Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Category: News (11-20 of 455)

Richard Dawson was a different kind of TV personality: Smoochy, sullen, and smart

Richard Dawson, who has died at age 79, was a unique TV personality, someone who raised his status from game-show regular and sitcom supporting player on the strength of his often sharp sarcasm, dour poker-face, and naughty, mischievous, even rebellious nature.  READ FULL STORY

'Hatfields and McCoys' review, night 2: 'I rue the day I saved your life!'

At four-and-a-half-plus hours, the three-night, Kevin Costner-starring Hatfields & McCoys – a recreation of a 19th-century rural feud that’s probably just one generation beyond common knowledge – well, this big thing could have been a tedious bore. And it is, in spots, but now that we’ve hit the second night, the feudin’ and the corncob-pipe-puffin’ really kick in. “I rue the day I saved your life,” said McCoy/Paxton. “I saved your life that day!” sputtered Hatfield/Costner. The exchange may sound banal, but it is the banality of hurt feelings, suspicions, and profound misunderstandings that led to so much agony and so many deaths in these families. READ FULL STORY

Political TV ad review: The Republican 'Basketball,' or, 'My Kids Are Grown and They Won't Move Out!'

Chances are if you haven’t seen it yet, you soon will: It’s the ad for the new fall series My Kids Are Grown and They Won’t Move Out! Oops, no, I mean, the new political ad that depicts adult children who’ve moved back home with their dying-to-retire mother and they can’t move out because, you know, Obama killed the economy. READ FULL STORY

'House' series finale review: All's well that ends musically

House shuttered itself on Monday night. The first hour, titled “Swan Song,” consisted of a retrospective of the series’ eight seasons, 177 episodes, with lots of behind-the-scenes interviews with the crew and co-stars, some of them conducted by star Hugh Laurie, and a paintball fight. The second hour, “Everybody Dies,” featured a typically baffling medical case for Dr. Gregory House, which was only a first-half-hour cover for what really mattered, including numerous guest faces from the past, and which requires in this spot a SPOILER ALERT. READ FULL STORY

Obama on 'The View': Dear Mr. President, please stop appearing on entertainment shows

President Obama ambled onto the set of The View this morning and said, “I like hangin’ out with women.” He fielded questions about the economy, gay marriage, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Everyone was “pussycat nice,” in the squirmy phrase of Barbara Walters. READ FULL STORY

'America's Got Talent' season premiere review: A Stern for the worse?

Howard Stern joined America’s Got Talent on Monday night, as you know from the publicity blitz he’s been doing on every NBC outlet except for Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. I think he’s recycled the line about how “these executives at NBC are out of their minds taking a risk on me” during every appearance including this America’s Got Talent. He says this, even as, in the next breath, he tells interviewers he “knows how to behave” on prime-time television. A man as intelligent as Stern must have known that this was a losing strategy: Why would he defuse any promise of surprise, or the blunt humor that’s made him so entertaining? READ FULL STORY

Obama's same-sex marriage announcement, provoked, defined, and dissected by TV

President Obama’s Wednesday declaration that “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married” was uttered on television (to ABC News) and was provoked at least in part by Vice President’s Joe Biden’s TV remarks last Sunday, on NBC’s Meet The Press, that initially raised the subject to a Presidential level.

The New York Times reports today that, according to several sources, Biden’s words accelerated the President’s announcement, which he’d planned to make… also on television: On The View next Monday. (We’ll see what the View gals have to say about that, later this morning.) READ FULL STORY

New GOP ad slams Obama as 'celebrity President'; Dems slam Romney as 'Mad Men' fan: VIDEO

Just as I predicted, fans of Mitt Romney took one look at President Barack Obama’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon appearance and quickly cobbled together an ad that blasts Obama as “the biggest celebrity in the world” and asks, “After four years with a celebrity President, is your life any better?” READ FULL STORY

Barack Obama on 'Jimmy Fallon' review: The President slow-jammed the news. Did he upstage Mitt Romney's victory night?

President Barack Obama slid smoothly onto Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night to slow-jam some news to the late-night host’s youthful audience.  READ FULL STORY

Whatever happened to 'The Killing'? A 'hot' show has gone cold


Remember the first season of The Killing, when lots of people you knew were watching and talking about it every week? How great we thought it was that Mireille Enos had emerged from Big Love to become a star, and that Joel Kinnaman was killing it as her frowzy partner? Now, amidst Sunday nights filled with must-see TV (Mad Men, The Good Wife, Girls, Game of Thrones, etc.), the second season of The Killing seems to barely take up so much as a sentence of the pop-culture conversation on a Monday morning. READ FULL STORY

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