HiTVRating:  3 (out of 5).  CBS brings the 2011 movie , “Bad Teacher” back to life as a comedy TV series starring Ari Graynor as Meredith, a gold digger who has been dumped by her rich husband.  When she finds out that she is not getting any of his money because of a pre-nup, Meredith decides to get a job as a teacher where she can scope out a rich unattached dad and return to the lifestyle she has become accustomed to.  The critics are mixed on this one though many give it a C if not a failing grade.

Variety calls the series “appealing.” Their only problem with “Bad Teacher” is that “its suffers from being a trifle repetitive in the episodes previewed.” They think that “Graynor’s dilettante is consistently good company.”

NPR says the series is “a lesson on the folly of copying a bad movie too closely.” They say the show “doesn’t work” and this is “not because the film it’s based on was such a stinker.”

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks the show is “funnier than the film” They think the reason for this is because “it’s working in a smaller time frame and also because many of the performances are winning.”

Newsday gives “Bad Teacher ” a “failing grade.” They call Greynor’s character a “transparent cliché” and say the “transition from big screen to small doesn’t exactly work.”

The Sioux City Journal says the show “isn’t as bad as it should be.” They compare Graynor to Cameron Diaz in the movie and Graynor comes up short. They say she “can’t hold a Prada bag to Diaz.” and “She’s more ‘Real Housewife’ than calculating teacher.”

The Colorado Springs Gazette thinks the “cast is solid, with plenty of awkward characters portrayed by actors with excellent comedic timing.” They like Ali Graynor in the role of Meredith saying she “balances her character.”

The Houston Chronicle gives the show credit for being “funnier than the film.” They think there are some “funny moments, and the cast is pretty good, especially the younger actors.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says that with “Bad Teacher” the network that was once the one of “classy comedy” is taking “another step toward crassness.”

“Well they got the “bad” part right” says USA Today. They say “unfortunately, it takes less than 30 minutes to feel as exhausted and repetitive as Men does after 11 years.”

The New York Times thinks “the premiere episode tries too hard and isn’t as funny as it could be.” They comment on the fact that “the writing loosens up later on, and has some charm.”

The Chicago Sun-Times calls Ari Graynor “adequately amusing” in “Bad Teacher”. They say the series is “decent material to mine for laughs in a two-hour movie, but it wears thin on a weekly basis despite solid performances by the rest of the cast.”

The Washington Post want to know if anyone who saw the movie “Bad Teacher” actually left wishing someone would make a TV show out of it. “Nobody, Yeah, I thought so” they said. They call the show “a predictable reiteration of the film’s central distain for teachers of all kinds.”

The Kansas City Star says that “Bad Teacher” just goes to prove “that you can’t keep a bad thing down.” They think “the show has its funny moments, and the cast is pretty good.” In the end they say  the show “ is at its best when teacher really is “bad.” At those moments, it approaches a wicked, and wickedly funny, level of satire.”

The San Jose Mercury News thinks “the show has its moments, along with a solid cast,” but they are pretty sure the general viewing audience “won’t be so hot for Teacher“.


HiTVRating:  2 (out of 5).  Catherine Black, a brilliant yet troubled neuroscientist, suffering from her mental illness, is the center of “Black Box,” ABC’s newest drama.  While a few critics write favorably about the show, most are more in line with Chicago Sun-Times which says, “this drama is not good.”

Newsday writes, “”Black Box” creates compelling people while smartly pondering identity, relationships, connection — it doesn’t need the amped-up atmosphere.”

The Wall Street Journal notes, “Despite some madly improbable adventures in the hospital’s brain-surgery unit, creator Amy Holden Jones and team have delivered a “Black Box” whose content is both smart and seductive.”

New York Post thinks, “It’s a solid start for a series that holds a lot of promise if given the chance to grow.”

San Jose Mercury News says, “This is a show that has its heart in the right place, but is, ironically, pretty mindless.”

Variety thinks, “Put it all together, and “Black Box” simply isn’t worth seeking out. And if the series hits turbulence, in this case, it won’t require a team of investigators to ascertain what went wrong.”

Chicago Sun-Times notes, “Like “Homeland,” this drama revolves around a brilliant bipolar female — who really likes jazz. Unlike “Homeland,” this drama is not good.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes, “With lame flashbacks (her mother really wanted to kill herself – just you watch her say it,  repeatedly) and crazy-people re-enactments, Black Box is just beyond silly. Add in Reilly’s ill-fitting performance and a need to spin around like a ballerina – free from those restrictive pills! – and you’ve got a recipe for never wanting anyone to find this Black Box let alone watch it.”

Entertainment Weekly writes, ”This drama about a bipolar neurologist named Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly) dreams of being House, but the exposition-packed pilot at times resembles Rob Corddry’s medical spoof ChildrensHospital.”

The San Francisco Chronicle notes, “No, you won’t and shouldn’t laugh at neurological disorders, but there are enough writing disorders to keep you in stitches until someone issues a DNR order on “Black Box.””

According to The Oregonian, “What would really make “Black Box” feel fresh is if, unlike those series, it was bold enough not be tied to the baffling-cases-solved-by-eccentric-geniuses formula. Like its central character, “Black Box” would feel more alive if it broke more rules.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes, “The pilot, written by series creator Amy Holden Jones (“Indecent Proposal”), comes across as a medical melodrama with a hint of the “Homeland” bi-polar story and a desperate plea for attention through Black’s hypersexual episodes.”

The Charlotte Observer writes, “A medical drama or “Homeland?” It certainly doesn’t have the scripts or performances to be the latter, and there is little plausibility in the medical plotlines because of the overheated and badly written bipolar incidents.”

Detroit Free Press thinks, ““Black Box” has the makings of one long head trip.”

According to The Lincoln Journal Star, “We not only see how those stories play out, but how Black’s story does, too. We see how her ailment affects her relationships with her boyfriend (David Ajala) and her family, and what little control she has over her life.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, “In trying to make Dr. Black stand out, “Black Box” has made her insufferable. It’s really all just too much.”

The Gazette says, ““Black Box” is dreadful and is probably the worst pilot I’ve seen in my three years as The Gazette’s media columnist. The show gets slightly less loopy as the series goes on but if “Black Box” isn’t cancelled after two episodes I’ll be surprised.”

Winnipeg Free Press thinks, “Black Box’s storyline is in need of urgent, perhaps life-saving surgical attention. Without it, the prognosis is grim.”

MediaLife Magazine says, “Its clinically quirky heroine makes for a memorable premiere episode, but in later episodes, her flavor is diluted in a stew of typical plot lines and characters, and we’re watching just another good but unmemorable hospital show.”

According to Common Sense Media, “Reilly is compelling in such moments, and it turns what could have been a retread of House into something more interesting.”

A.V. Club gives the new series a B+ rating, and further notes, “It has the potential to grow into something stunning, even if it’s not quite there yet.”

Up & Comers thinks, “This is a show that has its heart in the right place, but it is its mind, ironically, that seems to be missing. And I don’t think Dr. Catherine Black will be able to save this one.”




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