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The Playlist

Recap: 'Girls' Goes With The 'Flo' In Season 3, Episode 9

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 2, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Girls
We've already seen how Hannah handles death with the mid-season episodes "Dead Inside" and "Only Child"—with what can best be described as cool detachment with a spoonful of selfishness tossed into the mix. It's a reaction that could perhaps be chalked up to her age, where death is distant reality, or seen in this week's "Flo," a learned behaviour from a dysfunctional family that bickers over the fate of heirlooms as a grandmother lays on her death bed.

Recap: 'True Detective' Season 1, Episode 7 Investigates 'After You've Gone'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 2, 2014 10:00 PM
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  • 30 Comments
True Detective
"I don't dwell in the past," Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) tells his former partner Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) in their first conversation in a decade, but neither can escape it. For Martin, the past is a series of mistakes and choices he's continually trying to correct, to varying degrees of success. When he meets Rust, he tells him he's trying (again) to stay away from the bottle, revealing he hasn't had a drop in a few weeks (suggesting he's forever relapsing into bad habits). As for Rust, the past continues to consume him in the shape of Reggie Ledoux, with the unanswered questions and knowledge that his death was just one loose thread in a larger tangle of horror still lingering. But where has Rust been?

Recap: 'Girls' Season 3, Episode 8 Handles The 'Incidentals'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 23, 2014 10:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Girls
After last week's excursion to North Fork in "Beach House," a welcome one-off that focused on the "Girls" and not on pushing the plot around, the show returns with the slightly more conventional "Incidentals." But don't let the title of the episode fool you, or even the packaging it arrives in as a standard entry for "Girls." Riding underneath it all is something about the dreams and aspirations of these characters, both as they are fulfilled and disappointed.

Recap: 'True Detective' Visits 'Haunted Houses' In Season 1, Episode 6

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 23, 2014 10:00 PM
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  • 32 Comments
True Detective
Nic Pizzolatto has entertainingly, wickedly and delightfully done what "Lost" attempted but could pull off: referencing literary and ideological touchstones that have actual bearing on the narrative and characters of the show. But it does mean that any viewer will watch "True Detective" so closely that they may be seeing things that aren't there. So forgive me if I go down a rabbit hole (or two) tying together thematic threads that may not be there. With Robert W. Chambers' 1895 book "The King In Yellow" a clear reference point in "True Detective" (and now a surprise best seller), please indulge me for a moment as I chase down a couple other things that I couldn't shake after this week's "Haunted Houses."

DVD Review: Uneven 'Borgen' Season 3 Still Satisfies

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 20, 2014 5:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Borgen
While the novelty factor of "Borgen" is that it's a drama about the fictional female leader of Denmark, what has made the show must-watch TV across two seasons has been its sharp writing and terrific characters, populating a textured world of ethical choices and moral complexity in a constantly shifting political sphere. Which makes it all the more a shame that the third and final season doesn't quite hit the high bar that has been set. An increase of cheap melodrama comes at the expense of nuance, while domestic squabbles get as much play as media and political developments. But all that said, the show's peaks are still some of the best television around, as the second half the third season makes up for a bumpy start.

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.

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