May 1, 2013 |
Television is an unusually fluid art. Because a TV series exists in time, over time, change and revision are in its blood. It's as if painters went back to work on their paintings after they were hung in museums. Series of films or books based on repeating characters also evolve - Sean Connery, meet Daniel Craig - but their progress is relatively glacial. TV series are fruit flies by comparison, mutating not just from season to season but week to week. The inauspiciously titled "Family Tools," which premieres Wednesday on ABC, is based on a middling British series called "White Van Man. " On the basis of its pilot episode, taken alone, I might have warned you to be out of the house Wednesday night in case you might see it even by accident.
February 5, 2014 |
Caity Lotz joined the cast of "Arrow" this season as Sara Lance, the long-lost sister of Laurel Lance and the newly minted costumed crusader Black Canary. In its second season, "Arrow" has upped its connections to the wider DC Universe, and in this week's episode, "Heir to the Demon," fans will get a look at Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) from the League of Assassins. They will also get a look at a more blissful time in the history of the main characters, back in the days before Oliver Queen's fateful boat trip that resulted in Sara's disappearance.
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)
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.
February 22, 2014 |
If you think Lena Dunham's nudity in “Girls” is a revolutionary act because her body doesn't conform to Hollywood's skin-and-bones-and-boobs ideal (and I do!), then you really have to give her props for taking that unapologetic attitude about her figure to another level in last week's episode of “Girls.” Dunham's character, Hannah Horvath, is often seen in various states of undress, but those scenes usually take place in the privacy of her apartment. In this episode , however, we rarely see her fully clothed.
July 11, 2013 |
NBC's new "Hollywood Game Night" had me at Jane Lynch. At this point it's easier to name the projects she hasn't starred or guest-starred on ("Game of Thrones"? "The Real Housewives of Orange County"?), but as far as I know, she's never done a game show. And that just seems wrong. Trained in improv, which is the closest anyone gets to live television these days, Lynch could have absolutely held her own against Paul Lynde and Carol Burnett in the halcyon days of the original "Hollywood Squares" and "Password.
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.
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.
September 11, 2013 |
The series finale of “Burn Notice” will air on Thursday night, and when it ends so will the life of one of the show's main characters. That's all USA will say in advance of the highly anticipated episode titled “Reckoning.” The show follows the dangerous adventures of burned spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and his rag-tag group of spy friends as they use their super-human detection skills to solve mysteries and crack international cases. At the core of the show is its humanity as Westen negotiates his difficult relationship with his troubled mother Madeline, played by Sharon Gless.
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.