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
Aug
26
 
 
The marathon every-episode showing of The Simpsons has been going nonstop for six days now, and we’re not even at the halfway point. Amazing. So tune in any time for more fun – though, of today’s batch, I have a particular fondness for “Trilogy of Error,” televised tonight at 10:30 ET. Why? Partly because its structure is particularly complex and inventive, and partly because the title is a play on an excellent Seventies-vintage TV movie, Trilogy of Terror, starring
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
26
 
 
This 2000 Coen Brothers film is a marvelous comedy. At least I marvel at it every time I see it, and I see it virtually every time it’s televised. The images are amazing, the performances – starting with George Clooney in one of his best and bravest roles– are superb, and the music is every bit as dynamic as everything else in the movie. Oh, and it’s based on Homer’s Odyssey, and features John Goodman as a Depression-era Cyclops. So how many times have you seen that
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
26
 
 
Tonight’s challenge has the special-effects makeup contestants devising and designing mashups between characters and looks from The Wizard of Oz and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And since this is shown on Syfy, expect some strange, Sharknado-type hybrids indeed. Personally, I’m hoping for a Jabbertoto. Or a Munchqueen.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
26
 
 
SEASON FINALE: We now know that a coup has been put in place, one that pits brother against brother, and could well end up pitting brother against sister-in-law as well.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
26
 
 
Do you feel like you’ve read my Bianculli’s Best Bet about this 1993 Bill Murray movie before? Maybe you have. Maybe a lot more than once. And what does that say about whether you’re stuck in a repetitive time loop? Don’t bother responding. I already know your answer…
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
25
 
 
The Emmys are coming, and you’re certainly entitled to yawn if you’d like. Taking its turn in the four-network rotation, NBC will be carrying what they still like to call “Television’s Biggest Night..."
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
25
 
 
SERIES FINALE: Agatha Christie’s Poirot, an imported British mystery series that began being televised here in 1989, concludes officially today, as the streaming site Acorn TV premieres the final episode starring David Suchet as the fussy but observant Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. As with almost every other story in the Christie canon, this one ends with Poirot explaining how he cracked the case and identifying both the murderer and his methods. The difference, this time, is that he
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
25
 
 
The early rounds of tennis this year have proven especially volatile, and this year’s U.S. Open has so many dramatic story lines that you may want to be there from the start – and you can, by tuning to Tennis Channel at 11 a.m. ET for eight hours of first-day live coverage, or, from 1-6 p.m. ET, five hours on ESPN. Among the main stories: Novak Djokovic, after a dramatic Wimbledon win against Roger Fededer, tries to reach the finals here, with persistent rival Rafael Nadal sidelined
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
25
 
 
Monday night for the Emmys? In August? Yes, it’s an odd day to televise it, and presenting it before Labor Day dilutes the impact even more. But there are some big stories to watch here, including a few historic ones. AMC’s Breaking Bad, for example, deserves to win the Best Drama Series award this year, but it’s up against some very stiff competition – including the same network’s Mad Men, which, if it wins, would outpace Hill Street Blues, The West Wing and L.A. L
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Aug
25
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: This limited-series Top Gear spinoff stars James May, the king grouch among this show’s pack of affable automotive grouches, to evaluate a series of Cars of the People – economical “autos for the masses,” complete with some quick history lessons to explain, for example, why the VW bug originally was referred to as “Hitler’s car.” Dictators, it turns out, have a lot to do with automotive history, though they can’t dictate what does,