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OMG EMT! Now a Show

OMG EMT! is coming to TLC, the network announced today. The four-part series, which debuts Saturday, May 3, depicts "some of the most memorable and unusual emergency calls, told by real-life EMTs who face these stranger-than-fiction scenarios every day," according to the announcement. TLC likes to give new shows a trial run, so if OMG EMT! turns out to be popular, expect a lot more of it very quickly. Not to disparage the important and interesting work that EMTs and other first responders do, but it's hard not to wish for a straight-up reboot of Rescue 911. 

Ratings: Fargo Gets Decent Sampling for FX

Fargo, FX’s much-lauded miniseries (or “limited series,” per the network’s verbiage), starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, got off to a perfectly fine start in the ratings Tuesday. The first telecast of the roughly 90-minute bow drew 2.7 million viewers and notched a 0.8 rating among viewers under 50, a number that, by itself, is neither impressive nor disastrous. On the one hand, Fargo drew slightly fewer viewers than FX’s last two drama premieres, The Bridge (3 million) and The Americans (3.2 million). But its audience was also larger than several broadcast series on Tuesday. And when you fold in two additional airings of the show from last night, Fargo was actually seen by 4.2 million viewers, not far behind the 5.1 million who watched ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Assuming Fargo gets a big boost from DVR replays, as most FX series these days do, FX execs will be fine with these ratings. Not over-the-moon thrilled, but just fine.

This Week’s Best Game of Thrones Reader Comments: ‘The Lion and the Rose’

Two episodes into this season of Game of Thrones, and we're already reeling from another death. Even though we know that such events are part of the natural order in Westeros, it doesn't make it any less shocking when it happens. Recapper Nina Shen Rastogi wrote that the death occurred in "the least heroic, most public, and most calculatedly pleasurable way possible." Some of you, of course, disagreed. You took to the comments section to debate the pleasure factor of seeing a villain die, who did it, and whether it left a void in the show.

Whodunnit?! »

Alan Thicke on His New Reality Sitcom and Being ‘Considerably More Boring Than Jason Seaver’

Given that Alan Thicke will forever be associated with the 1985–92 sitcom Growing Pains, his latest TV project feels downright Warholian. He stars in Unusually Thicke, a Canadian-produced “reality sitcom” premiering tonight on the TV Guide Network that sends up annoying reality-programming tropes (e.g., intrusively plucky background music, swooping establishing shots showcasing the family mansion’s beige exterior) but also plays out like a scripted comedy. It is surprisingly astute at skewering the ridiculousness of everyday Hollywood, such as when Alan is outed as a swag-bag hoarder and is convinced by his wife, Tanya, and teenage son, Carter, to unload it via a charity garage sale — which, of course, winds up involving Bob Saget doing stand-up for bargain hunters. (Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeVar Burton, and Minnie Driver also turn up in the premiere, and future episodes will feature John Stamos, David Hasselhoff, and, yes, Robin Thicke.). Vulture spoke with Thicke about the show, how much Honey Boo Boo he's seen, and the inevitable Growing Pains comparisons.

“I am considerably more boring than Jason Seaver.” »

Freud Drama in Mom — Uh, Development

There's a Sigmund Freud drama in the works, but apparently the birth psychoanalysis is not enough to hang a show on: Freud: The Secret Casebook will turn Freud into a criminal profiler, because everything has to be a cop penis. Show! Cop show! The Secret Casebook, which is still in its early stages of development, is "set in the glittering, but volatile world of early 20th century Vienna [where] Freud will use his startling new theories about psychology to help solve crimes," and should the series air, it will "blend episodic murder mysteries with the on-going story of Freud’s tangled and provocative personal life," according to the production company. The series comes from The X-Files' Frank Spotnitz and Star Trek's Nicholas Meyer, so it could be a cool twist on "profiler" show. But sometimes a procedural is just a cop procedural.

Brooklyn Cyclones Seinfeld Night to Include a Low-Talking P.A. Announcer and Free Tickets for Latex Salesmen

The Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York–Penn League are known for creative promotions — and for elaborate theme nights, in particular. And so on July 5, the team will mark the 25th anniversary of the debut of Seinfeld by hosting a salute to the NBC sitcom. For starters, the first 2,500 fans will receive a Keith Hernandez "Magic Loogie" bobblehead doll, a nod to the Mets icon's memorable appearance on the show. (Inscribed on the front: "I'm Keith Hernandez." On the back? "Nice Game Pretty Boy.")

Free tickets to latex salesmen, a low-talking P.A. announcer, and more. »

The Best of This Week’s Mad Men Season 7 Premiere Recaps

The first half of the seventh and final season (got it?) of Mad Men aired on Sunday — albeit to disappointing numbers — with an episode that overlapped the story lines of four of its primary characters: Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway, Roger Sterling, and Don Draper. As Matt Zoller Seitz recounted in his recap, the episode is “about the gap between fantasy and reality, and the ache that we feel as we stare into it.” If the premiere is any indication, we are in for some heavy-duty ennui. Here is your recap of the recaps:

"Yet, for all its languorous pacing, it’s surprisingly hard to predict..." »

See the Actor Who Plays Joffrey Photo-Bomb a Screenshot of Sunday's Episode

[Spoiler alert, again, just in case.] Last Sunday, on Game of Thrones, Joffrey was killed! While fans rejoiced, how did Jack Gleeson, the actor who played Joffrey, react? Apparently, by photo-bombing a screening of it. His friend posted the below photo to Instagram, with Gleeson posing in front of his dead face with a "what's up with this guy?" expression. More mugging like this and we'll have to call him Jackie Gleeson. 

Supernatural Recap: Angel Food for Thought

Like any TV series that produces 22 episodes a year, Supernatural's writers grew real tired of the format pretty early on. Urban legend re-creations and ghost procedurals quickly gave way to experimental, self-reflexive commentary on horror, TV tropes, and Supernatural itself. There's the in-show "Winchester Brothers" book series (with accompanying conventions and stans), the monster movie parody, the ghost-hunters parody, and of course there was "The French Mistake," in which Sam and Dean were transported to a parallel universe known as "Canada" and were referred to as "Jared" and "Jensen." So for an episode of Supernatural to have the audacity to call itself "Meta Fiction," it was going to have to really impress with the meta-commentary in order not to disappoint.

Would it be a Tim & Eric-style, post-modern audio-visual meltdown? »

Jon Hamm on Those Rumors About Mad Men’s Megan

Is Megan doomed on Mad Men? Certainly, her marriage to Don seems to be on the rocks, but there are also those persistent rumors that Megan could be murdered, à la Sharon Tate — a theory strengthened by many could-be clues in last Sunday's season premiere. When Vulture caught up with Jon Hamm last night at the Public Theater’s opening night fête for The Library — he was positively beaming when his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt, who stars for director Steven Soderbergh in the play, emerged at the after-party — we asked for his take on the Megan-is–Sharon Tate line of thinking. "I don’t give very much credence to it," said Hamm. "Although, certainly it was on people’s minds in the world of the show. It’s an interesting theory, but I don’t know how much validity there is to it. But it’s a great compliment that people are thinking that deeply about the show."

What about that scene with Neve Campbell? »

FX Renews The Americans

FX has renewed The Americans for a 13-episode third season, the network announced today. The Cold War drama is currently halfway through its second season, and while the live ratings are nothing to brag about, the show does much better once you factor in DVR viewers, too. Even though FX has been promising for several weeks that an official announcement was nigh, it's still a relief to know, officially, that everyone will be back for more espionage. More sexy espionage. And presumably more espionage-y sex, too. 

See a Disturbing Teaser for Louie’s New Season

Louie's fourth season premieres May 5, and now FX has released the first teaser for the long-awaited return. Warning to anyone sensitive to images about suicide: Don't watch this. The clip is a shot of Louie C.K. swan-diving off the Brooklyn Bridge, and though he survives (unlike his bouquet of roses), it's still a very jarring segment. Louie has always been a bleak and cynical show, and last season's "Daddy's Girlfriend Part 2" included Parker Posey standing on the edge of a building's roof, but there are still those among us who might consider using suicidal imagery in a commercial to be in poor taste.

The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: Escape From Beverly Hills

You knew one day it would come, rising from its primordial slumber in the Pacific to trudge across our great continent. Its enormous body buoys forth from the sea, rivers of salt water pour off its scaly shell. This ancient radioactive monster is coming for us all, and the disaster spells the beginning of the end. Yes, this single-backed beast, this West Coast Godzilla has come to New York, and its name is Brandi Glanville and Yolanda Bananas Foster.

This was far from the Real Housewives all-stars that fans have been clamoring about for some time. »

Watch Mad Men’s Jon Hamm Get Emotional on Sesame Street

Thanks to Mad Men, Jon Hamm happens to be quite familiar with what the facial expression for "guilty" looks like. Murray (who is clearly Sesame Street's most annoying Muppet, no?) asks him to do that one and a few more ("frustrated," "amazed"), and it all feels a lot like Inside the Actors Studio.

  • Posted 4/16/14 at 10:39 AM

Fargo Recap: Lester’s Bangs

Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is a special kind of imp. He gets off on turning bereaved (albeit, Neanderthal) siblings against one another and encouraging a disgruntled motel staffer to pee in his boss’s gas tank, only to rat him out and watch the ensuing tussle with omnipotent pride. He abides a loose philosophical code about not getting washed away by red tides and respecting that “maps used to say there’d be dragons here.” But, to quote an MTV tagline of yore, Lorne’s motto may as well read, “Throw out your rules — these are the road rules.” 

Well, that escalated quickly. »

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: One Step for Ward, One Step Back

It was going to be difficult for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to top last week's "Turn, Turn, Turn," which ended with S.H.I.E.L.D. in tatters and the revelation that one of our heroes had been a villain all along. That's the kind of glacial shift that necessitates a breather, so it's not quite a criticism when I say that tonight's middle-of-the-road "Providence" felt like the transitional episode it was — a comedown from the twisty events of last week's episode, and a table-setter for next week's promising-looking "The Only Light in the Darkness."

Coulson ends up at a mysterious mountain base manned by ... Patton Oswalt. »

Glee Recap: Love Is a Battlefield

It was difficult to watch last night’s Glee without being preoccupied by the statements Ryan Murphy made earlier this week about the future of the show. He had a lot to say, but for me, the key takeaways were that the show’s final season won’t be set in New York, the currently airing episodes aren’t a “preview” of what the final season will look like, and there will be a time jump between the fifth and sixth seasons. On the one hand, that’s really intriguing. On the other: Seriously, what is happening? Because when I couple that information with what I saw on last night’s Glee, I have a hard time understanding what show it is I’m watching. Why are we spending so much time on the minutia of life in New York if we’ll be leaving these stories behind in four more episodes? I’m extremely confused, and so once again, Ryan Murphy has me exactly where he wants me. Well played, sir.

Like all slapdash hours of television, this episode began with a fake World War II–style newsreel about the clap. »

New Girl Recap: Wind Mice and Shell Beavers

Writing about New Girl is a bit like roasting Winston: There are so many negative things I would say about it if it didn’t have such a cute yawn. And so, in the spirit of the Honey Roast, I will start this recap off with a list of all the things I liked about this episode:

Tran is back! »

How a Middle-aged IT Guy From Peoria Tweeted His Way Into a Writing Job on Late Night With Seth Meyers

Bryan Donaldson lived in central Illinois nearly his entire life. He was born in Michigan but moved to a tiny town north of Peoria when he was just 4years old. Now 40, he and his wife own a house in East Peoria with a big backyard, where their preschool-age daughter likes to play, and a side deck, where Donaldson likes to grill.  

If he sounds like a regular guy with a regular job, he was — at least until a few months ago. He worked in IT for 20 years, the last ten of which he spent at an insurance company in nearby Bloomington. “Just a nine-to-five corporate job,” he says. “I supported their Linux and UNIX systems.” Today, he is guy with a decidedly not-regular job: He is a staff writer on Late Night With Seth Meyers. How does one make the leap from being an aging IT guy in Middle America's emblematic town to becoming a comedy writer at 30 Rock?

Donaldson’s journey began on Twitter. »

The Mindy Project Recap: Rebound to the Max

Mindy’s trying to date again, which would be fun to watch if her breakup with Danny weren’t still so fresh and traumatizing. At least her first date is with a non-threatening dweeb who says, as she excuses herself for the restroom, “Getting a refill on sexy? Because your cup already runneth over.” This is the kind of line Mindy would love if it came from a guy she was into, but, um, well, as she tells Betsy the next day: “It sucked, and I hate him, but we’re spending next weekend in Vermont looking at the foliage. Phil says that it’s cheaper off season.” This is what you get for letting Betsy set you up.

Danny’s missing Mindy’s friendship at the office, as he should be. »