Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV Review (21-30 of 985)

Seth MacFarlane, Oscar nomination presenter: Smug and condescending?

Wow, after seeing Seth MacFarlane’s smug, condescending presentation of the Oscar nominations this morning with Emma Stone, I can’t wait for him to host the show itself — it may be one for the ages. READ FULL STORY

'Justified' season premiere review: Family matters. So does money.

One distinctive element of Justified, which commenced its fourth season on Tuesday night, is its emphasis on family as both a source of pain and (often twisted) loyalty. For a crime series whose P.R. is built almost entirely around big photos of a Stetson hatted Timothy Olyphant, Justified is awfully enmeshed in the ways blood ties can forge bloody ties. READ FULL STORY

TV Review Math: 'Deception' premiere

Revenge x Days of Our Lives ÷ Tate Donovan + Irony = Deception READ FULL STORY

TV tip: Watch 'The Staircase,' the great Michael Peterson true-crime documentary, tonight

If you’ve never seen The Staircase, the eight-part documentary about accused wife-murderer Michael Peterson, you’ve got to watch it tonight on the Sundance Channel. It’s that rare long documentary about a tabloid crime that becomes a deep exploration of death, the justice system, and the very process of making a documentary film. READ FULL STORY

'Downton Abbey' season premiere review: A rich, dense fruitcake, with occasional creepy-Crawleys

As was made thumpingly obvious in its super-sized premiere, how much you enjoy Downton Abbey‘s third season is, more than ever for this series, predicated on just how much of an Anglophile you are. You have to be willing to go pretty thick into the weediness of British property rights and privilege, and to realize that as much as we have great affection for the Crawleys, they — like real people we love and put up with, such as family members — have their blind spots, their objectionable beliefs, their frustrating set ways. For instance, we don’t have to turn a deaf ear to anything as (to most of this family’s way of thinking) crassly complex as the struggle for Irish independence in order maintain the illusion of the Crawleys as a clan to care about. Me, I was amused as always, and was also perfectly content to feel irritation periodically mixing with my enjoyment of these toffee-nosed twits, these occasionally creepy-Crawleys. READ FULL STORY

'Buckwild' premiere review: Loud, crude, and kind of lovable?

Buckwild premiered on Thursday night, preceded by the usual this-is-the-end-of-civilization condemnation/hype that greets any well-promoted MTV reality series featuring youthful humans. But after watching the two back-to-back initial episodes, I’d say MTV’s main problem is that these West Virginia kids may be a little too likable to get all huffy and self-righteous about. READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood' review: Kristina made a bold decision. And by 'bold,' I mean 'bald.'

Parenthood began our new year with a new episode that may have had you tearing up before the opening credits. In the space of a few minutes, the show went from raucous laughter (courtesy of the Braverman women, out on the town for a night of boozy revelry, culminating in Kristina’s excellently impudent question to Sarah as to who has the bigger endowment, Hank or Mark?) to hushed poignancy. READ FULL STORY

'Meet The Press': Obama says Republicans 'can't say 'Yes' to good offers,' comments on 'Lincoln' movie, Benghazi 'was a huge problem,' and David Gregory left his bullets home this week: VIDEO

Interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, President Obama told host David Gregory that he thinks the “fiscal cliff” will be avoided in “the next 48 hours”; he also addressed questions about gun control and the attack in Benghazi. Perhaps because he was interviewing the President in the White House, David Gregory refrained from waving around a gun magazine to illustrate any point.

Obama referred to some of his policy opponents in Congress as “folks can’t say ‘yes’ to good offers.” Gregory responded, “What is it about you, Mr. President, that is so hard to say ‘yes’ to?”

Obama’s response was basically a verbal shrug: “The way [the Republicans] are behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.” READ FULL STORY

Here are three new TV shows I'm looking forward to in 2013: VIDEO

The new year brings new TV shows, some of them imminent. Having viewed a few of them, seen bits and pieces of others, and banking on the track record of the producers, stars, and networks of others, I’ve put together a little video review of three of them I’m particularly looking forward to. READ FULL STORY

Kennedy Center Honors review: David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, and others celebrated as 'difficult, demanding, passive-aggressive'

The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, broadcast on CBS on Wednesday night, is the annual event in which celebrities in various fields get all gussied up, travel to Washington, D.C., rub shoulders with the President, and hear exalting speeches about themselves. This year, the testimonials were laced with traces that don’t often make it into a taped TV awards-show final cut: frankness, near-brutal honesty, and almost tearful love. READ FULL STORY

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