Fox’s ‘The Last Man On Earth’ Finds Humor in a Decidedly Unfunny Situation

What would you do if you were the last person on Earth and had no rules to abide by? You’d lose your mind pretty damn quickly, if The Last Man on Earth, which premieres Sunday on Fox, is to be believed. But you’d also have a little fun while you’re at it. The latest installment in the post-apocalyptic end-of-the-world genre, the show takes place in 2022, after a disease wipes out everyone except Phil Miller (Will Forte), who has no idea how he survived or why. He is completely alone, he prays to God about how much he misses other humans, and he even, at one point, tries to commit suicide. But Last Man on Earth is a comedy — in fact, it’s one of the best new comedies of the season.  … Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 17 Recap: “Spiderhunt”

With Ryan out of the picture, this week’s episode of New Girl was bound to go one of two ways: Jess continues to wallow and the gang cheers her up in more elaborate ways, or the episode is a silly, silly diversion from the breakup in which Ryan’s name becomes as unsaid as Voldemort’s. Thankfully it’s the latter, in the form of a bottle episode that revolves around a Ridiculous Schmidt Quirk Everyone Humors (RSQEH). … Read More

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‘SNL’ Alum Jane Curtin Signs on to Single-Camera Fox Comedy Pilot, ’48 Hours Til Monday’

Jane Curtin, though never really gone, made something of a comeback in the consciousnesses of nostalgic comedy fans… Read More

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Will Forte Asks Favors of God in First Clip from Post-Apocalypse Comedy, ‘Last Man on Earth’

The Last Man on Earth may seem like a misnomer — given that other actors are set to star in Will… Read More

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Why ‘Empire’s’ Cookie Lyon Is the Best Character on Television

Only six episodes of Empire have aired so far, but the Fox hip-hop drama is already impossible to ignore. The show premiered to impressive ratings and has spent every subsequent week ticking upward, hitting series high after series high. You have, no doubt, seen your Twitter timeline explode on Wednesday nights. Maybe you even have the song “Drip Drop” stuck in your head right now. It’s an utterly infectious show, one that is not always great but never fails to entertain — thanks, mostly, to a combination Empire‘s commitment to going full-speed ahead with wonderfully crazy plots and television’s best new character: Cookie Lyon. … Read More

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Eric McCormack Signs on to Play Drug Dealer to the Stars in ‘Studio City’

Still known mostly for his career playing a lovable Manhattanite on Will & Grace, Eric McCormack is switching (TV-reality) coasts with… Read More

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Fox’s ‘Backstrom’ Is Another Lazy Procedural About an Unlikable Genius Antihero

Backstrom is so similar to House that comparisons between them are unavoidable. Both Fox shows revolve around an obnoxious and irascible male protagonist prone to making racist and sexist remarks, who get off on being offensive for the sake of being offensive, and who often alienate those who are dumb enough to try to help them. Dr. House and Detective Backstrom are characters who we are supposed to love to hate, and who we must root for simply because they are good at their jobs. Yes, they are assholes but they are brilliant assholes. They solve unsolvable cases — police cases, medical cases — and that makes up for them being terrible people. But what was once fun about House became tired toward the end of the medical drama’s run. With Backstrom, it is exhausting before the series even gets going. … Read More

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The 50 Most Surreal Premises in Reality-TV History

Reality TV now walks a fine between being weirdly complicated and utterly basic — yesterday, on Discovery Life, for example, 50 Ways to Kill Your Mother and Outrageous Births: Tales From the Crib debuted! And just last weekend, you’ll recall, it was My Husband’s Not Gaythe show about Mormons keeping their marriages together despite the male component being, er, “not gay.” With spinoffs of spinoffs and ripoffs of ripoffs, no matter how many syllables it takes to describe a new subculture a show’s seeming to invent or the byzantine rules the show’s imposing, as long as reality TV focuses on “real people” but eschews their real problems, which it notoriously does, it remains nauseatingly simple. Because sometimes it’s not even what’s being portrayed, so much as the exploitative way it’s portrayed, that leaves you with the dizzied sense of living in a reality that’s crumbling due to the sheer fact that such shows exist. … Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 13 Recap: “Coming Out”

Like most other single-camera, niche-audience TV comedies in this age of the serialized drama, New Girl‘s challenge is to make every episode laugh-out-loud funny while also advancing the multiple season-long storylines that ensure the growth of its characters and the progression of their relationships. Whereas Seinfeld and Friends could thread two dozen self-contained 22-minute stories together with little more than a few in-jokes or one on-again-off-again romance (you know which one I mean), now we expect every major player to have his or her own compelling trajectory. (Imagine if we’d demanded that of Kramer!) And while New Girl often does a great job seamlessly integrating character development and big laughs, last night’s episode was almost entirely devoted to the former — and forgot to give us almost any of the latter. … Read More

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