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

 
 
2015
Apr
6
 
 
MTV, in the Eighties, was buoyed enormously by the sight of Madonna, adorned in jewels and satin, crooning “Material Girl” to a gaggle of well-dressed, unsuccessful suitors. The visual imagery was inspired directly by this 1953 movie musical, in which Marilyn Monroe sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend" with playful perfection. Jane Russell co-stars – and in the finale, she gets to imitate Monroe, blonde hair and all, in another very smart comic sequence.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
5
 
 
Part 1 of 2. Frank Sinatra was only 55 when he decided to pack it all in, leave the music-making to a new generation, and stage a retirement concert in 1971, personally selecting 11 songs he felt summarized his life. That concert, in footage recently discovered in daughter Nancy’s possession, forms the spine of this captivating documentary by Alex Gibney, who last week gave us another powerful documentary premiere on HBO, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. For my full revie
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
5
 
 
I’m often amazed at the issues this series chooses to dramatize as part of its court cases and interpersonal relationships. Tonight’s episode offers another example of almost prescient serendipity: the plot revolves around a legal argument over gay rights. This isn’t ripped from the headlines, Law & Order style – it was written and produced before the current headlines. So be impressed, as Diane (Christine Baranski) defends gay marriage, with both the argument and its
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
5
 
 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: This new, superlative six-hour adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels, about intrigue in and around the court of King Henry VIII, finds a fascinating new way into that often-dramatized court. It centers its drama around Thomas Cromwell, usually perceived as the Machiavellian villain of the era, and humanizes him – with British stage actor Mark Rylance, who won a Tony for Twelfth Night, playing the scheming, quick-thinking advisor to the king. Oh, and King Henry VII
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
5
 
 
SERIES RETURN: It’s back, for the final seven episodes of its final season. What else do you need to know? And it doesn’t matter, because creator Matt Weiner is so secretive about plot details, he makes the CIA look like the gossiping biddies from The Music Man. Just watch Mad Men, and enjoy…
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
5
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: This often (intentionally) creepy WGN America series begins Season 2 with a key addition. As if Janet Montgomery, as the scheming Salem witch controlling so much of the terrified populace, wasn’t enough to drive this period drama, tonight’s episode presents a new supernatural alpha female about to hit town – and played by genre queen Lucy Lawless. We meet her as she soaks in, and emerges from, a bathtub, casting a spell on the man watching her – but not n
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
4
 
 
It’s down to the Final Four, and this year that means two exciting games presented back-to-back on TBS. First up, at 6 p.m. ET, is Duke vs. Michigan State, where Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s No. 1-seeded team squares up against the only non-No. 1 seed left standing: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s perennially persistent No. 7-seeded squad. Then, at approximately 8:45 ET, comes the battle in which Kentucky, favored all along to win this tournament, faces another No. 1 seed, Wisc
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
4
 
 
John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie Valli, the falsetto-flinging front man of The Four Seasons, in Clint Eastwood’s 2014 film version of the hit Broadway musical. Christopher Walken co-stars, and one of the writers of the screenplay is Marshall Brickman, who teamed with Woody Allen on the screenplays for Sleeper, Annie Hall and Manhattan, among others.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
4
 
 
Billy Wilder directed this 1957 mystery movie, based on the Agatha Christie short story and play, and presented tonight as another of TCM’s “Essentials.” And with good reason, because this may be the best Christie mystery ever put on film – and without relying upon one of her colorful intrepid investigators. Instead, Witness for the Prosecution is all about the courtroom, and stars Charles Laughton as an ailing but wily veteran barrister defending a man (Tyrone Power in h
 
 
 
  
 
 
2015
Apr
4
 
 
There are conflicting listings about what's on Norton's show tonight. Some sources say it's a doubleheader from 10 p.m.-midnight ET, with the first episode featuring Jamie Dornan, Julie Walters and Stephen Mangan, with musical guests Chari XCX and Rita Ora, and the sceond episode featuring Jessica Chastain and one of my favorite TV personalities on the planet, nature documentarian Sir David Attenborough. Other sources say that tonight, Graham Norton celebrates the Eighties – well, one tiny