CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Do you know what separates AMC from a majority of networks? The art of the ensemble. The multi-Emmy-winning casts of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are the bars against which most current dramas are measured. There were issues with some of the writing behind “The Killing” but no one ever complained about the performances. And it’s the people of “The Walking Dead” that keep it interesting.
CHICAGO – AMC has been on such a creative streak lately that it’s tempting to think (or at least hope) that every new offering will be of the caliber of “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Killing,” or “The Walking Dead.”
CHICAGO – Is it unfair to say that “Treme” is to “The Wire” as “John From Cincinnati” was to “Deadwood”? After David Milch’s brilliant Western came to an end, fans eagerly anticipated his follow-up and, almost immediately, spat it out like an undercooked Chicken McNugget. It lasted only one season. Well, “JFC” wasn’t really that bad (and deserved more time to find its feet).
CHICAGO – With hundreds of choices new and old, how can you possibly decide what to get the Blu-ray fan in your circle of gift-giving this holiday season? It’s that time of year — when we try to read the mental wish lists of our friends and family members and get them the perfect gift.
CHICAGO – Just in time for the holidays, HBO’s brilliant “Deadwood” has been chosen for induction into the complete series Blu-ray catalog of the most important TV network in the last twenty years. Very few HBO series are available in complete series HD sets from HBO (“Band of Brothers,” “Rome,” “The Pacific”) and while fans of “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” and “Six Feet Under” may finally have their day next holiday season, this one belongs to David Milch’s masterpiece.
Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0
CHICAGO – Rarely has a game lived up to the advance hype as completely as “Red Dead Redemption,” the very unique title that will be influential in so many ways that they’re almost hard to count. There have been titles that pushed the gaming world forward in terms of single-player campaigns or multi-player experiences or gameplay or graphics, but “Red Dead Redemption” is a masterpiece on every discernable level. It’s doubtful you’ll play anything better all year.
CHICAGO – Timothy Olyphant, star of HBO’s “Deadwood” and FX’s “Damages,” and films including “Go,” “A Perfect Getaway,” “Hitman,” “Catch and Release,” and many more, returns to television early next year in FX’s latest original series, “Lawman,” from creator Graham Yost (“Boomtown”) and based on a character created by Elmore Leonard (“Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight”).
CHICAGO – “Deadwood” and “The Wire”, two of the best television programs of the last decade, have been given lavish, must-own treatment by HBO with spectacular season sets available just in time for the holidays.