Caryn James

TV Review: Laura Linney and The Not-Depressing Big C

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 27, 2011 1:00 AM
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There is obviously nothing Cute about Cancer, and last season Showtime’s The Big C tried a little too hard to be whimsical in the face of death. Laura Linney was appealingly rooted in the real world in spite of that as high-school teacher Cathy Jamison.
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“True Blood” Enters Fairy Land

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 26, 2011 1:00 AM
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If you’re going to add werewolves, fairies and witches to a vampire story, you better make sure you can handle the extra-human overload. Last season True Blood lost me with its leaden theme of Nazi werewolves. The new fourth season (beginning Sunday on HBO) piles on even more characters with loony powers.
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Louie and Louis: How Original is Louis C.K.’s Sitcom?

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 23, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The conventional take on Louie, Louis C.K.’s buzzed-about semi-autobiographical sitcom-with-stand-up, is that the show is unlike anything else on TV, but that’s not exactly the case. It’s an M-rated Seinfeld, a darker Curb Your Enthusiasm (of course, Curb has never been as dark as it pretends) .
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“The Killing” Season Finale: They Did What?!

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 20, 2011 4:25 AM
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  • 8 Comments
My first reaction to the last minutes of The Killing season finale, in which we did not find out who killed Rosie Larsen, was a simple, childish “No fair!” What kind of detective show does that?
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TV Review: Noah Wyle Saves the World in Spielberg-Produced "Falling Skies"

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 17, 2011 3:30 AM
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If you happen to be caught in an apocalyptic world after an alien invasion, you could do much worse than having Noah Wyle prowling around hunting the aliens and trying to save civilization. In Falling Skies, TNT’s high-profile, Spielberg-produced new series, Wyle plays Tom Mason, a Boston University professor and military historian forced to put all that book learning to practical use.
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Review: Vampire Kisses Werewolf at MTV Movie Awards (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 6, 2011 4:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Thank goodness for Robert Pattinson – not because he can act (the jury’s out on that) but because he was the loose cannon livening up last night’s MTV Movie Awards, the closest thing this supposedly young and unpredictable show had to Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. In the night’s two high points, Pattinson left Kristen Stewart’s side on stage to kiss Taylor Lautner (planned) and gave a free-wheeling tribute to Reese Witherspoon that let the word “fuck” slip by the censors (that part, at least, unplanned).
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Escaping Polygamy: Eye-Opening "Sons of Perdition" on Oprah's Doc Club

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 2, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Sons of Perdition, the powerful second installment of Oprah Winfrey’s Documentary Club on OWN, is a candid, up-close account of several teenage boys who escaped from a fundamentalist-Mormon polygamist compound. As the title says, their upbringing has taught them that defying the sect's rigid control will damn them forever, and like Huck Finn declaring, ”All right, then I’ll go to hell,” they land on their own with no money but with a determined sense of freedom. As the cameras follow them, we see that they have fewer survival skills than Huck.
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Children’s Hospital: Rob Corddry, Guest Jon Hamm, Do E.R. As It Should Have Been

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 1, 2011 1:30 AM
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Blake Downs, the clown-faced doctor at the center of Children’s Hospital, has taken “the healing power of laughter” as his mantra – and also uses it as a medical procedure. It seems that tickling can bring a person back from a state of near-death. Feel free to try that at home before heading to the Emergency Room.
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TV Review: The Scary Financial Drama "Too Big To Fail"

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 23, 2011 1:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
At one point in the sober and sobering HBO film about the 2008 financial crisis, with Paul Giamatti as stony-faced, mumbling head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, I had a sudden flash of a David Letterman stunt. For a few weeks his running joke was to say ”Ben Bernanke,” and have several young women planted in the audience squeal with delight as if he’d mentioned a Jonas brother.
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Review: “The Good Wife” finale and “The real-life good wife.”

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 18, 2011 5:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment
They didn’t have to spell it out, but they did. WCBS, the local New York station, went from the end of The Good Wife to its lead late news story, which it called, “The real-life good wife,” a Shriver-Schwarzenegger report. The station had teased the report during last night's Good Wife with “Next – Maria Shriver’s heartbreak,” referring to her statement that this is “a painful and heartbreaking time” after Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he’d fathered a child with the family’s housekeeper ten years ago.
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