TV on the Amazon – Part II

It’s part two of my review of the Amazon comedy pilots. Now, where were we…

Onion News Empire – The Onion is the king of news satire, especially when it comes to news satire on the web. (The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are definitely tied for a very close second.) So, it’s no real stretch for them to come up with a cable news sitcom, especially since they already have a short-form version. It took me a little while to get comfortable with a long-form Onion piece, but I got used to it and enjoyed it. The jokes came at an insanely rapid pace, and the cast (which includes Jeffrey Tambor and Cheyenne Jackson) was awesome. Like the web satires I’ve enjoyed before it (e.g. Burning Love), I have a feeling that, I wouldn’t watch Onion News Empire week-to-week; I would let the episodes pile up so I could binge in one sitting. (Of course, Amazon could release the episodes all at once, ensuring that I would definitely have an Onion News Empire marathon). Verdict: They have a Baby News Network. Who wouldn’t want to give this show at least a chance? Read the rest of this entry »


TV on the Amazon – Part I

It blew my mind when I realized that, before they had a VCR, my parents had no way to watch TV that they missed…unless the station re-aired it at a later date and they were available to watch it then. Yeah, that probably shouldn’t be mind-blowing, but I have taken for granted that I can watch my favorite TV shows any time. I am never limited to the exact time they air. In fact, I can wait years to watch it. (I only watched Twin Peaks this summer.) I didn’t watch Arrested Development until 2008 when the entire series was (one of the first to be) available on Hulu. Arrested Development is perfectly suited for online binge-viewing. Which made its resurrection on Netflix, the ultimate binge-viewing machine, an ideal partnership.  Read the rest of this entry »

The latest in bad TV

Many critics have said it: we’re living in another golden age of television. From Breaking Bad to Parks and Recreation, from The Middle to Game of Thrones, we’ve got a whole lotta good TV to watch. They don’t all bring the ratings, but with online streaming and the my-friend-really-wants-me-to-watch-this-show-so-I’m-gonna-binge-watch-before-the-next-season-starts mentality that pervades our culture, series with unique stories, great casts and fabulous writing can still find a place in this world, even if more people are watching NCIS and The Voice.

However many acclaimed scripted shows they have, most channels want to find their Voice. And I can’t blame them. Having a few Goliaths that really bring in the ratings creates a safe foundation for the lower-rated critical darlings to thrive. However, before you reel in that big fish, you usually catch a few duds that you must throw back in pity. Read the rest of this entry »