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JUL
13
3 MOS

'The Strain': TV Review

'The Strain': TV Review

There's been a lot of advance hype for the Sunday premiere of FX's modern/scary/weird vampire thriller The Strain, but lost in there for some people will be an essential bit of information:

It's pretty hokey.

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JUL
10
3 MOS

Tim Goodman on Emmy Nominations: Academy Needs to Adapt After Atrocious Snubs (Analysis)

Tim Goodman on Emmy Nominations: Academy Needs to Adapt After Atrocious Snubs (Analysis)

It's easy to find outrage every year when the Emmy nominations are announced. But if you temper it for the sake of the Big Picture, some of the smaller surprises can be a salve.

Yeah, not this year.

This is not one of those years when Emmy voters get forgiveness on their oversights simply because they seemed to be progressive in a few categories. That's because the rubber-stamping seemed especially gratuitous and the Big Mistakes seemed more prominent and damning.

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JUL
9
3 MOS

'The Bridge': TV Review

'The Bridge': TV Review

In its freshman season last year, FX's The Bridge was one of those series where you applauded the effort, knowing that its failure to live up to its potential wasn't a real crime as much as a minor disappointment. It came from the FX stable — and no channel is even as remotely audacious these days. In short, it was a big swing that resulted in a long, majestic foul ball — if baseball metaphors are a thing that work for you.

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JUL
8
3 MOS

'Extant': TV Review

'Extant': TV Review

Last summer CBS did a smart and surprising thing by making summer programming both interesting and relevant for broadcast networks with Under the Dome, a series from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment that seemed shockingly good until it wasn't.

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JUN
25
4 MOS

'The Leftovers': TV Review

'The Leftovers': TV Review

There's a chance that HBO's newest drama, The Leftovers, might end up being the most meta show on television. But maybe not for the reasons we think.

The series, based on the 2011 book of the same name by Tom Perrotta, focuses on what happens three years after an unexplained event causes 2 percent of the world's population to vanish. One moment they're there, the next they're gone.

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JUN
20
4 MOS

'The Last Ship': TV Review

'The Last Ship': TV Review

Whatever you might think of Michael Bay, at least there's a clarity to what he does. Boom. Stuff blows up.

That's not a terrible strategy for summer television programming. While higher-end cable fare can still succeed with darker subject matter (Game of Thrones, Fargo, The Bridge, Rectify, etc.), CBS proved with Under the Dome that what the masses really want is "event" programming or, barring a real understanding of what that means, a show where things blow up or get crazy.

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JUN
19
4 MOS

'Tyrant': TV Review

'Tyrant': TV Review

It will be interesting to see if FX’s ambitious and much-sought-after new dramatic series Tyrant was worth all the trouble.

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JUN
18
4 MOS

'Dominion': TV Review

'Dominion': TV Review

Syfy's latest drama, Dominion, may be one of the dumbest, worst-acted, most poorly written series I've seen in ages. In no way should this encourage you to tune in hoping to rubberneck this bit of awfulness in hopes of creating some kind of new drinking game.

Life's too short. And you will choke on your own vomit and die alone. Don't be a hero.

One of my actual notes from watching the pilot, verbatim: "This is unbearable."

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JUN
17
4 MOS

The Power Rankings! The King Stays the King! A Bad Week For New Shows! Eight Is Great!

The Power Rankings! The King Stays the King! A Bad Week For New Shows! Eight Is Great!

There are two important things to make clear right away. First, yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah — yes, having two series that rank really high and air on Mondays and Tuesdays is confusing when The Power Rankings! from the last week come out on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Hell, I get it. Even that sentence confuses me. But hey, I'm trying to plan a vacation. Or as I like to call it, a "work stoppage" — since I'm not actually going anywhere. Do you know how hard it is to stop watching TV when new shows come out every week?

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JUN
17
4 MOS

'Rectify': TV Review

'Rectify': TV Review

Ray McKinnon, the creator, writer and director of the acclaimed drama Rectify, which begins its second season Thursday on Sundance TV, made a particularly telling comment about his series: "Rectify is about being alive."

He's right, of course, but some may read into the meaning of "being alive" a sense of exuberance and passion, both tamped-down traits of Rectify, which is the current poster series in the Slow TV movement.

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JUN
12
4 MOS

Emmy Nominations: Tim Goodman Handicaps His Own Picks

Emmy Nominations: Tim Goodman Handicaps His Own Picks

This story first appeared in a special Emmy issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

DRAMA SERIES

Breaking Bad (AMC) Slam dunk.

Mad Men (AMC) Ditto.

True Detective (HBO) Incredible newcomer.

Game of Thrones (HBO) HBO's top-rated drama is a must here.

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JUN
10
4 MOS

The Power Rankings! Orphan Is the New Black! What? Plus, A Bloody New King! And Three Shows Bow Out!

The Power Rankings! Orphan Is the New Black! What? Plus, A Bloody New King! And Three Shows Bow Out!

In the very near future we might have to cut the Elite 11 down to the Great 8, as we are wont to do when the quality of the pool dips even a little bit. You don’t just get a free pass to The Power Rankings! You need to earn it. But until that time, we’ve just gone through another stellar week of great television. This time, a few shows will drop off because they had their finales. And we will all miss them. Why? Because they made our day-to-day lives better. And that’s something.

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JUN
9
4 MOS

Emmys: Comedy Competition Must Be Shaken Up - Out With the Old, in With the New (Analysis)

Emmys: Comedy Competition Must Be Shaken Up - Out With the Old, in With the New (Analysis)

A version of this story first appeared in the June 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

When it comes time for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards to crown the best comedy series, here's what can't happen:

Modern Family can't win. It just can't.

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JUN
6
5 MOS

'Power': TV Review

'Power': TV Review

"Yeah, sure, that sounds pretty good."

Is that the standard Starz response to shows pitched its way? With the channel trying to stand out in the pay cable arena where HBO and Showtime already dominate, it hasn't exactly been easy to define. Maybe that's the point?

Starz: We'll Figure Out What Works Eventually.

It's not catchy, but it's available.

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