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.
I’ve avoided saying it outright for a few years as it seems like an overwritten headline but one thing is too clear to ignore when looking back at this past year in television — we are currently in the most creatively vital time in the history of the form.
CHICAGO – The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, leading to the natural hand-wringing and chest-beating over who missed the cut. Before we get to the most egregious snubs of the year, a few places where the Academy unexpectedly, happily got it right:
CHICAGO – The first new Wednesday of the Fall 2012 season told a predictable story — CBS and ABC are doing well, FOX is still under-delivering, and NBC is in dire shape. As for new shows, “The Neighbors” was well-sampled out of mega-hit “Modern Family” but we’ll see if that lasts while “Animal Practice” and “Guys with Kids” can practically feel the blade of the cancellation axe already.
CHICAGO – After an incredibly successful 2011-2012 season, ABC is doing something of a victory lap by not changing much of what worked about a season that saw the network create a number of new hits, including “Revenge,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “Suburgatory.”
CHICAGO – In advance of next week’s official Fall schedule announcement, ABC gave a vote of confidence to seven of their biggest shows, revealing that they will be a part of the 2012-2013 schedule. The lucky seven include three freshman series — “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge,” and “Suburgatory” — along with “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Castle,” “Modern Family,” and “The Middle.”
CHICAGO – “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23” may seem at first like a cynical, modern program, but it’s really a throwback to sitcoms of the ’70s and ’80s when you think about it’s structure.
CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico appears on Bill Moller’s program on three Saturdays in December 2011 to take listener calls on the best television programs of the year, including “Boss,” “American Horror Story,” “Falling Skies, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Parenthood,” “Justified,” “Southland,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Middle,” “New Girl,” “Community,” and much more!
CHICAGO – FOX’s new reality singing competition, “The X Factor,” dropped in its ratings from last week’s premiere to this week’s new auditions. While the drop is no surprise (almost every show drops in ratings from the premiere to the weeks that follow) “The X Factor” was already slightly disappointing in its viewership from week one.
CHICAGO – Fans of ABC’s often-struggling “Cougar Town” had to wait until the eleventh hour last year to find out that their favorite show would be given a second chance with a sophomore season. Not so this year. In a surprising move, “Cougar Town” got the nod for an early pick-up for the 2011-12 season. Less surprising were the also-announced renewals of “Castle,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family,” and “Private Practice.”
CHICAGO – The programming executive that thought “Better With You” would fit well between the reasonably-good “The Middle” and the spectacular “Modern Family” clearly has no idea how television comedy has changed in the last few years. To call “Better With You” — with its laugh track, cheesy music, and horrible punchlines — old-fashioned is an insult to nostalgic comedies. It’s just bad.