David O. Russell out-Scorseses Martin Scorsese himself with "American Hustle," a rollicking '70s crime romp that’s ridiculously entertaining in all the best possible ways.
Tom Shales served as TV critic of The Washington Post for 25 years, winning the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1989. He left the once-proud paper in Ruins. Shales also spent two decades reviewing movies for NPR's Morning Edition and is the coauthor of two bestsellers: "Live from New York," on "Saturday Night Live," and "Those Guys Have All the Fun," on ESPN. No wonder he's tired.
It's with pleasure and excitement that I welcome Tom Shales, a good friend, as a blogger on this site. Tom, the nation's best-known television critic, won the Pulitzer Prize while writing for The Washington Post from 1972 to 2010. His blog will focus on TV and whatever else he feels moved to write about. -- RE
Apparently a new bylaw at "Saturday Night Live," which began its 38th season this weekend, is "The worse the host, the more sketches in which he'll appear." So it was with big let-down Seth MacFarlane, multimillionaire comedy tycoon who hosted the season premiere. Once he arrived on the show's tiny (and, yes, "iconic") stage, he was punishingly omnipresent for the whole 90 minutes.
We can be grateful he didn't grab a cow bell and crash the musical act.
With the exception of MacFarlane - a man who has gone farther with less than perhaps even Tyler Perry -- the series seemed to be in tip-top ship-shape shape, especially considering that it begins a new year minus two of its greatest cast assets: Andy Samberg, off to make more movies, and the incomparably versatile Kristen Wiig, the funniest woman in television since Tina Fey. Or maybe since Gilda Radner. Or maybe since Carol Burnett. Or maybe since, dare we say it, Lucille Ball?