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Blu-ray Review: Recent TV Releases Include ‘True Detective,’ ‘Masters of Sex’

True Blood S6

CHICAGO – “Game of Thrones” is over and you’ve already binged “Orange is the New Black,” what are you supposed to do now? There are a few interesting new programs this season – FX’s “Tyrant” & “The Strain,” HBO’s “The Leftovers,” CBS’s “Extant,” and a few more – but it’s also a great time to catch up what you may have missed with new Blu-ray and DVD releases. There are five TV-to-Blu-ray releases this month that might warrant a look.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 11 Pairs of Live Boxing Passes to ‘The Moment: Mayweather vs. Maidana’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 11 pairs of GUARANTEED live-event boxing passes up for grabs to the 12-round, world-championship bout “The Moment: Mayweather vs. Maidana” in movie theatres across Chicago(land)!

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).

What to Watch: Nov. 10-16, 2013

Turbo with Ryan Reynolds

CHICAGO – It’s kind of a light week at the Blu-ray and DVD store (do they still have those now that Blockbuster has closed?). As studios prep a lot of major releases for holiday season, a few titles have been released on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming services this week that we wanted to highlight, including a decent animated flick, a great foreign one, and a bunch of movies that may interest you but that you should probably avoid.

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.

TV Review: Final Season of ‘Dexter’ Starts on Confident Note

Dexter S8 (cropped)

CHICAGO – The start of the eighth and final season of “Dexter” feels like a comeback album from a band that you used to love. There’s a blend of true happiness that this show looks, after four episodes, that it will end on a strong note, but also a bit of anger at the weak storytelling and stupid decisions that led us here.

Blu-ray Review: Seventh, Mediocre Season of Showtime’s ‘Dexter’

Dexter

CHICAGO – Few shows have fallen as far and as hard as Showtime’s once-brilliant “Dexter”. At the end of season four, the show was at a turning point and I even thought that the exploration of responsibility in season five was creatively strong. Then season six turned to religion but did so in a half-hearted way.

DVD Review: Smart, Funny Comedy of Showtime’s ‘Episodes’

Episodes S2

CHICAGO – Outside of a surprising Golden Globe win by its hysterically funny star, Matt LeBlanc, Showtime’s “Episodes” doesn’t seem to be getting too much attention from critics or viewers. It’s not one of the modern cable shows that everyone seems to be talking about like “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” “The Walking Dead,” “Justified,” etc. I’m not saying it’s in the caliber of those programs but it would be a shame if this program was ignored entirely. It’s damn funny.

TV Review: ‘Homeland’ Starts Second Season with Perfect Episode

CHICAGO – We’ve all had creative buyer’s remorse. You recommend a band to your friend and their new album sucks. You post about your love for a TV show and the next episode jumps the shark.

TV Review: ‘Dexter’ Displays Signs of Creative Blood Loss

CHICAGO – Did “Dexter” die when The Trinity Killer murdered Rita? It was such a daring, brilliant move for what was one of TV’s greatest shows at the time. But that was three seasons ago now, and while I personally liked the 5th season quite a bit, audiences seemed to turn off a bit.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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