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TV chat: ‘The Bridge’ a slice of border life

Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir in FX’s “The Bridge.”

Byron Cohen/FX Network

Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir in FX’s “The Bridge.”

Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers Thursday on Boston.com. Here are excerpts.

Q. “Broadchurch” vs. “The Bridge” — which is better?

A. They’re similar — a male and a female detective, murder mysteries — and yet they’re so different. While I liked “Broadchurch” a lot and will watch the second season, I prefer “The Bridge.” Demian Bichir is great — so weary and smart. And I’ve warmed up to Diane Kruger. The atmosphere is rich, and the canvas is broad — broader than “Broadchurch” (I just wanted to say that). “The Bridge” sometimes feels more like a slice of life on the border than a straight-ahead plotted crime series, and that’s a good thing. Plus: Don Swayze.

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Q. I love Aaron Paul but part of me wants to see Jonathan Banks win the Emmy for supporting actor.

A. I hear you. But I’m thinking Mandy Patinkin will win. He’s really good on “Homeland,” plus he has publicly atoned in The New York Times for bad behavior in the past.

Q. I loved the Skyler “what’s one more killing” moment on “Breaking Bad.” That was the moment she “broke bad.”

A. She was already bad! She “broke worse” at that moment.

Q. Maybe Walt will kill Heisenberg on “Breaking Bad”?

A. Walt and Heisenberg have a complicated relationship.

Right now, they’re on the outs, but . . . Actually, yeah, I wonder if Walt will use the ricin to commit suicide.

Q. How is “The Michael J. Fox Show”?

A. It’s all right, just that. I want to see more than the pilot before I can really make a confident statement about it. Parkinson’s jokes in the pilot are fine, and required, and expected. Parkinson’s jokes all season long will get very, very tiresome.

Q. Have you seen the new season of “Boardwalk Empire”?

A. I’ve seen the first five episodes. Creator Terence Winter has introduced a fascinating new character played by Jeffrey Wright. He’s a black intellectual gangster from Harlem, and he and Chalky White don’t click. Finally, a Chalky White plot.

Q. Critics seemed to be split on season 6 of “Mad Men.”

A. It was a slow build, for sure. Don being Don doing Don things — AGAIN. But then the climax made it all worthwhile. Don’s Hershey’s presentation, that last moment with Sally, and Sally catching her father in bed with Sylvia, were three of the series’ most powerful scenes. And it ended on a juicy cliffhanger of sorts. Will Don now continue to exorcise his past? Or was that just a moment? He’s pretty locked into his pathologies, I’m afraid. We’ll see.

Q. “True Blood” is ending after next season. It’s a mercy killing.

A. Agreed. Maybe someone can glamour us out of the past few seasons?

Q. Any news on “The Killing” coming back?

A. I haven’t heard anything official. The ratings were ordinary and steady. I’m thinking AMC will bring it back. For one thing, the network is losing two brand-name shows in one fell swoop, “Breaking Bad” and, next year, “Mad Men.” Keeping some consistency in the lineup might be in order. Plus, season 3 was pretty good, all told. It lagged a bit; I still wish AMC would cut the order down to 8 or 10 episodes.

Q. What can possibly fill the void that “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” are going to leave?

A. Yes, two classics that are miles above even really good series such as “The Americans.” “The Bridge,” “Ray Donovan,” and “Homeland” are awesome, but not “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” awesome. There’s a level of greatness and originality that comes along rarely, with the likes of “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Mad Men.” We just have to wait for the next one.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com.
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