June 13, 2014 On Thursday night's Daily Show, Christopher Walken told Jon Stewart about his theory that Queens is full of retired cops who can dance. and Stewart laughed gamely ... for the second time.
Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) dealt with some relationship business in the New Girl episode "Mars Landing," but where are they supposed to go now?
April 15, 2014 Marc Hirsh looks at the direction of the Fox comedy and wonders: why can't it leave well enough alone? Or, in fact, leave anything alone?
Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt end their run in Raising Hope on Friday night.
April 4, 2014 Marc Hirsh looks at the series finale of the "goof machine" Raising Hope, and concludes that while some series hang around too long and some die prematurely, this exits at just the right moment.
If it's true that Lorde should be glad her Grammy nominations don't include Best New Artist, then the entire enterprise has become ridiculous.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
January 24, 2014 Marc Hirsh argues that the Best New Artist award, the kids' table of the Grammys, ought to go the way of the dodo bird, for everyone's sake and everyone's sanity.
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt on NBC's deeply pro-nerd Parks And Recreation.
January 9, 2014 There aren't all that many shows on television that are nice to nerds. But Parks And Recreation embraces its grown-up enthusiasts, whether they're into board games, Game Of Thrones, or dressing like Batman.
Joel Hodgson poses with Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, two of his "robot friends."
November 27, 2013 Marc Hirsh marks the 25th anniversary of the great bad-movie snark-off by taking an unpopular opinion about two poor fellas who got stranded in space playing with robots.
Katy Perry performs on Saturday Night Live.
October 17, 2013 Marc Hirsh checks in with Katy Perry and the current requirements for pop stagecraft. It used to be that you didn't need big and splashy stage shows unless they suited you; that's no longer the case.
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston as Jesse and Walt on AMC's Breaking Bad, which will have its finale in a few weeks.
September 12, 2013 Marc Hirsh explains why, even though he loves good television and good writing, he's ignoring the avalanche of Breaking Bad coverage until the show ends.
The Beach Boys.
Capitol Photo Archives
August 29, 2013 The band's new box set, Made in California, has critic Marc Hirsh thinking again about a group whose legend never made sense to him.
Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton make up the adjusted judging panel on NBC's The Voice.
March 26, 2013 The Voice returns tonight with two new coaches, while The X Factor will return in the fall minus three familiar faces. But only one of the shows is in trouble.
Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon star in Ben & Kate, recently yanked from the Fox schedule.
January 28, 2013 With the departure of Ben & Kate, television loses one of its few comedies whose characters — gasp! — like one another.
Girl group Lylas performs in front of Simon Cowell and guest mentor Marc Anthony on The X Factor.
October 17, 2012 As The X Factor whittles its contestants down to the top 16, one type of song has become triumphant: the slow, sad ballad.
October 16, 2012 A new DVD celebrates the kids' sketch show You Can't Do That On Television. But can a documentary work without looking directly at its subject?
October 12, 2012 With the increasing prevalence in criticism that sets down arbitrary rules for cultural consumption, a look at the unnecessary tunnel vision of "You're Doing It Wrong."
October 12, 2012 What do the Mythbusters crew, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Salon television critic Willa Paskin have in common? They're all reminding us of the importance of a recognizable reality in fiction.
October 10, 2012 A recent reassessment of Prince's Batman album prompts the question: Why has "Batdance," a No. 1 hit, seemingly vanished from his history?
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy on HBO's The Newsroom knows people who know people, fortunately for him.
August 26, 2012 On the eve of its first-season finale, some bold predictions about how the journalists on HBO's The Newsroom will lean on their fortuitously-placed friends and family for future stories.
Musician Sam Phillips
Autumn de Wilde/Courtesy of the artist
August 1, 2012 Faced with a new reissue of Sam Phillips's 1994 album Martinis & Bikinis, a critic reveals his inability to write about the music that seems to be made with him in mind.
Recording artist Fiona Apple performs in February 2011.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
June 29, 2012 Can you look forward to a record so much that you can't make yourself listen to it? Perhaps you can, if you're determined to have just the right listening experience.
Courtesy of the artist
May 23, 2012 "Pretty Little Head" is simple yet intricate, a contradiction which helps give it the feel of a nursery rhyme that's just starting to teeter off the rails. All the while, the arrangement works hard to keep listeners from finding their bearings for long.
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Zooey Deschanel as Jess on Fox's New Girl.
May 14, 2012 Commentator Marc Hirsh considers the viewer investment required to let an uneven pilot develop as a series, and how that process went very differently for two of this season's most hyped shows.
One more ride: Tina Fey's Liz Lemon gets 13 more chances to pick up a little elevator advice from Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy.
May 11, 2012 NBC has renewed several of its critically-acclaimed but low-rated comedies, including 30 Rock, Community and Parks And Recreation, with shortened orders. Rather than spelling their demise, this could be exactly what saves them.
Writer-director James Cameron on the set of 2009's Avatar with cast members Sigourney Weaver, Joel David Moore, and Sam Worthington.
Twentieth Century Fox
May 10, 2012 Director James Cameron recently claimed that he was no longer interested in making movies unless they were based on his 2009 hit Avatar. Two others have fallen into similar traps, with problematic results.
Oh, get on with it: Ryan Seacrest's increasingly elaborate fake-outs when he's delivering results is just one of the most irritating things about the current season of American Idol.
May 9, 2012 As we near the finale of the current season of American Idol, a look at some of the show's annoyances, great and small.