Rob Owen

'Game of Thrones' as a 1970s sitcom

Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:10

Another disastrous wedding followed by sibling incest rape, it's been a busy season already on HBO's "Game of Thrones" and we're just three episodes in.

But you can imagine how it would have all been different if "GOT" were a 1970s sitcom.

Watch how a crafty editor has re-imagined the show after the jump. ...

TV review: 'Black Box' on ABC

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:34

black box blog

As “Grey’s Anatomy” winds to a close – it will be back for the 2014-15 TV season, but surely its days are numbered – it’s not surprising that ABC is trying to find another medical show with a strong female lead.

But “Black Box” (10 p.m. Thursday, WTAE) probably won’t turn out to be the “Grey’s” successor. It will likely prove too gonzo for some viewers and not smart or subtle enough for others.

The series focuses on Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly), a New York neurologist who attempts to unwrap the brain’s mysteries while keeping her own counsel on her bi-polar diagnosis.

“The brain is the ultimate mystery: That’s why doctors call it the ‘black box,’” she says, explaining the show’s title, which is both too on-the-nose (Get it, the doctor’s name is Black!) and easily misconstrued as dirtier than intended slang.

Read more after the jump. ...

TV review: 'Faking It' on MTV

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 13:58


It's not often that a TV writer rises to the level of a household name, though it does happen more often nowadays. Certainly Aaron Sorkin ("The Newsroom"), Shonda Rhimes ("Scandal") and Matthew Weiner ("Mad Men") have come more into the public consciousness. But there's another writer who deserves the accolades, too, because he's now made three quality series in a row.

Carter Covington wrote "Greek" (2007-11) for ABC Family, adapted "10 Things I Hated About You" (2009-10) for TV and now he's responsible for MTV's "Faking It" (10:30 tonight). Because these are all teen shows, Covington will never get the credit he deserves, but when it comes to building realistic, entertaining teen characters, there's no one better working in television today.

"Faking It" follows best friends Karma (Katie Stevens, "American Idol") and Amy (Rita Volk, "The Hungover Games"), who are mistaken by classmates at a liberal Austin, Texas, school as a lesbian couple, a label they embrace to further their popularity.

Read more after the jump. ...

'Those Who Kill': Episode 6

Monday, 21 April 2014 20:54

chloes those who killA new record!

In Sunday's "Those Who Kill," the rhymes with shmag-off word got used within the first minute! Still no Yinzer accents though.

The episode began with Jensen cutting -- open a box, not her skin as she usually does -- as she moved into her new loft-like apartment, complaining about her step-father's Mt. Washington condo, which he charged her $25 a month to rent.

Then she burned a photo of her mother because, you know, Jensen is damaged, freaking out her medical examiner bestie who was helping with the move.

Read more after the jump. ...


Keep revised KC logo 2013In the Post-Gazette's Keep or Cancel? poll, you, the viewer, get to play programmer and vote for the shows you would renew and those your would send to the ever-expanding TV show graveyard.

Voting continues through Sunday and one vote per computer will be accepted.

The link to cast your ballot can be found after the jump. ...


Click here for a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Hannibal,” “Rake” and a Mike Clark look-alike. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

writers room scandal

Sundance TV's "The Writers' Room" (9 p.m. Friday), hosted by Jim Rash ("Community"), returns for a six-episode second season this week and begins with a look at the ABC series "Scandal."

"The Writers' Room" has ditched its first-season set -- designed to look like an actual writers room with guests seated around a long conference room table -- in favor of an exposed brick loft feel, which, while more pleasant, does nothing to replicate the look/feel of a real TV show writers' room.

"The Writers' Room" is probably more fun for those who do not follow TV closely. It does not offer a deep dive into the making of TV; it's more of a shallow dive.

Read more after the jump. ...

TV review: 'Salem' on WGN America

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:07

Salem WGN


Another cable network rushes into the original scripted programming fray this weekend with WGN America’s debut of “Salem” (10 p.m. Sunday), a loopy but-not-loopy-enough witch show.

Set in 17th-century Massachusetts, the “Salem” pilot is long on set-up and doesn’t get crazy until about 30 minutes in when a witch appears to give the Heimlich to a wheelchair bound elderly man, who vomits up a frog, which then appears to suck on the witch’s thigh before she shoves the frog back down her husband’s throat.

Perhaps if “Salem” had gone for the crazy earlier – a literal backwoods, witchcraft-induced abortion isn’t as sensational – it might be more appealing to viewers with an appreciation for cheesy TV. But the “Salem” pilot is rather plodding except when occasionally punctuated by these more gonzo scenes.

Read more after the jump. ...

'Pioneers of Television' returns to PBS

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:20

pioneers of television

PASADENA, Calif. -- PBS's "Pioneers of Television" (8 tonight, WQED-TV) returns for a new season of four episodes, beginning with tonight's "Standup to Sitcom," which includes new interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Newhart and other comedians who made the transition to TV.

Read more after the jump. ...

'Those Who Kill': Episode 5

Monday, 14 April 2014 12:26

TWK ep 5"Those Who Kill" began its fifth episode by finally explaining how Catherine Jensen (Chloe Sevigny) can afford her Mt. Washington condo: It belongs to her mother and stepfather and Jensen was living in it rent-free. Now she's moving into a dingy loft.

Then it's on to a murder atop the Smithfield-Liberty parking garage (you could see the steeple of Smithfield United in the background).

Written by Darin Morgan and Glen Morgan and directed by David Petrarca, the episode also explained Schaeffer's backstory and obsession with having been wrong on a previous murder investigation.

Read more after the jump. ...

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