Michelle Wolf’s 19-minute set from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner…[is] a courageous, knife-edge bit of comedy, dense with great jokes and harsh as hell. It makes you squirm, and that’s the point.
As Judas, Brandon Victor Dixon was simply fantastic. The only capable actor among the principals, Dixon sang beautifully, interpreting the material instead of painting by numbers. He brought unpredictability and riveting vitality to the production, and made it seem effortless. He pulled me to my feet several times, my internal 16 year-old pumping his fist and lip-syncing with the TV.
The Americans nails its environment, characters, and never-stop plot twists right from the start. [It features] spectacular acting, and the kind of multilayered insight into human relationships more often found in literature than pop entertainment.
The single best performance I watched in 2016 was Sarah’s, but don’t tell her. It wasn’t polished, for god’s sake, but it had an immediacy that knocked me, and lots of other people, off our feet.
The OA is a story about stories, a kind of “nesting doll,” with several narrators of varying unreliability impacting our understanding. It circles back on itself, with visual touchstones that alternately drive home points or upend what we thought we knew.
The bottom line: Manages sublime fan service and (surprisingly) moves the characters forward, at last. I thought the legendary “last four words” were perfect closure.
Stranger Things is a definitive 1980s mixtape – Stephen King by way of Spielberg.
Last night, Stephen Colbert put Jon Stewart behind his Late Show desk for ten glorious minutes…Stewart’s well crafted, very funny sketch was a balm. It was performance art, more than anything else – at once elegant and raw, expressing something we needed.
Actors Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan explore depths far beyond Gabaldon’s Harlequin characterizations…an erotic and intensely romantic crowd-pleaser.
Samantha Bee is, hands down, the best performer on late night TV. Her show is a lean 21 minutes, once a week, but it’s packed with more good material, more sharply delivered, than all of her “boys’ club” competition.