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Erika Christensen

TV Review: Fourth Season of ‘Parenthood’ Begins Confidently

CHICAGO – There’s an easy-going confidence in the first two episodes of the new season of “Parenthood” that separates the best family dramas from pure cliche. The team behind this beloved series clearly has reached a point where they know these characters down to their cores. The best family dramas reach a point where the characters feel genuine enough that we look forward each week to seeing how they’re doing, like old friends who we only see every seven days.

DVD Review: Strong Third Season of NBC Hit ‘Parenthood’

Parenthood: Season 3 Premiere

CHICAGO – The NBC family drama “Parenthood” has struggled to find a wide audience but the people that do watch it are remarkably loyal to the saga of the Bravermans. Their third season, which looked for some time like it could be their last, was recently released on DVD in advance of the fourth-season premiere on NBC on September 11, 2012.

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Release of Steven Soderbergh’s Incredible ‘Traffic’

Traffic

CHICAGO – As his excellent “Haywire” plays in theaters and his even-better “Contagion” was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, one is reminded of the incredible talent of Steven Soderbergh, one of the best living directors. But “Contagion” and “Haywire,” while enjoyable, don’t hold a candle to this incredible filmmaker’s best films, which include “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Out of Sight,” “Che,” and, recently released on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD, the Oscar-winning “Traffic.” This is one of Criterion’s best releases for one of the ‘00’s best films.

TV Review: Comforting Family Drama of NBC’s ‘Parenthood’

CHICAGO – There’s something comforting about a family like the Bravermans. It’s a blend of perspective and identification that allows us to look at the clan at the center of a family drama like “Parenthood”.

TV Review: Promising ‘Parenthood’ Features Spectacular Ensemble

CHICAGO – Like a lot of Hollywood depictions of family, “Parenthood” features a lot of yelling. For some reason, most writers think of raised voices when they think of the lives of parents and their children. We don’t all talk over each other during family dinners.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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