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New Year’s Eve-Themed Episodes: A Countdown From 10

10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…rerun! In anticipation for New Year's Eve festivities you can either watch yet another Ryan Seacrest-hosted event with uncomfortable D-list celebrity banter, freezing strangers wishing a "Happy New Year" to other strangers, and pre-recorded performances from pop stars, or you can watch something good. (That said, if this year the clock strikes midnight and the zombie apocalypse unfolds on live television and you're watching one of these old TV episodes instead, we sincerely apologize for making you miss it.)

The Girl: Hitchcock Goes Psycho

by admin October 20, 2012 10:30 pm
The Girl: Hitchcock Goes Psycho

HBO's The Girl is the first of two movies about one of cinema's most iconic filmmakers, Alfred Hitchcock, that are rolling out in the next month; the Anthony Hopkins-led Hitchcock opens in limited release over Thanksgiving weekend. Neither one is a straight-up biopic either, instead choosing to focus their attention on a relatively limited window in the Master of Suspense's career -- Hitchcock takes place during the production of Psycho, while The Girl unfolds within the roughly two-year window during which he made The Birds and Marnie. Both movies are also less concerned with how these particular movies came together than in exploring the psychology of the man who made them. And the picture they paint of the Master of Suspense isn't exactly flattering.

Copper: Back in the New York Groove

by admin August 20, 2012 6:00 am
Copper: Back in the New York Groove

The most surprising thing about BBC America's heavily hyped, hugely ambitious first original scripted series, Copper -- which follows the exploits of a New York city detective who patrols the streets of Lower Manhattan circa 1864 -- isn't that 19th century police work was so different than it is today: it's that the cop show formula seems to remain the same, no matter the era. Brought to you by creative team responsible for the late, great police drama Homicide: Life on the Street (that would be Tom Fontana, who co-created the show, and Barry Levinson who is on board as the executive producer), Copper may take place in the past, but it mostly sticks to contemporary genre rules.

Figure It Out: Five Reasons the Show Should Have Stayed in the '90s

Last night, Nickelodeon premiered its new version of the hit kids' game show Figure It Out. While the Victorious-era Nick fans may have been thrilled, '90s kids who grew up watching the original Summer Sanders-hosted show have reason to be skeptical. After tuning in to the reboot, it seems to me that the magic that was Figure It Out has been lost for the new iteration.

Figure It Out: Five Reasons the Show Should Have Stayed in the ’90s

Last night, Nickelodeon premiered its new version of the hit kids' game show Figure It Out. While the Victorious-era Nick fans may have been thrilled, '90s kids who grew up watching the original Summer Sanders-hosted show have reason to be skeptical. After tuning in to the reboot, it seems to me that the magic that was Figure It Out has been lost for the new iteration.

Five Reasons We're Glad Mad Men Is Finally Back

Contrary to popular belief, absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. There have been several instances -- Futurama we're looking at you -- where a show has left the airwaves for a prolonged period of time and, after some initial discontent, we got used to it being gone. Then when it returned, it seemed noticeably diminished; the familiar elements were there, but the magic was missing. (Honestly, we have the same fears about the upcoming Arrested Development reunion. The finale ended the series on a perfect note; to quote the Beatles, let it be, guys.) So we approached the delayed Season 5 premiere of Mad Men -- the first new episode of AMC's flagship series to air in 17 months -- with a fair amount of trepidation. Would it still be the smart, witty show we instantly fell in love with when the pilot hit the airwaves in 2007? Had creator Matt Weiner decided to flex his creative power (and get back at AMC for dithering during the negotiations) by giving some of our favorite Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce characters abrupt Sal Romano-style exits during the hiatus? Could Jon Hamm still pass as the handsomest leading man on TV with Timothy Olyphant rocking that Stetson hat week in and week out on Justified?

Five Reasons We’re Glad Mad Men Is Finally Back

Contrary to popular belief, absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. There have been several instances -- Futurama we're looking at you -- where a show has left the airwaves for a prolonged period of time and, after some initial discontent, we got used to it being gone. Then when it returned, it seemed noticeably diminished; the familiar elements were there, but the magic was missing. (Honestly, we have the same fears about the upcoming Arrested Development reunion. The finale ended the series on a perfect note; to quote the Beatles, let it be, guys.) So we approached the delayed Season 5 premiere of Mad Men -- the first new episode of AMC's flagship series to air in 17 months -- with a fair amount of trepidation. Would it still be the smart, witty show we instantly fell in love with when the pilot hit the airwaves in 2007? Had creator Matt Weiner decided to flex his creative power (and get back at AMC for dithering during the negotiations) by giving some of our favorite Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce characters abrupt Sal Romano-style exits during the hiatus? Could Jon Hamm still pass as the handsomest leading man on TV with Timothy Olyphant rocking that Stetson hat week in and week out on Justified?

Game Change: Everything Old is Old Again

by admin March 11, 2012 6:00 am
Game Change: Everything Old is Old Again

I finally got around to reading Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's much buzzed-about recounting of the chaotic 2008 Presidential campaign, well after all the hype surrounding the book had died down. And to be honest, I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. Sure Heilemann and Halperin provided some juicy nuggets about what was going on behind-the-scenes on both the Democratic and Republican sides, but as a work of non-fiction, it was awkwardly structured, poorly sourced (the authors famously relied extensively on anonymous and off-the-record contributors) and didn't offer any profound insights into the contentious, turbulent year that the country had just lived through. At its worst, Game Change resembled an US Weekly version of a political book -- lots of gossip, not much substance.

Five Things We'll Miss About Pan Am

by admin February 20, 2012 6:00 am
Five Things We'll Miss About Pan Am

After last week's holdover from November, Pan Am aired its season -- and likely series -- finale, "1964," on Sunday night. As the title implies, this final chapter in the saga of the crew of the Clipper Majestic took place at the end of a very eventful 1963, which culminated in the assassination of John F. Kennedy that ended the last in-continuity episode, "New Frontiers."

Five Things We’ll Miss About Pan Am

by admin February 20, 2012 6:00 am
Five Things We’ll Miss About Pan Am

After last week's holdover from November, Pan Am aired its season -- and likely series -- finale, "1964," on Sunday night. As the title implies, this final chapter in the saga of the crew of the Clipper Majestic took place at the end of a very eventful 1963, which culminated in the assassination of John F. Kennedy that ended the last in-continuity episode, "New Frontiers."

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