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 – The Most Valuable Player, in a film that is brimming with great performances, is Gillian Jacobs (“Community”) of “Don’t Think Twice.” The Mike Birblglia-directed film is in the midst of a run at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, and Jacobs will make an appearance on behalf of the film starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. For more information, click here.
CHICAGO - Dan Harmon does not look very good in his documentary “Harmontown,” which is probably why he agreed to the project. The creator of NBC’s cult comedy “Community” is presented wantonly in this documentation of his tour across America to interact with his fans through live recordings of his podcast “Harmontown.”
CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.
CHICAGO – The full 2013-2014 Fall TV schedules for the five broadcast networks will be announced next week. Will NBC give “Hannibal” more time to find an audience? Will The CW close the book on “The Carrie Diaries”? Can CBS viewers plan to visit “Vegas” again?
CHICAGO – As the networks finalize their schedules, there are more periods than question marks. CBS has already renewed most of their line-up while some programs on other networks have nothing to worry about. At the same time, there are some axes that everyone knows are going to fall. But what about the shows in the middle?
CHICAGO – Rarely has a low-rated show survived as much off-screen drama as NBC’s “Community,” returning tonight to the network bruised, battered, and slightly damaged but still funnier and smarter than most of the alternatives. Where do we begin?
CHICAGO – The third season of “Community” was more inconsistent than the brilliant second but it still featured some of the smartest writing and best performances on network TV. I think the writers lost sight of some of their characters in pursuit of concept over substance at times but has there been a modern show that was more unpredictable than this one? You never know where they’re going to go, what they’re going to reference, or how far they’re going to take their concepts.
CHICAGO – Last year represented a notable leap forward for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as they finally embraced a few critical darlings over popular favorites, finding room for major nominations for shows like “Louie,” “Justified,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Parks and Recreation.”
CHICAGO – So you’re an Academy voter who has put off filling out your ballot for the 2011-12 season. I understand. It’s been a ridiculously tough year for me to pick and choose my dream nominees for the major categories and my votes don’t even count. Maybe you want some help? We’re all about charity here. As someone who’s seen more TV in the last year than most people do in their lives, let me guide the way.
CHICAGO – The British wit John Oliver has stormed the shores of the former colonies with his dry antics, as featured correspondent on “The Daily Show” and his recurring role on “Community.” His stand-up was featured at the TBS “Just for Laughs Chicago” comedy festival, playing before a packed house at The Vic Theater.