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UNDERRATED / OVERRATED

October 12, 2008

UNDERRATED

'The Goonies': Josh Brolin may have migrated to the big-screen world of overmatched cowboys ("No Country for Old Men") and presidents ("W."; story on Page E8), but a small part of us will always remember him as the muscle-headed big brother rocking the running shorts over sweats in this surprisingly solid Richard Donner adventure from 1985. Plus that cast -- Sean Astin, Martha Plimpton and a Corey?

'This American Life' on Showtime: We were mighty skeptical of Ira Glass & Co.'s transition to cable, but to our surprise the public radio favorite made the leap with its signature aesthetic not only intact, but also clarified. The show returns next month, and while naysayers may dismiss the show as a hipster "Real People" (remember that one?), many American lives would benefit if all reality programming were this well done.

OVERRATED

The reissue-fication of recorded music: We understand the industry's facing some tight times, but how often can a back catalog be re-remastered and sent to market? We like our 1997 reissue of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" just fine, and it's tough to imagine its new $100 edition sounds that much better. We'll buy music once, maybe twice with the right incentive. But three times? Honestly, we've met panhandlers less persistent.

Delayed TV gratification: Case in point -- NBC's "30 Rock." No doubt there are programming and production considerations involved, but while our friends who watch "The Office" are reveling in their show's return, all of us addicts of "The Girlie Show With Tracy Jordan" are left counting the days until the night before Halloween. With signs of the apocalypse mounting every day, can we afford to wait?

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