ABC, which has been keeping a lid on the Roseanne spinoff in advance of Tuesday's premiere, screened two episodes for critics on Friday with the agreement that they "not discuss, imply or in any other way reveal what happens to the character of Roseanne Conner." According to Daniel Fienberg, "Roseanne's exit from the series is handled in a way that's far more dignified and honorable than Barr-the-producer's exit from the show." He adds: "What The Conners evolves into almost immediately is what it really was at its best last season and probably always was at its best: a blue-collar family sitcom that has become a blue-collar sitcom about an interestingly varied blue-collar family composed of several generations and a selection of exes and only-occasionally-present spouses all just trying to make the best of a messy situation in a midsize Illinois town. The idea that Roseanne was the only comedy on TV tackling blue-collar issues was already a ridiculous piece of myopia that ignored One Day at a Time, Shameless, Speechless, Superstore and several other great pieces of TV. This is but one blue-collar comedy on TV, and it's a decent one. The emphasis that Roseanne put on politics in several early episodes last season is basically gone, but everybody involved with the show last year tried to emphasize that Roseanne was not now, and never really was, a show about politics. It's absolutely still a show about ideology or world-view, but it's that without ever saying 'Trump' or 'Clinton' or 'Democrat' or 'Republican' once. The questions are about how you pay for medical bills or how you raise children or how you handle difference."
“I was deeply hurt by it,” she tells Net-a-Porter magazine, “because I’d been working on that show for two years. I loved everybody on it. And then I realized, there’s been a big, fat, dirty secret that nobody’s ever talked about.” She adds: “But then there was also that thing (of being) an inadvertent spokesperson. Why did it have to be me? I could have said nothing. And I think everyone would have preferred that. But I thought, if I do that, I will be cheating myself and all the other women I know.”
"I mean it would be totally different," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But if they didn't have me on as a guest, I would be very, very angry. But I can't imagine it being that serious yet because I haven't heard anything about it at all."
"Something about Melania Trump keeps people hopeful — insistently so, despite so much contrary evidence — that there’s a bigger story at work," says Daniel D'Addario. "In her first interview as First Lady... the wife of America’s reigning celebrity-in-chief seemed to shrink," he adds. "Her real cause was not historical preservation or childhood literacy (or, certainly, the Be Best movement) but a defense of her husband premised on the idea that he has her unconditional support. The most pronounced traits to have emerged through the hourlong interview were one quality Melania shares with her husband — a refusal to brook deep contemplation — and one she does not. Married to an endlessly prolix speaker, the First Lady has painfully little to say, or at least little that she is willing to say. A figure about who so much ink has been spilled emerged on 20/20 as someone who refused to reward our attentions with anything but a steady party line."
One week after Wayans shocked producers by saying he would leave the Fox series after he was done filming Lethal Weapon's 13-episode third season, Fox has picked up two additional episodes. Wayans will be part of Episodes 14 and 15.
The fall of Les Moonves and the recent premiere of Lifetime's You -- which attempts to subvert the white male viewpoint -- have helped to hammer home the point that a lot of television has been told from the white male point of view. "Straight white men in America are taught that they are the protagonist of the story from birth. Their number includes me — I’ve always intuitively understood myself as the protagonist too," says Todd VanDerWerff. "And this mindset has only become more ingrained in the past 20 years. Under Moonves, CBS became America’s most powerful network, but also went from broadcasting shows like Murphy Brown and Designing Women to mostly being a place where women were corpses, whose murders were solved largely by steely, determined men, with occasional help from quippy female sidekicks." VanDerWerff adds that "over the past 20 years, no network has had a worse record of telling stories centered on characters who aren’t straight white men than CBS, a trend the network has only finally broken this fall. What does it say about a culture when by far its most popular television network is dominated by shows where women serve primarily as support systems, quirky comic relief, and victims?" Antihero shows like Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Shield have also helped fuel the narrative that white males can take whatever they want. "The best antihero dramas of the early 2000s, like the best great films of the ’70s, were cautionary tales, deeply moral stories about how, in some ways, the men at the center of them stood in for an America — or at least a white male America — that couldn’t stop gobbling up everything it saw," says VanDerWerff. "The shows suggested, always, that even if their protagonists didn’t get their comeuppance onscreen, it was coming, unless they could change their ways. Only a handful of those protagonists, most notably Mad Men’s Don Draper, eventually came close to doing so. But even now, these shows leave open the question of just how we’re supposed to grapple with the idea that many viewers will always see them as instruction manuals, or as validation of dangerous ideals. What are the takeaways for an audience that doesn’t want to dig into the moral and ethical nuance of The Sopranos and just wants to see Tony whack more enemies, or that believes Skyler White is the true villain of Breaking Bad?"
Jimmy Kimmel called West "an irrational madman" on Thursday night, while Trevor Noah described him as "a ranting lunatic." "West’s political about-face is confusing and frustrating for many—myself included—and in the age of Trump, it’s tough to know how far you can go," says Marlow Stern. "But no matter what you think of his politics, shaming West over his mental illness or bringing his late mother (or young children) into the equation is crossing the line. Y’all can—and should—do better."
Co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna says of Season 4: "Last season we dealt with the diagnosis and the mental illness, and then in the second part of the season, she finally defeated the dragon, which was her id embodied by Trent. Now we’re writing a more enlightened, present, grounded person who’s in less pain. In a funny way, this is the (enlightened) person she was pretending to be (in season 1) — now she knows what her tendencies are.”
This week's episode's "#CancelTheSimpsons" ending made it so that nobody could figure out which side South Park was advocating, and that's the point, says Jess Joho. "For the first time, South Park seems to be genuinely engaged with questioning its own place in the current cultural climate," she says. "The #CancelTheSimpsons was actually an extension of the season's #CancelSouthPark marketing campaign, a hashtag also playing into the show by appearing at the end credits of each episode so far. Many have been left wondering what this dare to 'cancel' South Park means. It could just be more typical fuck-you humor — or it could be indicative of a huge turning point for the animated TV legend. Arguably, both 'The Problem with a Poo' and #CancelSouthPark campaign is adding a meta layer of meaning to South Park's social commentary that's never been there before. And it's a gamble with a potential to pay off as much as its move to serialization did."
Taylor and Madam Secretary vet J.C. MacKenzie will play globetrotting monster hunters on the 10-episode sci-fi series.
As the Late Night host returns to Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live for the first time, Vulture looks back at Meyers' best writing and acting performances from his 2001-14 stint the NBC variety show. ALSO: Ranking every SNL movie from Coneheads to Wayne's World.
The long-awaited sequel to the 2000 movie Life-Size debuts on Freeform on Dec. 2.
Full-size cutouts of Hank, Bill Dale and Boomhauer have been on display on Kelly Hatley's fence for two years. “It reminds me of where I came from," he says. "I like the down home thing of the close community. The hillbillies down south are different than the people here.”
The Westworld star and co-stars Theothus Carter and Prison Break alum William Fichtner shot O.G. on location at Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional. Wright will play the former head of a prominent prison gang who is in the final weeks of his 24-year sentence.
Alexander Hodge says of his love interest role on the HBO series: "I think it’s so important to see a confident, outspoken, man bun-sporting Asian man on screen saying, ‘I want what I want.’ We haven’t had that before."
Davis, whose British series Camping inspired Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner HBO remake, created and co-stars in the Sky-HBO comedy series about a woman who has a crisis and embarks on a wild affair with a woman (Davis) while cheating on her longtime boyfriend.
The plain white, chunky sneakers that Jerry Seinfeld used to wear on his sitcom are making a comeback.
As Eater notes, the "Instagram-famous baker/model/designer/actress" McConnell shot to viral fame three years ago when she decorated her parents’ Los Angeles-area home for Halloween by adding massive, spooky eyes and fangs to its exterior. McConnell tells Eater around 300 production companies reached out to her in the aftermath of the video, "and they all wanted to do a reality-based show. And I don’t really watch that stuff mostly — I mean I have a few guilty pleasures — but I’m much more into scripted TV and storylines, and things like that.“ She ended up partnering with The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative, which created kooky talking puppets that steal the show.
The sequel to the Peabody-winning German TV series Deutschland 83, about a young communist operative who heads West, premieres on SundanceTV on Oct. 25.
Brenton Thwaites' "F*ck Batman" line as Dick Grayson (AKA Robin) received a lot of attention in promotions for the DC Universe series. "At the risk of dwelling on one incredibly stupid and childish line of dialogue, it’s the ethos of Titans in a nutshell," says Alan Sepinwall. Titans, he says, harkens back to the 1990s comic book industry trend of making stories with more sex, violence and death. "Great stories can be told in this mold, and have been," says Sepinwall. "....But a bit of the old ultraviolence doesn’t in and of itself make something good, or even cool. Many of these grimdark stories would prove just as embarrassing in their own way as a portion of the audience found Adam West, and in time the pop cultural pendulum would swing the other way. Superhero stories can be fun while also seeming legitimate, as most of the Marvel Studios films have proven."
"With Euro-cool style and compelling characters, Elite is trashy, diverting fun," says Natalia Winkelman. "It may lack the wry humor and female friendship element that glued watchers to Gossip Girl and The O.C., but it’s still a fresh, foreign update on a familiar brand of teen soap-thriller—the blueprint for which is more time-honored and established than even the oldest Spanish aristocratic lineage." ALSO: Elite is Riverdale, Gossip Girl and Big Little Lies rolled up into a murderous teen drama.
From its Hillary Clinton-inspired "Stronger Together" slogan to its use of #MeToo posters to its "it's a reckoning" line, the Charmed reboot makes it very apparent that it's a woke and feminist series. "This hammering lack of subtlety isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the original Charmed was hardly understated, and its stars will be the first to say that it was plenty feminist as well," says Laura Bradley. "Still, it’s tough to know how seriously the CW version takes itself—and that’s a question it should try to answer, since the original Charmed worked largely because it was so unabashedly cheesy." She adds that Charmed boss Jennie Snyder Urman and her co-producers "have proven on Jane the Virgin that they know how to run a house filled with strong female characters—but that show’s earnestness feels incompatible with the world of Charmed, at least as the show was originally conceived. The premiere’s funniest, most memorable scenes largely come courtesy of (Rupert) Evans, who is clearly having a blast as the whitelighter—enough to make you wish the rest of the cast could lighten up a little. Especially in such a girl power-driven series, it’s a bit of a bummer to see the bulk of the show’s punch lines handed off to a guy. Then again, maybe the Vera sisters will have more jokes to make once they’ve had time to accept their mother’s death and enjoy their newly discovered powers."
"I expected Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House to remind me of the Shirley Jackson novel on which it is based, or perhaps of other horror stories I’ve absorbed over the years," says Jen Chaney. "I did not expect it to remind me of This Is Us. Given the current TV landscape, maybe I should have." She adds that "the Netflix version is as much a family drama as a work of fright. Instead of casting Hill House as the center of a paranormal investigation like the book and its two subsequent movie adaptations, the series introduces us to the members of the Crain family, who move into the aging Massachusetts estate in the early 1990s with the intention of fixing it up and flipping it. But immediately, spirits start appearing and wreaking havoc on the five children, as well as their parents, Liv (Carla Gugino) and Hugh (Henry Thomas). More than two decades later, the kids are still reckoning with the effects of residing in that massive, creepy manor. Or, to put it in This Is Us terms: The haunted house is to the Crains as the Crockpot fire is to the Pearsons. But unlike the NBC weeper, The Haunting of Hill House isn’t interested in making its viewers cry. It would much rather scare them to death."
Matthew Weiner's eight-episode Amazon anthology series, like its characters, "continuously puts its worst, least interesting foot forward, aristocratically expecting you’ll stick around to see the next step," says Willa Paskin. She adds: "It has become a cliché for the makers of TV shows to tout them as movies, as in: 'It’s really like a movie, stretched out over eight episodes.' The run time of each episode of The Romanoffs, all of which Weiner directed and wrote or co-wrote, suggests an ambitious corollary: 'It’s really like eight movies.' ... But despite running the length of a movie, The Romanoffs unfolds at the unhurried pace of a prestige TV drama, and this makes for an unhappy combination. A TV show is a long-term relationship: Plot holes, underdeveloped characters, fuzzy motivations are also potential rabbit holes, places for the story to go. But in a self-contained, 90-minute burst, in a story that you know is supposed to end relatively soon, this pacing is a kind of provocation: How long until you pull out your second screen?"
Unfortunately, nothing much on the Lena Dunham-Jenni Konner follow-up to Girls works, says Tim Goodman. And it starts with the miscast Garner. "Who takes Jennifer Garner and makes her a completely unlikable and joyless nag, annoying everyone around her?" asks Goodman. He adds: "The casting comes off like it was just Dunham and Konner picking friends to fill out roles, which results in an across-the-board lack of chemistry (or much interest) as the story unfolds. And while Camping is indeed supposed to be a story of misery (because none of these people seem like campers, which is probably the central joke of the original series), making Walt's birthday weekend a torturous affair doesn't work if the humor that it's supposed to generate doesn't materialize. Watching becomes as big a slog for the viewer as getting through that ill-advised camping trip is for the characters."