Comedies with an actual point of view are as rare as they are welcome — especially in a fall awash in mediocre new cookie-cutter romantic comedies. Even in a better season, ABC's provocative and very funny Black-ish (9:30/8:30c) would stand out for its broad and biting satire of an uneasily post racial society seen through a very modern-family prism. (It's also about time ABC scheduled a smart family comedy after its multiple-Emmy-winning champ Modern Family.)read more
Steven Soderbergh is getting in the Amazon business: The company has added his new comedy to its third pilot season.
Red Oaks, a coming-of-age comedy set in 1985, stars Craig Roberts as a college student who gets a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey. While there, he meets a colorful cast of misfit co-workers and wealthy club members, including ...read more
Here's the thing about satire: Parody has a sharper sting if what's being ridiculed is actually relevant. And while it looks like everyone's having a grand time lampooning the old-school histrionics of the classic TV miniseries "epic" in IFC's elaborate all-star Funny or Die put-on The Spoils of Babylon, I'm afraid the fun isn't all that contagious, in part because the joke is such a stale one to begin with.
The whole enterprise, which consists of six half-hour chapters (the first two airing back-to-back starting Thursday at 10/9c), has the musty whiff of one of those movies derived from so-so Saturday Night Live sketches. Each installment opens with a staged intro, featuring a heavily made-up Will Ferrell as a rotund Orson Welles-like egomaniac impresario (described as "author, producer, actor, writer, director, raconteur, bon vivant, legend, fabulist" — and that's just the first episode's credits) who sinks further and further into his (wine) cups as he reflects on his lost late-'70s "masterpiece," which he self-financed as if he were Scrooge McDuck.read more