‘South Park’ Angers Everyone Sometimes but Teaches Us to Think

South Park

‘South Park’ jabs at liberal and conservative ideals and continues to challenge strongly held beliefs. When I was growing up in a suburban conservative home, anytime South Park’s theme song started playing on our TV, one of my parents would grab the remote and change the channel. Naturally when I got to college in 2006, I assigned myself the entire series, determined to see what I’d missed. I knew I didn’t agree with my parents, but I didn’t know just how much I could disagree with them. The forbidden fruit tasted sweet, sour and sometimes even salty. Sitting in my dorm with yet another pasta dinner, I learned the Comedy Central show’s mythology and key answers to questions — like why that kid at my summer camp had a T-shirt saying, “Oh my god! They killed Kenny!” and why some of the characters had rectangular, stick-figure like bodies. Most importantly,        …read more

Psych-Os! Are You Ready for ‘Psych: The Movie’?

Psych TV show

Back with a new movie, the zany ‘Psych’ TV show is still more believable than any real-world psychic detective. Just past 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon in October, the Javits Center in New York City shook with cries of “Suck it again!” emanating from the main stage area — and nobody was all that surprised. After all, it was New York Comic-Con, and for that hour the stage belonged to the reunited cast of USA’s Psych TV show, one of our most enduring modern dramedies. Where Psych goes, hilarity and unhinged behavior often follow, and the panelists’ spirits were particularly high. They’d just announced that Psych: The Movie, a two-hour television event, would premiere on December 7 on USA. Those unfamiliar with the show will be forgiven for any bewilderment when trying to parse the air of glee surrounding the announcement. Spanning seven seasons between 2006 and 2013, Psych        …read more

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Reveals the Absurdity of Our Own Culture

Curb Your Enthusiasm

In ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Larry David’s honesty gets him into a lot of scrapes. But maybe he’s on to something. When season eight of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm wrapped in 2011, it was unclear if and when the peculiar comedy sitcom would return. During the indefinite hiatus, years passed with no word. Thankfully, Curb Your Enthusiasm has returned for a ninth season and is currently ramping up to its December 3 finale. While the show is as brilliant and funny as ever, something has changed. The hiatus has affected the root of our laughter, caused us to reinterpret its startling presentation of basic interactions and, most of all, demonstrated that it’s always been ahead of its time. Now, 17 years after the pilot episode, it’s as if Curb Your Enthusiasm was warning us what could happen if we completely stopped being honest with each other. Most of the show’s laughs, conflicts, resolutions        …read more

‘Riverdale’ Is Cheesy, But It’s in on the Joke

Archie comics, Riverdale TV show

With loose ties to ‘Archie’ comics, ‘Riverdale’ is a self-aware and engaging drama for teens and adults alike. SPOILERS AHEAD! In just the first season of the CW’s Riverdale, we see a father murder his own child, a teacher with a false identity have a passionate affair with a high school student, a man thrown in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and a vengeful daughter burn her family’s beloved estate to the ground. In the hands of producers who didn’t understand the ridiculous nature of such a melodramatic and implausible tale, the show would’ve been a disaster. After all, the source material — the long-running Archie comics — bears little resemblance to Riverdale in either tone or narrative. But with a straight face, the show gives us subtle hints that it’s in on the joke, and it’s the reason I’ve continued to tune in week after week. “From a        …read more

Haven’t Tried ‘Shameless’ Yet? Get Your Shit Together and Binge It Now

Shameless

Here’s why you should binge all the seasons of ‘Shameless’ available now. The Gallaghers are back! The eighth and latest season premiered on Showtime in November, and those without a Showtime subscription (or those who just crave a rewatch) can binge Shameless seasons one through seven on Netflix. Out of consideration for those who are new to the show, we won’t discuss any major spoilers here. Instead, let’s talk about what Shameless is all about and why you need to hop onto this roller coaster ride of a show. What is ‘Shameless’ all about? Make sure to clear your schedule before you sit down to watch the first episode of Shameless, because you’re sure to be hooked immediately. We get a pretty vivid picture of the dysfunctional Gallagher clan in the opening scene, in which the patriarch Frank introduces everyone in a voiceover: there’s Fiona, the oldest child and the        …read more

12 Life Lessons from the Peanuts Gang

Peanuts Gang

In honor of Charles M. Schulz’s birthday November 26, we’ve gathered 12 life lessons from the Peanuts Gang. For many of us, the holidays bring back memories of childhood. Play four notes of Vince Guaraldi’s “O Tannenbaum,” and all at once I’m sitting on the shag carpet in my grandparents’ house, in awe of the big multicolored lights glowing on the tree beside me, smelling the stuffing cooking in the adjoining room, and watching the Peanuts Gang via Charlie Brown holiday specials. Though many of us fondly recall moments like these, the holidays are still a mixed bag. They can multiply good memories and social gatherings, but they can also amplify sadness and loneliness. Amid the traditions, we can lose our sense of wonder, even while trying to inspire it in one another. Which makes me curious how Grandma felt while working over that stove, the onion and celery popping in        …read more

Bruce Lee’s Legendary Touch Returns with ‘Warrior’ Cinemax Series

Cinemax series

40+ years in the making, Bruce Lee’s dream project will finally come to life as a Cinemax series in 2018. Starting in the early 1970s, martial arts film star Bruce Lee started taking notes on a project centering on the Tong Wars, which occurred in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870s. The notes and barrage of ideas were discovered by Lee’s daughter, Sharon Lee, after her father’s untimely death following the filming of Enter the Dragon. Bruce Lee had been tinkering with the project for years and hoped to one day see it brought to life. In 2013 Sharon Lee — with Bruce Lee Enterprises — partnered with Justin Lin (director of four of the Fast and Furious films and Star Trek Beyond) to bring Lee’s ideas to the screen, with Banshee cocreator Jonathan Tropper also behind the Cinemax series. As of this writing, the project has been green-lit as        …read more

Cazzie David Follows in Dad’s Footnotes with Cranky Web Series

Larry David, Cazzie David

Larry David’s daughter Cazzie delivers a series that’s like ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ swaddled in Snapchat filters and drone jokes. Even if you didn’t know the names behind this year’s hottest web series, it felt instantly familiar: the nitpicking over minutiae, the anxiety-fueled arguments, the friendships built on equal parts love and disgust. Larry David’s 22-year-old daughter follows in the footnotes of his unique brand of humor with Eighty-Sixed. The web series debuted in April 2017 when Complex announced the eight-episode series about Remi, “a neurotic, semi-narcissist who, across several episodes ranging four-to-eight minutes, tries to ‘win’ her breakup.” The show came from writers Elisa Kalani and Cazzie David, the daughter of Larry David, cocreator of Seinfeld and the actor/writer behind HBO’s long-running Curb Your Enthusiasm. The elder goofy, acerbic David brought back Curb in October, but this year some new buzz has been swirling around his talented daughter. What Cazzie        …read more

How Will the Sheldon Cooper Spinoff Compare to TV Spinoffs Before?

As audiences take a double dose of Sheldon Cooper, how will ‘Young Sheldon’ compare to 7 of the best and worst spinoffs in TV history? TV studios, like all businesses, are in the industry of making money. Given the production costs of making a brand-new TV series, it makes sense that TV shows often overstay their welcome. But another thing makes sense, too: spinoffs. Offshoots of hugely successful television series have preinstalled fan bases, making them less risky than wholly original ideas, while simultaneously switching it up a bit to draw in new viewers. That’s exactly what CBS is running with Young Sheldon, a spinoff prequel of the enormously popular comedy series The Big Bang Theory. https://youtu.be/KhxKEg-IBBo By now most people with cable have seen The Big Bang Theory either through CBS or syndication. It’s been one of the most watched shows in the U.S. for years now. Best buds Leonard,        …read more

‘Release the Hounds’ Is Stupid Fun

Reality TV combines ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ with ‘The Running Man’ — with dogs. Contestants who have no idea what they’re in for are brought to a shadowy patch of woods. There, they’re instructed to find keys to unlock chests that contain money — and then leg it from a bunch of dogs. If they get caught, they don’t get to keep the money. Release the Hounds sounds like something 30 Rock’s version of NBC would’ve run. But it manages to be infinitely watchable despite the dubious concept. Release the Hounds — which I can only assume gets its title from the oft-repeated Mr. Burns line from The Simpsons — speaks to the same portion of the brain that makes us unconsciously rocket to our feet for a better view when a college hockey game explodes into fisticuffs while the puck glides away completely ignored. Or what likely drove the        …read more