The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) couldn't make up its collective mind in a number of key races at tonight's BTJA Critics' Choice Television Awards. Three categories ended in ties, two of them major categories of Best Drama Series (which went to "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones") and Best Reality Series (which went to "Push Girls" and -- dear lord -- "Duck Dynasty").
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Don't get too excited. Unlike "Star Trek," the Superman franchise hasn't yielded all that much fodder for a discussion of Academy Awards along the way. But there are a couple of things worth mentioning, as well as, of course, speculation to be tossed around regarding the Oscar chances of the latest installment. So let's take a look.
"Man Of Steel" is the Superman movie I've waited my whole life to see.
In the film, the most important struggle that Clark Kent aka Kal-El (Henry Cavill) has to overcome is the tension between his Kryptonian nature and his Earthly nurture. He is the last remnant of a once-vibrant race, and he is also fully human, a nice kid from Kansas. From that small description, this film spins a story so epic, so powerful, that my first viewing of it left me dizzy.
Growing up, I was much more of a Marvel fan overall, and of the DC characters, Batman was the one I really dug. I always thought Superman was okay, but somehow perpetually corny. It occurred to me as I was preparing to write this review that the most fundamental difference between DC's two flagship heroes comes down to one important detail: Batman is defined by his missing parents, while Superman is defined by his surplus of parents. Batman's grey moral code and his brutal, cold nature make sense based on his formative experiences, while Superman's optimism and his belief in the good inside people is completely due to the example given him by Pa and Ma Kent.
So this should be an exciting episode -- the promos promise an angry girlfriend (hell hath no fury like one) and a visit to the medic. This is like the Red Wedding of "The Bachelorette"!
Things start off with a goofy group date. Ten guys, horrible uniforms, and dodgeball! Dodgeball can be surprisingly rough when you have grown men playing (more like rugby than a cute playground sport for kids), so it's not quite humiliating all on its own. No, the guys have to be suited up like extras in a Will Ferrell movie, complete with headbands and hot pants. I honestly think this is supposed to give Des a chance to decide if she can ever be turned on by any of these guys after having seen them in these uniforms.
Neil Patrick Harris: Hosting the Oscars is on my bucket list
Though he's worried about the scrutiny, he says: "I would think hosting the Oscars would be a great bucket list check-off."
Ranking all 30 "Game of Thrones" episodes
"The Rains of Castamere" comes in at No. 3 in this Buzzfeed list. PLUS: "Game of Thrones" vs. "Lord of the Rings," watch the "Khaleesi" play the "Thrones" theme on the piano, how "Jaime Lannister" acts without a hand, "Tywin Lannister" on the Red Wedding, "GoT" parenting tips, "Arya Stark" on the season finale, the nudity by the numbers, and "GoT" finale breaks piracy record.
"Veronica Mars" film adds Christine Lakin
The "Step by Step" star originally appeared in the 14th episode of Season 1.
Check out "Game of Thrones'" Michelle Fairley on "Suits"
Exec producer Aaron Korsh says: "We're huge 'Game of Thrones' fans — we talk about it, we watch it, we love it."
Group of U.S. senators urges Nickelodeon to drop junk food ads
If Nick doesn't comply, could a ban on junk food ads be in the works?
"TMZ" the TV show releases "Black Baby" video it was afraid to show
TMZ filmed this segment months ago but shelved fearing it would be accused of racism.
Conan writer Deon Cole debuts his "Black Box" on TBS
How did Cole end up becoming a frequent presence on "Conan"?
Lorne Michaels sells HBO a comedy starring 2 ex-Jimmy Fallon writers
Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin will play reporters in Atlanta.
Why "Mad Men's" Bob Benson may not be what you think he is
Last night's reveal could be another case of Matthew Weiner's misdirection. PLUS: Benson was unbelievable, and Benson: The Investigation.
Simon Cowell is getting skinny
"The X Factor" star's ex-girlfriend has reportedly helped lose a lot of weight.
How Guillermo Diaz deals with all the "Scandal" shockers
"I'm nervous every time we're going to start a new episode," he says, "because I never know if I'm going to have to be naked, if I'm going to be waterboarded, if I'm going to have to walk into a house where everyone's dead, and have to have these emotions ready."
Dr. Drew baffled that people hold him accountable for "Celebrity Rehab" deaths
"They think I'm a millionaire and they think I am, like, rampaging or exploiting people to maintain that," he says. "And that could not be farther from the truth."
Jay Leno is a pioneer in his use of 3-D printing
He uses a 3-D printer to print out parts for his various cars.
Andy Richter moving after his parked car was hit by drunk drivers
The "Conan" sidekick has experienced damage to his car a lot since moving on to a busy street 11 years ago.
HBO's Pussy Riot documentary doesn't go in-depth
Tonight's film "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer" is more like "Pussy Riot: The Telemovie."
What John Oliver learned shadowing Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show"
"His management skills, which I guess people have no reason to take any interest in, are just incredible," says Oliver. He builds this whole machine, all the cogs which work to get this show on the air each day. It all comes from his management. He oversees everything. When you're getting ready to put yourself in his shoes for awhile. . . It is pretty amazing the things those shoes can do." PLUS: "The Daily Show" needs his outsider's perspective, and watch Oliver's best "Daily Show" moments.
"King & Maxwell" has good chemistry, bad storylines
The TNT series starring Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney, says Verne Gay, "is a cop show where everything has been thrown into a blender and -- after a few minutes on high -- is ready to be poured down the throat of the viewer. The dialogue's preposterous, the plot ludicrous, and the premise as fresh as a wrung-out old mop." PLUS: Too much "Moonlighting."
Another week, another Firewall & Iceberg Podcast record — with this week's show shattering last week's already-comical 2-hour duration, clocking in around 2 and a half hours. At a certain point, Dan and I are going to have to learn restraint. Once again, we've got "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men," and the continuation of our pilot project (next week: "Veronica Mars"), and along with that we've got TCA Awards talk, reviews of two new series ("King & Maxwell" and "Twisted") and reviews of two returning series ("Magic City" and "True Blood," though Dan does all the talking — until a technical interruption — on the latter), plus our first dip into the mailbag in a few weeks. It is, as Stephen Wright would say, a behemoth.
Because no major event in the life of a star from "The Real Housewives" franchise can go undocumented, "The Real Housewives of Orange County" diva Tamra Barney will soon get her very own spin-off revolving around her impending nuptials. Huzzah!
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Jack Johnson is prepping the release of new album "From Here to Now to You" and has unveiled breezy new single "I Got You" ahead of time.
The track is exactly what fans have come to expect from Johnson, with sunny, acoustic glories and whistling, the promise of close-knit love in an SPF 30 sound.
"From Here to Now to You" will be out on Sept. 17, and is the Hawaiian-surfer-producer-songwriter's first since 2010's "To the Sea." It was recorded at Johnson's Mango Tree Studio and produced by Mario Caldato, Jr., who helmed 2005's "In Between Dreams."
If you need the basics on the next Kings of Leon record, let Jimmy Fallon tell you.
"Mechanical Bull" will be out on Sept. 24. Watch the late-night host obnoxiously shout as much at you. Or don't:
Coming to Nat Geo: "The '90s: Last Great Decade"
The documentary series will be a follow-u8p to "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us."
Laraine Newman plays a 60-something Lena Dunham in "Girls" spoof
Watch the "SNL" vet in "Girls Season 38." PLUS: Zosia Mamet's Kickstarter fizzles with less than $3,000.
John Oliver's "Daily Show" debut couldn't have come at a more perfect time
His British sense of humor will be great for tackling the recent NSA disclosures, especially the ones coming over the weekend.
OWN orders more "Iyanla," "La Toya" and "Whitley"
"Iyanla: Fix My Life," "Life With La Toya" and "Raising Whitley" are getting six, 10 and 12 more episodes, respectively.
"The Bachelor" creator expects "Bachelor Pad" to return next summer
"I have a good feeling it will be back next summer," says Mike Fleiss, who adds: "I thought it might be good to give it a break for a little while — let the fans starve for it a little bit so that next summer when it comes back."
Mark Burnett planning a follow-up to "The Bible"
Burnett also says: "I believe in the next 15 years, more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series than not seen it."
"Killing Kennedy" casts Lee Harvey Oswald and Lyndon Johnson
Actor Will Rothhaar will play the assassin, while Francis Guinan will take on the role of the veep.
Neil Patrick Harris overcame "Host Fatigue Syndrome" at Tonys
It's hard to top yourself the 4th time hosting, but Harris managed to do just that on last night's Tonys.
"Falling Skies" returns slightly down from last year
About 4.2 million watched, compared to 4.5 million for the Season 2 premiere.
Cher will perform on "The Voice" finale
She'll sing the first single off her upcoming album.
Watch Louis CK on MTV in the '90s explaining his toilet art
"To me, the commode is like a universe, and I can manipulate that universe just by flushing."
Kudos to "Mad Men" for continuing to fool viewers
Last night's big reveal was one of the series' most important moments. PLUS: One satisfying scene after another, Comparing Sal vs. Bob and their revelations, Linda Cardellini on Sylvia, and will there be 14 episodes next season?
"Arrow's" Stephen Amell is expecting a baby
His wife, former "Top Model" Cassandra Jean, showed off her baby bump at the Monte Carlo TV Festival.
"Game of Thrones" season finale up 28% over last year
About 5.4 million watched last night's Season 3 finale, which nearly matched the series high of 5.5 million PLUS: Why HBO greenlit "GoT" after one of its top execs saw the co-creator at the gym, reading the book.
Neil Patrick Harris: I didn't use the N-word during the Tonys opening number
Harris insists he used the word "bigger."
Jane Lynch getting divorced
The "Glee" star married Dr. Lara Embry on Memorial Day 2010.
Tyler Perry's OWN success has led to interest from other producers
"The phones started ringing quick," says OWN's president.
Alec Baldwin interviews "The Wire's" David Simon
They talked "30 Rock" and the "hilarious mistake" of Simon ending up in the TV business.
Natalie Zea headed to "Under the Dome"
She'll recur on the CBS summer series while "The Following" is on hiatus.
TCM to pay a 24-hour tribute to Esther Williams
The tribute kicks off Thursday night with "Bathing Beauty."