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APR
22
12 HRS

Black Box: TV Review

Black Box: TV Review

There is an unbearable lightness of being thing going on with ABC’s latest drama, Black Box. And I don’t mean that in relation to the book or the movie of the same name, each with a certain grace and greatness. No, I mean that Black Box is truly unbearable in its wispy, vacuous, pretentious way.

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APR
20
2 DAYS

'Mad Men' Deconstruction: Ep. 2, 'A Day's Work'

'Mad Men' Deconstruction: Ep. 2, 'A Day's Work'

The consequences of deceit have always been a hallmark of Mad Men episodes, but “A Day’s Work” decided to carry the water on that theme quite impressively Sunday night. Hanging over the conclusion of season six was the aspect of Sally catching Don sleeping with Sylvia. Don showing Sally who he really was and where he came from was essential – the look they shared in that finale said a lot. But some things need to come out verbally, and they did in this episode.

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APR
18
4 DAYS

The Power Rankings Are Back! Chaos And Blood Everywhere! All Hail No. 1!

The Power Rankings Are Back! Chaos And Blood Everywhere! All Hail No. 1!

As a matter of fact yes, I am taking The Power Rankings! out of mothballs on a Friday without much interest in explaining where they've been for, oh, um, a really long time. Just go with it. They're back. At least in part, I will say, they are back because there are a lot of great dramas and comedies on simultaneously and I think that provides a good mix. And yes, it's more proof that television is better than when your mom watched it.

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APR
18
5 DAYS

Salem: TV Review

Salem: TV Review

Because not enough outlets are making scripted television -- apparently -- WGN America has jumped into the game and opted, strategically, for a genre series.

And it’s a gambit that turns out better than probably expected.

STORY: 'Salem' Boss on Fearless Witches, Pushing Boundaries and Censors

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APR
15
1 week

Orphan Black: TV Review

Orphan Black: TV Review

After breakout star Tatiana Maslany helped rocket BBC America’s Orphan Black to cult status as one of television's most compelling genre series (I ranked it No. 5 on my list of best dramas from 2013), the inevitable next challenge was maintaining the quality, expanding the vision of the series and finding a larger audience.

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APR
15
1 week

Aereo to Face Uphill Battle in Supreme Court, Experts Say (Analysis)

Aereo to Face Uphill Battle in Supreme Court, Experts Say (Analysis)

Next week's Supreme Court argument will be difficult for cable-competitor Aereo, legal experts agree, as the company faces off against not just broadcasters but also the influential U.S. Solicitor General's office and the Copyright Office. While it will be a tough fight for the company, the case is so complex and the copyright and communications statutes so intricate that one advocate said the decision could end up as lopsided as 7-1 -- in either direction.

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APR
13
1 week

'Mad Men' Deconstruction: Ep. 1, 'Time Zones'

'Mad Men' Deconstruction: Ep. 1, 'Time Zones'

This is a Spoiled Bastard deconstruction of Mad Men. It contains spoilers. That's the point. Watch the episode before you read.

Since this was the first episode of season seven, less needs to be done here to set the table thanks to having a full-blown review prior (which you can read here). But there were plenty of elements to remark on that I obviously left out of the review for spoiler reasons. So let's get started.

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APR
11
2 WKS

Fargo: TV Review

Fargo: TV Review

The ambitious and sublime limited series Fargo on FX may have to overcome two small obstacles before viewers tap into the eminence of its darkness and humor. First, fans of the acclaimed 1996 film by Joel and Ethan Coen might wonder why in the hell anyone would want to "remake" it into a series (though it was attempted but never launched at least twice on network television after the film came out). And those who never saw the movie might be wondering what the hell the whole thing is about.

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APR
10
2 WKS

Why Stephen Colbert Is the Perfect David Letterman Replacement (Analysis)

Why Stephen Colbert Is the Perfect David Letterman Replacement (Analysis)

With haste and impeccable taste, CBS has picked the best possible candidate to replace retiring legend David Letterman. Hiring Stephen Colbert, whose agile mind, insanely quick wit and impressive interviewing skills will fit perfectly in the late-night talk show universe, was never less than the sublimely obvious thing to do.

NBC, take note. This is what an orderly transfer of power looks like.

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APR
9
2 WKS

'Justified' Falters -- More Proof That Making Quality TV Is Hard

'Justified' Falters -- More Proof That Making Quality TV Is Hard

As the world of television gets better, and thus harder, one of the elements that I’m forever interested in and believe merits constant monitoring is when unmet expectations create abandonment issues: when viewers go one way because their shows go another and what’s left are an uncoupled pair of train cars.

One just sits there, dead on the tracks. The other grows smaller in the distance as it moves along.

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APR
6
2 WKS

Turn: TV Review

Turn: TV Review

Having series so great or so popular that nobody seems to notice how much you flounder when they're not on is a luxury (or is it a mystery?) that AMC must be praying doesn’t go away anytime soon.

Its latest series, the Revolutionary War spy drama Turn, may eventually transform into something worth talking about, but the 90-minute premiere seems so intent on setting up Something Really Big For Later that it forgets to be compelling in the moment.

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APR
3
3 WKS

David Letterman Goes Out On His Terms -- And the Timing Is Right

David Letterman Goes Out On His Terms -- And the Timing Is Right

I have two letters from David Letterman, both delivered over a span of years and both in response to pretty much the same idea voiced in columns I'd written: He's brilliant, and let's not forget him.  I guess this will be the third such column, also written a number of years after the last.

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APR
2
3 WKS

Mad Men: TV Review

Mad Men: TV Review

Mad Men creator and writer Matthew Weiner has always kicked off new seasons with brilliant, memorable episodes. This time is no different, as Mad Men starts the beginning of the end, airing the first of its final 14 episodes on April 13.

In "Time Zones," Weiner densely packs storylines on top of each other, some with intriguing twists, others hinting at the possibility of new directions, change, dread, weirdness and reinvention.

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APR
2
3 WKS

Game of Thrones: TV Review

Game of Thrones: TV Review

HBO’s sprawling, epic fantasy drama hit Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season on April 6, and the one thing fans will realize – as they do every year – is just how many plates are spinning in this series.

It’s incredibly impressive.

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