The New York Times has a new chief TV critic, who was introduced to readers this morning:
“James Poniewozik (pawn-uh-WHA-zik) is the new chief television critic for The New York Times. For the past 16 years, he was the television critic for Time, where among other accomplishments, he started the Time.com Tuned In blog, for which he wrote thousands of posts, from quick takes to wide-ranging cultural and personal essays. He comes from Monroe, Mich., and is currently binge-watching ‘Lost’ with his family. Follow him on Twitter: @poniewozik.”
Poniewozik replaces Alessandra Stanley, a controversial critic who continues with The Times on another beat.
Poniewozik’s first chore was a review of Stephen Colbert’s debut on “The Late Show” last night. Poniewozik wrote, in part, “‘The Colbert Report,’ rare for late night, began with a fully formed thesis statement: the monologue on ‘truthiness’ — the idea that it was more important for a thing to feel true than to actually be true. It immediately established a reason for being.
“The amped-up, expansive premiere of ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ was not so tightly focused. Befitting the difference between a niche cable half-hour and a network variety hour, it was not a rigidly composed plate but a groaning board, built less around a concept than around a vibe of smart fun and an urge to show off its host’s many skills.”
He added, “Mr. Colbert was hosting a party, but a more joyously nerdy wingding than Jimmy Fallon’s celebrity hangout on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel’s viral prank extravaganza on ABC. The opening titles, which rendered New York City as a living toy landscape, suggest a Wes Andersonian spirit of meticulously curated, experimental-yet-preservationist play.”
To read all of Poniewozik’s review, please click here.