Derek Debuts to Mixed Reviews
Netflix may have finally bungled its winning streak with Ricky Gervais’ new comedy, clocking in at a mere seven episodes. The series stars Gervais as his sweetest, most borderline saccharine character yet: Derek, a saintly care worker at a retirement home who’s dedicated his heart and soul to his elderly charges. Most critics are in disbelief that Gervais has created a character who’s so unambiguously good, so it’s unclear how many of the negative reviews arise from a sense of cognitive dissonance and how many genuinely didn’t find the show funny. As of this Thursday, however, subscribers are free to figure that out for themselves.
Sons of Anarchy Opens the Fall Prestige TV Floodgates
FX’s biker drama entered its sixth season this week, making it the first of the highly anticipated fall cable series to return (we’ve still got almost a month left until American Horror Story unleashes its third season). Kurt Sutter’s brainchild probably isn’t picking up many new viewers at its relatively advanced age, but Tara, Jax, Gemma, and company were a welcome sight for the show’s small but vocal fan base. And, this being FX, there’s no shortage of hey-look-we-can-do-what-other-networks-can’t shenanigans, including sex, torture, and most gut-wrenchingly, a school shooting at the hands of a ten-year-old child. Let the lighthearted fun begin!
Jimmy Kimmel Fooled Us All
Wishful thinking’s a hell of a drug. How else would we believe that an amateur’s attempt at twerking would actually result in setting oneself on fire (and posting the videotaped results onto YouTube)? Still, Kimmel’s dramatic live reveal that the star of the nine-million-view twerking clip that was actually a stuntwoman came as a major surprise to many, myself included. Besides pulling off the troll of the century, Kimmel managed to show how easily manipulated and gullible the vast majority of Internet users really are — way more effective than the average late-night sketch.
Burn Notice Flames Out
The epitome of lightweight, summer TV eye candy, Burn Notice finally broke off its seven-season run on USA this week. The end result, unsurprisingly, was a picture book happy ending for super spy Michael Westen and lady love Fiona, but not before a classic fake-out death and a terrorist takedown. At the end of it all, Michael and Fiona settle down in Ireland for some good old-fashioned domestic bliss, a fittingly crowd-pleasing ending for a crowd-pleasing show. And now the wait for USA’s new drama about beautiful people doing risky things in semi-dangerous professions begins.
“Joking Bad” Parodies the Show of the Moment
The highly anticipated follow-up to “Game of Desks,” clocking in at 13 minutes, was Jimmy Fallon’s latest spot-on parody of a show that could use a little ego deflation. Jimmy plays Walter White, obviously, but look out for cameos from key Breaking Bad cast members and a few more unexpected guest spots from the likes of Colin Quinn.