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What to Watch: Feb. 18-24, 2014

The Americans

What an amazing week for TV fans. As if you didn’t have enough stacking to do with the new, brilliant season of “House of Cards” on Netflix, there are four other full seasons in this week’s What to Watch that you really should watch front to back. And then there’s the still-amazing “Darkman,” a cult classic that perfectly captures Sam Raimi’s skill at controlled chaos. Finally, we have two ’80s horror flicks in one set in “Bad Dreams” and “Visiting Hours.” Check ‘em all out (OK, you can skip the genre stinkers).

TV Review: Donal Logue Brings New Energy to BBC America’s ‘Copper’

CHICAGO – Barry Levinson & Tom Fontana’s very good “Copper” is even better in season two thanks to the inclusion of the always-great Donal Logue as a detective returned to New York City after serving in the Civil War. Logue’s General Brendan Donovan brings a new dark energy to a piece that seems to be getting denser and more engaging as it goes along.

TV Review: Clever ‘Orphan Black’ Joins BBC’s Supernatural Saturday

CHICAGO – “Orphan Black” joins “Doctor Who” and the new program “The Nerdist” for a night of genre fun on BBC America every weekend that is known as “Supernatural Saturday.” “Who” is still the gem here but “Black” starts promisingly enough with an engaging, sexy lead performance and clever, high-concept hook.

TV Review: Beloved ‘Doctor Who’ Returns with Stellar Series Premiere

CHICAGO – The good doctor is back in the TV office as “Doctor Who” returns tonight, September 1, 2012 for a five-episode run in which two characters will say goodbye and we will transition into the next phase of one of the most influential sci-fi shows of all time.

TV Review: Topical Heist Drama of BBC America’s Fantastic ‘Inside Men’

CHICAGOBBC America’s “Inside Men” isn’t exactly breaking new ground. We’ve seen stories of heists gone wrong before. However, there’s a thematic foundation here — the international recession — that makes the tale of three men who rob the counting house for which they work that much more topical.

Blu-ray Review: Amazing ‘Sherlock: Season Two’ Works For Everyone

Sherlock S2

CHICAGO – It’s official. After season two of BBC’s and Masterpiece’s amazing “Sherlock,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, I can stand by my thoughts after season one and make them clear — this is the best embodiment of Sherlock Holmes since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put pen to paper. With brilliant screenwriting, clever direction, perfect design, and simply spectacular performances, this isn’t just a great TV on Blu-ray release. If these three 90-minute films had played in theaters instead of on PBS, they’d all be in my top ten as far as the best movies of the year to date.

TV Review: BBC America Remembers Formative Years of ‘White Heat’

CHICAGO – “White Heat” has echoes of “The Big Chill” in that it’s at least somewhat about people brought together by tragedy who are forced to then remember highlights and controversies of their past and how they continue to impact their present.

Blu-ray Review: Strong Set For Disappointing ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’

Torchwood: Miracle Day

CHICAGO – When “Torchwood: Miracle Day” premiered on Starz, I was completely up for the ride. My 4/5 review displayed a little bit of concern given that the show was often 5/5 in its original BBC America airings (and in the brilliant “Children of Earth”) but I held out hope that the show would iron out its wrinkles and deliver on the potential of its clever set-up. In fact, the opposite happened. Stretched to meet a running time that the writers couldn’t deliver on and ultimately cheesy where the original “Torchwood” had been edgy, “Miracle Day” is a disappointment. The Blu-ray release is still strong and there are some things to like here, but only diehard fans should apply (see every episode and “Children” before this…twice) and they’ll likely be the most disappointed.

Blu-ray Review: Fun Supernatural Drama of Engaging ‘The Fades’

The Fades

CHICAGO – Sorry SyFy fans and those of you addicted to CW goodies like “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural,” but if I could have only one network for genre TV it would be BBC America. “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood,” “Being Human” — all rule. And the latest addition to the arsenal of this great network is “The Fades,” the first season of which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.

TV Review: Fourth Season of BBC America’s Great ‘Being Human’ Hits the Reset Button

CHICAGO – Rarely has a show blown itself up more than the great BBC America supernatural program “Being Human” does in its first two episodes of its fourth season. Imagine if Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder just up and left “The Vampire Diaries.”

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