CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Mar 4, 2010
Better Than Advertised

NBC desperately wants its new family dramedy Parenthood to be a success. For months, the show has been advertised online and in magazines with such tired clichés as “Parenthood is realizing you’ve become your father” and “Parenthood is reading more Dick and Jane than Moby Dick”. Its premiere episode was hyped as “brought to you with limited commercial interruption by Nissan”, so I thought I was in store for a rip-off of Brothers and Sisters or Modern Family that served as a cheap infomercial for minivans. Furthermore, the show is loosely based on the 1989 movie of the same title that started Steve Martin. However, it’s better than advertised.


One problem with the show, though, is the fact that there are so many members of the Braverman family to keep track of. A large focus of Tuesday’s episode was single divorcee Sarah (Lauren Graham) who picked up her spoiled brat daughter, Amber, and seemingly normal teenage son, Drew, and moved back home to her parents. However, a more interesting character on the show is Sarah’s brother, Adam (Brian Krause). After losing his position as Little League coach when he fights with the umpire over a call involving his son, Max, he argues with his pushy dad (Craig T. Nelson) over a nosebleed he apparently caused by pushing Max to play basketball. After a violent outburst in school, Max is diagnosed with Asperger’s Disease. The two most poignant moments in the episode dealt with Adam and his wife, Kristina, dealing with this news and the grandfather’s realization that “something’s wrong” with Max. Less interesting is the plight of Sarah and Adam’s slacker brother Crosby (Dax Shepard), a recording engineer who reluctantly agrees to have a baby with his record producer girlfriend within three years, after learning that she was looking for a sperm donor. A supposed cliffhanger is his discovery that he fathered a son named Jabbar with a stripper named Jasmine. What I find more interesting is Braverman sister, Julia, (Erika Christensen) a working mom who is beginning to realize that her daughter, Sydney, prefers her stay-at-home dad to her.


As typical of a family drama, family crises occur. Amber gets herself and good-girl cousin, Haddie, arrested for drug possession and Drew runs away to live with his father after seeing his mother slugging wine in the kitchen with her new date. Also, Sarah believes her father could be having an affair. By the end of the episode, the whole clan comes together to cheer on Max at another baseball game.


For a show that proclaims to be all about family, it’s ironic that Parenthood is not a show that a family could watch together. It’s too soon to know where the series is headed, but with a little tweaking, Parenthood could become the next 7th Heaven or Eight Is Enough, or at the very least, be the show that Life Unexpected pretends to be.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010

I didn’t want to like him, and for a long time I didn’t, instantly changing the channel whenever I saw his mottled face shouting bleeped swear words and inexplicably calling someone a Muppet. But then I got into contemporary cooking shows and somewhere in that transition I finally sort of understood the appeal of Gordon Ramsay.


British celebrity chef Ramsay is the histrionic host of numerous food-themed shows both here and in his homeland. “Food-themed” is me being generous, because while there’s certainly food here and there, shows like The F-Word, Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are really more about manipulation, wallowing in manufactured confrontation and Ramsay’s gargantuan ego.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Feb 26, 2010

I love Damages. I do. But I can’t help but feel that their trailers are… lacking. Tate Donovan’s, “Another 15 minutes and you would have been dead!” is wonderful. I can’t help but think that the second trailer is much better. The first plays up a little much to the cliche of “Glenn Close as a bunny boiler,” and not so much to the truth of, “Rich, brilliant noir TV.”


Damages: Trailer #1


Damages: Trailer #2



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010

The actor best known for playing hard-headed bad-ass lawman Bullock in HBO’s much acclaimed historical Western drama Deadwood is back as… a bad-ass lawman. Type-casting anyone? Speaking of that, Tim is starring in a feature film out this Friday, February 25th called The Crazies, as… you guessed it, a bad-ass lawman. Unlike The Crazies, the new FX show actually looks good and I am glad to see Olyphant back on TV playing another man of righteous violence and intensity. This time around he plays a U.S. Marshal by the name of Raylan Givens, who has been assigned to the area where he grew up after he ruffles the feathers of the higher-ups. Check out the début episode of Justified on FX, March 16 at 10PM ET/PT.



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010
Jay Leno's controversial return to The Tonight Show seat is lampooned in this parody of his recent "race car" promos.

NBC’s original ad concept for announcing Jay Leno’s return to The Tonight Show involved a parody of Dallas: Jay Leno would be shown in the shower (a la J.R.), and his move to ten o’clock would be “all a dream.” The idea was nixed in favor of a far less interesting campaign, although audiences were thankfully spared the image of the “funnyman” in the shower. Instead, NBC’s promo shows Jay driving back to 11:30 in one of his choice vehicles, much similar to the ads they showed to announce his initial 10 o’clock move. NBC’s ad features the Beatles’s “Get Back”, which feature the lyrics, “get back to where you once belong.” Leno’s return to Tonight has proven controversial, however, especially among the tech savvy crowd. In the following clip, some prankster replaces “Get Back” with a song that more accurately expresses the sentiments of the internet community:



Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.