DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2012
Apr
26
 
 
LIVE: Reprising an ambitious stunt from 2010, this series presents tonight’s episode live – with different versions for the East and West Coast, so you Lefties don’t have to feel left out. The plot has the show-within-a-show, TGS, being ordered by budget constraints to stop doing live shows – making the premise as meta as this prime-time gimmick is unusual. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are comfortable in the arena of live TV, of course – but the lack of a safety net
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
26
 
 
This 2011 film is by writer and director Tom Shadyac, who directed Ace Ventura, Pet Detective and looks a little like “Weird Al” Yankovic. It sounds like a remake of Sullivan’s Travels: a filmmaker who makes hit comedy movies has an epiphany and hits the road in search of greater truth. Except this is a documentary, and Shadyac isn’t kidding. Instead, he took some of his Hollywood profits and underwrote this very personal movie, in which he travels the world and poses t
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
26
 
 
In 1954, director Akira Kurosawa made this magnificent action movie, about a desolate village hiring out-of-work samurai to protect them from marauding bandits. Six years later, Hollywood presented this Americanized remake, setting the action in the Old West and making it work just as entertainingly. Stars include Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan, James Coburn and, in the iconic role he reprised in robot form in Michael Crichton’s Westworld, Yul Brynner.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
26
 
 
NBC’s 30 Rock is performing and presenting this week’s episode live, a trick it pulled off successfully two years ago. But these days, is watching TV in “real time” a treat – or an annoyance?...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
In honor of today's pick in THIS DAY IN TV HISTORY, here are the opening credits to China Beach, the wonderful 1988-91 ABC series that made a star of Dana Delany, playing a combat nurse in Vietnam who thrives on the friendships and meaning, and even chaos, she finds there. And Delany, now the star of the same network's Body of Proof, isn't the only now-familiar face here...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
The biggest music battle on TV this season isn’t among contestants, but between shows, as Fox’s American Idol and NBC’s The Voice jockey for attention and ratings supremacy. Tonight, as its contestants descend from the glowing staircase, Idol has them singing the vocally challenging music of Freddie Mercury and Queen. The question is: Will they, will they rock us?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun -- and I say, it’s all right. (Thanks, George Harrison, for writing that mini-review decades ago.) This new episode of Nova digs more than skin deep, and explains what’s going on under the sun – quite literally. It’s a fascinating subject, and a visually astounding hour, making this installment, if you will, a super Nova.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: From the massive sandstone formation known as Ayers Rock to the endless variety of poisonous insects, snakes and other creatures, Australia has something wild for everybody. As author Bill Bryson noted with paranoid respect when he visited Australia, “There are more things here to kill you than anywhere else in the world.” His tone is joking – but he’s not kidding. 
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
Last week’s episode of this series surprised me, and impressed me, with its truly twisted plot twists: the guy Krysten Ritter’s Chloe set up with her roommate, Dreama Walker’s June, turned out to be Chloe’s own father. And this week’s episode should be required viewing for all Mad Men fans. One subplot has James Van Der Beek, who co-stars on this series as an exaggerated self-caricature, researching a role for a new Freaky Friday-type body swap comedy movie &ndash
 
 
 
  
 
 
2012
Apr
25
 
 
This week’s plot has to do with a costumed group of “superhero vigilantes” who are patrolling the city. Their activities and their motives, though, turn out to be anything but heroic. Avengers disassemble!