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July 30, 2014

'Jersey Shore' Season 3, Episode 14 (Reunion) Recap

['Jersey Shore' - 'Reunion'] Most of us have been to a family reunion at some point in our lives, and they all go down in pretty much the same fashion. You eat some potato salad. You awkwardly hug old rotund aunts wearing toxic amounts of rouge. You all stand around the tether-ball pole wondering what you're supposed to do with it. You tell the same story 50 times about how you got that...

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TV 101: Who Cares If the Stars Are Dancing?

I watch a lot of television -- some would say an unhealthy amount -- walking the thin line between hobby and obsession. I have the luxury of having jobs (writing, teaching) that allow me to sheepishly categorize my viewing habits as "research," no different from Cousteau or Goodall, but probably with more Cheetos. Through all the "research," all the time spent lying in bed thinking, all the...

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 12 (Season Finale) Recap

['Californication' - 'And Justice For All'] The title of the season finale of 'Californication' suggested a sort of closure that it could never possibly deliver. There would be justice, for sure, but for "all?" Certainly Hank would feel the cold hand of justice probing him in unwanted zones, but would Becca have a real father? Would Charlie learn that he has a child in the making and end up...

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'Jersey Shore' Season 3, Episode 13 (Season Finale) Recap

['Jersey Shore' - 'At the End of the Day'] All good things must come to an end, but what happens with horrible things? They seem to live on forever with no end in sight, and when they do end, they leave a scar on your soul so deep you feel like your girlfriend broke up with you because you were adopted ... and you didn't even know you were adopted. The same is true for 'Jersey Shore.' Sure,...

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TV 101: Where Have All the Theme Songs Gone?

The TV show theme song used to be an institution, something you could look forward to with joy, often overshadowing the show itself. I can't count the number of times my wide-eyed young self was steadily enthused by the warm, familiar theme to 'Who's the Boss?' just in time for Alyssa Milano to dazzle me with her sexy tomboy 'tude. Those days are mostly gone, unfortunately. First they were...

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'Big Love' Season 5, Episode 10 (Series Finale) Recap

['Big Love': 'When Men and Mountains Meet'] What do you look for in a series finale? Resolution? Closure? Drama? Suspense? A twist? The return of a lost character? Death? Birth? Pro-polygamy legislation? If you answered "yes" to any, or all, of those scenarios you would have been mildly amused by the 'Big Love' series finale. I say that because, while the episode did hit all those major...

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'Californication' Season 4, Episode 11 Recap

['Californication' - 'The Last Supper'] Hank Moody was running out of options, especially options that end with him and his family intact and happy. He Loves to talk about how much Karen and Becca mean to him, but rarely exhibits behavior that would corroborate such an outrageous claim. He's a classic test case for a communication study: Which form of language -- our words or our actions -- do...

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'Jersey Shore' Season 3, Episode 12 Recap

['Jersey Shore' - 'A House Divided'] How long can this go on? Seriously. Every Thursday is like the embarrassingly bad sequel to 'Groundhog Day,' only I'm not able to manipulate my actions and environment, and I'm forced to watch a gaggle of Guidos wrestle with their own dignity and self-respect only to be pinned in record time by shame and douchebaggery. I suppose I should just embrace...

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TV 101: Behind the Madness of March Madness

March Madness starts tomorrow, and for those of you who don't watch ESPN year-round, the "Madness" refers to the men's NCAA basketball tournament. Sixty-four teams -- I refuse to acknowledge the four additional "play-in" teams -- all dead-set on one goal: missing as much class as possible. But "Madness" is such a vague term that it carries interesting connotations. To whom is such madness...

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'Big Love' Season 5, Episode 9 Recap

['Big Love' - 'Exorcism'] Which sounds better to you -- "Penultimate," or "Finale?" Penultimate, right? It's got "ultimate" right in it and it sparks the kind of excitement and anticipation of which a measly 'Big Love' "Finale" could only dream. Add to that the penultimate episode title -- 'Exorcism' -- and the stakes are raised even higher for the Henrickson family....

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