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TV Reviews

  • Caryn James
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    Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David Tackles NY, Baseball, The Middle East

    True confession: I have never been a knee-jerk fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm or for that matter Seinfeld, which Larry David helped created. The crotchety version of himself that David plays on his endlessly praised series too often veers from “annoying to the characters around him but amusing to us,” (and isn’t that just a way of flattering the audience?) to flat out annoying. The too-cute zippy Italian circus music that is the series’ theme makes me hit “mute” and even the nickname “Curb” gets on my nerves (but that’s not David’s fault). Seinfeld has a more affable, like-me, puppy-dog surface, but at their cores both shows exude a smugness ab...

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    An American Family Anniversary Edition: Short, Still Not Sweet

    A colorful 70's time capsule and an immersion into the beginnings of reality television, the groundbreaking doc An American Family still grabs our attention today. But let's face it, the 12-hour version is a lot of Louds, even though suburban couple Bill and Pat Loud dealing with their five childre...

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    TV Review: Laura Linney and The Not-Depressing Big C

    There is obviously nothing Cute about Cancer, and last season Showtime’s The Big C tried a little too hard to be whimsical in the face of death. Laura Linney was appealingly rooted in the real world in spite of that as high-school teacher Cathy Jamison.

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    “True Blood” Enters Fairy Land

    If you’re going to add werewolves, fairies and witches to a vampire story, you better make sure you can handle the extra-human overload. Last season True Blood lost me with its leaden theme of Nazi werewolves. The new fourth season (beginning Sunday on HBO) piles on even more characters with loony p...

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    Louie and Louis: How Original is Louis C.K.’s Sitcom?

    The conventional take on Louie, Louis C.K.’s buzzed-about semi-autobiographical sitcom-with-stand-up, is that the show is unlike anything else on TV, but that’s not exactly the case. It’s an M-rated Seinfeld, a darker Curb Your Enthusiasm (of course, Curb has never been as dark as it pretends) .

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    “The Killing” Season Finale: They Did What?!

    My first reaction to the last minutes of The Killing season finale, in which we did not find out who killed Rosie Larsen, was a simple, childish “No fair!” What kind of detective show does that?

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    TV Review: Noah Wyle Saves the World in Spielberg-Produced "Falling Skies"

    If you happen to be caught in an apocalyptic world after an alien invasion, you could do much worse than having Noah Wyle prowling around hunting the aliens and trying to save civilization. In Falling Skies, TNT’s high-profile, Spielberg-produced new series, Wyle plays Tom Mason, a Boston University...

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    Review: Vampire Kisses Werewolf at MTV Movie Awards (Video)

    Thank goodness for Robert Pattinson – not because he can act (the jury’s out on that) but because he was the loose cannon livening up last night’s MTV Movie Awards, the closest thing this supposedly young and unpredictable show had to Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. In the night’s two high point...

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    Escaping Polygamy: Eye-Opening "Sons of Perdition" on Oprah's Doc Club

    Sons of Perdition, the powerful second installment of Oprah Winfrey’s Documentary Club on OWN, is a candid, up-close account of several teenage boys who escaped from a fundamentalist-Mormon polygamist compound. As the title says, their upbringing has taught them that defying the sect's rigid control...

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    Children’s Hospital: Rob Corddry, Guest Jon Hamm, Do E.R. As It Should Have Been

    Blake Downs, the clown-faced doctor at the center of Children’s Hospital, has taken “the healing power of laughter” as his mantra – and also uses it as a medical procedure. It seems that tickling can bring a person back from a state of near-death. Feel free to try that at home before heading to the ...

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