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 – I might be more forgiving of the dramatic failings of the saga of Matthew Casey if I had never met Tommy Gavin. For years, we felt the pain and drama of life as a firefighter on FX’s “Rescue Me,” and, while I had some issues with that show, it definitely casts NBC’s “Chicago Fire” in a different light. However, even without Denis Leary’s hit show, I don’t think this melodrama would work. It just doesn’t connect on a realistic level like we need shows like this to do. I don’t expect it to burn for long.
CHICAGO – Every year, there’s a program or two for which it is strikingly easy to recognize exactly what people will love about it and what many will equally hate about it. Said programs are usually the product of creators with strong and identifiable styles and Jerry Bruckheimer is certainly one of those. Even casual fans would recognize his slick approach to the medium and your tolerance for that is going to determine your judgment on ABC’s “The Whole Truth,” a program that works for me but might not work for you.
Television Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – You won’t see many shows much more ambitious than NBC’s “Kings”. The multi-character drama borrows from the story of King David to create a tapestry piece about power, corruption, and war. It’s dense, layered, complex storytelling that you rarely see on network television.