Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: season premiere (21-30 of 98)

'The Office' season premiere review: Now THAT's the way to start a season

The season premiere of The Office has a lot more snap and vigor than most of last season’s episodes. The half-hour felt as though, with the end of the series in sight, it now has a renewed sense of purpose — to go out strongly, and perhaps paying off on a number of long-running subplots. READ FULL STORY

'Boardwalk Empire' review: The tedium of shock

Boardwalk Empire, with its handsomely burnished fixtures and darkly lit rooms, has always traded on the fiction-based-on-research that its dandy-fied bootleggers are capable of wanton acts of violence to keep the employees and customers in line. But Sunday night’s season-three premiere upped the ante in this area by introducing Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti, and I don’t care how much proof the producers muster that a guy like Gyp could be/would be/was this psychotic, I’m not buying the character — and this aspect of the series — as being much more than an example of a cable show using its freedom to portray some of its acts of violence as quick dramatic shorthand for daring, or seriousness of intent. READ FULL STORY

'X Factor': Britney brings the joy and the pain

If, as now seems the common wisdom, music competition shows are more about the judges than the contestants, The X Factor could hardly have done better in enlisting Britney Spears as a new arbiter of who can cram the most notes into a musical phrase. Spears embodies as much of that indefinable quality that lifts a singer into super-duper-stardom, plus… well, she’s Britney, which means she brings to any professional endeavor that mixture of sweetness, shrewdness, nervous energy, unpretentiousness, and, occasionally, defiance that only finds its full flower when she’s trying most earnestly to be a surrogate for the masses. Which is what she managed to do on her X Factor debut, even while she was being treated like pop royalty. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' season premiere review: Was this the fall TV season's most intense season premiere?

Although the year isn’t over, I think we can agree that the Most Original Character Introduction Award of 2012 will have to go to Jimmy Smits in the Tuesday night season premiere of Sons of Anarchy.

That would now serve as your SPOILER ALERT. READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' premiere review: Tears, lizards, God, and Ray Romano

Parenthood, still clinging to life through the mere 15 more episodes NBC has granted it (because they just know Chicago Fire and a second season of Smash are really gonna revive the network, right?), returned for a new season on Tuesday night with a wonderful hour that demonstrated once again how engrossing this series can be, in no small part by dramatizing how irritating family members can be.

The episode, titled “Family Portrait,” introduced Ray Romano as a grumpy, frumpy photographer who hires Lauren Graham’s Sarah and made a few marvelously snide comments about her fiance, Jason Ritter’s Mark (“Is he a Make-A-Wish Kid?” Romano’s Hank asked of their relationship — oh, this photo-snapper knows how to snap!). READ FULL STORY

'The New Normal' premiere review: Will you be spending more time with this family?

The New Normal got a nice little showcase preview after the season premiere of The Voice on Monday night, and it is, in the manner to which we have become accustomed with productions mounted by Ryan Murphy, a briskly-paced mishmash of the well-performed, the extravagantly sentimental, the insufferably self-congratulatory, and the witheringly sarcastic. Plus, NeNe Leakes and a cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow. READ FULL STORY

'The Voice' season premiere review: Those swiveling chairs are getting creaky, and so is the banter

The third season of The Voice began on Monday night, the first of three nights in a row, the last one added on Wednesday to make Simon Cowell and Britney Spears cry during the first hour of The X Factor‘s premiere. The Voice’s opening two hours consisted of a slightly smaller amount of the mock-sniping between the four coaches — Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton — that has become tiresome, with occasional flutters of talent on the stage. READ FULL STORY

Did 'The Closer' set up 'Major Crimes' to fail?

The Closer closed out Kyra Sedgwick’s involvement in the series on Monday night, installing Mary McDonnell in her place, in a “new” series, Major Crimes. While I have no inside information about how McDonnell was originally cast in The Closer, I’m led to think, based on the premiere episode that aired after the Closer finale, that she was never intended to be the new star of the show. Because the new show is, I believe, an inevitable disappointment for hardcore Closer fans. As for those of us who are Mary McDonnell fans? Ambivalence reigns! READ FULL STORY

'Animal Practice' premiere review: Can humans be as funny as a monkey? This show suggests... not

Animal Practice, a new fall show that premiered Sunday night after the Olympics, stars Weeds‘s Justin Kirk, JoAnna Garcia-Swisher (Reba, Privileged), and the monkey Crystal, who has arguably the most impressive credits of all, having co-starred in The Hangover II and who portrays Annie’s Boobs in Community. Together, they are the key characters in a sitcom about a veterinary practice full of animals both domestic and wild, and humor both wild and lame.  READ FULL STORY

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