The Playlist

The 10 Best Episodes Of 'Mad Men'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 16, 2014 2:13 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Mad Men
It might not be the pop culture phenomenon that it once was (the grabbier, faster likes of “True Detective” and “Game Of Thrones” having surpassed it at the nation’s watercoolers), but last Sunday saw the return of “Mad Men,” and if the seventh season premiere was anything to go by, it’s as good as it ever was. Matthew Weiner’s show, about the lives of the employees of a Madison Avenue ad agency in the 1960s (and in particular, the alienated, self-reinventing golden boy Don Draper, played to star-making effect by Jon Hamm, and Elisabeth Moss’s secretary-turned-high-flyer Peggy Olsen) has been a critical favorite since it launched in 2007 and almost singlehandedly made AMC a serious home for prestige drama (paving the way for network-mates “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” in the process).

10 Movies Turned Into TV Shows

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 16, 2014 12:04 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Movies Turned Into TV Shows
Last night saw the arrival of "Fargo" on FX, the second attempt (after a very shortlived late-90s version starring Edie Falco in the role that won Frances McDormand an Oscar) to bring the Coen Brothers' beloved comedy-drama to the small screen. Unlike that version, this is something "inspired" by rather than spinning-off the original, and by most accounts, it seems to have worked, with critics warmly receiving the series, executive produced by the Coens, and which stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Glenn Howerton, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key.

6 TV Shows We'd Like To See Get The Big-Screen, 'Veronica Mars' Treatment

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 12, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 12 Comments
6 TV Shows We'd Like To See Get The Big-Screen
Even for the non-marshmallows among us, the “Veronica Mars” movie, which hits theaters this week (our SXSW review here), being brought back from the dead by a combination of fan activism, creator and cast agitation and Kickstarter-related chutzpah, is at the very least an interesting phenomenon. The long-defunct TV show that gets its day on the big screen with original cast intact is a rare and precious event achieved by only a few, but the possibility is often endlessly bandied around for many for years after the show has ended.

5 Directors We Want To See Tackle 'True Detective' Season 2

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 11, 2014 1:20 PM
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  • 61 Comments
True Detective
Well, the most-talked about TV drama since "Breaking Bad" is done for the moment, with the eighth episode of "True Detective" airing on HBO Sunday night, providing closure on the Yellow King and the spread of the conspiracy (catch up with our recap of the final part here). For the last couple of months, the internet has been abuzz with theories, arguments and think-pieces: whatever you think of Nic Pizzolatto's show, there's no denying that it provided an awful lot to chew on.

Exploring The Season Finale Of 'True Detective' & What We’d Like To See Carry Over To Season 2

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • March 10, 2014 4:16 PM
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  • 10 Comments
True Detective, Feature header
This morning, a dull, gray dawn broke on a dull, gray “True Detective”-less world. The show that has had us gripped for the last eight weeks (or the last weekend for compulsive binge watchers—hi there!) came to an end in either a blaze of HBOGO-crashing glory, or a fizzle of HBOGO-crashing disappointment, depending on your point of view. We’re much more in the former camp than the latter, so much so that we found our usual Good vs. Bad approach wanting this time around, purely because after a couple of niggles we were really reaching for anything particularly bad to say about it.

The 15 Best TV Episodes Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 12, 2013 4:06 PM
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  • 18 Comments
The Best Television Episodes of 2013
Without wishing to engage in the tiresome “TV shows or movies, which are better?” debate (not better, just different, plenty of toys for everyone) we have noticed a distinct uptick in our TV consumption over 2013, reflected in the increased number of shows we’ve been reviewing or recapping for your pleasure, including: “American Horror Story: Coven” “Boardwalk Empire” “Veep,” “Hello Ladies,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Newsroom,” “Family Tree,” “Girls” and “House of Cards,” along with miniseries “Top of the Lake” and “Parade’s End.”

What Does The Netflix Partnership Mean For The Marvel Universe? 7 Points To Consider

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 8, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Marvel/NetFlix
Has the revolution begun? Netflix announced just a few days ago that they had delivered 2 billion hours of just streaming content in their fourth quarter this year. Before that, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos provoked the industry with a confrontational keynote speech about releasing films day-and-date on the streaming service and warning theater owners that they will "kill movies" if they continue to resist multi-platform distribution. A convenient, self-serving statement, he's since back pedaled away from those comments (after all, it’s Netflix who mostly benefits here).

End Of The Golden Age? 12 Shows Hoping To Be The Next 'Breaking Bad'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 1, 2013 1:31 PM
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  • 20 Comments
12 Show Hoping To Be The Next 'Breaking Bad'
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. The one who knocks knocks no more. We won't give away what went down in Sunday's series finale of "Breaking Bad," partly because we don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't yet seen it and partly because we wrote this before it aired, but we know that we're not spoiling anything to say that there's no more of Vince Gilligan's praised-to-the-skies cult hit coming down the pipeline. The show's two-part fifth season has long been planned to be the last, and Walter White's story is well and truly all wrapped up.

Interview: Inside The 'Breaking Bad' Writers Room With Writer/Producer George Mastras

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 13, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
On Sunday, "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final 8 episodes. Anticipation for the premiere was at an all-time high, reviews were ecstatic (read ours here) and ratings were 5 times higher than when the series first debuted back in 2008. To celebrate the final curtain closing on this highly acclaimed series, the cast and crew have been taking a well deserved victory lap — a 90 minute Times Talks event, LACMA Live Read and Q&As at FilmLinc are just the tip of the iceberg — but before Heisenberg cooks up his last batch, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras who was one of the first writers brought onboard by creator Vince Gilligan back in Season 1. In this age of showrunner-as-auteur, Gilligan is one of the few to loudly refute this view, crediting his team of writers (which includes Mastras, Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz), as well as the cast and crew for making the show the success that it is.

The 5 Best Episodes Of 'Breaking Bad'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 7, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 16 Comments
This Sunday sees the beginning of the end of an era. Because on Sunday, AMC will premiere the first of the final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad," which over the last five-and-a-bit years has firmly taken its place among the pantheon of TV drama, winning an ever-growing following, rave reviews and fistfuls of awards. For the uninitiated (and really, how many of there can you be now?) the series follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher already struggling to make ends meet when he's diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Desperate to provide for his family, he teams up with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), a deadbeat former student, to cook crystal meth. Complications, as you might imagine, ensue.

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