October 31st, 2011
11:23 AM ET

What's the verdict?: 'Allen Gregory'

Fox's new half-hour animated comedy "Allen Gregory" is perfectly titled, because the series star, a beyond-precocious 7-year-old of the same name, is the reason to keep watching.

The series, co-created by and starring actor Jonah Hill, made its debut Sunday ahead of another smart-mouthed kid, "Family Guy's" Stewie Griffin. The basic premise is that Allen Gregory's dad has fallen on hard times and needs his (maybe-straight) life partner Jeremy to get a job instead of home-schooling Allen Gregory.

That means Allen. G (as we'll call him) has to brave the halls of public school, along with his adopted Cambodian sister, Julie (Joy Osmanski).

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'Man Up!': So, real men don't use pomegranate body wash?
October 19th, 2011
12:47 PM ET

'Man Up!': So, real men don't use pomegranate body wash?

On Tuesday night, ABC continued its curious examination of gender norms with another sitcom bemoaning the apparent dearth of "real" men.

Up until this fall TV season, I had no idea that I was living amongst a bunch of "pantywaists," but someone out there in comedy development seems to find that to be true.

If Tim Allen's ranting about being the last rough-and-tumble "Man Standing," he's doing it for the three male stars of "Man Up!": Husband and father Will (Mather Zickel), his brother-in-law Kenny (Dan Fogler) and their friend Craig (Christopher Moynihan), all of whom represent the breed of video-game playing modern guys that Allen's character can't stand.

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'Suburgatory' is familiar, but funny
September 29th, 2011
10:53 AM ET

'Suburgatory' is familiar, but funny

If “Mean Girls” and “Easy A” had a network TV baby, it’d probably look something like “Suburgatory.”

ABC’s new comedy follows Manhattanite Tessa and her single dad George as they relocate from their city digs to the 'burbs after George finds an unopened box of condoms in his daughter's room. Tessa, whose own mom left as soon as the umbilical cord was cut, finds the surgically enhanced, Lady Gaga concert attending, mall trolling moms the most foreign.

Cue the oft-played joke of a pink sweater-and-pearls soccer mom rapping along to a song about being a gangsta. You’ve seen it before, but the deadpan delivery is what sells it in “Suburgatory.”

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ABC's 'Pan Am' lifts off
September 26th, 2011
02:33 PM ET

ABC's 'Pan Am' lifts off

Of the two ‘60s-set new dramas this fall, so far “Pan Am” seems to be the favorite frontrunner. (Sorry, "Playboy Club.")

It’s arguable that ABC’s new show is “Mad Men” inspired, but “Pan Am” doesn’t even pretend to carry the complexity of AMC’s Emmy winner, and that’s OK. Following a soap (“Desperate Housewives,” now in its last season) this series was a fitting bit of glossy escapism when it premiered Sunday night.

“Pan Am” makes the bygone days of plane travel look glamorous and breezy, bouncing around between New York, London and Rome. In this version of the '60s, everything is so shiny and new – I know it was about the past, but the interior of that Pan Am Clipper Jet looked like the dream of the future.

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The ex-wife who won't leave on 'A Gifted Man'
September 24th, 2011
11:29 AM ET

The ex-wife who won't leave on 'A Gifted Man'

If you watched only the first ten to 15 minutes of CBS’ “A Gifted Man” and then changed the channel, it’d be understandable.

Dr. Michael Holt, played by Patrick Wilson, is a talented New York City neurosurgeon so dedicated to his profession that he’s seemingly failed to develop interpersonal skills. He doesn’t wish his assistant (played by Emmy winner Margo Martindale, yet another asset to this lauded cast) happy birthday, fires a tech who failed to deliver to his standards in the OR, and is brusque with his sister.

None of that makes for a likeable character…until his ex wife walks into the room. And then we realize his sister was right: He is a lot less of a jerk when she’s around. FULL POST

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Filed under: Fall TV • television • TV recaps
'Unforgettable' feels awfully familiar
September 21st, 2011
02:56 PM ET

'Unforgettable' feels awfully familiar

I’m willing to wager that John Bellucci and Ed Redlich, the creators of CBS’ “Unforgettable,” are starting to wonder if they should’ve gone with a different title.

The latest in a series of crime dramas from the network feels awfully familiar – the New York City streets filled with crime, the cops who manage to crack the case by the end of the hour – and even with a unique ability for the series star, “Unforgettable” is precisely the opposite.

“Without A Trace’s” Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, a former police detective with the ability to recall everything that’s happened to her, as she has HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory), or hyperthymesia, as it was formerly known. (“60 Minutes” actually did a piece on the rare condition, which highlighted the experience of “Taxi’s” Marilu Henner, who serves as a consultant for “Unforgettable.”)

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