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Posts tagged as reviews

Grace, Frankie, and the Difference Between Hijinks and Jokes

Grace and Frankie, created by Marta Kaufman of Friends’ fame and Howard J. Morris, is the Nancy Meyers sitcom of my personal dreams. It has top-quality kitchens, AARP romance, the absurdly-named children of hippies, beautiful sweaters, uppity people getting their due at fancy parties, statement necklaces, good wines I’ll never get to drink, not one but two type-A business ladies learning how to love, colorful caftans, a difficult dog, four of my favorite actors (Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sam Waterson, and Martin Sheen) from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today, and women of a certain age doing drugs. This is a warm bath of a program and I love it in [...]

How 'The Nightly Show' Found Its Voice in Its Baltimore Coverage

I’ve been keeping up with The Nightly Show since its premiere, a handful of episodes here and there excepted, and it’s going as well as anyone could reasonably expect from a new nightly talk show. At first, like all series that fall under The Daily Show’s umbrella, it drew comparisons (sometimes unfavorably) to how Jon Stewart goes about things on his show. But Larry Wilmore and his team quickly established the series’ own identity, assembling a panel show based (usually) around a single topic that’s (usually) complex and controversial. Wilmore, a comedy veteran, makes a natural host, the sort of guy you love to welcome into your house every night, [...]

Critics Are Having a Lot of Fun Destroying 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2'

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 hits theaters today, and as you might've guessed, it's not getting the warmest reception from critics. Currently holding strong at an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Kevin James-starring sequel to the 2009 box office hit has received a lukewarm critical response at best, but most online reviewers haven't held back from panning the film for its lack of laughs (save for some silly slapstick and CG jokes), director Andy Fickman, and setting at a Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas (New York Daily News calls the movie "basically an hour-and-a-half commercial for Wynn"). Here's a roundup of what critics are [...]

'SNL' Review: Walking Tall with Chris Hemsworth

One of the bigger frustrations for those of us following SNL's 40th season is that, despite the show's ongoing ups and downs, this current version of SNL is one we want to get behind. Kate McKinnon, Taran Killam, and Cecily Strong are as fun to watch and dominant in sketches as previous eras' stars were (regardless how rosey nostalgia has tinted alums like Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg), and the video segments are as sharply executed as they've ever been. What SNL has been lacking are an overall confidence in its assets and a consistent understanding of how to deploy them effectively.

The stronger episodes this season have featured east cast member putting his or her best foot forward. For example, [...]

Eugene Mirman Reviews a Bunch of Farts for 'Vulture'

Proving that "if people are polite, I don't mind doing whatever," comedian and Bob's Burgers voice actor Eugene Mirman recently agreed to review a bunch of farts for Vulture and offers a comprehensive analysis on the one thing in the world that makes everything funnier. Mirman also warns of the dangers behind "preconceived" farts, which are definitely not as entertaining as the more spontaneous ones.

'SNL' Review: Mother's Day with Reese Witherspoon

Despite having only hosted SNL once before last weekend, Reese Witherspoon occupies a significant footnote in the show's history: she hosted the first post-9/11 episode. It was a pivotal moment in modern American comedy that historians remember less for Witherspoon than for the cold open, in which Paul Simon performed a moving tribute to the city's policemen and firemen, followed by Lorne Michaels asking Rudy Giuliani if the show was allowed to be funny, to which the mayor responded: "Why start now?" After that crucial icebreaker, Witherspoon joined the cast in crowd-pleasing sketches like "Celebrity Jeopardy" and "Wake Up Wakefield," — an episode that Will Ferrell considered "benign," but important for having occurred at all.

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Here's What the Critics Are Saying About 'Welcome to Me' Starring Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig's latest film Welcome to Me hits theaters today, and so far the reviews are pretty mixed. Currently at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was written by first-time screenwriter Eliot Laurence and directed by Shira Piven and centers on Wiig as a woman with borderline personality disorder who launches her own television show after winning an $86 million lottery jackpot. Despite some of the negative criticism about the film — most reviews make some mention of the ending as copping or chickening out, call its treatment of mental illness potentially offensive, and compare the film to a drawn-out SNL sketch — Wiig's performance has [...]

'Veep' Isn't About the First Female President (Thank God)

Imagine an original comedy about The First Woman President. Between media pressure (“Is she powerful enough?”) and network notes (“Is she relatable enough?”) and focus group testing (“She should be hotter, but not like, too hot?”) it would likely endure as much tweaking, flattening and deadening as the Clinton campaign put into Hillary’s announcement video (Clinton 2016!). Every scene would be plagued by questions like, “Do we really want to imply that this is how The First Female President would behave in the War Room?” or “But can we really let The First Woman President refuse to pardon both turkeys just because she’s on her period?” Every plot point would [...]

'Fish in the Dark' is 'Seinfeld' on Stage and Vintage Larry David

There's a moment in Fish in the Dark where Larry responds to a question about how grabbing a breast was and he answers with, "Pretty good. Prettayyyyy, prettayyyyy, prettayyyyy good.” The audience erupts into applause and you’re just like what is going on? This man has no business on stage. But you simultaneously know exactly what is going on. You’re getting precisely what you want. You’re not only seeing Larry David acting on Broadway, but him totally serving it up to the audience and they couldn’t be happier with it.

Imagine if there were a Seinfeld episode set entirely in the waiting room during Susan’s diagnosis. That’s pretty much the [...]

Have Some Fun on a Boat with Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress might have retired as a restaurant reviewer, but he's back with a brand new Comedy Camisado tour video, this time on a boat (also known as a "social lubricant"), without any lunch, while drinking some Coors Light: "I guess I'm gonna review the experience of being on a boat. Hey, spoiler alert: This shit is pretty dope!"

Amy Schumer's Body, Our Selves

It would be really hyperbolic to compare Amy Schumer to Jesus, but Amy Schumer is basically exactly like Jesus. Last night, for far from the first time, Amy Schumer sacrificed her body for all of us. Kind of. If you’re a woman. Stay with me.

Amy Schumer was barely in last night’s episode of Inside Amy Schumer, but we got as in-depth a consideration of the outside of Amy Schumer as we ever have. “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” was a remarkably faithful remake of the 1957 film 12 Angry Men, if 12 Angry Men had involved dildos, accusations of “muppet tits,” and revelations about Paul Giamatti’s boner. A [...]

He’s Not the Last Man on Earth Anymore and the Show Needs to Act Like It

I have watched every episode of The Last Man on Earth, and I could not tell you why Melissa Shart (January Jones) is so, so angry at Phil Miller. This is a problem, but mostly because I can’t know if this is because she’s the most poorly drawn character on the show, or the only one who behaves like a real, complex human being.

The Last Man on Earth stopped being that some time ago. By the end of the first episode our Last Man, Phil Miller (Will Forte), was joined by a Last Woman, Carol Pilbasion (Kristen Schaal). The pair have since been joined by other characters, starting with [...]

'SNL' Review: Dwayne Johnson, Man for the Job

Here's a question I never thought I'd ask: does SNL need more men?

Of course not, right? Only recently has SNL begun to shake off its "boys club" reputation, with a cast of seven men and six women (not counting the two male Weekend Update hosts), and a writers room still predominantly male. The current female lineup is more stacked and well-rounded than ever — there are few roles that Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones, Sasheer Zamata, or Vanessa Bayer can't handle, and I hope that deep field of female talent is here to stay. Considering how pathetic the gender ratio is throughout the late night landscape, and the way Hollywood [...]

Why You Should Be Watching the Wonderfully Bizarre 'Danger 5'

Danger 5, a 2012 Australian action-comedy that finally made its way to the States last month on Netflix, is not only a weird new comedy you should check out, but it's one of the best post-modern sendups of WWII comic books, Sean Connery-era James Bond spy flicks, badly dubbed Japanese monster movies, shoddy Saturday morning puppet shows, '60s swinger cocktail parties, and above all, lurid pulp magazine covers with naked damsels in distress menaced by Nazis and giant mythical creatures. It's a futile endeavor to contextualize Danger 5 with similar films and television shows — there are shades of Team America, Archer, Thunderbirds, The Spoils of Babylon, Austin Powers, and [...]