It's very rare to see the actual lifespan of a television series equal the length of time its story naturally dictated it should last. Shows seem to either overstay their welcome thanks to the promise of more money, or get cancelled before it and the network understands all of its strengths. The Goodwin Games, and all seven of its episodes, concluded last night, seven weeks after it showed up dead on arrival. Based on what was witnessed, the game ended way too soon.
And it was not as if The Goodwin Games was a filler sitcom that hit the reset button every week, where closure of any narrative loose [...]
It was definitely unwise of NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt to admit last summer that the network was going for "broad" comedies. Television is a business, and all of the really good, intelligent, critically acclaimed, New York and L.A. loving, genre defining/remixing/bending/ mocking/creating comedies that were/are on the channel had and continue to at times draw fewer eyeballs than — ugh — cable, so trying something different makes some sense. But "broad" is an awful word next to "comedy", and in 2013, when we are closer than ever to discovering that the medium's creativity is in fact limitless, the word immediately evokes images of clowns honking horns and the sounds [...]
Director Jordan Roberts' Frankie Go Boom, which debuted at SXSW last month, is an entertaining, charmingly madcap comedy with an indie sensibility. Half sibling rivalry, half love story, it follows Frankie (Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy), who grew up being tortured by his older brother, Bruce (Chris O'Dowd), an aspiring director who filmed the awful, funny childhood pranks he pulled on Frank.
As an adult, Frank lives in Death Valley writing unpublished novels in front of a handwritten sign reminding him, "Your family is poison. Stay away.” When his mother convinces him to come home for Bruce's graduation from rehab, he goes against his better judgment. The brothers [...]
Last night's pilot episode of Allen Gregory, FOX's new animated comedy about a precocious seven-year-old, begins with the announcement that Allen Gregory (Jonah Hill) is being forced by one of his dads to return to elementary school so that his other dad can get a job. In addition to his dads, we also meet AG's adopted Cambodian sister Julie and her dorky friends, who let a boy regularly knock the books and lunch trays out of their hands because that makes him their "best guy friend" (ding ding ding favorite joke of the pilot).
We watch as Allen Gregory is embarrassed at the hands of the impressive Joel Zadak, [...]
The titular character in John Warner’s debut novel, The Funny Man (out tomorrow on Soho Press), just wants to make people laugh. Everyone can relate to that.
Yes, he’s narcissistic, irresponsible, drug-addled and a bad father, but all that is a byproduct of his intense desire to elicit laughter from everyone he encounters. He’s just more committed than the rest of us, loses focus elsewhere, and eventually becomes a victim of his own success.
It’s clear after reading The Funny Man that Warner is an author who spends a lot of time reflecting about comedy and its place in our culture. That’s self-evident to those familiar with Warner’s previous [...]