Tipping Point: Our picks and pans
10 p.m. Tuesdays, NBC
You can tell that this reboot of the classic game show is produced by Jimmy Fallon. It has that same exaggerated exuberance that Fallon has made a signature. It’s a lot. On the upside, though, is the game itself. (It teams a celeb and a regular-person contestant, and one tries to guess the mystery word when the other gives them one-word clues.) “Password” is still a great competition, even though the TV show sometimes dumbs things down. I mean, when the word is “bond,” is there any doubt the contestant will say “James” with a raised eyebrow and debonair delivery? I’ll keep watching for a while because I loved the original “Password” and some of the celebrity participants (Jon Hamm to Martin Short to Tony Hale to Heidi Klum) are fun to watch in any arena.
— Kristina Dorsey
The Black Arts 50th Anniversary Edition
Well, first of all, I spied this on one of those “featured choice” stands they put on top of a stack of books to grab your attention. Did I mention I was in TARGET?! (I once lost a book contract because the Wal-Mart chain – a prime distributor for the publishing company – refused to stock my novel about voodoo. Sales dude shoulda hit Target instead.) Anyway, I’m perusing the volumes in the Target books section – a Sheryl Woods’s “Sweet Magnolias” novel, kids books like “Blippy: Happy Easter!,” Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Bill Clinton together and … “The Black Arts 50th Anniversary Edition”! Plus, check out the author’s last name: “Cavendish”! If you’re gonna write a tome about demon-raising, what better name than THAT? Did I buy it? Of course! I’m in the middle of the chapter about “The Sacrifice and the Summoning.” I’ll let you know how that works out for me.
— Rick Koster
This is one of those big-screen comedies that belongs on the small screen. It feels like so many family sitcoms you’ve seen on broadcast TV — fine but nothing particularly memorable or inventive. Take, for instance, this bit of business: a Hollywood talent scout repeatedly pretends he’s going through a bad-reception area as a way of cutting short cell phone calls. Stale. The most interesting aspect of “Easter Sunday” is that the family at its center is Filipino-American, and the movie delves into aspects of that culture even as it hits the expected notes about family conflict, work-versus-career balance, etc. Stand-up comic Jo Koy plays a, yes, stand-up comic who is trying to get cast in a TV show. He’s heading to northern California to spend Easter with his extended clan. “Easter Sunday” serves as a vehicle for Koy, but he doesn’t have the charisma to hold the movie’s center. Also in the cast: Brandon Wardell as Koy’s son and Eva Noblezada as the son’s crush are adorable and believable. Eugene Cordero, as Koy’s always-in-trouble but goofily endearing cousin, is low-key funny. And Tiffany Haddish fires things up as an ex of Koy’s.
— Kristina Dorsey