DAVID BIANCULLI

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'Thrones,' 'Killing' Return ... And Revert To Old Habits
March 30, 2012  | By David Bianculli
 

(NPR) AMC's The Killing started strong, with raves from critics and an impressively loyal core of viewers. But in the final episode of the year, when it left its season-long murder mystery intentionally unresolved, most fans felt angry, even betrayed. HBO's Game of Thrones, on the other hand, took a bit longer to get established, and to get as much attention. But thanks to some strong performances and a few bold strokes of plot, Game of Thrones — based on the George R. R. Martin fantasy novels of neighboring kingdoms at war kept building, in intensity and in viewership, all the way to the season finale. That finale ended with the fiery birth of a dragon — but, by then, that was the only part of Game of Thrones that was draggin'.

Jamie Wright (Eric Ladin), Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman) and Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) return in AMC's The Killing.

Jamie Wright (Eric Ladin), Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman) and Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) return in AMC's The Killing.

The Killing, on the other hand, seemed to almost limp to the end of Season 1, spending entire episodes on red herrings or subplot detours. Now, on Sunday night on their respective networks, these two shows return — and they both revert to old habits.

The Killing, in other words, starts strong again. The central question from last year, "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?," quickly comes back into play. And with it, there are new leads, new confrontations — even some new characters introduced. However, AMC has requested an embargo of so many plot points that there's virtually no scene I can talk about without revealing too much about the fate of the show's characters and the investigation... (more here at NPR)

 
 
 
 
 
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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 now available in paperback for under $15. 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. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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