‘The Mindy Project’ has a place among the great workplace sitcoms (TV review)

Sitcoms aren’t usually the best genre to binge-watch, as they tend to not have the dramatic stakes or surprises that make you want to jump right into the next episode. Often, sitcoms work well as something to have on in the background. But “The Mindy Project” — of which I binged Seasons 4 and the first part of Season 5 before my free month of Hulu ran out – is an exception.

Continue reading “‘The Mindy Project’ has a place among the great workplace sitcoms (TV review)”

John’s top 10 TV shows of 2015

These were my 10 favorite TV shows of 2015:

1. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (Season 1, The CW) – In blending musical numbers, broad comedy and genuine character drama about a troubled 20-something, Rachel Bloom’s brainchild is the most ambitious show of the year. By doing all three of those things well (particularly the musical numbers, which are consistently clever and catchy in the way they explore Rebecca’s and other characters’ neuroses), it’s also the best show of the year. I’ll be following whatever Bloom does next, but I hope this series defies the low ratings and sticks around awhile, at least long enough for an official soundtrack release. (Here are my 10 favorite songs so far.)

Continue reading “John’s top 10 TV shows of 2015”

John’s top 10 TV shows of 2014

These were my 10 favorite shows of 2014:

1. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (Season 6, Netflix) – “The Clone Wars” saves the best for last with arcs delving into the Order 66 brainwashing, Palpatine’s manipulations to take over the galactic banking system, and Yoda’s surprising encounter with a dark avatar and his first communication with a beyond-the-grave Qui-Gon. Even the “Jar Jar in Love” arc works due to the Gungan’s odd-couple banter with Mace Windu. While Ahsoka is certainly missed in this straight-to-Netflix season, she nonetheless feels like the absent center of this canceled-too-soon series. We can only hope that the storylines will continue in books, comics or “Star Wars: Rebels.”

Continue reading “John’s top 10 TV shows of 2014”

Fall TV preview: ‘Gotham’ and a handful other shows worth checking out (Commentary)

A year ago, I announced that the lineup of new fall shows was the worst in two decades, and although I ended up liking (and now mourning, since they were canceled) “Almost Human” and “Super Fun Night,” I think my prognostication was accurate. Now I’m here to say that the fall of 2014 looks worse. The good news is that, aside from “Almost Human,” the networks’ axes fell lightly, so a decent number of favorites will return. Here are my picks for three new shows to check out, along with a few returning shows of note:

Continue reading “Fall TV preview: ‘Gotham’ and a handful other shows worth checking out (Commentary)”

John’s top 10 TV shows of 2013

These were my 10 favorite shows of 2013:

1. “Bunheads” (Season 1, ABC Family) — I know “Bunheads” was the best show on TV in 2013 because it appealed to both the heart and the mind. And also because — with its dance numbers that attempted to illustrate the mood of the story — it was a daring work of art unlike anything else. Even Amy-Sherman Palladino’s trademark show, “Gilmore Girls” — to which “Bunheads’ ” quirky small town and obscure references owe a debt — wasn’t this ambitious. I also know “Bunheads” was the best show of the year because it hurts like hell that we aren’t getting new episodes or even a DVD release.

Continue reading “John’s top 10 TV shows of 2013”

Fall TV preview: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and 7 other shows worth checking out (Commentary)

Well, that came upon us in a hurry. Perhaps because there aren’t any major new shows to get excited about, the Fall 2013 TV season snuck up on me rather quickly this year. But while this is the thinnest lineup of new network shows (and returning shows for that matter, after last season’s cancellation spree) in at least 20 years, it’s not time to throw out your TV yet. Here are four new shows worth a peek (all times Central):

Continue reading “Fall TV preview: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and 7 other shows worth checking out (Commentary)”