TV critic at The New York Times. Also, the occasional film. Theater too.

‘North Woods Law’ Offers a Gentler View of Law Enforcement (and More Bears)

nytimes.com — RANGELEY, Me. - "Are you filming?" the first boater pulled over on Rangeley Lake here asked. He had recognized the two Maine game wardens who were maneuvering their boat abreast on a sunny August Saturday. On another boat, the reaction was, "Hey, you're the guys from the TV show."

Netflix’s ‘Narcos': Watched It All? Talk About It With the Critic Neil Genzlinger

artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com — What have you done with nice Pablo Escobar, and who is this nasty psychopath you put in his place? If you took a break after watching the first five episodes of the new Netflix series "Narcos," as I did, and then watched the final five, that might well have been your reaction.

Review: ‘Big Blue Live’ Searches for Marine Life

nytimes.com — "Big Blue Half-Live" might have been a more accurate title, and only the humpback whales seem to have gotten the memo for the initial East Coast broadcast, but at least give PBS credit for trying something different.

Netflix's new show, 'Narcos,' shows cocaine kingpin's iron fist, multiple ambitions

ocregister.com — The small screen offers plenty of post-Vietnam, pre-Sept. 11 nostalgia these days, but don't expect a warm and fuzzy feeling from "Narcos," an irresistible drama that begins streaming Friday on Netflix. Expect instead a reminder of a time when a few lawless men did a lot of societal damage by spreading cocaine far and wide.

Review: ‘Narcos’ Follows the Rise and Reign of Pablo Escobar

nytimes.com — The small screen offers plenty of post-Vietnam, pre-Sept. 11 nostalgia these days, but don't expect a warm and fuzzy feeling from "Narcos," an irresistible drama that begins streaming Friday on Netflix. Expect instead a reminder of a time when a few lawless men did a lot of societal damage by spreading cocaine far and wide.
Aug 27, 2015

Who says late August is a TV dead zone? My review of @Netflix's tasty #Narcos, about #cocaine kingpins of yore: nyti.ms/1WURXC6

National Geographic’s TV Outlets Examine Elephant’s Plight

nytimes.com — It has been a summer full of shark programming, but National Geographic's outlets are devoting the last Sunday of August to elephants and their struggles to survive. At 8 p.m., the National Geographic Channel brings back "Explorer" with an episode called " Warlords of Ivory," a disturbing look at how extreme elephant poaching is in Africa.

Review: ‘The Carmichael Show,’ With Jabs and Jokes, Has Its Debut on NBC

nytimes.com — You remember your mother's admonition: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." In that spirit, let's just say that "The Carmichael Show," a comedy that begins Wednesday on NBC, is marginally better than the awful "Mr. Robinson," another comedy the network disgorged this month.

A Reluctant Teenager, a Barbershop Quartet, and a Revelation

nytimes.com — The memory is hazy, but I can't imagine that I went enthusiastically into a concert hall in Portland, Maine, on May 18, 1974. The groups on the bill were not the kind that most 19-year-olds were flocking to see. Yet my mind was blown just as thoroughly as if I'd seen Kiss or Queen.
Aug 24, 2015

Really nice essay: A Reluctant Teenager, a Barbershop Quartet, and a Revelation nyti.ms/1LvOO8j

Aug 24, 2015

Walked into an auditorium reluctantly, came out transformed: a remembrance of my early brush with #barbershop: nyti.ms/1hDl8JV #music

Aug 24, 2015

RT @barbershopnews: When those men started to sing, an unremarkable evening turned into a revelation.I expected stodgy and got stunning. ow.ly/RiRb0

Aug 25, 2015

RT @kalyTsoto: .@genznyt has a longtime love of cappella music and it started with a babershop quartet concert. nyti.ms/1LvOO8j #PitchPerfect

Review: A Despairing Librarian Is Ready to Check Out in ‘After Words’

nytimes.com — In September, television viewers will have a chance to see Marcia Gay Harden play a brusque, decisive, rule-bending doctor in the new CBS drama " Code Black." Anyone who wants to see her play more or less the polar opposite of that character is hereby referred to " After Words," a romance novel of a movie featuring the world's most stereotypical librarian.
Aug 24, 2015

RT @dschmidle: Props to @genznyt for calling out a tired stereotype. "Despairing Librarian Is Ready to Check Out in ‘After Words’ nyti.ms/1EGbQRZ

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Converts a Skeptic

nytimes.com — For years I was put off by the unrelenting crudeness of the television comedy " It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." In 2011 I wrote a minute-by-minute comparison of its Season 7 premiere with the Season 3 premiere of another crass show, "Blue Mountain State," assessing which was more vulgar.
More Articles →
Sep 04, 2015

Had a great day a few Saturdays ago riding w wardens from @NorthWoodsLawAP on #Rangeley Lake. Article coming tomorrow. #Maine #fishing

Sep 03, 2015

RT @MichaelPaulson: Casting coup: Kathleen Turner and Deborah Cox will perform in new Off Broadway play with transgender theme nyti.ms/1LXpto1

Sep 02, 2015

Press release headline: "GetTV Features 1967 Western TV Series 'Hondo' in Mini-Marathon." I don't know what to say.

Sep 02, 2015

It appears that my invitation to be on #DWTS was misdirected to @THEGaryBusey. Not the first time we've been mistaken for each other.

Sep 02, 2015

RT @samtanenhaus: wait for it: my niece, almost 13, is stoked to start a tennis fashion blog, based on hideous outfits at this year's Open.

Sep 02, 2015

Just watched next week's @PlayingHouseUSA S2 finale. #Jammers r gonna be happy campers. The Zach Woods/Pamela Adlon scenes deserve a prize.

Aug 31, 2015

RT @rjpuls: Holy crap it left only an EYEBALL?? I man, why not just eat it really, at that point. #BigBlueLive #killerwhalesarejerks


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