Archive for October, 2014



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Troublemaker. Human hand grenade. Kind of a genius. Alcoholic. These are a few of the many words used to describe Dan Harmon in Neil Berkeley’s sweet documentary/profile about the creator of the TV comedy “Community.”

Harmon was famously fired as that show’s producer in 2012 and then set off on a cross-country bus tour to promote his podcast “Harmontown,” with Berkeley tagging along to record the journey.

Although Harmon resembles a scruffy teddy bear, the documentary shows his personality can be a bit prickly. During the tour, he argues with his girlfriend, the director and Hollywood suits, via telephone. He then uses tour stops as sort of stand-up comedy/therapy sessions.

Comedian Sarah Silverman, who worked with Harmon on her self-titled TV show, sums it up by saying, “I’m his biggest fan, and I fired him.”

Early in the history of the podcast (which is recorded live in the back of an L.A. comic-book store), Harmon called audience member Spencer Crittenden up on stage for a game of “Dungeons and Dragons” (they play a live version of the role-playing game). Crittenden defines the term geek. He doesn’t socialize much and lives with his parents. It’s amazing to watch him become the official “Dungeon Master” of the podcast, then an integral part of the show and tour and a sort of a reluctant star of the film.

The film ends up as a sort of tribute to the Spencers of the world.

Harmon states at one point in the film that he just wants to be “the guy who makes people happy.” This documentary does just that. And any film that opens and closes with a cat relating to the camera scores extra points from me.

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blackishThis comedy is one of the best, well-written new shows to premiere this fall. Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross star as the father and mother of a modern family coping with cultural identity and assimilation. Sound too heavy for a comedy? Not at all. Give it a try. Laurence Fishburne co-stars. 9:31 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, on ABC

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MarryMe_1For those of us who still miss “Happy Endings,” here is a new comedy that might fill the void. It features that show’s writer/producer (David Caspe) and star (Casey Wilson), and concerns a couple (Wilson and Ken Marino) trying to commit to each other. Series premiere, 9:01 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, on NBC.

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This is the returning fall show that rabid fans have been waiting for.

The big ol’ hit zombie drama is back, and we’ll finally discover what former small-town sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has in store for the residents of Terminus when he stated “They’re screwing with the wrong people” in last season’s finale. Bring on the walkers! Season 5 premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, on AMC.

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thenanceThe PBS Fall Arts festival continues with this “Live from Lincoln Center” presentation of Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony Award-nominated comedy. It’s set in the era of 1930s burlesque and follows a comedian (Nathan Lane) who plays gay onstage. 10:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, on KCTS.

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amazingraceFor the 25th season of this multi-Emmy award-winning reality show, things haven’t changed a bit (except for the move to Fridays). Eleven teams of two left the U.S. last week for a race around the world, with a $1 million prize waiting at the end of the journey. And, of course, host Phil Keoghan and his expressive eyebrows are there to greet the winners and console the losers.This week the remaining teams head to London. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, on CBS.

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