Category Archives: Television

Four-Part ‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’

The rise and fall of Bill Cosby in American culture is a considerable tale of race and talent and decades of denial for behavior that led to his conviction of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 that was — almost as shockingly — vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year.  W. Kamau Bell’s “We Need […]

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‘Naomi,’ Ava DuVernay’s New Superheroine

It’s gotten to the point where the CW network couldn’t think of launching a new series that isn’t a superhero show. Hence the new series “Naomi” (CW, 9 p.m.), ostensibly about a smart high school girl who is also a big Superman fan. Produced in part from Ava DuVernay, the girl-empowerment series is an origin […]

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Mailbag: Reconsidering ‘Startup’

A reader writes: I read your review [about ‘Startup,’ the Netflix series with Adam Brody, Martin Freeman and Ron Pearlman] with disbelief. This is such a great series, the acting is impeccable, the locations, authentic and real, as is the street-talk. The plot is entirely convincing and gripping. If you read the audience reviews, most […]

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This Year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Induction

Given the diminishing pool of worthy candidates, it might be a good idea to take a year or two off from the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (HBO, 8 p.m.). As the event has moved from an intimate, anything-goes party in a New York ballroom to a slick arena cable special, […]

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Ted Lassoes Another Virtual TCA Awards

Getting a four day jump on the Emmys, the second Covid-preempted Television Critics Association Awards Wednesday, showered “Ted Lasso” with three wins — for outstanding new program, outstanding achievement in comedy and program of the year. But Jean Smart won individual achievement in comedy for “Hacks” the same year she was bestowed a career achievement […]

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Monica’s Story Told in ‘Impeachment’

The title of Ryan Murphy’s latest installation in his anthology series “Impeachment: American Crime Story” (FX, 10 p.m.) gets to the heart of the lurid issues of the Clinton White House. Did the affair that occurred between the president and intern Monica Lewinsky constitute a crime — or one worthy of impeachment? Most of its […]

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The Native Humor of ‘Reservation Dogs’

From the Taika Waititi school of deadpan comedy (with touches of magical realism) that brought us “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Wellington Paranormal” comes “Reservation Dogs” (Hulu, streaming), a terrific comedy about kids on an Oklahoma reservation itching to get out. Most of the credit for the show comes from Sterlin Harjo, who […]

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The Sublimely Weird ‘Ultra City Smiths’

It seems I’ve spent a lot of my time as a TV critic talking up the series of Steven Conrad, because his “Patriot” and “Perpetual Grace LTD” were so quirky and different and fun, but also because they needed the boost. Most people may have still not heard of them. Things are not likely to […]

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Taking a Misguided UFO to ‘Heaven’s Gate’

It’s the golden age of cult docuseries.  Following two different series on NXIVM on Starz, and the revival of one on Australia’s The Family on Starz — and what was Charlie Manson but a cult? — here’s a fascinating four part “Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults” (HBO Max, streaming), about the oddball pair of […]

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Virtual Icons at Virtual Rock Hall Induction

They canceled the Olympics and Coachella, so this year might have also been a good year to cancel The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions (HBO, 8 p.m.). The pandemic already delayed the annual event from May to the fall to not at all — the event that would have been at a […]

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