The Michael J. Fox Show: Hasn’t He Been Through Enough?

by Aly Semigran September 27, 2013 6:00 am
<i>The Michael J. Fox Show</i>: Hasn’t He Been Through Enough?

Who doesn't love Michael J. Fox? (Wait, if you don't, you probably shouldn't answer that, as you are a monster). That's the question NBC is banking on for The Michael J. Fox Show to be a hit. That our universal love for the actor will make us overlook just how weak the new series with his name in the title really is. And while Fox's talents and charms are still as undeniable as ever, you can't help root for the guy… to wind up on a much better show.

Back in the Game: A Swing and a Miss

by Ethan Alter September 26, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Back in the Game</i>: A Swing and a Miss

Every network has at least one (and usually more) bench-warmers hidden amidst their fall line-up, the shows that you know are only on the air to pad out the schedule until a better series -- or, at least, one with more salable elements -- comes along. The baseball-themed Back in the Game then, is the bench-warmer amongst ABC's new comedies (Lucky 7 fulfills the same slot amidst its collection of dramas), a show that gives the network something to put in between Wednesday night hits The Middle and Modern Family besides dead air. It's not that Game is actively bad per se, but last night's season premiere revealed a series that's so half-hearted in its ambition and execution one gets the feeling that the writers don't think they're ready for the big leagues either. We call the pitches the show's pilot threw as we saw 'em.

New Girl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Cat Sitting

by Aly Semigran September 25, 2013 10:41 am
<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Cat Sitting

Nick and Jess are still madly in love (it's only a matter of time before they drop those three little words, wouldn't you agree?), Schmidt is still torn between Elizabeth and Cece (pick Elizabeth, you fool, she gives delightful speeches in public !) and Winston is getting crazier by the week. "Nerd" was more or less an extension of last week's disjointed season premiere, but a much more cohesive, romantic and funny one, at that.

Trophy Wife: A Traditional Family Sitcom, Minus the Laugh Track

by Aly Semigran September 25, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Trophy Wife</i>: A Traditional Family Sitcom, Minus the Laugh Track

I should state from the get-go that I am actually not a big fan of laugh tracks, despite my argument for them in this particular review. Laugh tracks have always felt like a cheap way of telling the audience, "You should be laughing right now!" It's even more baffling when there's absolutely nothing to be laughing about as a studio audience whoops it up for every punch line.

Mom: Could Use Some Parental Guidance

by Angel Cohn September 24, 2013 6:00 am
<I>Mom</I>: Could Use Some Parental Guidance

This new Chuck Lorre sitcom is taking the place of Mike & Molly for a bit, and that seems appropriate as this show hits just about the same tone. Both are fine sitcoms with strong cast members and some funny moments, but neither really makes you want to set your DVR for a season pass. But while Mom isn't exactly breaking new ground or creating must-see television, at least it isn't as horrifically terrible as Dads. So if you are looking for a "parental" sitcom this fall, Mom would be the wiser bet.

TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

by Ethan Alter September 24, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hannibal Lecter prepares for his stint on Top Cannibal Chef.

Heroes of Cosplay: Picking Season 1′s Heroes and Villians

by Ethan Alter September 18, 2013 12:03 pm
<i>Heroes of Cosplay</i>: Picking Season 1′s Heroes and Villians

Syfy's strangely addictive and occasionally just plain strange hybrid of a competitive and candid reality show, Heroes of Cosplay, wrapped up its limited freshman season run last night with a team-based challenge at Kansas City's Planet Comicon, the fifth and final stop on a six-episode cross-country tour of the comic convention scene. We've gotta admit, this show kind of surprised us as it went along; what initially seemed like a crass and exploitative appropriation of a geek tradition (the early promos did spend an awful lot of time playing up the busty-girls-in-skimpy-outfits aspect of cosplay) wound up becoming a fun and even moderately respectful tribute to the women and men -- but mostly women, at least on the show anyway -- who spend their time designing and donning costumes derived from comics, video games, anime and American cartoons and pretty much every other medium under the yellow nerd sun. (To see what true geek exploitation looks like, steel yourselves for the hideous Fangasm, which takes over Heroes' slot next week… one more good reason why this show deserves a second year.) We take a look back at which of the show's core cast of costumed-players deserves the status of "hero" and which are closer to villains.

TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

by Ethan Alter September 17, 2013 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It may be a country music show, but Nashville's uneven first season left Connie Britton fans singing the blues.

The Walking Dead Spin-Off: Use Your Braaaaains, AMC

by Aly Semigran September 16, 2013 1:58 pm
<i>The Walking Dead</i> Spin-Off: Use Your Braaaaains, AMC

You know how you already can't get enough of the characters on The Walking Dead and you think to yourself, "Boy, if only I could watch more insufferable people try to survive the zombie apocalypse? (Hello, anyone?) Well, AMC has decided to give us just that with a Walking Dead companion series slated for 2015.

<i>Derek</i>: A Sufficiently Depressing Comedy — A Comed-epressing, If You Will

After watching the first episode of Ricky Gervais' latest series Derek -- which makes its U.S. debut today on Netflix after having originally aired on the U.K.'s Channel 4 -- you'll be overwhelmed with a lot of feelings. Among others, you'll feel rather depressed, mildly uplifted and conflicted as to whether Gervais just pulled off his most sincere, stripped-down show yet, or a just a very emotionally manipulative one. (I happen to think there's a little bit of both going on here).

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