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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.


Thursday, February 13 2014

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a Well-Made BBC Biopic

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West capture the emotional truth of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's relationship in the BBC biopic, Burton and Taylor.


Wednesday, February 12 2014

‘Good Times’: Ain’t We Lucky We Got ‘Em?

The truth is that Good Times is an excellent and remarkably funny show. The irony of the show and its title continues to resonate.


Tuesday, February 11 2014

‘Sherlock’ and the Case of the Changing, Challenging Identities

The third season of Sherlock becomes much more meta and challenges the very concept of who Sherlock Holmes is, and suggests change is indeed in the (east) wind.


Monday, February 10 2014

‘The White Queen’ Is the War of the Roses, from the Women’s Point of View

Battles and beheadings, letters sent and lost, dungeons and plenty of who-can-you-trust moments. The White Queen is a whopping good time.


Thursday, February 6 2014

Yield to Dilbert’s Technical Superiority

The 2014 re-release of the complete Dilbert series looks and sounds good and is bargain priced, but has none of the extras of the 2004 release.


Monday, February 3 2014

Darkness Comes to ‘Downton’

Season 4 of Downton Abbey is suddenly like the British aristocracy’s version of Breaking Bad.


The ‘Mad Dogs’ Are Fast on a Road to Nowhere

The desperate foursome are running from themselves and don't notice the Afrikaans sign, ‘Oppad na nerens'. ‘On the road to nowhere’.


Friday, January 31 2014

Ain’t Life Just Like That?

Sure, Treme is about the sacred, but you can’t have the sacred without the engine of the profane motoring things along, and there’s nothing more profane than money.


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