Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV Last Night (1-10 of 369)

'Downton Abbey' cast performs exclusive 'Breaking Bad' scenes on 'Colbert Report': VIDEO

Last night on The Colbert Report, the host, fed up with the power of Michelle Obama to have already secured the upcoming season of Downton Abbey, exacted a kind of revenge of the polity. He got Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan’s permission to have the cast of Downton Abbey enact scenes from the upcoming season of Bad. READ FULL STORY

TV debate follow-up: How the emphasis on 'narrative' distorts the Obama-Romney race

The foremost TV media cant word is “narrative”: Nearly every talking head uses it a lot, to talk about the daily rhythm of the news cycle and how it is interpreted by the media. The problem is, in addition to its tiresome overuse,¬† it imposes a framework on an election campaign that may or may not be accurate. On these terms, who was the biggest winner in last night’s first Presidential debate? In media terms, it was Gov. Chris Christie, who had gone on TV last Sunday and told any and all that come Thursday morning, there would be a new narrative to the Presidential campaign after his man Mitt Romney proved himself worthy. READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' review: Killing Osama bin Laden, committing screwball comedy, and bullying a flight attendant

So last night we saw how the ACN news staff would have covered the killing of Osama bin Laden on The Newsroom: With an anchor who by his own admission was “wasted … completely baked,” and in the midst of a newsroom romance that dares not speak its name. READ FULL STORY

Late night TV hosts respond to Aurora 'Dark Knight' tragedy: A clip

Last night, the late-night hosts were faced with the question of whether or not to address the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. It’s always a tricky business for entertainers who exist to be — in a word used by both Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson — silly, but each finds a different solution.

Jay Leno prefaced his monologue with brief remarks expressing his sympathy to the victims and their families, saying that his responsibility was to make people laugh at the end of the day. Jimmy Fallon chose not to address the subject. READ FULL STORY

Why did 'Political Animals' get better reviews than 'The Newsroom'?

On Sunday night, the first installment of the USA network miniseries Political Animals premiered opposite the fourth episode of The Newsroom. Both offer big-canvas portraits of workplace environments that fascinate the media (politics and, well, the media); both star actors who normally don’t “do” television (Sigourney Weaver; Jeff Daniels); both come from producers who’ve done interesting TV work in the past (Everwood and Jack & Bobby from Greg Berlanti; The West Wing and SportsNight from Aaron Sorkin). While no one would argue that Sorkin’s resume doesn’t carry more weight (a feature film career that includes The Social Network, A Few Good Men, and Moneyball — of which I really liked two out of three — will do that for a fella), Berlanti’s work here feels fully up to the level of Sorkin’s latest as fast-paced entertainment. It’s also received better reviews in the most prominent outlets.

Which leads to the question: Why? READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' review: Jane Fonda, radical politics, and 'We are the media elite'

Early on in The Newsroom this week, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) delivered a manifesto detailing what his cable-news show News Night would stand for from now on. No more giving viewers what they think they want; the show will give them what Will McAvoy thinks they need. Why? Because, he concluded, “We’re the media elite.” READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' review: Losing enlightenment as the show heads to its season finale

The most telling exchange on last night’s Mad Men was the brief chat between Don and Roger, after Roger expressed a particularly pungent form of revenge Don might perform. “What happened to your enlightenment?” asked Don. “Wore off,” said Roger, with Rogerly, cavalier dismissal. And indeed, that’s what the past few weeks of Mad Men have felt like: A fading away of much of the season’s promise, a settling into a deep funk, a cynicism I’d call profound if it wasn’t so superficial. Jon Hamm may well earn an Emmy for becoming the Lon Chaney of Dismay: The Man of a Thousand Weary Faces. READ FULL STORY

'Girls' review: 10 reasons to love these partyholics not-so-anonymous

Girls, how much do I love you? Let me count the ways.

1. Most of the characters dance even worse than I do. This is thoroughly endearing, especially when Hannah gyrates as though she might know more moves, but is too enthused to both to try and remember them.

2. The series suggested last night that Brooklyn parties are almost always difficult to find; some things never change. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' review: 'Some very dirty business' with women we love

One reason Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is so maniacal about keeping plot points about his show secret until they air is that — well, as this week’s episode, “The Other Woman” proved, he reserves the right to explode every expectation you could bring to Mad Men, and then sets off a few extra firecrackers for the meticulously determined hell of it. READ FULL STORY

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