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Monday, September 23 2002

The Sopranos

While reality hounds might say that this is exactly how banal contemporary mob life is, they might also remember that a stamped certificate of authenticity doesn't inoculate drama against tedium.


Push, Nevada

In Push, Nevada, producers Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey have come up with a show that is, oddly, both original and formulaic.


Life With Bonnie

You would be hard pressed to find a sitcom debuting this season with more people rooting for it than Life With Bonnie.


Greetings from Tucson

Greetings can't decide if it's comedy because of being Mexican American or in spite of Mexican American -- and that's one thing working in its favor.


Firefly

Firefly is more complicated in its framing story and moral dimensions than the usual sci-fi or Western fare.


Fastlane

The shots are close (is that her hand in his pants?), the cutting is speedy, the soundtrack is kicking: just above the din of the engine, the Vines wail.


Everwood

As I watched Everwood, packed with numerous poignant moments, my own strongest feeling was a longing for South Park's biting critique of 'quiet little mountain towns.'


Cedric the Entertainer Presents

Instead of being safe, Cedric the Entertainer Presents needs to keep it real -- real sharp, real topical and real controversial.


Monday, September 16 2002

Monday Night Football

John Madden is a master narrator of a football game. Amid the grunting and groaning of the linemen, the staccato rhymes of the cheerleaders, and the screaming of thousands of fans, his commentary comes through with a clarity that gives shape and meaning to the sound and fury that plays out on our television sets.


Monday, August 19 2002

ICU

The series repackages recorded crises and dramas into four one-hour episodes, compressing daily life and death into a glossy, strangely unreal product.


EastEnders

For the conflicted soap fan longing for a simulacrum of realism, EastEnders is an addictive slice of heaven.


The Anna Nicole Show

The Anna Nicole Show asks us to laugh at, not with, its pitiable subject.


Thursday, August 1 2002

30 Seconds to Fame

PULL


She Spies

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Big Brother 3

[There's] little for the inhabitants to do, other than chill in the hot tub, smoke too much, and plot, scheme, and worry themselves to the point of paranoia.


Monday, July 22 2002

Sex and the City

We discover new aspects about sex and female pleasure in nearly every episode of Sex and the City.


Meet the Marks

The label 'sitcom' is a misrepresentation. 'Meet the Marks' lacks comedy.


Monk

If the energy and originality of the storylines catch up with Monk and Sharon's dynamic, the series can only improve.


Donahue

Donahue was visibly overwhelmed by the venom and ferocity of the guests' attacks against one another.


Wednesday, July 17 2002

The Real World XI: Chicago

MTV's 'The Real World' has become a mainline for cultural propagation. The archetype of the 'reality tv' genre, this weekly, pretend-documentary consolidates, edits, and cannibalizes culture.


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