Regarding “The Black Donnellys,” NBC’s replacement for “Studio 360” that premiered on the telvision machine last evening, I would like to plagiarize from the recovering Roger Ebert.
I hated “The Black Donnellys.” Hated hated hated hated hated “The Black Donnellys.” Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.
Now, for my own words: Too much exposition. Too dark. Too somber. No, and I mean no, humor. In fact, this show is anti-humor. As in, if you placed “The Black Donnellys” into the same place with humor, the universe would cease to exist. I don’t like any of the characters. To draw the inevitable comparison: “Los Sopranos” works because not only does it show you what murdering psychopaths the guys are, it also shows you that they’re feeble, flawed, and damned funny to watch. It works because you find yourself torn because, while Tony Soprano is capable of and thinks nothing of killing with his bare hands, he also requires therapy and has a soft spot for animals. These chaps in “Donnellys” are nothing but dull, scrappy, one-dimensional hooligans, all of them. This show sucks. It sucks on its own merits but especially sucks because it replaced a much better though by no means great program. But replacing “Studio 60” with “Donnellys” is like replacing a plate of graham crackers with an enema administered by Mike Tyson. Nice move, peacock.