Ahead of its premiere tonight, Fox’s father-focused comedy Dads has already stirred up a bevy of controversy, as one watchdog group called it racist and Fox followed by saying they wouldn’t reshoot its pilot. TV critic Melissa Maerz already weighed in about the kerfuffle with a sharp essay, but what about a straight-up review and grade from her? She weighed in officially in EW’s Fall TV Preview issue, so check out our official review of Dads below: READ FULL STORY
Tag: TV Critics (1-8 of 8)
Apocalypse pop or Truther gothic? The goofy, intriguing, timely allegory that is Fox's 'Sleepy Hollow'
Another season, another conspiracy to end the world. That’s not the fatigue of so much Apocalypse Pop talking: In the grim noir world of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow – which premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox — U.S. history is reimagined as the product of a never-ending, always stalemating supernatural shadow war, pitting truth-keeping, true believing patriots against black magic terrors bent on annihilating us from creation. At least, that’s what the “good guys” say. The bad guys have yet to speak…maybe because they’re lacking for heads. Say hello to what could be the season’s goofiest yet intriguingly subversive allegory for our troubled post-modern times.
Or not. Maybe I’m just looking for a way to make interesting a certain kind of American horror story that feels been there, done that: Sleepy Hollow — the umpteenth adaptation of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, that sacred text of homegrown Gothic lit, Halloween merchandisers, and high school English teachers — is yet one more franchise in which Fate-tapped/Fate-trapped heroes battle some ungodly or tragically misunderstood yet no less threatening Creep of the Week. (Also see, at present: Grimm, Supernatural.) You can practically hear the Doc Frankensteins who created this thing — superstar producers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci (Star Trek, Transformers, Fringe), director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Total Recall), and writer Phillip Iscove — sewing together pieces of dead cult pop to make this monster mashup. Buffy and Angel, Kolchak, Twin Peaks, and The X-Files, The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, Highlander, and Smallville.
As EW’s TV critics, we’ve already weighed in with our six best new shows of the fall, including buzzy series like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Blacklist. But now, we present six more new shows — these ones aren’t necessarily the best, but there is potential in them. Here are the shows we’ll be keeping our eye on this fall.
Premieres Friday, Oct. 25, at 10 p.m. on NBC
The vampire drama has been done to death. But if anyone can bring it back from its shriveled, dehydrated-human-jerky corpse, it’s Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who’s such a pale, slithery nightstalker, it’s easy to believe he actually spends his nights slurping from goblets of Type-A Negative and growing out his fingernails to Nosferatu lengths. So it’s a stroke of genius to cast him as Dracula in this 19th century period drama, which finds our fanged hero posing as an American entrepreneur so that he can seek revenge on the Order of the Dragon, a group of Victorian high-society folks who cursed him long ago. Because Dracula is brought to you by the exec producers of Downton Abbey, there’s also plenty of frilly costumes and forbidden romance: Dracula keeps getting distracted by the beautiful Mina (Jessica DeGouw), who might be the reincarnation of his dead wife. The melodrama is cranked up so high, you can almost see Rhys Meyers stifling laughs. But Dracula’s fight against the rich kids does have a certain 99-percenter timeliness, and the secret-society angle should excite the Comic-Con geeks — especially when Van Helsing shows up. —Melissa Maerz
Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. Today: Showtime’s Homeland, which premieres its third season on Sept. 29.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
“Maybe all this will end in tears,” Brody (Damian Lewis) predicted during the season 2 finale. And that’s pretty much what happened. (Then again, it’s pretty much what always happens: Just watch the Claire Danes Cry Face Supercut.) After Quinn (Rupert Friend) declined to kill Brody, Brody’s car exploded right next to the memorial for Bill Walden (Jamey Sheridan), killing Estes (David Harewood) and much of the C.I.A. The followers of the late Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) leaked Brody’s old confession tape to the national news, implicating him (falsely) in the bombing, while also cluing in Jessica (Morena Baccarin) about her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s past. And Carrie (Claire Danes) made her big, romantic, “I’ve decided I want to be with you” speech to Brody, only to have their celebratory snogging interrupted by a massive boom! and a run for the Canadian border, where she and her terrorist boyfriend parted ways. (“Goodbye, love!”) The good news? At some point, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) actually smiled — ostensibly because Carrie survived the explosion, but maybe also because Patinkin knew that he’d earned that Emmy nod. The bad news? Now Brody will never get to be Carrie’s cabin boy.
Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. Today: ABC’s Nashville, which premieres its second season on Sept. 25.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Not much happened in the season finale—just a car crash, a funeral, a marriage proposal, a paternity test surprise, a sex tape scandal, a blackmail attempt, a pregnancy confession, and a spectacular, puking-into-potted-plants-after-13-years-of-sobriety whiskey bender. Oh, and Brad Paisley performed on the CMAs! Whew! To recap: Deacon (Charles Esten) learned that he shared DNA with Maddie (Lennon Stella), cashed in his AA tokens, and rolled his SUV with Rayna (Connie Britton) inside. (DNA + AA + SUV = WTF?) Gunnar (Sam Palladio) got down on one knee for Scarlett (Clare Bowen). Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) told Teddy (Eric Close) that she’s having his baby. And Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) buried her mother, Jolene (Sylvia Jefferies), who killed herself to save her daughter from blackmail and a leaked sex tape. (Long story.) It couldn’t get soapier if Jolene had risen from her coffin to play the theme song from All My Children on her ukulele.
Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. Today: NBC’s Parks and Recreation, which premieres its sixth season on Sept. 26.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Ace “detective” work by Bert Macklin revealed that manly-man master woodsman Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and his mustache (as himself) had conceived a child with his single mom girlfriend Diane (Lucy Lawless). After refusing to sell Rent-A-Swag to a mystery buyer (Diddy?!), Tom (Aziz Ansari) learned that said mystery buyer was opening a rival shop across the street. April (Aubrey Plaza) was accepted to Veterinary School; wither the impact on her marriage to Andy (Chris Pratt)? And after a seemingly successful rookie year as a crusading councilwoman, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was sandbagged during Founders’ Week by a flotilla of Knope haters who announced they were launching a recall campaign. At least she has local porn star Brandi Maxxx in her corner. That’s gotta be worth something, right?
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Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. This week: Fox’s The Mindy Project, which premieres its second season on Sept. 17 at 9:30 p.m.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Mindy (Mindy Kaling) is moving to Haiti with her boyfriend Casey (Anders Holm)! Wait, no she isn’t. Wait, yes she is! At first, she was just having trouble convincing herself that “it’s a fun adventure for me as a mature adult to go to an AIDS-ravaged country.” But by the end of the finale, she got her big Meg Ryan-movie moment, shouting up to Casey’s window from the sidewalk, declaring that she’ll take that flight because she’s that devoted to him. Besides, she just cut off all of her hair, and no one else will date her now — except maybe Danny (Chris Messina), who got a very tense are-they-going-to-make-out? moment with Mindy late in the episode while he leaned in to clean her glasses. Sadly, they didn’t kiss. But fans of Dr. Castellano still walked away with a consolation prize: a giant, shirtless photo of him sexily brandishing his armpits.
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Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. This week: Fox’s New Girl, which premieres its third season on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
At the end of season 2, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) got their big, John Hughes-finale moment and made out in a parking lot to the strains of a dramatic love song; Cece (Hannah Simone) dumped Shivrang (Satya Bhabha) at the altar; Elizabeth (Merritt Wever) and Cece forced Schmidt (Max Greenfield) to choose between them; and poor, lonely Taylor Swift ran off with her sweet Shivvy so she’d never have to cry into her journal again.
WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT LAST SEASON
Melissa: So many things. Great physical comedy. One-liners that capture Schmidt’s “bromain” so well, you could screen-print them on a freshly ironed muscle tank top. (The best: “They make shoes for your penis. They’re called pants.”) The very funny “Virgins” episode, which added depth to characters that don’t normally get much screen time (Lamorne Morris’ Winston!) and finally — finally — gave us that elevator-door-jammingly urgent hook-up between Nick and Jess. Also: Nick’s tortured face when that random Asian man cuddles him. Elizabeth embarrassing Schmidt with her favorite kitten t-shirt. And all the other times that this self-aware show acknowledged that even fans of cuteness can only take so much of it before they cringe.
Jeff: What Melissa said. New Girl continued to be a welcome guest in the TV queue, thanks mostly to the comic chemistry and camaraderie of the cast. It feels like the actors can tackle anything the writers throw at them, from zombie Woody Allen impressions and to hallucinatory wrestling matches with invisible trolls. Episodes like “Halloween” and “Virgins” brilliantly synthesized slapstick, cracked-ribald laugh lines (“It was like a wind-sock on a windless day”), and character-driven storytelling. And the Jess-Nick hook-up was well-mounted (so to speak) and almost everything I hoped it would be (sorry). What Max Greenfield was to the show in season 1, Jake Johnson was to the show in season 2: an inspired breakout performance that deserved an Emmy nod. Robbed!
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