DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
SecondSpin.com
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
There are other stories, other dramas, and other athletes competing in this year’s U.S. Open – but no tennis player will be under more scrutiny, and pressure, than returning champion Serena Williams (pictured at least year’s win). Already, her current winning streak has the 33-year-old displaying trophies from the previous four major tennis tournaments – and at Flushing Meadows, beginning today, she’s going for a fifth, which would give her a calendar Gram Slam. The
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
Part 1 of 3. This is a three-night co-production by PBS and the BBC: a live event, broadcast from California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary tonight through Wednesday, that’s a very unusual type of TV reunion show. It collects biologists, other scientists and animal experts, and professional nature photographers, and has them all waiting for, and discussing, the annual return of marine life to the bay at this time of year. Expect lots of discussion about climate change and i
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
Can’t help myself. Whenever this 1969 Western pops up on TV, I have to recommend it, just in case someone still hasn’t seen it. Or, like me, gets ensnared in its web and watches all over again, because it’s one of my absolute favorite films. In fact, it’s the sort of film that inspired me to coin the phrase spider-web movies – which, if you read the link to my TVWW blog from 2012, has nothing to do with the Amazing Spider-Man. But everything to do with the enjoyment
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: Todrick, who went by the name of Todrick Hall when he was an American Idol contestant years ago, is going the single-name route now. He’s become a YouTube sensation, starring in and creating hugely viewed self-made video mini-epics – my favorite being 2013’s Spell Block Tango, which reimagined the “Cell Block Tango” number from Chicago as sung by villainesses from Disney movies. In this new series, beginning tonight on MTV, Todrick devotes each epis
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
August, in political headline terms, has been the month of Donald Trump, with every utterance covered aggressively by the media, much to the chagrin of his attention-seeking, lower-polling rivals. Today, on the last day of the month in which Trump trumped all other Republican presidential aspirants, one of them shows up on The Tonight Show to try and grab the spotlight: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
31
 
 
Former American Idol contestant Todrick Hall, now going only by his first name, takes viewers behind the scenes of the makings of his notably popular YouTube music video mini-epics...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
30
 
 
MINISERIES FINALE: The final two hours of David Simon’s six-part miniseries are shown tonight – and with a conclusion that’s well worth the wait, and will linger with you long afterward. Oscar Isaac stars.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
30
 
 
Last week’s series premiere of this prequel companion series to The Walking Dead introduced the major protagonist (a high school guidance counselor, played by Kim Dickens from Deadwood and Treme), but ended at a tense point with some zombie action about to happen. Tonight, the story continues – and even though the zombie and death count are low at this point, it’s a very clever spin on the Dead story to begin with its non-infected characters still obsessed about missed appointm
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
30
 
 
Miley Cyrus is back at this year’s awards show – returning to the place where, two years ago, she twerked with a giant foam hand and stuck out her tongue as Robin Thicke sang “Blurred Lines.” But this time she’s the host, of a show that is scheduled to honor Kanye West with a special award, and which features, among its Video of the Year nominees, Taylor Swift’s action-packed, and celebrity-packed, “Bad Blood.” My dream moment for the VMAs this yea
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Aug
30
 
 
Last week’s episode included an amazingly staged scene that had Masters and Johnson visiting a zoo, in hopes of getting a lethargic giant ape to rekindle his sex drive – and they found an eye-opening method of inspiring the surly simian to approach the gorilla his dreams. Many other sexual dysfunctions were addressed in that episode, but the rest of them were totally human. As are the characters in this well-written, superbly acted show. Lizzy Caplan, Michael Sheen star.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for under $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post