Author Archives: Roger Catlin

Tuesday TV: More Marvel: ‘Runaways’

Teenagers at some point suspect their parents are villains. On “Marvel’s Runaways” (Hulu, streaming) it’s really true. And it’s up to the kids, with their various powers, to defeat them. It may be the best premise of any of the too many Marvel Comics adaptations out there. And because its pilot is by Josh Schwartz and [...]

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Death of a Terrible Rocker

The death of Charlie Manson this week reminds me of the thwarted artist theory that may have triggered his mania in the first place. Just as Hitler may have been a failed painter who got his revenge on Vienna, Manson may have had his murderous minors storm the mansion where Sharon Tate lived because he [...]

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Franken Cut From Letterman Salute

When it comes time, finally for the honoree at “The Mark Twain Awards: David Letterman” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), to take the stage after 90 minutes of praise of entertainers and officials, the bearded former talk show host takes time to say: “I have great admiration for Al Franken. This really is quite [...]

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Also Tonight: ‘Baltimore Rising’

TV news coverage of the uprisings that followed the 2015 death of Freddie Gray were, like the earlier death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and others that would follow, surprisingly badly done. Reporters tried to get in on the action but hardly talked to people in the streets. They convened panels in their studios [...]

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Also Monday: Late Night Trump Bump

On the special “Late Night in the Age of Trump” (CNN, 9 p.m.) Brian Stelter and Bill Carter takes a look at how comics take on the White Hours, particularly Tony Atamanuik of “The President Show.” The two night finale of “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) begins. Just four contestants are left: Jordan [...]

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His Problem with Apu

Writer and standup comic Hari Kondabolu started his rant against  Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the cartoon Kwikee Mart owner, way back when he was on “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” To be sure, “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.) is one of his favorite shows, but the sheer popularity of Apu, the extreme accent and heavy dose [...]

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Also on Sunday: ‘American Music Awards’

Perhaps because the music industry has fallen so dramatically, the American Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.) aren’t such a big deal either. Traces Ellis Ross hosts, presumably on the basis of her starring in an ABC sitcom, “blackish,” but she also gets to present a lifetime achievement award to her mother, Diana Ross. Performers include [...]

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Saturday TV: Jon Stewart’s Autism Benefit

Jon Stewart returns to TV to host the biennial “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism” (HBO, 8 p.m.) from Madison square Garden, a telethon that usually has some pretty good comedy bits. His old colleagues Stephen Colbert, Jordan Klepper and John Oliver, who have each moved on to host their own shows, [...]

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Tony Bennett Gets the Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song usually goes to songwriters. An exception came this year with the award to Tony Bennett, who as a singer over a seven decade career, has been a leading purveyor of the American Songbook in general and the music of George and Ira Gershwin in particular. So [...]

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Friday TV: Oscar-Contending ‘Mudbound’

I’m all for the trend of Netflix buying big movies at film festivals and debuting them online the same day they premiere in theaters. The latest one, a likely Oscar contender, “Mudbound” (Netflix, streaming), is Dee Rees’s drama about two families in rural Mississippi struggling to survive during and after World War II. The singer Mary [...]

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