Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Odd Couples (1-10 of 39)

Why I'm now officially excited to watch 'The X Factor'

Before this morning’s X Factor press session for the Television Critics Association in L.A., my enthusiasm for this competition show was mild to nil. Another competition-show import, more snark from Simon Cowell, more ditziness from Paula Abdul. Big shrug. But the lively, goofy press conference made me think this could be the one of the best, messiest, most controversial Age of Narcissism star-making shows we’ll see this fall.

Why? Here’s why: READ FULL STORY

The 'Law & Order' era ends tonight: Good night, Goren, good night, Eames

When Law & Order: Criminal Intent brings the gavel down one final time tonight, an era will have ended: the entire Law & Order franchise will essentially be finished. Oh, sure, Special Victims Unit will come back this fall, but without Christopher Meloni and only a limited number of Mariska Hargitay appearances. The creepiest of the L&O spin-offs (all those pervs; all those children and women in jeopardy plots!), SVU exists primarily as manipulative Emmy-bait and tarnishes the Law & Order legacy. No, it’s Criminal Intent‘s departure on Sunday night that signals a singular TV institution’s end. READ FULL STORY

'House' 150th episode review: Olivia Wilde, hoarders, and potato guns

The soap-opera version of House continues relentlessly. In the series’ 150th episode on Monday night, a maudlin medical case was matched with the return of Olivia Wilde, wilder than Hugh Laurie’s House might have dreamed, since she’s now a slinky ex-con. READ FULL STORY

Who should replace Meredith Vieira? Rachel Maddow? Megyn Kelly? What about...

First, I hope Meredith Vieira doesn’t leave the Today show — she’s intelligent and funny and can handle every sort of segment, a tricky skill. Still, if the reports are true about her exit when her contract is up in September, her replacement will be crucial to the Today show’s ratings, as well as the chemistry with her coanchor Matt Lauer. With that in mind, let’s pick some possibilities: READ FULL STORY

How many times did O'Reilly interrupt Obama? THIS many times...with help from the Smurfs!

Some saw Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl conversation with President Barack Obama as less of an interview than an interruption-fest. The Fox News Channel host interjected such essential comments as “Those are tough boys, the Muslim Brotherhood” and (speaking about a chunk of the American people) “They hate you,” for READ FULL STORY

'Sarah Palin's Alaska' met the whining fury of Kate Gosselin: 'She bitched the moment she got off the plane'

Last week, Sarah Palin shot a caribou; this week, Sarah Palin might have, at the very least, used a taser gun on Kate Gosselin and I doubt that even Aaron Sorkin would lodge so much as a complaint.

The idea was a TLC match made in heaven, or hell: Put its two biggest stars, Palin and Gosselin, in one episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. In theory, it made sense. Gosselin is READ FULL STORY

'Celebrity Rehab' premiere: 'I smell face-lifts!' and other appalling remarks and behavior

Every season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew fills a viewer with contradictory reactions. On the one hand, we’re saddened when we see the sad wreck that, say, former kid pop star Leif Garrett has become, “not sober since age 14,” as he said last night in the season 4 premiere. We wish him better health. On the other hand, we witness the appalling behavior of Jason Davis (who? the grandson of super-wealthy mogul Marvin Davis) as he whines about READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead' premiere review: AMC's new zombie mad-men; what did you think?

Any wistful Mad Men fan who turned on AMC Sunday night thinking, perhaps, that there might be an MM rerun, or perhaps an hour of Halloween outtakes in which Sally Draper takes a hatchet to her Mommy Dearest, may have been startled to come upon the opening scene of The Walking Dead: In an effort to communicate the kind of show you’re in for, Walking Dead had its hero, Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) shoot a little-girl zombie in the head. If you didn’t get drawn in by that splatter-shock, this was clearly not the show for you.

The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic books, takes the standard modern zombie trope—urban survivors of a zombie invasion —and faces down the problem with turning that notion into a weekly series. The challenge was to make running away from zombies (called “walkers” here) engrossing every week. Under 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

'Fringe' season premiere review: 'She's our Olivia now'

Grace be unto you and peace, Fringe admirers, Cortexi-fans, and Frewbies; the third season of the great parallel-universe saga has finally made itself manifest. The episode entitled “Olivia” was both superb and surprising. After last season’s slam-bang, two-part “Over There” finale, I expected the producers to do one of two things: offer either another sinuous sensory overload to match that finale, or a let’s-build-our-base, Beginner’s Guide to Fringe catch-up episode.

Instead, we got something different: a READ FULL STORY

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