CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – FOX started the season last night with the season premiere of “Bones” and series premiere of “Sleepy Hollow,” and they continue their effort to fill your DVR with the return of “New Girl” & “The Mindy Project” tonight, preceded by the series premieres of “Dads” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
CHICAGO – Around a year ago, I named Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort” the most-promising new show of the Fall season. I think I need to relabel that this year to “creatively promising,” for while I knew Ryan and his crew here had a chance to produce something special, I also worried that ABC was dooming it on Thursday nights.
CHICAGO – It may not look as post-apocalyptic as “Revolution” or “The Walking Dead,” but Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort,” debuting tonight, is just as much about the end of the world as those programs. It’s about what happens when training fails, structure collapses, and human emotion betrays.
CHICAGO – TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” returning this week to finish out its second season with six episodes that the producers promise will be backed with character-driven drama, has quietly grown not just a loyal following but a reasonably strong critical foundation as well.
CHICAGO – It has yet to approach the writing standards of the best television on the air right now but the stars of “Men of a Certain Age” continue to make it one of the more interesting programs on cable.
CHICAGO – There’s a reason beyond simple truth-in-titling that I put the names of the three stars of TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” of which the first season was recently released on DVD, in the headline of this review — they’re the reason to watch. Created by Romano and Mike Royce, “Men of a Certain Age” is an imperfect program with at least one perfect performance (Emmy nominee Braugher) and two that sometimes come close. The “Men” of the title are excellent and if the program around them ever rises to their standard it could become one of the best on television.
CHICAGO – Superman and Batman return to follow-up on the success of September 2009’s “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” one of the most popular DC Universe Animated Movies, with this year’s “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.” Where does the ninth film in the franchise fall compared to other DC Universe flicks and does it say anything about the future of this hit-and-miss series of releases?
CHICAGO – When Wolfgang Petersen’s “Poseidon” crashed and sank in the wave of summer hits of 2006 — making only $60 million domestically on a reported budget of $160 million — I thought the film got an undeserved bad rap (and it actually did much better internationally). It’s no classic and my love for the Irwin Allen era disaster films might have disguised some flaws but it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – The mid-life crisis of the modern man is mostly about ego - as the body goes downhill and the role of the alpha male is supplanted by a new version of himself, men kind of fall apart as they realize that their peak has arguably passed. Why would such an individual experience make for intriguing drama? Using the mid-life crisis as a jumping off point for drama would require some seriously well-drawn characters, the kind of guys who you root to come to terms with passing over that hill. “Men of a Certain Age” does not yet have those characters.
CHICAGO – Unrelenting pain, obsessive drug use and chronic hallucinations. Yeah, House has a problem. He’s broken. But can he be fixed? And will he let himself?