television review

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Samantha Bee Makes an Awesome Debut

Critics loving fresh perspective in male-dominated late night

(Newser) - Turns out, you don't need a penis or a desk to host a late-night talk show. So Samantha Bee proved with the debut of Full Frontal on TBS Monday night. The former Daily Show correspondent made her much-anticipated debut Monday with a focus on "the most deranged" election... More »

New X-Files Is Both 'Dreadful,' Amazing

After messy start, 3rd episode is 'one of the best': Brian Moylan

(Newser) - Planning to tune in to the TV reboot of The X-Files this Sunday? Be warned: The first episode is "dreadful," writes Brian Moylan at the Guardian . "It all comes flooding back. Those outfits! That hair! Those cheesy graphics! You remember them fondly without necessarily wanting to go... More »

Why the Mad Men Finale 'Sucked'

No Don and Sally?! Come on

(Newser) - The series finale of Mad Men aired last night, wrapping up the show's seven seasons on AMC. The overwhelming reaction on social media: division. Some loved it , some hated it , but many critics appear to be siding more with the naysayers. What they're saying:
  • Mad Men may be
... More »

Critics Decry New House of Cards

One writer notes, in particular, its terrible depiction of DC

(Newser) - Let's just say critics are not in love with the third season of House of Cards. In a Washington Post column, Seth Masket calls the Netflix series "the worst show about American politics. Ever." He explains that many of the "lessons" the show teaches viewers are... More »

Transparent Is 'Best Show of the Year'

Jeffrey Tambor stars in Jill Soloway's new series

(Newser) - Critics are applauding Transparent, the new 10-episode series that's putting Amazon Prime in the spotlight. Multiple reviews call the show, which tells the story of a family whose patriarch has begun living as a woman, "transcendent": It's touching, believable, and extremely funny. Among the comments:
  • "Start
... More »

Late Night in Capable Hands With Seth Meyers

Critics don't find anything amazing about show, but he did just fine

(Newser) - Seth Meyers debuted as the newest Late Night host last night, and critics seem to agree: He did a fine job. There was no huge "wow" moment, but neither did he embarrass himself, and the franchise appears to be in capable hands. Some of the things reviewers are talking... More »

Sound of Music Live Not One of Critics' Favorite Things

Carrie Underwood no Julie Andrews, reviewers agree

(Newser) - Before last night's live production of The Sound of Music on NBC, Emma Brockes summed up everything that was certainly going to be wrong with it in the Guardian : The original, beloved though it may be, "is basically terrible: too long, too pious, too labored in its point-making.... More »

Emmys Were a Total 'Bummer'

No one had fun watching this show: critics

(Newser) - The reviews are in for last night's Emmy Awards, and they are not good. (Catch up on what happened here .) One big problem: The In Memoriam segments that seemed to arrive every 20 minutes or so. A sampling of the reactions:
  • The "steady stream of in-memoriam segments
... More »

Kris Jenner Tries, Fails to Bribe Negative Reviewer

Sends her a fancy pen with which to write a nicer review

(Newser) - No one was expecting Kris Jenner's new talk show to get good reviews ... no one except Kris Jenner, apparently. A few hours after Linda Stasi wrote a particularly scathing take on the show in the New York Post (it's "soul-sucking," and Jenner "comes across as... More »

Meandering, Boring Oscars 'Didn't Work'

Seth MacFarlane showed off 'fake edginess'

(Newser) - Some critics took offense at Seth MacFarlane's Oscar jokes—but the more universal complaint was that the show dragged, perhaps even more than usual. Among the reactions:
  • "Well, that didn't work," writes Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times , calling the show "long, self-indulgent, and
... More »

Dan Rather: HBO's Newsroom Totally Gets It

Aaron Sorkin's show should guide CNN: David Carr

(Newser) - Early reviews slammed Aaron Sorkin's new HBO show The Newsroom; Emily Nussbaum at the New Yorker , for example, feels it "gets bad so quickly that I found my jaw dropping." But a bona fide TV news legend begs to differ. "The show gets close to... More »

Sorkin's Newsroom Feels a Little Preachy

HBO show has some critics carping

(Newser) - For those who believed Aaron Sorkin could do no wrong, The Newsroom is a disappointment. Chronicling the life of a cable news station as it grapples with events from years back—the BP oil spill, for insance—it's preachy and perhaps overly optimistic, critics say.
  • In the Daily Beast
... More »

Bristol Palin's New Show: 'Kardashians of Wasilla'

Reviewers agree: 'Life's a Tripp' does not make Palin look good

(Newser) - If you already hate Bristol Palin, be prepared to hate her even more after watching tonight's premiere of her new Lifetime reality show, Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp. The critics hands-down pan the debut, and many agree that it may remind you of another obnoxious reality show family:... More »

Girls: 'Unstoppably Irritating' or 'True to Life'?

New HBO show sparks reviewer battle at 'Mother Jones'

(Newser) - Two reviewers at Mother Jones have locked horns over HBO's new hipster all-female series, Girls. "Hipsters are really going to like this show," sneered Asawin Suebsaeng a few days ago. "Which is to say that it is as profoundly bland as it is unstoppably irritating."... More »

Mad Men Return Slow but Satisfying

Critics just happy Don Draper is back

(Newser) - Critics eager for the return of Mad Men weren't blown away by the first episode of the fifth season—but that doesn't mean the show has lost its magic. What they're saying:
  • "I'm glad to have Mad Men back, but 'A Little Kiss' was
... More »

Oscars Were Basically the Same Old Sequel

Billy Crystal brings the same old stuff

(Newser) - Last night's Oscars, like its Best Picture, was a throwback to a different time in film history. And though the show may have topped last year's Anne Hathaway-James Franco fiasco, it was boring and tired throughout:
  • "The whole night looked like an AARP pep rally," writes
... More »

Smash Opens to Rave Reviews

NBC musical dazzles critics... mostly

(Newser) - If you watched the Super Bowl, you just might have heard of Smash, NBC's new drama about the making of a Broadway musical. It premiered last night, and critics are (mostly) giving it a standing ovation:
  • The buzz has gotten so intense that the conversation isn't even about
... More »

Beavis and Butt-head Still Idiotic, No Longer Essential

Even so, you might appreciate the nostalgia: critics

(Newser) - Beavis and Butt-head are back—but two decades later, MTV’s pair of dimwits is no longer critiquing just music videos. They have now added reality shows, movies, and viral videos to their repertoire. But do we still need them?
  • Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe : Back in the early 1990s, Beavis
... More »

Ken Burns' Prohibition a Long, Tall Drink

'A Nation of Drunkards' is the best episode: reviewers

(Newser) - Ken Burns' latest mega-documentary, Prohibition, starts a three-night run tomorrow on PBS. Reviewers are praising the 5 1/2-hour survey of America's war on booze, but warn that it's a bit slow and may reveal its best stuff in the first episode:
  • "It's a great subject with
... More »

Sweet, Womanizing Kutcher a Fine Stand-in for Sheen

Critics not gushing, but they're mostly pleased with premiere

(Newser) - Charlie Sheen’s character “exploded like a balloon full of meat,” another character explained last night as Two and a Half Men premiered and finally killed him off. Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher also debuted as Walden Schmidt. What the critics are saying:
  • Turns out Schmidt is “sweet, unsarcastic
... More »

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