Television

A Maine Native Judges the Accents in HBO’s Masterful ‘Olive Kitteridge’

Watching Lisa Cholodenko’s magnificent HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, adapted from the wonderful Pulitzer Prize-winning novel-in-stories by Elizabeth Strout, I was full of glee: “They went full New England!” I said out loud. Because flinty Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, playing Olive and her husband Henry, really sounded like they sort of, kind of came from Maine. … Read More

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10 TV Events to Look Out for in November

After September and October’s slew of premieres, November is a bit of a weird month for TV. Late fall is a grab bag of cable shows, reality TV, Lifetime specials, and stand-up comedy, with a few scattered network dramas in between. Still, with Grumpy Cat, Gordon Ramsay, and Aaron Sorkin on the agenda, November’s hardly lacking in water cooler conversation material. Here are the top ten events to line up on your DVR this month. … Read More

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“Beautiful Girl, Non-Speaking”: New Tumblr Documents Sexist Casting Calls

When they’re preparing for auditions, aspiring thespians flip through casting calls that might be relevant to their skills, interests, and physical type. Naturally, this proves a stressful process. Yet for women in showbiz, there’s the added indignity of having to scroll through casting calls that ask you to be, essentially, invisible — a prop, or worse. … Read More

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‘Parenthood’ Season 6 Episode 6 Recap: “Too Big To Fail”

This week’s Parenthood felt like a game of catch-up with a simple strategy: keep it fucking real. I have a feeling it will be the only episode this season to not feature Zeek — the midpoint seems like a good spot to do this — since his health struggles are so integral to the season six plot. But by pausing his story for a second, other characters were able to work out their own personal problems. … Read More

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Jon Stewart Welcomes New Sponsor Koch Industries

Television advertising is a tricky business. You want to make sure you’re placing ads carefully, painstakingly targeted to the… Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 4 Episode 6 Recap: “An Innocent Man”

Of the many things that make Scandal addictive, one that’s rarely discussed is its uniquely combustible blend of fantasy and reality. At one extreme, it’s a political drama that isn’t afraid to go deep into the nasty expediencies and ruthless optics-doctoring that most of us assume are essential to our federal government’s daily operations; at the other, it’s a utopian hallucination of a Republican administration that cares about issues like equal pay and gun control, where an ethnically diverse, largely female group of fixers can go head-to-head with not only POTUS but also the shadowy, top-secret assassin agency charged with protecting the nation’s security at any cost. The show is at its best when it brings its optimism and pessimism into direct conflict through individual relationships, as it did on last night’s “An Innocent Man.” … Read More

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MTV’s ‘Slednecks’ Isn’t Particularly Offensive — So Will Anyone Care to Watch It?

The film Reality (by Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone), about a provincial Italian fisherman who dreams of being on Big Brother, and keeps dreaming himself into a series of delusions that bring his life crashing down, beautifully sums up the ambiguity of the whole reality TV genre in its very title. In the 21st century, nobody in their right mind mistakes reality TV for reality. The fact of it its factlessness is no epiphany — but reality TV also shouldn’t be mistaken for fiction, either. Stripped of the woes that befall fictitious characters — as fiction is typically written to emulate reality — bracketing people, who, as real people, are prone to tragedy and tragic missteps, into lighthearted, producer-planned dramas that are confined to producer-planned sleepovers or producer-planned outings, reality TV is a claustrophobic realm unto itself of enclosed, resolvable dramas. The “reality” in it is neither “reality” nor fiction as we know it. It’s something far more stifling. … Read More

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Paul Reubens Confirms Pee-wee Movie, Provides Voiceover for the New ‘Avengers’ Trailer

Paul Reubens is a man who has a weird, prickly relationship with the public ever since he was allegedly found… Read More

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Craig Ferguson’s Heavy Metal Buddies Metallica to Do Residency on ‘Late Late Show’

Craig Ferguson is, perhaps, the unsung hero of the late night landscape. The Scottish comedian is maybe best known… Read More

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