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TV Reviews

  • Caryn James
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    TV: Skins Returns, Resembling The Little Fockers

    Since MTV’s Skins premiered last week, the show about sex-drug-and-alcohol-fueled teens has hit the headlines in a snowball of outlandish responses, beginning with an inflammatory front-page story in the New York Times. According to the story, unnamed MTV executives suddenly worried that the show might violate child pornography laws, which say children cannot be shown in sexually explicit or suggestive situations. And (whoops!) MTV had already made a big deal of the fact that its actors are actual teenagers. Since then, several advertisers dropped out of the series, including Taco Bell, GM and Wrigley. (Even though the first show had a substa...

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    Rickygate, Day 5: Ricky Speaks. Video Highlights.

    Piers Morgan was trying – more like straining – to be clever when he deadpanned his intro to Ricky Gervais’ appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight: “Some say his crime was worse than Watergate.” But it does feel like we’re in Day 5 of Rickygate, the post-Golden Globes dissection of his brilliant skeweri...

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    TV Tonight: Amy Poehler's "Parks and Rec" and Other Smart Sitcoms

    There are so few really smart network sitcoms -- I'd count four, including ABC's Modern Family -- it's hard to say whether it's good or bad that three of them are back-to-back on NBC on Thursday. The network has been floundering for years, but it has also been steadily redefining its comedy with ...

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    TV Review, Onion News on IFC

    The Onion’s website promotes its new mock-news show, Onion News Network, with a pitch-perfect skewering of cable blowhards and anchors: the fake network’s stereotypical blonde anchor, Brooke Alvarez, is “Smugger than Keith Olbermann. Louder than Sean Hannity. Prettier than Anderson Cooper.” That ad...

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    TV Review, "Piers Morgan Tonight"

    After rivers of annoying self-promotion, Piers Morgan Tonight finally arrived on CNN to replace Larry King, and while there’s not a lot you can learn from one episode – especially when the guest is the thoroughly atypical Oprah Winfrey -- here’s what I do know. Piers was much less smarmy than his ...

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  • Caryn James
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    TV Review: Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes Implosion

    If you were watching Ricky Gervais host the Golden Globes on Sunday, for the first hour you could tell you were watching a go-for-broke performance that would become -- and I‘m not exaggerating – legendary, a benchmark by which other flameout hosting gigs are measured. In his opening ...

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    Well-Matched, Well-Played, Robert Downey: Watch Him at the Globes

    Ricky Gervais' monologue and Robert Downey Jr.'s comeback were the most talked-about moments at last night's Golden Globes, for good reason. While most of the audience seemed so flummoxed by Gervais' often brilliant skewering that they couldn't decide whether to laugh, Downey volleyed back with the...

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    TV Review: MTV's "Skins" Takes on "Gossip Girl"

    MTV may have missed a marketing opportunity for its brash, engrossing American remake (yet another one!) of Skins, the hit British series about a group of teenaged friends who have sex, do drugs, drink and ... well, that’s pretty much what they do. The MTV slogan could have been: Come for the soci...

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    TV Review. "Big Love" and Mormons, Mormons Everywhere

    As Big Love begins its final season (Sunday on HBO) we can see the influence of this series about a polygamist and his three wives all over the culture. In recent months alone we’ve had Brady Udall’s rich, grabbing literary novel The Lonely Polygamist and the reality series Sister Wives on TLC. The ...

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    TV Review. "Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides"

    While he was raking in awards for Crazy Heart last year, Jeff Bridges made a point of thanking his stand-in, Loyd Catlett. Now Catlett, who has observed Bridges at close range over four decades, offers one sly little comment in the American Masters bio Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides: "Rooster Cogburn...

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