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October 9, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: The Critic

by Adam Finley, posted May 22nd 2006 9:30AM

The critic jay shermanThe Critic, while it was on television, aired on ABC, FOX, and Comedy Central, though not at the same time. The show, created by Simpsons vets Mike Reiss and Al Jean, started off on ABC where it wallowed in obscurity, and then moved to FOX for its second season. Actually, it didn't fare much better on FOX, either, and after two seasons the plug was pulled. It did, however, manage to find an audience when Comedy Central began airing reruns. Also, a "third" season of shorts was created for Shockwave.com. Not counting the Shockwave mini-episodes, the series only ran for a total of 23 episodes.

The titular character, voiced by Jon Lovitz, was a critic living in New York City who essentially hated every movie he saw. Of course, every movie he saw was incredibly bad, so you couldn't really blame him. The series premiered in 1994, and as anyone who has tried to get an animated show on primetime in the wake of The Simpsons knows, it can be an uphill battle, even if you happened to work on The Simpsons yourself. In fact, a crossover episode of The Simpsons featuring Jay Sherman (the Critic) was made ("A Star is Burns"). That episode, however, perhaps inadvertently zeroed in on why The Critic didn't last. While it was a great show, it seemed to wither under the shadow of a much bigger and much more popular series. Even I never gave it much of a chance when it first aired, seeing it as a lesser version of what The Simpsons was offering. It wasn't until I watched it on its own merit that I realized it was actually very unique, very well-written, and had carved out its own little universe separate from The Simpsons. The lesson, I suppose, is never jump to conclusions.

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I absolutely adored this show! Now that I live in New York I appreciate it that much more when the Brooklyn Bridge falls into the Hudson River. I watched it every Sunday at 1:30 AM right after switching over from Duckman. To think that I used to be able to stay up until 2 AM and then get up for school at 6 the next morning.

May 22 2006 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is one of the most quotable shows ever.
"There's a reason there's a banana in my ear. I'm trying to lure the monkey out of my head."

Duke's Assistant: "The polls show you're not doing well with women."
Duke: "Do they vote?"
Alice: "Yes, we do."
Duke: "How about the Irish?"
Alice: "Them, too."
Duke: "Uh oh, better change these posters."
(poster shows Duke kicking a leprechaun, saying "Irish suck!")

May 22 2006 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this show was SO unappreciated. the gulf war episode was too good.

May 22 2006 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the problem with this show was the main characters were so thouroughly unlikeable. The best part of the show was the spoofing of movies, but that gag wasn't enough to sustain it. Incidently, the crossover episode is the only Simpsons Episode that doesn't have Matt Groening's credits. He felt it was just a shill for The Critic, and he didn't want his name on it.

May 22 2006 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I own the series on dvd and I absolutely love it. Especially the episode where Jay's son Martin is in charge of the his class' float for the homecoming (I think?)parade.

"It's a....a...a flaming horse's paTOOT!"

May 22 2006 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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