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Blu-ray Review: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ Rivets, Frustrates at Same Time

The Newsroom

CHICAGO – Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, drives me crazy. The HBO drama can be so thematically dense and brings up subjects too often missing from the national conversation but it can also be so frustratingly self-important and deluded in its vision of the way real people operate. Do you give it credit for the topics it raises or smash it for the heavy hand with which they’re delivered? I have high hopes that season two will iron out some of the problems (stories of reshot episodes indicate that Sorkin heard his critics) but I’m still torn on how to feel about season one.

TV Review: Third Season of FX’s ‘Wilfred’ Starts with Promising Shift

Wilfred

CHICAGO – Changing showrunners often proves the kiss of death for comedies. If you watched the Dan Harmon-less fourth season of “Community,” NBC owes you an apology. And so hearing that “Wilfred” was going to tweak its behind-the-scenes staff by moving David Zuckerman from showrunner to exec producer and sliding writer/producers Reed Agnew & Eli Jorne into lead roles, there was reason for concern. Don’t worry.

Blu-ray Review: Loaded Set For Last Season of ‘Falling Skies’

Falling Skies S2

CHICAGOTNT’s “Falling Skies” isn’t quite the mega-hit that the network and Steven Spielberg hoped it would be but it has an incredibly loyal following. Recognizing that fact, Warner Bros. has put together an extensive set for the second season of the Noah Wyle sci-fi show, loaded with special features. Fans will be happy and those who may be just getting into the program, now airing its third season on TNT, may be more enticed to catch up thanks to the quality of this release.

TV Review: TNT’s ‘Franklin & Bash’ Adds Heather Locklear

CHICAGO – The generally-likable and amiable TNT law dramedy “Franklin & Bash” returns tonight in a slightly new iteration designed to build buzz by adding a bit of sizzle to the show. Heather Locklear joins the cast, the boys move to a beach house that allows for a lot of shirtless shots and bikini parties, and one of the guys may even have a gorgeous love interest.

TV Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Has Lost Its Pulse

CHICAGO – Does anyone else remember when “True Blood” was fun? When it was about a special girl falling for a brooding vamp and not ALWAYS about the fate of the entire world? When it had a sense of humor, especially in characters like Jason & Lafayette?

TV Review: Star Power Drives TNT’s ‘King & Maxwell’

CHICAGOTNT’s “King & Maxwell” fits squarely in the TNT brand, shows built around the charisma of its stars. Whether it’s the popular gents at the center of “Franklin & Bash,” Kyra Sedgwick on “The Closer” or the likable pair who headline “Rizzoli & Isles,” the brand has worked (and didn’t exactly for ensemble shows like the now-canceled “Monday Mornings” and “Southland.”)

TV Review: The Rock Launches Bizarre Reality Show About ‘The Hero’

The Hero

CHICAGO – What makes a hero? Is it the guy who rappels off a skyscraper with ease or the woman who confronts her fears and climbs a dangerous staircase? Is it the winner or the team player? At its best, TNT’s new reality competition series, “The Hero,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, taps into these questions, but it so often does so in a manipulative, predictable, boring way that you might not want to stick around for the answers.

TV Review: USA Opens ‘Graceland,’ Begins Closure of ‘Burn Notice’

CHICAGOUSA and TNT have owned Summer television for the last several years with hits like “White Collar,” “Burn Notice,” “Royal Pains,” and “The Closer”.

TV Review: ABC’s ‘Mistresses’ Cheats on Good Television

CHICAGO – At its worst, ABC’s “Mistresses” feels like “Nicholas Sparks: The TV Series” with all the horrendous plotting and melodrama that implies. At its best, it feels like a “Desperate Housewives” knock-off, in which the charisma of its leading ladies get viewers past the writing flaws.

TV Review: AMC Resurrects ‘The Killing’ with Intriguing Results

CHICAGO – There are times when the third season premiere of AMC’s “The Killing” shows the signs of a program that was resurrected from the dead. The series was axed by AMC after a controversial end to the first season and disappointing second one.

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  • South Side

    CHICAGO – One the brightest comedies set in Chicago is “South Side,” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. The pair moved the show from Comedy Central to HBO Max, and Season Two dropped for streaming on November 11th, 2021, with the same free-wheeling and hilarious misadventures of Simon and Kareme.

  • Colin in Black & White

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new miniseries “Colin in Black & White” – regarding the early years of ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick – currently streaming on Netflix.

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