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
17
 
 
Made in 1949, this holiday romance is building, year by year, into one of the films considered part of the annual Christmas movie canon. It stars Robert Mitchum as a sales clerk at a department store, and Janet Leigh as a corporate spy who shops at his place to check out the competition – and they end up checking out each other instead. For both leads, the roles were substantial changes of pace. Mitchum, known as a hard-boiled film noir tough guy, plays it sweeter and meeker here – w
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
17
 
 
SEASON FINALE: Last night, finalist Tessanne Chin and her coach, Adam Levine, pulled off something lots of prime-time shows, from The Voice and American Idol to Fame, have attempted but failed in recent years: providing a strong, original take on a Beatles song. The song was “Let It Be,” and it was solid throughout, though it was the final shift to a reggae beat that propelled it to a higher stratosphere. Will that performance be enough to earn her this year’s title? Listen, do
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
17
 
 
The motivation for this two-hour PBS special is no mystery, and the only thing that’s afoot is a patently obvious exercise in cross-promotion. PBS presents Masterpiece Mystery!, which has a new season of Sherlock returning next year – so why not spend two hours celebrating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous literary creation as the father of modern forensics? Well, because that’s far too much TV time to assert a simple point – and, besides, it’s arguable as a pos
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
17
 
 
These year-end reviews by Bryant Gumbel, in which he gathers his correspondents to revisit their, and the year’s, best sports stories, always are entertaining. Included this year: a look back at Bernard Goldberg’s interview with Mike Tyson, who suddenly stopped their conversation, about the death of Tyson’s child, with a quietly spoken but firm, “You have to go.” Goldberg calls it “one of the most chilling” moments of his career, but it captured, on came
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
This series’ final-season gimmick, basing the entire season around a single wedding weekend, may have been envisioned as the comedy equivalent of 24, but it’s managed to dissipate tension, not enhance it, by prolonging things. Tonight, at least, Marshall (Jason Segel) finally makes it to the same “destination wedding” destination as the rest of his best buddies – which is something. Now, kids, if only the “mother” would show up for good. Kids? Where&rsqu
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
SEASON FINALE: The Season 5 cycle of this singing competition concludes this week with a two-parter: the final competition tonight, and the announcement of the winner tomorrow. If you’ve stayed away and want to peek back in at the finish line, here’s the last-minute lowdown. Three competitors remain, representing teens, twentysomethings and  thirtysomethings, respectively: Jacquie Lee is 16, Tessanne Chin is 28, and Will Champlin is 30. Christina Aguilera’s team is represe
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
MGM HD’s month-long salute to Woody Allen continues tonight with two more prime-time Allen offerings. Both of tonight’s feature Mia Farrow, starting at 8 p.m. ET with Radio Days, Allen’s delightful reconstruction of the pre-television era. Watch (or listen) for perennial SNL announcer Don Pardo as the host of “Guess That Tune,” and Seth Green as Joe, a young stand-in for Allen himself. Then, at 10 p.m. ET, MGM presents 1990’s Alice, in which Farrow plays a Man
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
Just after seeing Allison Janney in her tender dramatic role in the season finale of Showtime’s Masters of Sex, now you can see her going for broad laughs, opposite French Stewart as her randy Bonnie dates his rude Chef Rudy. And by the way, tonight’s episode is directed by Jon Cryer, sliding over from another Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
I haven’t yet seen the new Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, that serves as the inspiration for this concert film (the subtitle of which is Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’). But I have seen this special, and it’s fabulous. Oscar Isaac, who stars in the film, sings several numbers (including one, shown here, with Marcus Mumford), and other performers include Joan Baez and, a new treat for me, the Milk Carton Kids.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
16
 
 
And they didn’t even wait for Easter... Fox's Family Guy put down its recent stunt storyline Sunday night...