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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: Netflix's 'House of Cards' Is Classy, Campy and Diabolically Watchable (TRAILER)

“Nobody’s a boy scout. Not even boy scouts,” drawls Kevin Spacey’s Francis “Frank” Underwood. As the mastermind congressman suggests, all players in Netflix’s “House of Cards” have sharp teeth and like the taste of blood. The new series, which is based on the original BBC production, is executive produced and helmed in part by David Fincher, and has the cool grey-gold look and streamlined efficiency of the director’s work.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 1, 2013 12:46 PM
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Now and Then: The Soul of Netflix's New Series? The BBC's 'House of Cards'

"Lilyhammer," Netflix's first foray into original programming, failed to generate sustained attention when it premiered last year. One suspects this won't be true of its star-studded second attempt, "House of Cards," debuting Friday. Except Netflix's latest isn't so novel after all: its animating force is the BBC's mostly excellent original.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 29, 2013 12:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Girls' Recap 3: 'Bad Friend,' or the One Where Hannah Does Lots of Coke

Aspiring writers are often encouraged to write about their own experiences, a tactic that “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham uses frequently. But sometimes, when a young writer doesn’t feel she or he has “lived” enough, an experience is contrived with the sole intention of then writing about it. Enter Hannah Horvath’s insane night on cocaine.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 27, 2013 9:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Girls' Recap 2: The Girls 'Get Ideas,' But What Do They Want?

In the epic Hannah vs. Marnie blowout last season, Marnie snaps at Hannah, “I like to be around people who know what they want!” This line is particularly relevant in Sunday night’s all-new episode, “I Get Ideas”: Do the young women of “Girls” know what they want?
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 20, 2013 9:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: 'Enlightened,' HBO's Masterpiece of Heartbreak

"Enlightened" opens with Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) gag-sobbing in a bathroom stall, mascara streaking down her cheeks in mournful black rivulets. Like the rest of Season 1 of HBO's masterpiece, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday at 9:30, it isn't all that funny. But to call "Enlightened" simply a comedy is unjust: it's a symphony of regret.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 7, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Justified' and the Anti-Antihero

Tony Soprano. Dexter Morgan. Walter White. Television's latest "Golden Age," on cable and in the ancillary afterlife, is full of men who break bad. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), the U.S. Marshall at the heart of "Justified," may not be squeaky clean, but he's a saint by comparison — and the key to the series' subtle genius.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 3, 2013 7:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Review Roundup: 'Inventing David Geffen' Takes a Long, Respectful Look at a Hollywood Mega-Mogul

Susan Lacy's documentary "Inventing David Geffen," which premieres November 20 on PBS as part of the "American Masters" series, is generally sitting well with the critics. The portrait of the intimidating "agent-manager-record-mogul-movie-mogul" is a comprehensive look at Geffen's many achievements, if a fairly rose-colored one...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 20, 2012 1:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Treme' Season 3, Ep. 2: A Deep Specificity of Culture

Decades ago, I'd heard that Eric Overmeyer and the wonderful actress Ellen McElduff had begun living part-time in her native Louisiana. This is obviously well before Katrina, but even then, New Orleans was in need of support. Cajun culture was having its brief moment in the sun, but the city and state were already in severe economic distress...
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • October 1, 2012 2:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Why Everyone Should Be Watching 'Homeland'

Showtime's Emmy winner for Best Drama returns Sunday for its second season. Fans can spend a few days pondering last season's stunning finale, but for newcomers it's time to play catch up. Because everyone should be watching "Homeland": it's the most astute piece of film or television to come out of the War on Terror.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 26, 2012 4:21 PM
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  • 8 Comments

'Treme' Returns; How It's Not Just 'The Wire' with Music

Now that "Treme" is starting its third season, you would think people would realize this is not "The Wire" with music. Yes, there are a lot of black people in this show, just like in "The Wire." And, as in the earlier show, some of those black people have rich and rewarding friendships with whites...
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • September 23, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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