Monday, May 15 2006
Knowing that Brendan Small continues to dabble in music, it's easy to read this season, and the bittersweet (and hilarious) 'Focus Grill' in particular, as his transition away from childhood things.
Monday, May 8 2006
From commonalities to clichés, That 70s Show runs the gamut.
The first episode, 'New Recruits', is a wonderful introduction, establishing not only characters and set-up, but also the series' underlying morality.
The girls are back. And, as demonstrated in The Golden Girls: The Complete Fifth Season, the series' original sophistication has come back with them.
Dr. Katz relies on the familiar conceit that comedy is therapy, for performers and for us.
Monday, May 1 2006
Red Sox vs. Yankees comes off as little more than an ill-conceived plan to exploit our collective love of a suddenly downtrodden rivalry for monetary gain.
King of the Hill: The Complete Sixth Season, like the last few Hill DVD sets, suffers from underappreciation, yet it's one of the few recent sitcoms worth talking about.
In the end, the grind was just too great, though I Love Lucy was still the number one show when it closed up shop.
Whereas Dinosaurs' message-based storytelling would have seemed preachy in the mouths of live-action performers, a seven-foot tall Megalosaurus can get downright nasty when inveighing on the ills of modern, er, prehistoric society.
The series emphasizes how admirable immigration policies have made the U.S. prosperous and intellectually robust. Unfortunately, this sometimes has the effect of glossing over history's complications.
Monday, April 24 2006
The documentary argues that Hemingway tried to answer Ezra Pound's call to 'make it new'. His version of new was compressed: his language -- so precise, so alienated -- formed infamously short, tough sentences.
Monday, April 17 2006
As The Sentinel can't decide whether it's a superheroic sci-fi drama or a police procedural featuring a walking, talking C.S.I. lab, it lingers somewhere in between.
Wednesday, April 12 2006
Wonder Showzen's signature mix of the disturbing and the absurd makes for searing satire and whipsmart TV.
Tuesday, April 11 2006
Patton Oswalt's audience exemplifies the politically opinionated but ultimately unmotivated young Left, who turned out to the polls in 2004 with the same low figures as they did in 2000.
Mary Richards, as essayed by the incomparable Mary Tyler Moore, would evolve over the span of the series, but at her core, she was always the wise, wonderful gal pal, the sounding board off of which those around her bounced their good natured notions.
Monday, April 10 2006
The PBS series also chronicles an evolution of thought. Most theological breakthroughs came as responses to tyranny, literal and cultural.
Sean Rouse's jokes hit on themes the others will echo: drinking is fun; crystal meth is fun to joke about; masturbation is always on a man's mind; the existence of God is doubtful.
It might be properly said that Newhart -- in his quiet, insecure manner -- represents something of a shrugging mode of subversion.
Monday, April 3 2006
Parker and Stone frequently use South Park as a platform for their libertarian views, and usually, it doesn't detract from the show's centrist, common-sense attitudes.
Wednesday, March 29 2006
Now, our recognition of truth is not based in its challenge to our preconceptions, but in its capacity to comfort us. That kind of 'truth' would be alien to Lenny Bruce; it suits Brad Stine perfectly.