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Monday, May 12 2014

‘Orange is the New Black’ Eases Us All Into Prison Life

These are women who are rarely given a voice in television, so when a series like Orange is the New Black comes along, it’s striking in its depiction.


Thursday, May 8 2014

‘I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season One’ Is Really Smokin’

I Love Lucy has been treasured for years, but this is the first time that it has been presented in a manner so thoroughly studied and examined within its historical context.


Wednesday, May 7 2014

‘Generation War’ Isn’t Afraid to Present Ambivalence and Ambiguity

This might make some viewers uncomfortable. It might offend. It might challenge preconceptions. That’s fine. Much of the time, that’s what good art does.


Monday, May 5 2014

‘Lizzie Borden Took an Axe’ and That’s About It

Too shallow to be informative and too dry to be campy, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is unsatisfying on every level.


Thursday, May 1 2014

Kenneth More’s ‘Father Brown’ Gives a Us Reassuring Voice of Reason and Moderation

Father Brown, in his 1974 television series incarnation, assures viewers that wisdom lies in moderation, not revolution.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

‘Mr. Selfridge: Season 2’ Gives Us a Wonderful Cast of Characters and a Riveting Time Period

As the war affects all aspects of the business, season 2 employs a more serious tone, yet it's more entertaining than thought-provoking.


Monday, April 28 2014

‘Earth Flight’ Brings You Right Into the Flock

Although this isn’t the best that BBC Earth series has produced, nevertheless, it’s solid and engaging.


Wednesday, April 16 2014

Women with Rare Intellectual Authority Form ‘The Bletchley Circle’

The resourcefulness and fearlessness of these women is a highlight in a series so well-written and well-acted.


Wednesday, March 26 2014

‘Inside No. 9’ Is a Bit Like a Box of Chocolates, Albeit One Full of Dark, Bitter Sweets

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton turn down the grotesque but amp up the insidious mixture of morbid comedy and genuine creepiness for this series of stand-alone tales.


Thursday, March 20 2014

‘Monsters: The Complete Series’ Is a Boon for Nostalgia Buffs

The monsters in Monsters look laughable, but if you're a fan of the show already, you probably won't care.


Thursday, March 13 2014

‘Ripper Street’ Is a Smart, Witty and Humane Drama

Ripper Street's greatest strength is to avoid direct reference to the killings as an investigative project and to treat them as traumatic events from which its characters are trying to recover.


Like Its Senior Sleuth Namesake, ‘Hetty Wainthropp Investigates’ Ages Gracefully

Just why Acorn Media recently released Hetty Wainthropp Investigates: The Complete Collection nearly 20 years after its initial broadcast is hardly a mystery.


Wednesday, March 12 2014

The Very Fabric of Nature Is Torn in ‘The Returned (Les Revenants)’

The Returned asks a not-so-simple question about how the living would react to the return of the dead, and offers no easy answers.


Wednesday, March 5 2014

‘The Venture Bros. Season Five’ Is Super Sciencetastic

Not every question is answered, not every cliffhanger makes immediate sense, but after five seasons the creators of The Venture Bros. have earned fan trust enough to keep this the best show on TV.


Monday, March 3 2014

1950s Ireland Appears More Glamorous than Gritty in Crime Drama ‘Quirke’

A lone-wolf pathologist finds himself tackling three murder mysteries whilst trying to resolve issues damaging his personal life.


Wednesday, February 26 2014

Ambitious and Ludicrous Satire: ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series’

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman looks more like an Andy Warhol production on cable access than a nationally syndicated Norman Lear sitcom.


Thursday, February 20 2014

The Sitcom As Ideological Torture

Family Matters is a sterling (and torturous) example of the allegedly “post-racial” America inaugurated by the bourgeois and only mildly Afrocentric triumphs of The Cosby Show.


Tuesday, February 18 2014

Jiggle TV? ‘Charlie’s Angels’

It's worth noting that, the problematic politics of the series aside, this is not great TV.


Monday, February 17 2014

‘Game of Thrones’ Sets the Gold Standard for TV Dramas

It’s no wonder that Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s biggest successes and a worldwide phenomenon. Plus, you know, it's got dragons.


Friday, February 14 2014

The Darcys Have Reputation Anxiety in ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

The spectre of murder threatens to divide Elizabeth and Darcy in this adaptation of P.D. James' Austen homage, but the poor grasp of character might be the more devastating crime, here.


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