"Life. It’s literally all we have. But is it any good?"
Last night, this so very critical question was posed by Andy Daly’s earnest and committed life critic Forest MacNeil before taking on the life experiences of stealing, addiction, and the prom in the premiere episode of Review on Comedy Central. By MacNeil's patented five-star rating system, the experiences didn't fare well, but the pilot works as a highly successful demonstration of the show's central concept in action, and its blend of dark comedy and news magazine parody, sharp writing, and talented cast make it a very promising show with seemingly endless storytelling potential.
Based on the Australian [...]
Seth Meyers had his first week as the new host of Late Night last week, and after eight years as SNL's Weekend Update anchor, he came prepared for the new gig with plenty of experience delivering punchlines and riffing opposite wacky characters and real-life celebrities. It's too early to fairly judge Seth's version of Late Night before he and his staff get a chance to settle into their new roles, but here's a preliminary look at what the show already does well, what it can improve, and what its debut week indicates for its future.
The new season of Lena Dunham's acclaimed comedy-drama Girls premiered with back-to-back episodes on HBO last night, and Season Three finds the series in just as strong of shape as it left off last year. Girls is doing 12 episodes this year, two more than in seasons past, but Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner and their team have clearly shown that they're up to the challenge.
The premiere episodes pick up by jumping a little bit ahead in time and tracking what the show's four main characters are up to now in the wake of Season 2's climax. Hannah and Adam are back together, and she's recovered from her OCD [...]
For years, Parks and Recreation has lived on the brink of cancellation and suffered from unpredictable episode orders and schedules. As creator Mike Schur has discussed, the show’s fifth season was initially only given 13 episodes, while the rest were ordered later on. That meant that midway through last year’s Parks, a finale of sorts occurred with the wedding of Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott).
The following eight episodes then had to start a new stretch of stories and wrap up with another finale in May. In those four hours of TV, a flurry of new plotlines appeared: Leslie was suddenly [...]
Sitcoms aren't supposed to make us think about change. They're supposed to establish stasis, to remind of us of normalcy- the same bar, the same group of friends, the same stakes. Maybe two of the characters date, then they break up. They lose jobs, they get new ones, the dynamic stays pretty level.
Parks and Recreation, which wrapped up its stellar fifth season last night, somehow manages to feel familiar every year, while consistently expanding the inner and outer lives of its characters, changing the group dynamics but strengthening them at the same time. It's basically the Mad Men of sitcoms. The characters stay largely consistent (or change in [...]