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

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.
Aug 26, 2015

Got sneak peek of this show yesterday, it's a must watch! @NatGeo TV Outlets Examine Elephant’s Plight nyti.ms/1LB3OBE (via @nytimes)

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.

Review: In ‘American Ultra,’ Jesse Eisenberg Is a Stoner and a Target

nytimes.com — Some of the many, many promotional spots for " American Ultra " make it seem like more of a comedy than it is. That's not said as a criticism, just a warning. If you go, expect a diverting summer action adventure with occasional laughs, not a diverting stoner comedy with occasional action.

The Imperfect Wim Wenders: Touring Films by the German Director

nytimes.com — The German director Wim Wenders has a pile of awards from Cannes and other festivals as well as three Oscar nominations, but American moviegoers who stick to blockbusters probably remain unfamiliar with him. Perhaps a touring retrospective organized by Janus Films that begins a monthlong run on Aug.

Mo Rocca Finds Calm in the Kitchen in ‘My Grandmother’s Ravioli’

nytimes.com — It's a frenetic time on the culinary TV front. On Wednesday, the Food Network rolled out "Camp Cutthroat," a "Cutthroat Kitchen" spinoff competition show advertised with the tagline "This time, we're playing with campfire." On Thursday, Destination America's "BBQ Pit Wars" reached the finale of a grueling season of cross-country grilling.
Aug 15, 2015

RT @nytimesarts: Critic’s Notebook: Mo Rocca Finds Calm in the Kitchen in ‘My Grandmother’s Ravioli’ nyti.ms/1J9bDMG

Aug 14, 2015

RT @nytimesarts: Critic’s Notebook: Mo Rocca Finds Calm in the Kitchen in ‘My Grandmother’s Ravioli’ nyti.ms/1J9bDMG

Aug 15, 2015

Legitimately love "My Grandmother's Ravioli." Yes, I admit it. Great @nytimes piece tinyurl.com/ovubsc9

Aug 20, 2015

RT @mirhalberstam: Host @MoRocca gives good quote in fun article about "My Grandmother's Ravioli" cooking show. 😊 🍝 @genznyt mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/15/art…

More Articles →
Aug 28, 2015

Went into my local #beer store last night. They already had the goddamn pumpkin beers out. What the hell? It's August and 85 degrees.

Aug 27, 2015

RT @eleanortutt: I think if I had a tiny robot who made me tea I would never be sad again. twitter.com/techshop/statu…

Aug 27, 2015

What is it w/ PR subject-line blunders today? First a film that "arrives on demand July 14," and now NatGeo's "August primetime highlights."

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

Aug 25, 2015

I would just as soon have skipped the entire 1980s, but boy has this #Narcos series from @netflix grabbed my attention.

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


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