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Tuesday, May 13 2014

‘Frontline: United States of Secrets, Part 1’: History of the NSA’s Surveillance Program

Edward Snowden's reveal has had cascading effects. While more are now aware of what the NSA has done, efforts to limit the damage and perpetuate the Program persist.


Exploring the Depths of the ‘Hill Street Blues’

Hill Street Blues is a near perfect beast that never replicates, but builds upon its predecessors in its own quirky, occasionally surreal way.


Monday, May 12 2014

‘Orange is the New Black’ Eases Us All Into Prison Life

These are women who are rarely given a voice in television, so when a series like Orange is the New Black comes along, it’s striking in its depiction.


Thursday, May 8 2014

‘I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season One’ Is Really Smokin’

I Love Lucy has been treasured for years, but this is the first time that it has been presented in a manner so thoroughly studied and examined within its historical context.


Wednesday, May 7 2014

‘30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Barbosa’ and ‘Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy’

On Moacir Barbosa and Brazils self-image of ongoing suffering and its perpetually elusive redemption.


‘Generation War’ Isn’t Afraid to Present Ambivalence and Ambiguity

This might make some viewers uncomfortable. It might offend. It might challenge preconceptions. That’s fine. Much of the time, that’s what good art does.


Monday, May 5 2014

‘24: Live Another Day’ Has Chloe’s Back

It may be that in 24's universe, there's no option for being cast out, for remaining out, that choices can't be made, but are only made for Chloe and Jack Bauer and you, too.


‘Lizzie Borden Took an Axe’ and That’s About It

Too shallow to be informative and too dry to be campy, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is unsatisfying on every level.


Thursday, May 1 2014

Kenneth More’s ‘Father Brown’ Gives a Us Reassuring Voice of Reason and Moderation

Father Brown, in his 1974 television series incarnation, assures viewers that wisdom lies in moderation, not revolution.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

‘Mr. Selfridge: Season 2’ Gives Us a Wonderful Cast of Characters and a Riveting Time Period

As the war affects all aspects of the business, season 2 employs a more serious tone, yet it's more entertaining than thought-provoking.


Tuesday, April 22 2014

‘30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Maradona ‘86 and The Opposition’

These two soccer stories, focused on the World Cups of 1974 and 1986, reveal the politics, culpability, and legacy of FIFA in broader contexts.


Thursday, April 17 2014

‘30 for 30: Bad Boys’ Wants to Crush ‘em—but Only Mentally

The Piston's Isiah Thomas exhorts haters to "erase the labels that you've given us and the names that you called us, all those people who said we were thugs and vicious."


Wednesday, April 16 2014

‘30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Hillsborough’

Hillsborough recalls the horror of that day, the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.


Women with Rare Intellectual Authority Form ‘The Bletchley Circle’

The resourcefulness and fearlessness of these women is a highlight in a series so well-written and well-acted.


Tuesday, April 15 2014

It’s Going to Be Hard for ‘Fargo’ to Seem Like Anything More than Coen Brothers Fan-Fiction

While the TV version goes down its own solitary snow-swept roads, its sprawling cast of characters featuring proxies for the film’s iconic figures.


Monday, April 7 2014

Mike Judge Does a New Series About Nerds with ‘Silicon Valley’

Silicon Valley is premised on a series of often funny clashes -- between cultures, generations, and expectations.


Monday, March 31 2014

In ‘Mr. Selfridge’, Changes Loom with the Coming of World War I

Impressively detailed and masterfully assembled, Mr. Selfridge focuses on class relations that can be both supportive and dysfunctional, and affected by external forces.


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.


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