As a new social order is forming in Deadwood, a very funny episode explores issues of caste, transgression, and alienation.
New clothes, new pianos, new ventures, new relationships, new governments: On a relatively quiet episode, everyone in DEADWOOD is grappling with the possibility of change.
After many years, I'm taking up my Deadwood reviews right where I left off, with an episode that asks whether this brutal place could possibly be a place where family can thrive.
Questions of identity, duality, and transformation abound in a disturbing and surprisingly complicated episode of Lovecraft Country.
With its weakest hour yet, Lovecraft Country turns in a story that is at turns dull, derivative, and disturbing (but not in a good way).
Jurnee Smollett gives a stunning performance in the strongest, most emotionally compelling episode of Lovecraft Country so far.
In its second episode, Lovecraft Country tackles racism as a tool of capitalism, and asks the important question: Whose birthright is America, really?
Taking a genre-fiction approach to serious subjects, Lovecraft Country promises to be a thrilling guided tour through the racist horrors of America.
It was the biggest, most ambitious, most diverse, and best decade in television history. And these were my 50 favorite shows.
In a surprising penultimate episode, Watchmen reminds us that every love story is a thermodynamic miracle.
Past, present, and future collide as Watchmen sets up for the endgame and heads into the blue.
In one of the best episodes of TV in many years, Watchmen brilliantly explores black anger, the insidious conspiracy of pop culture, and the poisonous nature of nostalgia.
A contemplative episode of Watchmen locates the roots of white supremacy in the fears and fragility of the white American male.
The arrival of the mysterious Lady Trieu starts to bring Watchmen's endgame into focus.
Wanna hear a good joke? The great Jean Smart, playing a familiar face, descends on the world of Watchmen like a brick to the head.
Nothing is what it seems in the second episode of Watchmen, as we begin to question who everyone really is, and what their role is in the larger play.
In a textually dense, stunning debut episode, HBO's WATCHMEN announces its ambitious agenda of tackling the narratives of white supremacy in America.
The I-Land wants desperately to be Lost. Dull, derivative, and dumb, it should be lost, and it should stay lost.
And now our watch is ended. But did Game of Thrones, or its characters, get the ending they deserved?
The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones demands that we reconsider everything—including our investment in this show and these characters.
A sometimes infuriating episode reminds us that neither Game of Thrones nor its characters are going to suddenly become perfect at the last minute.
Visually muddy, and emotionally clichéd, "The Long Night" begs the question: What sort of ending are we hoping for from Game of Thrones?
"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" is Game of Thrones at its absolute best. It is a last chance to remember—before all hell breaks loose—that this show was always about people, not special effects.
"Winterfell" feels a little too much like a box-checking prologue to the final season of Game of Thrones, not the exciting opening chapter.
Announcing the first of three e-books, collecting all my writing on Game of Thrones.
The Wall is down, and the games are over, and the surviving characters must now prove whether they've actually absorbed any of the show's lessons.
"This ain't history here," Doctor Who reminds us in the smart, powerful, and horrifyingly timely "Rosa."
"The Ghost Monument," the second episode of the Whittaker/Chibnall era, doesn't quite get the job done.
New Doctor, new showrunner, new era, new Who.
In the second part of my retrospective on Steven Moffat's era of Doctor Who, I discuss the Moffats with the Mostest: my all-time favorite stories from Seasons Five through Ten.
In the first (and grumpier) of two retrospectives on Steven Moffat's Doctor Who, I run down my 20 least favorite stories from Seasons Five through Ten.
"Beyond the Wall" might just be the dumbest episode of Game of Thrones ever, but there's good stuff here if we look beyond the contrivances.
"Eastwatch" is something of a table-setting episode, but it also looks at how fathers live in their children, for better or worse.
The stunningly good "The Spoils of War" packs a lot of emotional subtext into a short and action-packed episode.
In "The Queen's Justice," ice and fire finally come together, and everyone needs to let go of the things they think they know.
With new allegiances being forged, "Stormborn" tests the strengths—and limitations—of different kinds of loyalty.
In "Dragonstone," the Season Seven premiere of Game of Thrones, survival may depend on reconciling the sins of the past with the needs of the future.
The tenth-season finale fails Pearl Mackie's Bill, but "The Doctor Falls" is a strong episode that sets Steven Moffat up to say his final word on Doctor Who.
In "World Enough and Time," all the themes that have obsessed Steven Moffat's era of Doctor Who come home to roost.
Classic Doctor Who writer Rona Munro returns with "The Eaters of Light," to show the current generation how to do a simple story well.
What could I possible say about Mark Gatiss's writing that I haven't said before? Not a thing, so I'm not even going to try…
In "The Lie of the Land," the multi-part story of the Monks comes to an end, with patently ridiculous plotting and sadly diminishing returns.
"The Pyramid at the End of the World" presents a familiar conflict: the Doctor vs. God. So this week I'm taking a long look at the treatment of religion in New Who.
Steven Moffat's "Extremis" inspired some thoughts on River Song, death, and the problem of endings in Doctor Who.
"Doctor don't you call me, cause I can't go/ I owe my soul to the company store…" Workers of the world unite behind the Doctor in Peter Mathieson's "Oxygen."
Delivering nothing, saying nothing, and meaning nothing, Mike Bartlett's "Knock Knock" is a forgettable and regrettable hour of Scooby Who.
Some excellent character work elevates a fairly standard "monster-of-the-week" story.
New companion Bill learns what it means to travel with the Doctor—and proves her mettle—in a strong second episode.
It's a brand new season, a delightful new companion, and a welcome new beginning for Doctor Who.
There are many ways in which 2016 was a terrible, no-good, very bad year. But television provided a ridiculous embarrassment of riches.
The sixth season finale of Game of Thrones finds women seizing control of the board. But who will these women need to become to hold onto power?
Four shows enter. Three shows suck.
The third week of the Fall 2016 premiere season brings a veritable cornucopia of new network shows—most of them far better than I expected.
In this week's installment of "First Look/Last Look," it's a bit of a mixed bag.
Every year in “First Look/Last Look,” I pan for TV gold in the fetid riverbed of the new fall season. This year, the first batch—surprisingly—is all gold.
"Battle of the Bastards" is a magnificent hour of television. But is it a great episode of Game of Thrones?
"No One" ever thinks they're the bad guy, but there comes a time when everyone has to ask themselves the question.
This week, we see all the broken people trying to figure out what can be built from the shattered pieces of the past.
An awkward and underwhelming episode focuses on the question of family loyalty.
"Terrible things happen for a reason," we are told in "The Door." But is that really a comforting thought?
In "Book of the Stranger," the ladies of Game of Thrones are gettin' in formation—cause they slay.
In "Oathbreaker," we are reminded that the game of thrones is largely a game of words. Control the stories, and you can control the world.
In "Home," everyone grapples with how the mistakes of the past have led to the horrors of the present.
We sing of bodies eclectic on the sixth season premiere of Game of Thrones.
As Jessica Jones hits its mid-point, its main character can no longer deal with the blood on her hands.
In Louis C.K.'s surprise new work, history is a nightmare from which the characters, the country, and TV itself are trying to awaken.
"Heroes wear costumes," we're told. But, in Jessica Jones, being a hero means something different.
This show about an angry loner may turn out, in the end, to be about the need for community.
There are more good shows now than a beleaguered critic can possibly watch, but here are my 20 best TV experiences of 2015.
In the third episode of Jessica Jones, everyone has his or her drug of choice.
The most unusual episode of Doctor Who ever is also Doctor Who in a nutshell.
On Jessica Jones, people are as fragile as glass, but what has been broken can be fixed.
In which we consider The Impossible Girl, and the frustrating impossibilities of being a girl in Moffat's Doctor Who.
Like its protagonist, Jessica Jones is beautiful, dark, powerful, and dealing with some complex emotions.
Mark Gatiss wrote a found-footage story, and what he found was the worst episode of Doctor Who yet.
The conclusion of Toby Whithouse's two-part story left this reviewer with a massive headache brought on by confusion and frustration.
Doctor Who goes back to basics with a classic "base-under-siege" story.
Another strong episode is nearly suffocated with clutter. Is Steven Moffat just too goddamned clever for his own good?
Panning for TV gold in the fetid riverbed of the new fall season, I check out Minority Report, Blindspot, The Muppets, Scream Queens, and Heroes Reborn.
Davros is back. The Daleks are back. The Master is back. Goddamned Doctor Who is back, and I couldn't be happier.
As the season ends with brutal examples of the Father's justice, we look to the Mother—and the mothers—to teach us all a kinder way.
We enter the Church of Hannibal Lecter: but are we praying to him, or for protection from him?
What shall it profit a man if he gains the Iron Throne, but loses his soul?
Who can be trusted on Orphan Black? The answer may be more troubling than we thought…
The season premiere of Hannibal has a serious question for us: are we observing, or are we participating?
Game of Thrones has always been about "us vs. them," but former enemies are finding common ground as the walls tumble down around them.
In which we spend some time on Planet Alison, and explore Orphan Black's "pro-family" agenda…
After a season of empathy, Louie hits the road and lets himself be an asshole.
As snow descends on Westeros, the battle lines between ice and fire are becoming clearer.
Mercifully, it's the end of the line for one of Orphan Black's most frustrating and problematic characters.
Mad Men's ending is as perfect as we could ask, and nowhere near as cynical as it appears.
Plot developments can be logical, realistic, and narratively justified, and still be a mistake.
On Orphan Black, love is short, and forgetting is so long, and some wounds are very slow to heal.
In the penultimate episode of Mad Men, it's still all about the journey, not the destination.
Louie is surrounded by screaming children, in an episode that's ultimately about childhood's end.
Mad Men has always been about individuals, but at its end it may be about a changing culture that has little room for individualism.
What's an apology worth, when there's been so much pain and bloodshed? And which sins are truly unforgivable?
The horror genre can be dehumanizing, but not on Orphan Black…
The sleep of empathy brings forth monsters in a nightmarish episode of Louie.
This week, as men fight back against progress, we think about the weapons women have at their disposal.