A few years ago, I made the bold claim that Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her show Fleabag would change television. I wasn’t entirely wrong. While the first series of Fleabag (Brits call seasons “series”) on Amazon Prime failed to create a groundswell, Hollywood did take notice. Waller-Bridge landed plum roles in Goodbye Christopher Robin and a sweet Star Wars franchise role as L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars … Continue reading Fleabag: Series Two (aka Season Two)
Arrested Development, Season Five, Part Deux – Netflix The second eight episodes of season five’s Arrested Development dropped on Netflix on March 15. After an uneven season four (and uneven is being kind), both parts of season five remind us why Arrested Development remains one of the gold standards of the single camera comedy. While most of these performers have gone on to do other things, it’s nice to see them … Continue reading Three Reviews, One Post
Will Leaving Neverland finally dethrone the self-proclaimed King of Pop? Leaving Neverland, the two-part Michael Jackson documentary, directed by Dan Reed, is available on HBO. If you haven’t heard about it by now, you probably haven’t been paying attention. I wrote about this for TheLatest.com the other day but figured I’d expand on it a little more here. It focuses on the stories of two … Continue reading Leaving Neverland
Losers is a new docu-series on Netflix. If we’re to believe everything we see and hear these days, everything in life can be broken down to two things: winners and losers. When I pulled up this series, I expected to find a show about, well, people who didn’t win. While fundamentally correct, Losers is about much more than simply sports players who didn’t win in their selected … Continue reading Losers
The first season of True Detective is the television equivalent of Guns-n-Roses first album “Appetite for Destruction“. As Guns-n-Roses knows all too well, no matter how good anything is that follows, it will never be that good. Nic Pizzolatto’s intelligent and dark detective series finally returned for a third season on HBO this past Sunday. Season three is top lined by Academy and Golden Globe … Continue reading Review: True Detective Season Three
It would seem as though the holiday season is not only a time for Santa Claus and Krampus but also for Charlie Brooker to release a new installment of Black Mirror. This year Netflix and Charlie Brooker dropped an interactive movie titled Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. In a nutshell, an interactive movie (or TV show) allows you to navigate, with the aid of your remote control, … Continue reading Review: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
So, Louie C.K. dropped by The Comedy Cellar the other night to do a few minutes. 18 months ago, that wouldn’t have been news outside of the comedy world. Today? It’s somehow as newsworthy as an American leader kissing the pinky ring of a Russian leader. And that seems disproportionate. Look, what Louie C.K. did was despicable. There is no doubt about that. I mean, … Continue reading This Business with Louis C.K.
Of all the people who have been accused of sexual improprieties, CBS head honcho Les Moonves comes as kind of a shock. At least outside looking in. He always seemed the perfect example of media mogul. Unless you’ve been in a cave, Moonves was, allegedly, far from perfect. Even if a fraction of what is alleged is true (as of this writing the count is up … Continue reading This Business with Les Moonves
This past Sunday, the new Sacha Baron Cohen show, Who Is America?, debuted on Showtime. If you don’t like satire, you won’t like this show (just wait, they’ll re-boot Two and a Half Men). If you like satire, you’ll love it. This show won’t bridge any cultural or political divide that currently exists. But, is that the job of a comedian? No. Is Who Is America? brutal? Yes. Is it unfair? Perhaps. Is it … Continue reading Review: Who Is America? on Showtime
Last weekend I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch and I stopped on Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special Nanette. I read the little intro and determined I just wasn’t in the mood to pay the attention needed to watch and listen to an Australian stand-up comedian. So I settled on Portlandia. A few days later, blogger Bob Lefsetz wrote a missive about Nanette … Continue reading Review: Hannah Gadsby: Nanette on Netflix
The first season of Amazon’s Goliath was good. It was like a typical David E. Kelley show … but with swear words. In the second season, Kelley passes the showrunning duties to Clyde Phillips (Dexter) and Phillips raises the bar considerably. Not so much with the swear words but with the story and the performances (although there are still plenty of swear words). The 2017 … Continue reading Review: Season Two of Goliath on Amazon Prime Video
Are we really surprised? Seriously, are we so surprised that Roseanne Barr said something idiotic and despicable? She’s been this way her entire career. Her comedy was mildly amusing, at best, but there seemed to be something cooking under the surface (turns out it was hatred). Barr’s comedy comes from and is delivered with vitriol. We’ve had “angry” comedians in the past, like Richard Pryor … Continue reading This Business With Roseanne Barr
“Anger is an energy.” Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why returned on Friday and while it’s hard not to mention the unfortunate timing of the release, this isn’t an opinion piece about gun control (although it very easily could be). While we grieve the latest school massacre and wait for the next one (because until things change, there will always be a next one) here are 13 … Continue reading Review: Season Two of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix
So, about three years ago I fired off a rather lengthy missive bloviating about how I am somewhat of an Anglophile (with television anyway). Specifically, I blathered on about Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. It seems people have caught on to the show. I thought I would re-post that entry. Not to highlight how ahead of the curve I am (although that is a bonus) but … Continue reading New Episodes of Black Mirror Today (29.12) on Netflix
The Question is Not Where, but When Imagine if the Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things), David Lynch (Twin Peaks)and Alfred Hitchcock (seriously?) got together to create a show…it’d be something like Dark, now streaming on Netflix. Now I am only three episodes into this series so this may be a little premature…but I doubt it. Let’s get this over with, here are the things that will … Continue reading Dark, a Netflix Series
JOB OPENING: MORNING SHOW HOST/NBC/NYC: Co-host needed for very popular early morning program. Duties will include pandering to celebrities, politicians and successful business executives. Work with seasoned professionals and be willing to indulge their idiocy. Ideal candidate has universal and non-threatening appeal. Candidate should be someone with no pending litigation and not currently under investigation. Experience preferred. Full info/apply HERE JOB OPENING: MORNING SHOW HOST/CBS/NYC: Co-host needed for … Continue reading You Can Read it In the Want Ad’s
Last night I watched the Hulu documentary Too Funny To Fail, a documentary about The Dana Carvey Show that aired on ABC in 1996. It’s hard to believe that the show was on 21 years ago. Even harder to believe is the caliber of writers and performers that were on the show. Dana Carvey (SNL) and Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) were the … Continue reading The Dana Carvey Show
Once in a while a show comes along that is poised to change television for the better. Fleabag is that type of show. And I was so thrilled with it, I just wanted to throw this out into the ether so people can get hip to it. All six episodes of the first series are currently streaming on Amazon Prime. This is without question one … Continue reading Fleabag
The television industry is predicated on deceit; whether it be scripted, unscripted (aka reality) or news, it’s always been that way. But before we jump into the fray, let’s address the elephant in the room. There is no such thing as reality television: there are scripted shows and non-scripted shows. Make no mistake, the non-scripted shows are not reality, so I beg you, can we stop referring … Continue reading The TV Problem
“I think we should banish expectations and re-instate wonder.“* Consider it re-instated. Season three of the Sundance Channel’s show “Rectify” wrapped up last night with a few tears from the actors (and this viewer) and an uncharacteristic hint of optimism. For the past month I’ve tried to muscle up words to describe how good the show is and I simply can’t. It’s just sublime. The … Continue reading Rectify – The best show you aren’t watching.
So about one year ago (January 13, 2014) I wrote about Charlie Brooker’s television show, Black Mirror. I said you should really be watching it. Last week, Brooker was interviewed for WNYC’s On The Media and talked about it, A Paranoid Reflection of our Digital Age. Because all too often people have come up to me and prattled on about something I wrote specifically or … Continue reading Black Mirror is now on Netflix. No more excuses.
So I tried. I did. I tried to stay out of this whole Bill Cosby kerfuffle but after reading David Carr’s excellent piece I figured that as both a student & critic of media, it was time to contribute to the fray. Not because my opinion matters all that much, you know what they say…opinions are like…well, you know. If you are tired of reading/hearing … Continue reading The Bill Cosby Thing
Yea, that’s right, that Zucker doesn’t need anything from us to convince himself and the corporate war lords, past and present, that he is the go to television executive. I just finished reading this profile by Gabriel Sherman on the Zuckster, the guy with the brown fingered touch, from the 10.5 New York Magazine. It’s a pretty well balanced portrayal of the man, the myth and … Continue reading Jeff Zucker doesn’t need you.
So much for that whole “innocent until proven guilty”, huh? So much for the sanctity of marriage and therapy, huh? Look, whatever Stephen Collins did (and it’s allegedly horrible behavior) his career is over. There is no erasing the stink of child molestation, regardless of guilt or innocence. However inappropriate his alleged behavior may have been, what does it say about a wife who takes … Continue reading The Stephen Collins Thing
The unedited version of my good-bye email to NBC. Colleagues, Ralph Waldo Emerson famously wrote “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And so it is. Today is my last day here at NBC. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking one of three things, “Oh no!” or “Who the hell is this guy?” or “Who cares? I got a log to close!” So to … Continue reading So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good bye
Last night was the season two premiere of FX’s The Bridge. And the show came flying out of the gate, introducing a cacophony of story lines. Which I am sensing is becoming a pattern with FX shows. Kurt Sutter did it last year in the premiere of his Sons of Anarchy: thankfully, Sutter was able to tie everything together by the end of the season. … Continue reading The Bridge – Until I’m One With You
“Everything we have done, or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.” Rust Cohle True Detective Episode 5 That is basically the centuries old concept of the Eternal Return or, in more recent philosophical terms, “time is a flat circle”. Hell if I know what that really means, but I can grasp a cursory understanding of it. And if what Cohle … Continue reading Time Is A Flat Circle
I first read about Lena Dunham in an article about her movie Tiny Furniture. That was 2010. Intrigued, but inherently lazy, it would take another year for me to actually see the movie…and that was only after being reminded about it from an article I read somewhere highlighting the show she was developing with Judd Apatow at HBO. A show about young girls living in … Continue reading Girls (not yet broads)
HBO has a long history of developing and producing some of the best scripted programming on television and True Detective will rank among them. These days it’s rare to see a show that can fire on all creative cylinders. FX’s Louie comes close, AMC’s The Walking Dead is on its third or fourth show runner and is losing steam and Breaking Bad closed shop. So … Continue reading True Detective – TV’s Best Show
You should watch Black Mirror. You’re probably not watching Charlie Brooker’s brilliant show Black Mirror because it isn’t easy to find on American television. In fact, I am not sure where to find it except on bootleg sites. It’s not on BBC America, it’s not available on American iTunes, Netflix or Amazon. Frankly, it’s a bitch to find. Black Mirror is simply the smartest show … Continue reading Black Mirror