Television

‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Arpanet”

It’s been a whole week but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about last week’s episode of The Americans. The scenes with Elizabeth and Philip were so haunting that I can’t get them out of my head and I was hoping that this week might be a little lighter, just to break the tension. “Arpanet” was lighter and a bit comical — it is tense at times and it’s not entirely frivolous, thankfully — but the focus on this early Internet contraption and some a small Henry plot were both welcome. … Read More

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Jon Hamm Reminisces on His Dating-Show Days

Last night on The Late Late Show, wordsmith Jon Hamm fabulositiously addressed the subject of his stint as a failed… Read More

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‘Trophy Wife’ Loves ‘Scandal,’ ‘Parks and Rec’ Loves ‘Game of Thrones’: How TV Shows Are Embracing TV Fan Culture

On last night’s episode of Trophy Wife, a fantastic comedy with an unfortunate name, Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) fell in love with the show Scandal. She begins watching the gifted DVDs almost by accident but slowly finds herself sucked in, first because of the similarities between her and the show’s protagonist — both Diane and Scandal’s Olivia Pope are clad in all white and drinking red wine — but then because it’s one of those shows that she just can’t stop watching. As the episode progresses, Diane goes from spiteful reluctance to full-on obsession: sitting literally on the edge of the couch, hushing people around her, staring agape at the television, and only moving to absently pop another cheese puff into her mouth. … Read More

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‘Mad Men’ Multiplex: Which 1969 Movies Will Turn Up This Season?

From the third-season cola campaign aping Bye Bye Birdie to last year’s multiple screenings of Planet of the Apes, Mad Men has always dipped generously into the pool of period cinema to help set its scene, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from films of the era (The Apartment, BUtterfield 8, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — starring Bert Cooper himself, Robert Morse — leap to mind). We’ve taken some guesses at the books this season’s 1969 timeframe might introduce; here are a few of the most popular movies of that year, and how they might work their way into Don Draper’s world. … Read More

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‘Deadbeat’ Is Hulu’s Best Show Yet

Lately I’ve been closely following the ongoing competition between the streaming sites Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video. There are pros and cons to each one, generally revolving around selection, but what’s most interesting is the quality of original programming that they each put out. Some critics have argued that there is too much good television out there to keep up with all of it; I’m a fan of excess and will always welcome more. To no one’s surprise, Netflix is at the top of the game now that lesser shows like Lilyhammer and Hemlock Grove have been eclipsed by the addictive House of Cards and the exhilarating Orange Is the New Black. Amazon Instant Video hasn’t done too well with last year’s offerings — Betas was canceled and Alpha House hasn’t received much attention — though their upcoming lineup looks very promising. That leaves Hulu trying to play catch-up to the bigger names. Deadbeat, an original comedy that premiered yesterday, is Hulu’s best attempt at establishing itself.  … Read More

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Amazon Greenlights Two New Pilots

Amazon Instant Video is wasting no time getting started on its third pilot season. Amazon greenlit two new pilots: dramedy The… Read More

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‘Justified’ Wraps Up a Disappointing Season 5 With the Promise of a Thrilling Season 6

In the so-called “Golden Age” of the television antihero, the mere consistent excellence — not quite transcendence — of the Elmore Leonard adaptation Justified on FX has rendered it a bit of an also-ran in a time where shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and whatever’s on HBO this season have been taking up all the airspace and think-piece space. But for five seasons, Justified has been a very good show about a conflicted US Marshal, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, silvering fox, lady-Viagra in human form), and his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, coming back to his hated hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, in order to solve crime and wrestle with literal and figurative ghosts. Inspired by Leonard’s writing, and shot through with his spirit and inimitable zesty dialogue, Justified has been the best example of the late crime giant’s work on screen to date. … Read More

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Everything We Know About ‘Mad Men’ Season 7

Few shows are as tight-lipped about what direction they’re taking as Mad Men. Unlike Game of Thrones, there’s no spoiler-filled book series to let viewers know what’s coming. As a result, reliable dirt on the final season of Matt Weiner’s ’60s advertising drama is hard to come by. We’ve compiled the few scraps of information out there into a handy guide of what to expect this Sunday. Click through for the full rundown on Don Draper’s last Old Fashioned-fueled romp through Madison Avenue. … Read More

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