"The Americans" wraps up its second season tonight; the finale not only ties off two major threads from this season, it digs even deeper into the conflict between being a spy and making personal connections. And it does so in a way that is, in the end, quite horrifying as it sets in motion issues for the third season. Well done.
"Dancing With the Stars" is done, and Lynne Sherwin and I will be having a video chat about it this afternoon. I have been gloomily convinced that the final was going to be Amy vs. Candace, or "She's So Brave" vs. "I'm Dancing for God." So I was more than a little relieved when Candace placed third and Meryl, who in tandem with Maks had been stunning all season, pulled out a much deserved win.
Candace was never that good a dancer -- better than some, but also outlasting several who were better -- yet was able to play the "journey" card with viewers who believe the mirror ball should go to the performer who improves the most. But Meryl and Amy were miles ahead of her. Amy was a very good dance at times, but Derek's choreography was rife with unnecessary gimmickry (The Table! The Rope!) which Meryl and Maks showed up every time They. Just. Danced.
And now we get to ponder what the show might be like if Len in fact leaves. Will they need to find another crotchety judge whose name rhymes with ten?
Check out the latest video from my friends Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Fienberg here. The best part is the cancelled-shows trivia.
From my comments on Twiiter and Facebook (and you can follow me either place):
With summer TV, I need no more than 5 cliches, or a decent hook, in the first 10 minutes to keep watching. So, sorry, "Night Shift."
Inspired by the new "X-Men" movie, I wanted to move my mind back into my younger self in the 70s. But I realized that there were so many great movies then, I'd spend all my time in theaters and forget to save the world. And THAT is the way in which I am a mutant.
Was looking up old stories about the cast of "The Bob Newhart Show" and came across this in the New York Times obituary for Suzanne Pleshette:
"She came to teenage audiences’ attention in her second movie, “Rome Adventure” (1962), a good-girl, bad-girl romance opposite Troy Donahue, the beautiful blond heartthrob of the moment. (Ms. Pleshette played the virgin.)"
(By the way, "The Bob Newhart Show" comes out on DVD in a complete-series box on May 27. Check it out, and don't miss extras like a commentary with Newhart and former Clevelander Jack Riley, where the talk turns to Riley's Cleveland days, Big Wilson and Tim Conway.)