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TV Review: CBS’ ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’

James Corden—who takes over for Craig Ferguson—began his tenure as host of ‘The Late Late Show’ on March 23, with guests Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks. The Late Late Show is executive produced by Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“So David Letterman’s new lead-out? He learned everything he knows about hosting a talkshow from (drumroll, please) … Jay Leno? That was part of the amusing taped piece that kicked off CBS’ Late Late Show With James Corden, a slightly uneven premiere with moments of inspired lunacy and some clear areas for the newbie host to work on.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“That's a lot of ‘new’ happening at once, and this first-night attempt to carry on a three-way conversation did come across as a bit forced and awkward — though to be fair, it also produced something of a scoop, as Hanks prompted Kunis to admit she and Ashton Kutcher are married. Still, if the gimmick didn't exactly go smoothly, it still seems worth trying, and it may work better once guests become more used to the format and Corden becomes more comforable with his role.”
—Robert Bianco, USA Today

“But this much was clear from Corden’s debut – he’s different. The glaring difference is that he comes without almost any snark, which is a modern American late-night talk show host must-have quality that was only recently spurned by Jimmy Fallon. Corden doesn’t put a layer of cool between him and the viewer (or his guests) – he’s as affable and sincere as Fallon with just a little less goofiness. It’s a welcome trait, one that should put guests at ease.”
—Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“Judging from his first show, which isn't always the wisest thing to do, Corden seems to be from the school that feels it's better to close the day with a good glass of wine than tequila shots.”
—David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“Corden’s closing song, ‘The Late Late Show With Me,’ was sweet, again reaffirming that he’s here to make us smile and feel good at the end of whatever kind of day we’ve had. The humor and musicality of Corden’s show are similar in spirit, if not execution, to Fallon.”
—Diane Gordon, The Wrap

“Having both guests out simultaneously could be a good hook for Corden’s show, but he needs to work better at fostering a conversation between the guests rather than talking to them both individually and hoping that chemistry will happen just by the magic of proximity.”
—Brian Moylan, The Guardian