FX

FX conquers our inner demon

As the summer slows down, people start looking for TV shows – preferably ones with scripts and plots and characters and such.
Not to worry; a surge of FX productions is coming, ranging from  a demonic animate show (shown here) to a therapist held  hostage. “We’re just about doubling the output,” John Landgraf told the Television Critics Association.
Landgraf used to oversee shows for one channel, FX. Some of them – “Fargo,” “Pose,” “Justified,” “Sons of Anarchy”– became classics. Now he pushes shows in three directions; the surge includes: Read more…

Resistance was futile; Bridges became “The Old Man”

When Jeff Bridges was offered a chance to be “The Old Man,” he took his usual stance: He said no.
“I resist everything, you know,” Bridges told the Television Critics Association. “Resist, resist.”
Especially this one (shown here). It’s a series (10 p.m. Thursdays on FX, starting June 16, for seven weeks), something he’d never done. And he’s seen, close-up, that this can be demanding.
“My father, Lloyd Bridges, did six series, and I saw what hard work” it was, Bridges said. “He (was) a very joyous cat, but also a really hard worker.” Read more…

“Mayans” booms with Ukraine-style warfare

As the new “Mayans M.C.” season booms onto the screen, it seems a bit like a newsreel from the Ukraine.
Here are the bikers, outgunned and outmanned, clinging to their home. They have Molotov cocktails, makeshift shields and desperation.
These scenes (10 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, on FX) were filmed before the Ukraine war, but they remind us that fact inspires fiction. Consider: Read more…

“Snowfall”: drug-dealers, danger and, especially, family

We expect characters to change a bit, to get older and slower and maybe wiser.
Still, few have done it with the dizzying speed of Franklin Saint, the centerpiece of “Snowfall” (shown here). When the series started, he was a brainy teen with a strong college future; in this fifth season, he’s been flying a private plane and ruling a business, turning drug deals into real-estate schemes.
Is anything unchanged? “He still loves his family,” Damson Idris, who plays him, told the Television Critics Association. “Despite the animosity …. family has been the thing that’s kept him afloat.”
That’s clear in the season’s fourth episode, which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday (March 9) on FX, reruns hourly until 2 a.m., then goes to Hulu. Franklin insists everyone catch the welcome-home dinner for his mother; we find big changes in his: Read more…

Re-living a past nightmare, Porter finds hope

Surveying a life in shambles, the “Pose” protagonist sums it up:
“The world is cold and cruel and full of disease,” Pray Tell says.
That seems like a line about today, but “Pose” – starting its final season at 10 p.m. Sunday (May 2) on FX – is set in 1994, when the gay community was shredded by AIDS and police crackdowns. For Billy Porter (shown here in an earlier and cheerier season), who stars as Pray, the eras merge. “I think the parallels are quite profound,” he said.
Porter, now 51, reached Broadway just as the crisis was soaring. He was a “Five Guys Named Moe” understudy in 1992, then was Teen Angel in the “Grease” revival in ‘94 – a peak year for AIDS deaths. Read more…

“Mayans” duo world — noisy action, subtle passion

It’s a small, quiet scene in a show known for big, noisy ones. And it packs the emotional power we expect from “Mayans M.C.”
On one side of the glass is Alicia, who hasn’t been in jail before; on the other is EZ (shown here, second from right, in a previous episode), who has.
“Anything you try to keep – hope – will just get destroyed” in prison, he tells her. “So kill it first …. Shut it all down.”
Her question: “When I get out, how do I turn it back on?”
That’s a question for Elgin James, who’s been on both sides of the glass. He’s the co-creator and producer of “Mayans,” which airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays on FX, then goes to Hulu. He’s in charge of a much-praised drama; he’s also spent a year in prison. Read more…

“Black Narcissus”: Worlds collide, high in the Himalayas

If you remake a movie every 70 years or so, you can expect some changes.
One example is “Black Narcissus” (shown here), the sprawling mini-series that airs at 8 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23) on FX, then moves to Hulu.
Based on a 1939 novel, this was a 1947 movie that’s well-liked by movie elite: “My wife (Emily Mortimer) had made a (Martin) Scorsese movie,’” actor Alessandro Nivola said in a Television Critics Association virtual session. “He made ‘Black Narcissus’ required viewing for all of the actors in the movie …. I remember loving it.”
The basic story persists: Nuns travel high in the Himalayas, to revive an abandoned mission. Soon, there are culture clashes, plus jealousy and deep loneliness. Read more…

Stuck at home? Here are some strong choices

As the virus shutdown continues, it’s time to dive deeper into the TV pool.
I’m guessing you’ve already found some of the streaming giants, from Amazon’s marvelous “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to Netflix’s deeply observant “The Crown.” But now let me offer some of my personal preference to dig through.
A few are coming up quickly – the first half of a nature gem (shown here) on Monday (March 23), the season-finale of “This Is Us” on Tuesday. Most, however, are easy to find; here they are, in five chunks: Read more…

FX prepares its big Hulu push

PASADENA, Cal. – John Landgraf will quickly admit there are too many TV shows.
As head of the FX cable networks, he has his staff count them. “There were 532 scripted (series and mini-series) last year,” he told the Television Critics Association. “That’s a 7 percent gain vs. 2018. And given that the streaming wars are now at hand, we expect (it) will increase.”
So what FX is doing now is … well, adding several new shows and a new streaming service.
Or, actually, a new hub on an existing streamer. “FX on Hulu” debuts March 2; it will soon have two mini-series (“Mrs. America,” shown here, and “Devs”) that are only on Hulu, plus shows on both FX and Hulu. Read more…

A busy summer: FX sets six dates

Cable-TV has become a permanent solution for TV’s summertime blues.
Now FX has set the summer starts for “Baskets,” “Legion” and then “Snowfall,” the deep drama produced by the late John Singleton. Three other shows had already been set, starting with “Archer” — which was an action-adventure last year (shown here), but now goes sci-fi. Read more…