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Best of the Week: Television

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iZombie: “Pilot” works on developing the main character

Rob Thomas has been known to television fans for a number of shows over the years, from Veronica Mars toParty Down. His newest series, developed in conjunction with Diane Ruggiero-Wright, brings the iZombiecomics to the small screen in a show of the same name. The show is centred around a morgue assistant who is also a member of the undead, and whose diet of brains comes with the side effect of absorbing the individual’s memories… read the full article.

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Broad City ends the season strong

This has been an extremely strong season of Broad City, and though this episode is a somewhat strange one to use as a finale, it ultimately feels like an inspired choice. We have no sense of closure with Ilana and Lincoln’s relationship, which was anticipated. No arc is particularly remarked upon or addressed. It is essentially just an episode of Abbi and Ilana walking down the street in New York City as they decide what to do for Ilana’s 23rd birthday. It feels as defiant as the beautiful moment before the title card when a man walks by and tells them to smile, so they turn around and force a fake smile with their middle fingers… read the full article.

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Damn Good Podcast – Twin Peaks Pilot: Northwest Passage

Cooper, Miko, and Ophilia scramble to keep up with the veritable smorgasbord of character introductions in the feature length pilot to Twin Peaks. Entitled Northwest Passage, this first episode of Twin Peaks has the unenviable task of introducing the plot, the style, and the town, all at once. We all love on Special Agent Dale Cooper just as much as we hate on Mike Nelson and Broody McBroodersen. Um. James.

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Fortitude: “Episode Eight” and “Episode Nine” sees the town’s paranoia grow

With the mystery of Professor Stoddart’s death reaching some conclusion, the town of Fortitude seemed out of the shadows when Shirley proceeded to brutally attack her own mother. The last two episodes have examined the aftermath of both Shirley’s attack coming to light, and Frank’s attempts to come to terms with his son’s apparent criminal activity, among other things. This has resulted in the pressure cooker environment of Fortitude threatening to bubble over as the town finds itself forcefully isolated from the mainland, and has led the show down some intriguing paths… read the full article.

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Arrow Ep. 3.16 “The Offer” holds itself back as it pushes forward

Thematically, “The Offer” is the most consistent episode of Arrow we’ve had in awhile. With a lot of truth out in the open, and motivations coming to light, there’s some room for Arrow to wiggle out of the crawl spaces it wrote itself in during the first half of the season, and begin to work out what this clusterfuck of a season actually means. Does that lead to any interesting moments of discovery? It certainly does, as Oliver considers the offer from the Head of the Demon to take his place, and other characters like Laurel and Malcolm try to make things right with their family: but again, Arrow‘s tendencies to throw an extraneous layer of superficial dramatics on top of everything clouds the strong material… read the full article.

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The Americans challenges the viewer’s sympathies

Calling attention to the lies told in an episode of The Americans might feel like spotlighting the sex in an hour ofGame of Thrones, or the cringeworthiness of an installment of Girls, but this week’s “Divestment” is particularly filled with mendacity. As with the violence (which shall be discussed in a bit), it’s not the amount of it, but the severity of the obfuscations of truth which impacts viewers the most. Accordingly, “Divestment” contains some of the most painful and exaggerated lies seen on the show in recent memory… read the full article.

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The Good Wife sees the return of long-absent faces

Ah, the classic “ripped from the zeitgeist” case; it’s been a while since The Good Wife has taken on this old TV chestnut. (We should all still be in the “pretending the midseason finale never happened” phase right now.) This week, 3D-printed guns are the issue at hand, and that gives the series a handy excuse to bring back Gary Cole as Kurt McVeigh, crack forensic expert witness and seemingly barely-present husband of Diane Lockhart… read the full article.

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Kids on the Slope and the emotional power of short-lived TV

The one-season wonder is a fairly well known phenomenon in America. Whether it befalls a now-classic likeFreaks & Geeks or a cult oddity like Rubicon, a show getting cut down before its time is the source of countless reunion, anniversary, or appreciation articles. Succinct rarely applies in the current media climate. When something is a success, businesses hunger for more, often stretching mini-series into multiple seasons. When something is a failure, it’s cut loose. But other countries subscribe more readily to the short and sweet mentality, and that can account for some of the best TV there is… read the full article.

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Community Season 6 marks a welcome return for an old friend

Look, Community‘s Golden Age may be over: seasons two and three of Community (season two in particular) are two of the best, ambitious wall-to-wall seasons of a network comedy in the last thirty years. Sure, the Greendale fans have hyped the show to death, even in it’s lesser, later years, the Harmon-less season four, and season five, which just ran out of gas three-quarters of the way through. For serious comedy fans, Community is our comfort television: a show where we know exactly what to expect from it, good and bad – and more importantly, it’s form remains inventive, always able to continually impress us with its abundant creativity in construction, if not always in execution or resolution. It’s the CBS show for the slightly pretentious television fan – and you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that… read the full article.

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The Walking Dead, Ep 5.14: “Spend” examines the price of cowardice

The great Metal Owl caper this week is not worthy of all the discussion it has received. But that said, “Spend” does put the side characters to use with immense effectiveness, with one story leading to a horrible death. Meanwhile, Rick is devising ways to get past a perfect stranger to the stranger’s gorgeous wife by investigating a metal owl… read the full article.

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The Televerse #185- Star Trek TOS with Paul Goebel

It’s another marathon podcast this week, with lots of notable TV giving us plenty to discuss. We kick things off with the comedies, including a preview of Childrens Hospital’s premiere, season one of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and a memorable Man Seeking Woman. Next we dive in with genre and documentary, with a preview ofiZombie’s pilot as well as finale talk for The 100 and Banshee, as well as the stunning conclusion of The Jinx: the Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Afterward, we look at a handful of dramas, including this week’s eagerly anticipated Mike-centric Better Call Saul. Finally, Paul Goebel, the King of TV and cohost of Hey Watch This!, returns to the DVD Shelf to take a look at the influential and frequently fascinating Star Trek.

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Better Call Saul, Ep. 1.07, “Bingo”: Doing the right thing is costly

In a show that is already full of moral grey areas and ethical dilemmas, the latest Better Call Saul episode puts a special focus on these particular aspects, and resolves one of the season-long arcs in the process… read the full article.

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Justified, Ep. 6.09: “Burned” rollicking enough to forgive a patchy plot

The Flash, Ep. 1.15, “Out of Time” boasts a heady script, stunning performances and an explosive reveal

Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Ep. 1.06: “Delicate Things” is a web of lies

Agents of SHIELD: Kyle Maclachlan’s Super-Villain Squad

Looking finds some relationships strengthening while others break


Best of the Week: Games

Best of the Week: Film