Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Dramas (81-90 of 564)

'Girls' and 'Mad Men' season finales: A VIDEO review

Girls wraps up its first season on Sunday. In contrast to Mad Men, which concluded with rather muted notes (Don casting a lizard gaze on a woman who chats him up in a bar; Pete looking into his soul and seeing a bag of wet sand), Girls is a-poppin’. READ FULL STORY

'Dallas' premiere review: J.R. Ewing rose from the crypt of TV history

The new TNT version of Dallas that premiered on TNT on Wednesday night is a rare example of an artistically – well, entertainingly, at least — successful TV-classic update. It was all the more impressive for the way it combined members of the original cast with younger-demo-actor draws without quite seeming as cynical as a J.R. Ewing business deal. READ FULL STORY

'Bunheads' premiere review: Summer TV just got dreamier, dancier

Things are looking up for summer TV on Mondays: First Kurt Sutter’s Outlaw Empires debuted on the Discovery channel a few weeks ago, and tonight, ABC Family rolled out Bunheads, the new Amy Sherman-Palladino creation that brims with smarts, sass, and a secret agenda: smuggling dance and musical-comedy theatricality onto that network’s line-up of troubled, sensitive teens and Pretty Little Liar junior-harridans. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' season finale review: Don Draper, the Easter Jesus, and 'The Phantom,' the ghost who walks

Mad Men wrapped up its fifth season with “The Phantom,” an episode that served as a refresher-course in the themes that had been explored throughout the previous weeks, as though prepping us for Professor Matthew Weiner’s final exam. Let’s run through them, shall we, class?

Q: Why was Don Draper unhappy? A: Before we answer that, let’s state what we can now see were the season’s two grand, over-arching themes: That achieving one’s goals does not bring anything like happiness, and that everyone — viewers and other characters alike — wants to see Pete Campbell punched in the face again and again and again. READ FULL STORY

Introducing 2012 Emmy Watch: Nominations I wish we'd see

The Emmy nominations are being decided even as I write this. Members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences must hand in their ballots by June 28; the nominations will be announced on July 19. Why don’t we help out these folks and suggest worthy candidates?

That’s the thinking behind the long, carefully reasoned, highly passionate, sometimes stubbornly flukey list that follows. As EW’s TV critic, I tend to have some opinions not shared by the majority of official Emmy voters. I also suspect, however, that you, the reader, share some of my passions — such as Fringe, Girls,  and Community — that the Academy is unlikely to nominate. Which is one reason to agitate for them, right? READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' review: Losing enlightenment as the show heads to its season finale

The most telling exchange on last night’s Mad Men was the brief chat between Don and Roger, after Roger expressed a particularly pungent form of revenge Don might perform. “What happened to your enlightenment?” asked Don. “Wore off,” said Roger, with Rogerly, cavalier dismissal. And indeed, that’s what the past few weeks of Mad Men have felt like: A fading away of much of the season’s promise, a settling into a deep funk, a cynicism I’d call profound if it wasn’t so superficial. Jon Hamm may well earn an Emmy for becoming the Lon Chaney of Dismay: The Man of a Thousand Weary Faces. READ FULL STORY

'Longmire' premiere review: A modern Western from some folks who brought you 'The Closer'

Longmire, the modern-day Western-mystery series which premiered on A&E on Sunday night, is clearly a labor of love for the people who brought it to television. Based on the mystery novels of Craig Johnson, the TV Longmire was created by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin, who also co-wrote the premiere. And if that labor of love was occasionally laborious viewing, there are certainly elements of charm, good acting, and the possibility of an improving series as it proceeds. READ FULL STORY

'Tis the season of finales: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Mad Men,' 'The Killing': VIDEO review

Remember all those talks we had about how much good TV was crammed into Sunday nights? Well, it’s all going to come to an end soon. In fact, after this weekend, no more Game of Thrones for a while. 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

'Hemingway and Gellhorn' review: The fun also rises?

Early on in HBO’s Hemingway and Gellhorn, I kept thinking, “What a crock!” almost every time Hemingway (Clive Owen) or Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman) opened their mouths. Then I got into the rhythm of what the filmmakers were doing during the TV-movie’s premiere on Monday night: Fearlessly allowing these two hard-boiled literary figures to utter their mostly-full-of-crap pronunciamentos about life, love, and the whole damn thing while redeeming them as historical figures by placing them in the context of their time. A time in which some people actually said things like, “We knew our cause was just and we could not lose,” and no one laughed in their faces. READ FULL STORY

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