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TV REVIEWS: LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS

February 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Seth Meyers has received generally polite applause from critics after his first night on the job as host of NBC’s Late Night. Reuters’ Chris Michaud said that Meyers delivered “on a promise of a quirky program that still closely follows the basic formula for late night chat.” Variety TV columnist Brian Lowry, while remarking that “virtually nothing about this latest Late Night exhibited a whiff of freshness or originality,” went on to remark that “Meyers came across as relaxed and loose, riffing on his show’s micro-budget and acknowledging the jokes that fell flat … but the play-it-safe approach suggests little interest in tinkering with the late-night template — and indeed, what looks like a desire to slavishly replicate it, only with less comfortable chairs.” Robert Bianco in USA Today, however, thought all that represented a pretty good plan. Bianco noted that rather than emphasize music and sketches as Fallon has done on the Tonight show, Meyers appears “intent on returning to the more traditional talk show virtues of monologues and interviews — which is what you might expect from a writer whose most famous performance was as the anchor on Saturday Night Live‘s faux newscast.” (Meyers himself seemed to acknowledge his traditionalist approach at the beginning of the show when he remarked facetiously, “I’m going to shake stuff up and open this thing with a monologue.”) Meredith Blake in the Los Angeles Times remarked that Meyers “struck a decidedly low-key note in a broadcast that emphasized finely tuned punch lines over star power and razzle-dazzle.” And Steve Johnson concluded in the Chicago Tribune that Meyers “delivered a sort of old-school, comfortable late-night talk show that relied, mostly, on the audience finding the host charming.”