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Television Reviews, TV Show Ratings, Recaps and more

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TV Is the New Cinema: But It's Still Waiting for Its Close-Up

    A highly readable new book promises to anatomize the shifts in entertainment technology and in the culture in the cable era that gave rise to the 21st Century's most lionized form of "art television": the 12-episode, novelistically textured premium cable serial. Brett Martin's "Difficult Men: Behind...

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: 'The Newsroom' Season 2 Episode 1, 'The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Lawyers'

    After a rocky first season, both compelling and cringe-worthy in equal doses, and sometimes all at the same time, Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom" is back for a second season and it has undergone some significant retooling. The writers' room was given a shakeup, and even as production got underway, Sor...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'The Newsroom' 2.1 Review: "First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers" (TRAILER)

    The second season of Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama series "The Newsroom" promises to be every bit as entertaining as its first -- if not more so, due to a unifying structural choice that takes fuller advantage of novelistic narrative freedom of post-"Sopranos" cable drama.

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  • Indiewire
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    An Improved 'The Newsroom' Returns for a Second Season That's Lower on Shrillness, Higher on Fallibility

    Early in this second season of "The Newsroom," "News Night" anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) googles his own name, with the addition of "hate," and turns up a list of sites dedicated to how awful the show's doughty hero is.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Life's Too Short' Gives A Bittersweet Ending To An Overlooked Series

    After Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's groundbreaking "The Office," followed by the equally well received "Extras," it seemed that audiences began to cool on that particular brand of comedy. Rooted in vain, unlikeable, ambitious and curiously sympathetic characters, it's not clear where public o...

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  • Indiewire
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    FX's New Drama 'The Bridge' Sets a Typical Serial Killer Story Against a Terrific Border Town Backdrop

    TV has its true procedurals, its "Law & Order" and "CSI" variants, but for many other series crime-solving is just a kind of narrative scaffolding, there to support what's fundamentally a drama about interesting characters or communities. The long and short cases in "Justified" can be involving, but...

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  • Indiewire
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    ESPN Doc 'Venus Vs.' Shows How Venus Williams' Rise to Tennis Stardom Led Her to Fight Against Wimbledon's Pay Disparity

    "Nine for IX," ESPN's new documentary series about female sport figures from women directors, begins tonight with "Venus Vs.," a film from Ava DuVernay ("Middle of Nowhere") that looks at tennis star Venus Williams and her fight to secure equal prize money for men and women at Wimbledon.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Ray Donovan': The Next Big Thing? Debuts to Record Ratings

    The terrific new series "Ray Donovan" is premiering on Showtime Sunday night -- and you should be watching it rather than reading this. If the show fulfills the promise of its pilot episode it could turn out to be one of the great ones, an ideal anecdote for those of us who expect to be suffering f...

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  • Indiewire
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    In Women in Prison Dramedy 'Orange is the New Black,' Netflix Has Its Strongest Original Series to Date

    There's been a lot of discussion about how binge-viewing, DVRs and on demand availability have changed the way we approach television, how it's allowed for more complex, serialized storytelling, how episodes no longer have the same obligation to keep new or sporadic viewers in mind.

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  • Indiewire
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    Mary Harron Offers a Warped Take on the Typical Hollywood Tragedy Format in Lifetime's 'Anna Nicole'

    Anna Nicole Smith went from a Texas teen mom to a stripper to the much younger wife of an octogenarian billionaire to a model/reality star to dead due to a lethal combination of prescription pills, all before the age of 40. It's the kind of life that makes her an ideal subject for a Lifetime movie, ...

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