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MAR
5
14 HRS

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt': TV Review

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt': TV Review

The gleefully absurd and spot-on comedic fingerprints of Tina Fey and fellow 30 Rock writer Robert Carlock are all over the wonderful new Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In this case, it’s a DNA bonanza, as yet another strong sitcom is unleashed into the world — much the way the title character was unleashed from an underground bunker in Indiana, having been there for the past 15 years after being kidnapped by a religious fanatic and indoctrinated into his cult.

Well, you know, it’s kinda like that.

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MAR
4
2 DAYS

'Broadchurch' Season 2: TV Review

'Broadchurch' Season 2: TV Review

One of the many burdens of greatness is that repeating it is almost impossible. That's because the elements surrounding that success are now known quantities and expectations built around surprise, execution, artistic detours and the like are all magnified.

That should be kept in mind as the second season of the brilliant Broadchurch series returns — essentially a product of demand by fans (and critics), because the original was a closed-ended miniseries.

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MAR
3
3 DAYS

'Billy & Billie': TV Review

'Billy & Billie': TV Review

The last thing you’d expect playwright and enfant terrible Neil LaBute to create is a rom-com for television. So, he didn’t. Not really. Well, he did, but instead of random New York young people simply having a meet-cute in a bar one night and then battling through the dating phases, he made the two principal characters stepsiblings.

How very Neil LaBute of him.

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MAR
1
5 DAYS

'Battle Creek': TV Review

'Battle Creek': TV Review

In the end, Vince Gilligan’s brilliant Breaking Bad allowed him finally to sell the series idea for Battle Creek that he’d been pitching around town forever. And with Better Call Saul up and running as a spinoff of Breaking Bad, you could probably say that, despite the time lag, everything came up roses for Gilligan.

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FEB
27
7 DAYS

'The Last Man on Earth': TV Review

'The Last Man on Earth': TV Review

Watching Fox’s wonderfully creative and ridiculously entertaining new series The Last Man on Earth, you can’t help but laugh (it’s a comedy duh), but also be truly and utterly impressed.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a half-hour sitcom and thought, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” Sure, the idea that a virus or plague has wiped out the entire world and there’s one guy left has been explored in sci-fi dramas before. But a comedy? On a broadcast network?

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FEB
26
1 week

'American Crime' and 'Secrets and Lies': TV Review

'American Crime' and 'Secrets and Lies': TV Review

In the span of five days, ABC will air two ambitious limited-run television series, both involving a crime, deception and the unraveling of numerous characters' lives.

Secrets and Lies and American Crime are both strong and welcome efforts, even if they come in the midst of an insanely crowded dramatic landscape.

Comparatively, no other broadcast network has fielded anything on this level just yet, with NBC’s manipulative The Slap a poor attempt.

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FEB
24
1 week

Small Town, Big Laughs: An Appreciation of 'Parks and Recreation'

Small Town, Big Laughs: An Appreciation of 'Parks and Recreation'

There's something glorious about the fading end of NBC's Parks and Recreation. There's a redemptive spirit to it, some morality to it and some nostalgia.

Tuesday night finds the last two episodes of the series going out into the ether. They will air, people will watch or not, another hour will be available on Hulu after the fact and the great buzz saw of network television will continue to cut across the grain, muscle and blade working harder than they probably need to.

But it will be in the books. And that's what really matters.

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FEB
20
2 WKS

New Emmy Rules Are Flawed, But A Welcome Shift Toward Needed Change

New Emmy Rules Are Flawed, But A Welcome Shift Toward Needed Change

Well, that’s a start at least.

When the Television Academy decided to shake up the Emmy rules on Friday, it was the right intention, if a bit late. But the problem is the new rules don’t go far enough and create some confusion even when they were really trying to provide specificity.

Here are some thoughts on the changes:

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FEB
18
2 WKS

'House of Cards': TV Review

'House of Cards': TV Review

Now in its third season, House of Cards has one of those problems that soap operas bump up against all the time: story fatigue.

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FEB
17
2 WKS

'The Odd Couple': TV Review

'The Odd Couple': TV Review

As with most CBS shows, the assumption going forward should be that it will be a hit, until proven otherwise. Which is why you can’t fault the network for wanting to do a modern version of The Odd Couple, starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.

And, in a lot of ways, The Odd Couple works — though comparisons to the original will inevitably be unfavorable. And, based on 22 minutes of a pilot — the only thing critics were able to see — not fair, either.

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FEB
11
3 WKS

'The Slap': TV Review

'The Slap': TV Review

The Slap makes you want to slap it and every character that's a part of it. That can't be the strategy, can it?

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FEB
10
3 WKS

How Jon Stewart Earned His Moment of Zen

How Jon Stewart Earned His Moment of Zen

Well, this just won’t do, will it?

Jon Stewart announced on his show Tuesday that he’s leaving and Comedy Central confirmed it later. Some time in the coming year the man who made skewering the news not only a great comedy series but a significant and important bit of social and media criticism will stop doing that. He will leave The Daily Show.

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FEB
4
4 WKS

'Allegiance': TV Review

'Allegiance': TV Review

NBC's Allegiance is and will always be compared, less than favorably, to The Americans. That's just life and, in this case, it's just accurate.

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FEB
2
1 month

'Fresh Off the Boat': TV Review

'Fresh Off the Boat': TV Review

In a season when ABC has already found success being both funny and diverse with its programming — Black-ish in particular — it strikes again with Fresh Off the Boat, one of the better freshman broadcast sitcoms in a while. Now, if the show could just get out of its own way — or, more accurately, if the people surrounding it could — then maybe it can find the audience it richly deserves.

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