1-20 of 74 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
I've been wondering how the Huangs would handle Thanksgiving, a befuddling American tradition full of unfamiliar foodstuffs and forced family time. They did not disappoint.My favorite episodes of Fresh Off the Boat tend to focus on the deranged, delightful inner workings of Jessica Huang. This one was no exception. I'll always hold a candle for Eddie, Emery, and Evan — they're the little brothers I never had — but my heart belongs to Jessica. Constance Wu forever! As Thanksgiving approaches, Jessica eagerly awaits the time-honored tradition of nominating the holiday dinner host. She crouches over the telephone, waiting for the call. Her sister Connie gets picked every year, but because sister competition is the realest thing you will ever know — see: the Kardashians, my own sisters, everyone in the world who has a sister — it makes sense that Jessica wants this so badly. This year, she campaigns by »
- Megan Reynolds
When it comes to these performances on freshman series, Backstage staffers feel very strongly—from Rami Malek’s wide-eyed turn on “Mr. Robot” to Constance Wu’s impeccable timing on “Fresh Off the Boat.” Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”USA’s hacker drama came out of nowhere this summer, using its all-too-relevant subject matter and riveting cinematography to forge its own niche in the must-see TV landscape. But carrying the sleeper hit on his hoodie-clad shoulders was Malek, whose cynical voiceover drawl gives the series its frantic pulse, while his paranoid-as-hell physicality speaks volumes. Increasingly frazzled, Malek’s Elliot reacts to twists and turns as his audience does—even though, of course, many of those twists and turns are of his own design. It’s a complicated narrative, not least because creator Sam Esmail delights in subverting the reliability of his narrator. But Malek anchors the drama as a flawed young »
When Paul F. Tompkins announced his decision to step away from Speakeasy, we thought that would be the end for the chatty, laid-back web series. Instead, Defy Media’s MadeMan brand, which distributes the series, decided to retool with a new host. On November 16th, Speakeasy will return, with comedian Russell Peters replacing Tompkins at the helm.
Peters will begin his tenure as the Speakeasy host by turning the tables on Tompkins and interviewing him. Once the proverbial torch has been passed, Peters will move onto other guests, including Michael Shannon, Anthony Jeselnik and Constance Wu. Snippets from Peters’ first episode can be seen in a trailer released on the MadeMan channel (which is also currently hosting videos from its second annual Gentleman Up campaign).
Tompkins hosted Speakeasy for three years, but in July 2015, he revealed that his schedule had gotten too crowded, and as a result, he decided to »
- Sam Gutelle
Family sitcoms have been around since the earliest days of television and will likely outlive us all, especially since they benefit from the post-mortem gift of syndication. Television has had roughly 60 years to fine tune the format with classics like I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Home Improvement, The Simpsons, and so forth, but even today contemporary entries are still finding ways to freshen the genre. One such improvement being an increase in the role of the kids and how much they contribute to the comedy, and not just with cutesie one-liners. Unfortunately, that’s where Fresh Off the Boat falls short in its comparison to other contemporary hits like Modern Family or The Goldbergs: the child actors (Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen) just aren’t up to snuff and don’t have the comedic timing to really make the most of their material. By contrast, »
- Lex Walker
A few thoughts on last night's "Fresh Off the Boat" coming up just as soon as I gyrate you into my orbit... "Fresh Off the Boat" returned this fall without the narration of the real Eddie Huang, whose public ambivalence about the show only seemed to grow over the course of the first season. But the show honestly hasn't missed that "Wonders Years" device, because the ensemble has become so well-established, and the writing so sharp, that we don't need to have everything filtered from the perspective of Eddie, young or old. It's been a really strong start to the season, with the negotiation sequence at the end of last week's "Shaquille O'Neal Motors" a particular delight. Constance Wu has been so great as Jessica that it's been easy to overlook how funny Randall Park is, and "The Fall Ball" seemed designed to remedy that. Louis' John Hughes obsession had »
- Alan Sepinwall
Fresh Off The Boat has been given the go ahead for a full season by ABC. The Wrap reported that the comedy, currently airing its second season, will air 22 episodes this season.
This series, which stars Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen, follows a family that moves from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida because of the father's dream to run a western-themed restaurant.
Fresh Off The Boat premiered last mid-season, and it had 13 episodes during season two. ABC picked up a second season for a 13 episode order, and now fans will see more of this comedy set in the 1990s.
Are you happy to hear about this full season order for Fresh Off The Boat? Tell us what you think. »
ABC has ordered nine additional episodes of “Fresh Off the Boat,” giving a full 22 episode season to its sophomore comedy. The midseason comedy was initially picked up for 13 episodes, the same as its freshman run. Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen play the Huang family on the 1990s-set series. Also Read: Fall TV Preview: 126 New and Returning Shows Premiere Dates “Fresh Off the Boat” revolves around 11-year-old, hip-hop-loving Eddie Huang (Yang) whose family has just moved from Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown to suburban Orlando, Fla., so that the family patriarch Louis (Park) can follow his American. »
- Linda Ge
We'd waited months, debated Twitter fouls and argued over the too-much-too-soon of it all — finally, last week, we got a taste of what a Trevor Noah-led Daily Show would actually be like. The South African comedian had the tall task of replacing Jon Stewart, who over a decade ago turned the politically savvy late-night show into a nightly ritual for many Americans (and more recently, a reliable source for "so-and-so destroys such-and-such" articles on the Internet). The first few nights mostly inspired a lot "he seems unflappable" comments — and »
Fresh Off the Boat hits its stride when it snatches the treacly, tearjerking tropes of family sitcoms and hands them all to Constance Wu and her impeccable comic timing on a silver platter. In the capable hands of the writers and actors on the show, the same stories — growing up and realizing that your parents don’t always know best — feel fresh. Watching the same old shit through a different lens is what makes people laugh. And then it makes them cry.Last week’s episode set an overarching story line in motion: The kids are growing up. Everyone learns a lesson — there’s always a lesson, whether you like it or not — but the method isn’t hackneyed or clunky. It’s a cute little chunk of television, as delicious as a fluffy barbecue pork bun. Eddie and his boys have finally earned valuable protection in the form of »
- Megan Reynolds
ABC has had a tough time launching new family comedies but, last season, they found success with Black-ish and mid-season sitcom Fresh Off The Boat. Will the latter grow its audience in season two or will ratings shrink? Cancelled or renewed for a third season? Stay tuned.
On Fresh Off the Boat, a Taiwanese family moves from Chinatown in Washington, DC to Orlando, Florida. They open a steak restaurant and experience serious culture shock while pursuing the American Dream. The castmembers are Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, and Chelsey Crisp.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show's likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available -- typically around 11:30am Est/8:30am Pst. Refresh »
Out writer/director Kit Williamson’s webseries, “Eastsiders,” just began its second season on Vimeo. The show depicts the romantic trials and tribulations of a handful of Glbt characters in Los Angeles’ Silverlake district including: Cal (Willamson) and Thom (Van Hansis), a couple opening up their relationship to threesomes; Ian (John Halbach, Williamson’s real life fiancé), a straight guy throwing himself into a rebound relationship after breaking up with Kathy (Constance Wu); Quincy (a scene-stealing Stephen Guarino) who hangs out with drag diva Douglas (William Belli); as well as Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon) who is out of work and into a fuck-buddy; Cal’s sister Hillary (Brianna Brown), and a lesbian couple Bri (Brea Grant) and Vera (Vera Maio). Williamson chatted via Skype with /bent about his webseries and “Eastsiders” often drunk and self-sabotaging characters. What prompted you to come up with the show and the characters and their situations? »
- Gary M. Kramer
Everybody is talking about Kermit the Frog and his new gal pal Denise in marketing, but what about Miss Piggy? The Muppets star is owning her single lady status, first appearing alongside Agent Carter's Hayley Atwell in the Dubsmash War for Charity video and now she's getting awfully cozy with Castle's Nathan Fillion, as seen in the video above. Yes, Kermit caught a disheveled Fillion leaving Miss Piggy's trailer and he was not pleased. But he has Denise! The new promo above features The Muppets stars like Gonzo, Fozzie the Bear and Rowlf palling around with ABC's other players including Kerry Washington, Constance Wu, Eden Sher, Clark Gregg and more. "I think you stepped on »
At least this wouldn’t be the year of #EmmysSoWhite. (Memo to Oscars: The pressure is on.)
This year’s slate of Emmy nominees offered up diversity across the acting categories. But that’s not to say TV has achieved anything close to parity. Far from it.
Witness the lead actress in a comedy race, which is shockingly pale. Whither Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”), and Constance Wu (“Fresh Off the Boat”)? At least in the supporting race, Niecy Nash (“Getting On”) made the cut in a lineup that stretched to eight nominees.
Only one black actress has ever won for comedy: Isabel Sanford took home the trophy in 1981 for “The Jeffersons.” There’s been a shutout for actresses of color in that race since Phylicia Rashad in 1986 for “The Cosby Show.” That’s 29 looooong years. There’s nothing funny about that.
- Debra Birnbaum
After crowning the same champion for three consecutive years, the lead actress in a comedy category suddenly feels like one of the season’s most competitive races. And that’s without the should-be-nommed likes of Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”), Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Constance Wu (“Fresh Off the Boat”). Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising to see “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus walk off with a fourth trophy. But there’s a strong case to be made for every one of her competitors, especially two very funny, and very popular, ladies named Amy.
When it comes to Emmy voting, it’s never wise to bet against the incumbent, especially a performer as consistently inventive and exceptional as Louis-Dreyfus. Consider her the front-runner until the moment someone else’s name is called. If you’re looking for an underdog surprise, Amy Poehler »
- Geoff Berkshire
Emmy-snubbed Empire enjoyed a little kudos vindication Saturday, taking home top honors at the 2015 Television Critics Association Awards.
Photos Emmys 2015: The 47 Biggest Snubs
Other noteworthy winners at the non-televised ceremony, hosted by Late Late Show’s James Corden, include AMC’s Better Call »
Take that, Oscars. In a year when the film industry’s biggest awards were roundly criticized for having an all-white lineup of acting nominees, the Emmy Awards nommed a record 18 black actors in 11 different thesping categories. Impressively, the number comes without any single program leading the charge.
HBO’s “Bessie” landed noms for star Queen Latifah and supporting standouts Mo’Nique and Michael Kenneth Williams, but other than the “How to Get Away With Murder” daughter-mother duo of Viola Davis (lead actress) and Cicely Tyson (guest), the remaining 13 nominees hail from 13 different programs on outlets ranging from ABC to Netflix to Showtime.
That reinforces how the smallscreen’s much-ballyhooed movement toward diversity isn’t just a matter of one or two shows or progressive networks, but instead a wider spread of diverse voices.
But before TV Academy voters give themselves a collective pat on the back, it’s worth noting »
- Geoff Berkshire
The Emmy Award nominations are out. Unleash the hounds!
What new outrages have the TV Academy committed? Who have the voters overlooked? How can the process ever be taken seriously again after, well, insert your favorite oversight here?
Other than being announced this year at a less-ungodly hour, the annual unveiling has assumed an element of predictability in the digital age. Early-morning phone calls extending congratulations to and soliciting thoughts from the nominees, almost immediately followed by peals of righteous indignation on behalf of the deserving souls who are not, alas, among them.
Both of these are legitimate pursuits, but neither really tells the full story – or, for that matter, exhibits much perspective about the expanded roster of options now available and the increased viability of niche-oriented programming, which can survive on prestige longer than was once feasible in the days of ad-supported broadcast networks and a couple of premium channels. »
- Brian Lowry
Give the Emmys credit for at least trying to keep up with the current explosion of quality television.
This year, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences expanded the Best Comedy and Drama Series categories to seven slots each, and they made other minor changes (online voting!) meant to bring the awards into the 21st century. Still, there's more good TV now than even the Academy can keep up with, so the outrage and shock over the snubs and surprises in this morning's Emmy nominations is inevitable. Here are some of the most astonishing omissions and inclusions.
Best Drama Series
The biggest shocker here is the snub of "Empire," the season's breakout hit. Was it too soapy or guilty-pleasure-ish for the Academy to take seriously? Fellow newbie/Twitter sensation "How to Get Away With Murder" was also snubbed. Golden Globe fave "The Affair" got no love, here or in other major categories. »
- Gary Susman
Set your alarms for Thursday morning at 11:30 Et — just in case you’re dozing at your desk — as the 2015 Emmy nominations are upon us!
RelatedMichael Ausiello’s Fearless, Somewhat Frightening 2015 Emmy Predictions
You probably know which possible nods will make your heart sing with joy, and which potential snubs will leave said organ shattered like a champagne flute against a tile floor — but who are some of your favorite actors and writers cheering for?
We polled 19 industry insiders about which shows and performers are on their “must-be-recognized” list — and to up the stakes, we asked ’em to avoid »
Only three of last year’s Emmy nominees are missing from the comedy ballots this year (and it’s because all three — “Orange Is the New Black’s” Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew and “Derek’s” Ricky Gervais — are now competing in different categories). Combine that high volume of returning favorites with an influx of buzzy new series, and odds are high there will be a lot of disappointed contenders come Thursday morning. Here’s who we’re predicting will make the very competitive cut. Click to see our picks for those in the running for the drama series categories.
With six consecutive nominations and a record-tying four wins under his belt, “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons is this category’s undisputed favorite. But he’ll face heavy competition this year from Jeffrey Tambor, whose transcendent performance in Amazon »
- Geoff Berkshire
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