CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?
CHICAGO – Two of the performances most disturbingly missing from the line-up that will be read at the Academy Awards on Sunday are Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain’s in the stunning “Take Shelter,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Jeff Nichols’ film is a stirring, moving drama about not just the potential end of the world but the impact of mental illness and the anxiety of the modern era in which our job, our family, and our friendships are more fragile than you might ever think.
CHICAGO – HBO brings back a few of their most larger-than-life personalities with the third (and final) season premiere of “Eastbound & Down” and the stateside premiere of “Life’s Too Short.”
CHICAGO – The sitcom format that began with and was perfected by “I Love Lucy” (with its set-up/joke/laugh rhythm) remains unchanged since “Babaloo” was a catchphrase.
CHICAGO – Danny McBride (“Pineapple Express,” “Land of the Lost”) gave one of the best TV performances of the last several years as the over-the-top anti-hero of HBO’s hysterical “Eastbound & Down,” a sitcom about a raging a-hole sports star brought back to Earth and forced to work as a gym teacher in the small town he grew up in, now available on DVD.