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TV Review: HBO Delivers Likable Laughs in ‘Family Tree’

CHICAGO – Christopher Guest, the beloved writer/director behind “Best in Show” and “Waiting For Guffman,” comes to TV this weekend with the premiere of HBO’s “Family Tree” and the result is something unique for television comedy — a show that doesn’t force the laughs as much as build likable characters.

TV News: Recap of Cancellations, Renewals For 2013-14 Season

How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life).

CHICAGO – With the steady flow of news stories this week about what would and what would not be included in next week’s Fall schedule announcements, it’s easy to lose track of your favorite show. Let us guide the way with this handy recap. When will it all air? Will some of these be mid-season returns? Will your favorite show move? Come back next week as all of the Fall schedules are announced. Bookmark this page and keep refreshing it as we’ll include all announcements here.

TV Feature: What Will Happen to Your Favorite 2013 Network TV Shows

CHICAGO – The full 2013-2014 Fall TV schedules for the five broadcast networks will be announced next week. Will NBC give “Hannibal” more time to find an audience? Will The CW close the book on “The Carrie Diaries”? Can CBS viewers plan to visit “Vegas” again?

TV Review: Great Cast Keeps ‘Family Tools’ in Business

CHICAGOABC continues to try to use Emmy-winning comedy juggernaut “Modern Family” to create a hit as a lead-in or a lead-out: “The Neighbors,” “Suburgatory,” “Happy Endings,” “How to Live with Your Parents,” and, starting tonight, “Family Tools,” a show with a strong enough comedy pedigree to produce a few laughs but writing that isn’t quite strong enough to warrant comparison with the best of the ABC comedy wannabes.

TV Review: Sundance Continues to Impress with Riveting ‘Rectify’

CHICAGO – Cable networks often develop an identity, whether or not it’s through an intentional marketing strategy like “Characters Welcome” at USA or a network like Showtime building shows around TV actors and actresses who have previously found success in the form (Duchovny, Falco, Hall, Lewis, etc.).

TV Review: HBO’s Hysterical ‘Veep’ Returns Stronger Than Ever

Veep S2

CHICAGO – It premiered on Sunday night and so we’re a few days behind but we’re also a few weeks ahead as HBO sent four episodes for review. Better late than never, right? If you saw the season two premiere of “Veep,” you know it was damn smart and incredibly funny. The good news? The cast and writers don’t lose any of that stellar rhythm from the premiere, as this show seems even more confident and accomplished than its award-winning first season (which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, details below).

TV Review: Don’t Visit Eli Roth’s ‘Hemlock Grove’ on Netflix

CHICAGO – I was so ready for “Hemlock Grove.” I’ve liked more of Eli Roth’s work in the past than most critics and thought of the creative freedom allowed by a company like Netflix and what that could mean for the horror TV genre. After the home run that was “House of Cards,” could they really go back-to-back?

TV Feature: The 5 Network Shows Most on the Bubble

CHICAGO – As the networks finalize their schedules, there are more periods than question marks. CBS has already renewed most of their line-up while some programs on other networks have nothing to worry about. At the same time, there are some axes that everyone knows are going to fall. But what about the shows in the middle?

TV Review: Riveting ‘The Central Park Five’ Debuts on PBS

CHICAGO – Almost exactly 24 years ago (on April 19, 1989), Trisha Meili was raped and brutally assaulted in Central Park in New York City. Known in the press as “The Central Park Jogger,” she lay near death as the city let out a wail for justice. Five young men who had been in the park that night were arrested and sent to jail for a crime that they clearly did not commit.

TV Review: Characters of ‘Mad Men’ Getting Lost in Changing World

CHICAGO – Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is no longer the most popular person in the room. Time, depression, alcoholism, and the changing politics have altered this character, once such a vital force of human nature. Remember the days when everything Don said hit with the client? When he could juggle secret pasts and multiple mistresses? One of the most prominent arcs of “Mad Men” overall has been how that Don is fading away as the ’60s head toward the next decade.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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