Tag Archives: NBC

SNL Cast Changes

ZOË RICE: Although I will miss Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, and Andy Samberg when they leave SNL, the show itself will probably only really miss one of them. Continue reading

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Community vs. 30 Rock

AKIE BERMISS: I was an early adopter of Community. It debuted when I still had cable and I still watched television live. But it was one of the last shows I did that with. Increasingly, as a man pushing thirty, I’ve found new television shows have very little to offer me. I don’t get excited by reality shows — the pseudo-drama just doesn’t do it for me — and, being a professional singer and vocal teacher, I can’t stand shows like American Idol or The Voice. So I was finding myself marginalized more and more by primetime television. Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of primetime half-hour sitcoms followed by hour-long dramas at 10pm. To me, those were the days. I guess I was young and things seemed simpler then. But also, I rather think if I am going to sit down and waste an hour, I’d rather it be scripted material performed by professionals and shot by experienced techies.

CHRIS PUMMER: I think Akie’s comparison of 30 Rock to the dynastic Bulls of Michael Jordan is apt. Because while Community is brilliant, 30 Rock has been at least that brilliant for much longer now. Continue reading

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Smash: First Two Episodes

ZOË RICE: I came to Smash with mixed expectations. On the one hand, I’m a sucker for a musical number, and before Glee became unbearable I was an early fan. A new TV show with the promise of awesome – dare we hope Fame-like? – musical numbers meant at least a tingle of excitement. On the other hand…theater people. Don’t get me wrong; to use the cliche, some of my best friends are theater people. But man, some of them can be pretentious. And inauthentic. And so “on” all the time. Would the Smash characters be just like that?

JESSICA BADER: I’ve been excited about Smash ever since that day last year when I decided to sit down and watch the trailer videos for all of the new network TV shows. A show about the making of a Broadway musical? With original songs from Marc Shaiman? What’s not to like (other than the whole not-premiering-until-February-sweeps thing)? Yet, I can’t help but feel like both the show and what’s expected of it are a bit too much. Continue reading

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Whitney Hate

JESSICA BADER: I’ve been thoroughly annoyed by the new NBC sitcom Whitney ever since the posters advertising it were plastered all over bus stops and pay phones this summer, one-liners of retrograde sexism allegedly rendered “edgy” by being spoken by a woman. Then came the TV ads for the show, which were grating to the point that they made my teeth hurt every time I saw one. Yet, for as many reasons as I had to be annoyed by the show, I began to feel uncomfortable about hating something I had never actually watched.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I for one am tired of television’s ‘sexy girl but oh she’s a tomboy and she doesn’t even know she’s hot so she sometimes pretends to ape sexy behavior but she doesn’t realize that it actually IS sexy because SHE is sexy even when she’s not trying to be but especially when she is fake-trying’ trope.
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Wimbledon in Review

AKIE BERMISS: Summary here.

CHRIS PUMMER: This month’s Wimbledon represented an end of an era for viewers, who have benefited from terrific coverage on NBC for the last 43 years. The tournament signed a new 12-year deal with ESPN, which will show move live matches. Continue reading

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Parks and Recreation Review

AKIE BERMISS: When Parks And Recreation first premiered on NBC in 2009 I was skeptical that it was going to be just another The Office analog.  It had all the indicators — a comedy centered around a group of employees…

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TV Review: Perfect Couples Pilot

HOWARD MEGDAL: Do yourself a favor and move beyond the tired cliches of married life found in the opening sequence of Perfect Couples, NBC’s new sitcom, which aired last week. The remainder of the pilot runs at a fast pace, particularly for a pilot, and provides hope that a strong addition to the prime time lineup has arrived.

ZOË RICE: Based on NBC’s promos for this new sitcom, I was expecting something along the lines of Bravo’s short-lived, hilarious Significant Others. Both shows involve couples in counseling, and both feature established marrieds as well as newlyweds (or nearly so). However in execution, Perfect Couples has so far turned out to be more like the doomed American Coupling to the irreverently fun British Coupling–unfortunately a lesser version. Continue reading

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The O.J. Simpson Verdict: 15 Years Ago

HOWARD MEGDAL: In many ways, I think of the O.J. Simpson case as dividing my life in half. The trial began around the time I turned 15, so at the moment, we’re talking about an equal amount of time before and after it. However, there are greater aspects to the dividing line than simply the chronological one.

STEPHON JOHNSON: The O.J. Simpson murder trial and verdict marked the beginning of my teenages years and made me hip to the dark side of America. Continue reading

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Community Season Premiere

AKIE BERMISS: Community is definitely the little show that could. Not that anybody knows it yet — but this is one of the best shows on television right now. Don’t ask me to explain why its so good. Don’t ask me how. All I know is, for some reason, I decided to watch the pilot last year and I never looked back.
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Conan to TBS

AKIE BERMISS: For me, Television fell down the day NBC let Conan O’Brien leave and gave the Tonight Show back to Jay Leno. Television is about suspending belief. In these days, when it is no longer the main thoroughfare for entertainment and information, we are really suspending belief. There’s no real compulsion to gather ’round the tv these days. We’ve got blackberries, iphones, laptops, and: cable. Television is coming up on its emeritus days. And very few things are as synonymous with television as the Tonight Show. And to me, when the Tonight Show fell down — television fell down.

ZOË RICE: With Conan O’Brien’s move to TBS, the scales may be officially tipped. As far as relevance goes, network and cable late night programming had reached something of a balance: The Tonight Show and The Late Show dominated the network market, and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report owned the basic cable share. When everyone assumed Conan would go to Fox, a new wrench was expected to disrupt the network two-party system–how fun it would be to watch Conan battle it out with Jay and Dave within the old establishment. But now, with Conan jumping ship to basic cable, the battle he enters is much broader in scope. Instead of O’Brien vs. Leno vs. Letterman, it’s going to be senior citizen network television vs. young twenty-something cable. The very nature of relevant late-night programming may shift away from the struggling networks, extinguishing one of their last holds on wit and edge. In a couple years, network late night might simply be obsolete. Continue reading

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