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FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 5 - HitFix Picks
Credit: 20th Century Fox TV, FOX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 5 - HitFix Picks

Frank Grimes, gun control, the World Trade Center and a trio to skip

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, FXX is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.]

When folks complain that "The Simpsons" hasn't been good for 15 years, we normally mock them, but as we hit Day 5 of FX's Every Simpsons Marathon, even we have to admit that there is a small shift in quality. There are still great episodes in this period, which goes from "The Canine Mutiny" through "Maximum Homerdrive," but a couple of our intrepid recommenders only took one episode apiece for this period. And we have a trio of "skippable" episodes at the end of the article. Expect the ratio of classic-to-skippable episodes to even out in the last week of the Marathon.

And some of the episodes in this period are kinda polarizing. Dave Lewis made "Homer's Enemy" one of this recommendations (and I'd be inclined to agree), but Frank Grimes hater Alan Sepinwall would have written a counterpoint had he had the time.

Check out our recommendations for Day 5 and chime in with your own favorites...

 

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Rapper Common asked the VMA audience for a moment of silence for Ferguson

Rapper Common asked the VMA audience for a moment of silence for Ferguson
Before presenting the award for best hip-hop video, Common called a moment of silence "for Mike Brown and for peace in this country and in the world.” PLUS: Miley Cyrus sent a homeless teen accept her award, Nicki Minaj had a wardrobe malfunction, here is Taylor Swift's vocal track isolated, and VMAs paid tribute to Robin Williams.


“Better Call Saul” teases Jimmy McGill
How does Jimmy McGill become Saul Goodman?

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<p>Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in Masters of Sex.</p>

Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in Masters of Sex.

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Asterion'

Bill and Virginia's relationship evolves as they struggle to keep their clinic afloat

A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as we pass Stalin's gift shop...

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<p>Chris Zylka and Sarah Margaret Qualley in The Lefovers</p>

Chris Zylka and Sarah Margaret Qualley in The Lefovers

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Leftovers' - 'The Garveys at Their Best'

Kevin throws a party, Tommy confronts his past and Laurie has a doctor's appointment

A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as I get a Thug Life tattoo on my neck...

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MTV to show 2 Ferguson PSAs during the VMAs

MTV to show 2 Ferguson PSAs during the VMAs
The spots are part of MTV's “Look Different” campaign made in conjunction with the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center and National Council of La Raza.


More ice bucket challenge videos: George R.R. Martin, “Tina Fey,” Shonda Rhimes, Kiefer Sutherland
“God help me,” said George R.R. Martin before his Ice Bucket Challenge. Shonda Rhimes left drought-stricken California to do hers. Jason Sudeikis responded to Mitt Romney’s challenge. Somebody resembling Tina Fey also did it, as did Kiefer Sutherland and Minka Kelly and Padma Lakshmi.


Nicki Minaj backup dancer bitten by a snake during VMAs rehearsal
The snake was a boa constrictor named Rocky.


FXX’s cropping has spoiled “The Simpsons” marathon
“The Simpsons” was broadcast from 1989 to 2009 in a square-shaped standard definition format, but FXX has been showing those episodes cropped in the rectangular HDTV format. This has resulted in some in-jokes being removed from the series.


Kathy Griffin: “I’ve just signed on to do a multi-year for New Year’s for CNN”
Griffin will apparently continue tormenting Anderson Cooper for years to come.


Minor league baseball team to celebrate ‘90s Nickelodeon night
The Brooklyn Cycles, which last month devoted a night to “Seinfeld,” will have "Keenan & Kel’s” Kel Mitchell throw out the first pitch on Wednesday. In addition to slimed jerseys, fans will be able to play “Double Dare.”


Josh Charles to become a dad
“The Good Wife” alum and his wife are expecting their first child.

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MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Live-Blog
Credit: AP

MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Live-Blog

All the Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Beyonce and other people we can stand

Welcome, friends, to HitFix's MTV Video Music Awards 2014 live-blog. 

Earlier today I was watching FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon and it was the "Homerpalooza" episode, which begins with Homer lamenting that he's no longer hip to the contemporary music scene. 

Marge tells him not to worry.

"Record stores have always seemed crazy to me," she declares. "Music is none of my business."

Well, music is none of my business. Artists who aren't "American Idol" veterans or who haven't appeared on "American Idol" are none of my business. Actually, I take that back. I also know people who were on "X Factor," which is why I know who Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato are. 

But with HitFix's actual qualified music staffers doing breakout stories and reviews of performances, I get to do a live-blog even though I know who none of these people are.

Follow along and make fun of my musical ignorance.

But remember... Music is none of my business. MTV and I have that in common.

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' adds Matt Bomer

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” adds Matt Bomer
Ryan Murphy will reunite with his “Normal Heart” actor for one episode.

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<p>Richard Attenborough</p>

Richard Attenborough

Credit: AP Photo

Richard Attenborough, Oscar-winning director of 'Gandhi,' dies at 90

His sterling career spanned multiple generations

Oscar-winning filmmaker and actor Richard Attenborough, who delighted cinema audiences across some six decades, has died, according to his son. He was 90 years old.

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12 and Clara - "Deep Breath"

Recap: 'Doctor Who' - Take a 'Deep Breath' for the 12th Doctor's debut

How does Peter Capaldi stack up against his 11 Doctor predecessors?


The wait is finally over. Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor and quite frankly, I am beside myself to see what he can do to bring the Doctor back to just this side of the darkness. Plus he has FLAWLESS bitch face. Warning, spoilers!

Geronimo!*

********************

*Placeholder exclamation of joy until Capaldi settles on his own catchphrase.

We open on a beautiful sunset. In the Cretaceous period. Wait no. That Tyrannosaurus Rex isn’t roaring its way through the jungle but through the streets of London! Big Ben bongs out a warning and, if a monument could, cringes for inevitable impact. Thankfully it never comes.

Dinosaurs are far more courteous than aliens, it seems.

And we aren’t just in any old London, but Victorian London. The denizens are shouting but not in a “oh God we’re all gonna die” way but in more of a “Hey George come look at this quick!” way. Because honestly there’s been so much nonsensical things on the streets lately that no one would be the slightest bit ruffled by a giant lizard from the dawn of time wandering through the Meatpacking District. 

Speaking of lizards from the dawn of time, you can’t have a Victorian episode with Lady Vastra. Right on cue she and her wife Jenny (and manservant/potato Strax) appear. The T-Rex has something caught in its…her…throat. It’s the TARDIS isn’t it? Isn’t it, Moffat!?

It is.

While London’s finest stand about with the plebeians, goggling at something any normal person would flee from, Vastra and company head down to the beach. But not before giving the constables a containment field to place around the T-Rex. Sorts questioning Vastra’s judgment in giving such technology to a man who thinks dinosaurs puke blue eggs that say Police Box in English on them, but use what you have I guess.

I love how Vastra doesn’t want to assume the blue box is the TARDIS.

As per the rules of regeneration, the 12th Doctor doesn’t quite have a handle on his new body…or mind…yet. He confuses everyone with everyone else, seems perplexed that London has a dinosaur too, and makes us sad about Handles again before finally collapsing into the dust.

Cue the opening credits. They are brand new! So many gears and clockwork and…oh. My. God. Steampunk. It’s a steampunk opening credits! Yessssss. The spiraling Roman Numerals count from one to twelve over and over like a whirlpool. And so much blue. Blue is usually a calming color but I wonder what its significance here will be.

The Doctor awakens in Vastra and Jenny’s home and he is confused by bedrooms. And you know, he makes a good point. Why do we have an entire room just for sleeping in? I am now having an existential crisis about the amount of square footage bedrooms take up in my home. 

For the first time, the Doctor realizes he’s speaking with a Scottish accent. Only in the most roundabout, Doctory way possible. He’s not speaking Scottish, everyone else is speaking weird! Luckily Vastra knows how to inflect Scottish tones and manages to calm him back down. There’s a weird bit of near-flirting on the bed, because God forbid Moffat allow a single woman in the universe to not want to bone the Doctor, and then he is out cold again. (The Doctor, not Moffat.)

Hey wait, wasn’t there a giant frickin’ DINOSAUR wandering around outside?

Oh it’s cool you guys. She’s still outside but the containment field has her and they just rerouted traffic and everything is totally normal and be put on the back burner for now…because the Doctor is sleep-talking! Clara seems to think he’s translating for the T-Rex but I’m not so sure. I guess that’s the point. The sorrowful refrain of “no one can see me, I am alone,” applies either way.

Cut to a dude and his wife meandering about London. Really happy to see everyone taking this dinosaur predicament in stride. But wait, how much did people even know about dinosaurs in the late 19th century? To the Google machine!

Huh. Turns out the Tyrannosaurus Rex wasn’t discovered until 1905. So not sure if this makes it more or less astonishing at how little these people seem to care about a displaced — and at this point — mythological creature. Urbanites are so jaded, you guys.

So jaded in fact that no one notices or cares when a cyborg harvests the eyes from a screaming gentleman in the middle of the street. No big deal.

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Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC' 'Bad Judge'
Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC' 'Bad Judge'

The pilot for Kate Walsh's new comedy stinks, but it's being retooled

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>The second part of &quot;Who Shot Mr. Burns?&quot;</p>

The second part of "Who Shot Mr. Burns?"

Credit: FOX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 4 - HitFix Picks

From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z, our picks feature Poochie, obesity, Radioactive Man and more

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, FXX is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.]

Day 4 of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon really is where the show hits its peak. It's possible that it can't equal the heights of Day 2 and Day 3, but there's a depth to the episodes between "Round Springfield" and "Grade School Confidential" that no other day can top.

How good is this day? I even like the big Abe episode, "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish.'"

How good is this day? We didn't even consider "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment" and it includes the immortal line, "To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

And we considered, but didn't write up "Homer's Phobia," with John Waters in one of the show's best guest vocal turns.

And nobody even mentioned "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" even though Homer's Guatemalan insanity pepper hallucination is an aesthetic highlight.

It's so good that we even let Drew write up a third favorite, because otherwise "Lisa the Vegetarian" wasn't gonna make our recommendations and that would have been sad, though his blurb doesn't mention any of my three favorite lines from that episode, which only goes to show how many great episodes are in Day 4 and how many great lines there are in some of these episodes.

But don't worry. We still found at least one episode for you to skip if you want to nap.

Check out our recommendations for Day 4 and chime in with your own favorites...

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Outlander_S1_E2

Recap: 'Outlander' - The way out isn't with sugar and spice and everything nice

This week Claire tries to catch more flies with honey but will it work?

When we last left Claire, she was in the care of men who think entrapping would-be assassins and giving them access to your health care is a fine idea. It’s basically the world’s slowest game of Russian Roulette. I dub thee the Scottish Gambit!

And now I keep thinking about if Marvel’s Gambit had an 18th-century Scottish twin and…I need a moment.

….

Okay! Let’s see what shenanigans the gang is up to this week in “The Way Out.”

**********************

We open on Platform 9¾ as Frank is about to ship Claire off to Hogwarts for another year. Wait, no. Frank is shipping Claire off the front lines and he is not happy about it. Not that it matters because what enemy could even shoot straight while looking at Mrs. Randall is her stunning army uniform? Seriously, when is military chic coming back into fashion, Ms. Wintour?

But fashionable attire as armor aside, Frank is worried about Claire’s safety and jokes at the irony of this role reversal. The loving husband sending his wife off to war. He balances self-effacing jokes to his masculinity with legit fear and wow this show is doing a terrible job of making me hate Frank. As Claire swears to him she will return to him no matter what — FORESHADOWING — and disappears into the misty night, I am still solidly #TeamFrank.

Cut to Claire finally getting bath! It’s like they read my mind, you guys. Of course, standing in a basin while an elderly lady comments on the smoothness of your skin (creepy yet historically accurate) and douses you in ice cold water is not exactly the luxurious unwinding one hopes for when they hear the word ‘bath.’ But boiling enough water to fill a metal tub, then dragging said tub into the room, then moving all the furniture to make it fit, then bathing, then dumping it out and cleaning up would be such an arduous, sweaty task you’d need a bath from the act of taking a bath. So a brisk bit of cold water in a cold room it is! “Bloody hell” indeed, Claire.

However, the water seems to have washed away Claire’s common sense as well. While being dressed and having her hair brushed, she decides now is a good time to sound like a crazy person. If you’ve been wondering if the speech from the commercials was real— where Claire declares she fell through time and gives the audience a primer on her situation — this is the scene it came from. I appreciate the visual of having Claire wet and physically vulnerable during this emotionally vulnerable proclamation but girl, no.

Mts. Fitz does her best impression of trying to keep a straight face while internally screaming, but the waves of “This bitch is crazy” is radiating from her too wide eyes…and we’ve lost her. Mts. Fitz is convinced Claire is a witch, which RUDE. Clearly she’s just mentally unbalanced and/or has the worst cover story in the history of English spies.

HAHAHA JUST KIDDING. It was all a dream. Claire just pulled a “Who shot JR?” on us. My faith in her common sense is restored. 

But wait, what was Mrs. Fitz saying while Claire daydreamed about being burned on the pyre? Another gathering? With ALL the MacKenzie clan? It’s a Scottish Santa Smorgasbord! Hopefully they all wear their best mullet kilts.

Before we can go to Santa Valhalla though, Claire has to become the best damn medicine women since Dr. Quinn...or is Dr. Quinn the best damn medicine woman since Claire Beecham? Damn you time travel!

Most of what the previous healer was using was gross and unsanitary. Things like powdered human skull and the world’s grossest Surprise Can. You know, like when you open a can labeled ‘nuts’ and fake snakes pop out? Imagine that, only the can says “AOWIHJEOIF” (Gaelic probably) and out pops millipedes. The 18th century is awful…just awful.

Claire powers through because what’s a handful of bugs when you’ve been elbow deep in a screaming infantryman? She sorts through the useful stuff from the garbage, all while her guard watches from the stairwell. Hey buddy, maybe be a little less creepy with the phallic handling of your knife while staring daggers into the lady’s back. Or get bored because she’s just helping heal the the injured and not doing any cool Spy Stuff™ and go get a drink. 

It’s so hard to find good guards these days. If Claire were really an English infiltrator, these drunks would be dead in their cups by now.

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