Red Band Society is shallow, but has potential

(Television) Plus Fall 2014 Premiers!

The best family TV has something for everybody: slapstick for the kids, a cute teenage boy for the aloof older sister, a tragic love story for Mom, and some funny grown up jokes at which Dad can chuckle knowingly.

Everything you need to know about Utopia

This isn’t Utopia. This is Armory Square on a Saturday night.

The premise: put a bunch of strangers from the farthest reaches of the ideological spectrum on a beautifully crafted compound to “build your own Utopia.”

Is the MDA Telethon Still an Inspiration?

Spoiler alert: it isn’t.

When I was a kid, I watched the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon every year. On the last Sunday night of summer vacation, my mom and I would curl up on the couch, my dad across the room in his La-Z-Boy, and we would watch celebrities raise money for (as I saw it) kids who walked funny. The show’s animated host told stories and jokes and thanked us for caring. He cried. He cared more than all of us. It was fun and inspirational. And plus, I got to stay up late!

10 Emmy Nominees with Upstate New York Connections

Which Emmy nominees have central and upstate New York connections?

On Monday night, the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will celebrate the best of the best across all genres of television programming from the past year. This year’s host is SNL funnyman-turned-late-night-host Seth Meyers. In addition to handing out statuettes and indulging in dozens of “I’d like to thank God and my mom” speeches, the awards will feature a musical performance by Sara Bareilles (uh, random?) and what is sure to be a moving tribute to Robin Williams by his friend and colleague, Billy Crystal.

Robin Williams was first, and last, a TV star

We can continue to celebrate his life. Robin Williams (1951 – 2014)

Last week, I sat down to watch something featuring Robin Williams. In the wake of his death, I’m sure many of us have wanted to watch little else. The great comedian is known for his crazy vocal antics in Disney’s Aladdin (1992), as well as the great dramatic achievements Dead Poets Society (1989) and Good Will Hunting (1997). But I think many of us - particularly those of us who grew up loving and learning from the Genie and Mrs. Doubtfire - forget that Williams’ career began and ended on the small screen, not the big one.

It’s Shark Week

Sarah Hope tells us what to expect from this years installment of Shark Week.

Stock up on Ramen Noodle soup. Cancel all of your plans. Skip work. Don’t leave your couch. It’s here: Shark Week 2014.

The Revival of Joss Whedon’s Firefly

There has never been a better time for a revival like this.

Saturday night, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy at Destiny USA. We didn’t opt for IMAX or 3D or even RPX. Our poor grad student wallets requested that we see the standard version. When the lights dimmed, I shoved a handful of popcorn in my mouth, sat back and prepared for yet another silly summer superhero blockbuster.

WGN’s Manhattan could be the best show of the summer

“Welcome to nowhere”

A disheveled man in a brown suit stands poised in the dark. He hits a golf ball into a field of fog or maybe a sandstorm, backlit by the headlights of his automobile. Pausing before teeing up a second ball, the man stops as if struck by an idea. He fingers the golf ball, rushes to his car and speeds away. The suit, the car and the lower thirds tell us it’s July 1943 - 766 days before Hiroshima.

The Leftovers: Lost creator’s return to TV is dark and different

Sarah Hope reviews HBO’s new series, The Leftovers, from the creators of Lost.

Grief is a lonely emotion. Every thought is replaced by one of the deceased. Every movement takes great effort. Every distraction seems trivial. Even when you’re surrounded by others, the world feels devoid of hope.

The state of the Emmy Awards

As quality television continues to grow in scope and volume, the Primetime Emmys will grow and change as well.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced last week the nominees for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards. Naturally, there were predictable sweeps and a few mind boggling snubs. But the Emmys are at a sort of crossroads, and we may be seeing big changes in content and format in the near future.