Tales of Apathy: An In the Motherhood Pilot Review

by Mindy Monez March 27, 2009 9:37 am
Tales of Apathy: An <i>In the Motherhood</i> Pilot Review The In the Motherhood premiere just made me sad, everybody. Why get some of the best comedic talent on television together just to make something so inoffensive and mediocre? It's such a waste of everything. Cheryl Hines, Jessica St. Clair, Megan Mullally, Ken Marino, Rachael Harris, skinny Horatio Sanz and Kenny Powers' best friend/the nudie cokehead from Reno 911! are all so good it almost made up for the largely flat jokes (to be fair, there were one or two jokes that did work, but the rest weren't even awful, they were just meh, which is almost worse) and contrived, unoriginal situations (getting caught having sex at work, getting caught faking a pregnancy, how to tell the kids -- spoiler alert, six-year-olds reading this! -- Santa's not real -- such groaners), but I don't think even they make it worth watching a second episode of this.

Community: Cool Beanz

by Ethan Alter March 7, 2014 10:38 am
<i>Community</i>: Cool Beanz

If I were feeling especially curmudgeonly, I'd take "App Developments and Condiments" to task for going back to the "Greendale becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland" well so soon after "Geothermal Escapism" a.k.a. "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, Donald Glover." But as a fan of cheesy '70s sci-fi (think Logan's Run and The Omega Man), I was laughing too hard to care. And, as an added bonus, the parody was rooted in a relationship that hasn't been explored in some time -- the love/hate bond between former foosball rivals-turned-teammates, Jeff and Shirley.

Community: Comings and Goings

by Ethan Alter January 17, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Community:</i> Comings and Goings

After a single, a triple and a balk, Community hit its first home-run of the show's fifth season thanks to the dearly departed (and entirely off-screen) Pierce Hawthorne, who bid farewell to his old study group the only way he knew how: by screwing with their minds.

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

by Rachel Stein April 5, 2013 11:10 am
<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: Who Made the Comedy Grade This Week?

"Partridge" was great. I mean, of course we were going to love doped-up Ben -- given how good flu-stricken Leslie and human disaster Ben have been in the past, it only makes sense. The pacing in this episodes was fantastic, all of the storylines were fun and my only real complaint is that Parks and Recreation is never frickin' on, and I desperately want to watch a new episode every week instead of a seemingly random installment every first Thursday of the month, or whatever this schedule is. More, I say, more! On the bright side, there are still four episodes left this season, all of which are consecutive -- there's even two in one night on April 18! -- so I can stop my complaining and get to talking about how much I laughed last night. Until then, I'm not above suing the parents of whoever made up this stupid schedule for spawning a human turdburger.

<i>How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)</i>: Shut Up and Make Me Laugh

If you have trouble making it through an episode of the unrealistic (yet, in my opinion, charming) banter on Happy Endings, I'd be shocked if you were able to tolerate a few minutes of ABC's new How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life). Every character, joke and line of dialogue screams of trying too hard, and the interactive notes on-screen feel like a bad TV trend that we'll look back on in a few years and make fun of ourselves for. All of this is especially a shame, given that the show does have potential.

Phil Spector: Paci-No!

by Ethan Alter March 24, 2013 11:00 pm
<i>Phil Spector</i>: Paci-No!

For better and mostly for worse, David Mamet's HBO telefilm Phil Spector is another case of Mamet being Mamet. Once upon a time -- back in the era of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict and even The Untouchables -- this would have been cause for great excitement. But within the past decade, Mamet has become the conservative mirror of Aaron Sorkin; a writer who uses his various films, TV shows and/or plays as spoken editorials. Their characters aren't so much characters as platforms from which both Sorkin and Mamet can stand and shout from, to the cheers of their like-minded fans and the boos of the opposing side.

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

by Rachel Stein March 15, 2013 10:14 am
<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: Who Made the Comedy Grade This Week?

I'll admit right now that I was already pretty biased going into "Bailout" -- Jason Schwartzman was my longtime high school crush (I wish I could tell you it was because of Rushmore or even Freaks and Geeks, but it actually spawned after Slackers) and I've been a fan of Jenny Slate's since before she was on Saturday Night Live. Also, hello: "Time After Time." I could totally understand an argument on why this installment could have felt repetitive or even like a filler episode (outside of Chris's dad-cision), but come on... we got two Sappersteins in one sitting. Let's get to grading.

Lessons Other Shows Can Learn From the 30 Rock Finale

by Rachel Stein February 1, 2013 10:26 am
Lessons Other Shows Can Learn From the <i>30 Rock</i> Finale

Rather than write a second long piece in praise of 30 Rock, add yet another blog post to the world about how Tina Fey changed television (though, she did) or try to convince you how much the series transformed TV while glazing over the fact that the show was almost unwatchable for two seasons, let's just focus on the finale... the very satisfying and heartfelt finale.

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

by Rachel Stein January 25, 2013 11:41 am
<i>Parks and Recreation</i>: Who Made the Comedy Grade This Week?

About five minutes in to "Women in Garbage," my fiancé and I were laughing so hard that we had to pause, rewind and turn up the volume -- and this continued throughout. Maybe this episode didn't move the season's plot along very far, but it was consistently funny and made me extremely happy in the way that Parks and Recreation often does. I wouldn't describe it as "epic" the way I would "Two Parties" (and I don't use that term lightly), but I do think it's the kind of episode you can show a non-believer in order to finally convince them to binge-watch Parks & Rec with you from the beginning (actually, I'd recommended starting at the first episode of Season 2, but I digress). Until then, let's do this:

Girls: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

by Rachel Stein January 20, 2013 9:33 pm
<i>Girls</i>: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

Congratulations to Golden Globe winner for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy TV Series Lena Dunham and to Girls for picking up Best TV Comedy. I for one was pleasantly surprised, but when you compare "I Get Ideas" to this week's episode of Modern Family, suddenly the win doesn't seem quite so crazy. I also loved that after the Globes, Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" got a sales bump, but I digress.

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