Author Archives: Roger Catlin

Monday TV: Can Holocaust Humor Exist?

In politics, tossing off the Holocaust and Hitler for comparison is never a good idea. What about making a joke of them? The documentary “The Last Laugh” looks at where exactly one should draw the line for laughs. Or should one? As some of the comics note in the film, making its debut on “Independent Lens” [...]

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Aimee Mann: Sad Songs in Hot Pants

Aimee Mann thinks her songs are sadder than they really are; that there’s so much psychosis on her latest album that she had to called it “Mental Illness.” It was as if a night of her music might result in a jump off a bridge. “Settle in,” she warned, on the first night of her ”Mental Illness” tour [...]

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Sunday TV: New ‘Mary Kills People’

The Canadian import “Mary Kills People” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) has a bit of a “Breaking Bad” feel – a darkly comic drama about a doctor who covertly assists with euthanasia at night. Things go wrong, and she’s on the verge of having her world as a single mom upended. It helps considerably that Caroline Dhavernas [...]

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Stage Review: ‘Fun Home’ National Tour

Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home” first arose 15 years ago as one of those rare graphic novels that rose above all others, as Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” or Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis” did before it, to further the form and broaden its acceptance beyond bound comics to something approaching literary and artistic pinnacles. Intensely personal, occasionally dark and [...]

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Saturday TV: Oprah in ‘Henrietta Lacks’

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (HBO, 8 p.m.) brings light to the story of the African-American woman whose cells unwittingly were used for decades of research and breakthroughs, but does so through usual Hollywood methods: Now it’s the story of the white science writer (Rose Byrne) who has  to track down the understandably suspicious [...]

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Friday TV: ‘Girlboss,’ Bill Nye and ‘Bosch’

Britt Robertson takes the role of a fictionalized Sophia Amoruso, who rose from the streets to become “Girlboss” (Netflix, streaming) in a new series produced by Charlize Theron, building the online Nasty Girl fashion empire. Initially, at least, it shows how hard it is to come up with something as good as “Girls.” Also new [...]

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Thursday TV: The Rock Spins Records

The comedy series was pretty good, even though it had to interrupt a newsy era of political tragicomedy. Now comes its music history documentary, “Soundtracks: Songs That Define History” (CNN, 10 p.m.). The premise is that music provided the memory of most historic events of the last half century. Executive producer for the series is [...]

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Nat Geo Hasn’t Fired Bill O’Reilly Yet

It was kind of a funny day for National Geographic to release its slate of new scripted development projects, ranging from “The Birth of the Pill” to the Ebola drama “The Hot Zone” to a project about the early days of Nat Geo from the writer of “UnReal” — as well as a second season [...]

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Review: ‘Or,’ at Round House Theatre

Holly Twyford has a wonderfully blank expression she uses when taking in the madness all around her. She’s also very expressive when setting quill to paper in the rare wordless scene of “Or,” at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda. While busy with her pen, she chuckles at a witticism, begins to weep at a [...]

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Season Three of ‘Fargo’ Finally Here

It may have seemed an impossible task to get the feel of the singular Cohen Brothers classic after which it is named, but Noah Hawley not only achieved that with “Fargo” (FX, 10 p.m.) in its first season, he has been able to replicate it ever since. The third season that starts tonight may have [...]

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