TV Reviews

Review: Kings


After watching the first four hours of Kings (two-hour series premiere Sunday, 8 pm/ET), NBC's intriguing new drama from Michael Green (formerly of Heroes), I'm encouraged, but not yet enthralled.

What if present-day New York City was governed by a monarchy? That's essentially the premise of the show, a dense political drama set in the fictional — but awfully familiar-looking — kingdom of Gilboa. It's also a modernization of the Biblical story of David and Goliath: David is Pvt. David Shepherd (Australian actor Chris Egan), an ordinary soldier who rescues Crown Prince Jack (Gossip Girl's Sebastian Stan) from capture during a war with a neighboring country called Gath.

"Goliath," in this version of the story, is a gigantic enemy tank, which David naturally smites. But it's quickly established that David's real adversary is perhaps King Silas Benjamin (the inimitable Ian McShane, who practically invented blustery on Deadwood), who offers the young soldier... read more

Snap Judgment: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Robert DeNiro and Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Yeah, it used to bug me too how he cracked up all the time during SNL skits, but there's no denying that Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy. But is he late-night-talk-show funny? Let's investigate! read more

How to Fix Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

It's not Gossip Girl here, but we are writing to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Nevertheless, we have to talk: This meeting has been convened because it's time to fix our beloved Gossip Girl. The ratings have dropped to a season low of just 2.2 million, and while many of us are still streaming it with relish, it must be said that creatively, the show is starting to stink like so much day-old smoked salmon. As others warn of the impending death of Gossip Girl, let's see if we can do something to help. Pull up a Chesterfield sofa and partake in the holiday-weekend brunch buffet we've prepared — Mochaccinos for everybody! — remove your platinum cufflinks, roll up your sleeves and let's get to work. While the show is on a brief hiatus, we've come up with a few fixes, but we need your suggestions as well. XOXO.

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Review: After a Long Bauer Outage, 24 Returns for a New Day

Kiefer Sutherland, 24

"Don't expect me to regret the decisions I have made. Because, sir, the truth is I don't."

So growls former CTU agent Jack Bauer to a Senate committee, as he is asked to defend the "extreme" measures he has gone to in the name of saving the United States (if not in some cases the free world) from peril a half-dozen times over some 12 on-screen years.

At the time that preview scene first made the rounds — well over a year ago, before 24's seventh season got sidelined by the WGA strike — the big question concerned the reveal that the "late" Tony Almeida was the new baddie. But with the Fox series having been off the air since May 2007, the larger issue now is: Will Season 7 be worth the wait? Read a complete review of the premiere, after the jump. read more

Review: Lost Premiere Fires Up One Trippy New Season

Lost's Sayid and Hurley find big trouble.

The first seasons' flashbacks now seem utterly quaint. And the more recent flash-forwards? Relatively simple. As promised, previewed and teased by the producers of Lost ever since Season 4 came to a close, the next cycle of episodes introduce a new storytelling "device" of sorts that might make you want to keep a notepad and pen next to your TV remote.

But enough about that. No, really — that's enough. I can't say more, given the confidentiality request that prefaced the first two Season 5 episodes made available to the press.

Instead, I will simply note that the episodes "Because You Left" and "The Lie" offer compelling twists for both the half-dozen "survivors" of Oceanic flight 815 as well as those who are still on the island (wherever it may be).

The first hour is the stronger of the two, if only because ... read more

Roush Dispatch: Rosie Live, Dead on Arrival

Rosie Live

If the TV variety format weren't already dead, the ghastly ego trip of NBC's Thanksgiving-eve turkey Rosie Live would surely have killed it. Like the pie Alec Baldwin predictably pushed into Conan O'Brien's face that fell to the floor without sticking, the entire hour landed with a sickening, sad, ill-conceived thud. It felt like an off night at America's Got Talent, bookended by wobbly appearances from Liza Minnelli and Gloria Estefan, each forced to perform with the caterwauling host, Rosie O'Donnell.

The low point? There were so many ... read more

Cheers: A Very Merry Colbert

A Colbert Christmas

Cheers to Stephen Colbert for spreading holiday cheer with A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All ...

Read, discuss and vote on the full cheer after the jump. read more

Documentary Preview: Britney Admits, "I Totally Lost My Way"

Britney Spears

"No conversation was censored. No topic was off limits."

Those words set the table for Britney: For the Record, the documentary airing exclusively on MTV and Logo Sunday, Nov. 30. Based on the first 30 minutes (screened for reporters on Thursday), those attests would seem to be true.

What starts out with a folksy "day in the life" moment — dad Jamie prepares for Britney some cheese grits, which he dubs the "breakfast of champions" for Southern girls — soon segues into a series of candid close-up chats with the rollercoaster-riding pop star.

From the start, no punches are pulled. Asked point blank if she "knows" that her life is "weird," Britney shakes her head and responds, "It's all I've ever known. I don't see it as being weird."

"I've been through a lot the past two to three years," she goes on to say. And during that testing time, she admits.... More, after the jump. read more

Roush Review: Justice Served Raw: Hanging up The Shield

Michael Chiklis and David Rees Snell

"I was too good," boasts that brutal bear of a crooked cop Vic Mackey, confessing his multitude of sins, a bloody litany of corrupt bravado that has kept us riveted for seven all-too-brief seasons of The Shield, FX's darker-than-dark breakthrough crime melodrama.

By "good," Vic means bad — to the last drop, the last gripping scene, as The Shield hangs up its tarnished badge forever (Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 10 pm/ET). No Sopranos-style blackout, thankfully. This is how it all really truly ends, not with ... read more

Roush Review: 24, Law & Order Get Back to Work

Keifer Sutherland

All is right again in the TV world, because our favorite Jacks are back on the case: Law & Order's crafty DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston), who's running for reelection; and 24's tireless Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who's running from retribution when not saving civilization. Both have been known to bend the rules to win.

And both shows have been sorely missed: 24 postponed a year because of the writers' strike, and a rejuvenated Order inexplicably left off the fall lineup but suddenly restored this month to prop up NBC's ailing schedule ... read more

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