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Caryn James

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.

Was it Smart or Dumb? Who Survived the 'Homeland' Season Finale?

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 17, 2012 12:08 AM
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There are very few things in Homeland, with its endless twists and reversals,  that are irrefutably true, but this comment from Saul to Carrie in the season 2 finale is one of them: “You are the smartest and the dumbest fucking person I’ve ever known.”  Sometimes you can say the same thing about the show. (If you haven’t watched the finale yet – why are you reading this? Come back later. Because here’s what did and didn’t happen.)

Homeland's Second Season Terror: American Politics

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 30, 2012 9:01 AM
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Most of us don’t know much about counterterrorism – the illusion of peering into a secret world is one of the many enticing elements of Homeland – but we all know something about politics. As it starts its enthralling second season, the Showtime series goes beyond global terror and exploits another kind of nightmare: the weirdness, to the point of stupidity, of American politics.

Matt LeBlanc Skewers TV: Watch 'Episodes,' Season Premiere (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 1, 2012 9:30 AM
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Among other priceless bits of show-business guidance in the brilliant new season of Episodes, you’ll learn this: when the father of a television network president dies, don’t even think about sending a paltry muffin basket, because Michelle Pfeiffer and David Kelley will be donating a tree in the dead man’s honor. In Hollywood even mourning is a competitive sport. Taking its satiric tone from Matt LeBlanc’s exaggerated portrayal of himself -- or rather his vain, just-like-Joey persona from Friends – the Showtime series returns for its new season funnier and more pointedly satirical than ever.

Jeremy Irons In 'The Borgias' Stunning Season Finale (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 17, 2012 9:00 AM
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On a day packed with season finales, two wildly different series stand out: Lena Dunham’s increasingly brilliant Girls on HBO (for a preview, click here) and the extravagant Neil Jordan-created Showtime drama, The Borgias, which ends its glorious and gory second season tonight with one of its most affecting episodes -- and an ending that would feel unresolved if we didn’t know a third round is in the works.

It's Good To Be Shameless

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 28, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There is a hilarious, clever new expletive in the Leslye Headland’s Sundance film Bachelorette: “Jesus H. Macy!” I don’t think she meant it this way, but there is truly something miraculous about William H. Macy’s performance in Shameless as Frank Gallagher, the drunken, ne-er-do-well and improbably likable father of six. Throughout season two, which has its finale on Showtime this Sunday, this dazzling black comedy laced with emotional drama has grown both stronger and truer to itself.

Don Cheadle In House of Lies On Showtime Free Weekend

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 5, 2012 8:30 PM
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Showtime’s best series don’t have much room for the warm and fuzzies – that’s one thing I like about them, from The Borgias and Homeland (both returning for second seasons, The Borgias sooner and Homeland later) to dark comedies like Shameless, which begins its second season on Sunday. Premiering after Shameless is the new House of Lies, with Don Cheadle as a high-powered management consultant so cynical and manipulative he makes the series’ title sound understated. You can see both shows and sample other series and films during the free Showtime weekend, from Friday through Sunday.

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