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TUESDAY
JANUARY 22
2013

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Does TV really need another cooking competition show? Of course not. But this one, like The Voice, brings something new to the mix: a democratic sense of fair play. In The Voice, contestants, in the initial round, are heard but not seen, so judges spin their chairs around in approval based on only the singing skills of the competitors. The Taste is the culinary equivalent of that. A quartet of judges, including Nigella Lawson (pictured) and Anthony Bourdain, select the best recipes in a blind taste test. Not blind as in blindfolded, but blind as in not knowing which chefs prepared which dishes, and having only one spoonful to register a very important first impression. So taste tonight's episode, and form your own first impression.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This installment is devoted to prime-time soaps – but has such a narrow focus, it’s devoted almost entirely to Dallas, its spinoff Knots Landing and its main Eighties competitor Dynasty. Though ABC’s Sixties hit Peyton Place does get a mention, the genre’s first prime-time series, DuMont’s Faraway Hill in 1946, isn’t noted at all, not even with a fleeting mention. Nor, for that matter, is the current TNT revival sequel to Dallas, which seems really odd. All that said, this hour is worth watching for getting Larry Hagman on the record before he died, and for exploring and explaining both the “Who Shot J.R.?” and “Bobby Ewing in the Shower” Dallas phenomena. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: This final episode of the season is a pivotal one, especially for the women on the show. Kristina (Monica Potter, pictured) gets ready for the next stage of her cancer treatment, and Sarah (Lauren Graham) makes the choice regarding the two men in her life.
 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Dominic Monaghan, the charismatic actor who played Charlie on Lost and “Merry” Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings movies, takes viewers on a hectic romp to try and hunt dangerous animals and insects – but only with a film crew, and a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm. He ends up being an infectiously delighted, unafraid and nature-loving mixture of Sir David Attenborough and the late Steve Irwin. The opener takes him, and us, to Laos, and deep into a cave in search of the world’s largest spider. For a review of the show, and an interview with Monaghan, see Bianculli’s Blog.
 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Where are things going this season? I’m not sure – but the twin primary plots this year, a cold case involving a skyjacker thief and the intrusion of a new fundamentalist religious sect into the Kentucky countryside, seem quite promising. And Timothy Olyphant, as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, continues to swagger with a wry comic edge that hasn’t been seen since early Eastwood.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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580 Comments
 
 
Mac
Ahh.3/30 TCM triple feature of films featuring TV news:China Syndrome,Broadcast News(a TCM premiere)and Network. It's like a Memorial Day WWII marathon for media fans.
Mar 31, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.
Mar 31, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Erin
It's particularly touching that Edward Herrmann narrated the Emperor of all Maladies before he succumbed to brain cancer.
Mar 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I just watched an entertainment tv host say that what James Corden does with bringing all the guests out at the same time unique when we have been enjoying Graham Norton doing that for years and I still hope Stephen Colbert will do the same.
Mar 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
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
 
 
 
 
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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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