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Television Reviews, TV Show Ratings, Recaps and more

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    TV Review: MTV's "Skins" Takes on "Gossip Girl"

    MTV may have missed a marketing opportunity for its brash, engrossing American remake (yet another one!) of Skins, the hit British series about a group of teenaged friends who have sex, do drugs, drink and ... well, that’s pretty much what they do. The MTV slogan could have been: Come for the soci...

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    TV Review. "Big Love" and Mormons, Mormons Everywhere

    As Big Love begins its final season (Sunday on HBO) we can see the influence of this series about a polygamist and his three wives all over the culture. In recent months alone we’ve had Brady Udall’s rich, grabbing literary novel The Lonely Polygamist and the reality series Sister Wives on TLC. The ...

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    TV Review. "Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides"

    While he was raking in awards for Crazy Heart last year, Jeff Bridges made a point of thanking his stand-in, Loyd Catlett. Now Catlett, who has observed Bridges at close range over four decades, offers one sly little comment in the American Masters bio Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides: "Rooster Cogburn...

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    TV Review. Off the Map, Where Grey's Anatomy Collides With Lost

    The promos for Off the Map, the new ABC drama about doctors in a run-down clinic in a remote South American village, look like Grey’s Anatomy meets Lost, but I never imagined this disappointing clunker would really be that mashup. The series is executive produced by Grey's Shonda Rhimes and created ...

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    TV Review: Shameless, Now With U.S. Welfare Fraud

    Can a falling-down drunk, single father of six, who pays his $700 a month bar tab – when he pays it at all – with his fraudulently-gotten disability checks be the hero of a series? Well, sure. It’s not easy. The original British Shameless, about an irresponsible father and his children, all of them resourcefully skirting the law, was about a family with accents that were sometimes hard to decipher, living in Manchester council housing. They were original, surprising, and they were Britain’s problem. The American remake follows the original almost to the letter, but the distance vanishes when the family lives in Chicago and is cheating the U....

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    TV Review, Downton Abbey: Such Elegant Social Upheaval

    In 1912, the aristocrats and servants at Downton Abbey live in a world where bad news comes by telegram – like the one informing Lord Grantham that his cousin and heir has been lost with the Titanic. By the end of this sumptuous, endlessly entertaining miniseries, it is 1914, a new-fangled telephone...

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    TV Review, Showtime’s Episodes: Matt LeBlanc Outsmarts Joey

    Infotainment and the internet have created a country of show-biz insiders, shrewd about every Hollywood ploy. What dark corners are left after you’ve heard Mel Gibson rant? That makes satire harder to pull off than ever, and it doesn’t take much to see where Showtime’s new Matt LeBlanc series will g...

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    TV Review: Oprah’s OWN Network, Where Fluffy Meets Smart

    Oprah Winfrey has the amazing ability to say things – or rather make pronouncements - that might sound alarming from other people. As she told Barbara Walters about starting OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, “People deserve to have value-centered, inspirational programming.” What? Imagine that value-...

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    TV Review: A Wonderful, Demented "Doctor Who" Christmas Special

    If Michael Gambon is in it, I’m there – but he’s just one reason to watch Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol, an energetic, goofy, time-traveling special that sideswipes the Dickens tale and takes off on its own demented path. I’m not praising this as a Doctor Who fanatic. I like the series just fine, bu...

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    Best On Screens This Weekend

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