Aaron Broder

Remote Nomad: ‘Elementary’

CBS got a lot of flack for “Elementary” every step of the way -- for ripping off “Sherlock,” the BBC’s modern retelling of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, for making Watson a woman, for moving the story to New York instead of London -- all before the show even aired. Last week, the pilot finally made its way to television with the general consensus already stacked against it.

Remote Nomad: ‘Eureka’ finale goes to extremes to wrap up loose ends

I’ve joked with my friends that in my ideal world, every series finale would end with an abrupt, mid-scene cut to black. A good TV show is a window into a living, breathing, persistent world--one that continues even after the credits roll. When a finale has the gall to put a bow on every situation, it just reminds me that as soon as the episode ends, the characters’ lives are over. Closure is good, but complete resolution feels artificial. Unfortunately, that’s the trap Syfy’s “Eureka” falls into with its series finale.

Remote Nomad: ‘Misfits’

If you imagined “Heroes,” but British and “edgy,” then you’d end up with “Misfits,” a show that’s been made popular in America thanks to Hulu bringing it across the pond last year. It’s about a group of young criminals who gain superpowers in a mysterious storm while doing community service, as well as the surprisingly unfortunate luck they have after the storm. But the comparisons are more than skin-deep; looking at “Misfits’” structure over the years reveals a lot of other parallels between the two shows.

Remote Nomad: The Browncoats of Penzance

What is it about TV shows that inspire such mad devotion? Sure, fandoms arise to support stellar movies, but they never seem to match the intensity that some TV shows manage to draw in. Something about the continuous, serial nature of a TV show just lends itself well to causing obsession in a way that isn’t really seen that much elsewhere (although book series can certainly cause a similarly widespread fixation).

Remote Nomad: Alcatraz can’t escape from procedural tropes

It feels a little unfair to review a J.J. Abrams show as early as I am doing with “Alcatraz.” Not to name names, but the shows he produces have a tendency to either take a while to warm up or slowly peter out--or both. But “Alcatraz” doesn’t seem like it’s going to be bucking any trends; so far it seems like it will fit pretty smoothly into the former category.

Remote Nomad: Best of 2011

It's that time of year again: that special time when everyone burns through their backlog of television shows in a desperate effort to put off homework and studying. For the more discerning procrastinators, however, it might help to have an idea of what in your Hulu queue is actually worth watching. Here are a few of my superlative awards for the front half of the season.

Remote Nomad: ‘Gregory’ borrows too much from the Griffins

Fox is clearly desperate for a new animated sitcom to fill its scheduling gaps. Even Seth MacFarlane himself admitted that “Family Guy” should have ended a while ago. At least, that's the only explanation I can come up with for the new show “Allen Gregory,” which is written by and stars “Superbad” funnyman Jonah Hill.

Remote Nomad: The “Community” continuum

People tend to group all "Community" episodes into one of two categories: high-energy genre parodies, like the paintball episodes or the stop-motion Christmas episode, and the regular old sitcom episodes. And while it doesn't hurt to group the episodes this way, I think it's a gross oversimplification.

Life on the Fringe

Fans of “Fringe” know that its days are numbered. Despite the fervent fandom that seems to gather around this kind of show, the Fox series never managed to pull in serious numbers, and its move to the Friday night death-slot only confirms what people have suspected. The writing's on the wall: unless something spectacular happens, this year is the last we'll see the Fringe Division of either parallel Earth.

TV Review: ‘Alphas’

It’s almost too easy to overlook Syfy’s new series “Alphas.” After all, it wasn’t that long ago that NBC’s “Heroes” tried the “realistic superheroes” conceit, and despite a strong start, it eventually was crushed by its overcomplicated designs.

Fumbled details betray ‘Torchwood’ high concept

This year’s “Torchwood” is going to be an interesting beast. The show has had a shaky history since its inception: when it first spun off from “Doctor Who,” it was envisioned as “‘Doctor Who’ for adults,” but its attempts to be “adult” for its own sake made the show more immature than the source material.
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