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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Popstars 2

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Once and Again

Pitched last September with the fanfare that characterizes “quality television” and debuting in NYPD Blue‘s hallowed Tuesday night spot, Once and Again is a

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Osbournes

'The Osbournes' is one big joke about normalcy, a parody of sitcoms and reality shows alike. By now, Ozzy Osbourne is, of course, something of a self-parody.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Office

In Season Two, Michael morphed from clown to sad clown as viewers came to realize his insensitive hi-jinks were driven by his eternal loneliness.

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Opening Ceremony, Olympics 2000

Whatever its faults, I loved the whole Opening Ceremony, every last minute of it. What I didn't love was NBC's coverage of it.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Other Half

But, still, despite their best of intentions, the four hosts of 'The Other Half' seem far afield from the real experiences or the views of the 'average' American male.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The O.C.

The producers finally figured out a way for commercial tie-ins to complement but not overwhelm the plot.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

NCIS

Though she has more than a passing interest in death, BDSM, and the industrial-goth combo Android Lust, Abby is a veritable ray of sunshine among the body parts and analytical equipment that clutter up her workplace.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Nikki

Both Nikki and Dwight seem like people you'd be willing to invite into your home for half an hour -- not a quality to underestimate, I realized after watching the first two episodes of this season's 'Friends' and feeling, after they were over, glad to be away from that bunch of screeching narcissists.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

9/11

CBS defended '9/11' by explaining that no deaths were filmed and that the footage would be 'respectful.' Yet, this is completely untrue.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Normal, Ohio

In a nation where the man who will be president is afraid to say the word 'gay' on national television, it might come as a surprise that one of its biggest television stars is playing a gay man on television.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Nirvana Unseen

['Nirvana Unseen' is] a head-trip because MTV would never let a band do something like that now.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Nigella Bites

'Nigella Bites' looks like a Renoir-inspired celebration of food, glorious food!

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

NYPD Blue

The real bright spot on 'NYPD Blue' as of last season, is the addition of Danny Sorenson, played by an all-grown-up Rick(y) Schroeder, to replace the sainted Simone. Who knew that the little kid from 'Silver Spoons' could handle a complicated adult role so well?

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

No doubt MTV feels good about itself right now, pleased with the kick-off to its year of anti-hate programming.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Making the Band

Yes, their fame is being 'handed' to them, but only if they commit to a whole lot of work. Is that really any worse than someone who gets to be a star because his brother needed a bass player?

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Murder in Small Town X

The real problem is that 'Murder in Small Town X' can't decide how 'real' it wants to be.

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To capture such a 'whirlwind' would be impossible; but 'Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind' provides a provocative introduction to this compelling, complex man.

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Madigan Men

As unfair as it may seem, a wealthy, handsome single architect with a commitment to monogamy and an Irish accent simply would not have that much trouble getting a girlfriend. Hell, 'I'd' date him.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Michael Richards Show

What's puzzling is why they didn't just call the thing 'Cosmo Kramer, P.I.' That's what audiences wanted, and that's essentially what the show turns out to be.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Malcolm in the Middle

In much the same way that the Conners of 'Roseanne' exploded the myth of the unified, dad-centered sitcom family, the Wilkersons are a unit in which the siblings really do try to kill each other and the parents maintain control through guerilla strategy rather than homespun aphorisms -- just like real families. Radical notion, that.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Because Goren's intellect and intuition never fail, Criminal Intent's narratives never consider the presumption of innocence as a legal (or dramatic) standard.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Part of the problem is that the 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' writers haven't given Ice T much to do: he's Munch's Yes Man, and it doesn't become him.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - La Femme Nikita

“I was falsely accused of a hideous crime and sentenced in life in prison. One night I was taken from my cell to a place

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Lovespring International

It's difficult to believe that six people can be so self-absorbed and shortsighted, let alone gathered in the same workplace.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Law & Order

Though 'Law & Order' frequently, and most chillingly, tells tales of true crime -- the monstrous pit bull is the most recent example -- it also treats them with the dread, indeed, the disgust they deserve.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Lost

Lost survives because its mix of fantasy and mystery, character development and plot twists, predictability and sharp twists -- in short, its mix of cleverness and crap -- is like nothing else on TV.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Lucky Louie

Lucky Louie's preoccupation with the prurient threatens to turn a promising spin on the sitcom into a one-note novelty.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage

But this isn't the first time viewers have been asked to watch a plot they already know well.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Lone Gunmen

Unlike Federal Agent Fox Mulder, these guys, sitting penniless in a warehouse laden with powerful computers and espionage equipment, are true subversives.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Laramie Project

'The Laramie Project' gives the townspeople a voice, an opportunity to respond to the murder and the trials that put them in the national spotlight.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Kyle XY

The juxtaposition of the innocent Kyle with such tainted youth indicates the show's attitude regarding 'kids today': they're irresponsible, confrontational, and selfish.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Just Shoot Me

Just Shoot Me's point [is] that the world of fashion magazines is shallow, empty, completely fake... and very, very funny.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Jackass

The eye-popping, gag-inducing, jaw-dropping comedic assaults of 'Jackass' are funny because they take such exaggerated steps over the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Job

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Judging Amy

All in all, 'Judging Amy' is an entertaining hour of television. Although there is room for improvement, it nevertheless presents us with characters and situations we can relate to and become involved with.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

When Dr. Glassberg asks, in all seriousness, how the parents are to explain their children's gender to the 'babysitter', you have to wonder if he isn't the one who needs corrective surgery of some kind.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Hell’s Kitchen

After just one day in Hell's Kitchen, the contestants were already so tired that Larry could get carted off to hospital without anyone else even waking up. Way to go, Gordo.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Hills

She's changed, a point made in the series' first moments, when she's introduced as 'Lauren', no longer known by the nickname that served her so well in Laguna.

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A Huey P. Newton Story (2001): Roger Guenveur Smith

He was a revolutionary, a brilliant thinker, and a man who was frustrated and anguished by his own insight into a legal and political system that was indeed designed to destroy him.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Hendrix

Survivor's tone is very difficult to locate, and while this elusiveness may be more than the producers intend, it's just as possible to surmise that they know what they're doing and that teasing the audience with its own naivete is their way of undermining the medium even as they exploit it so well.

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Holiday Heart (2000): Ving Rhames, Alfre Woodard, Mykelti Williamson, Jessika Quynn Reynolds

Unlike most mainstream male stars who put on dresses, Ving Rhames takes Holiday seriously, and asks you to do the same.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Gilmore Girls

The sixth season's drawn-out storyline did away with the witty dialogue that attracted me to the show in the first place.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Geena Davis Show

What's puzzling is why Davis would return to television in this paint-by-numbers sitcom in which she plays a nearly brain-dead career woman-slash-stepmother.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Gilmore Girls

Not that insisting that one's child be educated and aware of the consequences of sex is surely a bad thing, but in the case of 'Gilmore Girls', never-wed single parenting falls into the 'mistakes were made' category, while Murphy Brown made an active choice.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Glory Days

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Guardian

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Gotham Girls

It's a shame that Gotham Girls' creators don't realize the potential of either these characters or the medium of web animation.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

A Girl Thing

It's true that 'A Girl Thing' concerns girls, or more accurately, women of various ages and backgrounds.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Greg the Bunny

Imagine a world of people living side by side with puppets.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Girlfriends

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Felicity

Early rumors labeled the show 'Ally McBeal Goes to College', and it's taken two full seasons to grow into the designation.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Friends

In the end, 'Friends' has become the epitome of 'Must-See TV' -- not because it's in our best interest to watch it, but because without us, these people have no reason to be together.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Fugitive

What we're left with is a string of TV-caliber action sequences, like Kimble jumping off a building, that only serve to remind us how cool it was when Harrison Ford plummeted off that dam.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

[Reality television] is truly a dead horse, and MTV is beating it.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

First Monday

In 'First Monday', even more than in 'The West Wing', religious belief functions as a dramatic (and heavy-handed) shortcut.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Freakylinks

Right off the bat, 'Freakylinks' annoys.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Frasier

Even if 'Frasier' does continue to fade, many viewers will maintain their emotional and intellectual investment in the show, motivated by nostalgia rather than the hallmarks of the first seven seasons -- originality, wit, and superb ensemble work.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Fear Factor

'Fear Factor' perfectly plays off the voyeurism we've become used to with TV -- looking without being caught.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Freaks and Geeks

It’s the year 2000 and eighties nostalgia is in full swing. Superstar drug casualty Drew Barrymore has already done the eighties, Hollywood-style, in 1998’s Adam

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Education of Max Bickford

'The Education of Max Bickford' has yet to strike the right balance between outspoken politics and a desire not to offend.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Entourage

Entourage's depiction of the delicate symbiotic relationship between the talent and their support staff is often perceptive and revealing, elevating the series above pure fantasy or self-parody.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Edge of Outside

As much as the lines between 'independent' and 'mainstream' movies seem impossibly blurred, the impulse to mark their difference appears irresistible.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

elimiDATE

[On 'elimiDATE',] the fickleness of the wooed always surprises.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Emeril

Doesn't Emeril know that media over-saturation could do to him what too few eggs (because I didn't feel like going to the store) did to my Devil's Food chocolate cake?

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Ellen Show

CBS probably wanted it clear from the start that The Ellen Show, unlike Degeneres' previous series, is not a 'lesbian show,' but a show in which the main character just happens to be a lesbian -- an uneasy and unclear difference to be sure.

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Ed

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Ed

Everyone in Stuckeyville seems to have an anomalous background and perspective on life, so the advice that Ed gets ranges from the practical to the absurd.

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ER

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

ER

Perhaps there should be a redistribution of sorrow here, a socialism of tragedy. Spread the misery around so everyone can have some. Let Elizabeth be pregnant and let 'Dr. Dave' get sued for malpractice and pass the brain tumor on to someone else who can 'use' it.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Enterprise

In 'Enterprise', all of the neato gadgets that have become Star Trek mainstays -- tricorders, phasers, communicators -- are new to the characters.

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The Execution of Wanda Jean

The specter of the mechanized legal system is the lasting impression of 'The Execution of Wanda Jean'. Despite questions about her mental state, despite the expressed wishes of her victim's brother and mother, despite Wanda Jean's prayerful optimism, the process of her execution is relentless.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Everybody Loves Raymond

PULL.

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DAG

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

DAG

'DAG' is a sitcom about a top Secret Service agent named Jerome Daggett (David Alan Grier) who was once head of the Presidential Detail's elite A-team.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Dark Angel

Her beigeyness is relevant here as well: Alba is on record as being Spanish-Mexican-French-Danish, but more to the point, [her character] Max Guevera is a non-white-girl starring in a world where the people in power are still overwhelmingly Caucasian.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Dawson’s Creek

Agonising over life decisions whilst looking hot is the hallmark of the teen drama.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The District / C.S.I.

Police Chief Mannion's know-it-allness is grating, no doubt. And like many crusaders before him, he maintains this attitude no matter what happens, blaming everyone else for what goes wrong.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Desperate Housewives

Then something fantastic happened. About two-thirds of the way through Season Two, some dead weight moved out of Wisteria Lane, and in their place came some exciting new plotlines.

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Disappearing Acts (2000): Wesley Snipes, Sanaa Lathan, Clark Johnson, CCH Pounder

This plot comes to revolve around the couple's troubles with money -- it becomes an emblem and manifestation of Zora and Franklin's mutual and separate fears.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Deadline

In 'Deadline', Dick Wolf's new show for NBC, no one, least of all the self-satisfied Wallace Benton (played with plumy waspishness by Oliver Platt), seems to care a fig for the story.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Dark Angel

In Dark Angel, Max's apparently tireless pursuit of her weird past... means that she's always trying to define herself as part of something, a race, a community, a politics.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Downer Channel

'The Downer Channel' is the type of stuff high school videos are made of.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The modern family is wonderfully fluid, apparently able to absorb any permutation of race, religion, gender, or class; its recombinations of conventional marriage or divorce,

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Dog Bites Man

It tickles, but rarely provokes the full-on belly laugh you'd expect from such talented performers.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Dudesons

For the Dudesons, it's all about the commotion, the more extreme, the better. For them, pain is a reward. For us, it's more frightening than funny.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Citizen Baines

'Citizen Baines' symbolizes the lack of imagination driving so much of prime-time.

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Crossing Over with John Edward

it is certainly the first talk show to have as its guests, members of the dearly departed.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Charmed

As Charmed's Paige, Rose McGowan seems stifled and reticent, perhaps as if she's not quite sure what she's supposed to be doing -- and so, in her performances so far, she's just laid low, and made no waves or sudden movements.

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - City of Angels

The camera looks up at a towering urban edifice, which turns out to be a fictional L.A. hospital that is meaningfully marked, “Angels of

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Crossing Jordan / Philly

Here are two shows that lift their premises, plotlines, and even their personality quirks from tv past and present, fritter away the skills of good actors, and lock skilled writers and producers into tired formulae.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Charmed

In a nation where the man who will be president is afraid to say the word 'gay' on national television, it might come as a surprise that one of its biggest television stars is playing a gay man on television.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

City of Angels

For all the primetime-melodramatic cliches at work in the men's conflicts -- the moral and political posturing, not to mention the dick-swinging -- it is significant that these battles are waged by black men, pitted against one another as they wrangle over the scant resources allotted them by a larger governing system.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David as Larry David seems very real, very whiny, very self-absorbed, and in the end, not someone who's much fun to hang out with.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Courage the Cowardly Dog

The fact is that all cartoons, from the surreal output of the Max Fleisher studios ('Betty Boop') and Disney's elitist morality fables ('Snow White and the Seven Dwarves') to Hanna-Barbera's execrable attempts at hipness ('Groovy Ghoulies'? 'Funky Phantom'?) and today's post-'Ren & Stimpy' moment of unrelenting gross-out humor ('Cow and Chicken', 'South Park'), are worthy of appraisal, if only because the medium itself is inherently subversive.

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X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

The character development contains about as much depth as a Playboy centerfold's bio sheet.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Warriors

Rockstar Toronto didn't just remake a cult favorite to reap the commercial benefits; they expanded an interesting story into something that could only work in this medium.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Worms 4: Mayhem

Mayhem feels like a series of errata and revisions but, really, you've got to sweat the small stuff for a game so miniature.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

We Love Katamari

If the shocking oddity of the objectives weren't enough to warrant further play, the never satisfied attitude of the King will.

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Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble

Surely a system that is simple to play and a game series that is essentially a no-fuss beat 'em-up would be a perfect match, right?

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Urban Reign

Sadly, you are not required to rescue George W. Bush from angry Louisiana officials or disgruntled military moms in Namco's new Urban Reign.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Guster + Kishi Bashi Perform at Central Park Summerstage (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Guster's Summerstage performance was a showcase of their infectious and poppy music from the last 24 years.

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