London's grisly past informs the bloody present in a new season of BBC America's creepy Whitechapel (Wednesdays, 10/9c), telling its ghoulish crime stories in gripping two-week increments. Gone are the obvious copycats aping the infamous exploits of such legendary fiends as Jack the Ripper and the Kray brothers. Turns out the new breed of bogeymen can be just about as mystifying and terrifying, if not as memorable.
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Question: I'm really surprised by the lack of comment (here and elsewhere) on this season of Justified. It had a lot to live up to after that near-perfect second season and (in my opinion) has been maintaining the standard extremely well. I haven't enjoyed TV-show dialogue this much since The West Wing went off the air.
It's about time that AMC got the '60s party started again, so it's only fitting that Mad Men's excruciatingly long-awaited two-hour season opener (Sunday, 9/8c), a clever and often bitterly witty piece of writing by series creator Matthew Weiner, is built around a memorable party.
David Mazouz, Kiefer Sutherland
Anyone who thinks TV isn't trying hard enough to raise the bar this midseason should check out tonight's most distinctive shows. With the official series launch of Fox's fantastical Touch (9/8c) and another fascinating episode of NBC's mystifying Awake (10/9c), I imagine some will maintain that they may be trying a little too hard.
It's probably fair to wonder if Fox is touched in the head for going forward with a show as out-there as Touch. This hasn't been an easy time for truly offbeat shows to gain traction, as risk-takers including Smash, The River and Awake have struggled in the ratings, with critics eager to point out their obvious flaws while often undervaluing the ambition it took to put ...
Bruce Greenwood, Eloise Mumford, Joe Anderson
A mere two nights after The Walking Dead finale shattered cable ratings records, and more than a few nerves, with its zombie shooting gallery at Hershel's now-abandoned farm, two more dynamic series signed off for the season Tuesday night — hopefully not for good (though one seems a likely goner) — giving us some fun and tense times. Sometimes both at once.
Sifting through the proverbial critic's notebook, a quick look back at some of the week's more memorable TV happenings:
Let's start with the death we didn't see coming: By which I mean HBO putting down Luck. With only two episodes to go in its underwhelming (though beautifully acted and shot) first season, the show was abruptly canceled two episodes into production on a Season 2 that probably shouldn't have been green-lighted in the first place. The reason wasn't ratings, which were dismal, but the third accidental death of a horse on the set (two died during Season 1). Which is...
The latest dazzling nature epic from the good folks at Discovery will chill you in all the right ways. The team of producers from Discovery and the BBC Natural History Unit, responsible for the sumptuous breakout hits Planet Earth and Life, are now introducing armchair travelers to Frozen Planet (Sunday, 8/7c), an endlessly fascinating seven-part foray into the most remote and unforgiving regions of the Arctic and Antarctic.
Danny Pudi and Donald Glover
Apparently, no one ever told Community to beware the ides of March. (Et tu, Dean Pelton?) The mind reels at how the obsessive Abed (Danny Pudi) would react to March 15 being the date designated by NBC for the return of the never-say-die sitcom — and winner of TV Guide Magazine's 2011 Fan Favorite cover — from a most unwelcome three-month hiatus.
Once again kicking off NBC's stubbornly low-rated comedy lineup (8/7c), this endearingly zany cult comedy wastes no time ...