Monthly Archives: November 2011

Modern Family: Week 8 in Review

KIP MOONEY: “Punkin Chunkin” is perfect breezy night-before-holiday entertainment. My initial reaction was that this was the best Thanksgiving episode of a sitcom since Friends (and you could pick any, though I’m partial to “The One with All the Football”).

HOWARD MEGDAL: Several aspects of this show came together nicely. The show managed many of the primary notes we are used to for conflict- Phil/Claire, Jay/Gloria, Mitchell/Cam- while allowing us the chance to take in the larger harmony of the family dynamic. Continue reading

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SNL Jason Segel/Florence and the Machine

ZOË RICE: In concept, making Mitt Romney edgy sounds funny. In practice it kind of fell flat. But I feel like they’re moving in the right direction content-wise at least…

HOWARD MEGDAL: Will take issue with your…

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Pan Am: Week 8 in Review

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: The suspenseful 8th episode of ABC’s “Pan Am” took a step back from the edge of gimmick to reveal a very interesting, serious, and romantic story of orphanage and abandon. Our consistently lazy heroes boarded the plane for what could have been just another episode of cryptic flashbacks and a clueless cast. Maybe it was just in comparison with the rest of the season and the fact that it had been a while since “Pan Am” didn’t make me scream “Oy gevalt” at my TV, but this episode seemed to genuinely make an effort to take the characters one step further and to dig a little bit deeper into the rich, tumultuous topic of the politics of the decade. Continue reading

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SNL Emma Stone/Coldplay

ZOË RICE: Ah, the debate with the infamous Rick Perry super flub. Can a spoof be funnier than the original? Jon Stewart got it right, pretending to forget the third of a lot of things throughout his…

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Modern Family: Week 6 in Review

KIP MOONEY: One of the most common complaints about Modern Family is that the extended family doesn’t spend enough time together in one giant story. But as evidenced by tonight’s episode (and to a much…

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Papelbon to the Phillies

CHRIS PUMMER: The merits of forking over big money to a relief pitcher are dubious, but if the Phillies were bound and determined to spend that cash on someone to accumulate saves, picking Jonathan Papelbon over Ryan Madson was the right choice. Continue reading

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Pan Am: Week 7 in Review

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: Instead of calling this week’s episode of ABC’s “Pan Am” the drowsily generic “Truth or Dare,” I think it should be called “My Boyfriend is a Yugoslavian Communist.” It was the best line in the whole show and made me laugh out loud. Sigh… remember a few weeks ago when I was sincerely hoping that this show wouldn’t turn into a sorority drama? When the words “Oh. My. God. You’re in love!,” “I’m in over my head!,” and “Tie a cherry stem in a knot,” come into play, you know you’ve reached a pretty sad point in the season when they have nothing to revert to but bottom-of-the-barrel cliches to sustain the episode’s plot.

JESSICA BADER: What fascinated me about this episode were the hints at what this show could be even as it’s bogged down in what it is. Yes, there was the overly melodramatic conclusion to the Kate/Nico storyline, and there was that boozy truth-or-dare scene early in the episode that came off like it was trying to be Sex And The City: 1963. Don’t even get me started on how the Ginny storyline seems to have been abruptly dropped as though it never happened. But the Joe/Laura and Dean/Colette scenes showed a sensitivity and attention to detail that are less common than they should be. Continue reading

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Book Review: 1948

AKIE BERMISS: The news of David Pietrusza’s new book, 1948, made me sure I was about to read all about the under-dog Truman narrative wherein he defeats Tom Dewey against all odds to win the Presidency of the United States.  After

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This Week in 2012

HOWARD MEGDAL: Herman Cain’s presidential nomination chances aren’t dead yet. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

But take a closer look at what has ended the other bubbles, and it doesn’t become so strange after all.

CHRIS PUMMER: If the right wing of the Republican party is still casting for an alternative to Mitt Romney — and I’m not so sure it is more than halfheartedly at this point — Rick Perry is still the only real alternative.
Continue reading

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SNL Charlie Day/Maroon 5

ZOË RICE: I’m angry at this open, for three reasons: 1) Even granting that SNL was on break for a couple weeks, Gaddafi’s killing is now kind of old news. 2) Armisen’s impression has greatly deteriorated from…

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