Ask Alan: What Shows Play Differently On Rewatch?

Senior Television Writer
10.06.17 12 Comments

Time for another installment of Ask Alan, as I take your questions about the past, present, and future of TV.

It’s a five-question video this week, and not just because I wanted extra excuses to shamelessly plug next week’s release of Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion.

First up, I talk about typecasting and the challenges of watching an actor who was indelible in one kind of role step into a completely different one. Then, I talk about why the rise of another Brady Bunch — a modestly-rated, critically-ignored show exploding in popularity years after it went off the air — seems less likely in the streaming era than in the days of syndicated repeats. Then, a reader asks if David Simon — who has now produced six different acclaimed HBO projects (The Corner, The Wire, Generation Kill, Tremé, Show Me A Hero, and The Deuce) — is the most important showrunner relationship HBO has ever had.

It’s only in the last two where the Breaking Bad book plugging becomes really blunt, prompted by one question about shows that played differently when I rewatched them, and then a very direct question about what it might take to get future books along these lines about The Wire or Deadwood. (Hint: buying the current one, or Matt’s Mad Men book, would really help.)

As always, you can email me questions at, or tweet at me with the hashtag #AskAlanDay.

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