THR reviews: ‘$#*!,’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ ‘Outsourced,’ ‘My Generation’
A round-up of THR reviews…
CBS’ “$#*! my Dad Says”:
There are so many problems with “$#*!” that one hardly knows where to begin. But let’s start at conception: the idea had one strike against it the second CBS decided to transplant Justin Halpern’s Twitter creation into broadcast TV because the profanities that are absolutely essential to its humor had to be left behind. Had “$#*!” been put on cable, it might have had a chance….
But it isn’t long before “$#*!” descends into a touchy-feely back-and-forth whinefest between father and son in which they endlessly discuss the one thing Halpern’s father probably doesn’t even realize he has: feelings
Then there is the matter of Shatner. whatever magic David E. Kelley worked on “Boston Legal” to alchemize Shatner’s nutty vibe into comic gold is lost here. It’s as if Shatner has gotten the memo that he’s a bit of a weirdo, and now instead of just being a weirdo, he self-consciously acts like a weirdo with wacky line readings. One can’t help but wonder what another elder actor who can truly radiate insanity, like, say, Jerry Stiller, could have done with this role. MORE HERE…
CBS’ “Blue Bloods:
Pivoting on new York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Selleck, in a strong return to form) and an extended brood that includes two sons (Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg) on the force, a daughter (Bridget Moynahan) in the district attorney’s office and a father (Len Cariou) who was Frank’s predecessor, “Blue Bloods” embodies two of this season’s big themes — comfort food, in this case watching a familiar like Selleck assume the role of a deceptively avuncular cop, and the conspiracy that results when a dynasty like the Reagan family amasses too much power…
“Blue Bloods” excels through its high-tone production values — Sinatra and Alicia Keys on the soundtrack; urban texture memorably captured across multiple boroughs — and standout performances from Selleck and Wahlberg, whose moral ambiguity and thinly veiled powder-keg fury, passed down by lineage, promises to fuel the series through a gripping first season — provided audiences tune in. MORE HERE …
But for those with the grit to get past, or over, the premise and watch without prejudice, “Outsourced” is a chance to grin in the face of modern economic realities while having fun with the U.S.-India culture crash. the show from Ken Kwapis and based on a 2006 indie film isn’t about jobs lost; it’s about opportunity gained. it makes light of the opposites of East and West without polarizing them. and most important: It’s funny. ….
Such is the nature of the back-and-forth. It’s not cruel. It’s not culturally insensitive. It’s comedy. A workplace comedy and natural “Office” companion.
Americans know how to laugh at ourselves and that it’s OK to laugh at someone else. NBC is plunging headlong into an abyss of risk-reward with the single-camera, laugh-track-free “Outsourced.” It’s still hard to believe that the network took the chance on it; the public should do the same. MORE HERE…
ABC’s “My Generation”:
Now imagine it’s 10 years after graduation, and the film crew is back, tracking down the naive nine around the country and back to Austin, where apparently most still live. Not one of them is happy: They’re losers in love, adulterers, drunks, commitment-phobe slackers, have daddy issues or are raising 10-year old boys from that prom-night stand.
Who wants to spend time with these people? ABC thinks millions will, and that’s the basis for “My Generation,” a show with a concept so top-heavy that before the first episode is out, it’s already tumbling into its own conceit.
There’s no unifying center for these nine, because as in the real world, most left home. That means creator Noah Hawley (“The Unusuals”) has to contrive reasons for the wanderers to return. That’s not just unrealistic; it’s a nightmare reminiscent of George Bailey’s failure to escape Bedford Falls. on top of that, there’s the documentary crew, which scares every one of the winsome, pleasant and bland characters into hiding the minute something gets juicy. MORE HERE…
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