HiTVRating:  4 (out of 5).  Showtime brings together big names such as James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Harrison Ford to make “Years of Living Dangerously” a documentary about global warming. These celebrities travel to different locations around the world to investigate what is happening and to talk about what we can do to solve the problem.  The critics all had good things to say about it whether it is because of the thought provoking questions asked by the celebs that actually seemed to make relatively good reporters, or the real scientists involved in the series.

The Hollywood Reporter calls it “an expertly approached lavish and compelling documentary that presents its evidence through an inclusive and conversational tone, creating the right delivery for its urgently conveyed message.”

Variety thinks that bringing celebs such as Schwarzenegger into this documentary is a “double-edged sword”.  They say “big-name stars obviously call attention to a project that otherwise might be lost in the shuffle, but they also make it easy to deniers to dismiss the message because of the messengers.”

The New York Times thinks we can all learn a lesson from Indiana Jones. They say “The most engaging scenes in the first two episodes involve Harrison Ford, as feisty as he was when he played Indy or Han Solo, checking out the illegal burning of Indonesia’s forests and promising to kick some bureaucratic tail.”

The Philadelphia Daily News thinks the documentary “does a good job in its premiere of widening the discussion of global warming.” And even though the series is filled with big name celebrities, they find “the real star turns out to be a climate scientist named Katharine Hayhoe.”

The Chicago Sun-Times says this documentary is a “cinematic story whose focus isn’t polar bears and receding glaciers. It’s about people around the world whose lives have been affected by deforestation, droughts and global warming.”

Time thinks the docuseries “uses celebrities like Cheadle and reporters like Tom Friedman to tell the story of how climate change is impacting the world today. And that story is heavy on disaster.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “Showtime puts a face on climate change” with this series.

The Los Angeles Times says “Top Hollywood names turn the nine-part
Showtime documentary, ‘Years of Living Dangerously,’ into a globe-trotting action-adventure story to attract a wider audience.” They say it “focuses not on melting glaciers or polar bears but instead tells unexpected, character-driven stories about people directly affected by or involved in the climate-change crisis.”

TV Guide talks about how “Years of Living Dangerously” is trying to “shine a light on a real-world issue that could be just as dangerous: global warming.”

The Wall Street Journal says the series is “emphasizing stories from the front lines of climate change impact.”

Vanity Fair thinks “Years of Living Dangerously” is successful as it ‘weaves together several strands of storytelling, Homeland style.”

The Detroit News gives the series a B, saying it “tries to transcend politics.”

The Huffington Post thinks that this might be “the most important premiere of 2014.”

The Los Angeles Daily News says while “Years of Living Dangerously diligently refers to science in examining the often dire effects of climate change, its discussion of the politics and beliefs involved adds perspective to the issue.

 

HiTVRating:  5 (out of 5).  The center of HBO’s new comedy, “Silicon Valley,” is Richard, played by Thomas Middleditch, a shy, mousy programmer who finds himself in the middle of a bidding war between two tech companies who want the algorithm that he created.  Rather than sell the code, Richard, along with his friends and fellow outcasts (who he also lives with), decide to try build their own business based on his creation, thus putting Richard in an awkward management position as they work together.  The critics loved the show, calling it hilariously funny, and extremely relevant with some noting that it is one of the best comedies they have seen all season.

“Prepare to laugh your ass off” says The San Francisco Chronicle. They are calling it “not only the best show about the culture-dominating tech world to date but one of best new shows of the season.”

TV Guide likes Middleditch’s character calling him “an endearingly flustered quality of suppressed but escalating panic in this breakout role of a timid computer programmer whose ahead-of-the-curve compression algorithm turns him into a suddenly and unexpectedly hot commodity.”

USA Today says “Silicon Valley” is a show that “is smart, true, authentic, emotionally resonant and — here’s the kicker — laugh-out-loud funny, well, that’s a show that’s worth using a search engine to find.” They say it is “reliably well acted, and extremely well-observed.”

The Los Angeles Times comments on the fact that “Silicon Valley” is Mike Judges’s first live action series and says it  “in its deceptively modest way, is a great one.

Time says this is “the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy in a good while. ”

The Wall Street Journal indicates that even though the plot of  “Silicon Valley” is about computer codes and business, “the writers balance that with dirty jokes and blundering characters.”

The Seattle Post Intelligencer calls the series “stingingly funny” with a “geeky zing.” They say “The deft, resonant satire that helped make Judge’s Office Space a cult hit takes on farcical new dimension in Silicon Valley, which introduces a socially maladroit posse of computer misfits every bit the comic equal of The Big Bang Theory‘s science nerds.”

The New York Daily News says the show “racks up plenty of hits as it deflates the pomposity and lampoons the neuroses of computer geek culture.” Their only concern is “Some of the resulting tech and geek jokes feel accessible to all. With others, we feel like we need a password, and that could limit the long-term appeal of “Silicon Valley.” But if it only settles in as niche humor, it’s solid there.”

Newsday simply calls it “funny.” They think “ The surprise is just how funny it can be — wait around a few episodes for Belson’s Hologram adventure to see what I mean. But you never have to wait long.”

Entertainment Weekly calls this a “terrific new comedy.” They say “ the heart of the show is watching Richard and his friends struggle to make sense of themselves and their purpose. They’re good, weird guys you want to hang out with. ”

The Washington Post thinks “Silicon Valley” is a “blunt, delicious example of how to have it both ways, being hilarious while offering a fair indictment of an entire culture. ” They say they enjoy “ a show that revels in the art of extreme caricature rather than ambiguous portraiture. It’s also nice to watch a comedy that really is a comedy. ”

The Boston Globe comments on the idea that this show “does comic justice to that culture, one that can make jabs at toe sneakers and quinoa while mocking everything from hopeful Northern California startups to the Big Brother we call Google. ” They say the show “feels essential right from the very first episode.”

“HBO finds its best and funniest full-on comedy in years” says The Hollywood Reporter. Their thought is this show is set apart from others because it is “quite possibly the most likely to lure a large audience.”

The Chicago Sun-Times gives the show credit because “Not only is it funny, it has an air of authenticity thanks to co-creator Mike Judge.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls the show “the superior, prestige network newcomer this weekend. It’s similar in tone and setting to Amazon.com’s “Betas,” but “Silicon Valley” is funnier and more polished.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer says “The humor is clever if a little claustrophobic. The tone is so deeply post-ironic it feels almost morose. It’s a binary show. You will end up either binge watching Silicon Valley or turning it off halfway through the first episode.”

The Philadelphia Daily News calls the show “both smart and funny, making it the perfect pairing with the returning Veep“.

The New Yorker says the show is perfect for someone who is looking for “pure laughs, and a fresh subject for television.” They call it a “high-grade Proustian pot brownie” and say “The show is well structured, with blunt but effective sitcom beats, and, refreshingly, it isn’t an “Entourage”-tinted fantasy.”

The Denver Post indicates that “Initially, it may seem early to satirize a moment when startups are worth fortunes on paper one minute, and nothing in reality the next. We’re still in the midst of the era and can’t know which way it will evolve.”  They go on to say “By the end of the second episode, however, the personalities take off, the humor sharpens and there’s no need to reboot.”

Variety says thanks to “Silicon Valley” HBO finally “has its most fully realized and potentially commercial player within the comedy genre.” They think it is “inordinately user-friendly compared too many recent pay-cable offerings.”

 

 

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