Marty VanDriel
Comedy Dynamics

Long-winded comedy

Television | Jim Gaffigan is funny, but Noble Ape meanders
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 7/18/18, 04:20 pm

Jim Gaffigan has been married 15 years and has five kids: not the typical profile for a popular comedian. His wife, Jeannie, recently survived a brain tumor. Gaffigan drew on their medical experiences for his new special, Noble Ape, available on cable and streaming services.

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Violence on the prairie

Television | Corruption dominates in Paramount's Yellowstone
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 7/05/18, 10:28 am

Violence and death follow rancher John Dutton (Kevin Costner) everywhere he goes in Paramount’s new TV series, Yellowstone. From episode 1’s opening scene, in which Dutton shoots a horse injured by a bullying land developer’s truck, to his order to get rid of a witness whose testimony could harm his son, killing and mayhem abound. 

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Missing the adventure

Television | The Dangerous Book for Boys is an epic disappointment
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 6/14/18, 02:59 pm

Get your head out of your phone, and get your hands dirty! The Dangerous Book for Boys, published in 2007, seems like a great starting point for a TV adaptation. Authors Conn and Hal Iggulden taught young men classic skills like building treehouses, skimming stones, and making paper airplanes, and gave brief history lessons on topics like the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 

Amazon’s TV series of the same name is a squandered opportunity—a mushy mix of modern clichés and New Age spiritualism that pays brief attention to its supposed source material.

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