Month: March 2016

What to Watch: 03/31/2016

A whole bunch of finales and one return of a classic animated series on the slate for Thursday. And, of course, Shondaland.

Life in Pieces [CBS, 8:30p]
I’d almost say that CBS is burning off the episodes of this charming and unique little ensemble comedy, but although it has not been renewed yet, the knowing sites call it a sure thing. Watch it tonight as it closes off it’s first season.

Shades of Blue [NBC, 10p]
After last week’s plot twist I am so psyched to see this finale of my newly minted fave crime drama. Will Harlee buy off Miguel? Will she get away with double crossing her squad? Maybe feds can be bought off too. We shall see.

Big Daddy [Comedy Central, 8:58 p]
One of Adam Sandler’s finer dumb comedies finds the comedian as a slow-to-start bachelor temporarily raising his friend’s kid.



Wednesday’s Best Reviewed: Arrow

The CW’s Arrow wins the Wednesday with an episode which recaptures the quirky spirit of the show’s early season, and re-introduces hacker villain Brie Larvon. Brie brings bees with her and the story gets crazier from there. The Americans decides that you don’t have to be going on an extended (or any sort of) break to initiate an EPCOT Center cliffhanger. Broad City gets consistent B+ reviews for an episode that’s a bit of a hodgepodge, but delivers some subtle character development and terrific supporting performances. Empire returns to its usual twists and mixed reviews. Nashville and Supernatural take up the rear with episodes that don’t go much of anywhere.

Wednesday, March 30th’s Best: Arrow (8.9/10)


Returning villain Brie brings the bees and the critics swoon — well, they enjoyed it anyway. AV Club‘s Alasdair Wilkins opens with “My goodness, that was a fun episode of Arrow.” Jenny Raftery at Vulture enjoys the mood shift “thanks to a fun villain-of-the-week and prime Curtis screen time, the episode zaps a little needed energy into the series.” Even IGN‘s Jesse Schdeen, who gave the show its lowest rating of the night felt it “was good to see this new episode focus more on the humor and fun.”

The Rest of the Night:


The Americans – 8.7

Broad City – 8.0

Empire – 7.8

The Path – 7.0

Nashville – 6.6

Supernatural – 6.5

Our Wednesday Reviews

Broad City – B+

0331broadboxIt’s a classic scheme-that-backfires meets a let’s-stay-out-all-night that fuels this week’s Broad City misadventures. The premise is a bit thin as we open on Abbi & Ilana videochatting — both on the toilet, because of course they are — about a plan to rent out both their apartments and sleep on the roof. Predictably, all plans blow up in the grandest of fashions, and the duo bounce around the city. It’s not the greatest A&I episode, but there are moments — Abbi growing visibly weary of Ilana’s fun-making overkill of her upbringing and one-time hippie lifestyle, and Abbi’s illustrated map of Astoria, spontaneously made for B&B guests.

As has been the case for much of the third season, it’s the supporting characters who make the episode. The pair meet Blake Griffin after sneaking into the 40/40 Club, and he is a special sort of vulnerable as he and Ilana embark on a hilarious naked montage. Paul W. Downs continues to bring a stunning level of depth to sweet, sweet, oblivious gym junkie Trey (“if Remy had a real restaurant, I would totally go there for my cheat meals; I don’t even care that he’s a rat”). Trey genuinely cares deeply about Abbi, and Broad City has benefitted from their unlikely and awkward romantic dance. Bevers returns in all his peculiarly Bevers-y glory. However, the show is stolen, as it is most times he appears, by Hannibal Buress’ Lincoln, the happy-go-lucky Al Dente Dentist, who is probably on screen for less than a half a minute, but delivers the best coda of the season. For all its grimy hipster NYC vibe and absurdist notions, Broad City has endless heart, and that elevates a somewhat disjointed and clunky episode into something still lovable.

March Madness: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee vs. Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver

Our final Late Night battle, which saw the departure of The Daily ShowThe Nightly ShowLate NightThe Tonight ShowThe Late Show, and two game shows (Hollywood Game Night and @Midnight) sees a final face off between two shows airing weekly.

Both Full Frontal and Last Week Tonight are hosted by former Daily Show contributors, filmed in New York, and feature monologues and no guests.

But there are differences, too. Full Frontal tackles political issues from Samantha Bee’s funny, witty, searing, and brilliant viewpoint. Last Week Tonight focuses on a single issue per episode, with anger and disbelief.

Both shows are much loved. It will surely be a tight race.

Episodes of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee are available online; Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver airs on HBO. Vote for your favorite shows here. Results post Friday!

This Weekend At the Box Office: 3/31/16

Last weekend’s big release, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice raked in the money, bringing in $193.23 million in its first five days, despite negative reviews (my favorite is David Edelstein‘s, particularly where he likens Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne to Dick Cheney). Without any big releases this weekend, Batman vs. Superman is likely to win again this weekend. Internationally, Deadpool dominated the box office, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever.

What will Batman and Superman smash this week? Let’s see… (more…)

What to Watch: 03/30/2016

There’s a cavalcade of drama coming up tonight, along with a few comic starts on TV Land. And we have a fourth esteemed editor joining us today.

Lopez [TV Land, 10p]
George Lopez gets politically incorrect in his new single-camera shot sitcom loosely based on his life trying to make it as a comic.

Law & Order: SVU [NBC, 9p]
Detective Carisi goes undercover as a homeless man on a very special SVU.

The Path [Hulu]
Will Eddie Cleary (Aaron Paul) be able to free his family from the grasp of charismatic cult leader Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy), and how will this effect his relationship s with his wife (Michelle Monaghan)? We’ll find out tonight.

Supernatural [CW, 9p]
Sam and Dean fight werewolf kidnappers!



  • Empire returns after a brief break on FOX as all the empire builders keep control of their music empire in fear that other empires will take over their empire. EMPIRE!!
  • Abbi & Ilana try to rent their tiny apartments out as B&Bs on Comedy Central’s Broad City (and you can vote for it to make our final four here)
  • It’s Michael & Chanelle’s turn to go on MTV’s Catfished By A Drug Smu…I mean, Catfish: The TV Series.
  • NBC’s Criminal Minds hosts its first post-Derek Morgan unsub search, while its international counterpart, Criminal Minds: Beyond Bordersfollows up with a trip to Cairo.
  • On FOX, Rosewood‘s title character commits a faux pas when he reveals a way to commit the perfect crime to a seminar audience.
  • Nashville brings the fussin’ and feudin’ as usual — in this case, Luke is fed up with Riff’s antics while kind of stuck with him on tour. On ABC.
  • If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a chance and launching a start-up, Quit Your Day Job debuts tonight on Bravo.

Tuesday’s Best Reviewed: American Crime Story

We’ve seen the Bronco chase, the Marcia haircut, the glove that fit, and the jury who wore black — anyone who remembers the 90s certainly knows the one iconic moment of the OJ trial that’s left. And given the anthology’s track record, it’s quite predictable that it would knock it out of the park and win the night. Most reviewers, except for me, enjoyed this week’s packed iZombie. Inversely, most reviewers, except for me, panned this week’s goofy New Girl.

Tuesday, March 29th’s Best Reviewed: American Crime Story (9.5/10)


It’s time for Fuhrman to take the stand on American Crime Story and cast that die. Terri Schwartz of IGN loves it, feeling “the show is firing on all cylinders as it heads into its finale, dealing with a contentious subject that is sadly as newsworthy then as it is more than 20 years later.” AV Club‘s Pilot Viruet gives it a solid “A” and glories in the wordplay, bullet-pointing “American Crime Story-inspired band names: Mint Julep and Condescension, Gratuitous Alliteration.”

The Rest of the Night:


iZombie – 7.5

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – 7.5

The Flash – 7.0

Fresh Off the Boat – 7.0

New Girl – 6.5



Our Tuesday Reviews

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – A

0330brooklynbox.jpgJason Mantzoukas’ leagues-over-the-top performance as Adrian Pimento, a cop turned deranged after 12 years undercover with the mob, should be a Ted McGinley level jump-the-shark dealbreaker. Instead, I’m feeling genuinely dejected to see Pimento’s arc possibly end, taking his impromptu wedding to Rosa down with it. Rosa’s bachelorette party was B99 at its farcical best as bridesmaids Gina, Amy, and Charles compete for the best Rosa-inspired concept. That Charles’ spot in the bridal party (and eager acceptance of his role) is never once questioned or played for a cheap joke speaks volumes about the show’s writing and character development. Of course Rosa wants once-smitten Charles by her side, and it’s zero surprise that he would know his friend intimately enough to win the contest by handing her a sledgehammer to destroy a condemned restaurant. Meanwhile, best man Peralta is trying to calm a demented Pimento who fears hit men. While he’s long established as paranoid, if songs and conspiracy theory movies have taught us anything, it does NOT mean they’re not after him (which ultimately leads to his possible exit from the show). “Paranoia” stakes its plot on the strong bonds of friendship in the precinct, a wise move for a show that thrives on the strength of its characters.
– Jason Thurston

New Girl – A-

0330newgirlboxFreak out! At least that’s what Schmidt, Jess, and Winston all do in this odd, but quite funny in spots, episode. Nick is too weak with flu to freak out, even when one-time rival for Jess’ affection, Sam, shows up for the first time after punching Nick in the neck — this time to demand apology and closure. Of course it ends up with Sam once again decking a dazed Nick. Schmidt had exiled Nick, along with CeCe and a faking Winston to a saran wrap quarantine, hoping to avoid the bug. He doesn’t, leading to Max Greenfield executing one of the most wonderfully dramatic abortive sneezes ever caught on camera. Winston shines with his usual non-sequiters about missing Paris and considering “going iced” with his coffee. Meanwhile, Jess wrestles with her awkwardness between loving her new boss and job and grappling with said new boss’ boyfriend, a be-bearded Sam. That all goes about how you would expect, but David Walton makes the most of it with his ever-on-edge performance as alternately uber-macho and utterly defeated Sam — culminating in a potential Emmy for Best Smooshing of Brownies. There’s also a play-within-a-play consisting of a bizarro Land of Make Believe puppet show that has the loft transfixed.
– Jason Thurston

iZombie – B-

0330izombieboxThere are some great moments in “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie,” particularly Ravi’s slowly gathering suspicion of Major and his passionate confrontation when there can be no further doubt that Major is the Chaos Killer. There’s another great reveal as Liv visits Drake’s mother, thinking her erstwhile boyfriend is a scoundrel, flips through the scrapbook to a photo of Drake in his academy best. iZombie has excelled in its ability to juggle an insane number of intertwined plotlines, while keeping up with its case (and ingested brain) of any given week. It’s inevitable that the show will sag under all the weight, and this episode is a bit jumbled and muddled. It doesn’t help that the zombie stripper storyline, which should be right in the show’s campy wheelhouse, just veers into too much silly territory — addled by a villain who is just too damn obvious.
– Jason Thurston

March Madness: Orphan Black vs. Game of Thrones

Only two dramas remain for March Madness, and both have big casts, beloved by fans.

Orphan Black features many characters, played by one woman (and a few others, too). Game of Thrones might employ all of Hollywood. Both one-hour dramas feature violence, action, and intrigue.

But Orphan Black has heart, and humor. Game of Thrones includes elements of fantasy and sci-fi. Orphan Black is a British import, while Game of Thrones is filmed all over the world.

Both shows feature women we’re rooting for, whether they’re acting in a local production or trapped on the back of a dragon.

Episodes for Orphan Black are available onlineGame of Thrones is available through HBOGo. Vote for your favorite shows here. Results post Friday!

What to Watch: 03/29/2016

It’s a great night for comedy, whether it’s slapstick in a loft or singing gleefully in a car. There’s also zombie strippers (no not these ones), paranoid cops, and one-night stands.


The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special [CBS, 10p]

James Cordon’s hit skit is coming to primetime for an hour of celebrity hijinx behind the wheel. Jennifer Lopez is confirmed as one of the guests so duh, I’m watching. #jlover


New Girl [FOX, 8p]

Jess has an awkward work encounter with an ex and Schmidt throws a germophobe freakout — throw in some Winstonisms and I’m so there!


The Princess Diaries [Encore, 8p]

Judge not, ya’ll: The book was better (NYC color, a father who’s alive, plenty of wry jokes), but Anne Hathaway is charming as the nerd turned princess overnight, and Heather Matarazzo is perfect as her smart, loyal friend. Mandy Moore’s Queen Bee is better served in 2004’s Saved! And though Moore’s Mean Girl doesn’t crash her van into Jesus here, she doesn’t win the heart of Princess Mia’s crush, in one of Robert Schwartzman’s rare film roles. (She probably marries Erik von Detten after college, and whatever happened to that heartthrob anyway?)



  • On CW’s quirkalicious ref-fest iZombie, Liv eats stripper brain and you can probably guess where that goes. Plus, if you watched last week, the show has probably set some sort of record for most plot loose ends to tie up, but that’s what the show is good at.
  • Kyle Kinane and Kristen Schaal guest on Comedy Central’s sexual gabfest Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, where the subject is one-night stands.
  • The gloves fit, Marcia cut her hair, the jury wore black, now it’s time to tear Mark Furman’s racist….well, it’s Furman time on American Crime Story on FX
  • So much great comedy tonight, including a Jessica-centric Fresh Off the Boat and glamping on Real O’Neals, both on ABC, and Jason Mantzoukas does that crazy he does so well as he thinks he’s targeted by his old life on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.