Welcome back to another installment of the Monday Morning Critic. In this space each week, I’ll be looking at the week that was in addition to the week ahead in television. The format will shift each week, as the world of TV will dictate the form and content of each piece. In this week’s installment: a review of the third season of ‘The Americans’ and a look at a recent example the true power of long-form narrative on TV.
TV News - Page 4
There’s something vaguely gnawing and anxiety-inducing about this week’s episode of ‘Girls,’ which splits its time between Hannah in Iowa and her friends back in New York, and finally gives us a clue about what Adam’s been up to while Hannah’s away. By now we’ve become very familiar with the willfully regressive nature of these characters, who function in juvenile, narcissistic cycles, with each revolution back around only bringing them the tiniest baby step further in their maturation. Two steps forward, one step back.
It’s not often that a musical guest pulls double duty as a host on ‘SNL’—we’ve seen some pretty great ones over the years, whose natural charisma lends itself well to the gig, and we’ve seen some…not so great ones, where we (along with the folks at ‘SNL’) were more enamored with the concept than with the execution. This week brings country music star ‘The Voice’ host (there’s a little NBC synergy for you) Blake Shelton to the ‘SNL’ stage, but does he belong? Read on for our official ranking of this week’s ‘SNL’ sketches from best to worst.
Every time ‘SNL’ features a sketch built around a celebrity game show, it means one thing and one thing only: you’re about to see a whole bunch of impressions. This time, it’s the celebrity edition of ‘Family Feud’ starring the respective casts of ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice,’ a creative decision obviously driven by the presence of country star Blake Shelton as the guest host.
The two weeks between the NFL division championships and the Super Bowl are a notoriously slow period for sports news, so it’s no wonder that “deflategate” has gone from being a strange little conspiracy tale to a national scandal that has dominated major news cycles. Did anyone expect ‘SNL’ to not get in on something so, well, dumb?
There was no way ‘SNL’ was going to snag country music superstar Blake Shelton as a guest host and not do a country music video parody. After all, Shelton’s experience as a comedic performer is limited, but his experience in crooning songs about heartbreak and troubled times is not. So this brings us to a bizarre little song called ”Wishin’ Boot,” which is literally about a magical cowboy boot that shows up when people are in need and deliver exactly what they want.
This past week’s ‘Arrow’ 2015 premiere “Left Behind” dropped a major surprise in its last few minutes, but also speedy was Laurel’s assumption of the Black Canary mantle, costume and all. That rush to justice might cost her however, as photos and clips from next week’s all-new ‘Arrow’ installment “Midnight City” show all is not well in Starling just yet.
Just yesterday ‘Hannibal’ season 3 served up a hearty appetizer in the form of its first trailer, but it seems Bryan Fuller’s dark and dreamy drama has yet another bloody morsel to offer. ‘True Blood’ star Rutina Wesley will de-fang for an arc as another major ‘Red Dragon’ character, but what’s her connection to ‘The Hobbit’ star Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde?
‘The Walking Dead’ has barely lifted the veil on season 5's second half, let alone the LA-set spinoff to arrive sometime this year, but already major intel on the AMC horror-drama’s sixth season may have leaked. A new report suggests that one of the spinoff’s characters will feature into season 6 of ‘The Walking Dead’ proper, but what might it mean?
History’s ‘Vikings’ will mount their biggest offensive yet when season 3's February 19 debut sees Ragnar setting his sights on the city of Paris itself, and thankfully the historical drama has a full trailer and photo set to match its scale. Charge into battle with our longest look yet at the new season of ‘Vikings,’ and see who sheds the most blood!