Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Category: News (51-60 of 455)

'Breaking Bad' face off: Gus Fring/Giancarlo Esposito talks about THAT SCENE

It’s safe to say that Walter White’s most formidable obstacle in his pursuit of wealth for his family and, increasingly, his assertion of himself as the dynamic force in his own life, has been Gus Fring, the deceptively meek fast-food-chicken store owner, philanthropist, and drug lord played by Giancarlo Esposito with consummate meticulousness in the season of Breaking Bad that concluded on Sunday night. READ FULL STORY

Amanda Knox deserves to 'become a big star,' Donald Trump tells Erin Burnett

On the premiere edition of OutFront with new CNN anchor Erin Burnett, Donald Trump said the found-innocent Amanda Knox can “maybe become a big star and build some dividends from this … absolutely outrageous” murder trial. Speaking by phone to Burnett, Trump said he was friends with Knox’s father and sympathized with Knox’s family. Is there no pop culture event to which Donald Trump does not have a connection? Is he thinking of booking Hank Williams, Jr., on the next Celebrity Apprentice, perhaps? READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' season premiere review: Alec Baldwin, Tony Bennett, Herman Cain, and comedy of promotion

We bring to Saturday Night Live standards for funniness that are different than those we apply to everything else on TV. We cut the show a lot of slack for simply getting a 90-minute live show up and running every week. SNL has been on so long, it’s embedded a kind of reflex action in generations of viewers: If the studio audience thinks a sketch is funny, we’re liable to read more funniness into it than may be there, and any cast member or host who does a good celebrity impersonation is granted a degree of immunity from criticism, since impersonations have been the one consistent element that SNL goes back to time and again with the greatest degree of success. READ FULL STORY

The Emmy Awards show review: Jane Lynch, 'Modern Family,' 'Downton Abbey,' and some genuine surprises

It’s rare that an awards show both rewards the people who really deserve those awards and is itself a rewarding show. But this year’s Emmy Awards was both. Led by spunky, clever host Jane Lynch, the Emmys were delightfully surprising — Margo Martindale! Kyle Chandler! Melissa McCarthy plus all the other Best Comedy Actress nominees onstage together! — and, in most ways, quite satisfactory. READ FULL STORY

Al Sharpton's new MSNBC show 'PoliticsNation' isn't worth watching. Yet.

The Rev. Al Sharpton premiered PoliticsNation on MSNBC Monday evening with an hour of booming bombast and near-obliviousness, as he steam-rolled over his guests, interrupting them to ask long, halting questions. At one point he acted as though he was having an argument with his teleprompter and said with exasperation to a guest, “Well, let me just ask you my way: Is the Tea Party going to destroy the Republican Party?” Please, Al, can’t every question be asked your way? READ FULL STORY

ABC News thinks you're too dumb to know what 'perspicacious' means

ABC News added a graphic to yesterday’s current-events show This Week when host Christiane Amanpour used the word “perspicacious” to describe Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom. Check out  READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart to Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday': 'You're insane'

Jon Stewart, making what was billed as “his first appearance ever on a Sunday talk show,” told Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, he was “insane” if Wallace thinks his comedy has “an ideological, partisan agenda.” His Daily Show satire, Stewart said, “is about absurdity and corruption.” READ FULL STORY

CMT Music Awards review: Blake Shelton won, Shania Twain slipped, Sheryl Crow flashed: Who says country award shows are dull?

Some of my TV critic colleagues chided tonight’s CMT Music Awards show before it even aired, suggesting there are too many country-music awards shows. Cynics! Me, I can’t get enough of ‘em. They’re an easy way to keep up with what’s selling in the country industry, they toss up odd couplings (gosh, I didn’t know the least appealing-looking group in country music, Rascal Flatts,  had done a duet with pop music’s designated cutie, Justin Bieber — glad I do now!), and in general these shows provide a safe haven for 1970s/’80s-style singer-songwriter-soft-rock in the current century. READ FULL STORY

James Arness has died: why he was the greatest TV Western lawman

James Arness, a great Sequoia tree in the forest of TV Western heroes, has died; he was 88. Arness is immortal in TV history as Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, the longest-running network drama in television history with the most episodes. (Gunsmoke‘s 635 episodes versus Law & Order’s 456; the two are tied with 20 seasons.) This feat would have been impossible without the presence of Arness, a 6-foot-7, quiet man who gave an air of serene authority to Matt Dillon. READ FULL STORY

Rachel Maddow on the 'responsibility' of gay news reporters to come out, and Spike Lee's new MSNBC promos

Rachel Maddow gave an interview in the British Guardian newspaper yesterday in which the MSNBC anchor said many interesting, often amusing things. “I’m not an autocutie,” she said, referring to the tendency of American TV news organizations to fill some anchor positions with women who have what The Guardian described as “the helmet of blond hair and rictus smile.”

She also drew this distinction between MSNBC and Fox News, regarding that false-equivalency comparison that continues to be drawn between the two channels:

“Of Fox News, she says simply, ‘When it starts to seem like you have popped into bed with a specific party, it makes it difficult for people to believe you are not doing someone else’s bidding for them.’ At MSNBC, on the other hand, ‘there are people here who are identified as liberals, but there is no political agenda.'”

But the part of the interview getting the most attention here is this bit: READ FULL STORY

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