Reviews  

TV Show Review – When We Rise

TV Show Review – When We Rise

February 27, 2017

Rating:  3 (out of 5).  ABC’s new mini-series, When We Rise, chronicles the gay and lesbian civil rights movement in the U.S.  The series conveys 40 years of history via four characters.  The series was created by the same people who brought us Milk and several critics compared it to Roots. The critics agreed that the series tells an important story though some thought that the execution was “overly ambitious” that “feels a little rote and predictable.”

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TV Show Review – Wicked City

TV Show Review – Wicked City

October 27, 2015

Rating:  2 (out of 5).  ABC’s newest crime drama Wicked City, set in Los Angeles in the 1980’s, is about a serial killer who murders women in his car and the nurse who avoids becoming one of his victims by becoming an accomplice.  The critics are not fans of this one, using terms like “abysmal,” “pedestrian” and “unpleasant” to describe it.

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TV Show Review – With Bob and David

TV Show Review – With Bob and David

November 13, 2015

Netflix’s sketch comedy show, W/Bob & David, is a reboot of “Mr. Show,” a sketch comedy from the 90’s on HBO that stars original players Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. The consensus from the critics was “meh.” It’s funny and outrageous, but dated and feels kind of like the same thing from 20 years ago. There were some who found it funnier than others, and they say fans of the original will probably be fans of this new version.

The New York Times says “The series’ new, upgraded title credits have a psychedelic feel, with images of Mr. Odenkirk and Mr. Cross multiplying grotesquely, growing additional heads and limbs. They think “It captures the feeling of their comedy, which is a throwback not just to the 1990s but to the 1960s and ’70s, a blend of surrealism and iconoclasm that resembles an American Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Variety thinks “W/Bob & David is one of those reunion tours that no one really asked for or particularly needed.” They say “Yes, it’s nice seeing Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and their assorted collaborators back performing together. But the intervening years have brought an explosion of similar series, and nothing about the targets or topics feels distinctive enough here to merit much enthusiasm for this limited run of four episodes, plus a “Making of” special.”

The Hollywood Reporter tells us “If you liked Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ Mr. Show with Bob and David, you’ll probably enjoy W/ Bob & David.” They say “W/ Bob & David may have dropped the “Mr. Show” part of the title and added some typographical quirks, but it’s pretty much the same thing, with only minor shifts in format and almost unnoticeable shifts in tone. “

The Detroit Free Press says “The cutting edge of Odenkirk and Cross seems as slice-and-dicey as ever.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer writes “The team is as funny, outrageous, and controversial as ever.” They think “You’re not likely to find better sketch comedy on TV. It’s a shame there are only four episodes.”

The San Francisco Chronicle states “No summary description begins to capture the inspired silliness of “With Bob and David.” But one thing is certain: Television is way funnier “With Bob and David” than without them.” They say “Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are funny guys on their own, but when they team up, “OMG,” as you’ll no doubt say on social media when you catch With Bob and David.”

The Oregonian says the episodes are “at times endearingly old-fashioned (montages of whirling newspaper headlines), sometimes scatalogical (a time-machine toilet), occasionally blasphemous (“Turkey Jesus”), and totally irreverent.” They think “The tone can get pointed, but the mood stays buoyant.”

Las Vegas Weekly thinks this is “clever but not funny.” They call it “aggressively old-fashioned, with audience laughter, unfocused send-ups, lumbering running times and easily one of the least diverse casts on TV, even among the supporting players. Its throwback qualities extend to the crude, brassy direction; most of the sketches look about as cinematic as your typical Judge Judy episode.” They admit “Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ easy chemistry is still there, but the sketches often feel in style and occasionally in substance so outdated as to be historical curiosities. “

The Washington Post writes “fans of “Mr. Show,” Odenkirk and Cross’ cultishly-beloved HBO series, will get the message: Your favorite show is back, almost exactly as you remembered it.” They say “The “Mr. Show” name is gone, but any other tweaks are mostly cosmetic.”

The Los Angeles Times says “Returning viewers will find the same mix of media parodies, phony commercials and surrealistic playlets solidly grounded in human behavior. As before, under the original influence of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” segments are tangentially linked — incidental material in one may resurface significantly in another — giving each episode the feeling of a journey.”

The Boston Globe thinks “While not every moment works–or even makes sense–the most vital link between old and new is Odenkirk and Cross’s almost-sacred dedication to following the funny as they see it. Viewer mileage always varies the most when it comes to comedy, but dedicated “Mr. Show” fans will likely be happy to spend a little more time W/Bob and David.”

 

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TV Show Review – Wolf Hall

TV Show Review – Wolf Hall

April 05, 2015

Rating:  4 (out of 5). Wolf Hall is the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels about the rise of Thomas Cromwell during King Henry VIII’s reign. The six-part miniseries will be shown every Sunday, starting April 5, at 10 p.m. on PBS. The Wall Street Journal says, “‘Wolf Hall’ is extraordinary drama, blended with the history of Henry VIII’s court and the dawn of the Protestant Reformation in England.”

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TV Show Review – Working the Engels

TV Show Review – Working the Engels

July 10, 2014

Rating:  2 (out of 5).  NBC’s new show “Working the Engels” features a dysfunctional family whose father just recently died. They inherited his law firm along with his $200,000 in debts, and now need to take over his law practice. The problem is there is only one person in the family who can practice law. The critics are not fans of this one.

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TV Show Review – Worricker: Turks & Caicos

TV Show Review – Worricker: Turks & Caicos

November 09, 2014

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  “Worricker:  Turks & Caicos,” part of PBS’ Masterpiece Contemporary and the latest episode in “The Worricker Trilogy,”  starts out with  MI5 spy Worricker hiding out on the Carribean island after standing up to Alex Beasley, the prime minister. It doesn’t take long, however, for CIA agent played by Christopher Walken to come and back Worricker back into the world of espionage.  The critics were impressed with Nighy’s performance and enjoyed the episode.

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TV Show Review – You, Me and the Apocalypse

TV Show Review – You, Me and the Apocalypse

January 28, 2016

NBC’s You, Me and the Apocalypse, a quirky new series with three intersecting stories about people preparing for the end of life as they know it, starts 34 days before an asteroid is supposed to hit the Earth, and stars Mathew Baynton as Jamie, a husband who has been mourning the disappearance of his wife for the past seven years. It also stars Megan Mullally as a convicted white supremacist, Jenna Fischer as a librarian in jail for hacking, and Rob Lowe as a priest.  Mostly positive reviews for this limited series, particularly if you like “wacky” TV.

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TV Show Review – You’re the Worst

TV Show Review – You’re the Worst

July 17, 2014

Rating:  4 (out of 5).  FX’s new comedy, You’re the Worst, is about self-absorbed writer Jimmy Shive-Overly who meets PR rep Gretchen Cutler at a wedding, and despite their personalities, they try to be in a relationship with each other.  

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