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Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'New Best Friends'

"I feel like I have a bigger picture of where this is all going now and there's a certain satisfaction of watching the pieces fall into place like an old familiar movie." - Shawn
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In which Shawn and Kim have some pretty separate takes on the latest twist in the story. Shawn: If I felt like portions of the first half of the season were just long form advertisements for a new Walking Dead video game, then this week was a free playable demo that should be available for X-Box and PlayStation this week. Don't take that as too much of a criticism though because even though I will have some things to say and observations about some little things, I really didn't mind this episode at all. I feel like I have a

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Rock In The Road'

"Overall, I think this episode was much better than the first half of the season as a whole." - Kim
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In which Rick is Rick again and zombies are dying by the handful. Kim: The Walking Dead has returned and here we are, all revved up and ready to tell you what we thought of the second-half premiere. I have two thoughts to start with and we’ll just go from there. 1) This was everything I wanted it to be.2) This was everything I didn’t want it to be. Now, I know you’re wondering how the heck I could possibly have such bipolar feelings regarding a show. I mean, you either love it or you hate it, right? Wrong. I

Peanuts by Schulz: Snoopy Tales DVD Review: Captures the Spirit of the Source Material

Thirty-two new shorts bring the classic comic strip to life for a new generation.
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Over the years, I've tasked myself with watching and writing about new updates of shows that I loved as a kid. These updated versions would sometimes be simple revamps of the old show and sometimes they would be very different, modern takes on the characters. The most common example is Scooby-Doo. I've seen versions recently that expanded upon the mystery-solving attraction of the show and other versions that try to meld the trends in animation and culture to retell the old stories. Both failed and succeeded to varying degrees. I tried to entertain the new Peanuts animated shorts with the

Mannix: The Second Season DVD Review: Smart, Believable Mysteries

During these 25 episodes, Mannix is shot four times, knocked unconscious eleven, and keeps coming back for more.
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Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) is a private eye who works in Los Angeles. He comes from a long line of hard-boiled detectives who think with their brains and speak with their fists. A man’s man without frailties or weakness whose only indulgence appears to be slugs of booze. His character is a bit of a mystery with nothing else in his life but his work, although through the episodes we get pieces of his backstory, like of old girlfriends and Korean War buddies. Mannix was created by the team of William Link and Richard Levinson, who also created Columbo and

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review: Life After Rhoda

Created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, the series excels because it has a simple formula of great writing brought to life by great acting.
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The fifth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show continues the funny exploits of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) and her WJM coworkers, the main trio being gruff but lovable news producer Lou Grant (Ed Asner); wisecracking writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod); and dopey, self-absorbed news anchor Ted Baxter (Ted Knight). Other recurring characters are Ted’s girlfriend Georgette (Georgia Engel), a Gracie Allen-type character, and man-hungry TV host Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White). Mary’s friend and neighbor Rhoda (Valerie Harper) is no longer around because she was spun-off into her own series and landlord Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) would leave after

I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2 DVD Review: Lucy and the Duke

Over 60 years old, the shows remain funny and timeless thanks to the writing and the cast. And yet, I find the Superstar Special DVD to be an odd release.
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Following its airing on May 20, 2016, the I Love Lucy Superstar Special #2, which aired colorized versions of the first two episodes of Season Five, "Lucy Visits Grauman's" (original airdate 10/3/55) and "Lucy and John Wayne" (original airdate 10/10/55), comes to DVD. The special can viewed in its entirety as can the individual episodes, which are available colorized or in black and white versions and in their original broadcast length. During their stay in Hollywood, which began in the previous season, Lucy got into many star-studded misadventures. "Lucy Visits Grauman's" finds Ricky (Desi Arnaz) ready to head back to

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends Featuring Jerry Seinfeld DVD Review

Heeeeeeere's a lot of Johnny, a little Jerry, and, well...the good, the bad, and yada yada yada.
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It’s great that Time Life is finding new ways to market The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson by releasing the new series Johnny and Friends. The first installment to hit retail shelves on January 10, 2017 features Jerry Seinfeld. Unfortunately, it’s too little too late. With The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson running nightly on Antenna TV and Time Life making virtually everything “Johnny” available, it’s not too surprising that the average consumer might expect a bit more here than simply three episodes featuring appearances by Jerry Seinfeld. Perhaps you could have given us some bonus features. Some commentary by
Time Life has released The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series comes available as a single disc release (2 shows), a 3-disc collector's set (6 shows + nearly an hour of bonus features), a 6-disc collector's set (12 shows + two hours of exclusive extras) and a 12-disc deluxe edition collector's set (24 shows + over 4 hours of exclusive extras). The 6-disc set was made available for review and appears to be the back half of the 12-disc set, as they are labeled Disc 7 through 12. Disc 7 is entitled “Streak Week from March 1974”

The Best TV Shows of 2016

How many shows do their top-11 lists share?
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In which Shawn and Kim take a look back at the brilliant storytelling shows from 2016. Shawn: If T&A is good at one thing, it's recognizing good and bad TV. Sometimes, those two things are all wrapped into one show. The end of the year is when I usually finish clearing out the DVR and assessing what shows will stay on the list and which ones need to be deleted to make room to try some new things. This is the Golden Age of television. It's probably more likely to call it the Golden Age of the Serial Story. The

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Blu-ray Review

An impressive miniseries that sheds light on a significant event in American history.
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FX's true-crime anthology television series American Crime Story has set a high standard for its duration because its first season, The People v. O.J. Simpson, was critically acclaimed and won nine Emmy Awards including three for acting, one for writing, and for Outstanding Limited Series. Based on Jeffrey Toobin's book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson (1997), the TV series takes viewers behind the scenes during one of the most notable trials of the twentieth century, though what is factual and what has dramatized is not made clear. The series opens with news footage of

American Masters: By Sidney Lumet Review: See the Master in a New Light

An engrossing and thoughtfully revealing portrait of an American cinema master.
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The great Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) was an American original, a genius storyteller, and a quintessential New York filmmaker whose versatile gifts created some of the greatest films ever made, including 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network among others. However, as amazing as he was, he is still highly underrated in film circles today. Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski's enlightening documentary, By Sidney Lumet, gives viewers a chance to see the master himself in a new light, a light that should continue to shine over film history. This portrait with Lumet himself, which was filmed three years before his

Bob Hope: Hope for the Holidays DVD Review: Pop-culture Relics from a Bygone Era

This disc should be enjoyed by fans of Hope and the era as well as those curious about both.
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As the DVD menu reveals, Hope for the Holidays is actually the fourth disc from the 11-DVD set titled Thanks for the Memories: The Bob Hope Specials, which is not to be confused with the previously reviewed 6-DVD set of the same name. This single disc presents two Xmas specials: Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas, which first aired on December 15, 1993, and The Comedy Hour, which first aired on December 15, 1950. Using an Xmas party at Bob and Dolores' home as a framing device, Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas is a compilation special presenting old sketches

Book Review: The Blacklist: Elizabeth Keen's Dossier by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry: A Reminder of the Show's Original Vision

One of the finest and most detailed companion books that I have ever seen.
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"If you are reading this, then something has gone wrong" are the first words we encounter in the new book The Blacklist: Elizabeth Keen's Dossier (2016) by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry. Those handwritten words appear on a piece of notebook paper which seems to have been hastily added to a collection of FBI files, which document the first two seasons of The Blacklist. There is a motherlode of information in these files, including aspects of cases that were never even revealed in the program.. The attention to detail is so thorough that you can practically smell the coffee stains

Book Review: The Art and Making of The Flash by Abbie Bernstein

It feels like a special feature found on a Blu-ray or DVD.
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Over the last couple of years, the CW has built up a number of television series based on the DC comics universe. While their first show featured the hero known as the Green Arrow, their second series needed to have a much lighter tone that had the feel of a comic book. Co-creator and executive producer Greg Bernlanti, who grew up reading comic books, said that The Flash was the hero who exemplified all the traits needed for this new series because he was the heart and soul of the Justice League and would make a perfect companion to the

Strange and Unusual Christmas Films DVD Review: I Am in Hell, Help Me

Alpha Video compiles a selection of creepy shorts guaranteed to leave your mattress well soiled.
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A longstanding idiom states "'Tis better to give than to receive" ‒ and that theory definitely holds true with Alpha Video's nightmarish gathering of vintage Christmas shorts, newly compiled and released to DVD-R. From live-action horror to unsettling animation and even bed-wetting puppet play, Strange and Unusual Christmas Films is quite possibly the greatest gift you could give to someone this season, whether they're into the whole holiday thing or not. The assortment of oddities begins with a condensed Castle Films version of the 1945 Czech treat, A Christmas Dream, which actually won an award once upon a time. The

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Hearts Still Beating'

"Jesus and Daryl were on the screen at the same time...was, quite possibly, the best 15 seconds in The Walking Dead's history." - Kim
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In which there is a sense of redemption of the season to this point and a reason for hope. Kim: Mid-season finales are supposed to make you antsy for the break from your show to be over from the moment you finish watching. In past years, the show would end for the winter break, and I’d instantly look up the return date and start counting down the days until I could get another fix. This year, I’m more interested in my birthday at the end of February and how many people I can fit into an Uber. Aside from the

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Sing Me A Song'

"'It's going to be hard to watch.' - Negan warning us a little too late into the episode." - Shawn
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In which Kim and Shawn are 50% more bored after being slapped in the face by this episode. Shawn: "Keep Going. Only thing here 4 you is boredom." - me paraphrasing one of the few things I still remember about this episode. "You know what's going to happen. It's going to be hard to watch." - Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) warning us a little too late into the episode. At some point our zombie show became The Negan Show. The network was kind enough to extend the episodes this season so we can figure out key plot points such as

TV Review: Legends of Tomorrow: 'Invasion'

The Sentries' responses are mixed.
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The Cinema Sentries are having their own crossover event to cover the DC Superheroes four-part crossover event entitled "Invasion," running this week on the CW. It began (briefly) on Supergirl, formally began on The Flash and continued on Arrow (sorta) and concluded on Legends of Tomorrow. Todd Karella: The final chapter of the CW’s crossover event ended with the Legends of Tomorrow episode and started with the band of superheroes meeting up at STAR Laboratories in Central City to plan their next move. Having been abducted by aliens, Oliver (Green Arrow) is more rattled than he realizes and his first

TV Review: Arrow: 'Invasion'

"Tell Felicity this isn't 'the Best. Team-up. Ever.'" - Gordon
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The Cinema Sentries are having their own crossover event to cover the DC Superheroes four-part crossover event entitled "Invasion," running this week on the CW. It began (briefly) on Supergirl, formally began on The Flash and continued on Arrow (or did it?). Todd Karella: At the end of last night’s crossover episode, five of the heroes ended up being abducted by the alien invaders. But tonight’s episode of Arrow started with Oliver living his dream life. He was getting married to his first love. He was surrounded by loving friends and family. He was living his dream life. But that

TV Review: The Flash: 'Invasion'

"Finally. The Superfriends are together again for the first time. And they even have their own Hall of Justice." - Shawn Bourdo
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The Cinema Sentries are having their own crossover event to cover the DC Superheroes four-part crossover event entitled "Invasion," running this week on the CW. It began (briefly) on Supergirl and formally started on The Flash. Shawn Bourdo: Unlike last night's Supergirl, this one is an actual crossover. Like last night's Supergirl, it must be hard to watch these episodes if you don't follow all of the shows. Each show has had a pretty complex series of plots this season so far and they are playing into the continuity of the story. Cisco and Barry's tension is explained here but

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Swear'

"They called it 'Swear' because I swear it contained 13 minutes of actual storytelling." - Shawn
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In which the dead horse moves closer to the end. Kim: With only two episodes left before the mid-season break, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what’s really on everyone’s minds: How badly this season sucks ass. So, I tuned in last night fully understanding that we would not see Carol, Morgan, or Ezekiel (or that damn tiger). We would not see Negan. We would not see Daryl. We would not see Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Sasha, or Jesus. I reluctantly sat to watch, knowing that this episode would feature characters that none of us honestly give a shit

TV Review: Supergirl: 'Medusa'

"I’m still hoping for big things on the upcoming shows this week, but after tonight, I’m a little less enthusiastic than I was." - Todd Karella
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The Cinema Sentries are having their own crossover event to cover the DC Superheroes four-part crossover event entitled "Invasion," running this week on the CW. It begins (briefly) on Supergirl. Shawn Bourdo: Billed as the first part of the four-part crossover, I feel sorry for viewers tuning in who watch the other shows but not this one. If you are a fan of just Arrow or just The Flash then you are missing out on a pretty good season of Supergirl but you were also probably pretty confused about this continuity heavy episode that tied up loose ends from the

The Wonder Years: Season Six DVD Review: No Shark Jumping, but It Was Time to End

It’s worth buying the season just to see how the story of these Wonder Years comes to a close.
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Appearing on both The Hollywood Reporter's and Rolling Stone's Best TV Shows of All Time lists, The Wonder Years is certainly one of the most memorable shows of the late '80s. Premiering after the Super Bowl on January 31st 1988, it was an immediate hit as baby boomers could not get enough of the blossoming 1960s junior high school relationship between Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar). There were certainly many other relationships explored on The Wonder Years featuring an amazing array of talented performers, but ultimately the show always came back to Kevin and Winnie. As

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Go-Getters'

"The continued loss of interest is correlated to the lack of zombies for me." - Shawn
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In which Carl has his first date and kiss. And nothing else happens. Kim: So, once again we all tune in to The Walking Dead and once again I’m left with feelings of anger and resentment for episode #(I don't really care), with the not-so-fitting name. I keep waiting for it to get better. I keep waiting for it to draw me in. It’s just not doing any of that this season. In fact, there are really only two things I feel I need to talk about in regards to this episode. I’ll give you my thoughts and then you

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Service'

"I found myself wishing that Negan would just start killing people so we could move on from this." - Kim
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In which the group gets reverse furniture delivery and Shawn and Kim watch. Shawn: Much like the actual plot development of this super-sized episode, I don't have many comments about this episode of The Walking Dead. I should have more to say in case we look back in a couple years to this as the point where viewers started abandoning ship. For now, I'll keep the good thoughts. "Service" The episode is so called because like any other job in the service industry, like working for Arby's or in the bathroom accessories department at Lowe's, this episode seemed to be

The Night Of Blu-ray Review: Terrific TV

HBO's limited series takes a hard look at the American criminal justice system.
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Sometimes, I think Richard Price should write all of our television. At heart, Price is a novelist. He’s written some of the greatest crime stories of modern times (including Lush Life and Clockers). While his books fall under the crime genre, they are so much more than that. He researches deep into the ways in which cops really work and what life on the street is really like. His novels pry into urban life and shine a light into places most other novels do not dare show. As such, his writing finds a truth so often missing from genre fiction.

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Cell'

"I just hope there's a point to all of this that I'm just not seeing yet." - Shawn
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In which Kim and Shawn contemplate naked Daryl and other things. Kim: Let me start by saying I have been waiting a long time to see Daryl naked. This was not the way I wanted that to go. I don’t have a lot of thoughts on this episode, but I have a couple and you’re going to have to sit there and take it, just like Rick and the gang did a few weeks ago. Take it like a champ, just as Abraham did. Psychological torture. That’s what this episode is about. Not only what Dwight and Negan were doing

50 Years of Star Trek DVD Review: This Mission Failed

Don't bother beaming me up.
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The entertainment phenomenon that is Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary in September, and with the first television series giving life to five more series and thirteen motion pictures, the incredible fan base was set for something spectacular to commemorate such an auspicious occasion. One could argue that there would be no way to please everyone if a documentary of the history of Star Trek was to be created. If you were to fill a room with Star Trek aficionados and open the discussion on which was the best series, the best captain, or the best motion picture, you would

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Well'

"I hope we get some resolutions or this is going to be painful." - Kim
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In which Shawn and Kim are left with just a weird feeling and more questions. Shawn: Not sure why they put a "the" in front of the title of this episode. I'd be happy with just a drawn out "wellllllll." After last week, I didn't really have a vision for how this week would go and I don't know if I've sufficiently processed this one. I have a few thoughts. It's an odd trip from Negan / Lucille to King Ezekiel / CGI Tiger, Shiva. A baseball bat in the hands of an enigmatic leader of a band of thieves

The Carol Burnett Show: Classic Carol DVD Review: Arguably the Best Release to Date

Apparently they just keep finding these “lost” episodes, and in this case we’re glad they did.
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Most of us our filled with fond memories of The Carol Burnett Show, which ran on CBS from 1967 to 1978. Memories of classic comedy that filled our homes with laughter every week as our family gathered around the television to watch Carol and her friends come out and play. Memories of Tim Conway working with Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, Vicki Lawrence, and of course Carol, in some of the funniest comedy ever on television. Sadly, like many memories, those of The Carol Burnett Show can be a bit cloudy. Tim Conway didn’t join the cast as a regular until

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