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Tag Archive: Jere Burns


It was last year’s funniest new comedy.  In the crazy modern world where a television series can have two seasons in one year, Angie Tribeca returns to TBS tonight with the first episode of its third season.  Season One and Two were full of cameos, including Bill Murray, Heather Graham, and James Franco, and this season is no exception.  In the next ten episodes of the half-hour police procedural comedy, you’ll find Star Trek star Chris Pine as a Hannibal Lecter-inspired criminal and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman (Star Wars prequels, Marvel Cinematic Universe) as a NASA scientist who doesn’t quite fit any of the squad members’ expectations.

Rashida Jones is back as the show’s lead Tribeca, the Leslie Nielsen of the latest incarnation of a Police Squad!-level spoof of gritty dramas.  She has fantastic comedic timing and would also fit right in as the lead of any serious show.  The entire cast is a well-choreographed sight-gag machine, including Tribeca’s partner J. Geils, played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the loud-mouthed lieutenant, Chet Atkins, with comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls, and Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-man 2, Justice League Dark) as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.

It’s the series comedy queen Carol Burnett referred to as “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show”.  Check out these previews for Season 3 of Angie Tribeca:

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Angie Tribeca Season One DVD

When we first reviewed Season One of TBS’s new hot comedy Angie Tribeca back in January here at borg.com we could hardly wait for Season Two to arrive.  Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  The first ten episodes provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! and re-watching the episodes and the special features on the soon-to-be-released DVD release this week made us believers all over again.  The series is laugh-out-loud funny like no other show on television.

The special features on the DVD, which is being released May 17, 2016, give viewers an idea of how difficult this kind of comedy is to create.  We figured the secret to the show’s unique humor was the writing by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, but it may be more than that.  Star Rashida Jones explains that as easy as it is to watch and laugh at the comedy on the show, the technical requirements to get the comedy right takes plenty of planning and coordination.  The features also include a sneak peek at Season Two.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

You know something funny is going on when you read ad copy for the series, like “Finally!  A show about cops!”  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast, including Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins), Tribeca’s partner J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.  As Burns says in interviews on the DVD, playing the characters with earnest–like Molina performing with the seriousness you might see by a Shakespearean actor–makes the humor work.

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Angie Tribeca clip

TBS’s new comedy series Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  Season One provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! was yucking up the airwaves back in 1982.  That same “I can’t believe this is so funny,” laugh-out-loud, Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker-inspired comedy is back.

Streaming online for each episode of Season One expires today so put aside three or four hours and check it out now at the TBS website here.  Carol Burnett, who called in to the live marathon hosted by the show’s stars in between episodes, surprised the cast, and nailed it, calling the show “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show I’ve seen in a while”.  What was the secret to the show’s success?  As usual it’s the writing.  Top writing, in fact, by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, who tapped into something else we haven’t seen in a while–humor that isn’t mean and ugly, just well-paced and all-out fun.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

Fans of Peggy Lipton from The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks might not be able to help making comparisons of Lipton to her daughter, series star Rashida Jones, who plays the title character.  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast.  We already know Jere Burns from his role as the nasty villain Anson Fullerton on Burn Notice (and dozens of appearances on other popular series from Breaking Bad to Justified).  But who would have thought he’d be so endearing (and, yes, funny) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins)?  Tribeca’s partner is J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole is cop DJ Tanner (and his partner Officer David Hoffman is played by Jagger the shepherd dog, who Cole communicates with in a very Han Solo and Chewbacca way), with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by none other than Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss, always in a state of physical torment–or not.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Is it because the Muppets don’t age?  Because the writers know their characters so well?  You wouldn’t think the Muppets have been off the air for 17 years after watching last night’s premiere of their new sitcom, The Muppets, on ABC.  Sure, the format is fresh and new, but the core of the show–the rich characterizations of not only the main cast of Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie, but subordinate cast members like Electric Mayhem band members, too–is every bit the same as it was when the acting troupe first appeared nearly 40 years ago in 1976 on The Muppet Show.

The Muppets are back, and as laugh-out-loud funny as ever.

Credit great, punchy dialogue and situational humor appropriate for kids of all ages to the writing staff, who don’t let down fans of the original show or any of its brilliant movie incarnations.  The only travesty of The Muppets?  That the show is in a 30-minute time slot and only airs once each week.  Sigh.

This time the Muppets are seen as they are, behind the scenes in the “real world” of actors and production studio antics in Hollywood.  Kermit is still in charge of the show, but this time the show-in-a-show is not a variety show but in the late night format, with Miss Piggy as host.  Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band sit in where you’d see The Roots on The Tonight Show, with Fozzy in Steve Higgins’ role.  The first guest star is Elizabeth Banks, who gets taken for a ride by assistant showrunner Scooter, with a comical appearance by Dancing With the Stars’ host Tom Bergeron and musical guest Imagine Dragons (we featured their Muppet tie-in video years ago here at borg.com).  The success of the humans in the show is judged as in the past–the ability to seamlessly interact with the Muppet cast, and both Banks and Bergeron have no problem blending right in.

Fozzy and Becky & family

The show is peppered with one-liners and innuendo, exactly in the style as the original 1970s series.  But in truth, the laughs are probably funnier–the kind of humor you might find in a Tina Fey show or The Office.  You know you have good comedy when guitarist Janice makes a comically timed Imagine Dragons joke and Zoot gets cut off in the middle of an A.A. meeting reference.  As humor goes, The Muppets is the real deal.

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Burn Notice finale

When USA Network announced last year that its hit spy series Burn Notice would see its last season this year, it really seemed like the right decision.  The ramifications of Jeffrey Donovan’s Michael Westen getting a burn notice, blacklisting him and leaving him with nothing: no cash, no credit, no job history, stuck in Miami doing whatever came his way for six years with his trigger happy girlfriend/ex-girlfriend/girlfriend again (Gabrielle Anwar), his old friend that used to inform on him to the FBI (Bruce Campbell), his mom (Sharon Gless) and another spy who he burnt along the way (Coby Bell)–it all seemed like there was not much left for the series to show us that hadn’t been done.

But as happens with writers and creators of many TV series who know they are working on their swan song, it’s like someone gave them some java juice, and they delivered the best of their past three seasons.

Jack Coleman in Burn Notice

Much credit goes to some superb casting this year.  Heroes’ Jack Coleman, featured throughout the year as Michael’s CIA handler Andrew Strong, was the best featured character to come along since Coby Bell signed on as Jesse Porter in Season 4.  Coleman was believable and likeable, in contrast with the misery the series put us through with Jere Burns’ black hat villain Anson Fullerton last season.  Veronica Mars and CW’s Cult lead actress Alona Tal was also a welcome and interesting addition this year as Russian spy Sonya.

Thursday night’s series finale even featured a small role for genre favorite Alan Ruck as a scientist working for this season’s villain James Kendrick, played by John Pyper-Ferguson.  If there was one storyline this season that almost turned us off it was leaving viewers to figure out what were the motivations of Kendrick, although Pyper-Ferguson managed to give us the best layered villain of the past several seasons.  Was Kendrick ultimately “doing good” or was he a villain?  Would Michael be justified in a continued support of Kendrick’s causes, or would the other villains–the CIA–win out in the end?  Who would Michael eventually side with?  With the penultimate episode and the finale last night, all of the questions posed over the past year, and even over the entire series, were laid to rest.

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