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Monday, March 10 2014

Faith and Clichés and ‘Believe’

Television is especially good at pretending intimacy, at inviting you to feel close to emotional situations and worrying for characters you come to know over time.


Sunday, March 9 2014

‘Resurrection’ Is In the Zeitgeist, Baby

The ever-expanding TV population of zombies, the disappeared, and assorted cyborgs is joined by the citizens of Arcadia, Missouri, who just can’t seem to stay in the graves where their loving relatives have interred them.


Thursday, March 6 2014

Moral Judgments, Battles in Offices and on the Streets, That’s ‘Chicagoland’

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel walks out of frame, his figure blurrs as if the camera can't keep up, you hear another reporter trying to ask another question from off-screen.


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

Murderers, Monsters, and Chloë Sevigny in ‘Those Who Kill’

For the most part, Those Who Kill lets you feel cynical and all-knowing. But with the camera on Chloë Sevigny's pale, ghastly face, you also feel you can never know enough.


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.


Friday, February 21 2014

‘About a Boy’ Gives Us Man-Children by the Episode

Will and Marcus “grow up” together in bite-sized portions, learning to put away their respective childish things in the course of each episode. Then they regress.


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.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

‘Spies of Mississippi’: When the US Government Was Committed to an Apartheid System

Congressman Bennie Thompson's recollections are chilling, and not only because the government of Mississippi once posed a real threat to some of its citizens.


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.


Wednesday, February 5 2014

What Happens to the Excommunicated Amish?

The Amish: Shunned reveals the complexity of these lives and choices, hopes and losses.


Monday, February 3 2014

Darkness Comes to ‘Downton’

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


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