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Television Reviews

Television has transformed itself from its early beginnings as a “vast wasteland” into the dominant narrative device of contemporary times. The best shows are a form of modern day literature that are not only gripping and entertaining but serve as windows into the souls of culture and society as well. While masquerading as a vigilante police drama, for instance, the CBS drama Person of Interest reflects the uncertainty of post-911 America. The NBC sitcom Community, meanwhile, offers a real-world education through the comic antics of a fictitious community college. It’s more than just network television, however, as cable channels like AMC, HBO and FX are now the homes of many quality dramas and comedies, including Game of Thrones and Justified. It doesn’t matter whether it’s great writing or character development, a psychological study or social critique, television indeed has it all.

 

Alcatraz Combines Mystery, History and Sci Fi Review of the FOX drama about the disappearance of inmates from the infamous island prison in 1963 and their sudden reappearance close to fifty years later.

Boardwalk Empire and the Birth of Modern Times Review of the HBO drama set in Atlantic City during Prohibition and the 1920s that combines elements of both The Sopranos and the AMC series Mad Men.

Community Offers a Real World Education Review of the NBC comedy that follows a group of students at Greendale Community College who receive everyday life lessons rather than a formal education.

Dark Skies: History As We Know It Is a Lie Review of the late 1990s NBC sci-fi drama that intertwines a UFO governmental conspiracy with actual events of the 1960s to create a fictitious alternate history.

Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 Review of the ABC comedy that features a female Odd Couple premise with the midwest-bred June sharing a New York apartment with the Holly Golightly-esque Chloe.

Ellery Queen: Classic 1970s Detective Noir Review of the NBC “whodunit” detective series that follows the adventures of mystery writer Ellery Queen and his police inspector father in 1940s New York City.

Game of Thrones Season One Review of the HBO drama about the political intrigue surrounding the throne of the mythical kingdom of Westeros, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin.

Game of Thrones Season Two Review of the second season of the HBO drama, in which competing factions wage war for the vacated Iron Throne of Westeros and the meaning of power is explored.

Grimm: A Supernatural Crime Drama Review of the NBC series about a Portland police detective who discovers that not only are fairy tales real but that he alone must stop the evil entities contained within.

Justified Season One Review of the first season of the FX drama that centers on contemporary US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens, a throwback lawman from the Old West stationed in Harlan County, KY.

Justified Season Two Review of the FX drama about US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens that rises to the level of a contemporary Shakespearean tragedy set in Eastern Kentucky during its second season.

The Killing: Who Killed Rosie Larsen? Review of the AMC drama about the investigation into the murder of a teenage girl, and the aftershocks the crime has on those connected to both her life and death.

Leverage: A Modern Day Mission Impossible Review of the TNT drama about a group of former criminals who assist the victims of corporate crimes through the use of elaborate cons and subterfuge.

Moonlighting: From Hit to Writers Strike Casualty Review and critique of the classic 1980s comedy-slash-drama whose cancellation is partially blamed on the 1988 strike by the Writers Guild of America.

Once Upon the Here and Now Review of the ABC drama Once Upon a Time, in which classic fairy tale characters of old are trapped in a small town in Maine called Storybook at the hand of the Evil Queen.

Person of Interest and the Twenty First Century Review of the CBS drama about a secret government surveillance system and two vigilante crusaders attempting to prevent crimes before they take place.

Revenge: Double-Edged Entertainment Review of the ABC drama about the daughter of a falsely imprisoned man who returns to Southampton years later to seek vengeance against those responsible.

Revolution: Swords Instead of Lightsabers Although the NBC drama Revolution takes place a mere fifteen years in the future, it shares many similarities with the “long time ago” universe of Star Wars.

Rubicon: A 1970s-Style Conspiracy Thriller Comparison of the single-season AMC drama Rubicon to such classic conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s as Three Days of the Condor and All the President’s Men.

Sherlock: A Holmesian Masterpiece Review of the British drama that follows the exploits of a modern day Sherlock Holmes and John Watson while remaining faithful to the original classic narratives of old.

The Television Career of Young Indiana Jones Review of the 1990s television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles created by George Lucas, and the educational value of its three-volume DVD collection.

The Walking Dead Season One Review of the first season of the AMC drama in which Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to find an apocalyptic world that has been overrun by zombies.

The Walking Dead Season Two Review of the second season of the AMC drama in which a group of survivors from a zombie apocalypse must deal with both the zombies and their own growing conflicts.

Warehouse 13: Snag It, Bag It, Tag It Review of the Syfy Channel drama that follows a pair of Secret Service Agents who travel the globe collecting mystical artifacts for warehouse located in South Dakota.

White Collar and the Evolution of Neal Caffrey Review of the USA Network drama about a convicted conman who agrees to work with the FBI agent who arrested him in exchange for his freedom.

The X-Files: The Truth Is Still Out There A review of the FOX drama and how the series not only remains a science fiction classic but also provided a narrative background for the years that it aired.

 

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