STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The fall TV season is just getting started, which means it's prime time for Eric Deggans, TV critic for the Tampa Bay Times, regular guest here. Hi, Eric.
ERIC DEGGANS: Hey. How's it going, Steve?
INSKEEP: I'm doing OK. So, I gather that there's a trend of somewhat older people in some of these shows. We're talking about adults with crabby, old parents.
DEGGANS: And, unfortunately, they're all stereotypes. They're kind of typically crotchety and very dysfunctional, very self-centered, and of course, the kids get to complain and moan about their parents, who don't understand them.
INSKEEP: But it is the full range of baby boomers here - from people still stuck in the '60s, all the way back to people still stuck in the '50s. Is that right?
DEGGANS: Oh, yeah. And, you know, it's interesting. You feel like these writers in Hollywood are kind of working out their issues with their parents, in these sitcoms. Because we have a show called "Mom," from Chuck Lorre, that's about a woman that's just out of rehab. And her mother has all the bad habits that she's trying to get rid of. She's promiscuous. She's also just out of rehab. And then this woman is afraid she's going to pass it down to her daughter. And you see this stuff working out in all these different shows.
INSKEEP: And there some others here. I could name a few of them: "The Millers," "The Crazy Ones," "Back in the Game." And then there's this series called "Dads."
DEGGANS: Oh yes, "Dads." It's the trifecta. It's a terrible show. (Laughter) It has the stereotypical crotchety parents, played by Peter Riegert and Martin Mull. And it also has loads of sexist and stereotypically racially prejudiced stuff about Asian people.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DADS")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: (As character) Well, you're lucky your dads are American. My dad beat me with a math book till I was 16.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Well, see, there you go. That's exactly why we need your help on Friday when we pitch to the Chinese investors.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: (As character) Why? Because of my intimate knowledge of Chinese culture?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character)No. Because you're going to dress up like a sexy Asian schoolgirl.
DEGGANS: It will surprise no one that this is from the writers who came up with "I Saw Your Boobs" on the Oscar telecast, now is doing a live-action sitcom. Hopefully, the show will get better as they do future episodes.
INSKEEP: OK. So, you don't seem totally enraptured with the programs you've been talking about so far. Any of the new TV shows any good?
DEGGANS: Oh, yeah. There's this wonderful new comedy on Fox. It's probably the best new comedy of the fall. It's called "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and it features "Saturday Night Live" alum Andy Samberg, and he's aligned with "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Men of a Certain Age" alum Andre Braugher. And I think we might have a great clip from that show, too.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BROOKLYN NINE-NINE")
ANDY SAMBERG: (As Jake Peralta) Sergeant, you know me. I have more arrests than anyone. Will you please tell the captain how dumb it is to lock his best detective in a file cabinet?
TERRY CREWS: (As Terry Jeffords) You're wrong about Holt. That man has forgotten more about being a cop than more than you will ever know. In 1981, he caught the Disco Strangler.
ANDRE BRAUGHER: (As Ray Holt) It's over, Disco Man. Put down the yo-yo, and back away from the girl.
INSKEEP: (Laughter) I think I'm going to start using that phrase here on MORNING EDITION, Eric.
DEGGANS: (Laughter) Now, what you're missing in radio, of course, is this visual of Andre Braugher, who we've seen - you know, with close-cropped hair, but he's back in the '70s, so he has a little bit of an afro. It's really a wonderful look. And to see these two types play off of each other - Andy Samberg's kind of silly; Andre Braugher is more serious, but he's also very aware of what Andy Samberg's character is trying to do. And he knows how to get one-up on him every time. And it's just great to see these two guys. They have a really unexpected and really funny chemistry together.
INSKEEP: Eric Deggans, TV critic of the Tampa Bay Times and soon to be on staff at NPR. Eric, welcome, by the way.
DEGGANS: Thanks for having me.
INSKEEP: And remember: Put down the yo-yo, and back away from the girl.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)