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

 
 
2014
Dec
28
 
 
Think of all the youthful fan adulation built around Frozen, then go back almost a decade, and here’s the same sort of well tapped by Disney back then. High School Musical was a 2006 musical that launched a franchise, sold a best-selling soundtrack, and had teen and preteen girls, especially, repeating viewings and listenings of it ad infinitum. Sound familiar?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
28
 
 
SEASON FINALE: This is a repeat of the final episode of Season 4. It’s the last Downton repeat of the year – but next year, very quickly after the calendar turns to 2015, you’ll be able to see the premiere episode of Season 5. So if you need a reminder of where the series left off, here it is. Check local listings.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
28
 
 
SEASON FINALE: Once again, The Comeback is prepared to go away. Last time, it vanished for nine years before presenting a Season 2. This time, based on the ratings, there may not be a next time. But Valerie (Lisa Kudrow), this time, is going out with a bang – or at least with a taste of success, though it’s a taste she finds less pleasant than expected.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
27
 
 
BBC America’s Doctor Who marathon, which began yesterday, continues today with more modern episodes. Season 5, featuring Matt Smith as the new Doctor, continues through 7 p.m. ET, when Season 6, also with Smith, takes over. It’s a great way to spend some time with the TV – Doctor Who, since its modern reboot, has been a very underrated series, especially in terms of its writing and acting.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
27
 
 
WGN America put itself on the original series map with Salem. Then it followed up with another impressive series for an upstart start-up: Manhattan, a period of drama about the Manhattan Project and the race to develop the atomic bomb. In what can best be described as an explosive programming idea, WGN is presenting the entire Season 1 of Manhattan, beginning at 9 a.m. ET.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
27
 
 
Wes Anderson’s visually beautiful, playfully audacious 2014 movie stars Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham and a ridiculously deep talent pool of actors in eager support: Bill Murray, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Andrew Norton, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, and even more.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
27
 
 
Whenever this gorgeous 1979 movie is televised, I usually take care to credit director Carroll Ballard and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. And with good reason, because the visuals are stunning – pure cinematic poetry. But there’s poetry in the story, as well, so here’s to Walter Farley’s original novel, and to the screenplay, whose writers include Melissa Mathison, who also worked on the script for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
27
 
 
These shows come to the U.S. the week after they’re taped and shown in the U.K., so this actually is Norton’s 2014 Christmas show. But as belated gifts go, it’s a big one. Ricky Gervais is on hand, along with Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Usher, Rebel Wilson and Ben Stiller. All in the same show.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
26
 
 
The new Doctor Who episode – and what a pivotal one it was – was shown on Christmas Day, here in the U.S. as well as in England. Today and tomorrow, BBC America continues the festivities by showing episodes from various incarnations of the modern Doctor, starting this morning with three episodes from Season 2, featuring David Tennant – now starring on TV in both Broadchurch and its Americanized version, Gracepoint – as the Doctor, and Billie Piper as his Companion, Rose.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Dec
26
 
 
Starting at 6 p.m. ET, VH1 begins its look back at Saturday Night Live, repeating the excellent two-hour documentary retrospectives made to date. SNL in the 80s: Lost and Found begins the marathon, followed at 8 p.m. ET by SNL in the 90s, and at 10 p.m. ET by SNL in the 2000s. The current decade isn’t over, so VH1 substitutes SNL: The Women at midnight ET. That leaves it until 2 a.m. ET for VH1 to complete its marathon, but VH1 is saving the best, as well as the most vintage, for last: At