Sunday, March 29, 2015

TV Reviews

POSTED: Monday, March 18, 2013, 4:23 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
The cast of HBO's "Girls" starring Lena Dunham.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet watched the Season 2 finale of HBO’s “Girls” — or you’re behind on Showtime’s “Shameless” — please don’t read this until you’ve caught up.

It probably says way too much about my weakness for rom-coms that I mostly enjoyed Sunday’s “Girls,” in which Hannah (Lena Dunham), in the midst of an obsessive-compulsive meltdown, was literally swept off her feet by her sometimes stalkerish ex, Adam (Adam Driver).

 Even better: Marnie (Allison Williams) and Charlie (Christopher Abbott) finally admitting how they still feel about each other while leveling the too often uneven playing field between them, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) managing to stick the landing on her breakup with Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Hannah’s father (Peter Scolari) finally calling b------ on her b-------.

POSTED: Monday, March 11, 2013, 11:24 AM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
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Bea and Frank, two of the subjects of Sari Gilman's "Kings Point"

The New York Times has a story about a few baby boomers who've bought into Florida retirement communities, where prices are low and the neighbors may be decades older.

The prices really are tempting. But before you hop on a plane to Boca, you might want to check out "Kings Point." The Oscar-nominated documentary short makes its TV debut at 9 p.m. Monday on HBO.

Filmmaker Sari Gilman follows the lives of several residents of the retirement community where her grandmother lived for many years. It's one of those places couples moved to when they wanted warmer weather and no worries and the companionship of their own generation. But as Gilman's film shows, life may be full of compromises, especially for those left widowed.

POSTED: Monday, September 17, 2012, 10:24 AM
Filed Under: TV Reviews

After co-creating "Friends" with Bala's David Crane, you'd figure Broomall's Marta Kauffman could probably take her new show, "Georgia," anywhere she liked.

She's chosen YouTube, though, for the three-episode premiere (which run all together looks a lot like a pilot episode) and as of Monday, it's live on the video-sharing site's WIGS scripted channel.

Mary Elizabeth Ellis ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") plays Georgia, a "yogic healer," who's engaged to Michael (Harold Perrineau, "Lost," "Sons of Anarchy") but seems to be dragging her feet about their coming wedding.

POSTED: Monday, April 16, 2012, 1:24 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
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Colin Ferguson stars in Syfy's "Eureka"

"There’ve been a lot of changes since you’ve been gone," says one "Eureka" character to another as the small-town sci-fi series returns for its fifth and final season at 9 p.m. Monday.

Do tell.

POSTED: Monday, February 6, 2012, 4:18 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
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Steve Van Zandt and friend in Netflix's "Lilyhammer"

Norway’s probably the last place you might expect to find Steve Van Zandt, much less Steve Van Zandt playing a mobster.

But that’s just where the E Street Band member (and former “Sopranos” co-star) turns up in “Lilyhammer,” his new fish-out-of-water dramedy series, which made its debut today on Netflix.

U.S. viewers may feel a bit out of water, too, at first, the Norwegian-made show having helpfully included English subtitles for even the dialogue that’s in English as well as the profanities in Norwegian we might otherwise have failed to notice. (In fact, the descriptive captioning appears to be the type used by the hearing-impaired.)

POSTED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 4:19 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews

I tend to blow hot and cold on the subject weight-loss TV — hate NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” but will admit to having  wept through more than one episode of the Style Network’s “Too Fat for 15” — mostly because I know just how unentertaining healthy weight loss can be.

I get it: No one’s ever going to launch a prime-time hit with a picture of someone eating smaller portions and exercising in moderation. And you’re never going to hear one of those screaming trainers admit that throwing up on the treadmill isn’t a strategy for long-term success.

TV wants dramatic stories, and TLC has one, as tonight at 9 it launches a four-part series, “My 600-lb Life,” with Melissa, a Texas woman who weighed more than 600 pounds before undergoing gastric-bypass surgery more than seven years ago.

POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012, 12:12 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
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Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski star in NBC's "Chuck"

One hero says goodbye and another returns in a different guise tonight, as NBC’s “Chuck” (8 p.m., NBC10) wraps up its fifth and final season and Starz’ “Spartacus: Vengeance” introduces Liam McIntyre, the actor who replaced the late Andy Whitfield as the rebel slave leader.

I’ll admit to having been a little blubbery toward the end of “Chuck’s” sendoff, which consists of back-to-back episodes, “Chuck Versus Sarah” and “Chuck Versus the Goodbye,” but I was happy, too.

Because this is the way TV should work.

POSTED: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 11:30 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews

Update: Showtime reports that Sunday's "Homeland" finale was its most-watched freshman season-ender ever, with 1.7 million viewers at 10 p.m. and more than 2 million when the repeat was included. For the season overall, it's averaged more than 4.2 million viewers across all its platforms, putting it only behind "Dexter" -- which also ended its season Sunday -- in popularity on the network.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet seen the season finale of Showtime’s “Homeland” — even if you’ve yet to see a single episode but think there’s a chance that you’ll want to catch up at some point — please stop reading now.

About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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