Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Category: TV (21-30 of 918)

'Enlightened' season premiere review: Watch this Laura Dern show tonight, please

There’s a lot on TV tonight — the Golden Globes, new episodes of The Good Wife and Downton Abbey, the season premiere of Girls — but let me urge you to try and catch the second-season premiere of HBO’s Enlightened. This half-hour co-created by co-stars Laura Dern and Mike White is extraordinarily good: funny and moving and constantly surprising. READ FULL STORY

'Banshee' premiere review: The new pulp fiction: Sexy, violent, Amish

In Banshee, a muscled bullet-head played by Antony Starr was released from prison, grabbed a quick bit of sexual intercourse from a welcoming waitress, stole a car, and quickly assumed the identity of a dead man who was about to become the new sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania. If you bought this premise, and looked past the fervid exaggeration of the opening moments that are meant to keep Cinemax viewers from switching the channel, you were probably drawn into the clever, well-filmed, intriguing saga set up by series creators Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler. READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel, week one: Here's how his place in talk-show history is already taking shape

As we arrive at the end of the first week of Jimmy Kimmel’s new time period, it may seem a tad premature to start affixing a position to Kimmel in the constellation of 11:30 p.m. late-night stars. But already, trends in the viewership of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as the personalities of their hosts, suggest a few interesting things. READ FULL STORY

Seth MacFarlane, Oscar nomination presenter: Smug and condescending?

Wow, after seeing Seth MacFarlane’s smug, condescending presentation of the Oscar nominations this morning with Emma Stone, I can’t wait for him to host the show itself — it may be one for the ages. READ FULL STORY

'Justified' season premiere review: Family matters. So does money.

One distinctive element of Justified, which commenced its fourth season on Tuesday night, is its emphasis on family as both a source of pain and (often twisted) loyalty. For a crime series whose P.R. is built almost entirely around big photos of a Stetson hatted Timothy Olyphant, Justified is awfully enmeshed in the ways blood ties can forge bloody ties. READ FULL STORY

TV Review Math: 'Deception' premiere

Revenge x Days of Our Lives ÷ Tate Donovan + Irony = Deception READ FULL STORY

TV tip: Watch 'The Staircase,' the great Michael Peterson true-crime documentary, tonight

If you’ve never seen The Staircase, the eight-part documentary about accused wife-murderer Michael Peterson, you’ve got to watch it tonight on the Sundance Channel. It’s that rare long documentary about a tabloid crime that becomes a deep exploration of death, the justice system, and the very process of making a documentary film. READ FULL STORY

'Downton Abbey' season premiere review: A rich, dense fruitcake, with occasional creepy-Crawleys

As was made thumpingly obvious in its super-sized premiere, how much you enjoy Downton Abbey‘s third season is, more than ever for this series, predicated on just how much of an Anglophile you are. You have to be willing to go pretty thick into the weediness of British property rights and privilege, and to realize that as much as we have great affection for the Crawleys, they — like real people we love and put up with, such as family members — have their blind spots, their objectionable beliefs, their frustrating set ways. For instance, we don’t have to turn a deaf ear to anything as (to most of this family’s way of thinking) crassly complex as the struggle for Irish independence in order maintain the illusion of the Crawleys as a clan to care about. Me, I was amused as always, and was also perfectly content to feel irritation periodically mixing with my enjoyment of these toffee-nosed twits, these occasionally creepy-Crawleys. READ FULL STORY

'Buckwild' premiere review: Loud, crude, and kind of lovable?

Buckwild premiered on Thursday night, preceded by the usual this-is-the-end-of-civilization condemnation/hype that greets any well-promoted MTV reality series featuring youthful humans. But after watching the two back-to-back initial episodes, I’d say MTV’s main problem is that these West Virginia kids may be a little too likable to get all huffy and self-righteous about. READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' review: Kristina made a bold decision. And by 'bold,' I mean 'bald.'

Parenthood began our new year with a new episode that may have had you tearing up before the opening credits. In the space of a few minutes, the show went from raucous laughter (courtesy of the Braverman women, out on the town for a night of boozy revelry, culminating in Kristina’s excellently impudent question to Sarah as to who has the bigger endowment, Hank or Mark?) to hushed poignancy. READ FULL STORY

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