Reviewing the Later Seasons of Firefly

firefly-serenity-crew

Fifteen years ago, Firefly premiered.

And slightly under fifteen years ago, it ended.

Continue reading “Reviewing the Later Seasons of Firefly”

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Emmys 2017: Which Shows Will Win?

westworld1

It’s that time of year again. The time when rich people gather into a big ballroom and repeatedly pat themselves on the back. The time when awards are handed out to people based on quality and also how much money they spent on campaigning. The time when a host makes some modestly humorous jokes and then disappears after the first twenty minutes. (Okay, I don’t expect much “modesty” from Stephen Colbert these days. But hey, twenty minutes.)

Continue reading “Emmys 2017: Which Shows Will Win?”

Was Ally McBeal a Feminist Icon?

AllyTop1

In June 1998, Time Magazine published an issue with a most unusual cover. The image displayed the pictured heads of four women: Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and… Ally McBeal. The first three heads were printed in black-and-white, the fourth in full color. Beneath the picture of McBeal were printed three boldened words: “Is Feminism Dead?”

Continue reading “Was Ally McBeal a Feminist Icon?”

Whitewashing… Or Is It?

GreatComet

Two events recently occurred in the world of pop-culture that, on the surface, appear very similar.

The first instance occurred last week, when controversy ignited surrounding the upcoming Hellboy film. Ed Skrein, a white actor, had been cast as Ben Daimio, a character who (in the comics) has an Asian-American heritage. This hearkened back to the uproar that occurred just last month, when Mandy Patinkin, also a white actor, was announced as the replacement for the African-American star of the Broadway play Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. In response to these respective outcries, both actors have stepped down from their roles.

Continue reading “Whitewashing… Or Is It?”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 3)

CWHistory3

[By Jeremy Grayson]

At long last, here’s the third quarter of this historical opus. Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already, and then come back here. I’ll wait. I’m the patient type.

By the time she was first approached to run the all-new CW Network, Dawn Ostroff had thirty years of media experience behind her – twenty in radio news (where she had started work as a teenager), and another ten in television. In 1996, she had joined Lifetime, a network with programming aimed at women, and presided over successful shows like Any Day Now and The Division. In 2002, she left her post to become President of UPN. And when the struggling UPN was merged with the WB into a shiny new network, CBS President Les Moonves chose her to lead the way.

Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 3)”

The New “Tick” Dares to be Different

TheTick2

[By Jeremy Grayson]

When he was first introduced back in 1986, the Tick was designed as a superhero parody – a deconstruction of the familiar tropes and clichés typically associated with the comic book brand. It was a tone that continued in the popular 1990s animated series, and in the early 2000s with the short-lived live-action series (which I wrote about earlier this week). Now, Ben Edlund and Amazon have brought us a new Tick – only this time (dramatic pause) it’s different.

Continue reading “The New “Tick” Dares to be Different”

The First Live-Action “Tick” was Cancelled Too SPOON

TheTick

[By Jeremy Grayson]

“Gravity. It’s a harsh mistress.” – The Tick (after falling down an elevator shaft)

Superheroes are everywhere these days, aren’t they? The summer movie season is flooded with capes-and-tights blockbusters. A heroic new TV series seems to debut every few weeks. They appear on all sorts of merchandise, ranging from backpacks and T-shirts to pencils and toothbrushes. And hey, sometimes they even appear in comic books.

Continue reading “The First Live-Action “Tick” was Cancelled Too SPOON”

The “Buffy” Film, 25 Years Later

BuffyFilm

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

Just a brief mention of the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer film will likely cause shoulders to shudder and faces to wince. While the Buffy TV series is a landmark accomplishment of story and character, the film which inspired it is generally dismissed as silly and pointless. Many Buffy fans haven’t even watched it. Joss Whedon doesn’t even regard it as canonical to the series, and he’s the guy who wrote it.

Continue reading “The “Buffy” Film, 25 Years Later”

A Complete Guide to Studio 60 (Part 1)

Studio 60

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

You like good TV, don’t you? I mean, you obviously do, or else you wouldn’t be on this site. We at Critically Touched write a lot about good TV, and great TV, and all the TV in between. Rarely, however, do we take the time to write about bad TV.

Continue reading “A Complete Guide to Studio 60 (Part 1)”

Farewell, Buffy

btvs-chosen20

Hi, gang! Jeremy here.

First, the bad news. As some of you may have already noticed, MikeJer’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer reviews are no longer available to view on this site. Sadly, all the Buffy reviews have been removed from Critically Touched. The decision to do this was entirely Mike’s – he has decided to fully move on from Critically Touched, in an effort to focus on other life endeavors.

Continue reading “Farewell, Buffy”

“The Many Lives of Catwoman” Shines a Light on DC’s Best Anti-Heroine

Catwoman

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

As a young child, I didn’t play with many action figures – at least, not from the world of superheroes. Though I obsessed over Superman and Batman from a youthful age, my familiarity with them was limited to comic books and cartoons. I never owned a Superman cape, nor a remote-controlled Batmobile, and my playtime implements were mostly limited to matchbox cars and little plastic farm animals. (The cows crossed the road, forcing the drivers to veer left. It’s more fun than it sounds.)
Continue reading ““The Many Lives of Catwoman” Shines a Light on DC’s Best Anti-Heroine”

The 2017 Emmy Nominees Are Surprising… But Not Shocking

ThisIsUs

[Written by Jeremy Grayson]

I make fun of the Emmy Awards a lot, and with good reason. They constantly pick the same shows over and over. They fail to recognize many of television’s greatest and most laudable shows. They constantly change their own voting rules, to the point that it all currently amounts to little more than a popularity contest. And when all is said and done, they’re just another awards ceremony in which Hollywood congratulates Hollywood for being Hollywood.
Continue reading “The 2017 Emmy Nominees Are Surprising… But Not Shocking”

Reviewing All the Spider-Man Films

Spider-Men

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

In the fifty-five years since his debut, Spider-Man has been both insider and outsider. He is Marvel Comics’ most recognizable superhero, yet he is largely disconnected from the publisher’s greater Universe. Outside of the Marvel Team-Up series (which paired him with other heroes in every issue), he has mostly worked as a loner, web-slinging his way through a more earthbound sector of comics than the Avengers or the X-Men.
Continue reading “Reviewing All the Spider-Man Films”

Get Onboard: iZombie

Pilot

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

“I used to be passionate, inspired, alive. Now, I’m mostly just hungry. And… a zombie. So there’s that.” – Liv

Full disclosure: I’ve never been a fan of zombie fiction. The horror genre has delivered a seemingly never-ending string of vampires, mummies, and werewolves, and while plenty of ghoul-centric books, films, and TV shows have been spookily entertaining, zombie-centric stories, with their moaning, groaning, brain-chewing antagonists, have always struck me as repulsive. Continue reading “Get Onboard: iZombie”

15 Years Later, the “Kim Possible” Pilot is Still Fantastic

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

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Great pilots can be a mixed blessing.

It’s certainly important for a TV series to establish itself in its very first episode, the better to hook viewers in for the long haul. And given the many moving parts involved in crafting a new series – from characters to plot to tone to production – it’s always something of a wonder when a show hits the ground running in its very first episode. Continue reading “15 Years Later, the “Kim Possible” Pilot is Still Fantastic”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 2)

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

Welcome back to my brief and entirely unasked-for history of The CW. Part 1 can be read here. Go read that if you haven’t already. And then come back to this page for the Roman numeral-free Part 2…

While the WB was flying high on teen-targeting hits like Buffy and Charmed, rival network UPN wasn’t faring too well. Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part 2)”

A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part I)

[Posted by Jeremy Grayson]

These days, I find myself losing track of more TV shows than ever. It’s the downside of having so much on the air – series that don’t click (or used to, but have now lost their luster) tend to pile on my DVR for a couple of months, before it finally becomes too much of a commitment to catch up. Too many other shows – both new and old – have my attention at any given moment to make room for all of them. Continue reading “A Brief Unauthorized History of The CW (Part I)”

Star Trek Reviews: The Other The Wire

[Blogged by Noah Burns]

[Introduction]

This is the first installment in what will be a series of short, one-off reviews of some of my favorite episodes in the Star Trek universe. This series will include at minimum this review, a review of ‘The Menagerie’ from the original series, and a review of The Next Generation‘s ‘The Inner Continue reading “Star Trek Reviews: The Other The Wire”

Mary Tyler Moore: A Trailblazer Onscreen and Off

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Turning the World On With Her Smile]

There are few moments in the history of television as iconic as the one which caps off the intro to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

In this moment, we watch Mary Richards, the character played by the titular actress, as she gazes in wonder at the bustling urban sights of Minneapolis. She twirls a Continue reading “Mary Tyler Moore: A Trailblazer Onscreen and Off”

The Great Debate About… Great Debates

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Intro]

If you’ve spent a fair deal of time around the Internet, chances are you’ve gotten into the occasional online discussion. And if you’ve gotten into the occasional online discussion, chances are you’ve gotten into the occasional online… debate. Welcome to the club, my friend. Debating topics which Continue reading “The Great Debate About… Great Debates”

Retrospective: The Animated Films of 2016

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[Intro]

Though I do watch and write about television quite a bit, I’m not much when it comes to filmgoing. I enjoy TV largely for its longevity, which allows viewers to get to know characters and environments, bit by bit, over (hopefully) extended periods of time. Film, on the other hand, usually constitut Continue reading “Retrospective: The Animated Films of 2016”

The 20 Best TV Shows of 2016

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[The Year in Review]

How do you define “Peak TV”?

At the forefront, the term refers to the fact that there have never been as many shows on American television as there are right now. (Close to 500 shows aired – either on television or one of the Internet’s numerous streaming sites – at some point in the past year. Continue reading “The 20 Best TV Shows of 2016”

How “Angel” Perfected the Art of the Spinoff

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[The Angel’s in the Details]

Television, as the current deluge of shows across broadcast, cable, and the Internet can attest, is quite the hungry beast, constantly in need of new ideas to freshen and sustain a year-round schedule. And with millions of dollars at stake each time a new series premieres, it’s understandable that Continue reading “How “Angel” Perfected the Art of the Spinoff”