TV Reviews Category

“Jane the Virgin” is based on the Venezuelan telenovela of the same name, and does it ever live up to its roots. Outlandish, crazy storylines fly across the screen, from immaculate conceptions to love triangles to long-held family secrets — and all in the very first episode. Luckily, anchored by a lovable cast and smart, snappy writing, the show is elevated well beyond just scandalous twists and turns, making it one of the best new shows of the fall. The premise is a hard one to wrap one’s mind around,Read More
“Outlander” has already been described as a female-driven “Game of Thrones,” though that label, while complimentary, seems to do a disservice to both shows. There are elements of similarity, but the Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling fantasy novel series firmly stands on its own, with its sweepingly cinematic storytelling and compelling lead characters. If male audiences can’t look beyond a woman at the center of this story to reap the rewards of tuning in, it would be their very unfortunate loss. For what it’s worth, there’s plenty more goreRead More
Ambitious young scientists are at the center of WGN America’s second scripted series, “Manhattan,” set in the deserts of New Mexico where a top-secret compound held the nation’s top scientific minds as they set about building a nuclear bomb in a race, presumably, against enemy nations who are doing much the same. The historical drama follows the scientists as they move their unknowing families into the desert and then are unable to even tell them what they’re doing there. Part spy thriller, part interpersonal drama, the show nevertheless feels aRead More
'The Leftovers'
There was always a lot riding on “The Leftovers,” being the first new drama to air on HBO right after the universally lauded “True Detective.” And true, the new drama based on the Tom Perrotta best-seller, written by Damon Lindelof and directed by Peter Berg is no “True Detective,” but it is compelling in its own way, with its own complicated characters and mysteries to unravel. The show opens in spectacularly dramatic fashion as 2% of the world’s population instantaneously disappearances, leaving mothers without infants and cars without drivers toRead More
The first season of “Under the Dome,” based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, focused on the (literal) landing of a dome in the small town of Chester’s Mill. The dome not only sealed the town off from the rest of the world, it also brought out the good, bad and downright ugly from the townspeople. Season 1 was a success; as the ever-present mystery of the dome’s powers and the identity of the monarch kept viewers on edge, and the fantastic acting from the likes of BrittRead More
'True Blood' Season 7
Wild plot, backside nudity and lots of well, blood, are what we’ve all come to expect from the fantastical world within Bon Temps, Louisiana. For better or worse, the first two episodes of the final season of HBO’s “True Blood” certainly deliver this. The end of last season left many viewers perplexed, and reasonably so. With Sam (Sam Trammell) now Mayor, Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) seemingly going steady and Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgard) sun bathing putting him in deathly peril, there were a lot of questions to beRead More
When we last saw Daniel Holden (Aden Young), he had been beaten and left for dead in front of the grave of the woman he had been convicted of raping and killing. So his journey from incarcerated criminal to freed man was definitely not over. We pick up in season 2 of “Rectify” with Daniel in the hospital fighting for his life and his family members gathered around him, praying for his recovery but also still dealing with the dramas that came with his coming home and their own dysfunctions.Read More
'Graceland' Episode 2.02 'Connects'
One of the best surprises about USA’s first season of “Graceland” – a sudsy action-thriller about a bunch of good looking government agents all living and working undercover in the same beach house – was how quickly it settled into a serialized and more involved over-arching storyline rather than episodic weekly police procedural cases. When the show returns for its second season, then, there is no case-of-the-week to gently introduce newcomers to these characters and their complicated lives – and of course, the show is all the better for it,Read More
It’s summertime and that means one thing (to me): fresh ABC Family shows. Their newest series, “Chasing Life,” follows April (Italia Ricci), a 20-something journalist just starting out at a newspaper who finds out that she has cancer. The title suggests that with April’s diagnosis comes a “You Only Live Once” facet, and while that will probably come later in the series, the trope is absent in the first three episodes. It’s more along the lines of coming to terms with illness and finding the right time to tell family,Read More
There are many stories to tell in any part of history–but it in filmmaking, sometimes, less is more. Ryan Murphy‘s HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer‘s stage play “The Normal Heart” tackles a few too many stories as it provides an unevenly paced snapshot of the onset of the AIDS epidemic– but its real impact lies in the portrayal of the emotional impact on the gay community in the scramble to make the world respond. The film centers on Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), the fictionalized version of Kramer’s own experiences atRead More