DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
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2015
Jan
31
 
 
As we count down to the Super Bowl, it seems the high drama of “Deflategate” just won’t end..
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 

Saturday night at 9 ET, HBO presents Mel Brooks: Live at the Geffen, which is his third TV special for the network, but the first one in his entire career where he’s doing standup. So why now, at age 88?...

 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 
This SNL clip special looks at the comic side of sports, compiling various sports-related sketches it’s done over the years. These could be as recent as last week’s Saturday Night Live opener, a spoof of the Deflategate scandal – and, most assuredly, will include the Peyton Manning mini-film from 2007, spoofing his charity work with young boys.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 
Headlining tonight’s concert, and certainly worth hearing and watching: The Black Keys. Check local listings.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 
For his third HBO special, Mel Brooks drops the Q&A format and does stand-up instead, singing songs, telling jokes and unfurling some of his favorite Hollywood stories. It looks like Brooks has been doing standup all his life – but he stopped about 70 years ago. I guess some things you just never unlearn – it’s like riding a penny farthing. For a new interview with Mel Brooks – the fourth he’s given to TV Worth Watching over the years – see Bianculli&rsquo
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 
Jason Bateman both stars in and directs this 2013 comedy movie about a man who discovers a loophole in the entry rules for a spelling bee, and signs up, as a bitter adult, for the contest at which he fared so poorly as a child.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
31
 
 
J.K. Simmons is the guest host – so expect some skits about not only his fierce music instructor in Whiplash, but maybe his insurance ads and even his neo-Nazi bully in Oz. D’Angelo and the Vanguard are the musical guests.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
30
 
 
What a behind-the-scenes comedy powerhouse was at work here, for this 1972 dark comedy character study. Bruce Jay Friedman wrote the story, Neil Simon wrote the screenplay, and Elaine May directed it. That’s about as potent as it gets, comedy-wise – and on screen, everything works, too. It’s the story of a young Jewish man who becomes smitten with a beautiful young blonde from the Midwest – but it’s poor timing, because he meets her while on his honeymoon to someone
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
30
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: This marvelous arts documentary series returns for a second season, serving up double doses of installments devoted to a celebration and analysis of the plays of William Shakespeare. For this Season 2 opener, examining A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the host and guide is Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, whose first acting job was in a 1986 stage production of Dream. This hour includes glimpses of the first film version (from 1909, a silent Shakespeare!), and of the infamous
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Jan
30
 
 
The second of this season’s new examinations of Shakespeare plays, this hour looks at one of his darkest tragedies, King Lear. Christopher Plummer, one of the play’s veteran stars (pictured), is the guide, and one of the best elements here is how Plummer reflects on the various Lear performances captured on screen. Also, we hear from one of them, Ian McKellen, who was so impressive decades ago, on stage and later on TV, in his 1984 one-man theatrical production, Acting Shakespeare. H
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for under $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post