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Monday, June 3 2013

‘The Fosters’ Are an Earnest, Sort of New, Normal Family

In a couple of subplots, The Fosters broaches, superficially at least, the complications of striving for color- and culture-blindness in cross-racial adoptions.


Friday, May 31 2013

‘Treehouse Masters’: Reality TV Fantasies

Combining a roughhewn, DIY fortitude with a camera-ready smile, Pete Nelson consults with his clients, helps them make a plan, and then does what he likes to do best: he builds a treehouse.


Tuesday, May 28 2013

What Chance Does a Girl Have? ‘Frontline: Outlawed in Pakistan’

"Why would a 13-year-old girl lie that she's been gang raped by four people?"


‘Ring of Fire’: Jewel as June Carter Cash

Ring of Fire offers a glimpse into the opportunities and costs June encountered, as she transitioned from her place in the Carter Family ("the First Family of Country Music") to being married to Johnny.


Monday, May 20 2013

Quirky Puzzles: ‘The Goodwin Games’

The Goodwin Games wears its quirk on its sleeve. The opening is straight out of The Royal Tenenbaums: while ornate classical music plays, a bowtie-wearing family patriarch (Beau Bridges) sits in a too-perfectly-art-directed library.


‘Motive’ Wonders, Why?

Motive reminds viewers that breaking social norms can lead to dire consequences.


Wednesday, May 15 2013

‘Never Forget To Lie’: Child Survivors of the Holocaust

Looking back on the lies now, the lies that saved lives, this film presents them in the fragments they must remain, appreciates gaps between them, frames images as they allude to losses.


Sunday, May 12 2013

Christopher Guest Does TV with HBO’s ‘Family Tree’

If the plot is thin, the show does offer other pleasures, including the actors’ improv skills, revealed in subtle and hilarious flashes of genius.


Monday, May 6 2013

‘Independent Lens: Seeking Asian Female’

It's always the case that a film can't show the many dimensions of experience on screen, that it must assemble a series of pieces to resemble a storyline. This one is a roller coaster ride by film's end.


Friday, May 3 2013

On Being Stuck Between Fame and Obscurity: ‘Maron’

The series feels like a rehashed, less funny version of Louie. Maron and Louis C.K. share a cynical, self-deprecating sense of humor and the styles of both shows are strikingly similar.


Tuesday, April 30 2013

‘New Girl’ Is Going Nowhere

As someone who’s yet to eat whatever ergot is making everyone idolize Zooey Deschanel, my feelings toward her range from indifference to mild anxiety. I don’t want to stare longingly into her half-dollar-sized eyes; I find them unsettling.


Monday, April 29 2013

The Perils of Border Crossing: ‘The Undocumented’

The story of Francisco Hernandez provides an aptly difficult and elusive focus, in the sense that he has disappeared following his decision to cross the desert.


Sunday, April 21 2013

‘The Bletchley Circle’: WWII Women Finding Solutions

This series cleverly captures how World War II, with its massive mobilization of British men from all walks of life into the armed forces, transformed many thousands of women’s lives.


‘Ice Cold Gold’: American Dreams in Greenland

In these globalized times, the American Dream isn't always fulfilled in America. Ice Cold Gold, premiering 21 April, takes eight workers to Storø, Greenland.


Tuesday, April 16 2013

‘Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines’

William Marston's Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman, was the opening salvo of an imagined matriarchal revolution.


Saturday, April 13 2013

‘Louis C.K.: Oh My God’: Ethics and Dyspepsia

C.K.’s dyspeptic view of himself and his fellow humans becomes an avenue to explicating the wonders of daily life.


Tuesday, April 9 2013

‘Frontline: Syria Behind the Lines’: Both Sides Are Right, Both Sides Are Wrong

Both sides of this tragic conflict seem both too aware of how to comport themselves for cameras and also too isolated, unable to imagine a perspective that's not their own.


Thursday, April 4 2013

‘Mad Men: Season 6 Premiere’: Waiting for the Fall

As Mad Men's new season opens, we don't know if Don Draper is alone. We do know, however, that he is due for a fall.


Sunday, March 31 2013

‘Game of Thrones’: Women in Wartime

Cunning and ambitious, with a deep understanding of politics and war, the women of Game of Thrones know how to get what they want.


Shootings Happen: ‘Orphan Black’

Along the lines of Dark Angel meets Alias, BBC America's Orphan Black asks how memory matters, how perception shapes experience, and whether and how and to whom a shooting might happen.


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