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Tuesday, July 16 2013

Place and Satire in ‘Portlandia’

The genius behind Portlandia is its gentle lampooning of a very specific population that still manages to be accessible to those who live outside the limits of the Portland metropolitan area.

Monday, July 15 2013

Time and Prejudice Eat at You in ‘Rectify’

Daniel may be free, but he is far from exonerated, and it is this dichotomy that lends Rectify both its brilliance and its unique sense of tension.

Sunday, July 14 2013

‘Unforgettable’ Isn’t Exactly That

Unforgettable is yet another police procedural that fits into the TV-as-comfort-food mold, with but a slight variation on that theme.

Thursday, July 11 2013

Na Na Na, You’re Gonna Have a Good Time with ‘Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids’

During the tumultuous '60s, the playful, silly, but ultimately lesson-based adventures of the "Cosby Kids" proved funny to adults but even funnier to inner city children who could readily identify with these archetypal misfits.

Tuesday, July 9 2013

‘Call the Midwife: Season Two’

The ways in which these women exercised their will, both individually and collectively, spoke to the importance of their role in London's dockside community.

Monday, July 8 2013

Swimming with the Big Shark in ‘House of Cards’

Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) swims in the murky waters of Washington power-mongering as gracefully as if he had sprouted gills and a caudal fin.

Wednesday, June 26 2013

Sit Down and Make Yourself Uncomfortable with: ‘Web Therapy’

Lisa Kudrow is the backbone of the show and she is a master of the uncomfortable moment.

Monday, June 17 2013

‘30 Rock’ Lived (and Died) By Its Own Rules

Although its references to the 2012 political seasons will be as dated as Murphy Brown's Dan Quayle references, 30 Rock, against all odds, goes out on a perfect note.

Sunday, June 16 2013

‘Witness: A World in Conflict Through a Lens’ Raises as Many Questions as It Answers

HBO is to be commended for risking such an undertaking; it could have sailed along on another few seasons of Game of Thrones, etc. But it is programs like Witness that may prove the more enduring legacy.

Wednesday, June 12 2013

Try a Mid-Life Crisis for Fun and Profit! ‘Top Gear: The Great African Adventure’

Top Gear is not really a show about cars. It's a show about masculinity.

‘Wilfred’: Bone-Dry Humor in a Warm and Wicked Cartoon Universe

The Aussie Wilfred fleshes out its sitcom universe with impressive worldbuilding and genuine heart amongst the weed smoke and scatological humor.

Tuesday, June 11 2013

How the Spin-Off That Is ‘Major Crimes’ Holds Up in Its First Season

Spinning off from The Closer could not have been easy. It sure doesn't look that way in season one of Major Crimes.

Monday, June 10 2013

Variety Within Formula: “Perry Mason’s Final Season

The writers were able to keep the Perry Mason formula fresh by varying the settings in which it was applied, and coming up with new ways to deliver the twist that was a necessary feature of each episode.

Friday, June 7 2013

Frontier Masculinity and Desert Symbolism in ‘Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season’

Is Breaking Bad a critique of the devastating potential of frontier masculinity? Or is it itself a masculine fantasy? At this point, it seems that it wants to be both.

Wednesday, June 5 2013

The Fifth Doctor vs the Grim Android Reaper: ‘Doctor Who: The Visitation (Special Edition)’

The Fifth Doctor dons his Celery lapel to defend 1666 England against alien invaders and bedazzled androids in this inventive, classic saga from the Peter Davison years.

Monday, June 3 2013

‘Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy’: The Parallels Between Traditional Music & Modern Compositions

This is a truly mesmerizing documentary to watch, both in terms of its content and because of its blindingly optimistic points of view.

Who’s Who in ‘Doctor Who: Series Seven - Part Two’?

Something old (the Ice Warriors), something new (the Whispermen), something borrowed (several scripts’ plot elements), something blue (fans must wait until November for the series 50th anniversary celebration).

Thursday, May 30 2013

What’s It Take to Thaw the Cold-Hearted Doctor? ‘Doctor Who: The Snowmen (Blu-ray)’

In his post-Ponds grief, the Doctor has become Scrooge-like, secreting the TARDIS on a cloud and refusing to interact with humanity.

Wednesday, May 29 2013

‘Spies of Warsaw’: A Thriller Without the Thrill

A romance thinly disguised an espionage thriller, Spies of Warsawplaces viewers at an odd, cold distance.

Tuesday, May 28 2013

To Stay Top Dog, You May Have to Unleash the Bitch Within: ‘The Politician’s Husband’

Sometimes you have to do bad things to get into power to do good things when you get there. Sometimes just doing bad things will do.

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