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The Playlist

Recap: 'Girls' Go To The 'Beach House' In Season 3, Episode 7

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 16, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Girls
The midsection of the second season of "Girls" was marked by an adventurous spirit that saw Lena Dunham breaking away from the standard format of the show. "One Man's Trash," which is still a series highlight, spent an entire episode focused on Hannah's weekend affair with the well-off Joshua (Patrick Wilson). The following week, Adam (Adam Driver) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) headed to Staten Island for the one-off "Boys," while after that, we were introduced to Jessa's estranged father in "Video Games," another episode that took a trip outside Manhattan. The results might have been mixed, but the experiments opened up the show in fascinating ways, giving new dimensions to the characters that threatened to be boxed in by their traits. And while "Beach House" isn't perfect, it's a refreshing shake-up for what has so far been a solid, if not particularly memorable, third season of "Girls."

Recap: 'True Detective' Season 1, Episode 5 Discovers 'The Secret Fate Of All Life'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 16, 2014 10:00 PM
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  • 32 Comments
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in "True Detective"
If the six-minute, single-shot finale of last week's "Who Goes There" set your pulse racing through sheer visceral force, this week, "True Detective" keeps up the pace while finding new ways thrill with "The Secret Fate Of All Life." Yes, there is another nail-biting setpiece that anchors the first half of the episode, but it's the developments in the case that really start to bear fruit, with the investigation into Reggie Ledoux moving away from merely procedural and pointing toward something more far-reaching and sinister.

Review: Danny Boyle's Police TV Show Pilot 'Babylon' Starring Brit Marling & James Nesbitt

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 10, 2014 11:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Babylon
With an Oscar, two Best Picture nominations (one of which won), national hero status thanks to the Olympics and an acclaimed stage play in his recent past, Danny Boyle can do pretty much whatever he wants these days (even with the critical and commercial failure of "Trance" coming last year—though the film's underrated, in this writer's opinion). So it's a measure of the draw and cachet of the medium that his latest endeavor comes on the small screen, helming the pilot for new U.K. comedy-drama "Babylon," which aired on Channel 4 last night ahead of a full series later in the year.

Recap: Hannah Goes For 'Free Snacks' In 'Girls' Season 3, Episode 6

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 9, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Girls
Compromise. It's something that, as you get older, you learn to navigate with the pragmatism of being an adult. But when you're younger, it can be difficult to understand and exercise. In "Free Snacks," it finds Hannah (Lena Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) all trading off grander aspirations for what they can realistically acquire at the moment, though it will be met with difficulty, pain or just cold indifference.

Recap: Explosive 'True Detective' Season 1, Episode 4 'Who Goes There'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 9, 2014 10:00 PM
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  • 33 Comments
Girls
Over the course of three episodes, "True Detective" has been a steadily ratcheting the tension as Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) track down a serial killer that is haunting the surreal South like a monster. Last week's "The Locked Room" concluded with a goosebump-raising closing shot of the wanted, parole-breaking ex-convict Reggie Ledoux as he prowled across some as yet discovered landscape, as the cops tried to find him. He's the man Martin and Rust think is good for a number of murders, and kicking off "Who Goes There," they're on the hunt.

Recap: Hannah Is An 'Only Child' In 'Girls' Season 3, Episode 5

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Girls
If the third season of "Girls" has thus far been dedicated to anything, it's underscoring Hannah's (Lena Dunham) selfishness. Until now, things have seemingly been on track for Hannah, with her relationship with Adam (Adam Driver) now solidified and her career as a writer starting to take shape. But her ambition has only been matched by a tunnel-vision that seems to keep the concerns of everyone else to the side. Her lack of empathy following the death of her editor David was the central focus on last week's "Dead Inside," and even her trip to pick up Jessa (Jemima Kirke) from rehab at the start of season doubled as an opportunity to hopefully get a story out of the road trip. But could Hannah's self-centeredness simply stem from the fact that she's an only child? Indeed, the title of tonight's episode puts that fact in central view.

Recap: 'Girls' Season 3, Episode 4 Feels 'Dead Inside'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Girls
It's hard to figure out what will most fuel the post-"Girls" talk this week: Hannah's inability to express any kind of emotion following the surprise death of her editor David (John Cameron Mitchell)? Or the digs at Gawker and Jezebel? We'll probably have to go with the latter.

Recap: 'True Detective' Season 1, Episode 3 Goes Into 'The Locked Room'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2014 10:00 PM
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  • 39 Comments
True Detective
While there is a case that needs investigating in "True Detective," the show's richest pleasures have been found in the characters. And in particular, writer Nic Pizzolatto is curious about what makes men tick—what allows them to survive unspeakable horror and what they require to keep a handle on this side of sanity, in a profession that continually brings them face to face with things that defy all logic and humanity. In this week's "The Locked Room," it's those intangible values and qualities that are explored, exposing who we become when those structures are stripped away, and how fragile they can be in the first place.

Recap: Matthew McConaughey Is 'Seeing Things' In 'True Detective' Season 1, Episode 2

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 20, 2014 11:08 AM
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  • 12 Comments
True Detective
"You're looking for narrative, [you] interrogate witnesses, personal evidence, establish a timeline, build a story, day after day..." the weary Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) lays bare about his job. That's right, we're only in the second episode of "True Detective," and already the grind of the work comes to bear on both Hart and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey). And for the pair, the routine of police work is the source of pain and salvation...sometimes both.

Recap: Hannah Celebrates Her Birthday In 'Girls' Season 3, Episode 3 'She Said OK'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 20, 2014 10:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Girls
"I always have terrible birthdays, it's kind of my thing," Hannah (Lena Dunham) tells Adam (Adam Driver) in "She Said OK," the third episode of "Girls" season 3. And with her 25th birthday celebration taking center stage for the bulk of the episode's running time, there is certainly an argument to be made that things could've gone better. But as things kick off, it's not Hannah's life that is thrown into turmoil and/or unexpected change, but those of Adam, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky).

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