Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shahi appeals on "Legal," but can't resolve show's problems

The actress Sarah Shahi is, as evidenced by the photo above, a beautiful woman. You might have noticed her before, as the female lead on NBC's short-lived series "Life," or on Showtime's "The L Word," or maybe as the young woman with whom Tony engages in a Las Vegas adventure in a final season episode of "The Sopranos."
She's also a fine actress with a lot of charm, which is amply displayed on her new USA series "Fairly Legal," which debuts tonight at 10.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Previewing "Harry's Law": The shoe doesn't fit

The new NBC series "Harry's Law," debuting at 10 tonight, should come with a warning: if you are allergic to wackiness, do not attempt to watch this show without an EpiPen nearby. Because damn -- does "Harry's Law" offer more hijinks than you can shake a stick at.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

'Big Love' final season off to a solid, if depressing, start

There are good things and bad things I can say about the new -- and final -- season of the HBO drama "Big Love,"  which starts Sunday at 9 p.m.

Monday, January 10, 2011

FX's "Lights Out" packs a major punch

In the opening minutes of FX's fantastic new drama "Lights Out," (premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m.) we're introduced to boxer Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany) on a particularly tough day. His face has been broken and bloodied during a brutal fight, but Lights is less concerned about his injuries than the fact that he lost a fight that he should have won. He was robbed, he tells his wife, Theresa (Catherine McCormack) who is far more worried about the shattered state of his body. She can't go on watching him withstand this abuse. She won't watch him die. Either he quits fighting, or she quits him.
So he quits. It's a powerful, devastating scene and it automatically announces that "Lights Out" is something special.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Bob's Burgers" doesn't go down easy

Of all roughly nine zillion new shows premiering on Sunday (actually, it's four, but who's counting?), "Bob's Burgers" is the one about which I have the least to say. The series, debuting at 8:30 p.m. on Fox, is part of the network's "Animation Domination" cartoon block, and centers on a wacky family that runs a burger shop.

"Shameless" offers satisfying family drama

I've never seen the British series that's the basis of the new Showtime drama "Shameless," premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. So, when I viewed the three preview episodes sent to press, I went into it with no preconceptions; no idea whether this was a re-invention or a carbon copy; no clue about whether it had the potential to be better or worse than the original.
All I can tell you is, based on its own merits, Showtime's "Shameless" is an entertaining, well-acted and wholly satisfying drama, featuring breakout performances by some amazing actors.

LeBlanc great fun on Showtime's "Episodes"

Celebrities playing themselves onscreen generally go in one of two directions: realistic or cartoon. In the former, the celebrity generally plays a version of himself or herself that's as close to the real thing (or, rather, the media image of the real thing) as possible. In the latter, the celebrity plays as broad an image of himself or herself as possible (with Neil Patrick Harris's work in the "Harold and Kumar" movies the obvious example).
 When I heard that Matt LeBlanc of "Friends" fame was playing a version of himself on the new Showtime sitcom "Episodes," premiering 9:30 p.m. Sunday, I thought for sure he'd go the cartoon route.
After all, this is the man who gave us Joey Tribbiani. Sure, he's funny, but subtle he ain't.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reviewing NBC's "The Cape": Seriously?

NBC's new series "The Cape" has all the makings of a delicious piece of camp entertainment. There's a superhero in a goofy costume who goes by a dumb name; circus folk who use their skills to rob banks and even a weird villain named Chess who keeps a chessboard in his lair and speaks in chess metaphors.
And yet, the odd thing about "The Cape" is that almost none of this is played for laughs. The series, which launches with a special two-hour episode Sunday at 9 p.m., is done in dead earnest. Thus, it feels a little odd.