‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: “Shiny Things”

What distracts you? In the process of writing this review, tons of stuff distracted me. The Internet, obviously, but more specifically Twitter, Reddit subforums, Amazon, Facebook, Wikipedia, checking other people’s Good Wife reviews, biting my nails, Shazam-ing the song from the opening scene (“Oh, it was used in Finding Forrester.”), wondering about candy, eating candy, regretting candy… to name a few. “Shiny Things” is all about distractions, those titular shiny objects that pull attention from the matter at hand, a phenomenon most obviously represented in the return of everyone’s favorite legal savant, Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston). … Read More

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‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “Oppo Research”

“I like clarity. I like rules that tell me what’s right and what’s wrong. (…) I just wanted to be inside something that made sense to me.” – Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife, “Oppo Research”

“People just think there are black hats and white hats, but there are black hats with white linings. And white hats with black linings. And there are hats that change back and forth between white and black. And there are striped hats. Evil rests in the soul of all men.” – Some Guy, Darkness at Noon (The Good Wife, “A Material World”)

… Read More

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‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 3 Recap: “Dear God”

Welcome to our weekly round-up of The Good Wife, where your faithful reviewer takes a single exchange and completely blows it out of proportion for 800 or so words before finally giving in and gushing about who was/was not shirtless, who should/should not have been shirtless, and whose time in the episode could have been better spent smooching. But before we devolve into squee-ing about the Good Ship Carlinda (Kalary?), let’s take a leisurely stroll down early-20th century German literature lane. … Read More

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CBS’ Vile and Exploitative ‘Stalker’ Is the Worst Show of the Fall TV Season

The pilot episode of Stalker begins with a crying woman being chased and attacked by an unknown assailant. Viewers listen to her scream and watch her burn alive inside a car, the victim of a violent, angry man. That is all you need to know about Stalker to get the ugly gist of CBS’ newest procedural and Kevin Williamson’s latest chapter in his book dedicated to excessive torture-porn television. Stalker is torture in every sense of the word: torturous in the show’s content and torturous for viewers to watch.  … Read More

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‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 2 Recap: “Trust Issues”

I’ll admit, in my head, Taye Diggs has been under contract with The Good Wife since day one, patiently awaiting the week when his script would be delivered and he’d finally make his grand entrance into its little televised world. He’d appeal to the Kings, season after season, “Maybe you could set an episode in our offices. It could be a destination episode,” and they’d say, “No, no, no, Taye. Trust us. We know what we’re doing. We have to wait until the timing is just right.” And poor handsome Taye Diggs would slink back to his trailer and cry his beautiful self to sleep waiting for the day that he’d finally be incorporated. … Read More

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Why My Midwestern Family Still Loves ‘Survivor’

Every couple of years, a highbrow cultural media outlet will pose the question to their highbrow cultural readership: Why do so many people — not us, of course — still watch all that garbage CBS calls television? Not matter how it’s padded or angled, the idea is that some sort of explanation is needed as to why tens of millions of Americans would embrace such banal entertainment during the so-called Golden Age of Television. Don’t these crusty old losers know any better? And every new season when the ratings for premiere week roll in, we come to the same conclusion: nope! … Read More

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‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Premiere Recap: “The Line”

The Good Wife has always existed in a universe that regarded good and evil as a matter of black and white, with a single caveat: Any person and any action can remain good, so long as they never get caught. This is never so resonant as in the sixth season premiere “The Line.” … Read More

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‘Madam Secretary’ Asks the Tough Questions About Women Having It All

There’s a quote somewhere — I believe it’s probably from an ancient copy of Details with a Dave Navarro interview — where Navarro enthuses that secretaries are the best and the sexiest because “secret” is in their name. I’ve never forgotten that insight from the perpetually shirtless guitarist, and you should keep it in mind when it comes to CBS’ new show, Madam Secretary, which is about an ex-CIA agent-turned-professor (Téa Leoni) who becomes the Secretary of State, plunged into a world of secrets!. She’s got secrets herself, of course — the whole administration does — but she’s also got something else, maybe it’s integrity… and the question remains: can she have it all, when all is “America,” “the Presidential administration,” “stopping international strife,” “raising two sensitive teenagers” and “also having a rocking marriage”? … Read More

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CBS’ ‘Scorpion’ Turns the Lives of Geniuses Into Another Average Procedural

The general consensus surrounding the fall 2014 television season is that it’s utterly mediocre. There are abysmal shows like The Mysteries of Laura and irritating-but-somewhat-promising shows like Selfie, but most new programs just seem to be aggressively mediocre — like Forever, which is thoroughly watchable despite its blandness. The majority of premieres that I’ve previewed are frustratingly average, as if they’re so content to merely exist on TV that they feel no need to try and improve it. CBS’ “fun-cedural” Scorpion is just another example of this unfortunate trend. … Read More

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‘Kid Nation': Looking Back on TV’s Most Disturbing Reality Show

Ever since the reality TV genre took off in the early 2000s, networks have been in an unspoken competition to put out the most unique, controversial, or just absurd programs. 2007 was a big year for reality, but Kid Nation was the clear winner. In Kid Nation, 40 children were sent to a privately owned town in New Mexico to create their own society, set up a government, and fend for themselves without adults. The children, ages eight to 15, had to do everything themselves — from doing their own laundry to slaughtering their own dinner — and, if they were lucky, were sometimes rewarded with a sack full of buffalo nickels. CBS thought this show was a good idea. … Read More

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