Tag Archives: review

SNL: Will Farrell/Usher

ZOË RICE: When Sudeikis leaves, I will miss his Biden. This was a fun vehicle to work in Will Farrell’s George Dubya. Enjoyable.

ZOË RICE: Farrell’s goofiness can pull off a lot, in this case the Mother’s Day monologue.…

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SNL: Eli Manning

ZOË RICE: The Fox News spoof wasn’t a home run, and it lagged a bit (with weirdly dated references, to Christmas trees for instance), but it was passable.

HOWARD MEGDAL: SNL’s Fox News problem is that it is consistently battling The…

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Review: Girls

ZOË RICE: Over the past couple weeks I’ve been asked repeatedly if I like the new highly buzzed-out series, Girls. But the more pertinent question for this series is, “Do you like Lena Dunham?” Her name hovers fixedly on the credits screen for a good few seconds as the titles go by: Starring…created by…directed by…written by… The upshot is that even if you only sort of like the show but really like Lena Dunham, you’re still going to make Girls appointment viewing. I think that’s where I am.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I think Girls may have been the best pilot I’ve ever seen. And two episodes in, I am absolutely devoted to this show, and Lena Dunham appears to be on my must-watch list among writers. That was quick. Continue reading

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SNL: Josh Brolin/Gotye

ZOË RICE: One of the better GOP candidate opens this election season. Getting them away from the debate podiums helped. Fun scenario and good work by all.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Feels like Jay Pharoah’s impressions, to SNL, are frequent flier miles about to expire. Got to use them somewhere. Continue reading

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SNL: Sofia Vergara/One Direction

ZOË RICE: An opener that captures Mitt Romney’s disingenuous pandering and the essence of his campaign woes. A chuckler more than a guffawer, but well done.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Agreed. Perfectly fine, but doesn’t attach to any particular…

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Downton Abbey: Season 2 Finale

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: “Downton Abbey,” you have successfully ripped my heart out, put it back in, ripped it out again, put a cute little bow on it, spritzed it with glitter spray, and put it back in again. It may be over until Season Three, but the Yuletide finale of Season Two of “Downton Abbey” made the tearjerking episodes of the past look like “I Love Lucy” in comparison. Whew! Between Anna’s shriek upon hearing Bates’s death sentence and Matthew’s climactic proposal to Mary, my heart strings tugged and bound me to every second of this final episode.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: For me, five moments from the Season 2 finale of Downton Abbey have stood the test of time from Sunday to, um, the middle of this week.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It’s official: the normally-astute Jason Diamond could not be more wrong about Downton Abbey as the least-Jewish show in television history. Mr. Bates is a Jewish mother nonpareil, regardless of his actual ethnic background.

ZOË RICE: The season 2 finale of Downton Abbey was destined to touch its viewers – whether with Anna and Bates, Mary and Matthew, poor William’s dad and guileless Daisy, or even Mary’s genuinely good-natured farewell to Sir Richard. Wherever the characters went during these 90 minutes, I was game to follow raptly. Continue reading

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ZOË RICE: Even having followed the Jeremy Lin craze only peripherally, this hit really well. A spoof on sportscasting, news puns, and even racial issues. Well done.

Can’t think…

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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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Downton Abbey: Week 6

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: An intense two hour episode of “Downton Abbey” rarely leaves much to the imagination when all questions are asked and answered without much lull in between. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t love every minute of this episode, but oy veh, is this emotional roller coaster exhausting!

ZOË RICE: The pacing of this week’s two-hour whirlwind left little room to breathe. So much action keeps a viewer utterly engaged. But from another point of view, it also robs us of the kind of slower progression that allows for heightened suspense and a savoring that only comes when a drama series makes you earn its tastiest moments.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: Much better. Much, much better. Love stories were advanced, an in-the-way character died, affairs were narrowly avoided, the annoying long-lost presumptive heir nobody cared about stayed away (hopefully for good), and everybody’s favorite nice-guy walked bravely to his arrest. All in all, it was an outstanding week, but one minor detail keeps nagging me: How old is everyone?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The conclusion of Season 2- from what I understand, this coming finale is really a separate, Christmas at Downton aired later over in Great Britain- had the pacing problems Zoë mentioned for me as well. That said, there was so much to like, and I am greatly saddened at the idea that Downton is coming to a close for now.
Continue reading

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SNL: Zooey Deschanel/Karmin


ZOË RICE: A sharp take on Mitt Romney’s distance from voters and on political spin in general. Nicely done, even if I imagine Howard remains more moved by Sudeikis’s impression than I am.

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