Breaking Bad (AMC) -vs- Weeds (Showtime)

March 25, 2012 Arthur Tiersky

When tragedy strikes, what’s a mild-mannered suburban parent to do to support the family but dive headfirst into the illegal drug business? That’s the question posed by two controversial and critically lauded TV series, Showtime’s long-running, half-serious comedy Weeds, and AMC’s hour-long, half-funny drama Breaking Bad, whose legion of fans currently awaits its fifth and presumably final season. […]

50/50 (2011) -vs- Funny People (2009)

September 30, 2011 Arthur Tiersky

Seth Rogen’s buddy is dying. Get ready to la-augh!

This is the hook for the new dramedy 50/50, but if it sounds familiar, it’s because you’re recalling Judd Apatow’s Funny People, with Adam Sandler (2009). If it doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because Funny People bombed once word got out that a) it was not the riotous barrel of hilarity that fans had come to expect from Apatow and Rogen’s previous collaborations (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), and b) the film was two-and-a-half hours long and crammed with subplots. Fans of Sandler’s usual juvenilia were similarly caught off guard, by both the darkness of the subject matter and the fact that he was playing a bit of an asshole. […]