June 23, 2012 |
One could try to avoid comparing TNT's new reality show "The Great Escape" withCBS' long-running and perpetually Emmy-winning reality show"The Amazing Race," but why? Especially when the similarities and differences are so readily apparent. In "The Amazing Race," 11 teams of two travel around the world chasing clues and fighting off elimination in hour-long episodes until the finale where three teams compete for the $1,000,000 grand prize. Meanwhile, in "The Great Escape," three pairs of contestants spend an hour-long episode chasing clues and evading capture as they frantically labor to escape from some labyrinthine site in order to win $100,000.
September 23, 2013 |
“Breaking Bad” is the story of Walter White. That seems obvious, of course. Bryan Cranston is at the center of nearly every episode, and he's the guy who's won three Emmys for his work as its lead character. But where many TV shows that run five seasons expand and expand, incorporating a larger understanding of their own worlds, “Breaking Bad” has honed itself to a fine point. As other stories and characters fall by the wayside, as all of his excuses and rationales prove hollow and false, there's still Walter White, sitting alone in a cabin in the New Hampshire woods, with two copies of “Mr.
June 8, 2012 |
After Swedish author Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels became beloved detective stories but before Kenneth Branagh starred in English-language TV versions of the books, two series of television episodes featuring the character were made in Sweden. One of these 90-minute installments, translated in English as "The Revenge," has been released theatrically in America, although its enjoyment level remains strictly that of something you'd cozy up to at home on the couch: hardly cinematic but economically steered by director Charlotte Brandstrom.
March 29, 2009 |
I remember the moment when I realized film could make horror beautiful and thus even more horrifying ("Apocalypse Now") or a stage actor could be so mesmerizing you forget he's on a stage (Derek Jacobi in "Breaking the Code"). But not like I remember the moment I understood how powerful and long-lasting an hour of television could be.
November 16, 2008 |
Arrogance no longer holds David Caruso's face taut. When CBS' "CSI: Miami" premiered six years ago, it hinged on the swagger of Caruso, who had left "NYPD Blue" some years before in an attempt to become a film star, only to find himself back in blue. But the years have weathered his character, Horatio Caine, to the point now where even his signature moves -- the removing and replacing of his sunglasses, the blunt puns so mercilessly mocked in any number of YouTube mash-ups -- lack their original luster.
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.
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.
September 26, 2013 |
NBC Sports Network is facing a flurry of criticism over an episode of the outdoor sports program "Under Wild Skies" in which a National Rifle Assn. strategist shoots and kills an African elephant. In the episode, which aired Sunday night (a highlight reel is posted above), host Tony Makris and a guide stalk an elephant in the Okavango Delta of Botswana -- "a mecca for elephant hunting," according to a narrator. Makris boasts of his "positively lethal" rifle and the .577 ammunition ("made to kill ivory")
November 8, 2013 |
By the standards of “Scandal,” “Icarus” is a remarkably uneventful episode. Oh, sure, some mysterious brunet gets killed, Olivia confronts Fitz about Operation Remington and Olivia signs up to work with Josie Marcus, the single biggest threat to Fitz's reelection. But really, the most memorable revelation in this hour is that, before she subsisted on a diet of Cabernet and popcorn, young Olivia was a fan of Fruit Loops. Shocking indeed. That's not to say this wasn't a wholly enjoyable hour -- it was -- only that this episode was more about setting up all the crazy yet to come.
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.