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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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Series Finale Recap: “Eldorado”

For a show that’s so tied to The Sopranos—in a way, Boardwalk Empire is both that show’s successor and predecessor—Boardwalk couldn’t have ended more differently. Where The Sopranos was maddening in its ambiguity, Boardwalk comes to a definitive conclusion; where The Sopranos threw the idea of dramatic exits, or thematic unity, or even karma in its audience’s face, Boardwalk Empire embraces them all. “Eldorado” is an episode dedicated to tying up loose ends, with last week’s ending montage serving as a mission statement. And it does an incredible job, wrapping up eight episodes of looking back at Nucky’s past while pivoting towards a look forward at the future of what Nucky’s left behind. … Read More

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Watch Lisa Kudrow’s Second Comeback in Trailer for Second Season of ‘The Comeback’

Perhaps you remember, not too long after Friends‘ end, Lisa Kudrow’s comeback in the first — and until now,… Read More

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 5 Episode 7 Recap: “Friendless Child”

Sometimes Boardwalk Empire is all brooding and introspection and heartbreaking line deliveries by Michael K. Williams. Sometimes, however, Boardwalk Empire is all action, bookended by cheesy voiceovers. That’s generally what the show turns into towards the end of the season, anyway, and it’s proving especially true now that we’re on the very last season, and a shortened one at that. “Friendless Child” races through a lot of material to set up the series’ final hour, and what it lacks in heart-wrenching major character deaths it makes up for in sheer plot. … Read More

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Dave Grohl Sets His Rock Savior Schtick Aside for Solid Storytelling in HBO’s ‘Sonic Highways’

Forty minutes into the first episode of Dave Grohl’s eight-part HBO docuseries, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, he starts singing out a heavy baritone guitar part to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen in the most dramatic of manners, waving his hands like a marching band conductor. (Grohl, it should be noted, was just seen wearing a T-shirt with Nielsen’s face on it.) He breaks eye contact with the underrated guitar great just twice in the ten-second exchange, instead looking right at the camera as if to make sure there was footage of him directing yet another one of rock’s legends. … Read More

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Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Reunite for Television Series ‘Espionage’

#DreamTeam, a.k.a. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, are finally reuniting for the espionage thriller Incorporated, about a future where corporations have… Read More

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: “The Devil You Know”

“Get yourself ahead,” Nucky Thompson muses after a drink or seven. “For what, though? For what? No one ever talks about that.” Boardwalk Empire, like so many other antihero shows, is not exactly known for celebrating high-minded idealism over moral ambiguity—which is exactly what makes “The Devil You Know” such a standout episode. Character deaths are hardly unusual, and par for the course in the run-up to a series finale. But characters asking what’s worth dying for, and who deserves to die, and for what? For a show centered around someone as stubbornly amoral as Nucky, that’s as far off course as it gets. … Read More

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: “King of Norway”

“Nobody cares about your problems,” Van Alden spits out towards the end of “King of Norway.” But in the moral universe of Boardwalk Empire, that isn’t strictly true; this episode sees characters who’ve avoided their problems for years on end coming face to face with them, whether by choice or by force. The motif’s the most obvious, and the most fun to watch, in Eli and Van Alden’s long-delayed confrontation with the feds (and each other). Three episodes away from the grand finale, though, Boardwalk is putting pretty much everyone in a room with their past, with wildly varied results. … Read More

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