The Critic

FOX (ended 1995)



User Score: 334

out of 10
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634 votes

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The Critic

Show Summary

The Critic is a coproduction of Gracie Films and Columbia Pictures Television. The show is created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and executive produced by James L. Brooks, Al Jean, and Mike Reiss. The Critic is a show about the life of a down-on-his-luck film critic, named Jay Sherman, who gets no respect at home or at work. For his career, he has to review pathetic movies. His response to most of these films is "It stinks!" Other characters who round out the show are Jay's adopted parents, Eleanor and the slightly peculair Franklin, Jay's sister, Margo, his make-up lady, Doris, Vlada who owns the restaurant Jay attends, his overbearing boss, Duke Phillips, his son, Marty, and his ex-wife, Ardith, who is constantly trying to get over their marriage. The second season introduced two new characters, Jay's fiancée Alice Tompkins and her daughter, Penny. Colorful and funny antics abound. The series debuted on ABC, and had a second season on Fox.moreless
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  • One of the smartest shows ever

    The Critic is a wonderful show about a film critic named Jay Sherman and his son Marty Sherman taking place in New York City. This show has exactly the stuff I like, political jokes, TV-PG, and some other stuff. This was a great show even though Matt Groening says it is not. He might say "A star is Burns" was a 30-minute ad for The Critic, but this show was so funny it didn't need ads. Even though it was really funny, it was cancelled just after two seasons, the reason why that happened is that people became stupidier-..ish, Al Jean and Mike Reiss did a great job from that and this show will be missed...

    R.I.P, one of the best shows ever

    Besides that, it had to include one of my favorite actors, Jon Lovitz fits perfectly into the Jay Sherman character. So yeah, I guess that's it.moreless
  • Classic series that was taken down before its time.

    We just entered the year 1994. At the time, "The Simpsons" was still in it's 5th season, I had given up on "The Ren and Stimpy Show" (the Nickelodeon-based episodes were starting to get really dumb) and my mother did not want my siblings and me watching "Beavis and Butt-head". One winter evening, I happened to see an advertisement during ABC's "TGIF" lineup for a new animated sitcom series called...

    "The Critic".

    My sibs and I tuned in on its Wednesday premiere and we were taken hook, line and sinker. The series was made by the same team who animated "The Simpsons" and it shared its taste in terms of pop culture, satire and movie parodies.

    As a series, "The Critic" is a show about a New York film critic/cable television host named Jay Prescott Sherman. He's 36 years old, pudgy and balding. He is not a well-respected man. Some say his design is molded after what people would think Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert would look like if they were both in the same body. Jon Lovitz's vocal talents made Jay a very memorable character. But Jay Sherman is not another Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin. He's a more intelligent, thoughtful person who knows what he likes and is not stupid by any stretch. His taste in film seems to view only foreign films in high regard; when faced with just about anything else, he would deliver his signature line: "It stinks!"

    In the show, one thing that led me to think "The Critic" would be on to something was the laugh-a-minute style that "The Simpsons" did so well. But the difference in this show is the fact it is not so much about political issues as it is about the entertainment industry. We got jokes on movies like "Home Alone", "Dances With Wolves", "The Pelican Brief", "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Color Purple", "Crocodile Dundee" and "Beauty and the Beast". And that's only in the first episode. A film buff will find much to look for and laugh at.

    The series also has some memorable secondary characters. Some of the more memorable characters included Jay's adoptive father, who always behaves erratically and is a little on the nutty side. His son Marty looks up to his father and always means to do the right thing. Jeremy Hawke, the Australian movie star/joke on Paul Hogan, who Jay considers his best friend after he had given his first movie it's only good review. Margot, his adoptive parents' only biological child who always wants the best for him. Doris, his make-up lady (voiced by the late Doris Grau) is a chain-smoker who thinly treats Jay with contempt. And Duke Philips, his unsympathetic, egotistical boss who's intended as a satire of media mogul Ted Turner.

    The series really kept the laughs coming. I could count on a laugh from "The Critic" even after it would air after the extremely tragic series finale of "Dinosaurs" (anybody who remembers watching ABC on July 20, 1994 would remember the last episode...and then, we get the riotiously funny episode about Jay's mother using Jay as the inspiration for her children's story, "The Fat Little Pig").

    And then, ABC chose to drop the show after one season. So, it moved to Fox.

    At this point, the second season was improving, even if the first season was already incredible. In this season, Jay met his finance, a Southern gal named Alice Tompkins. She is named after Alice Kramden of "The Honeymooners". she looks like she is about as old as Jay is. She may not have been a young, vivacious supermodel. She may not be built like a Barbie doll. And the fact she is a single mother suggests she's likely not a virgin. But still, I thought she was hot. I had absolutely no objections to her addition to the series. I loved her voice, personality and warmth that Park Overall could inject into her character. And the fact she's an artist is awesome. One of my favorite episodes in the series was "Lady Hawke", the episode in which Jay is stuck between choosing to stay in his soulmate relationship with Alice or move into a new relationship driven by infatuation with Jeremy Hawke's extremely attractive twin sister. This episode really helps solidify my thoughts on these two.

    Unfortunately, the show didn't last nearly as long on Fox.

    I think a problem "The Critic" had was like "Futurama" and "Family Guy" had later, the show was consistently getting bumped around so viewers never got much of a chance to appreciate it. ABC would think it is 'too hot' and Fox would think it is 'too tame'. After its cancellation on Fox, the show was gone. With only 23 episodes, "The Critic" received a fate it did not deserve. And I will admit that I did not approve of the series ending on a clip show; these eps are never among the best episodes.

    Some time later, in the year 2000, Al Jean and Mike Reiss, the series' producers, started to produce a new series of Flash-animated "webisodes" of "The Critic". While I appreciate the fact they considered trying to do something new with the show, and it is nice to see Jay ripping on 2000s movies (examples include "The Patriot", "Harry Potter", "Shrek", "Mission: Impossible 2", "X-Men", "Pearl Harbor", "Cast Away", "102 Dalmatians" and "Pokemon: the Movie 2000"), these new products I find some major flaws in:

    1: Shorter run time. The webisodes themselves are only about 4 minutes long. Like the Simpsons' old Tracy Ullman skits, there just isn't enough time to make a deep, involving story. Jay's "Coming Attractions" show was good for a quick laugh, but it alone was not the episode.

    2: Lack of the rest of the cast. With the exception of Vlada (the Eastern European restaurant manager who appears in one episode), forget about everyone else in the old episodes. All we get back is Jay and that's basically it. But he's not truly that funny if someone is not there to play off him. Everyone else is thrown out without even mention, and with them, most of its heart.

    3: Jay's new make-up lady/girlfriend Jennifer. I felt the chemistry between Jay and Alice in the second season. I would hate to see them break up. But apparently, in the first episode, Jay refers to a 'second divorce'. All that they went through and they still have problems after they (supposedly) got married? I know that Jay does not mention Alice by name, but it can be implied; after all that we saw happen, this is idiocy. I would blame the fact no one in the original voice cast comes back instead. But Jay's new girlfriend Jennifer is everything Alice isn't. For one, she adds nothing to the eps and is at least 10 years younger than him; talk about lack of realism. Could you picture a short, balding man in a serious relationship with a 20-year old girl who is tall, blond and built like a supermodel? I know I can't. And her voice is totally basic; she's just a bore. Taking away what little heart is left in the "webisodes" is the fact we know that Jay loves Alice in the original episodes. His main reason for wanting to be romantically involved with Jennifer seems to be knocking her up. He is transformed into a horny toad that always wants to bunk with her, I'm serious!

    In any case, I don't look at the webisodes in the same light as the half-hour episodes. It nice that they tried to do something else with the show, but I would prefer to write them off as 'non-canon' for the three outlined reasons.

    While I think the show could have gone on for at least one or two more seasons before the writing turned bad (much like "The Tick", another cartoon widely recognized as never having "jumped the shark"), it also might be better the show stopped before it was dragged on and on until the episodes just got stupid and incoherent (like what Fox seems to be doing with "The Simpsons"--don't read that the wrong way, "The Simpsons" is incredible, but it kinda seems like Fox is milking it for all it's worth).

    All things considered, I would strongly advise checking out "The Critic". Anyway possible, through the Internet, old VHS tapes, the "Critic: Complete Series" DVD boxset released in 2004 (I'm sure the boxset sold well enough), whatever you have to, please give the show a shot. With it's smart humor, characters, and writing, and the fact the episodes feel like they have aged just fine (not to mention Siskel and Ebert featured the show on their review series once, and they gave it two thumbs up!) and even Jay himself will have a hard time judging his series with his catchphrase.

    Vive Jay/Alice!moreless
  • The Critic is a hilarious show about New York's third place cable tv film critic and his relationships with his adoptive parents (Franklin and Elenor), his son Marty, his girlfriend Alice and his boss Duke Phillips.moreless

    The Critic that many have said that is ahead of its time. I don't necessarily agree; but at the same time its in my mind the second greatest cartoon of all time. If it would have lasted it would have given The Simpsons a run for its money. I'm happy that it was part of my childhood but I really don't think it would last long in today's cartoon landscape. The jokes don't come at you super speed or in goofy flashbacks...people today want shows that don't make you think to much. The Critic was one of the animated shows that felt like you were watching real people, and if I'm not mistaken the show was almost live action if it wasn't for the fact that the movie parodies wouldn't have been so expensive to shoot. Every character had an interesting background and they built them up to be the normal people and to showcase how goofy a society we are, it seemed to me that even though the show is animated, they lampoon us and we are the ones that look goofy while they seem normal. Every tid bit of this series is phenomenol...believe me my DVD player probably hates me for watching this as much as I do. The animation flows perfectly between that line, where they can get away with the oddball comedy that is intune to animation but still get you to follow the Sitcom nature of the show. Another fantastic thing about the show is the fact that every major character: Jay Sherman: Jon Lovitz

    Marty Sherman: Chritince Cavanaugh

    Alice Tompkins: Park Overall

    Duke Phillip: Charles Napier

    Margo Sherman: Nancy Cartwright

    Elenor Sherman: Judith Ivey

    Franklin Sherman: Gerrit Graham

    Penny Tompkins: Russi Taylor

    Is done by a specific voice actor and only Nick Jameson and Maurice LaMarche do the majority of the other voices. Leading to less overlapping of voices and leading more the to the fact that it feels like a sitcom but animated.

    The humor comes from the relationships that Jay has with his fellow "Relationshipians"moreless
  • Great and Funny show.

    The Critic is such a funny show, i love it. It is about Jay Sherman, a film critic with his own show "Coming Attractions". He hates every movie and ridicules them with a "It Stinks". Jay's personal life is not so great either, he was just divorced with a son and every girl finds him un-attractive, which is one of the funniest parts of the show. The critic has tonnes of funny parts, but the most funniest is the Jay Sherman Fat jokes, his fat jokes are hilarious. A lso, Jay's dad is hilarious. He is so dumb and says the most randomest things and does the weirdest stuff (usually at the wrong time). Jon Lovitz is brilliantmoreless
  • funniest show on reelz channel.

    This show is about a bald headed critic who has a show called Coming Attractions.I want this show back on the new episode thing.I mean,their doing these stupid movie ideas and making them all funny.It's like before South Park and Family Guy came out.The theme with the Golden Gate Bridge tearing apart was funny.Even known Rugrats and Family Matters were great classic shows,this one is it.I never even watched this show but now I do.Okay Reelz channel,get some new episodes,let it be one of the funniest shows in American and let it catch up to The Simpsons or South Park.moreless

More Info About This Show


celebrity cameos, 90s, corporate secrets, corruption, callous rebellion