Sunday, January 1 1995
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.
But the Scoobies have expanded the tv series, to include character study and analysis of the bonds of humankind.
Boston Public is, in short, a view of high school that dovetails with conservatives' worst fears: here, teachers can't teach because the students are too horny and violent to learn.
Given Buffy's track record for playing with conventions, there may be hope for Dawn Summers on the horizon, but as of now she is definitely the Scrappy-Doo of the Scooby Gang.
Race has been the most compelling narrative and political theme in previous Blade iterations, and it appears to be the case again.
The genie of wholesale civilian slaughter is clearly out of the bottle for good, no matter the attempts to bowdlerize it away into forgotten history, or the indignant objections of those who insist 'we' did not 'bring this on ourselves.'
As in his stand-up act, the comedy in 'The Bernie Mac Show' is driven by Mac's outrageous verbal and physical expressions.