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

 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 
PART 2: The History channel didn’t send a copy of this new program, which began yesterday, for preview. (You can catch up on Part 1 at 7 p.m. ET.) Nevertheless, I’m hoping it’s more conjectural and hypothetical than a fact-based documentary. Otherwise, I’ve bought January plane tickets for nothing. And I’ve just had a revelation of my own: If this special is, we hope, theorizing about the future, isn’t the History Channel the last place it should be televised?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 
This 2008 movie version of the acclaimed Broadway play ends TCM’s salute to performers who died in 2014, because it features Philip Seymour Hoffman. His performance here is indeed fantastic – but so are those of his co-stars. That goes not just for Meryl Streep, who gets top billing, but also for some supporting players who, like Hoffman, would achieve even greater status in subsequent years: Amy Adams and Viola Davis.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
30
 
 

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, on television, is a vast wasteland, with one glorious exception. And, once again, the Kennedy Center Honors delivers the goods. And the greats…

 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
29
 
 
It’s the last Monday in December, which means it’s the last night on TCM to enjoy an evening of movies starring Cary Grant – featuring, tonight, the ones from the end of his long, impressive career. The evening begins with this 1964 comedy, in which Grant plays an island recluse whose isolation is interrupted during WWII – not by invading troops, at last not initially, but by a woman (Leslie Caron) and the seven schoolgirls in her charge.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
29
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: I’m not recommending this, necessarily, but it’s certainly worth noting, as television’s first reality-series musical of sorts. It takes place in Branson, MO, the place where show-biz performers past their prime come to perform for aging, enthusiastic audiences. And it concerns the Baldknobbers Jamboree, the unfortunately named family revue that has operated in Branson for 55 years. That’s an astounding feat of show-business longevity, but understandably,
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
29
 
 
This Cary Grant romantic comedy, made in 1958, paired him with a female sex symbol every bit as magnetic, and widely admired, as he was: Sophia Loren. The plot is a trifle, but the pairing is indeed inspired.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
29
 
 
One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most classic films, featuring several cinematic set pieces that have become understandably iconic, is shown very late tonight – so set those recorders. This 1959 thriller, co-starring Eva Marie Saint, a crop-dusting plane and Mt. Rushmore, always is worth seeing.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
29
 
 
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver may be on hiatus until February 8, but its host couldn't resist going on YouTube to give his take on the holidays. Specifically what he thinks is the "worst” holiday of them all: New Year's Eve...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
28
 
 
The BBC America Doctor Who marathon continues today, with Season 8 occupying the morning and afternoon until 3 p.m. ET. That’s when BBC America repeats David Tennant in The Christmas Invasion, voted by fans on the BBC America website as their favorite Doctor Who Christmas special. And following that, it’s a random sampler of some of the series’ very best episodes. Lots of Doctors today, making lots of house calls – at least on TV.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
28
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: I visited London not too long ago, and spent some of that time watching some very strange programs on British television. This time around, my favorite shows were the ones devoted to coverage of the game of darts – but there were plenty of other weird contenders, nearly as compelling. This new import, known there as The Great British Bake Off, is a perfect example: It’s a baking competition, but done with a peculiarly British flavor, an ingredient you can’t fak