Girls Takes Another Stab At Death With “Flo”

by Aly Semigran March 3, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Girls</i> Takes Another Stab At Death With “Flo”

In case you hadn't noticed, I wasn't the biggest fan of the episode "Dead Inside". I thought it was cruel and ugly and unfunny and used a death as a way to challenge viewers who don't like these characters. I understand not wanting to conform to what's expected of you, but rubbing everyone's face in their heartlessness seemed like a surefire way to turn off even the most fervent supporters. (See: me.) Since that fateful episode, in which Hannah whined more about the fate of her book than the actual passing of her editor David and all of her (female) pals talked about loss and death with nothing more than eye-rolling boredom and snark, things have been on the upswing of late. Both "Incidentals" and "Beach House" began to make these characters human, and even likeable again. But, if like me, "Dead Inside" still leaves a bitter taste in your mouth (I'm still convinced that Hannah is a sociopath), "Flo" probably remedied that. Instead of a detached, mean-spirited look at loss, "Flo" was sensitive and personal and was reminiscent of Season 1 depth.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Everything Old is New Again

by Aly Semigran February 18, 2014 11:32 am
<i>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon</i>: Everything Old is New Again

I must admit something right off the bat: I've never been the biggest fan of Jimmy Fallon as a late night talk show host. I know, I know, that's like saying puppies are overrated and ice cream is a sub-par dessert. I'm of the minority and I realize that. Let me clarify that I actually thought Fallon's Late Night was a fun, hip (The Roots rule all!!) and modern (the guy knows his viral-friendly audience) show, but Fallon's interviewing style of fawning and giggling over every single guest always hit the wrong nerve with me. Again, I realize that Fallon doesn't have the gravitas as Letterman, nor the politics of Stewart and Colbert, but I like my hosts more edgy and daring than agreeable and starstruck, and the squeaky-clean Fallon most certainly ain't that.

TV on DVD: Tuesday, February 4, 2013

by Ethan Alter February 4, 2014 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, February 4, 2013

In a white, white room, there was a white, white queen.

Girls: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of “She Said OK”

by Aly Semigran January 20, 2014 5:55 am
<i>Girls</i>: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of “She Said OK”

Who's your least favorite girl on Girls? It's actually a tougher question to answer than who is your favorite, isn't it? Unlike, say, Sex and the City, where fans willingly identified themselves as the characters ("I'm a Miranda!"), Girls dares you to figure out who you can tolerate this week. And while your answers may fluctuate (Shoshanna's speed-talking insanity may charm you one week, and grate your nerves another), it's pretty apparent who Girls' least favorite girl is: Marnie. This show hates Marnie so much that not only have they made her storyline for the better part of two seasons "pout," but they have had her humiliate herself by singing in public twice now. Last night's episode of Girls, "She Said OK," was no exception to the Marnie-hating rule. But, lucky for her, there's a new girl in town named Caroline (Adam's little sister) and she is totally crazy and hate-worthy. In fact, Marnie hate may actually just turn to pitable from now on. Maybe. Until then, here's the good, the bad and the funny of "She Said OK," in which Hannah has her 25th birthday party and a whole lot goes wrong:

Enlisted: A Show That Deserves Better Than Its Dead Zone Time Slot

by Aly Semigran January 10, 2014 10:00 pm
<i>Enlisted</i>: A Show That Deserves Better Than Its Dead Zone Time Slot

It's almost too ironic that Fox's new comedy Enlisted (you know, the one you've seen roughly 79,282,084 commercials for) is about being outstanding in your field and getting stuck in a position that's beneath you. Because that's exactly what Fox has done to this very funny and heartwarming series by sticking it in the dead zone time slot that is 9:30 PM on a Friday. (It's also ironic that the title Enlisted looks a whole lot like the title Enlightened, another show that never got a fair shake.)

Syfy Upfront 2013: Defying Gravity

by Ethan Alter April 11, 2013 1:58 pm
Syfy Upfront 2013: Defying Gravity

Last year Syfy turned the famous whale room at New York's American Museum of Natural History purple to unveil its annual slate to the assembled press and advertisers corps. The network's 2013 upfront took place in the considerably less grand surroundings of Chelsea Piers' Silver Screen Studios, where they used to shoot Law & Order for the gazillion years that show was on the air. The downgrade in venue was somewhat ill-timed since the network's 2013-2014 line-up looks to be significantly stronger than its predecessor, which offered two scripted shows (including a series called Rewind that seems to have been scrapped entirely) and a bunch of dubious-sounding reality series, many of which never even aired (so long Awesome Foundation -- we're kinda glad we never got the chance to know you). Unlike the 2012 edition, 2013's slate feels potentially big enough to fill the Natural History Museum's cavernous whale room, whereas last year the surroundings just barely distracted from the thinness of the content.

New Girl: ‘Roomfriend’ Moments of the Week

by Angel Cohn March 20, 2013 11:31 am
<I>New Girl:</I> ‘Roomfriend’ Moments of the Week

We could sit and recite all of the clever dialogue of "Quick Hardening Caulk", but it would probably just be a copy of the script... and besides, the fans on Tumblr have probably gif'd the entire episode by now. Instead, we'll just break down the highlights:

Parks and Recreation: Who Made the Comedy Grade This Week?

by Rachel Stein February 22, 2013 12:33 pm
<I>Parks and Recreation</i>: Who Made the Comedy Grade This Week?

So, that was obviously great. All of my fears from "Emergency Response" started to melt away when Ron punched Councilman Jamm in the face, and completely disappeared (and turned to tears) when they had a quick pow-wow outside of the Parks Department room. As a person currently planning her wedding and doing some damage control after some malware issues possibly related to hacking, "Leslie and Ben" and "Correspondents' Lunch" came at a very good time for me, to say the least -- especially when it comes to forgetting your troubles, suspending disbelief and sinking into great TV comedy.

Quentin Tarantino Gets Back on the Horse with Django Unchained

by Ethan Alter December 20, 2012 6:00 am
Quentin Tarantino Gets Back on the Horse with <i>Django Unchained</i>

Only Quentin Tarantino would be bold (or crazy) enough to make a movie about America's 19th-century slave trade in the style of a blood-soaked spaghetti Western rather than a sober, Lincoln-style prestige picture. But the gambit works -- Django Unchained is a wild, woolly ride, sending its titular slave-turned-bounty hunter (played by Jamie Foxx) on a mission to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) and taking on the entire institution of slavery in the process. Tarantino and his A-list cast appeared in New York recently and spoke to the press about the origins of the project, what it was like to shoot the movie on an actual plantation and why Django Unchained is ultimately a superhero movie.

Christopher McQuarrie Expands His Reach with Jack Reacher

by Ethan Alter December 18, 2012 6:30 am
Christopher McQuarrie Expands His Reach with <i>Jack Reacher</i>

A superstar in the world of crime fiction, the new action film Jack Reacher introduces moviegoers to the titular soldier-turned-nomadic-investigator, who stars in a best-selling series of crime novels by British author Lee Child. Written and directed by The Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie, Reacher stars Tom Cruise as Child's creation and dispatches him to Pittsburgh, where he helps an in-over-her-head lawyer (Rosamund Pike) attempt to save a man from Death Row -- a case that pits him against morally ambiguous cops (David Oyelowo) and shadowy villains (Werner Herzog). In addition to trying on the outfit of an anti-hero, Jack Reacher also affords Cruise the chance to show off his behind-the-wheel skills, as he did all his own driving for the big car chase that comes midway through the movie. McQuarrie touched on that scene -- as well as the hotly contested decision to cast Cruise as Reacher -- during a recent press visit to New York, where he was accompanied by Child, Pike and Oyelowo.

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