What Really Happens When You’re The Last Man On Earth

“The Last Man On Earth” betrayed its title in the very first episode.

If you haven’t watched the hilarious Fox show, now in its second season, that’s not really a spoiler. You can tell from any commercial that Will Forte’s character finds out fairly quickly into the series that he is not actually the last living human who survived some sort of massive viral outbreak.

I think “The Last Man On Earth” is the funniest and most creative show on television today. Every week the show surprises me as it adds depth to a seemingly simple premise and creatively increases the stakes for its oddball cast of survivors.

I also appreciate how the show has made the lead character Phil an unapologetic, unlikable jerk. Continue reading

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Your Mistakes Give You Meaning

trump.thm_If you’re in the public eye and you want to find redemption for a public mistake, there’s really only one place to go: Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, a.k.a. the main stage of “Saturday Night Live”.

Actors who take themselves a little too seriously. Celebrities who say the wrong thing on social media. Politicians involved in some sort of scandal.

We’ve seen them all take the stage on SNL over the years.  Just this weekend presidential candidate Donald Trump – a phrase that will never not be hilarious and slightly disturbing at the same time – hosted the show. Over the course of the evening the show roasted his blusterous personality, his reputation as a racist and his tendency to trash his other political candidates.

That’s the catch with coming on Saturday Night Live – you have to be willing make fun of your mistakes. Continue reading

How To Fix A First Season Failure

Muppets-TV-Show-2What’s wrong with The Muppets?

This question has been the topic of discussion on all sorts of major entertainment blogs and sites after the first few episodes of the new ABC mockumentary show starring pop culture’s favorite felt creatures.

The ratings have been strong for the series that reveals the behind the scenes mishaps of The Muppets putting on a new late night talk show starring Miss Piggy. But the response online has been mixed, mainly due to the show’s slightly more racy sense of humor and storylines focusing on romantic and sexual relationships.

If you’ve already chosen to give up on “The Muppets” I respect your decision. Life is too short to watch TV shows we don’t enjoy.

As for me: I’ve seen the first few episodes. I’ve heard the criticism. And as for now I’m not giving up on The Muppets. Continue reading

What Jon Stewart Taught Me About Legacy

Watching Jon Stewart’s final episode of “The Daily Show”, I was struck by something truly wonderful.

It wasn’t the comedy of the episode, though it was as hilarious and irreverent as ever. It wasn’t the inspirational message from Stewart on seeing through the, ahem, bull”crap” of the world. It wasn’t even the powerful final “Moment of Zen” from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

What got to me the most about Jon Stewart’s farewell was seeing the community Stewart built return to say thanks. 

 

The extended opening segment of the show saw nearly every “Daily Show” correspondent over the past 16 years return in a touching tribute. While “Saturday Night Live” is often hailed as the greatest breeding ground for comedians on televsion, the seemingly never-ending cavalcade of stars “The Daily Show” has certainly given it a run for its money over the past decade. Continue reading

The Real Lip Sync Battle

Who knew watching celebrities lip sync popular songs could be so entertaining?

There’s no denying watching Tom Cruise and Jimmy Fallon serenade an audience member on “The Tonight Show” with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” is hilarious. Watching other famous folks dance and pretend to be pop stars is what’s made the spin-off series “Lip Sync Battle” the surprise TV hit of the year.

“Lip Sync Battle” works because it’s fake. We obviously know The Rock doesn’t sound like Taylor Swift. Seeing him pretend to is so ridiculously over-the-top fake – which is what makes it so funny and fun to watch.

Lip syncing is tremendous fun. But it’s also easy and ultimately fake entertainment.

Anyone can lip sync their way through a song. It’s entertaining enough at first. In the end though it doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

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Continue reading

Naked And Unafraid

Discovery ChannelMy parents love this show called “Naked And Afraid.” Ever seen it?

On every episode 2 strangers meet, completely naked, on an abandoned island and try to survive with no supplies and no clothes for 21 days.

To me this show is the height of insanity. I spend the entire time petrified thinking about the extreme discomfort these contestants must be in. I certainly can’t imagine ever “competing” on the show.

Yet “Naked And Afraid” has been going on for 4 seasons. It’s even spawned an entire naked television genre, with “Dating Naked” and other bare-skinned shows populating the cable airwaves.

I used to think “Naked And Afraid” was the craziest show on tv. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe the contestants on this show are onto something.  Continue reading

What’s The Meaning Of Mad Men?

mad-men-season-7-posterA lot of critics have been questioning this final season of Mad Men, as is their job. Seems like there’s been a rising tide of criticism that these last 6 episodes have not been up to the quality of the rest of the series.

One common complaint is that it seems like there’s no urgency to the story. Most people are wondering just what it is this final season and this show in general is all about.

For me this season it’s become fairly clear what Mad Men has been all about this whole time:

Mad Men is about the way Don Draper, and our culture as a whole, seeks meaning in meaningless things. Continue reading