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SUNDAY
NOVEMBER 25
2012

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Season 3 of Downton Abbey, featuring Shirley MacLaine, doesn’t premiere until next year – okay, January 6, but still, it’s a wait. In the meantime, here’s a new special, a retrospective that will remind fans what we’ve been missing, and initiate newcomers to what’s about to come. Angela Lansbury hosts. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

CBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week, Judd Hirsch guest starred as a judge, and gave a typically complex, captivating performance. This week’s new episode presents another guest star who can be counted on to provide the same: Stockard Channing, playing Veronica, the meddling mother of Julianna Margulies’ Alicia. This is her first appearance, but I’m already betting she’ll make more.
 
  
 
 

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode was a strong and pivotal one, taking several formerly disparate story lines – the prison, the Governor’s compound, the nomadic Michonne, Daryl and his brother – and weaving them, like a DNA strand, into one. And it left us with Rick, coming off a mental crisis that was cleverly scripted, staring through the prison fence at a wounded, wordless Michonne. But when she does speak, it’ll lead to a collision of the two camps, and, perhaps, to the two brothers.
 
  
 
 

Lifetime, 9:00 p.m. ET

This is not a recommendation in terms of quality – but this new Lifetime telemovie is fascinating in its own creepy way. It stars Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor, and Grant Bowler as Richard Burton. Bowler is convincing in the part, but Lohan isn’t, not for a second. And that becomes fun to watch, in a way, especially when the 1960s show-biz romance wallows in knowing allusions to the present. When the celebrity supercouple is chased by photographers, Lohan’s Taylor shrugs them off as a temporary nuisance. “They’ll find someone else to stalk,” she tells Burton. “You think?” he asks. Drolly, Taylor replies: “Yeah, I think.” And so they have. And while Lohan doesn’t improve her image with Liz & Dick, it has its moments, or at least its seconds. It’s written by Christopher Monger, who wrote the screenplay for one of the best telemovies in recent years, HBO’s Temple Grandin. For a full review, see Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes.
 
  
 
 

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode ended with a cliffhanger that left us up in the air – or close to it, as Brody (Damien Lewis) was driven to a remote wooden clearing, with a helicopter appearing from nowhere. Its passenger? The elusive, manipulative and very dangerous Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban).
 
  
 
 
 
 
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576 Comments
 
 
Casey
The listings have moved to the home page. Hope the passive-aggressive harassment over how this site is run has not cost us the ability to comment here.
Mar 28, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
jan
I hope everything is all right with you.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
David, I hope everything is ok.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Cory
Where is your Bianculli's Best Bets for today? I can't live without you.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
DAN
It is 12:44 pm Wednesday and you are showing Tuesday's info, PLEASE flip the switch at 8 am - it is written please show it!!!!!!!!
Mar 25, 2015   |  Reply
 
Angela
Chill! What would you do if there was a real emergency?
Mar 26, 2015
 
 
 
linda
Just to note, Disney Family will show ALL of their "Princess" movies over Sat & Sun, even the Princesses of color like Mulan & Pocahantas' They are a nice treat as well, maybe even more
Mar 21, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I'll check out Bloodline simply because of Kyle Chandler, though it does sound like there may be other reasons to watch it, too. But I whole-heartedly agree about Kyle's fantastic acting. I do not understand the acting industry. He should have been in thousands of shows by now. Plus he's not bad to look at.
Mar 20, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I have watched Glee since the beginning and here are my final thoughts---sarahwatches4u.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-tearful-farewell-to-glee-2009-2015.html?spref=tw …
Mar 20, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I just remembered your synapsis of IZombie, to me, sounds like True Calling, didn't the lead female character die to come back to life only to work in a morgue and when she touched the recently dead was able to see how they died.
Mar 18, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Peter Brumlik
Bianculli, you've gone over to the dark side. The reason people 'binge watch' is to see if a series gets better; it doesn't. Much of what you recommend has about as much depth as 'Dragnet.'
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
judeann
I totally agree.... and whats the obsession with zombie's and the undead David???? Is it that most people walk around in the state of mental confusion and delirium?? Haven't been on this site since Last Man on Earth debut not sure if it was reviewed but this show to me is worth half hour of my time. Raises some fascinating dilemmas. Now with the addition of January Jones even more potential. Hats off to Will Forte...unique writing and acting!!!
Mar 18, 2015
 
 
 
Elise
There is a peregrine nest on a ledge of the Rachel Carson Bldg. in Harrisburg as well. I agree: best reality footage to be seen and enjoyed. DEFINITELY worth watching!
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
David, I guess every true fan of "Justified" got the same kick out of that line that you did. It's why I lament the end of, to me, one of the most unrecognized, non-award-nominated show on television. But given the way the accolades are awarded these days, it doesn't worry me too much. I have the satisfaction of enjoying the series from the first episode (and subsequently on bluray) in the company of well-informed, intelligent viewers like you and everyone that follows you on this wonderful website!
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Patrick
I'm really surprised and a bit disappointed that Banshee (which just aired its final episode of the season) has not been mentioned outside of its season premier. I do not feel the need to sing its praises, as I'm sure anyone familiar with the show is already aware of its strengths, but I do want to give it a shout out. After all, The Walking Dead has made it onto the list every Sunday night since it first aired, and yet, that remains a show stuck in an endless feedback loop with a lot of gore and violence to push that cycle along. Banshee on the other hand manages to feel refreshed after every episode. This season in particular has been so packed with story telling and action (hands down the best action you will see on television) that each episode has felt almost like a self-contained film. And yet, each episode has also left you white-knuckled and reeling to find out what comes next. Banshee is one of the best shows on television, and probably the most purely entertaining.
Mar 16, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
David, you missed a few things about Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. Along with all the other James Bond connections to Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, you forgot Baron Bomburst aka Goldfinger aka Gert Frobe. How about the male name play, Bomburst as I already mentioned, and my favorite, Dick van Dyke's role Caractacus Potts---crackpot.
Mar 14, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
jan
So glad to mentioned the repeat of Shameless. It's one of my favorite shows, and the acting--especially Jeremy Allan White and Noel Fisher, but really of all of the kids--has been amazing. I'm so glad they have kept the same actors over the years to play the roles of the kids (unlike the replacement Lily in Modern Family whom I still don't like). They're all great.
Mar 13, 2015   |  Reply
 
Bob
Also one of my favorite shows. I don't think I could pick out an actor who does not give an amazing performance. I find the writing so well done. One weakness I have found, I tried to watch it again from the first season, and it just didn't grab me on the second viewing.
Mar 14, 2015
 
 
 
scott
Yesterday, Thursday the 12th of March, you recommended Requiem for a Heavyweight on TCM, specifically the earlier television version, rather than the movie version. However, at least in my area (Comcast of South Jersey) there was only the movie version on TCM and I was unable to find any broadcast of the earlier television version.
Mar 13, 2015   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
David was merely mentioning that his preference is for the TV version of "Requiem..." not that it was actually airing that evening. Sorry for the confusion!
Mar 14, 2015
 
 
 
John
Is it just me, or, is some of the music on last night's "THE GOOD WIFE" filched from the old film: "BARRY LINDEN" (sp?) I'm just sayin'.....
Mar 9, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Re:3/7/15 highlights.Worth mentioning that tonight TCM's Essentials starts a new co-host after three years of Drew Barrymore.Tonight,Sally Field joins Robert Osborne to present Roman Holiday. If preview snippets are true,it looks like Field's Norma Rae will be included as an Essential during this run. And hopes that Robert will be able to tell Sally that he likes her.
Meanwhile,know that Llewyn Davis is more specifically a fictionalized version of Dave Van Ronk,even mimicking the artwork for Dave's 1963 LP,Inside Dave Ronk(hence the movie's title). One interesting note,after you've seen the film, compare the cover art for the Inside LPs. Where is the cat?
Mar 7, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Please revise the description of “Vice,” where the blurb for “Real Time” is now repeated (as of 8:57 AM ET).
Mar 6, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
I count 10 hours of new programing I want to watch this Sunday evening. Too much of a good thing is too much.
Mar 1, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

Behind David in the picture is the first TV owned by his father, Virgil Bianculli, a 1946 Raytheon. (The TV, not his father. His father was a 1923 Italian.) David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He also teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University, and his most recent book, 2009's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, has recently been purchased for film rights.  He's currently at work on another.

 
 
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