Category Archives: Summer Press Tour 2017

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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Scott Kelly On That Space Station Smell

Last year’s documentary on astronaut Scott Kelly’s 12-month stay on the International Space Station, seen as a precursor to an eventual trip to Mars, “A Year in Space” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), gets a followup documentary, about his return and adjustment to Earth life with “Beyond a Year in Space” (PBS, 9 p.m., check […]

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Finding the Voice of John Coltrane

“Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) kicks off its 16th season with what would be a perfect “American Masters.” The absorbing and uplifting biography of jazz giant John Coltrane by director John Scheinfeld could fit as any well-done public television biography. But this one has the advantage of Coltrane’s sublime and groundbreaking saxophone […]

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After a Long Wait, More ‘Curb’

In the six years since “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO, 10 p.m.) has been on the air, any number of shows have followed, aiming for the same cringe factor. And Larry David sat back and watched it all try to fill the vacuum of years of no “Curb.” When David appeared at the TV Critics Association […]

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‘Better Things’ Gets Even Better

As good as the first season was, “Better Things” (FX, 10 p.m.) gets even better as its second season starts tonight. Pamela Adlon, who stars, co-writes and directs each episode has found a kind of breakthrough in making a series about a woman like herself, who is a struggling actor and a single mom, balancing […]

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You Can Bet on HBO’s ‘The Deuce’

David Simon and his creative crew are used to creating whole cities with their ambitious TV series — and changing the medium along the way. First it was Baltimore in “Homicide,” “The Corner” and the superb “The Wire.” Then post-Katrina New Orleans with “Treme.” He began mixing the city with a slight period piece in […]

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Seth MacFarlane’s Space Ship Stalls

Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” has made Fox so much money over the years that he’s seemingly been allowed to indulge his every fantasy — from touring Sinatra-style crooner to motion picture leading man (casting Charlize Theron as his love interest). When he told his network he wanted to play “Star Trek,” he was indulged again, […]

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For Linklater, a Mid-Career ‘Masters’

The venerable PBS showcase “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) steps away tonight from the kind of old time cultural heroes they usually profile, from Sammy Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Edgar Allan Poe (to name three to be featured this season) to a more unusual contemporary figure in the midst of his career. […]

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Don’t Miss ‘Get Shorty’

Just as “Fargo” successfully advanced the spirit of the original film without exactly duplicating it, the new variation of “Get Shorty” (Epix, 10 p.m.) takes the spirit of the Elmore Leonard novel made into a popular John Travolta movie in 1995. Set in the present day, Chris O’Dowd plays the mob heavy who suddenly gets […]

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TCA Awards: First to Honor ‘Handmaid’s’

One great thing about the TV Critics Association annual TCA Awards is the opportunity to honor shows before the Emmys get a chance. Hence, the Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama awards for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the breakthrough Hulu adaptation. Many of its stars including Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Yvonne […]

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