How long can the show get away with turning Andy into Michael Scott 2.0?
Alan and Todd VanDerWerff talk about the difference between "normal" and "abnormal" episodes
Ron faces off against two ex-wives and his mom in a riotous episode
What did everybody think of the new CBS sitcom?
I posted my review of "How to Be a Gentleman" earlier today. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched - whether you're a Rickety Cricket fan, a Johnny Drama fan, a Murray Hewitt fan, Chloe O'Brien or Dave Nelson fan, or simply someone who left the TV on after "Big Bang Theory" - what did you think? Did you find it funny? Do you intend to come back for more? Did all the characters step out of a time machine from 1997?
Have at it.
Chuck will meet Spider-Man's co-creator in the final season's 7th episode
"Chuck" has been loading up on the nerd-bait casting for the spy comedy's fifth and final season. Guest stars already announced for the new season, set to debut on Friday, October 21(*), include Mark Hamill, Carrie-Anne Moss and "Community" star Danny Pudi.
(*) UPDATE: NBC today pushed back the premiere date by a week, to October 28.
To that list we can now add perhaps the most Comic Con-friendly guest star of all time: Stan Lee, legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and almost every other iconic Marvel Comics character (including most of the roster of Joss Whedon's "Avengers" film).
David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon and company need to do better
- Critic's Rating C-
- Readers' Rating A+
I'll be brief on "How to Be a Gentleman," which CBS debuts tonight at 8:30. On the one hand, this is a show - an odd couple comedy about a sophisticated magazine writer who has to learn how to be more dude-like with the help of his former high school bully - filled with lots of very funny people. David Hornsby (the gentleman) plays Rickety Cricket on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and is one of that show's writers, and the creator here. Kevin Dillon (the ex-bully) was consistently one of the few parts of "Entourage" I didn't hate myself for watching. Dave Foley (Hornsby's editor, who's adrift when the magazine goes the Maxim route(*)) was one of the Kids in the Hall, as well as the center of one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, "NewsRadio." Before she was Chloe on "24," Mary Lynn Rajskub (Hornsby's sister) was a very strange and funny comedienne. Rhys Darby (Rajskub's wimpy husband) was the hilarious Murray on HBO's deadpan "Flight of the Conchords." Nancy Lenehan (Hornsby's mother) has been a welcome sitcom presence for years.
The 'Parks' co-creator explains why some pitches survive, and some don't
Welcome to part 2 of How a "Parks and Recreation" Pitch Becomes a Joke. In part 1, I gave my account of an afternoon at the "Parks and Rec" writers room in early June, when Mike Schur and his staff were throwing out story and joke pitches for the start of season 4. Now it's time for a follow-up discussion with Schur (minus the part about Leslie and Ben, which I published last week), in which he discusses which of those June pitches survived, which didn't, why and why not, and what exactly that "Challenge Day" card was all about.
A fly on the wall account from an early season pitch meeting
Back in early June, while on a trip to LA to meet with my HitFix corporate overlords, I had a chance to go over to the "Parks and Recreation" writers room and watch Mike Schur and the rest of the staff brainstorm ideas. I've been to that writers room before, and many others, but always during either the summer press tour (late July/early August) or the winter one (mid-January) - in other words, after the season's larger story arcs had been figured out and now the focus was on individual episodes. This was June, though, and the writers hadn't been back at work for very long, and were still trying to figure out the content of the season premiere, and many episodes to follow, and I thought it would provide a good opportunity to show how a comedy - especially a great one like "Parks and Rec" - constructs jokes and storylines at the start of a season.
Penny buys a condo and Brad and Max's friendship is jeopardized over race
A quick review of the "Happy Endings" season 2 premiere coming up just as soon as I friend your mom on Facebook...
What did everybody think of the new ABC comedy?
Yesterday, I posted my review of ABC's "Suburgatory." Now it's your turn. What did you think of Jane Levy, Jeremy Sisto and company? Do you like Tessa? Do you think the fictional suburb is too cartoonish, or amusing enough to ignore how fake parts of it are? Were you troubled by the shaky reasoning behind the move from the city to the 'burbs, or, again, did funny forgive a lot? Do you like Cheryl Hines with a Southern accent and Alan Tudyk with a perma-tan? Did it give you a hankering for sugar-free Red Bull?
Have at it.