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Wednesday, March 26 2014

‘Brothers Hypnotic’ Is the Tale of a Brass Band in Thrilling Motion

As much as this celebrates the music of the Hypnotic Brass Band, with long sequences devoted to their energetic performances, it also makes clear the hard work that goes into it.


‘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.


Wednesday, March 19 2014

‘Doll & Em’ Have a Complicated Friendship

A clever, often painful study of a corrosive friendship,'Doll & Em' features Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells, who play fictionalized versions of themselves.


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.


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.


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