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TV Reviews

  • Caryn James
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    Boardwalk Empire Returns, With Nucky and Margaret The New Tony and Carmela

    Near the start of tonight’s season premiere of Boardwalk Empire, there is a guns-blazing Ku Klux Klan attack on the bootleg warehouse of Chalky White, Atlantic City boss Nucky Thompson’s ironically named black cohort. Nucky’s luck gets worse from there.

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    The Jackie Kennedy Interviews: Snark Becomes Her

    Here is the great lesson of the newly unsealed Jacqueline Kennedy oral history tapes: Jackie said some snarky things. And her biting, often witty remarks have actually burnished and freshened up her image. Doesn’t it make her seem more real, likable, shrewd and contemporary to have called Indira Gan...

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    Review: Worst. Emmys. Ever? (UPDATED with Video)

    By my count there were about five entertaining minutes out of three hours on last night’s Emmy show. I admit, I’m math challenged so I may be off by a minute or two, but I promise, no more than that.

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    Review: More From Anderson Cooper's First Show (Video)

    There were a couple of things on Anderson Cooper’s new talk show that you wouldn’t have seen on CNN:

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    Doug Liman Directs MTV's New Series "I Just Want My Pants Back"

    Like a lot of big-name film directors, Doug Liman executive produces TV series (one day he’s directing Sean Penn in Fair Game, the next it’s the USA network’s Covert Affairs) and occasionally directs a pilot. His latest is MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back, one more story about a post-college hero sea...

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    Dominic West and Romola Garai in the Swirling Journalism Drama "The Hour"

    Straight from the era of Good Night and Good Luck, BBC America’s absorbing series The Hour adds spies and romance to its glamorized, nostalgic look at what now counts as old-timey television journalism, with truth-seeking reporters battling timid network chiefs, women producers battling sexism, ever...

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    Forest Whitaker Narrates "Serving Life," Affecting New Prison Doc on Oprah Winfrey Network

    Serving Life plays like the flip side of the brutal prison drama Oz. This narrowly focused yet affecting documentary, set in a hospice in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, follows prisoners who volunteer to help other prisoners at the end of their lives.

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    Lisa Kudrow’s Brilliant "Web Therapy" on Showtime: Bigger, Longer, Should Have Been Cut

    This is therapy as it ought to be: three minutes long, by web-cam so you don’t have to leave your house, dispensing with all that dead-end foolishness about “dreams and feelings.” Voila. You have what Fiona Wallice (created to perfection by Lisa Kudrow) calls in her mincingly precise voice “a new tr...

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    How To Catch Up With "Breaking Bad" (It's Easy!)

    Sympathetic criminals may be the perfect dramatic characters: we like them and want them to survive; they let us live out our most dangerous, secret impulses vicariously; and when we're ready to get thoughtful, they're an endless source of knotty moral problems. We're still liking and worrying about...

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    For Afghanistan’s Women, The Ordinary Is Outlawed: “Love Crimes of Kabul”

    The typical documentary about women in Islamic countries has a predictable theme: misogynistic government represses women for behavior we in the West consider innocent. On the surface, Love Crimes of Kabul (premiering on HBO tonight), about women in Afghan prisons for the “crimes” of pre-marital sex...

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