Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Controversy (1-10 of 305)

'Law and Order: SVU' with Mike Tyson tonight: Using a convicted rapist to play a victim of rape

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Tonight on Law & Order: SVU, you can watch convicted rapist Mike Tyson portray a victim of rape. It’s a perfectly competent performance, even if it doesn’t require Tyson to do much more than be a variation on himself, a tough man who tends to speak, in public, in a soft voice. (Though he does one growling “Get outta here!” quite convincingly.) Still, this is stunt-casting operating at a nervy level of cynicism. READ FULL STORY

NRA's Wayne LaPierre attacks entertainment and news media for Newtown killings; makes bizarre claims; protests erupt: VIDEO

In one of the most bizarre press conferences held on live television, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre launched a hostile, self-pitying attack on the media, the entertainment industry, and schools themselves for the killings in Newtown, Conn. His solution: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Interrupted twice by protestors carrying signs with sentiments such as “NRA: Blood On Its Hands,” LaPierre called for “armed security” in “every single school in America.” LaPierre said “the national media machine rewards” mass killers with coverage. He condemned “vicious, violent videogames” such as Mortal Kombat and showed a clip from a videogame called “Kindergarten Killers.” He bad-mouthed “movies such as American Psycho and Natural Born Killers.” He scolded “violent music videos” and scorned anyone who “has the nerve to call it entertainment.” Overall, the entertainment industry promotes “the filthiest form of pornography,” said LaPierre. READ FULL STORY

The 'Homeland' backlash: In defense of emotional truth

Wow, the internet is illuminated today with largely poor reaction to last night’s episode of Homeland. My colleague Adam Vary has done an excellent job in his EW.com recap of summarizing both the episode and the potentially objectionable plot twists. On Twitter, I made a joke — “If only Homeland was as plausible as The Walking Dead” — that was interpreted as being a slap at Homeland, when what I was really kidding was the “Homeland has become unbelievable” reaction. So I should make the case at greater than Twitter length here. READ FULL STORY

'The New Normal' premiere review: Will you be spending more time with this family?

The New Normal got a nice little showcase preview after the season premiere of The Voice on Monday night, and it is, in the manner to which we have become accustomed with productions mounted by Ryan Murphy, a briskly-paced mishmash of the well-performed, the extravagantly sentimental, the insufferably self-congratulatory, and the witheringly sarcastic. Plus, NeNe Leakes and a cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow. READ FULL STORY

Gore Vidal, TV star: From William Buckley to Ali G

Gore Vidal, who died on Tuesday at age 86, almost always stirred things up when he appeared on television. Coming on the scene around the same time Marshall McLuhan had dubbed TV the “cool medium,” Vidal heated up the screen with his forthright, usually liberal, often radical, opinions on politics and culture. READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' review: Jane Fonda, radical politics, and 'We are the media elite'

Early on in The Newsroom this week, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) delivered a manifesto detailing what his cable-news show News Night would stand for from now on. No more giving viewers what they think they want; the show will give them what Will McAvoy thinks they need. Why? Because, he concluded, “We’re the media elite.” READ FULL STORY

'Anger Management' premiere review: Charlie Sheen takes a conservative, contradictory route back to sitcom stardom

For a guy who prides himself in interviews on his wildness and his lust for new experiences, Charlie Sheen adheres to a conservative business model when it’s time to make money: the laugh-tracked, multi-camera sitcom, for Two and a Half Men and now Anger Management, which premiered on FX Thursday night. Based loosely on the 2003 Adam Sandler film of the same name, the FX version of Anger stars Sheen as Charlie Goodson, an ex-baseball player turned anger-management therapist. The idea is that Charlie’s had anger issues himself, and this makes him a good, or at least qualified, counselor.  READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' premiere review: Did Aaron Sorkin's new HBO series make you mad as hell, or happy as a clam?

The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s return to television, premiered on Sunday night, and let’s get ready to rumble. It’s a series that will serve as an escape-valve of relief, anger, and confirmation, articulating so many things that so many people feel about the frequently-pathetic state of the news media. (In a sense, it wants to be this TV generation’s equivalent to the 1976 movie Network, with the Paddy Chayevsky-written line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”) It’s also a series that is going to drive some people crazy. For some, it will be because the show is frequently hectoring and repetitive, and it has storytelling problems with its office romances. But for others, it’s going to make them crazy because no matter how clearly Sorkin states the opposite (on-screen and in interviews), The Newsroom is going to strike them as one long liberal — or as Bill O’Reilly will doubtless label it, “far left” — screed. READ FULL STORY

'The Glass House' premiere review: 'The show they didn't want you to see' was the show you didn't need to watch

The announcer for The Glass House, which premiered on ABC Monday night after The Bachelorette, said this was “the show they didn’t want you to see!” That was intended to be a reference to CBS’ attempts to prevent ABC from airing what it views as a Big Brother rip-off, but after watching the show, I think “they” might actually have been “all humans with brains and a conscience.” READ FULL STORY

'The Killing' season finale review: The murder of Rosie Larsen was solved

The Killing wrapped up its second season on Sunday night by solving the murder case that took about 26 days to solve in Killing-time, but seemed to take a lot longer to many of us who stuck with it. By the end, you may have felt like Mireille Enos’ Sarah Linden did: Like walking away in an exhausted daze.

SPOILER ALERT: DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSEN. READ FULL STORY

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