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July 24, 2014

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A Few Thoughts on 'Prime Suspect' and 'Pan Am' (More to Come)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 22nd 2011 5:00PM
We're getting toward the end of one of the most insane weeks in the television season, and I'd be lying if I didn't confess that my brain grows more fried and crispy by the hour.

But on the off chance that anyone was looking for me to review 'Prime Suspect' and 'Pan Am' this week, I want to offer one or two thoughts on each show, and explain why I'm waiting to review these high-profile dramas. ('Prime Suspect' premieres 10PM ET Thursday on NBC.)

The shows have a few things in common, actually, most notably compelling performances from their lead actresses (Maria Bello in 'Suspect' and Christina Ricci in 'Pan Am'). But what really unites these disparate dramas -- one follows the progress of a tough New York cop, the other is a retro look at the lives of stewardesses in the '60s -- is the fact that it's just too early to judge either one.

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Review: Michael Emerson's 'Person of Interest' Is a Mixed Bag But Worth a Look

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 21st 2011 12:30PM
'Person of Interest' (9PM ET Thursday, CBS) has a few solidly good things going for it.

A big part of the premise is the idea that video surveillance and online tracking programs pervade almost every aspect of our lives. The show isn't designed to peer into the scarier crevices of paranoia, but 'Person of Interest' asks, not without cause, is it actually paranoia if someone really is watching us?

The other big thing it has going for it is Michael Emerson, who, after his terrific performance as the charismatic and ambiguous Ben Linus on 'Lost,' is more than capable of commanding the center of this drama as an enigmatic technology titan named Finch.

The pilot is well-paced and looks great, but then we always expect excellent production values from things that J.J. Abrams (one of the show's executive producers) sprinkles his pixie dust on. And, despite the fact that someone's dusting for fingerprints within the first five minutes of the pilot, there are glimmerings that this may not be just another CBS procedural.

Then again, 'Person of Interest' might be just another CBS procedural, dressed up in fancier clothing. We'll have to see.

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Warning! The 10 Least Promising Shows for Fall

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 19th 2011 10:00AM
Your time is valuable, and you don't want to spend it on shows that are either outright awful or seriously flawed, am I right?

That's the idea behind the following list of iffy and/or terrible new TV shows. They pay me to watch this stuff so you don't have to, and the goal here is to steer you away from fall programs that have awkward premises, wrongheaded casting or sub-par execution of decent ideas.

But never fear, I'll provide descriptions of each comedy and drama as well, on the off chance that you really want to check them out.

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Trio of Talking TV Podcasts Take on Fall TV, FX Comedies and 'Boardwalk Empire'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 15th 2011 2:30PM
The fall deluge is upon us, so to handle all the television that's coming at us, Ryan McGee and I cranked out three Talking TV podcasts this week.

Two of them are devoted to new fall programs. In the first one, we talk about new shows that air on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the second podcast, we talk about new programs that air Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The third podcast has three main sections: The FX comedies 'Archer' and 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (which return Thursday), a discussion of HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' (which begins its second season Sept. 25) and a tribute to 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' actor Andy Whitfield, who passed away on Sunday.

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Review: 'The Secret Circle' Casts an Efficient Spell

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 14th 2011 12:30PM
'The Secret Circle' (9PM Thursday, the CW) does exactly what you expect it to do, yet that efficiency ends up being refreshing rather than maddening.

Slightly refreshing, mind you. 'The Secret Circle' will not redefine your idea of what a supernatural drama can be, what a CW show can be or what a program about witches and warlocks can be. All the pieces laid out here eventually end up in the exact places that you expect them to occupy.

Young woman discovering previously untapped abilities? Check. Dreamy guy to whom she is strangely drawn? Check. Bad girl determined to stir up trouble? Check. Layers of conspiracy and secrets in a small town with a dangerous history? Check. (Don't forget the poppy-yet-emo-ish soundtrack, which is also present and accounted for.)

Yet from its opening scenes, 'The Secret Circle' demonstrates an admirable confidence in its pace and destination, and it also has the excellent Britt Robertson ('Life Unexpected') giving the journey of Cassie Blake an emotional grounding that is likely to make the whole affair satisfying to genre fans and 'Vampire Diaries' devotees.

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'Pan Am' and 'The Playboy Club': Obsessive, Miniaturist and Yes, Sexist

by Stephanie Earp, posted Aug 23rd 2011 5:00PM


I always thought I was a fan of period pieces -- 'Merchant & Ivory,' HBO's 'Rome', Austen adaptations -- but I wish the '60s would go away. Not the '60s as they happened, the '60s as they've been reconstructed by pop culture. Nostalgia for this version is so tedious. The clothes are so specific and so binding, the important historical figures and dates are capital-"I" important, and the rampant inequality on display is plain old gross.

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The CW Fall Premiere Dates: When Will 'The Vampire Diaries' Return?

by Jean Bentley, posted Jun 20th 2011 3:35PM
The CWSummer hasn't even officially begun yet, but The CW is already planning for fall.

The network announced the premiere dates for its fall shows today. While The CW traditionally debuts its shows earlier than the other networks, this year it's scattering the return of its original programming throughout the month of September.

Returning series include 'The Vampire Diaries,' 'Gossip Girl,' '90210,' 'Nikita' and 'Supernatural,' while the channel's three new scripted series are 'Ringer,' 'The Secret Circle' and 'Hart of Dixie.' The network's reality night will see 'America's Next Top Model' paired with the new 'H8R.'

So, when will your favorite vampires and your soon-to-be favorite witches come back? Check out the schedule after the jump.

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Review: Two and a Half Men - Captain Terry's Spray-On Hair

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 24th 2009 12:52AM
charlie_sheen_in_bed
(S07E09)
How far are the writers going to take the Charlie and Chelsea relationship? Do you think they're actually going to get married? I ask because tonight's show was a glimpse of what married Charlie might be like. Funny, yes, but is a domesticated Charlie really what I want to watch? Gin rummy and snoring? Charlie being sensitive and in touch with a woman's feelings? Where has my Charlie gone?

Alan, fortunately, is in exactly the same spot where he's always been. The crapper. Remember that Emmy that Jon Cryer won for Two and a Half Men in September? He may have earned a bookend with this season's work. More on his hair care products and dating services after the jump.

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Review: Two and a Half Men - Untainted by Filth

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 10th 2009 2:00AM
two_and_a_half_men_CBS
(S07E07) Charlie Harper engaged has been a pretty big pill to swallow, but the way Two and a Half Men has handled it up to now is to make the engagement open-ended. Like a TV series with no end date. Charlie has adjusted to life as a man with a "ball and chain" as Alan put it. He's been quite good ... for Charlie.

But when the screws are put to our man Charlie, when the future gets a date, well, that's just a bit too much reality for a wild thing like him to handle. That's the set up. For what happened, keep reading after the jump.

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Spoilers Anonymous: Housewives, NCIS, and more!

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 6th 2009 4:02PM

This is Spoilers Anonymous, a weekly column here at TV Squad where we supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air. We'll never put spoilers up here on the main page in order to help the reformed stay unspoiled. If you have anything to add to the group, feel free to step up and let yourself be heard, either with our tips form or by emailing us at tvsquad at gmail dot com, or call and leave a message at (775) 640-8479. Your anonymity is guaranteed, if you wish to remain as such.

This week we have spoilers for: 24, 90210, Cougar Town, Desperate Housewives, Eastwick, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and NCIS. (SPOILERS FOLLOW!)

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Review: Dollhouse - Belonging

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 24th 2009 1:14AM
Dollhouse(S02E04) It's somewhat ironic that upon news that Dollhouse is going on something of a hiatus and will likely not be back next year that it delivers one of the best episodes of its run. Co-written by Joss' brother Jed (and it wouldn't surprise me if he wrote the music to the episode as well) and Maurissa Tancharoen (both of Doctor Horrible fame), we got the backstory of Sierra and received a major view of how dark the underbelly of the Dollhouse really is.

In another surprise, they redid the graphics for the opening credits and they're better. Does anybody else make up lyrics while listening to the theme or is it just me? If so, what are your lyrics? Mine begins with "This is the Dollhouse. We're in the Dollhouse. This is the Dollhouse song."

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Spoilers Anonymous: Lost, Melrose Place, The Mentalist and more!

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Oct 23rd 2009 9:00AM

This is Spoilers Anonymous, a weekly column here at TV Squad where we supply you with the dirt on some of the more popular shows on the air. We'll never put spoilers up here on the main page in order to help the reformed stay unspoiled. If you have anything to add to the group, feel free to step up and let yourself be heard, either with our tips form or by emailing us at tvsquad at gmail dot com, or call and leave a message at (775) 640-8479. Your anonymity is guaranteed, if you wish to remain as such.

This week we have spoilers for: 90210, Bones, Desperate Housewives, Eastwick, Ghost Whisperer, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, Lost, Melrose Place, Smallville, The Mentalist, and Ugly Betty. (SPOILERS FOLLOW!)

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Review: Community - Football, Feminism and You

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 23rd 2009 1:29AM
Donald Glover(S01E06) See, now that wasn't so hard, was it, Community? I knew you could give me another good episode. And finally a sympathetic side to Britta. So far she's been the annoying, self-righteous blonde that Jeff wants to sleep with for some reason. But that's about all we've seen of her personality. In fact, I couldn't even see why Jeff wanted to get into her pants.

This week, we got to get behind Britta's walls a bit and see her even take her first tentative steps outside of them. Shirley, as the social queen of the show, was right there to help her along the way. And Annie was right there, too, to give Britta the chance to be a shoulder for someone to cry one.

Which brings us to what Jeff's up to this week. I guess it's going to take a really damned long time for Jeff to "grow." Every time he seems to have a moment of self-awareness about his douchebaggery, he turns around the next week and is just as big an ass.

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Review: Survivor Samoa - This Is the Man Test

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Oct 23rd 2009 12:13AM
Dave and Monica watch as Galu Russell passes out
(S19E06) Well, this was the most unusual episode of Survivor I've ever seen. Mind you, I've seen all of them since the first season. I won't get into why it was so unusual until after the jump just in case you've missed all of the hype over the injured castaway in commercials all this week. But it wasn't just the injury which made it unusual. It was all discombobulated.

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More Vampire Diaries to be forthcoming

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 22nd 2009 8:02AM
The Vampire DiariesThis vampire thing could be getting to the point of oversaturation. Bram Stoker is to blame for inventing the concept. However, vampire fans and those that frequent Hot Topic can rejoice because the CW has ordered a full season of the freshman series The Vampire Diaries. This is opposed to the still-struggling revamp of Melrose Place which has only had five additional episodes requested of it.

Between True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and the ever-immortal Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I still count despite being long off the air), you'd think television has had enough of our fanged friends. Perhaps other series should start involving vampires in order to boost ratings.

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