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

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2013
Dec
5
 
 
The latest ongoing story line for this show has provided some delightfully unexpected depth: Sheldon (Jim Parsons) made an accidental discovery of seemingly great import, and gloated about it, only to have it subsequently questioned and eventually disproven. How could things get any worse? Well, tonight, while simmering in his post-failure funk, Sheldon is visited by his nemesis: Wil Wheaton.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
5
 
 
A quintet of severely wounded soldiers, veterans from wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, is instructed stateside in a new post-military activity: trying standup comedy. It may sound like quite a jarring transition, but remember: standup comics talk about killing the audience, dying on stage, slaying them, and so many other battlefield metaphors. Besides, they have help, in the form of comedians who are there to teach them and guide them in preparing and presenting their material. And since the guides
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
5
 
 
I have no idea why the folks at Fox thought it would be a good idea to counter-program NBC’s telecast of a live musical with its Glee special Christmas episode, which makes room for lots of carols and costumes. But perhaps that’s just Scrooge-like thinking, and no one cares about time slots any more, when shows can be seen, and music heard and purchased, after the fact on websites and/or iTunes.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
5
 
 
Part 6. If you have no interest in The Sound of Music or Christmas carols from Glee – if, in other words, you want something more depressing and ominous than cheery and uplifting – this is the place for you. Up to now, The Returned has been mildly creepy. Tonight, it drops the mildly.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
It’s Fred Astaire month on TCM, and the weekly Wednesday salute begins with tonight’s collection of Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals. It’s not complete by any means – but tonight’s mini-marathon does begin with their first pairing, at 8 p.m. ET in 1933’s Flying Down to Rio (pictured), and concludes at 4 a.m. ET with 1939’s The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, in which they portray another famous dance duo. In between, among other choices: 1934’
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
Peter Berg, one of the major driving forces behind both the movie and TV versions of Friday Night Lights, is the driving force behind this documentary as well. It questions the persistence, by parents of gifted young athletes, in pushing their offspring towards a larger arena, and payday, in sports.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: Frank Darabont, in his first TV outing since leaving The Walking Dead, presents a new six-hour miniseries (presented in weekly two-hour chunks) about L.A. mobsters and coppers, set in 1947. It’s pure Raymond Chandler territory, where everyone smokes, talks tough, and drives vintage cars on city streets that always seem coated with puddles and reflective water, even in Los Angeles. The bad news is that the characters talk too much while registering too little, and even
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
How much creepier and more outrageous can this series get this season? Watch and see – because I have a feeling tonight’s episode, given the previews, is going to raise things up another notch. Cordelia (Sara Paulson, pictured) plots against Fiona (Jessica Lange) – and with more than ample justification.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: Don’t expect too much at first, other than a “family reunion” feeling – but with Kirstie Alley’s new TV Land sitcom, that will be enough for many fans. The Cheers star has a campy new role as a Broadway diva, and has surrounded herself with veterans from vintage TV shows from back when broadcast TV sitcoms were king. Rhea Perlman from Cheers is here, and Michael Richards from Seinfeld.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
4
 
 
Painfully striving to be a new form of L.A. Confidential with film noir sprinkles, TNT’s “EAGERLY ANTICIPATED THREE-WEEK TELEVISION EVENT” is looking like another so-so outing from the “We Know Drama” network...