Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV Review (91-100 of 985)

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

'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

'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

'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

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

NBC's new fall season: Sitcoms and 'Parenthood'

The new TV season is in full swing on NBC, with sitcoms such as Go On and The New Normal having aired their second episodes, and the season premiere of one of my favorite dramas, Parenthood, aired earlier this week. READ FULL STORY

Candy Corn Oreos review: Sweet bliss or vile junk?

As a long-standing fan of novelty food items — you can bet I still have a vintage-1970s Dudley Do-Right Frosty-Os cereal box (empty; flattened) — I haunted my local Target until it finally shelved the new Candy Corn Oreos that went on sale this week. Halloween is nowhere near, but I’m a candy-corn fan, I’m guessing these will sell out, and there was no way I was not going to sample these “limited edition” confections. Plus, they’re cheaper than the new iPhone. READ FULL STORY

'Glee': Kate Hudson good but not the scene-stealer

The season premiere of the new-formula Glee (“Now with extra added smirks!”) had an advance push from the preview clips Fox released of Kate Hudson going hard-body Bob Fosse on us; if she didn’t quite inspire the curiosity Gwyneth Paltrow initially did (after all, the stakes were greater: Would Gwynnie Get Down?) (answer: affirmative), Hudson was certainly more of a draw than, say, John Stamos was. Plus, Hudson’s character NYADA dance teacher Cassandra July was there to do what some of us take, yes, glee in witnessing: Anyone who attempts to demolish the Kryptonite-hard ego of Lea Michele’s Rachel. 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

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