Television

What to Expect From BBC’s ‘War and Peace’? ‘Downton Abbey’ With Bayonets

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On January 18, The Weinstein Company and BBC Worldwide will unveil their co-production of Tolstoy’s War and Peace across three channels — A&E, Lifetime, and History Channel — to an American audience that is not altogether familiar with the book. But yesterday, in England, where they prefer to lie about having read the novel, the series debuted to a respectable if modest 6.3 million viewers.
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‘The Last Man on Earth’ Season Two Finale Recap: Silent Night

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Last night’s season finale of The Last Man on Earth was a somber and disorienting experience, one with no shortage of emotional highs and lows. It was also maybe the first episode in the show’s history where nearly every moment was imbued with a narrative tautness, a parallel tension that opened with the episode and remained there for its duration. It was, in the end, The Last Man on Earth’s finest moment, albeit one where the group’s existential precariousness and psychological fragility were on full display.
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An Amazing ‘Twin Peaks’ Tarot Deck

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When most people think of the tarot, the Rider-Waite deck springs to mind. Illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith (with input from academic and mystic A. E. Waite), the deck’s iconic line drawings contain magical/occult symbols that were a departure from previous cards with largely Christian iconography. We’ve seen numerous pop-culture adaptations of the mystical cards, but illustrator Benjamin Mackey’s Twin Peaks tarot has to be our favorite.
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The “So-Vain” Roles of Warren Beatty

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Carly Simon solved a 40-year mystery this week, revealing to People magazine that the second verse of her breakup anthem “You’re So Vain” is about actor Warren Beatty — a former Hollywood playboy, who some sources estimate slept with almost 13,000 women. The news comes in advance of Simon’s soon-to-be released autobiography, Boys in the Trees. “Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!” Simon commented — and we can totally see that.
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‘The Last Man on Earth’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: Baby Steps

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The conclusion to last week’s episode of The Last Man on Earth was formally classic yet altogether surprising. After a dull, conventional episode, New Phil was about to abandon the colony when he turned to Carol and asked her to come with him. But then Erica trumped him by announcing that she is pregnant with his child. Carol’s reaction was, to say the least, hard to read.
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10 Unintentionally Terrifying Children’s Characters

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Most people look to horror films when they want a good scare, but childhood can be a source of nightmares — sometimes unintentionally. Media made for children is usually benign, but every now and then something slips through the cracks that has us scratching our heads. We look back at ten terrifying children’s characters in pop culture that weren’t created to creep children out, but still do a fine job of it.
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‘The Last Man on Earth’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: Crickets Are the Future

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The funniest moments of The Last Man on Earth typically come in fits and starts, with the introduction of new characters (or their deaths) or the psychotic breakdown of old reliables. So it’s a bit relieving to write that the show seems to have found its stride now as an extended allegory about societal rehabilitation — punishment, really — and the absurdities of a “smooth functioning” community.
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