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TV Reviews

Latest TV Reviews

  • 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...

  • This annual 'Doctor Who' special comes gift-wrapped for Christmas

    This annual 'Doctor Who' special comes gift-wrapped for Christmas

    Among the many holiday traditions we have imported from the United Kingdom, neither the oldest nor the most cherished is broadcasting the “Doctor Who” Christmas Day special on Christmas Day. Time was when these episodes would show up any old time. But the increasing popularity of the series here...

  • 'Search Party' has fun with mystery-story twists

    'Search Party' has fun with mystery-story twists

    Alia Shawkat, still identified with "Arrested Development" despite appearing in six films in 2015 alone, takes the lead in "Search Party," an engaging new serial mystery comedy from TBS. Premiering Monday, with its 10 episodes playing two at a time over five consecutive nights, it is the latest...

  • Ryan Phillippe tries to bring swagger to USA’s ‘Shooter,’ but it’s mostly a wishy-washy pose

    Ryan Phillippe tries to bring swagger to USA’s ‘Shooter,’ but it’s mostly a wishy-washy pose

    In “Shooter,” an action-thriller premiering Tuesday on USA, Ryan Phillippe plays Bob Lee Swagger — who is not a televangelist, as his name might suggest. Rather, he is an elite Marine sniper who goes on the lam after being framed in a tangled geopolitical plot.  Based on the largely forgotten 2007...

  • 'South Park' on the election: 'Oh Jeez'

    'South Park' on the election: 'Oh Jeez'

    One of the casualties, if that’s the word, of Tuesday’s big result, is that the third quadrennial “South Park” day-after-the-election episode — a stunt that has become a tradition — required some last-minute revision. And this is a show that works late to begin with, operating on a six-day production...

  • Internet treats to binge on before the Halloween tricksters arrive demanding candy

    Internet treats to binge on before the Halloween tricksters arrive demanding candy

    It's Halloween, kids! And people dressed as kids! And kids dressed not as people! And everybody! While you wait for the trick-or-treaters to come or while you arrange your candy by size later tonight, why not take in these spooky-comic, Internet-available delights —  as sweet as candy and better...

  • HBO's multilayered update of 'Westworld' is TV's next big game-changer

    HBO's multilayered update of 'Westworld' is TV's next big game-changer

    HBO swings big. That has been its brand since the days of “It’s not television, it’s HBO.” Television eventually caught up, which meant HBO had to swing bigger; it is not built for, or on, a slate of solid but not spectacular shows. It is a premium cable channel, which means it needs to bring the...

  • NBC's time-travel series 'Timeless' is corny B-movie fun

    NBC's time-travel series 'Timeless' is corny B-movie fun

    Time travel – it should work, right? We understand time, we understand travel. It seems to be just a matter of getting the parts. Until then, we have television. A lot of television. Along with BBC America's "Doctor Who," Starz's "Outlander" and the CW's "Legends of Tomorrow," to name just a few,...

  • Fox's new 'Pitch' shows that a female player in the MLB is more than a gimmick

    Fox's new 'Pitch' shows that a female player in the MLB is more than a gimmick

    Local temperatures may remain in the upper 80s, but the broadcast networks appear to be embracing their inner cozy as we head into fall. Sure, “The Exorcist” is scuttling our way, but with all the new and unabashed family sentiment, (“Speechless,” “This Is Us”), reunions with old favorites (Kiefer...

  • 'MacGyver' is back, for no good reason at all

    'MacGyver' is back, for no good reason at all

    “Why, why, why, ‘MacGyver’ ”? “Why, why, whyyyyyyy, ‘MacGyver’ ”? The above should be sung to the tune of the Tom Jones hit “Delilah,” and if you know that oldie-but-goodie, you may be the age to have a nostalgic interest in CBS’ reboot of the iconic 1980’s DIY secret-agent series. Interest that...

  • Fox TV gives a credible 'Lethal Weapon' a new lease on life

    Fox TV gives a credible 'Lethal Weapon' a new lease on life

    It has been 30 years since the noisy arrival of “Lethal Weapon” —  the film, then the franchise — in which Mel Gibson played Martin Riggs, an LAPD detective with a death wish, and Danny Glover played his partner, Roger Murtaugh, a detective with a family. Now, 18 years after those characters were...

  • 'Speechless' brings another terrific family to ABC

    'Speechless' brings another terrific family to ABC

    ABC continues its admirable campaign to diversify and own the American family comedy with wonderfully tart yet sweet “Speechless,”  the story of a “special needs” family that bristles with all sorts of thoughts about the meaning of “special needs.” Here. that quickly abused and disabused descriptor...

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