ...

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For a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts, click here.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen
This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Harry’s Law,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Meteorite Men.” As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.
- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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BKs2_201_Simpson_2It's a busy TV weekend with the premiere of ABC's "GCB" (see tomorrow's Tuned In column for a review of that one) and the return of A&E's "Breakout Kings" (10 p.m. Sunday), which promises to kill off one of its lead characters.

The season two premiere reminds viewers of the show's premise -- three former criminals help U.S. Marshals Charlie Duchamp (Laz Alonso) andRay Zancanelli (Domenick Lombardozzi) track down and incarcerate bad guys -- by having them track down a vicious serial killer (Jason Behr, "Roswell").

Anyone who's watched much prime-time TV will have a good idea of which series regular will die early in the episode based on some tell-tale signs that often precede the death of a TV character.

But what about the TV shows Pittsburgh viewers are watching?

Last week Comcast released the results of what Pittsburgh viewers watch most via on demand. See this data and results of a recent poll on the worst TV of 2011 after the jump. ...

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'Shahs of Sunset': Is it 'Persian Shore'?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:00 AM Written by

shahs_blogBravo's upcoming series "Shahs of Sunset" (10 p.m. March 11) has been described as a Persian "Jersey Shore" but after seeing the show's first episode, that's not accurate.

Using voiceover narration in its opening moments, a cast member says, "My parents sacrified everything so I could be free." For about a nano-second it seems like the show could be closer to TLC's "All-American Muslim." But then its earnestness devolves into bragging and obnoxious declarations.

"We don't work in buildings, we own them," says Mike, a Persian Jew.

"I don't like ants and I don't like ugly people," delcares GG, who later says her only paycheck is from "daddy."

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TV review: NBC's 'Awake'

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 12:00 AM Written by
awake_blogNBC’s “Awake” (10 p.m. Thursday, WPXI) begins with a simple premise: After the family car he’s driving tumbles over a cliff, Los Angeles police Det. Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, “Brotherhood”) wakes up to discover his wife, Hannah (Laura Allen, “Terries”) has died but his son, Rex (Dylan Minnette) survived the accident. When Britten goes to sleep and wakes up again, he’s in an alternate reality where his wife is alive and his son is dead.

Which is real? Is one scenario a dream? Britten ultimately decides it doesn’t matter; he won’t give up on either, choosing to live part-time in each world to keep his loved ones alive.

Awash in grief in its first few episodes, “Awake” offers a fascinating look at competing realities that makes it one of the 2011-12 TV season’s most ambitious dramas. It’s the kind of show viewers must pay attention to -- smart TV that’s worth watching, bringing to mind another Is-it-a-dream-or-real? series, “Life on Mars.”

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Making a documentary about 'The Amish'

Sunday, 26 February 2012 12:00 AM Written by

amish1

To read Friday's TV Q&A, click here.

I wrote about PBS's "American Experience" film "The Amish" (8 p.m. Tuesday, WQED) in TV Week but there was a lot more from my interview with writer/director David Belton that I didn't have space to include.

What makes the film such an interesting look at the Amish is that it includes their voices. Hearing them discuss their way of life and their familiarity with the non-Amish "English" world is fascinating, particularly as someone who made several trips to Amish country as a child. (I loved the Strasburg Railroad and staying at the Red Caboose Motel.)

But it's also interesting to see just how much of the Amish is shown in the film given how they disaprove of having their photos taken. Belton said negotiating the line of what was appropriate to film and what wasn't proved to be tricky to find. It helps that no one in the film is identified by name.

Read more after the jump. ...

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TV Q&A: 'The Firm,' 'Ink Master' and 'CSI: New York'

Friday, 24 February 2012 12:00 AM Written by
For a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts, click here.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen
This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “The Firm,” “Ink Master” and “Downton Abbey.” As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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