<p>Joel McHale in the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;season 3 premiere.</p>

Joel McHale in the "Community" season 3 premiere.

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Biology 101': Table setting

Michael Kenneth Williams and John Goodman join the Greendale faculty

"Community" is back for a third season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I install a banana buffet...

Read Full Post
Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor are the three new "Charlie's Angels."
Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor are the three new "Charlie's Angels."
Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels' too dull to be sexy

Remake with Minka Kelly and company takes itself far too seriously

No one ever confused the original "Charlie's Angels" with great television. It was what it was - what Jerry Krupnick, my predecessor on The Star-Ledger's TV beat, liked to call "supertrash," a formula show that was entertaining despite its lack of ambition - and never apologized for it. It was an excuse for three terrifically attractive women to run around in tight outfits in service of perfunctory detective stories, and it was a huge hit.

It was also very much of its time (it was considered shocking, for instance, that the Angels were so often clearly bra-less), and modern remakes have had to figure out a new approach to the material. The first "Charlie's Angels" film, directed by McG and produced by star Drew Barrymore, was a cheeky, self-aware action comedy; it was greeted with reviews that were almost surprised by how good it was.

The new ABC series version - also produced by Barrymore, but mainly run by "Smallville" alums Alfred Gough and Miles Millar - on the other hand, has gone the opposite route, deciding that the key to unlocking "Charlie's Angels" in 2011 is to take the concept, and the Angels, very, very, deathly seriously.

And it's a much bigger mess than '70s critics ever accused the original of being.

Read Full Post
<p>Gloria (Sofia Vergara)&nbsp;goes for a ride in the &quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Gloria (Sofia Vergara) goes for a ride in the "Modern Family" season premiere.

Credit: ABC

'Modern Family' - 'Dude Ranch'/'When Good Kids Go Bad': Let's hear it for the boy

The Emmy-winning comedy heads to Wyoming for the first half of its season 3 premiere

A quick review of the "Modern Family" season-opening double-feature coming up just as soon as I practice my pancake-eating...

Read Full Post
<p>Will Arnett and Christina Applegate in &quot;Up All Night.&quot;</p>
<br />

Will Arnett and Christina Applegate in "Up All Night."

Credit: NBC

'Up All Night' - 'Cool Neighbors': Isn't it ironic?

Reagan and Chris go too far trying to impress the neighbors

A quick review of last night's "Up All Night" coming up just as soon as I make my Facebook pictures look good...

Read Full Post
<p>Maria Bello in &quot;Prime Suspect.&quot;</p>

Maria Bello in "Prime Suspect."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'

Maria Bello's no Helen Mirren, but there's potential here

The pilot episode of NBC's "Prime Suspect" (it debuts tonight at 10) spends almost as much time showing its heroine, NYPD detective Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) battling rampant sexism from her colleagues than it does on her work investigating murders. The jump ahead of her in the queue to catch the next case, try to stick her with the gruntiest of gruntwork, accuse her of having slept her way to the top and mock her to her face at least as much as they do behind her back.

Ordinarily, a pilot episode is a template for what the ongoing series will look like, but the "Prime Suspect" producers have said they're going to seriously cool it on the sexism starting in the second episode.

Read Full Post
<p>Emily Van Camp may be registering her own online comments about &quot;Revenge,&quot;&nbsp;but what did you think?</p>

Emily Van Camp may be registering her own online comments about "Revenge," but what did you think?

Credit: ABC

'Revenge' - 'Pilot': The countess of the Hamptons?

What did everybody think of the new ABC soap opera?

Too many new shows this week, and not much time to review them all. Fienberg published his review of ABC's "Revenge" earlier today, and all I have the time or energy to say is that I found this chilly, humorless update of "The Count of Monte Cristo" - and the lightweight lead performance by Emily Van Camp (whom I've liked in the past) - too dull to even qualify as a guilty pleasure.

Now it's your turn. For those who watched, what did you think? Are you setting the season pass now? 

Read Full Post
<p>Marg Helgenberger and Ted Danson on &quot;CSI.&quot;</p>

Marg Helgenberger and Ted Danson on "CSI."

Credit: CBS

'CSI' - '73 Seconds': Ted Danson takes charge

Nick meets the new night shift boss, who fits right in

I'm not much a fan of CBS' crime procedurals (most of which are fine for what they're doing but not my area of interest). I am a big fan, however, of Mr. Ted Danson. What to do, then, when Danson becomes the new "CSIleading man? Well, at the very least I could take time to watch his first two episodes as new night shift supervisor D.B. Russell, and to be impressed - but not particularly surprised - at how easily he fit into the vibe of the show(*), played off of George Eads and Marg Helgenberger, etc. 

(*) And, specifically, how quickly he and the writing for his character were able to bring back the slightly offbeat comic quality from the show's early days with William Petersen. That sense of humor, as well as the insistence on always treating the Vegas CSIs as nerds, no matter how attractive they were, were two huge elements that elevated the original over the spin-offs. Glad to have that back.

All in all, I thought "73 Seconds" was a very good introduction for Danson/Russell. But then, I haven't been a regular "CSI" viewer for a very long time. For those of you who are fans, how'd you feel about the new guy? I know the Laurence Fishburne era got mixed reactions; did this seem like a step up to you? And is there anyone who might start watching the show (or return to the show after an absence) just for Danson? 

Read Full Post
<p>Freddie (Ben Whishaw)&nbsp;on &quot;The Hour.&quot;</p>

Freddie (Ben Whishaw) on "The Hour."

Credit: BBC

'The Hour' - 'Episode 6': Shut it down

Tensions mount as Freddie and Bel decide to challenge the government

"The Hour" wrapped up its first season tonight, and I have a few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I put on a fake mustache...

Read Full Post
<p>Steve Buscemi in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' returns for season 2

Many great moments, but perhaps still not a wholly-great series

Early in the new season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" (the premiere is Sunday night at 9) aspiring crime lord Jimmy Darmody is told by his father, "You'll be judged by what you succeed at, boy, not what you attempt."
Few dramas on television attempt as many things as "Boardwalk Empire" does on a weekly basis. Fellow HBO show "Game of Thrones" feels like the only other current drama that has the same scope. "Boardwalk" not only has to recreate the Atlantic City of the 1920s, but toggle back and forth between the boardwalk, Chicago, Manhattan, Philadelphia and even the White House. It's both a crime story and a political story - and suggests that, more often than not throughout history, those are the same thing - with a sprawling cast of characters, some real and some fictional, and all with his or her own inner life and agenda. And it strives to pack every frame with details that evoke the sights, feel and sound of Prohibition-era America.

Judge "Boardwalk" on what it attempts, and it's extraordinary. Judge it on what it succeeds at, and it's still a very good show - and often great - but one that still seems to be figuring itself out a bit in year two.

Read Full Post
<p>Erika Christensen on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Erika Christensen on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Hey, If You're Not Using That Baby...': Brothers in business

Some more silly moments, but fine acting to elevate them

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I can name all 21 California missions...

Read Full Post