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    Parenthood, Ep. 5.22, “The Pontiac” a heart-warming finish to an uneven season

    Parenthood has had an uneven season. After starting the year out promisingly, odd and unexamined character choices started to take over the show, leaving the audience to connect the dots to understand the extreme reactions (or lack of reactions) demonstrated by several characters. Joel, swamped at work (except when he isn’t), reacts poorly to Julia’s indiscretion and leaves. Hank’s back, but he’s not with Sarah, and no one knows why. Kristina runs for mayor, because remission? , and Adam, inspired by her, convinces Crosby to start their own label. Several of these storylines overstayed their welcome, stretched too thinly over the 22-episode season, but fortunately the finale draws more heavily from the narratively energetic start of the season than the slog that was much of its second half. More

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    Survivor 27.14, “It’s My Night”: Can anyone stop Tyson?

    Survivor Review, Season 27, Episode 14 “It’s My Night” Airs Wednesday at 8pm (ET) on CBS The challenge when analyzing Survivor is finding thrills when the finale reaches a predictable ending. This trend has happened frequently in recent seasons, with Malcolm’s exit from the Philippines being a rare exception. Even so, there’s still plenty to enjoy with Blood […] More

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    Boardwalk Empire, Ep. 4.12, “Farewell Daddy Blues”: Season-long woes hamper finale’s dramatic weight

    All season, Boardwalk Empire’s decision to focus on a fractured group of characters has hampered its ability to give its long-running arcs weight. The highlights, and there have been a few, have been in episodes pared down of extraneous characters, allowing the writers and performers to create specific, episode-long journeys. In “Farewell Daddy Blues”, due to the writers’ unwillingness to trim the ridiculously talented fat throughout season four, several characters’ journeys come to a less-than-compelling close and one in particular winds up his time on the show memorably, but nowhere near as emotionally as he deserves. More

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    Wednesday Comedy Roundup: Always Sunny 9.10

    Like the Tuesday comedies last week, the ABC Wednesday sitcoms take a week off as the CMA awards take their place. This feels like a much needed break from the underwhelming installments we’ve been getting as of late. With the unentertaining sitcoms unable to distract us this week, we’re able to focus and enjoy this week’s episode of It’s Always Sunny even more. Unfortunately this isn’t possible because it’s not the show’s greatest episode. Up until now this show has been outstanding as it delivers outrageously funny episodes week after week. Recently these episodes have all been happening outside of the show’s progressing narrative and they’ve really delivered. “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs” attempts to move the narrative forward but fails because it’s also a holiday-themed episode as well. More

  • The fleet flies into the Sun in the Battlestar Galactica finale, "Daybreak"
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    Greatest Series Finales: Battlestar Galactica’s operatic “Daybreak” a fitting, unfairly maligned finale

    Battlestar Galactica’s stirring, epic finale is one of the worst and most hated in recent years, if the internet is to be believed. As with Lost, whose finale aired the year after and received similar blowback (read Randy’s thoughts on it here), fans had spent years trying to puzzle out the mysteries behind BSG’s central mythology and in the finale, they expected closure, which for many meant answers. The show had different plans. There is no right or wrong way to appreciate art, and it’s understandable that fans who watched BSG, or Lost for that matter, purely for its intriguing mythology were left cold by a finale that offered simple answers when it gave any and instead prioritized the characters’ personal journeys. What these disappointed fans are overlooking, however, is just how fitting this sprawling, operatic finale is to the emotional, philosophical series that preceded it. More

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    The Bridge Ep 1.13 “The Crazy Place” finishes the intriguing, frustrating first season in fitting fashion

    And with a crazy stare from Marco Ruiz, the tumultuous first season of The Bridge comes to a close. At times it was enthralling – and at many other times, frustrating: but always intriguing, even when the show was in the midst of its David Tate nosedive (which unfortunately still exists… but we’ll get to that). ‘The Crazy Place’ is all of that wrapped into one neat 43-minute episode, a series of promising and not-so-promising new directions for the second season. More

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    Breaking Bad, Ep. 5.16: “Felina” ends it all

    Breaking Bad, Season 5, Episode 16: “Felina” Written by Vince Gilligan Directed by Vince Gilligan Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC – “I did it for me.” – After Walter White utters these words, the rest of “Felina,” the final episode of Breaking Bad, almost doesn’t matter. It’s a definitive punctuation mark, the ultimate […] More

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    Greatest Series Finales: The Office (UK)’s Christmas Special provides closure without sacrificing authenticity

    The Office (UK) Christmas Special Written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant Aired December 26th and 27th, 2003 on BBC One Before Americans swooned over Jim and Pam, viewers in the UK fell in love with The Office’s Tim and Dawn, laughed at the decidedly odd Gareth, and cringed at the odious David […] More

  • Final alley scene from the Angel finale, "Not Fade Away"
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    Greatest Series Finales: Angel’s “Not Fade Away” is one of the best, most underappreciated finales ever made

    There is a preconception in parts of Hollywood and America in general that shows one might call “genre”, shows set in a different time period (other than ‘60s, apparently) or featuring actors in billowy coats or, heaven forbid, prostheses are somehow inherently less than their more traditional peers. They can be fun, sure, but they’re not really art and admissions of watching them should be made only in hushed, somewhat embarrassed tones. More

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