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Comments: Week of May 31, 2010

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1. In last week’s profile of New York police commissioner Ray Kelly, Geoffrey Gray considered the image-savvy man responsible for the city’s successful campaign against street crime and the aggressive approach to policing that underpins it (Boss Kelly,” May 24). “Gray has a lot of great details in his piece,” praised Azi Paybarah at the Observer, highlighting Kelly’s merciless pursuit of internal press leaks. The Wall Street Journal’s Metropolis blog homed in on hints as to Kelly’s political future: “If he did decide to run for mayor—with or without Bloomberg’s endorsement—it’s clear that Kelly would vault to the front of the pack. His playbook might echo that of his current boss: A registered independent, Kelly could probably easily maneuver for the Republican nomination.” Most of the comments on nymag.com were favorably disposed toward him. “Kelly and NYPD have done a tremendous job faced with a recession and terrorism and still keeping NY happy and safe for us New Yorkers and tourism,” opined one. Not everyone felt so impressed by the commissioner, though. “You have to admire his intense discipline and thinking in fighting crime. At the same time, you can’t help but be a little disturbed by his dictatorial attitude, his hard-core authoritarian streak,” wrote the blog Mr. NYC. “He uses his job to enjoy a black-tie, red-carpet, celebrity lifestyle … using public resources for private purposes.”


2. Last week’s cover package analyzed how, exactly, TV got so good (Televisionaries,” May 24). It earned positive reviews from readers—starting with the cover, which featured Betty White and Tracy Morgan. The behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot was particularly popular across the web, with compliments from sites like the Daily Beast (“Thank you, New York Magazine, for our favorite video ever”) and Best Week Ever, which giddily declared, “If there is any way at all for these two to procreate and bring to life the fruits of their passion, the world can guarantee that comedy will live on for at least 100 more years. Or, at the very least, a fairly successful Benetton model.” Commenters were pleased to see their favorite shows given a spotlight (cheering The Good Wife and Justified in particular), but they were animated on the subject of Modern Family, which television critic Emily Nussbaum dissected. “The glory days for sitcoms was the age of Frasier, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, and Married With Children. I don’t consider the current batch to be in the same league with those greats,” groused one commenter. “I’m tired of all these edgy, new-age sitcoms with no laugh tracks. I’d rather watch a traditional sitcom. Modern Family is not watchable, it’s like a sitcom for TV critics.” “I think Modern Family is wonderful,” argued another. “In shows like Arrested Development and old 30 Rock, not everyone ‘got’ the jokes, but Modern Family appeals to a much larger audience, and is still funny to all of them. I think it’s incredibly well-written and fun to watch, and the greatest feat is that all the characters are so likable.” Some expressed disappointment that their favorite shows were not mentioned, but as one commenter suggested, “Perhaps the fact that there’s too much good TV to talk about makes the piece’s point.”

Send correspondence to: comments@nymag.com


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