Something old, something new, something… drawn: My favorite comedies of the fall season

The fall television is overflowing with comedy. Despite the delay of some of the best shows on until the spring, either out of standard scheduling (Archer) or network maneuverings (Community), a reasonably fruitful crop of new shows, combined with the continued blossoming of relatively young ones and the continued quality of now-veteran series, means the fall schedule is still loaded with watchable half-hour comedies. Continue reading

Why Aaron Sorkin Doesn’t Work, In Brief

It’s been bouncing around my head since The Newsroom debuted, and I’ve been searching for the right explanation to the titular question, and after not thinking about it for a while, the answer seems to have popped up spontaneously in my mind, and I hope that, after so many words on the subject, this is my final answer and I won’t have to revisit this topic. The simplest way I can put it is this: Continue reading

What really impresses me about The Kids in the Hall

given that they purposely avoided using topical material, and they had a relatively limited list of recurring characters,

was the sheer number of ideas they had.

So many of their sketches were so unique and yet all shared that same strange Kids vibe.

For over 100 episodes of sketch comedy television with no notable decline in quality, that’s an amazing feat.

What piece of art or pop culture first got you thinking critically?

I always enjoy reading and participating the AV Club’s Friday Q&As.  (I’m not going to tell you my username there, but I will tell you that, to quote The Simpsons, it’s “a name that’s witty at first, but that seems less funny each time you hear it.”)  They usually ask the staff about which work of art or piece of pop culture caused a particular reaction in someone or made them consider something for the first time.  A couple of weeks ago, for example, the question was on which work of art made them reconsider religion (or consider it in a context outside the one they were raised) for the first time, which led to some nice examples and discussion from both writers and commenters (on another note, the AV Club’s commenters are among the most thoughtful bunch I’ve found on the Internet).

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The rest of my Emmy ballot

I’ve previously posted my picks for

Lead Actress – Comedy

Supporting Actress – Comedy

Supporting Actor – Comedy

And with the actual Emmy nominations to be announced tomorrow (editor’s note: as of this publishing, ‘tomorrow’ is now ‘very soon, like in a handful of hours’), I figured I had no time to dally. So without further ado, and probably very little explanation, my ballots for the remaining categories, some of which are incomplete for various reasons:

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My Emmy Ballot for Best Lead Actress – Comedy

Last year’s winner, Melissa McCarthy, is a terrific performer stuck on a show beneath her talents, or as I call it, Chuck Lorre’s latest “aren’t these people deserving of our mockery?” sitcom, this one about fat people (see also: nerds, airy-fairy hippie chicks, Charlie Sheen). So in real life, she’ll get nominated again, but I don’t watch Mike and Molly, so I can’t vote for her. (I’ll vote for her in “Best Guest Performance in a Single Sketch” for the Hidden Valley taste-testers, though. Or would if that was a real category.)

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