Sunday, January 1 1995
Agonising over life decisions whilst looking hot is the hallmark of the teen drama.
Police Chief Mannion's know-it-allness is grating, no doubt. And like many crusaders before him, he maintains this attitude no matter what happens, blaming everyone else for what goes wrong.
Then something fantastic happened. About two-thirds of the way through Season Two, some dead weight moved out of Wisteria Lane, and in their place came some exciting new plotlines.
This plot comes to revolve around the couple's troubles with money -- it becomes an emblem and manifestation of Zora and Franklin's mutual and separate fears.
In 'Deadline', Dick Wolf's new show for NBC, no one, least of all the self-satisfied Wallace Benton (played with plumy waspishness by Oliver Platt), seems to care a fig for the story.
In Dark Angel, Max's apparently tireless pursuit of her weird past... means that she's always trying to define herself as part of something, a race, a community, a politics.
'The Downer Channel' is the type of stuff high school videos are made of.
It tickles, but rarely provokes the full-on belly laugh you'd expect from such talented performers.
For the Dudesons, it's all about the commotion, the more extreme, the better. For them, pain is a reward. For us, it's more frightening than funny.
'Citizen Baines' symbolizes the lack of imagination driving so much of prime-time.
it is certainly the first talk show to have as its guests, members of the dearly departed.
As Charmed's Paige, Rose McGowan seems stifled and reticent, perhaps as if she's not quite sure what she's supposed to be doing -- and so, in her performances so far, she's just laid low, and made no waves or sudden movements.
Here are two shows that lift their premises, plotlines, and even their personality quirks from tv past and present, fritter away the skills of good actors, and lock skilled writers and producers into tired formulae.
In a nation where the man who will be president is afraid to say the word 'gay' on national television, it might come as a surprise that one of its biggest television stars is playing a gay man on television.
For all the primetime-melodramatic cliches at work in the men's conflicts -- the moral and political posturing, not to mention the dick-swinging -- it is significant that these battles are waged by black men, pitted against one another as they wrangle over the scant resources allotted them by a larger governing system.
Larry David as Larry David seems very real, very whiny, very self-absorbed, and in the end, not someone who's much fun to hang out with.
The fact is that all cartoons, from the surreal output of the Max Fleisher studios ('Betty Boop') and Disney's elitist morality fables ('Snow White and the Seven Dwarves') to Hanna-Barbera's execrable attempts at hipness ('Groovy Ghoulies'? 'Funky Phantom'?) and today's post-'Ren & Stimpy' moment of unrelenting gross-out humor ('Cow and Chicken', 'South Park'), are worthy of appraisal, if only because the medium itself is inherently subversive.