‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Premiere Recap: “2017” and “Ron and Jammy”

Time jumps on television are a tricky thing to master, and I’d say that it gets even trickier when it’s thrown in at the end of the sixth season of an established half-hour sitcom. While I was grateful for Parks and Recreation‘s surprising twist at the end of last season’s finale (mostly because it meant no stereotypical pregnancy sitcom silliness), I was still a bit anxious about how the series would handle it. Of course, this worry was pointless — it’s Parks and Recreation after all, one of the most consistently hilarious comedies on network television. The season premiere did not disappoint.  … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 9 Recap: “Lean In”

The longer Parenthood goes on, the more it feels like nothing changes. The parents have kids, start businesses, get sick, whatever — but it’s sort of frustrating to see them fall into the same patterns, get tangled up in one another the same way, and repeat past mistakes. Every once in a while, true progress is made among characters. It’s constantly tested, however, in a way that’s obvious when you see former love interests waltz back into characters’ lives. Whether they “do the right thing” or fold under the pressure of old habits is pretty much always up in the air on Parenthood. The Bravermans are an absurdly nostalgic bunch, after all. … Read More

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NBC Kills Upcoming Cosby Comedy Series in Light of Rape Allegations

NBC has announced that Bill Cosby’s (furiously) anticipated comeback on NBC will not be a comeback: the untitled comedy is not… Read More

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NBC’s ‘State of Affairs': Katherine Heigl’s Less-Than-Triumphant Return to TV

It’s fair to say that a significant portion of viewers who will tune in to NBC’s State of Affairs tonight won’t be doing so because they are overly intrigued with the plot — a political thriller about a CIA analyst, and a hybrid of Homeland and Scandal with a bit of Madam Secretary thrown in — but rather because they are intrigued by lead actress Katherine Heigl’s return to television. It’s a show for both her fans and her haters, a much-promoted but only vaguely heralded career reboot for Heigl, who hasn’t been on TV since she famously exited Grey’s Anatomy in Season 6. She’s been on a streak of forgettable romantic-comedy films ranging from the truly offensive and awful (The Ugly Truth) to the acceptable-to-secretly-watch-on-TBS (27 Dresses). State of Affairs isn’t exactly a triumphant return, nor does it even prove that she deserves yet another chance on television. … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 7 Recap: “These Are The Times We Live In”

The moment we saw coming finally arrived this week on Parenthood: on the eve of finalizing their divorce, Joel turned up on Julia’s doorstep begging for another chance. How he doesn’t see that he’s been fighting for a way back in these last few months is sort of crazy, but Joel’s just the kind of guy who needs to make a grand gesture. Tears well up in his eyes but never spill over. This man works with his hands, he is the boss of laborers. He was TV’s most perfect husband, until suddenly he wasn’t. We remember, though. Julia remembers. She remembers a little too much as she entertains other men in the house Joel made a home, but wants her to keep. No amount of expensive red wine and Ann Taylor Loft separates strewn on the bedroom floor will let her forget: Joel is the best man she will ever know. And she should forgive him for needing time and space to forgive her own indiscretions. … Read More

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Rating the Potential of 15 Upcoming Film-to-TV Adaptations

Each year, the chatter about television networks running out of new ideas gets louder and louder. Every season unleashes a slew of projects with overdone premises (a group of attractive friends dating in a big city!) and watered-down remakes of British programs (Gracepoint) or remakes of once-popular American shows (The Odd Couple). It looks like the trend next season will be film-to-TV adaptations. This isn’t shocking — About a Boy is a surprise hit for NBC, Fargo was renewed by FX, and 12 Monkeys will soon premiere on Syfy — but now it seems networks are picking up every adaptation they can get their hands on, no matter how bad it sounds. Here’s the rundown on 15 adaptations that are in the works and their potential. … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 6 Recap: “Too Big To Fail”

This week’s Parenthood felt like a game of catch-up with a simple strategy: keep it fucking real. I have a feeling it will be the only episode this season to not feature Zeek — the midpoint seems like a good spot to do this — since his health struggles are so integral to the season six plot. But by pausing his story for a second, other characters were able to work out their own personal problems. … Read More

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NBC’s Promising ‘Constantine’ Suffers From an Uncertain Start

Television’s big bets on comic book adaptations have largely paid off this season, with Fox’s Gotham doing all right for the network (although the quality of the Batman-centric drama has dipped since its dark and promising pilot) and The CW’s The Flash proving to be a hit, both with viewers and critics (the pilot episode was one of the best-received new pilots of the season). There are more adaptations in the works for next year, but before that, there’s NBC’s Constantine, a late entry to the game that premieres tonight. … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: “The Scale of Affection Is Fluid”

It’s difficult for ensemble dramas to orchestrate action for all, or even most, of their storylines in a single episode. Last week I mentioned that Parenthood set plot points in initial motion for future episodes, and this week, the payoff was huge. “The Scale of Affection Is Fluid” is easily the best episode of the show’s final season thus far, with compelling drama consuming every characters’ arc, besides Sarah and Hank. Max, Amber, Joel, and Crosby — arguably the show’s underdogs — faced hard emotional truths, at times with little hope. … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “A Potpourri of Freaks”

There’s something kind of unnatural about the way television shows, particularly dramas with emotional plot twists, barrel onward right up ’til the end. I think of it as “unnatural” because were this real life, this careening forward would be the most natural thing in the world. It’s the point of it all. Here in Parenthood‘s final… Read More

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