Links of the week, 12/30/2011

Pickings are slim between Christmas and New Year’s, but here are a few things that have caught my eye.

  • Emily Nussbaum has a lovely review/defense of the smart yet sentimental TV show Parenthood in the latest New Yorker. I’ve never quite committed the show myself—it’s uneven, and the odd awkward turn sometime sends me packing—but I always come back to it, for exactly the reasons Nussbaum lays out.
  • George R. R. Martin posted a Theon POV teaser chapter for his next Song of Ice and Fire book and promised another one this summer. No word on when the full book will be published, but knowing him, 2020 seems like a conservative bet. (Via Vulture.)
  • Tom and Lorenzo have been revisiting season one of Downton Abbey in anticipation of the second season, and their posts thus far have been smart and perceptive and funny and insightful—definitely making me look forward to the U.S. premiere January 8!
  • HBO’s first preview for Game Change (based on what Gawker describes as “the definitive account of gossipy things that people told Mark Halperin and John Heilemann during the 2008 political campaign”—a droll nonrecommendation that made me laugh out loud) practically sets up Sarah Palin as the shark from Jaws, with menacing music and dark silhouettes and Woody Harrelson looking like he just opened his eyes and realized he’s standing in front of a firing squad. It is hilarious. Also, not subtle. Like, not at all. The complete opposite of subtle.