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Monday, May 15 2006

Home Movies: Season 4

Knowing that Brendan Small continues to dabble in music, it's easy to read this season, and the bittersweet (and hilarious) 'Focus Grill' in particular, as his transition away from childhood things.


Monday, May 8 2006

That 70s Show: Season 4

From commonalities to clichés, That 70s Show runs the gamut.


Sergeant Bilko - 50th Anniversary Edition (The Phil Silvers Show)

The first episode, 'New Recruits', is a wonderful introduction, establishing not only characters and set-up, but also the series' underlying morality.


The Golden Girls: The Complete Fifth Season

The girls are back. And, as demonstrated in The Golden Girls: The Complete Fifth Season, the series' original sophistication has come back with them.


Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist: Season One

Dr. Katz relies on the familiar conceit that comedy is therapy, for performers and for us.


Monday, May 1 2006

Red Sox vs. Yankees: The Ultimate Rivalry

Red Sox vs. Yankees comes off as little more than an ill-conceived plan to exploit our collective love of a suddenly downtrodden rivalry for monetary gain.


King of the Hill: The Complete Season Six

King of the Hill: The Complete Sixth Season, like the last few Hill DVD sets, suffers from underappreciation, yet it's one of the few recent sitcoms worth talking about.


I Love Lucy: The Complete Sixth Season

In the end, the grind was just too great, though I Love Lucy was still the number one show when it closed up shop.


Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons

Whereas Dinosaurs' message-based storytelling would have seemed preachy in the mouths of live-action performers, a seven-foot tall Megalosaurus can get downright nasty when inveighing on the ills of modern, er, prehistoric society.


Destination America: The People and Cultures That Created a Nation

The series emphasizes how admirable immigration policies have made the U.S. prosperous and intellectually robust. Unfortunately, this sometimes has the effect of glossing over history's complications.


Monday, April 24 2006

American Masters - Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea

The documentary argues that Hemingway tried to answer Ezra Pound's call to 'make it new'. His version of new was compressed: his language -- so precise, so alienated -- formed infamously short, tough sentences.


Monday, April 17 2006

The Sentinel - The Complete First Season

As The Sentinel can't decide whether it's a superheroic sci-fi drama or a police procedural featuring a walking, talking C.S.I. lab, it lingers somewhere in between.


Wednesday, April 12 2006

Wonder Showzen: Season One

Wonder Showzen's signature mix of the disturbing and the absurd makes for searing satire and whipsmart TV.


Tuesday, April 11 2006

Patton Oswalt: No Reason to Complain

Patton Oswalt's audience exemplifies the politically opinionated but ultimately unmotivated young Left, who turned out to the polls in 2004 with the same low figures as they did in 2000.


The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Third Season

Mary Richards, as essayed by the incomparable Mary Tyler Moore, would evolve over the span of the series, but at her core, she was always the wise, wonderful gal pal, the sounding board off of which those around her bounced their good natured notions.


Monday, April 10 2006

Empires: Great Religions

The PBS series also chronicles an evolution of thought. Most theological breakthroughs came as responses to tyranny, literal and cultural.


Dave Attell’s Insomniac Tour Presents: Sean Rouse, Greg Giraldo and Dane Cook

Sean Rouse's jokes hit on themes the others will echo: drinking is fun; crystal meth is fun to joke about; masturbation is always on a man's mind; the existence of God is doubtful.


The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season

It might be properly said that Newhart -- in his quiet, insecure manner -- represents something of a shrugging mode of subversion.


Monday, April 3 2006

South Park: The Complete Seventh Season

Parker and Stone frequently use South Park as a platform for their libertarian views, and usually, it doesn't detract from the show's centrist, common-sense attitudes.


Wednesday, March 29 2006

Brad Stine: Tolerate This!

Now, our recognition of truth is not based in its challenge to our preconceptions, but in its capacity to comfort us. That kind of 'truth' would be alien to Lenny Bruce; it suits Brad Stine perfectly.


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