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The Playlist

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 3, Episode 2 -- 'Spaghetti And Coffee' -- Is More Slow Bridge Building

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 24, 2012 10:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
If “Resolution,” the opening episode of “Boardwalk Empire” Season 3, was like the sleepy morning after awakening from the violent and explosive ending of Season 2, the unremarkable episode two of Season 3, “Spaghetti And Coffee,” was still in rebuilding mode; slowly setting up the events that will expand and surely boil over in this third season.

Review & Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 3 Opening Episode 'Resolution'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 17, 2012 1:35 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Season 2 of the Terence Winter (“The Sopranos”) created, Martin Scorsese-exec-produced "Boardwalk Empire" ended in a spectacularly bloody and vengeful fashion that left many viewers in mourning (spoilers will follow for those who have not seen the show).

Recap: 'Louie' Gets An Unlikely Talk-Show Sensei

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 14, 2012 10:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
With apologies, it's been a little while since we checked in in "Louie" -- we were partly interrupted by festival-related travels and because the show took last week off, presumably because it would have clashed with Barack Obama's speech at the DNC. Or the VMAs. Happily, over the past weeks, Louis C.K.'s been unfurling his most expansive story yet, a three-part tale that last night's episode marked the middle act of, in what seems to be building into something resembling the first "Louie" feature-length movie.

Recap: Heartstopping 'Breaking Bad' Midpoint Finale 'Gliding Over All' Is The Season's Best Episode

  • By Cory Everett
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  • September 3, 2012 2:04 PM
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  • 20 Comments
Heading into this week’s mid-season finale, we wondered how “Breaking Bad” might try to top last week’s devastating “Say My Name,” which saw fan favorite Mike Ehrmantraut murdered at the hands of the show’s (once) protagonist Walt. Actor Dean Norris slyly teased that this week’s episode would contain an “Oh, shit” moment and fans heads began to spin wondering just how they might top themselves this time. Well, it wasn’t another major death (though there were a record number of deaths) but instead the very beginning of the endgame that the series has been working towards since the pilot: Hank’s realization that his brother-in-law is the same man he’s been hunting down unsuccessfully for over a year. The episode’s title, “Gliding Over All,” is taken from a Walt Whitman poem whose final line reads “Deaths, many deaths I’ll sing.” Oh shit, indeed.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Closes Up Its First Season With An Underwhelming Season Finale

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 27, 2012 10:01 AM
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  • 30 Comments
And so here we come to the end. "The Newsroom" arrived nine weeks ago with high expectations -- the return to TV of Aaron Sorkin, the man behind one of the best network TV series ever, "The West Wing," and a fairly fresh-minted Oscar winner for his screenplay for "The Social Network." The pilot was problematic, but not without promise, but over the run of the series, Sorkin's indulged many of his worst instincts for a show that's been frustrating, and borderline terrible. Every so often, it feels like it might recover with a better episode, before plummeting back down again (with last week's episode something of a nadir for the series).

Recap: 'Louie' Goes 'Looking For Liz' With Chloë Sevigny In A Mixed Bag Of An Episode

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 24, 2012 9:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
To say that the third season of "Louie" has taken a more serialized approach would be an exaggeration, but both thematically and narratively, Louis C.K's used a little more continuity than usual across the episodes. Indeed, last week's season high -- with a more stand-alone approach -- was almost the exception the rule, with the series so far including a number of recurring characters, callbacks to previous seasons, and even the first two-part episode.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Holds A Mock Debate, Hits New Lows

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 20, 2012 11:01 AM
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  • 17 Comments
On TV at least, it feels like one of the major problems with Aaron Sorkin's writing, both on "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip" and "The Newsroom," is that it seems like he'd still rather be writing "The West Wing." It's understandable. For one, he was unceremoniously fired from that show at the end of the fourth season, and presumably feels there's an itch still to be scratched. For another, it was pretty much the best network TV drama of the last 15 years. We'd certainly rather be watching "The West Wing." But while it's not as inorganic as it was on 'Studio 60,' there's a sense that Sorkin is returning to the same kind of issue-based plotlines he tackled before, but in a setting that makes it feels somewhat forced.

Recap: Everybody Wins In 'Buyout,' Another Terrific 'Breaking Bad' Episode

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 20, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments
This week’s episode of "Breaking Bad" begins with a funereal tone, and with good reason. After pulling off their methylamine heist successfully last week, the crew’s victory was immediately marred by the murder of a witness who just happened to be a young boy. In a haunting wordless opening Walt, Mike and Todd clean up the mess they made last week, dispensing of the dirtbike and the boy that once rode it. The buzzing score tells us that this is not business as usual for the crew and for a moment even the recently unshakable Walt appears to wince at the gravity of what they’ve done. Outside Todd tries to make small talk with Jesse, writing the incident off as, “Shit happens, huh?” before Jesse decks him. Welcome to “Breaking Bad.”

Recap: 'Louie' Flees His Daddy Issues In Strangest Episode Of The Season So Far

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 17, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments
If there's been a theme of the third season of "Louie" so far (although it's been less present in the last couple of episodes), it's "manning up." Louie's girlfriend accused of him of not having the courage to break up with her, he was eviscerated by Melissa Leo for refusing to go down on her, he had a curious, semi-romantic encounter with a man in Miami, he failed to satisfy Maria Bamford in bed, and was emasculated and dared into all kinds of things by Parker Posey. Masculinity, and what it takes to prove it, appears to have been on Louis C.K.'s mind of late, and none more so than in this week's episode, tellingly titled, "Dad."

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' Episode 5 'Dead Freight' Will Leave You Speechless

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 13, 2012 11:05 AM
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  • 17 Comments
The opening teaser on “Breaking Bad” has proved to be one of the most elastic and effective storytelling devices used on the show. First utilized in the pilot, the opening plunged viewers into what appeared to be Walter White’s desperate final moments before spending the rest of the episode going backward to find out exactly how we got there. During the second season, the show used the opening minutes to tease out a season long mystery and most recently, the Season 5 premiere introduced "Walt 52," perhaps the most intriguing glimpse into the future thus far. But there is something special about this week’s enigmatic opening, seemingly unconnected to anything else on the show, where you keep waiting for something to happen and it never does.

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