On the Idiot Box: "Burton and Taylor," "The Crazy Ones" and "Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host"

By Craig D. Lindsey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 16, 2013

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Dominic West (left) and Helena Bonham Carter in "Burton and Taylor."

Burton and Taylor
Wednesday, 9pm, BBC America
Captive audience: Hollywood gossip historians; biopic lovers; people who like their shitty TV-movies to star actual thespians.
Moment of truth: For those of you who were all up in that Liz & Dick bullshit with Lindsay Lohan last year, here is another telepic about the legendary on-again, off-again duo. I’ll go so far as to say this one is worse since it stars actors I respect. Dominic West (of The Wire) and Helena Bonham Carter (of Tim Burton’s house) respectively assume the title roles, capturing them at only one point in their life, when they starred in a Noel Coward play on Broadway. As expected, West and Carter bring gravitas to their performances, but damn, this telepic is just too damn schmaltzy and melodramatic to sit through.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy.

The Crazy Ones
Thursdays, 9pm, CBS
Captive audience: Mork & Mindy fans; David E. Kelley geeks; people who think that if TV characters say their lines really fast, then it must be witty, brilliant dialogue.
Moment of truth: If there is one new show this season that’ll make you yell, “I ain’t got time for this shit!” it’s this one. Robin Williams returns to TV, doing his manic, extemporaneous, certain-to-get-on-your-nerves-after-a-while shtick, as the eccentric head of an ad agency he runs with his daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar). As grating as Williams’ shenanigans get, it’s still no match for the annoyingly snappy, abysmally quirky dialogue and plotting famed showrunner David E. Kelley and his writers cook up. At least episodes end with a gag reel, reminding you that funny stuff did happen while they were filming.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy.

Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host
Tuesdays, 10:30pm, TBS
Captive audience: People who remember the old game show Liar’s Club; people who just love to racially profile.
Moment of truth: This Mark Burnett-produced game show has The State alum Michael Ian Black and comedian D.L. Hughley (the last, living Original King of Comedy to become a game show host) each hitting contestants with true/false facts that they have to decide are real (or not) in order to win some cash. As slightly entertaining it is to see Black and Hughley blatantly lie to these contestants, who are usually corny and embarrassing as all get out, there is something a bit off-putting about watching folk continually determine if they should trust a white dude or a black dude just to win money on TV.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy.

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