Television

CBS’ ‘The Briefcase’ Spins Itself as Uplifting Television While Exploiting Families in Need

By now, it’s no secret that the vast majority of reality programs have moved on from depicting “reality” to focus, instead, on manipulating and exploiting their participants. It’s why we so often claim that reality shows are a guilty pleasure — we’re not talking about the guilt of watching a bad television program (we do plenty of that when it comes to scripted series) so much as the guilt of watching television overpower and control people, and of willfully supporting loathsome, and sometimes even damaging, television franchises solely because they’re mindlessly entertaining. The newest example of this kind of program is CBS’ The Briefcase, a somewhat cruel series that exploits lower-middle-class families by essentially teasing them with riches — $100,000 — and then forcing them to choose between keeping all of the money or giving some of it to another family in need. … Read More

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Elisabeth Moss Defends the Decision to Give ‘Mad Men’s’ Peggy “Personal Happiness”

One of the slight criticisms people had of Mad Men‘s generally praised last episode was Peggy’s rom-com like … Read More

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Lifeless, Unnecessary ‘Grace of Monaco’ Finds Its Level at Lifetime

Grace of Monaco isn’t a Lifetime Original Movie — it’s quieter and less sensational than the network’s biopics, and doesn’t take too much interest in destroying its subject, Grace Kelly — but it’s certainly a good fit on the network. Prior to its Cannes premiere (and subsequent panning by critics)Grace of Monaco was met with criticism for being an inaccurate portrayal and a “farce,” just like basically every other Lifetime biopic. It also has all the general staples of a Lifetime flick: embarrassing acting, shoddy writing, a general disconnect between scenes, and most of all, utterly boring. … Read More

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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 7 Recap: “The Gift”

“I imagine this is strange for you,” the High Sparrow tells Olenna, always good for drawing a monologue or two out of her enemies. “Everyone you meet has a hidden motive, and you pride yourself on seeking it out. But I’m telling you a simple truth.” And yet “The Gift” reveals the High Sparrow to be exactly like the Game of Thrones power players the Queen of Thorns is used to dealing with. For one, he delivers that line during the most Game of Thrones-y scene possible: two people, alone in a room, having an eminently quotable verbal tennis match. … Read More

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The Best Sketches from the 40th Season of ‘SNL’

Superheroes and diversity seemed to be the trend during SNL’s 40th season. As always, the show traveled a bumpy road, but there were plenty of funnies to be had. We’ve highlighted the best sketches from SNL 40 that were topical, funny, and saw the show’s special guests at the height of hilarity. Mention your personal favorites, below. … Read More

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This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke

There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This time, Mad Men comes to its instantly — and inevitably — controversial end, and David Letterman hosts his final Late Show. … Read More

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Check Out the First Photos from ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’

With so much needed talk recently about ageism (which, on a side note, is completely intertwined with sexism)… Read More

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How Can ‘Game of Thrones’ Earn Back Its Viewers’ Trust?

After spending over 40 hours of air time in Westeros, viewers who have stuck with Game of Thrones this long shouldn’t be, and aren’t, surprised by the presence of sexual violence. A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin has spoken out about the role of rape in realistic fantasy, the contradictory-sounding genre his books pioneered. Some critics — including me! — have praised the show’s frank depiction of the dangers its female characters face. And yet the final scene of Sunday’s episode, in which noted sadist Ramsay Bolton rapes his new wife, Sansa Stark, has provoked a strong backlash from even devoted fans. … Read More

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Bill Murray Is a Deadpan Reindeer in Teaser for Sofia Coppola’s ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

Sofia Coppola’s Netflix Christmas special has, for a while, been the subject of speculation and thrilled befuddlement: what could… Read More

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