TV Reviews

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'Prime Suspect' prequel gives us a young Jane Tennison

Old crime fighters never die. They just reappear as their younger selves in prequels. As "Inspector Morse" brought forth "Endeavour," so has "Prime Suspect," which ran intermittently from 1991 to 2006, given birth to "Prime Suspect: Tennison," premiering Sunday on the PBS series "Masterpiece." ...

  • Fox's 'Shots Fired' lumbers through its big issues but is diverting as a cop show

    Fox's 'Shots Fired' lumbers through its big issues but is diverting as a cop show

    Styled an “event series,” Fox’s “Shots Fired” seems to want to get to something big about Who We Are As a People — to engage, like ABC’s “American Crime” or FX’s “American Crime Story,” with big ideas about race and class and justice. (The credits feature an American flag whose stripes are made...

  • New Seeso comedy 'Shrink' has heart without getting sentimental

    New Seeso comedy 'Shrink' has heart without getting sentimental

    Created by Ted Tremper and Tim Baltz, who also stars, “Shrink,” which began online some years ago, wasn’t the first series to play with improvised encounters between a person playing a therapist (Baltz) and a person playing a patient. (Showtime’s “Web Therapy,” starring Lisa Kudrow, was one.) Now...

  • The verdict is in: NBC's 'Trial & Error' is solid, funny and fanciful

    The verdict is in: NBC's 'Trial & Error' is solid, funny and fanciful

    In the new NBC comedy "Trial & Error," the mockumentary sitcom as once practiced by "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" meets the true-crime legal procedural, as lately exemplified by "The Jinx" and the podcast "Serial." It was bound to happen. The particular reference here, not that you need...

  • Visually rich 'Samurai Jack' is back in search of closure on Adult Swim

    Visually rich 'Samurai Jack' is back in search of closure on Adult Swim

    Nearly 13 years after it ceased production, Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated epic "Samurai Jack" returns for a fifth season Saturday, to conclude its business. Originally broadcast on Cartoon Network and now presented in the framework of its late-shift channel-mate, Adult Swim, the Emmy and Annie...

  • CNN’s 'Believer With Reza Aslan' could use a little more enlightenment itself

    CNN’s 'Believer With Reza Aslan' could use a little more enlightenment itself

    Imagine something like Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown.” Now replace Bourdain with religious scholar Reza Aslan and instead of a look at food culture, picture a glimpse of various sects, cults, rites and rituals around the globe and you have CNN’s “Believer With Reza Aslan.” The six-episode...

  • Thank a wireless world for quality shows like 'Embeds,' '555' and 'Bravest Warriors'

    Thank a wireless world for quality shows like 'Embeds,' '555' and 'Bravest Warriors'

    When people count the many hundreds of series that make up this Age of Too Much Television, they tend to refer only to the obvious places – broadcast, cable and the big-deal streamers Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. But the land spreads out far and wide from there, into the many nooks and crannies of...

  • Put all your TV viewing eggs into 'Baskets,' the dark comedy returning to FX

    Put all your TV viewing eggs into 'Baskets,' the dark comedy returning to FX

    The second season of “Baskets”  is even better than the first season — welcome news for those loyal fans who took time off from a billion other binge-worthy shows in 2016 to watch Zach Galifianakis play a fortysomething  out-of-work clown and Louie Anderson portray his concerned mother. “Baskets”...

  • Animated 'Jeff & Some Aliens' is in familiar 'out there' territory

    Animated 'Jeff & Some Aliens' is in familiar 'out there' territory

    A segment sprung or salvaged from the late animated sketch show “TripTank,” “Jeff & Some Aliens” has successfully been magnified to sitcom size. It premieres in its new big form Wednesday on Comedy Central. Co-created by Sean Donnelly and Alessandro Minoli, it features Brett Gelman, a familiar...

  • The magnetic Tom Hardy anchors the darkly compelling 'Taboo'

    The magnetic Tom Hardy anchors the darkly compelling 'Taboo'

    A savage. A ghost. A madman. No one quite knows what to make of James Delaney (Tom Hardy) when he returns to England, seemingly from the dead after going down in a slave ship nearly a decade ago off the Gold Coast of Africa. One thing is for sure: He’s not the same young man who in left London...

  • Netflix reboot of 'One Day at a Time' is bighearted fun

    Netflix reboot of 'One Day at a Time' is bighearted fun

    Norman Lear, who brought politics to three-camera comedy back in the 1970s, has remade his feminist family sitcom "One Day at a Time" for Netflix and the 21st century. Premiering Friday, with all 13 episodes available to binge, it preserves the domestically framed, socially engaged flavor of the...

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