9 Shows From The 2012/2013 TV Season That Are Better Than Most Movies

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Big News, The Tube, TV Review | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, David Lynch lamented that it seemed like “the art-house has gone to cable.” And it’s true, The Sopranos was like TV’s Bonnie and Clyde, while The Wire its Godfather. The first time I acknowledged that TV was encroaching on film in terms of artistry was back in 2003 when I named the HBO miniseries Angels in America one of the best films of the year. I did it again in 2010 when put Carlos, a TV miniseries that was re-cut for cinemas, at the top of my best of the year list. Since then dozens of TV shows have one-upped most everything we’ve seen in a movie theater, even the superhero movies. Well, with the 2012/2013 TV season in the books, I thought it a great time to take a look at some of the best TV shows that rival,...

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TV Review: By The People: The Election of Barack Obama

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in TV Review | 2 comments

By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)–*** By the People: The Election of Barack Obama has the least amount of political analysis of any political documentary that I’ve seen. That’s not to say it’s lacking substance, but in telling the story of Barack Obama’s historic election, you realize that not much reflection on style or cunning is needed. It’s a story so simple that the title sums it up. This election wouldn’t have happened without the dedicated millions who stood up for one man and his vision of America. By the People opens up on then-Sen. Barack Obama doing media interviews on the evening of the 2006 mid-term elections. He’s already getting the question: Will he run for president? On Feb. 10, 2007, we found out the answer was “yes.” The first 45 minutes follow the Obama...

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TV Review: Glee

Posted by on May 20, 2009 in TV Review | 5 comments

Fox showcased its critical darling Glee last night after American Idol, creating what may be the first mass audience preview of one of its fall shows. To be fair, pilot episodes don’t mean a series will be either good or bad. I remember being over the moon for Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip at the end of episode one. And I remember wondering if I’d ever watch True Blood a second time after the weak first hour. I quickly cooled on Studio 60 and have had a thirst for True Blood as the show evolved. Here’s hoping Glee, a undeniably uneven hour of television, is a True Blood and not a Studio 60. Halfway through the preview episode, my roomie said that he thought a brunette cheerleader was hotter than the head cheerleader, a blond. My...

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TV Review: Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Posted by on Jun 8, 2008 in TV Review | 0 comments

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)–***1/2 TV Review In France, he’s desired, and in America, he’s wanted. Roman Polanski’s films were often about the forces of corruption going up against justice and winning. It wasn’t hard to find a similar narrative in the story of Polanski’s high-profile 1977 trial, one where the charge of raping a 13-year-old girl are equally as heinous as the famed director’s treatment at the hands of a spotlight seeking judge. The balanced, just-the-facts approach to Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired—a documentary chronicling the events leading up to Polanski’s trial and his flight to France after pleading guilty to a lesser charge—forces the audience to search its own conscience to determine where corruption won and justice lost. The backstory: Polanski was commissioned to photograph girls for a Vogue spread. Polanski had to this...

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TV Review: Recount

Posted by on May 19, 2008 in TV Review | 0 comments

Recount (2008)–***1/2 TV Review With equal parts The West Wing and The Queen, HBO’s Jay Roach-directed telefilm Recount rivetingly chronicles the chaos surrounding the disputed 2000 Florida presidential election. There’s a necessary sense of seriousness around the subject, but the polished-scripting from actor-turned-writer Danny Strong and Roach’s comic sensibilities perfectly capture the ups and downs of the most dramatic presidential election in our lifetime. I thought I would hate having Austin Powers helmer Roach take over the directing duties after Sydney Pollack dropped out due to health reasons. At times, Recount is unapologetically light-hearted, which serves the audience well considering the exhausting drama that has unfolded in the current presidential race. We needed a break today, and we got it. Kevin Spacey plays Ron Klain, an attorney working for Gore’s presidential campaign. Klain (who served as the former vice...

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TV Review: Bernard and Doris

Posted by on Feb 8, 2008 in TV Review | 0 comments

Bernard and Doris (2008)–** TV Review While watching Bernard and Doris I waited for the other shoe to drop. Hell, I was even waiting for a glass to be thrown. I was waiting for any hint of drama, but there was no drama to be had. Thus is the problem with Bob Balaban’s telefilm about the relationship between billionaire philanthropist Doris Duke and her butler and caregiver Bernard Lafferty; it is a bore. Duke (played by Susan Sarandon) isn’t a diva here. She drinks a little too much occasionally. She likes things her way, and she doesn’t like waste. We first meet Duke when she fires her butler for informing her that he is going to throw out food she refused. He didn’t pay for that food, she reminds him and then gives him the boot. Enter Lafferty (Ralph...

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