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TV Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Vice Heads to HBO With a News Series That's Half Journalism and Half Adventure Tourism

    Since its inception as a government-funded rag meant to promote community service called Voice of Montreal, Vice magazine has endured almost 20 years at the cutting edge of pop culture by changing with the times. The founders dropped the "o" and then the Canadianness, expanding the publication into ...

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    How a Series of Unfortunate Events Comes Close to Landing the World in War in 'The Americans'

    From the (relatively) safer perch of 2013, we can look back at the Cold War with the knowledge that the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. never ended up in open combat despite decades of tension. The idea of the Communist threat can seem almost kitschy in our age of roaring capitalism, while international skirm...

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    Longform Doc 'Kind Hearted Woman' Follows a Single Mother's Journey Away From the Reservation

    Filmmaker David Sutherland insists that he's a portraitist, not a journalist, but in its intimate focus his work tends to reveal profound realities about poverty in rural regions of the United States. His 1998 "Frontline" documentary "The Farmer's Wife" examined the looming extinction of the family ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Top of the Lake' Episode 4 Recap: A Devastating Revelation, and a Simple "Yes/No"

    How do the characters in “Top of the Lake” communicate with each other, and how quickly do they choose to divulge information? This is a central question in this week’s episode, which finds significance in both a harrowing, complex monologue and the two most basic written responses in our language.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review & Recap: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Slowly Rises From The Ashes of ‘Battle Of Blackwater’ In Episode 1, 'Valar Dohaeris'

    Sometimes you have to be a little nerdy to fully understand HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Or at least understand it more deeply than the average viewer. If Season 2 ended with the well-titled episode “Valar Morghulis" meaning, “all men must die,” in Season 3 we begin with the less ominous and more approp...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Game of Thrones' Review and Recap, Season Three Episode 1: 'Valar Dohaeris'

    As the third season of HBO's epic drama series of back-stabbing ambition and dynastic intrigue, "Game of Thrones," launches on Sunday, it's just possible that the trace elements of generic fantasy in GoT -- a dragon here, some evil sorcery there -- could be jettisoned without much impact on the view...

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    'Game of Thrones' Makes a Case for Why We'll Still Watch Some Shows Live

    HBO's "Game of Thrones" may be set in a fantasy realm on par with the Middle Ages, give or take a few dragons and direwolves, but the series itself serves as a cutting edge example of one of the directions scripted television is taking.

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    'Orphan Black': BBC America's New Sci-Fi Series Has an Enjoyable Mess of a Heroine

    "Orphan Black," the sci-fi series kicking off on BBC America this Saturday, March 30 at 9pm, is a thriller about clones set in present-day Toronto, one that gradually offers up glimpses of an experiment that's become dangerous for the set of identical girls (played by Tatiana Maslany) it has yielded...

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    Why 'Adventure Time' Is the Best Sci-Fi Show on TV Right Now

    Sometimes you love a show so much it can do weird things to your head. I've gone out on a limb with Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time" by deeming it a groundbreaking form of cartoon storytelling that fuses several eras of animation into a delightfully surreal and yet oddly familiar experience.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Top of the Lake' Recap 2: Bringing Out the Dead and Missing

    While last week's two-hour premiere of "Top of the Lake" dealt with the blunt one-two shock of a pregnant pre-teen girl and then her disappearance, this week's episode deals with the classic detective-story trope of obsession with a missing person. As is often the case, an obsession with the missing...

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