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The Playlist

Berlin Review: Jane Campion's 'Top Of The Lake' A Satisfying & Cinematic Crime "Novel" In The Shape Of A TV Show

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 12, 2013 11:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Taking the concept of binge-watching to a whole new theatrical level, we were lucky enough to spend most of our Sunday at the Berlin Film Festival in a large auditorium consuming Jane Campion’s six-hour “Top of the Lake” TV series, which will air in seven episodes on The Sundance Channel starting March 18th. It was a great experience, and not just because of the quality storytelling and filmmaking on display, but because of the sense of community and buzz you get at this type of event. We saw the show divided into three two-hour chunks, and during the brief intermissions, the audience buzzed with speculation: who was the father of the unborn child? Was X dead or alive? What was the significance of Y?

Emile Hirsch & Holliday Grainger Are Your New 'Bonnie & Clyde' In Lifetime & History Channel Miniseries

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 11, 2013 12:50 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Well, at least it's not Miley Cyrus, right? Lifetime is teaming with History Channel who are looking to continue the miniseries success they had with "Hatfields & McCoys" (true story: this writer couldn't make it past the first part) with another tale of outlaws and young love. That's right, "Bonnie & Clyde" are getting ready to ride again, and as much as we frown at this idea, the two leads are actually some pretty decent choices.

Recap: Hannah Tastes The Good Life In Melancholy, Boundary-Pushing 'Girls'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 11, 2013 10:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments
After rolling out of the gate for season two with solid, but not especially top-tier episodes, last week "Girls" finally stepped up and delivered the best effort of the season thus far. Incorporating the entire cast equally, it was both funny and moving, an emotionally real installment that pushed forward a handful of storylines into some interesting directions. But if that episode was Lena Dunham at the height of her powers, delivering the kind of material we've come to expect, "One Man's Trash" is an eye-opening preview of where this talent can go. Unlike anything we've seen in the series so far, last night's episode shifted in unexpected, near profound ways, opening up a new dimension for the series we hope to see more of.

Another Pablo Escobar Project On The Way, This Time From Netflix & 'Robocop' Helmer Jose Padilha

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 6, 2013 2:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It took just over a month into 2013 for yet another project about a famed drug lord to come to the fore. We already know about "Paradise Lost," the romance that will relegate Pablo Escobar to an interesting supporting player but embodied by none other than Benicio Del Toro. And there there is the development roadway, littered with projects by guys like Oliver Stone, Antoine Fuqua, Brad Furman and Joe Carnahan, that are either in development or once were. However, when Netflix honcho Ted Sarandos tells GQ, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us," he's not fucking around. So we think this next attempt to bring Escobar back to life has a better chance than most.

Watch: Al Pacino Wears A Wig, Yells A Lot In First Full Trailer For 'Phil Spector'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 4, 2013 10:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Going in front of cameras all the way back in the summer of 2011, it has been an unusually long wait for HBO's starry "Phil Spector," with Al Pacino in the juicy lead role, alongside Helen Mirren, in a movie written and directed by none other than David Mamet. And yet, wait is what we've done, but the film is finally on the way this year, and if you imagined it would be largely a wigged Pacino yelling, well, it kinda is...

Dean Norris Says Final Episodes Of 'Breaking Bad' Will Be "Hank-Centric"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 4, 2013 5:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Okay folks, if you haven't seen any of "Breaking Bad" season five stop reading here, because there will be massive spoilers down below. But for those of you who are all up to speed, read on...

Recap: 'Girls' Delivers Best Episode Of Season 2 Yet With The Touching "It's A Shame About Ray"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 4, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
With the second season of "Girls" arriving less than a year after the first season wrapped, and with the third season slated to start production in March, we've been wondering if the quick turnaround has had a detrimental effect on the show. So far season two has been good, just not great. The first three episodes have hopscotched around a bit, setting up the characters again in the premiere, quickly dealing with an interracial relationship by the end of the second episode and last week, the show dipped toward novelty with cocaine-fueled hijinks. However, last night Dunham delivered an episode that harkens back to the heart and humor that made the first season so winning, in what is easily this season's best instalment so far.

Writer/Producer Scott Z. Burns Says 'Contagion' May Infect As A TV Series

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • February 4, 2013 9:24 AM
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  • 3 Comments
One of the cruelest punchlines Steven Soderbergh's ever contributed in his substantial filmography was the first attendee's muffled cough after a packed screening of “Contagion.” And packed it likely was, as the film made a cool $135 million worldwide alongside great reviews, but now with the director off pursuing the next phase of his career, his collaborator Scott Z. Burns is now looking to bring a planned follow-up to a more germophone friendly venue.

John Goodman Joins Amazon Studio's Political Comedy 'Alpha House'

  • By Tess Hofmann
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  • February 1, 2013 12:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Making a political comedy? There is probably no better person to wield a pen on the subject than "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau. And indeed, he's been tapped to pen "Alpha House," one of six new projects Amazon Studios are ramping up, and they've landed a big name to join.

Review: David Fincher's 'House Of Cards' Is A Beautiful, Bedazzling Political Thriller (At Least In Its First Two Episodes)

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 1, 2013 12:27 PM
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  • 4 Comments
When Netflix announced that they would get into the scripted programming game, with three high profile projects all lined up for the first half of 2013 (including the Eli Roth literary-based Gothic horror project "Hemlock Grove" and the hopefully rapturous return of oddball comedy classic "Arrested Development"), it seemed that the possibilities, in theory, were endless. Netflix would be unburdened by the restraints, in both content and form, of the tired old ad revenue-dependent television model (premium cable, while remaining fuzzier, still depends on subscribers), free to provocatively reshape our formalized notion of "television" and "shows." Except, that didn't happen. At least not yet. It's first big, splashy original production, a David Fincher, Kevin Spacey and Eric Roth produced remake of the British miniseries "House Of Cards," doesn't take any bold structural or stylistic detours. But it is totally fucking brilliant just the same.

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