Tag Archives: Jerry Seinfeld.

The Dichotomy of Spontaneous Familiarity: Reviewing The Jay Leno Show

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The Dichotomy of Spontaneous Familiarity

Reviewing The Jay Leno Show

Spontaneity is not Jay Leno’s forte.

That’s really the whole point of Leno’s appeal, at the end of the day – people tuned in at 11:30 at alarming rates because of what they deemed his charming nature, making him like just another part of your nightly tradition. But in relaunching himself as part of the Jay Leno Show, which started tonight on NBC and which will air five nights a week until…well, we don’t quite know.

See, what’s strange about The Jay Leno Show is that they want it to seem spontaneous. They want it to seem like an old variety show, with special guests and different bits and no stuffy desk. So when Leno walks out to his new set, a group of people “spontaneously” rush the stage and crowd around to high five their favourite talk show host for a set period of time. It is true that the crowd seems to enjoy having Jay back, but he’s stuck in a really weird place: he has to appeal to those same viewers while enticing entirely new demographics (who weren’t watching his show before) to tune in. As such, he needs to be appear spontaneous in order to broaden his appeal, and yet at the same time not actually be spontaneous at all so as to appease the crowd who watched him so religiously and who will soon have other options (like CBS’ crime shows, which tend to appeal to the same crowd).

In the end, as a hardened critic who’s on the lower end of the key demographic and who has never particularly enjoyed Leno’s brand of comedy, I wasn’t a fan. However, the problem with the show is that it seemed desperate to try to make me into a fan, a position which was neither spontaneous nor charming, and as such my verdict is clear: on every measurable scale of subjective observation, the Jay Leno Show is an egotistical failure.

But if it turns into an economic success, trust that we’ll be dealing with it for a while.

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Season Premiere: 30 Rock – “Seinfeld Vision”

“Seinfeld Vision”

October 4th, 2007

What is Seinfeld Vision, you ask? Well, it’s Jack’s plan to digitally capture Jerry Seinfeld and place him in all of their primetime shows in October. And Liz, freshly single and quilting, returns to Jack’s master scheme with a fresh outlook on life. Meanwhile, Tracy has marital problems while Jenna got fat starring in Mystic Pizza: The Musical on broadway. Welcome back, 30 Rock. I missed you ever so much, Seinfeld or no Seinfeld.

There’s a lot to like about the return of 30 Rock: Kenneth as Tracy’s Office Wife, Kenneth in an elevator with Jerry Seinfeld, Kenneth making Seinfeld sound effects, Kenneth in general…did I mention Kenneth?

To be serious, the show properly dealt with the show’s best elements: Jack’s big business schemes, Liz’s relationship insecurities, Tracy’s life problems, and Kenneth’s awesomeness. Adding Jerry Seinfeld to the equation doesn’t change the solid structure the series has established. The problem with the premiere is that it has to handle all of these elements, unlike other episodes which can focus on one or the other. Still, I’ll say it: the best comedy on television is back.

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