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The Playlist

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Resignation’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 16, 2013 11:02 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The point has been made, “Boardwalk Empire” can be a deliberately paced show, but on tonight's episode “Resignation,” it appears at least one of the fourth season’s key elements is in place. That would be Dr. Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), the brewing antagonist, whose striking demeanor and decisive words cut to the core of every character. Narcisse, at the very least, would make a worthy adversary for any character on this show.

Recap: Harrowing 'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 14 'Ozymandias'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 16, 2013 10:06 AM
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  • 18 Comments
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" goes the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and not only does it serve as the title of this week's episode, it also was the foundation of one of the more tantalizing teasers that was released before the start of the final season of "Breaking Bad." The entire brief poem evokes the imagery of a man surveying his crumbled empire, and by end of "Ozymandias," everything that Walter White has built up and battled for is obliterated, until even he says farewell to his own name and life.

Review: Documentary On Sports Broadcaster Marty ‘Glickman,’ Executive Produced By Martin Scorsese

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
When the credits roll on James L. Freedman’s “Glickman” it may be somewhat of a surprise to see Martin Scorsese’s name as an executive producer. Why would the legendary filmmaker have anything to do with a documentary about a sports broadcaster? Well, it’s for the simple reason that the groundbreaking, tremendously popular Marty Glickman is as New York as anything in Scorsese’s films (or the man himself). Both Glickman and Scorsese have the same excitable patter, and it’s not hard to imagine that the filmmaker soaked it up when hearing that voice delivering commentary on Paramount’s newsreels when he went to the movies. Glickman’s story is also one that reflects the difficult journey that immigrants and people of color faced in America in the early 20th century, something that surely must have resonated with Scorsese, but it’s also a tale of triumph and success.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Season 2, Episode 7 'Red Team III'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2013 10:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
We've been pretty hard on "The Newsroom" this season, to the dismay of some readers, but it's simply because the show hasn't lived up to expectations. If the first season was rocky, there was lots of promise, much of which has evaporated over the course of the last six episodes, with Aaron Sorkin's work, at it's worst, delivering screechingly pointed screenplays, one dimensional characters and some truly egregious plotting. It has been reported that after the first two episodes of the second season were written and shot, Sorkin went back and redid them, and unfortunately, you can tell. So much of this season has been spent putting pieces into position, in a manner that in hindsight, seems both haphazard and particularly drawn out. Well, the good news is for all the flaws "The Newsroom" has show this summer, last night it delivered the best episode the show has had since the first season.

Recap: Breaking Bad, Season 5, Episode 11 'Confessions'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 14 Comments
"My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. This is my confession." These are words no one would have thought they'd ever hear come out of the words of the mouth of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), but it sets up one of the most astonishing plot turns of the final eight episodes yet. Each week we're consistently thwarted by any expectations of where the writers of "Breaking Bad" will take the show, but the key twist of "Confessions" is a true jaw dropper.

Recap: 'The Newsroom,' Season 2, Episode 6 'One Step Too Many'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 11:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Yes, I know — I missed an episode last week. A dual combo of screeners not arriving in time and a brief vacation keeping me away from the television led to that one getting missed out on, but really, not much happened in season two's fifth episode "Will McAvoy's News Night." Oddly enough, for such a condensed season already (only nine episodes), it was something of placeholder. You've probably already caught up but in case you missed that one: Will's Dad died; Maggie has developed a drinking problem since Uganda, and it might be affecting her work; Sloan had some intimate photos uploaded to the web by a shitty ex-boyfriend, who she later kicked in the balls; Jim outsmarts a prank caller; and Charlie got his hands on a helo manifest which seems to indicate chemicals weapons of some kind were indeed brought along during Operation Genoa.

Recap: 'Breaking Bad,' Season 5, Episode 10 'Buried'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
"I am the danger," Walter White chillingly intoned in season four's "Cornered," but with dynamics having severely shifted since, Heisenberg may not be the most unpredictable wildcard in the show, or that Hank (Dean Norris) now faces. Racing down to the final episode, once again "Breaking Bad" is firing on all cylinders and while we wait to see the fate of Walter White, it seems the cards are being dealt for Skyler as she emerges as the Lady Macbeth of the show. It's astonishing reveal, one that once again reorients everything in the world of the program, making for yet another compelling piece of television.

Review: 'Breaking Bad' Season Premiere Promises All Bad Things Must Come To An End

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 11, 2013 9:52 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Tonight "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final eight episodes which will bring the highly acclaimed series to its conclusion. Though the show has been on hiatus since last September, if you're like me, you've spent the last couple of weeks re-immersing yourself in the show, revisiting the previous five seasons, watching extended Q&A's with the cast and creator Vince Gilligan, reading Internet theories (Walt won't survive the finale? Walt is wearing a wire? etc.) and think pieces (see: Matt Zoller Seitz's excellent essays for Vulture), puzzling through the upcoming episode titles for clues and wondering just how it will all wrap up on September 29th. Despite the torrential downpour of hype surrounding the return of the show, the stellar premiere episode "Blood Money" (directed by star Bryan Cranston) does not disappoint. Rewatching last September's mid-season finale "Gliding Over All" just beforehand proved to be a wise decision as many of the cliffhangers from the finale are resolved in the premiere.

Review: 'Clear History' Starring Larry David, Jon Hamm, Danny McBride, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton & Eva Mendes

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 9, 2013 11:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are few people who have refined to hilarious perfection the intersection of circumstance, happenstance and neuroses quite like Larry David. As a writer/producer on "Seinfeld" and writer/producer/star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," he has created two extensive catalogs to a body of work where anxiety, superficial concerns and selfishness are also instantly relatable, and often gaspingly funny. And while the future of 'Curb' remains in limbo—David has remained undecided on another season, though the door at HBO is wide open for him to walk through at any time—he's instead focused his energy on feature-length movie for the network, that on paper seems like a homerun. Reteaming with "Seinfeld" and 'Curb' writer/producers Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, and lining up a staggering cast, the fact that "Clear History" misses the mark as wide as it does isn't so much a disappointment as a complete mystery.

Recap: 'The Newsroom,' Season 2, Episode 4 'Unintended Consequences'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 5, 2013 10:02 AM
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  • 6 Comments
If last week's "Willie Pete" was a narrative pit stop in an already shortened nine-episode season, "The Newsroom" kicked back into full gear on Sunday with "Unintended Consequences." Lawyer Rebecca Halliday (Marcia Gay Harden) returns to continue her deposition of the staff, with Maggie Jordan's (Alison Pill) life-altering Uganda story finally being told, the Operation Genoa investigation bearing more fruit and the organizers behind Occupy Wall Street once again getting kicked in the nuts. Basically, it's more of the same in a season that continues disappoint after a patchy but much more involving first season. As we hit the halfway mark of season two (with "The Newsroom" notably still not renewed for a third season), here's hoping the second half sees things turning around.

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