Caryn James

Watch Guillermo del Toro's New Mini-film: The Simpsons 'Treehouse of Horror' Opener

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 2, 2013 10:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Whether or not you're a devoted Simpsons fan, you'll want to catch this opener to Sunday's annual Halloween 'Treehouse of Horror' episode, gleefully and lovingly directed by the great Guillermo del Toro.

Tina Fey as Blerta, The New Roommate on 'Girls' (SNL Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 29, 2013 10:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It's easy to spoof Girls, from Lena Dunham's very particular delivery to her character's unlimited insecurity and narcissism. But host Tina Fey took an entirely fresh approach in the best of the sketches from last night's otherwise tame Saturday Night Live, as a new roommate -- a peasant crone named Blerta who blurts out the truth to the friends. "Don't speak. They will know you are simple," she advises Shoshanna. But she saves the most perfect observation for Hannah (perfectly played by new cast member Noel Wells) at the end.

'Broadchurch': BBC America's Great New Detective Series

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 5, 2013 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Great detective series are never about the crimes; they're about great detectives, and BBC America's Broadchurch has one. With a depth that goes beyond formula drama, Olivia Colman plays Ellie Miller, a wife and mother in the sea- side town of Broadchurch, who finds herself investigating the murder of the 11-year-old boy next door, her own son's best friend. Ellie has a practical, crimped hairstyle that may be the worst in the history of haircuts. She wears the drab gray pantsuit that lady-detectives in most crime shows try to glam up; she doesn't. She is empathetic, engaging, and down-to-earth -- qualities that only grow as she slowly realizes that someone in her own apparently wholesome community, someone she has to know, killed that little boy and left his body on the beach.

Thugs We Love: Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight As 'Ray Donovan' and His Killer Dad

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 28, 2013 9:02 AM
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Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan arrives in the All-American tradition of good/bad heros: Tony Soprano, Walter White, all the other deeply flawed, often murderous family men who have been at the center of so many of the best recent series. Unlike those hereos, Ray's unwanted sidekick is his killer father: Jon Voight runs away with the show as Mickey Donovan, whom we meet when he gets out of a Boston-area prison -- and races to commit a murder too stunning to reveal. That is one hard-case bad dad.

John Oliver Plays 'Where in the World is Edward Snowden?' (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 25, 2013 10:45 AM
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During the reassuringly funny Jon Oliver era at The Daily Show, the substitute host has begun every night by telling us why Jon Stewart isn't around. Last night Oliver explained Stewart "is currently in Moscow, or Ecuador, or on a flight somewhere or has escaped from the National Zoo -- we don't know." That intro set up a later segment tracing not leaky Edward Snowden's travels, but the U.S. ineptitude in getting him back -- Oliver imitated a sad former boyfriend trying to call Hong Kong -- and the television coverage that has been almost entirely based on filling time with maybes. His commonsensical yet outraged response: if you don't know where he is, stop guessing!

Gillian Anderson's Tense, Don't-Miss Netflix Series, 'The Fall' (Review)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 7, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Early in her enthralling new series The Fall, Gillian Anderson -- as a detective named Stella Gibson -- indulges in what she calls a "sweet night," a concept she has borrowed from an African tribe. A woman asks a man to her bed for the night, knowing she'll kick him out for good in the morning. Of course it's a lot harder to escape a sweet night without repercussions if you're a London detective in Belfast searching for the serial killer of young professional women.

Jimmy Fallon's 'Game of Thrones' Update: Watch 'Game of Desks'

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 25, 2013 1:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I am not a Game of Thrones fan. For two seasons, I really tried, but gave up when some unbearably awful line of dialogue sent me running. In season 1, the line was "I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki." As one irate comment pointed out at the time, that's the equivalent of "I am the Queen of England," which was pretty much my point - that's a terrible line. My GOT aversion comes with some exceptions, though: Peter Dinklage, just because he's fantastic as the wily Tyrion, and now Jimmy Fallon, whose parody Game of Desks premiered last night. Guess who announces herself as the Khaleesi?

Seth and Stefon's Big SNL Wedding, and Iran's Reply to Argo (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 19, 2013 11:35 AM
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Stefon -- the guide to New York's hottest, most twisted clubs - was never my favorite Bill Hader character, but he grew on me. And since last night's SNL was Hader's last, it was inevitable that Stefon would pop up on Weekend Update. But who could have guessed that, tired of his unrequited love for Seth Meyers, Stefon would leave to marry another man, only to have Meyers run after him like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate? Take a look at Stefon's big wedding, with Amy Poehler and Anderson Cooper.

Watch Comedy From Obama, O'Brien, Spielberg at the White House Correspondents Dinner

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2013 11:59 AM
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This year's White House Correspondents' Dinner gave us a few insights about comedy:

'Mad Men' Event: What Do Betty and Megan Really Think of Each of Each Other?

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 8, 2013 9:30 AM
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What do the ex and the current Mrs. Don Drapers have to say to each other? I'm not sure, but I know how to find out: join me on April 24th at the 92nd St. Y for a conversation with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, along with January Jones (Betty) and Jessica Pare (Megan) for a wide-open conversation about the series, the season, and everybody's favorite cheating husband. Or is he?

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