I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Preston Barta // Features Editor
THE LEAGUE, 10 p.m.
The tireless team of THE LEAGUE are back for their seventh and final season, and they’re more determined than ever to win.
THE LEAGUE may lack the element of surprise compared to IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, but the execution of the humor and fun characters are more than satisfactory. The show is way funnier than most comedies you’ll find scanning through your satellite guide. Its natural flow and the charming improvisation of its gifted actors make it a must watch during the fall season.
Creators Jeff and Jackie Schaffer fill the season’s starters to the brim with its signature swagger and dirty humor. Audiences will love the joke-packed opener.
In the first episode, titled That Other Draft, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch attends Taco Corp’s annual board meeting, Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) encounters the Seahawks General Manager (John Schneider), while Pete (Mark Duplass) has a run-in with his ex (Leslie Bibb), and Jenny (Katie Aselton) gets VIP recognition at the big draft in Chicago.
Despite sounding cluttered, the half-hour episode is surprisingly easy to follow, and each character is given their due-time in the limelight. Plus, it’s entertaining to see the gang in a new fantasy league setting. Although it doesn’t feature as comical as an opener as last season’s hilarious game of street golf, there are still plenty of classy one-liners and insults.
Season 7 is off to a nice and strong start. It even addresses a long-running weakness by featuring some interesting roles for its women, especially Pete’s infamous ex-wife (Bibb). At this point, it’s clear this show has the potential to make some big and bold turns in the future, leading the series to a close that is far different and thrilling that we could have ever anticipated.
THE LEAGUE‘s new season premiere is 10 p.m. E/P only of FXX, followed by an encore presentation at 11 p.m. E/P.
YOU’RE THE WORST, 10:30 p.m.
FXX’s little series that could, YOU’RE THE WORST, wormed its way into the hearts of critics and audiences with its first season. Last year, we saw Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) meet at a mutual friend’s wedding and share what was intended to be a feelings-free, one-night stand. What followed was an odd love story that tried desperately to be anything but.
After its 10-episode run, YOU’RE THE WORST closed the book on a devilishly terrific first chapter. Tonight, that book opens back up for chapter two, and it’s even better and humorous than before.
In Season 2, the now-couple are so distressed about the idea of living together that they engage in crazy games of drugs and sex, including but not limited to cocaine and “butt stuff.” It’s just the right situational humor (echoing THE HANGOVER) to point this season in the right direction. However, it’s in its second episode (airing next week) that we find the strongest calcium for your funny bone. Let’s just say, it involves a little mall debauchery and amusement.
Meanwhile, Gretchen’s friend Lindsay (Kether Donohue) is adjusting to the single life, after parting ways with her husband (Allan McLeod), while Jimmy’s roommate Edgar (Desmin Borges) is waiting for the opportune moment to jump in. Lindsay has no plans of seeing it through, though, and is just stringing Edgar along to advance her own game. She even uses the blithe Edgar as a wingman for her renewed hunt.
YOU’RE THE WORST continues to cement itself as one of the more engaging and comical shows on the tube. Mad props are in order for showrunner Stephen Falk, who builds upon the universe he created last year by injecting his show with a sincerity and humor that hits a wide range of buttons. Sometimes it’s quirky and sarcastic, other times it’s dry, vulgar and weird. No matter how you like your comedy, you’ll notice an improvement on an already great show.
YOU’RE THE WORST‘s new season premiere is 10:30 p.m. E/P only of FXX, followed by an encore presentation at 11:30 p.m. E/P.