March 21, 2014 |
When telling a tale that includes centuries of endurance, moments of triumph, bursts of humor and sudden, unspeakable atrocities, what's the right tone with which to articulate it all? That's the trick historian Simon Schama had to figure out in his new documentary, "The Story of the Jews," which begins in the Middle Eastern desert about 3,000 years ago and tracks up to the more-or-less present. The program, in five hourlong parts, broadcasts on PBS on Tuesday and April 1. "I wanted to say, without putting on a ridiculous smiley face or making light of the tragic aspects, that there is a story to be told beyond one clearly framed by the assumption of catastrophe," the British historian said in Pasadena.
November 4, 2013 |
Spoiler alert: The following post contains revelations about Sunday night's episode of "The Walking Dead. " Forget the zombies. When it comes to “The Walking Dead,” no one has shown more guts this season than Carol Peletier. In the course of four seasons, the AMC genre drama has fine-tuned the delicate balance of gut-wrenching - and gut-spilling - moments against its zombie apocalypse backdrop. Behind the din of knives being jammed in heads or the sloshing of innards as they get consumed, are the quiet, equally disquieting, junctures - those that show how brutality of the environment has left its stain on the band of characters.
June 8, 2012 |
It's a two-minute scene of comedy, poignancy and fleeting connection at the heart of a Season 3 episode of "Modern Family,"and for actor Ed O'Neillit exemplifies what the ABC ensemble series does best. In the "Virgin Territories" episode, sensitive lawyer Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his burly, masculine dad, Jay (O'Neill), are at the country club. Over a couple of beers, Mitch has revealed that his dad never actually sank the celebrated hole-in-one that landed him the nickname "Ace" years ago (as a bored teenager, Mitch had kicked his dad's golf ball into the hole to keep things moving)
September 3, 2012 |
The title of this midseason finale of “Breaking Bad” - “Gliding Over All” - is a fairly big hint as to where the episode ends. It is, after all, a Walt Whitman quote, and Whitman is one of the few tangible pieces of evidence that could connect Walter White to the criminal empire he's built in the mind of his brother-in-law, the one who always overlooks him because, hey, who's going to suspect Walter? Yet as the episode reached its climax and Hank picked up the copy of “Leaves Of Grass” that would draw a direct line between Walter and the long-dead Gale Boetticher, everything snapped into place in a beautiful, elegant way. If last week's episode strained for that feeling of pieces you always knew would snap into place actually doing so here and there, this week's was a moody, contemplative piece of work that pulls Walter back from the edge just enough to make it all the more tragic when his hubris does him in yet again.
April 14, 2014 |
Things get small - really small - in this week's episode of " Cosmos ," which tackles the unseen universe at the atomic scale, from the teeming ecosystem inside a single dewdrop and the intricate machinery inside a plant's cells, to the subatomic particles at the heart of a giant exploding star. Carl Sagan famously observed that we are made of star stuff, but that star stuff in turn is made of atoms - the fundamental building blocks of nature - and there are more atoms in the human eye than there are stars in the known universe, according to our host, the Collection of Atoms Known as Neil de Grasse Tyson.
June 15, 2012 |
Loyal viewers of "Breaking Bad"know that we bid adios to drug kingpin Gus Fring in "Face Off,"the final episode of the series' slow burn of a fourth season (and anyone not yet up to that episode should quit reading now). Series creator Vince Gilligan and his writing team had effectively, and with great reluctance, signed El Pollo Hermano's death warrant a year earlier in the Season 3 finale. Series protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston) had defied Gus, and with egos this big clashing, Gilligan says, "it's like the tagline from 'Highlander': There can be only one. " The chess game between the two strong-willed, controlling men played out over the course of the season's 13 episodes with the meticulous Gus (Giancarlo Esposito)
January 13, 2014 |
Sunday's episode of "Downton Abbey" on PBS featured a guest appearance by one of opera's biggest living talents: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The New Zealand-born soprano played Dame Nellie Melba, an actual opera singer who hailed from Australia and whose career spanned the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Downton" portrays Melba as a guest performer of the Crawley household, serenading the family after dinner with the aria "O Mio Babbino, Caro" from Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi.
March 13, 2013 |
CBS' acclaimed legal drama "The Good Wife" will have multiple partners in syndication. Reruns of the Sunday night program, which stars Julianna Margulies, have been sold by CBS to Amazon's Prime Instant Video platform as well as the Hallmark Channel and local TV stations. Hulu Plus, the subscription arm of the online video service, will also get episodes as part of a previous deal with CBS. The unique agreement could mean an even longer life on CBS for "The Good Wife," which wraps up its fourth season next month.
December 31, 2011 |
"Community," NBC's quirky Thursday night comedy, has been a slacker in the ratings. The sitcom about misfit community college students, starring Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, has averaged about 4 million viewers an episode this season, not enough to guarantee survival in the dog-eat-dog world of network television. The tepid ratings prompted NBC to put the show on hiatus. Still, despite its struggles, the series is headed toward the promised land of syndication. Just a few years ago, a syndication sale for a modest performer like "Community" would have been unthinkable.
February 25, 2013 |
Amy Sherman-Palladino is trying to get a scene just right. She is directing the season finale of her show "Bunheads," an episode that could determine whether the ABC Family network returns the series for a second season. "Bunheads" is a sweet drama about a Las Vegas chorus girl starting over in a small town by teaching ballet. Sherman-Palladino, a classically trained dancer turned television writer, is trying to start over too. The pivotal scene of this episode, which airs Monday night, is being filmed on location in Hollywood.