Tag Archives: television

Mad Men: Commissions and Fees

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: It seems futile, to me, to attempt to eulogize Lane Pryce. For a man so utterly complex and so consistently facing feelings of inadequacy, lack of fulfillment, and conflicting performances of identity, it would not be far fetched to wonder whether he would take his own life. This episode, it can be argued, was incredibly predictable. But that is not a detriment to the episode as a whole, for the acting on the part of Jared Harris, in particular, but also of Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, and Christina Hendricks stuns the audience into yet another Mad Men-induced trance. Continue reading

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Modern Family: Disneyland

KIP MOONEY: You know there’s a problem with a show when the one episode featuring all the characters in the same location is the season’s most disjointed and inconsistent.

Aside from The Simpsons, I’m usually not a fan of sitcoms’…

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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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Harry Morgan Remembered

NAVA BRAHE: To me, Harry Morgan is best known as Colonel Sherman Potter from my very favorite television series, M*A*S*H. I was rather young when the series first debuted, and my parents weren’t that particular about what I watched back in those days. Granted, prime time television was ridiculously tame compared to what’s on there now, and for the record, even though I absorbed countless episodes of All in the Family and its ilk, I turned out fine; at least I think so. Continue reading

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Two And A Half Men Considered

NAVA BRAHE: There isn’t much on television these days that is worth watching. When a friend of mine couldn’t stop raving about how “hysterically” funny Two and a Half Men is, I decided to give it a whirl. I started watching the episodes in syndication, but it wasn’t long before I was making a point of watching the first-run episodes on CBS. The acting, along with the writing were especially clever, but what kept me coming back for more were Chuck Lorre’s now infamous vanity cards at the end of each episode. I had a DVR at that time, so I was able to pause, read, and laugh out loud at most of them. All in all, the time invested was time well spent.
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Quoting Shows As Humor

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: I confess: I am the @danialexis behind the #AptSimpsonsQuote hashtag on Twitter. (Which has probably not been used since that conversation, I bet.) And I’m behind it because I have the questionable habit of quoting Simpsons episodes when they’re more apt – or at least more witty – than anything I might come up with myself.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It isn’t that a well-chosen quote, appropriate for the moment, can’t qualify as humor. But my fear is that for many, simply referencing something amusing from a film or TV program- or even something not-so-amusing- has become equivalent to wit. And not only does it cheapen wit itself, I’m really tired of hearing what are usually the same five movies and television shows.

DAVE TOMAR: My daily exploits are littered with D’oh!s and Woo-hoo!s. When things are going a-ok, everything’s coming up Milhouse. When life gives me lemons, I look it at it as crisitunity. When the world is invaded by a master race of giant space ants, I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: something I find to be an ominous sign of the times: fairly frequently when I get off a decent line, a bystander will laugh and then ask innocently, “What is that from?” The implication is that there is no original humor; there are no jokes made up and told on the spot– everything is recycled, verbatim, from movies, television, and stand-up comedy. I find this disheartening. Continue reading

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Keith Olbermann’s Suspension

ALLISON REILLY: With Olbermann returning to the Countdown on Tuesday, what was the point of his suspension? He was gone for two whole episodes, hardly anytime for any sort of “moral of the story.” Quite frankly, Olbermann’s suspension was just a slap on the wrist to exercise the facade of punishment, but not exercise any rule enforcement in particular.

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann last week, and frankly, he deserved it. To put it simply, he broke the rules. The host/anchor of his own show on the increasingly Left-ish cable channel donated some money to a number of Democrat candidates, some who appeared on his show in close proximity to his donations. Campaign donations are basically banned by NBC News, with which MSNBC is affiliated. Continue reading

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Modern Family in Review

HOWARD MEGDAL: Truthfully, I thought this episode didn’t live up to the first two weeks. But that has been a common theme during Modern Family’s run whenever a guest star appears.

KIP MOONEY: “But now I think the series is just starting to plateau. It’s just not covering any new ground. But that’s the problem when a show started out more or less perfect. There was really only one direction to go.” Continue reading

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Reporting on the Crazy

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: For the last few weeks, the U.S.’s major news networks have been held in thrall by the spell of a random nut in Florida and his two dozen followers threatening to burn a book they particularly disliked. The downside to this all-one-nut-all-the-time coverage, however, is that it completely overlooked the rich and thriving tapestry of American crazy. What about all the rest of the nonsense?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: While I appreciate the media’s in-depth coverage of Pastor Terry Jones and his unique and fascinating idea to have a “International a Koran Day”, I would still like to call attention to the thousands of underrepresented derelicts, fanatics and other assorted loonies who have not managed to draw international attention to themselves, and who are thus forced to continue to exist in obscurity. Is this really fair to them? When will it be their turn? Continue reading

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The State of TV

THOMAS DELAPA: Dazed and discontented viewers may well ask who took the “vision” out of television. It’s become our national id, where egos rule. But in an increasingly insular, home-theater society that wants its TV and MTV, nobody today is yelling “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going take this anymore.” Resistance seems programmed to fail. Like Chauncey Gardiner, the numbed voyeur of Being There, Americans like to watch.

NAVA BRAHE: Howard, I’ll give you The Daily Show, but I will not concede my belief that after The Sopranos finished, TV ended; at least for me.

JASON CLINKSCALES: I love television. I probably love it more because I’m the one who pays the cable bill, but I love it nonetheless. What I don’t love is how we talk about television. Continue reading

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