Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Politics (11-20 of 205)

Presidential debate review: Romney dominated from early on, Obama embraced his inner 'Obamacare'

Mitt Romney achieved what he had to do during the first Presidential debate on Wednesday night: He came across as confident, equal to holding a stage with President Obama. Right out of the gate, he was animated where a still, stately Obama spent the first 45 minutes or so seeming to warm up. As a television presence making pithy statements — in pure matters of style; whether the majority of his assertions were accurate, factual, is another matter to be parsed — Romney dominated. And when you dominate the camera on TV, you probably leave the audience feeling you’re making the more convincing arguments. READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton, trying to stop the 'Chaos on Bull--- Mountain'

On Thursday night’s Daily Show, Bill Clinton, the Dr. Funkenstein of the Presidency, shone his flash light on the Mitt Romney campaign, hitting some of the same notes he pitched so impeccably at the Democratic convention. Still basking in the success of his stirring speech, Clinton allowed Stewart to heap the sort of praise many citizens felt — couched, of course, in the host’s comic terms: “What was so stunning was… that you would get the facts straight… I thought it was a bold choice.”  READ FULL STORY

'SNL Weekend Update Thursday' review: Mitt Romney in a 'Cash Cab'

It’s election season, so Saturday Night Live is back with its Thursday night half-hour somewhat-political-humor specials. As you could have predicted much — much too much — of the material was devoted to the 47% video, and unfortunately for SNL, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have already beaten NBC’s show to the satirical punch on that subject.  READ FULL STORY

Saturday Night Live: Seth MacFarlane did his best

Seth MacFarlane brought all his voices to hosting the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. The Family Guy creator came off as a genial fellow who gamely enjoyed being in a bunch of mostly unamusing SNL sketches. MacFarlane’s opening segment was a series of voice performances of some of his best-known characters from Family Guy, with a few other impersonations (Droopy Dog, Kermit the frog) thrown in, with a bit of the mildly accomplished Sinatra-style crooning that MacFarlane is fond of doing and he’s powerful enough to compel producers and audiences to submit to. READ FULL STORY

Democratic Convention review: President Obama's speech, Joe Biden's grammar, plus... Bruce Springsteen and Eva Longoria!

President Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention on Thursday night was a firm declaration of the principles of his party, one that began laced with humor (of TV campaign ads: “If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I”), went on to become increasingly pointed and vehement (“I will never turn Medicare into a voucher”), and concluded with the cadences of a secular minister that left his audience cheering wildly. Plus, he must have gotten permission from Bruce Springsteen to use “We Take Care of Our Own.” READ FULL STORY

Democratic Convention review: Bill Clinton nominates 'a man who's cool on the outside but burns for America on the inside'

Bill Clinton took the stage of the Democratic convention on Wednesday night to the strains of the Fleetwood Mac music he’s made his theme. The gleamin’ vegan, proving he remains the ding-dong-daddy of the Presidency, gave a rip-roaring speech to nominate Barack Obama as, once again, “the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party.” In a surprise appearance, President Obama came onstage after Clinton concluded, and the two hugged, this time to the sound of Tom Petty singing “I Won’t Back Down.” READ FULL STORY

Democratic Convention review: Michelle Obama professed 'love'; Kal Penn made a Clint Eastwood joke

Michelle Obama came onto the stage of the Democratic Convention in North Carolina on Tuesday night to the strains of Stevie Wonder’s  “Signed Sealed Delivered” — she’s yours! Baby boomer vote delivered before she even began to speak? The promo film preceding the First Lady’s speech included clips of her appearances on Ellen, Letterman, and Fallon: The talk-show-host vote secured? READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention: A TV review

Mitt Romney gave what must be deemed his best public performance since he began his run for the Presidency at the Republican Convention on Thursday night. Enthused but not over-eager, bright-eyed instead of vacant-eyed as he can often seem on-camera, delivering both the emotional autobiographical material as well as the laugh lines without stepping on his own timing, Romney made his case with forceful vigor. READ FULL STORY

Clint Eastwood talks to Obama at the Republican Convention: 'What do you mean, 'Shut up'?': VIDEO

Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair, pretending it was President Obama, in a rambling, odd, sometimes funny, sometimes implicitly profane speech that added some eccentric spontenaity to the Republican Convention. “Mr. President, how do you handle the promises that you made?” Eastwood asked the chair. “You don’t know? OK.” Pause. “What do you mean, ‘Shut up?’ … You’re absolutely crazy… I’m not gonna shut up, it’s my turn.” READ FULL STORY

Republican Convention review: Paul Ryan's playlist, and his problem with storytelling

To the strains of the Thin Lizzy hit “The Boys Are Back In Town,” Paul Ryan took the stage at Wednesday night’s Republican Convention. The music was, I suppose, in keeping with the musical taste he asserted during his speech. Ryan says he told his running mate Mitt Romney, “I hope it’s not a deal-breaker, Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.” But most of Ryan’s speech was more serious than that, of course. He started off by denouncing Democratic Party members — “fear and division is all they’ve got left” — and scoffed that President Obama’s campaign ads are useless: “The president is just throwing away money, and he’s pretty experienced at that.”  READ FULL STORY

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