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DVD Review: Final Season of TNT’s Brilliant ‘Southland’

Southland

CHICAGO – I don’t believe it’s gone. TNT’s “Southland” shouldn’t be over. Not only do I not believe that the writers and producers meant for the dark finale of the fifth season, recently released on DVD, to be the close of this brilliant series, but I know they had more stories to tell. Considering the show was once canceled by NBC and rescued from its near-death experience, I suppose we should be happy with got five years but it’s still bittersweet.

DVD Review: Frustrating USA Mini-Series ‘Political Animals’

Political Animals

CHICAGOUSA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.

TV Review: Larry David’s ‘Clear History’ Appeases Fans of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

CHICAGO – There hasn’t been a new episode of Larry David’s brilliant comedy, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” in almost two years and the creator of the HBO program has yet to commit to ever doing a ninth season, saying recently to TV Guide to ask him again in six months.

TV Review: The CW Hits Reality TV Bottom with ‘Capture’

CHICAGO – “Get me a TV version of The Hunger Games! This is The CW! If it’s popular with young adults, we need a TV show like it!”

“Sir, have you SEEN The Hunger Games? It’s about killing people.”

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Prodigal Daughter, The

    CHICAGO – One of the open secrets of Chicago is its horrible racist past, which remains like an echo. Playwright Joshua Allen has been exploring this theme in his Grand Boulevard Trilogy – the last chapter talking place during the infamous 1919 race riots – in Raven Theatre’s “The Prodigal Daughter.” For tickets and info, click TPD.

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

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