I Haven’t Seen The Last Sopranos Episode Yet

If you get HBO (or even if you don’t), you're probably aware that the final episode of the mob drama The Sopranos aired last night. Though I get HBO, I decided at the beginning of the season to wait until the DVDs come out — that way, I can watch them at whichever pace I’d like.

As you might guess, I’m caught up all the way through the penultimate season; it’s only the recent episodes that I haven’t seen yet. So, if you happen to have seen the last season, and particularly the last episode, I would appreciate if you could avoid spoiling any bits for me :).

“Tintin and I” on PBS’ POV This Evening

PBS describes their show POV as “television’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films” which premiers “14-16 of the best, boldest and innovative programs every year on PBS”. And, I’ve just recently learned that tonight’s episode / short-film is “Tintin and I” As they describe it:

Who was Tintin? Indeed, who was his creator, Hergé? Tintin was the determined and resilient hero of a comic book series that took him on thrilling adventures around the world — and on some voyages not quite of this world. Actually, though Tintin is not as well known in the U.S. as in Europe, his distinctive tuft of ginger hair and Hergé’s no less distinctive drawing style will ring a bell with many Americans. Appearing from 1929 to 1982, the series took Tintin to the planet's most exotic places to confront all sorts of danger, treachery and political machinations, with an emphasis on the fast-paced visuals of trains, planes, cars, bombs and other new technologies. […]

For those not familiar with the series, The Adventures of Tintin could be thought of as a set of graphic novels, though they were each about 11" x 14" (?) and about a quarter inch thick. They were written from the ’30s through the ’70s by a Belgian fellow named Hergé. As you might guess, they’ve also been translated into English.

This nugget of trivia might help describe the series — apparently the “atmosphere and main character in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones-trilogy was inspired by the Tintin comics”. I hadn’t heard about “Tintin and I” until just today, but I’m rather looking forward to it.

“The Shield” is Coming Back For a Seventh Season!

Back in March, I wrote about reports that series creators Shawn Ryan and David Mamet were unsure whether they’d continue with another season of The Shield. Basically those guys had been working on a new show for CBS, The Unit, and if that had taken off, the two of them might not have had time to work on another season of The Shield. It looks like luck has prevailed, though, as Ryan has decided on continuing:

He’s decided. It’s coming back.

However, if you’d been led to believe that the 10 episodes currently in production would be available later this year … think again. Season “six,” or “season 5.5” as it’s informally been called, will now be delayed until 2007. Season “seven” won’t even go into production until next summer. But truly — better late than never. […]

I can’t say that I’m overjoyed by the Sopranos-like pace at which the upcoming seasons appear to be scheduled, but I’d rather that than not have the show continue at all.

The End of The Line for “The Shield”?

TV critic Aaron Barnhart writes on his blog about the goings-on with The Shield. In case you’re not familiar with it, the show is about a set of corrupt cops on LA’s “strike team”, a group brought together to bring down drug dealers, prostitution and the like. Oh, and it’s no spoiler that the cops are corrupt — that’s a running theme throughout the show. What makes the show interesting, in part, is that the corruptness of those cops isn’t black-and-white; in many cases, the cops are merely bending the rules (in other cases, they’re busting heads).

The show is on its fifth season and it’s one of my favorite shows on the air. However, what Barnhart reports is that series creators Shawn Ryan and David Mamet have also been working on another show, The Unit on CBS. So far, so good, right? Well, indeed, The Unit has been doing very well in the ratings and that could spell an exit route for Ryan and Marnet:

The outcome of “The Shield” may be turning on another program that aired last night. “The Unit,” from “Shield” creator Shawn Ryan plus David Mamet, scored what CBS is promoting as a significant share of its previous week's rating (85%), given the fact that last week's had a “NCIS” first-run lead-in and this was a rerun.

If “The Unit” keeps putting up decent numbers, the temptation would be strong for Ryan to make these next 10 episodes of “The Shield” the last. He intimated as much in an interview last week on public radio.

I’m not saying that I want The Unit to tank, but I sure would like to see The Shield continue. It’s one of those shows where, at the end of an episode, I just can’t wait for the next one. It’s that good :).

What’s Up With the Third Season of Six Feet Under?

I’ve been catching up on several premium-channel television shows through Netflix, among them, Six Feet Under. Before going on though, if you’re also watching the DVDs and you’re only on season one or two, you may want to stop reading as there’re several spoilers below.

One of the luxuries of watching a series on DVD is that I can watch the last episode of a season and, after swapping discs, move right on to the first episode from the next season season (so far, so good). In any case, at the end of the second season of Six Feet Under, Nate is about to undergo brain surgery for his condition, his engagement to Brenda is going through a rough patch, and his past fling Lisa has revealed that she’s pregnant with his child. Then, in the first episode of the third season:

  • The operation goes awry and Nate dies…
  • … then, nevermind, he’s not really dead.
  • Brenda is out of the picture…
  • … and, voila, he’s all lovey-dovey with Lisa, the woman with whom he earlier wanted hardly anything with which to do.

Did I play the wrong episode by mistake or something? I thought he really liked Brenda and their un-gagement was only a knee-jerk reaction to the disagreement that they were having at the time (?). And I guess Nate’s “death” was really just a hallucination while he was anesthetized? (Don't get me wrong, I really like the show — but it was as if LeVar Burton snuck in as guest-director-of-the-week or something.)