CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
CHICAGO – Around a year ago, I named Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort” the most-promising new show of the Fall season. I think I need to relabel that this year to “creatively promising,” for while I knew Ryan and his crew here had a chance to produce something special, I also worried that ABC was dooming it on Thursday nights.
CHICAGO – It may not look as post-apocalyptic as “Revolution” or “The Walking Dead,” but Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort,” debuting tonight, is just as much about the end of the world as those programs. It’s about what happens when training fails, structure collapses, and human emotion betrays.
CHICAGO – Shawn Ryan produced one of the best cop dramas of the ’00s in “The Shield” and has proven that he will be a creative voice in the medium worth watching with his work on “Lie to Me,” “Terriers,” and, most of all, the new FOX drama, “The Chicago Code.”
CHICAGO – FOX’s “Lie to Me,” the second season of which was just released on DVD, has fluctuated wildly in quality since the day it hit the air, a fact that was underlined when the great Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) came on-board and seemed to find the program’s personality, only to leave it and watch it drift again. Just when it seemed like “Lie to Me” would develop into must-see viewing, it would falter again and the incredibly-lackluster season two release doesn’t help.
CHICAGO – FOX’s “Lie to Me” with Tim Roth and Kelli Williams proved to be a summer 2010 smash, finishing the just-wrapped season as one of the most-watched programs in key demographics. The tale of a team of professional human lie detector tests should still be waiting for the right moment to start its third season, but so few people watched the critically acclaimed “Lone Star” that it became the first casualty of the 2010 to 2011 season.
CHICAGO – FX continues their streak of quality programming that includes “Rescue Me,” “Justified,” “Archer,” “The League,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” with the very-promising-and-entertaining “Terriers,” a new riff on the private investigator drama with a spectacular pack of TV veterans both in-front and behind-the-camera.
CHICAGO – The great television creator Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) has taken over “Lie to Me” and turned what was a pretty generic mystery-of-the-week show into something that’s deserving of your attention. Taking the great Tim Roth and making him much more than just a cog in the serial machine, the two new episodes of “Lie to Me” that air tonight and next week make for intense, excellent television.
CHICAGO – All seven season of the Emmy-winning, groundbreaking “The Shield,” easily one of the best programs of the ’00s, have been collected into one absolutely gorgeous set for “The Shield: The Complete Series Collection”. This time of year usually produces several complete series sets to essentially re-sell already available programs to holiday shoppers. This is one of the best.
CHICAGO – When “Lie to Me” premiered earlier this year, the show simply didn’t work. But a lot has happened since then.
CHICAGO – There was no better show on television in 2008 than FX’s “The Shield” and the seventh and final season is now available on DVD.