Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Love & Marriage (21-30 of 55)

Bristol to Sarah Palin: 'Mom, take your prom-hair back home!' How the Palins 'stun' TV viewers

Sarah Palin’s Alaska and Dancing with the Stars combine to throw a monkey-wrench into pop and political culture. The second episode of the former governor’s TLC series Sunday night was an irresistible hour of halibut fishing and clay-pigeon shootin': “Don’t retreat, just reload,” she told daughter Bristol as she racked a rifle. Meanwhile, Bristol will reload once again on Monday to out-last more dainty hoofers on DWTS. What is it about these two that exerts such a pull on viewers?

On Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Bristol bristled at her mother’s constant stream of advice, and snapped at her, “Mom, take your prom-hair home!” Sarah paused, apparently perplexed for a moment: She knew she’d been sassed impudently, but at the same time, she clearly admired her kid’s spunk.

So it is with both Palins on TV. As Bristol thunders READ FULL STORY

'Sarah Palin's Alaska' premiere review: 'Mama Grizzly' fishes, climbs mountains, protects her young

Tune in to Sarah Palin’s Alaska to behold the beauty and the wonder, the harshness barely concealed beneath the glacial calm, the wildness that coexists with glowing serenity.

And the show itself is interesting, too.

Certainly this docu-series from the channel that gave us the Gosselins and the Duggars was family-friendly with cheerful aggressiveness. The debut episode, entitled “Mama Grizzly,” framed the former governor of Alaska the way it frames most of TLC’s clan narratives, with careful editing for the maximum positive representation, and with its subject issuing proclamations that are unassailably true¬† (“I love this state like I love my family”).

The idea behind this series is to show READ FULL STORY

'The Good Wife' or 'Parenthood': Which will you watch tonight?

It’s Tuesday, which means a 10 p.m. dilemma: Which excellent drama do you watch, The Good Wife or Parenthood?

Both are having solid seasons. Right now, I’d give the edge to The Good Wife, which has really been sparking on all levels. I think we can all agree that READ FULL STORY

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' premiere review: They're needy, sad, depressed, and depressing: What a way to launch a series!

At this point, launching a new Real Housewives franchise requires something new, some novel approach or tone to distinguish it from the, what, 47 other Real Housewives editions, and so The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has found its niche: It’s going to be the needy, sad one of the bunch. The most famous face on the show that premiered Thursday night belongs to READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' season premiere review: 'I hear you and I see you'

Parenthood got off to a fine second season on Tuesday night, even if the distinct implication that Lauren Graham might eventually make out with William Baldwin triggered a silent scream in my head. In a snappy premiere written by Jason Katims, almost everyone got ample screen-time while contributing to the overall shape of the series. (Note to Alan Ball: Look at how a good network show can juggle multi-sub-plots before writing the next installment of True Blood, please.)

The show forged a nice new link between READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' review: Don takes a dip

The advantage of Mad Men as a period piece is that it forces us to consider the way people thought and behaved a generation ago; we can’t go into the show assuming that if some copywriter comes up with a good idea, the boss will exclaim, “Awesome!” and there’ll be high-fives all around. (Aside from the fact that the culture hadn’t yet degenerated into jock democracy, everyone’s cigarettes and highball glasses would smash together.) The disadvantage of Mad Men as a period piece is that every time someone does something that seems odd or unexpected, viewers are tempted to say, “Oh, well, I guess that’s just how they would have reacted in those days.”

If we’re learning one thing about Mad Men in this apparently nonstop superlative season, it’s that READ FULL STORY

Why 'Mad Men' is having its best season yet, plus: the tortured souls of Betty and Sally

I don’t think there’s ever been a more obvious Mad Men episode than the one that aired last night, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword,” which deployed many time-period cultural cliches without freshening them with the series’ typical sprinkling of post-modern pixie dust. But that doesn’t mean the hour itself was cliched or tired; indeed, I am liking the new sitcommy side of Mad Men at least as much as the wonderful wrist-slitting side that appears whenever the blonde hair of either Sally or Betty glows onto the TV screen.

One thing that’s always held me at arm’s length from Mad Men is creator Matthew Weiner’s READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' review: 'I hate it here. I really, really do'

It was Christmas-time on Mad Men this week, which meant a variety of presents wrapped in bows, conga lines at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and Don losing his apartment keys and his steely control.

Setting a pervasive tone of holiday misery, the new unhappy family unit formed by READ FULL STORY

Bristol Palin's engagement gift to David Letterman: A fresh bouquet of Sarah Palin jokes

The news that Bristol Palin is engaged to Levi Johnston found David Letterman as pleased as a five year-old ring-bearer. In his opening monologue last night, Dave made a number of jokes about the renewed union, saying that Bristol had READ FULL STORY

Elizabeth Edwards on 'The Today Show': Wants to 'break free of my media image,' compares herself to Sandra Bullock

Elizabeth Edwards was interviewed this morning by Matt Lauer on The Today Show about the shattering of her marriage due to John Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter.

It was Edwards’ first READ FULL STORY

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