DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

Contributors

NOEL HOLSTON

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

DONNA J. PLESH

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
Enter your email address:
 
 
 
 
SATURDAY
JANUARY 24
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Showtime, 8:00 p.m. ET

Steven Coogan, more known in the U.K. for straight comedy roles and sketch characters, co-wrote the screenplay for this 2013 character drama, and co-stars, in a story of a journalist (Coogan) who takes on the challenge of finding what happened to the infant son of an Irish woman who, many decades earlier, was taken away from her while she was in the care of nuns at a convent. Judi Dench plays the woman, and Sophie Kennedy Clark portrays her younger counterpart in flashbacks.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Sissy Spacek plays country singer Loretta Lynn in this 1980 biography – and, at the time, impressed critics by singing the songs herself, rather than lip-synching to Lynn’s recordings. Academy Award voters were impressed, too – and awarded Spacek the Best Actress Oscar. Costars include Tommy Lee Jones and, stepping out from behind his drum kit in The Band, Levon Helm.

 
  
 
 

Sundance, 9:00 p.m. ET

One of several vintage movies shown tonight, this one, from 1984, began a franchise that’s just about to be rebooted, with its original star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a key part of the mix again.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET

Very young TV viewers may recognize this as the musical in which Lea Michele’s Rachel, on Glee, was starring in a Broadway revival.  But no, this is the 1968 movie version of the musical which, like this film, showcased Barbra Streisand as Ziegfeld comedy star Fanny Brice. Co-stars include Omar Sharif, Anne Francis and, as Mrs. Strakosh, Mae Questel. I note that because, though her name may not be familiar, her voice certainly is: in vintage cartoons, she provided the voices of two female characters who couldn’t be more dissimilar: Olive Oyl and Betty Boop.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 11:29 p.m. ET

On tonight’s new edition, Blake Shelton is the host and the musical guest. Take that, Adam Levine…

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

The Sophomoric Duo -- Sterling Archer, secret agent and animated star of FX's Archer was supposed to appear on Conan recently to promote the series’ upcoming sixth season, but pulled a last-minute switch, conscripting an animated O'Brien into a car chase with the Russian mob in hot pursuit. O'Brien rode shotgun, as he figured out -- in bungling Archer style -- how to shoot an automatic at the enemy. Meanwhile, Archer (aka "colossal tool" to the home office) hits the gas, browses Tinder and has fun "phrasing" as the bullets fly… and miss, of course.  Archer is always great fun, particularly with the slacker spy voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. – Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


Archer
FX
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Downton Abbey
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings 

Episodes
Showtime
Sundays
10:30 PM ET

Galavant
ABC
Sundays
8 PM ET

Justified
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Man Seeking Woman
FXX
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Parenthood
NBC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Portlandia
IFC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Togetherness
HBO
Sundays
9:30 PM ET


 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

SGT. BILKO – THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES – Forgotten by many, this 1955-59 sitcom is revered by some – including Larry David, who considers it TV’s funniest comedy, and by Britain’s Radio Times, which not too long ago voted the series the Number One sitcom of all time. Silvers plays a quick-thinking, quicker-talking sergeant running an Army motor pool. Great cast, great setups and deliveries, with the type of tight writing and hilariously uncomfortable situations that bring to mind Fawlty Towers and, yes, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Released, for the first time, in grand fashion by Shout! Factory. – David Bianculli

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

When Things Were Rotten

ABC’s current miniseries Galavant has been a fun, musical spoof of the Robin Hood era. That’s been done before, although without the music, back in 1975, by Mel Brooks. When Things Were Rotten was very short-lived, lasting only 13 episodes – they're all included here, starring Dick Gautier as Robin, Dick Van Patten as Friar Tuck, and Misty Rowe as Maid Marian. Until now, this DVD release was one of the missing links in the Mel Brooks chain of outrageous comedy, so this compilation hits the bullseye. Under $20 at Amazon. –David Bianculli