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TV Review: AMC Begins Final Arc of Beloved ‘Breaking Bad’

CHICAGO – Walter White is back. Those four words mean more to loyal fans of “Breaking Bad” than any other this Summer.

TV Feature: The 11 Biggest Emmy Snubs of 2013

CHICAGO – The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, leading to the natural hand-wringing and chest-beating over who missed the cut. Before we get to the most egregious snubs of the year, a few places where the Academy unexpectedly, happily got it right:

TV News: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘30 Rock’ Lead Familiar 2013 Emmy Nominations

CHICAGO – While there were a few nice surprises (Vera Farmiga! Laura Dern!), the 2013 Emmy nominations were a largely predictable bunch, including most of the nominees from last year, including “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” “Downton Abbey,” “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” and many more.

DVD Review: ‘Last Resort: The Complete Series’ Offers History of Doomed Show

Last Resort (cropped)

CHICAGO – Around a year ago, I named Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort” the most-promising new show of the Fall season. I think I need to relabel that this year to “creatively promising,” for while I knew Ryan and his crew here had a chance to produce something special, I also worried that ABC was dooming it on Thursday nights.

TV Review: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ Adjusts Its Broadcast Style

CHICAGO – There’s no television program that can be more simultaneously brilliant and frustrating as Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” returning tonight, July 14, 2013, to start an already-tumultuous second season.

TV Review: Netflix Continues Hot Streak with Excellent ‘Orange is the New Black’

CHICAGO – Jenji Kohan’s “Orange is the New Black,” premiering in its entirety this Thursday, July 11, 2013 on Netflix for those of you who love your binge viewing, is one of those rare programs that gets better and better in memory.

TV Review: NBC Wants You to Enroll in Likable ‘Camp’

CHICAGO – Here are a few words that adequately describe NBC’s “Camp,” a Summer series premiering this Wednesday, July 10, 2013 — “Likable,” “Amiable,” “Cute,” “Fun.” It’s not designed to challenge your dramatic expectations and delivers exactly what you’d expect it to deliver but the cast has some notable stand-outs and the whole thing has the feel of a long weekend away in the Summer — fun while it lasts if not overly memorable.

TV Review: FX Promises Dark Journey Across ‘The Bridge’

CHICAGOFX’s “The Bridge” bears undeniable resemblance to other recent cable hits. The quirky-but-smart female lead will remind viewers of Claire Danes’ award-winning performance on Showtime’s “Homeland” while the mystery structure of the piece and the dense atmosphere are undeniably reminiscent of AMC’s “The Killing.” And international audiences will know it’s a loose remake of a Swedish show called “Bron.”

TV Review: ‘Survivor’ Meets ‘LOST’ on NBC’s Strange ‘Siberia’

CHICAGO – Every Summer needs a guilty pleasure. (Anyone else watch “The Glass House”? Just me? OK. Moving on.) This Summer’s guilty pleasure could easily be NBC’s truly bizarre “Siberia,” premiering tonight at 9pm CST. This hybrid of “Survivor” and “LOST” has some truly rough edges but also contains an addictively strange premise that could separate it from a lot of the bland network offerings this season.

TV Review: Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ is Next Great Drama

Ray Donovan

CHICAGO – “I like you. You say what you mean.” Showtime’s brilliant new show, “Ray Donovan,” is titled after a straightshooter in a town where no one is honest; a problem solver in a place built on mountains of problems. Ann Biderman’s stunning drama (directed and produced by “Sopranos” vet Allen Coulter) is the kind of dense patchwork quilt of character and theme that separate great shows from merely good ones.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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