TV Reviews

Homeland Postmortem: Show Boss Breaks Down the "Magic Trick" of Season 3


[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Homeland. Read at your own risk.]

If something has seemed off about this season of Homeland, there's a good reason for it: That's exactly what the writers wanted!

postmortem: Brody's Back — but for how long?

"I was an amateur magician when I was a kid, and my favorite magic trick was always the one in which the magician convinces the audience that he's made a mistake," executive producer Alex Gansa tells That's what we were going for this season. [We wanted the audience thinking,] 'How are they going to dig themselves out of this hole? ... They're killing the series right in front our eyes!' And yet you lay down that final card, and you realize that the magician, the writers, have been one step ahead."

Sunday's episode revealed the writers' magic trick... read more

Breaking Bad "Felina" Recap: How Did It All End?

Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the series finale of Breaking Bad. Read at your own risk.]

At the end of Breaking Bad, TV's greatest liar finally stopped lying to himself.

In the most emotional scene of the AMC drama's series finale, high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston) visits his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) for one final goodbye... read more

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 11 Results

Ryan Seacrest

After 30 million votes, the results for American Idol's Motown week are in. Ryan Seacrest warns that that the evening's revelations may shock some viewers, but is that all hype? Let's find out... read more

The Vampire Diaries Episode Recap: "The Dinner Party"

This week's episode of The Vampire Diaries was probably the most epic of the season. Damon and his new girlfriend Andie arrange a dinner party for Elijah so that they can kill him during dessert, while Stefan confesses to Elena that he used to be a rabid murderer. So was the plot successful? Keep reading to find out.

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American Idol Episode Recap: Hollywood Week, Part 3

It's solo time on American Idol, and thank goodness after that mostly disastrous group round.

One hundred contestants are left, stewing over their fate in a holding room, while the judges deliberate. They haven't been moved into those rooms where they're cut en masse's time to rewind to the beginning of the day! Ryan Seacrest explains that, per usual, contestants will take the stage alone with an option of being backed by the band, being accompanied by their own instrument or singing a cappella.

How'd they do? Let's get down to business:

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Roush Review: Chicago Code's Mean Streets

Chicago Code

What a week for fans of crime dramas that try to raise the bar. Two winners premiering this week are set in USA's midsection — one rural, one urban (which I'm thinking you might have heard about on Super Bowl Sunday) — and they're so good it makes you wonder why Law & Order never took its act to the heartland.

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We'll be discussing the second season of FX's spectacularly entertaining Justified (returns Wednesday, 10/9c) later this week. Inspired by an Elmore Leonard character, this Kentucky-fried caper sneaks up on you, its laid-back attitude punctuated by shocks of grisly mayhem.

By contrast, Fox's muscular new The Chicago Code — from The Shield's Shawn Ryan — grabs you by the collar as it plunges headlong into a treacherous labyrinth of big-city corruption... read more

Top Moments: Rethinking Kanye West, the Beatles and The Event

Kanye West, Glee

Television made us rethink what we thought to be true this week. The Event told us that dead people were alive. The Good Wife reintroduced a sex scandal we long thought over. Mad Men's Joan crushed our dreams of seeing her couple up with Roger Sterling. Glee's Chris Colfer reimagined the Beatles. And an artful performance by Kanye West allowed us to reconsider Saturday Night Live as a venue for progressive musical happenings. Welcome to Top Moments: Up Is Down Edition.

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Roush Review: The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

David Cross is a very funny guy — adding him to Fox's Running Wilde was a smart move — but his extreme-geek persona works best in small doses.

In the six-part comedy The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (premiering Friday, 10/9c, IFC), which he created and wrote, Cross grates as a crass Candide... read more

Weekend in Review: Blue Bloods on Friday, Dexter on Sunday

Tom Selleck, Michael C. Hall

To many, and for good reason, Friday is seen as a TV graveyard, a burying ground for shows with low expectations. But the networks aren't giving up on the night just yet. CBS, with its more traditional and very loyal (and yes, more mature) audience, can still do some business with its scripted series. And it can still remember what happened when a little sleeper called CSI broke out on Fridays, soon to change the face of the network.... read more

Roush Review: Dazzling Boardwalk: I'll Drink to That!

Steve Buscemi

Have the Roaring '20s ever roared with such vibrant, violent, extravagantly entertaining life as in HBO's Boardwalk Empire? This instantly captivating period piece feels thrillingly modern as it captures with remarkable detail a chaotic time of invention and re-invention, of social progress and prosperity upstaged by the gaudy corruption and jazzy debauchery of the Prohibition era.

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brilliantly marries Martin Scorsese's virtuosic cinematic eye to Terence Winter's (The Sopranos) panoramic mastery of rich character and eventful story. They romanticize Atlantic City as the Rome of a bootleg empire, where gangsters converge from Chicago and New York to traffic in illegal hooch (among other vices)... read more

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