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Friday, November 1 2013

‘Downton Abbey’s Poor Relations

What's so captivating about Downton Abbey is that the servants are thrust into the forefront, wholly realized characters themselves and often the ones we care about most.


Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series

The clever boy is running... out of ideas.


Tuesday, October 29 2013

‘Defiance’ and the Possibilities and Pitfalls of Transmedia

Syfy's new series Defiance is an ambitious transmedia project. But in this case, that does more harm than good.


Monday, October 28 2013

‘Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle’ Reveals How Comic Books Won Everything

It's no surprise that the tights and capes crowd have gotten their own much deserved PBS documentary and, with some small caveats, it's well worth your time.


Thursday, October 24 2013

Controlled Chaos Reigns in ‘Hannibal: Season One’

Bryan Fuller retools the Hannibal franchise as an intelligent take on the morality of horror fiction, setting a CSI procedural within a Satanic universe ruled by Mads Mikkelsen's insane Dr. Lecter.


Wednesday, October 16 2013

Latino Americans

This documentary’s largest focus, cultural identity, is examined from perspectives as varied as Mexicans in Texas, Central Americans in California, Cubans in Miami, and Puerto Ricans in New York.


‘The Secret of Crickley Hall’ Is Strong in Atmospherics, Not So Much in Narrative

Based on the thriller by James Herbert, The Secret of Crickley Hall falls short on chills and fails to leave a strong impression -- until its final act.


Tuesday, October 8 2013

‘In the Flesh’ Is an Intelligent Take on the Well-Worn Zombie Genre

In the Flesh is a spare, haunting drama that wonders what the world might look like after the zombie apocalypse.


‘Perry Mason’ Resonates from Decades Past

Under primary writers Jackson Gillis and Samuel Newman, many episodes seek an unusual angle to refresh the series' formula of Perry Mason's client being accused of murder until he unmasks the killer in court.


Friday, October 4 2013

‘Life and Death In Assisted Living’ Isn’t Damning, but It’s Damned Eye-Opening

Elderly care is big business. But what happens, and who suffers, when profit replaces dignity?


Thursday, October 3 2013

‘Southland’ Cements Its Legacy with a Stellar Final Season

One of the most critically celebrated cop shows of the last decade, Southland confronted the realities of policing in a hard-to-watch final season that not even loyal fans understood at first.


‘North America’ Impresses with Great Nature Footage, Stellar Narration

Anchored by the narration of Tom Selleck, this nature series is a spectacular look at the North American ecosystem and the many characters which populate it.


Tuesday, October 1 2013

‘Blandings’ Is Rich with Silly People Acting Silly

Timothy Spall is wet-your-pants hilarious as Lord Clarence Emsworth, a well-meaning and entirely idiotic aristocrat whose chief concern is the health and well-being of his pig, Empress.


Monday, September 30 2013

If the Music in ‘Nashville’ Takes You, Go With It

From Rayna’s classic hits and her new country-rock hybrid sound to Deacon’s crooning love songs and Juliette’s addictive pop crowd-pleasers, there’s something for everyone in Nashville.


The Complexity of Finding Balance in ‘Luther 3’

The intensity of a character like Luther could easily wear thin if played by the wrong actor, but Idris Elba is a consistently terrific, making Luther as watchable as always.


The Creatures May Be the ‘Wild Things’, but the Journey Is the Cool Thing

Venomous lizards, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, carnivorous centipedes -- tracking “wild things” with actor/creature enthusiast Dominic Monaghan is a real trip.


Thursday, September 26 2013

The Martian Revolution will be Televised: ‘Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors’

Though long missing episodes 2 and 3 of the six-episode serial, the classic Doctor Who story The Ice Warriors is now on DVD with animated restorations of the missing episodes... with original episode audio.


‘Inspector George Gently’ Copes with Society’s Contrasts and Conflicts

Inspector George Gently continues to capture the mood of the '60s in season five, but the fate of our hero is left in a Sherlock Holmes-styled predicament.


Wednesday, September 25 2013

‘Behind the Candelabra’ Is Proof That Steven Soderbergh Should Never Retire

It seems hard to believe, but there was a time when audiences had no idea Liberace was gay and Soderbergh captures this innocence -- or voluntary blindness -- with special attention.


The Office’s Final Season Is an Amalgam of Highs and Lows

The series' ninth season lacks the consistent laughs found in earlier episodes but ends on a memorable note.


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