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Recap: 'The Newsroom,' Season 2, Episode 3 'Willie Pete'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 29, 2013 9:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Occupy Wall Street! Operation Genoa! Uganda! Mitt Romney! Troy Davis! Netflix splitting into two companies! (Yep, a passing reference was made to that quickly aborted blunder). "The Newsroom" has had a lot going on across the first two episodes, so much so that Aaron Sorkin felt compelled to rewrite and reshoot large portions of them, as he got started on work for the third episode. And in many ways, "Willie Pete" does feel like a very conscious pivot point episode, one where the focus shifts primarily to the character relationships and ditches covering a breaking news story, a least for the moment. The result? Probably the weakest episode of the new season thus far, and one that strains to reshuffle the deck only to leave everything exactly where it was when it started.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Season 2, Episode 2 'The Genoa Tip'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2013 10:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments
If last week's premiere was the small pebble, rolling down the mountain of the second season of "The Newsroom," you can start seeing the eventual massive snowball forming with the second episode. This new approach from Aaron Sorkin, with one large news story anchoring the narrative, is an interesting touch, but it doesn't get in the way of his usual combination of lefty liberal political posturing, speech-ifying, genuine drama and truly shameful emotional manipulation. And this week's "The Genoa Tip" has it in spades with a finale that nearly tips over into offensive bad taste.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Season 2 Episode 1, 'The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Lawyers'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 15, 2013 9:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
After a rocky first season, both compelling and cringe-worthy in equal doses, and sometimes all at the same time, Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom" is back for a second season and it has undergone some significant retooling. The writers' room was given a shakeup, and even as production got underway, Sorkin seemingly changed plans midstream. After the first two episodes had been shot, and while Sorkin was writing the third, he realized his story wasn't going to play out way he wanted. So he went to HBO, asked to reshoot major portions of the first two episodes and rewrite the third, which they agreed to, though the cost was dropping the season order from ten to nine episodes. So, what was the result of all this overhauling? Well, mostly more of the same, outside of one key structural difference.

Review: 'Life's Too Short' Gives A Bittersweet Ending To An Overlooked Series

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 5, 2013 11:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's groundbreaking "The Office," followed by the equally well received "Extras," it seemed that audiences began to cool on that particular brand of comedy. Rooted in vain, unlikeable, ambitious and curiously sympathetic characters, it's not clear where public opinion went, but "Life's Too Short" certainly deserved a better reception than it got.

Review & Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 Episode 10, 'Mhysa' Draws Things To A Close (For Now)

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 10, 2013 10:02 AM
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  • 34 Comments
Well, after last week's horrible trauma, which I'm not sure everyone has gotten over, "Game of Thrones" returns with a final episode of the third season, "Mhysa," that lets us lick our wounds and offers some uplifting moments to temper all that violence and nihilism (don't worry, there's still plenty of violence and nihilism too). And we even get a few small moments of justice and a tiny bit of revenge on the part of one of the Starks. As for tying up loose ends, I didn't have high hopes for this episode's ability to draw all of its many disparate story lines to satisfying close, but, as directed by David Nutter, this episode addresses most of our characters and brings them to a place of certainty, at least, until the next season.

Review & Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 Episode 9, 'The Rains Of Castamere' Is A Shocker

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 3, 2013 9:57 AM
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  • 51 Comments
So is everyone as horribly traumatized by episode 9, "The Rains of Castamere" as I am? We can work through this together. Recap therapy. We can do it. Yes, once again "Game of Thrones" lived up to its Penultimate Episode Promise of being bananas batshit crazy insane! We now must always fear episode 9, because you can't trust anyone in these games of thrones, especially director David Nutter, who helmed this truly shocking episode. Trying to look past the events of the plot though, it's an action-packed episode, as swords clash in Westeros, across the narrow sea and in the North. It's also an expertly plotted and paced episode, building to an unexpected and effective climax, with some unbelievably stellar performances to boot.

Review & Recap: 'Game of Thrones' Season 3, Episode 8, 'Second Sons' is Goin' To the Chapel

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 20, 2013 4:33 AM
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  • 15 Comments
"Game of Thrones" has two things on its mind this week: love makin' and procreatin', and the result is an episode that's operating at a very different speed than the rest of the season. We barely see any of our regulars both old and new, and got to see a lot more of Danaerys Targaryen (like, literally A LOT) and spend some time celebrating the kickoff of wedding season in Westeros. It's once again directed by the excellent Michelle MacLaren, who helmed last week's episode, and really has an eye for staging and an ability to play with pace and focus, resting on characters for an extended period of time, rather than hopping around, which serves the latter half of this season well (also sexy time. And ass). So let's pour some wine and raise a toast to Episode 8, "Second Sons."

Review & Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 Episode 7 'The Bear and The Maiden Fair' Brings The Action

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 13, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Um, WUT, this episode RULED. High fives, all around my people. It had everything: Khaleesi being awesome with dragons, lots of sweet, sweet ass, zingers galore, and a muthafuckin' BEAR FIGHT y'all. Directed by frequent "Breaking Bad" helmer Michelle McLaren, it was everything "Game of Thrones" wants to be and more -- sexy, bloody, and damn exciting. They were probably giving us all of this lovey dovey stuff to tide us over for the inevitable last-third-of-the-season-carnage we are about to experience. But for the moment, Episode 7 feels like makin' love, feels like makin' love to youuuuuu.

Recap: Christopher Guest's 'Family Tree' Gets Off To A Promising Start & Shows He Hasn't Lost His Touch

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 12, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It's been seven far-too-long years since the last feature effort from Christopher Guest, and besides a failed pilot for the U.S. adaptation of the U.K. hit "The Thick Of It" and appearing alongside his regular roster players in a sketch for the 2012 Oscars, not much as been heard from him. But the writer/director is back at HBO with "Family Tree," a new comedy series that finds him back within the faux-doc aesthetic (which seemingly every sitcom uses now) and best of all, still retaining his touch for beautifully deadpan humor, rich wordplay and characters as odd as they are lovable too. In short, Guest hasn't lost a step.

Review & Recap: The Scheming Continues In 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3, Episode 6 'The Climb'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 6, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Game of Thrones, Season 3, Varys, Little Finger
Welcome back Throne Gamers, whether you want to be or not! This week's episode, "The Climb," directed by Alik Sakharov, continues to dwell on the scheming and interpersonal machinations of those who happen to have a bit of power in Westeros, who are all desperately trying to pull one over on the person next to them just to save their own skin. No one seems to be in any sort of comfortable position, and all of the tricks they play on each other are borne out of sheer terror of being displaced in the power food chain. And that's the game of thrones, right? Sadly, there is little to no ass in this episode.

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