Last month, TV Land brought Candid Camera back to television after a 10 year hiatus. This version is hosted by Mayim Bialik and Peter Funt. Unlike the majority of recent revivals, Candid Camera is still the same old show, which is both good and bad.
Why is it good?
- Candid Camera is a family show in an era that doesn’t have any.
- It’s a prank show that isn’t mean spirited. As Peter Funt told The Wrap, “Here’s the thing: A lot of other hidden camera shows strike me as out to show that people are stupid. We don’t think that’s really funny, and for the most part, I don’t believe that’s even true.
- The show is familiar. If there’s nothing better on TV, you can count on Candid Camera to bring a smile to your face.
Ever since 2005, Stephen Colbert has been ruling late night television on Comedy Central. Next year he will be leaving his post after ten years to take over for David Letterman on Late Show. This is a drastic change for Colbert, whose current show is a satirical version of The O’Reilly Factor. Will his current rapport with his audience get in the way of his success as himself on CBS?
Letterman announced his departure not even two months after Jimmy had taken over for Leno. I cannot say that I was surprised that by Letterman’s retirement. Everyone knew Fallon was going to be some serious competition. Fallon is more relevant and appealing to the precious 18-49 audience. He has a social media savviness that Letterman doesn’t have. So when Letterman “unexpectedly” announced his retirement, CBS needed a host that would supersede Jimmy’s popularity. Colbert already has a large and loyal audience from his show on Comedy Central, which make him a very good choice for Late Show.
There is absolutely no reason for Surviving Jack to be a good show. It has the same premise of half the sitcoms this season: kid with grumpy father grew up in the 80s/90s and is now reflecting on it. Television this season has basically been filled with a bunch of The Wonder Years wannabees. Despite starting from the same cliche, Surviving Jack uses the past as a tool to enhance the comedy, instead of as a distraction. There is no haha it’s the 90s, what were we thinking? It’s just a sitcom that happens to take place in the 90s.
Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni as Dr. Jack Dunlevy, who is a great doctor, but a rough parent. He love his kids, but doesn’t know how to get that across. Jack is forced to take over primary parenting responsibilities when his wife, Joanne, goes to law school, a move he fully supports. Like any mother, Joanne is afraid of what will happen. As it is, she has two teenage children, Frankie and Rachel, who are busy getting themselves into trouble.
In the premiere, Frankie and his friends George and Mikey steal dirty magazines from a homeless man. Not wanting to be found out, Frankie hides it in the backyard. Jack catches his son digging a hole in the backyard at 2am. He’s not mad that Frankie has the magazines. However, Jack disapproves of the fact that he stole them. A few days later, he takes Frankie, George, and Mikey to return the magazines. The homeless man jumps out from behind a tent, holding a shovel, and scares them. Jack fights the man until the boys are out of sight. Then, Jack pays the guy 20 bucks because that part was a set up. Of course, Jack would. He’s that kind of guy. Jack acts like a drill sergeant, whose convinced he’s actually a big softie. He’s not, but he cares.
In less than a month, Jimmy Fallon will host his first episode of The Tonight Show. While no one knows for sure what sketches will follow Jimmy to his new show, we do know that it’s time to say good-bye to The Tonight Show your parents and grandparents knew. The Tonight Show lost its prestige a long time ago, through a combination of botched handovers and the overcrowding of late night talk shows. It’s time to stop pretending that the spot after the 11 o’clock news is when everyone is watching and embrace the internet. Jimmy Fallon has proven he knows how to create synergy between his role as a late night talk show host and, in the realm of late night, a young web-savvy comedian.
Anyone who is younger than 35 thinks of The Tonight Show as another boring talk show. NBC needs to update it. The network failed miserably with Conan O’Brien because, while Conan understand his audience, he comes from a generation that still thinks of The Tonight Show as the gold standard. Jimmy never found that to be true, which will work for and against him.
Jimmy Fallon may have recently been voted most desirable celebrity neighbor because he’s so friendly, but last night’s The Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon made him seem stiff. To make matters worse, the special was too long. It clocked in at two hours and only contained brief segments of commentary from Jimmy. The majority of the special wasn’t new comedy. It was reshowing the old stuff. So when we weren’t relieving the last 5 years of Jimmy’s life, we saw a comedian out of his element saying “watch this cool/funny thing my crew and I did” and doing pratfalls in a desperate attempt to be funny.
Let’s be honest, Jimmy’s success isn’t because he’s the best late night host. Depending on your tastes, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, or Conan O’Brien is the best. Then again, there are tons of people who will argue no one will ever be better than Johnny Carson. However, Jimmy’s show works because it’s unusual nowadays. For the most part, it’s a talk show with a few Saturday Night Live style sketches that gets celebrities to loosen up. No one else would get Tom Cruise to crack eggs on his head or Bruce Springsteen to sing Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair.”
Ground Floor may not be the most original concept, but the actors seem made for their characters. When watching the show I don’t think “Oh, there’s John C. McGinley playing Mansfield” and “Skylar Astin pretending to be Brody Moyer,” I wonder where the character ends and the actor behind it begins. John C. McGinley makes you forget he’s Dr. Cox because he owns Mansfield. As for Skylar Astin, it appears he pretty much plays himself with a new name, which he gets away with because he has only been in a few things.
If McGinley, Astin, and the rest of the cast weren’t so good at their roles, Ground Floor would be boring. In “The New Office,” an older employee is fired and the young ones stab each other in the back to impress Mansfield. Thankfully, Brody and Threepeat are quirky enough that the backstabbing is friendly and silly. For example, Threepeat discovers a cool new way to sit down that he calls “the Riker,” after Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it backfires when it tries it in Mansfield’s office because the chair back was too large. All the kissing up to the boss doesn’t pay off, when no one gets the empty office. Mansfield decides to give it to his plant because it was the only thing in the room that didn’t annoy him.
Unlike most game shows, there are two hosts: D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black. It’s an unusual setup that works because it seems like the producers will be casting meek contestants, who aren’t entirely comfortable with the jokes and subject matters. The producers are picking people that blush when you mention boobs, so of course they’re not going to be comfortable when D.L. Hughley gives a fact about the first patent for vibrators. While it would be nice to see a contestant hold their own against two comedians, the contestants aren’t the star of the show.
The facade of a game show only serves to allow D.L. and Michael to banter, which gets a little dirty because the show is aired at 10:30 pm on cable. The fact that the Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host isn’t on network television allows both hosts to curse, tell questionable jokes, and D.L. to crack all the jokes he wants about being a black man. For some reason, that is something D.L. likes to remind the audience. He constantly calls himself “the dark side.” It’s funny the first time. By the five hundredth time, it’s been run into the ground.
Tina Fay, Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis. These are just some of the many talented comedians who have become household names through Saturday Night Live. They have all left the show and become successful film and television stars. The newest actor to have his own series is Andy Samberg. Samberg is already a talented recording artist thanks to his comedic rap group phenomenon The Lonely Island. Now, he is going back to television.
After fourteen years, seven seasons, four movies, a cancellation, and a rebirth, Futurama has aired is series finale on Comedy Central. It has been a long and strange journey for the Planet Express crew, but that journey has finally reached its end. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, I suggest you stop reading here because this review contains spoilers.
“Meanwhile” started with a trip down memory lane, as the Planet Express crew delivered a package to the Moon. This of course is an ode to the crew’s first delivery from the second episode in the series. While on the moon, Leela is sucked into space and lost forever. Fry decides he can’t live without her and decided to marry her. The Professor invents a “Time Button” that allows you to go back in time ten seconds. He uses the seemingly useless device to play a trick on Zoidberg, but Fry realizes he can use the time button for his proposal.
Fry uses the button to get the perfect ring for Leela and tells her to meet him at the top of the Vampire State Building with her answer. When she doesn’t show up, Fry attempts to jump off the building only to realize his watch was wrong and Leela was on time. Fry falls into a time loop, which has him splattering on the pavement over and over again. While attempting to save them, the Professor is killed. It isn’t until Bender comes to the rescue with his air bag. The plan backfires, as Fry is saved, but he destroys the time button leaving everyone in the world frozen in time.
The Jeselnik Offensive, hosted by Anthony Jeselnik, makes a point of being offensive. Actually, that’s the show’s entire schtick. It gets old fast. You shouldn’t be uncomfortable to laugh at a joke when you are alone, yet Jeselnik loves uncomfortable laughter. Jeselnik’s onstage persona is extremely punchable. It’s a mixture of Daniel Tosh, Craig Kilborn, and British comedian Jimmy Carr, who is one of the few people to pull off shock comedy well.
Most of his jokes are offensive because they are not funny. Asking your audience to turn off Amber Alert on their phones is in bad taste. Following it up with a joke about Usher’s son almost drowning in a pool is horrible. When he finally does get to a joke in poor taste that would be funny coming out of a comedian who would show some remorse, he’s already gone way too far.