Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: TV Review (61-70 of 985)

'Homeland' took a very big risk this week. Where does the series go from here?: A review

Homeland made a large leap in its storytelling this week, making an audacious move with Damian Lewis’ Brody and Claire Danes’ Carrie that swerves the series in a new direction. Speaking of swerves, Dana and her new boyfriend Finn did some swerving themselves, and not as skillfully as Carrie and Brody. SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF HOMELAND. READ FULL STORY

'Parenthood': Is this TV's most neglected drama?

Parenthood has been so good lately, it’s made me all the more worried about it. By which I mean, the introduction of Ray Romano as a grumpy photographer with a crush on Lauren Graham’s Sarah, along with giving Monica Potter’s Kristina breast cancer, has raised the stakes both within the series and for its audience.

How long can a big-cast, ensemble drama on network TV survive without larger ratings than Parenthood is attracting? And especially at a time when there are more reasons than ever to become invested in it? READ FULL STORY

'Mockingbird Lane' review: A stylish 'Munsters' make-over

Mockingbird Lane was an attempt to update The Munsters for an audience that likes Once Upon a Time and True Blood — is there such an audience? Apparently NBC didn’t think so, because the proposed series doesn’t seem to have a green light from NBC. Instead, the network aired this pilot on Friday evening. It was smart and colorful — which makes sense, since producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) was behind it, but it also didn’t feel as though all of its elements had come together to make it clear where such a weekly series might go. READ FULL STORY

'Nashville' review: Contracts, bribes, and broken hearts: The business and politics of Nashville

This week’s Nashville was the one that confirmed how complicated it’s going to allow its two main protagonists to become. Connie Britton’s Rayna is a torn soul now fully entering a mid-life crisis, not sure how she should present her music (to herself; to the masses) or her feelings (to her true love Deacon; to her husband, Teddy). Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette is a three-layered soul: all smiley and upbeat in public; all toughness and anger with her employees and family; and, down deep, aching for love. Love in the form of respect from her professional betters; from a mother she wishes was clean and sober; and from her true love Deacon. Whom she wants to put, natch, under an “exclusive contract” — in her band and in her bed. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS WEEK’S NASHVILLE. READ FULL STORY

All the 2012 Presidential debates: Were they worth it? What's their value?


The debates are over. What changed as a result of them? Polls show Mitt Romney a lot closer to President Obama — it’s a tighter race ever since Romney’s first-debate victory. By the final debate, Romney had shape-shifted from conservative warrior to agreeable centrist — agreeable in the sense that he spent the night mostly agreeing with what Obama is doing abroad. The message that was sent by his side? Don’t worry, he’s not going to do anything extreme if you elect him. If Romney wins the Presidency, the debates will be seen as a crucial turning point in his campaign. If Obama wins, they’ll be largely forgotten. In this sense, debates every four years follow a similar pattern: Whoever the incumbent is, he is helped or hindered by further exposure of his image and his platform.

But that raises the every-four-years question: Should we be electing Presidents in part because of how well they perform on television, in a stilted, awkward debate format? READ FULL STORY

The final Presidential debate review: Obama scores TKO: Romney 'doesn't have different ideas' from the President

The final Presidential debate on Monday night presented the odd spectacle of challenger Mitt Romney conceding over and over that he fundamentally agreed with a whole host of President Obama-led foreign policy strategies, while moderator Bob Schieffer offered too many questions that were, as Romney put it, “hypotheticals” that both men brushed aside. READ FULL STORY

The distinctive storytelling pleasures of 'Homeland'

More and more frequently, when I ask friends, acquaintances, and strangers what they’re watching and enjoying on TV the most, the response is “Homeland.” And it’s often phrased in a surprised tone, as in, “You know, I didn’t think it would, but I’m really hooked on Homeland. I can’t believe… ” and then he or she will go on to describe some plot point that strikes this person as surprising.

One thing this response means is that people are marveling at how much plot development the show is giving us so early on in its second season. I think it’s safe to say that anyone who watches Homeland is sophisticated about the ways television usually doles out information, characterization, and revelations. Which is to say: more slowly than the way Homeland does it. Viewers know that, in the vast majority of other cable and network dramas, producers try to keep their audiences coming back by adding maybe one new detail per episode, dangling a new clue, often near or just after the climax of an hour. READ FULL STORY

'The Girl' review: Breaking news: Alfred Hitchcock abused Tippi Hedren, badly and melodramatically

The Girl, which premiered on HBO on Saturday night, played out like a bad Alfred Hitchcock movie — like, for example and in an unfortunate coincidence, Marnie, one of the films that’s prominent in The Girl. The Girl is a movie with an axe that is ground with less subtlety than anything Hitchcock himself ever made: It wants to humiliate the director of such great movies as Vertigo and Psycho, while adding luster to the image of actress Tippi Hedren. Any production with an agenda like this was bound to be jarringly didactic, a surprisingly crucial flaw for a TV-movie with such talented people in front of and behind the camera. READ FULL STORY

'Hunted' premiere review: Bone-crunching fights, soul-crushing lies, lip-pouting action

Hunted stars Melissa George (whom some of us will always revere as Gabriel Byrne’s most pouty-lipped patient on HBO’s In Treatment) as Sam Hunter, employee of a private investigative company called Byzantium. The new series, which premiered Friday night, wants to be, as the company name suggests, a byzantine thriller about betrayal, deception, spying, fighting, and poutiness. Created by X-Files/Lone Gunman/Millennium writer-producer Frank Spotnitz, Hunted succeeds as a fun, junky thriller, just the sort of thing the current Cinemax directive (“We will make Strike Back a hit!”) exists to offer. READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story: Asylum' premiere review: Boo! As in, were you well-scared, or disappointed?

In part because it involves people associated with The New Normal and The Voice, the new season of American Horror Story, subtitled Asylum, is automatically scarier than the first one. Co-creator Ryan Murphy, the man behind the garish laughs of New Normal, has enlisted Adam Levine as one of his horror-show victims, and just watching the stubbly singer-scarecrow feign sex with his character’s new bride (Jenna Dewan Tatum) was effectively, thoroughly unnerving. READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in TV

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP