Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Justified (1-10 of 24)

Good night, and a few more opinions and recommendations

Here’s the way I began this blog in 2008:

“Hello. I’ll use this space to: talk about what I watched last night
 (strong opinions guaranteed); what I think you shouldn’t miss tonight; and
 what’s coming up that you should set your DVR for. Absolutely anything is
 open for dissection, celebration, criticism, and discussion, from an actor’s 
great performance, to a story-line that’s starting to stink, to championing 
TV shows both obscure and famous. I watch TV, you watch TV: Let’s share our 
thoughts and passions, OK?” READ FULL STORY

'Southland' season premiere review: Hot town, hot tempers, hot show

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Southland returned for its fifth season on Wednesday night energetically unrepentant: This is a cop saga at once deeply satisfying (its roots in the best tradition of the oldest, most sere TV police procedurals, such as Dragnet and Naked City) yet stubbornly determined to unsettle viewers with stark frankness and emotionalism. 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

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 EW.com 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

'Justified' season premiere review: 'Dexter' actor helped launch what may be the best season yet

Justified began its new season on Tuesday night with a sweet episode titled “The Gunfighter” that demonstrated a gratifyingly renewed focus on keeping the storytelling closely aligned with the series’ source material, from novelist Elmore Leonard. And the more Justified hews to lean, Leonardian crime-story plots, the better—stronger, wittier—it becomes. READ FULL STORY

Completing 2011's TV Top 20: Ken Tucker's Nos. 11-20 shows, including 'Community,' 'Parenthood,' 'Game of Thrones'...

Here, as I do every year, I follow up my TV Top 10 with my picks for numbers 11 through 20. Some of you have said these are consolation prizes, but that’s not so. There’s so much good television, that for a few years, I was stuffing my Top 10 with entries that allowed for multiple shows (“Best Thursday-night sitcoms,” for instance, to let me to sneak three shows into one number) until that started to become unwieldy and ridiculous. (Besides, as a part-time music critic, I like the “Top 20” phrase, with its roots in old pop-music radio.) I had no problem this year coming up with a clean-cut Top 10; what follows are shows that grazed the list, missed it for reasons I’ll occasionally articulate below, and yet are nonetheless full of value.

11. Community So full of pop-culture allusions, it’s the one sitcom steeped in irony that isn’t smug about its own smarts. The series tried to dig a bit deeper emotionally this season, to warm some of the characters and perhaps increase its audience-outreach without betraying itself. Me, I could do with less Chang, more Britta, and a Jeff who doesn’t sometimes seem a charmingly quizzical bystander.

12. Parenthood This was the season that’s come the closest to juggling its big cast most deftly, providing nearly every character with a strong plotline. If it’s inevitable that Lauren Graham’s Sarah and Dax Shepard’s Crosby – the show’s most bumptious personalities – dominated the latter half of the season, I was glad to see strong showcases for Peter Krause, Monica Potter, and Bonnie Bedelia.

13. Prohibition Ken Burns and booze proved to be a smooth yet exciting combination. The year’s best TV documentary extended beyond the history of Prohibition to chronicle the era of women’s sufferage and the rise of gangsterism as well.

14. Modern Family The nation’s most popular sitcom had some growing pains this season: In an admirable attempt to try to widen and deepen its characters, it bumped into some sentimental moments that didn’t quite work emotionally. But that’s just a sign that MF is not becoming complacent, and its ensemble cast is a match for that of any drama on TV. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2011: I count down my TV Top 10 -- VIDEO

I usually fret and agonize over assembling a TV Top 10 list. I worry over valuing a novel new series over a more established yet still-excellent show. I sometimes try to smoosh shows together under a theme to smuggle more than 10 onto the list. But this year, putting together the list was a pure, unconflicted pleasure. READ FULL STORY

Predicting the Emmys poorly: I shoulda followed my heart...

Predicting the Emmys, like trying to foretell any awards, is always a mixture of rooting for favorites and attempting to divine what the voting body of the Emmy Awards will do. By this measure, I didn’t do very well at all. In retrospect, I should have gone with shows and performers I really, really liked.

If you combine the number predictions I made here in Entertainment Weekly and on Goldderby.com, I attempted 24 categories. I correctly predicted nine. But if you look at my EW picks, they were divided into who “will” and who “should” win. Important lesson I learned here: If I had gone with my “should”s (that is, the ones I fervently hoped to win, but didn’t think Emmy voters would go for), my total would have been a much more respectable 14 out of 24. 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

What I got wrong, and right, in my Emmy predictions

Never have I been so glad to be wrong… in just a couple of Emmy categories. I’m certainly not going to whine about not predicting such superb surprise nominations as Louie CK, Timothy Olyphant, and Walton Goggins.

Yes, I’m doing my due diligence in following up on my Emmy predictions post yesterday; I owe it to you to own up to my miscalculations… and crow about my perspicacity! READ FULL STORY

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