Arrow: The Complete First Season

Fans of the comic know the backstory, although it takes on new immediacy seeing it on TV. Young billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has been shipwrecked on a deserted island for five years. After he’s rescued, with the skills he learned to survive, he’s determined to bring justice to Starling City to make up for his father’s corruption. He roams the streets as a mysterious hooded vigilante, taking down criminals among the rich 1% (making for a timely undercurrent, that […]

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Masters of Sex Debuts on Showtime Tonight — Recommended!

Just watched Masters of Sex on Showtime on Demand, and it was great — funny, revelatory, fascinating, and thought-provoking. Attitudes about sex in 1956 were restrained, as you’d expect, which made Dr. William Masters’ work exploring the physical reactions to intercourse and orgasm all the more surprising. Virginia (“Ginny”) Johnson was his secretary, later his partner in this groundbreaking research into human sexuality. Masters of Sex explores their work and personalities. Masters is restrained (with ego-driven deception when it comes […]

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Robot Chicken DC Comics Special

Out on July 9 is the home video version of the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, a 23-minute animated parody of how the classic superheroes would act if they were frat boys. The opening sequence, which plays the old-school Super Friends cartoon theme as we watch a robot humping the Bat-signal, sets up the blend of crudeness and nostalgia to follow. I haven’t before seen any of the Robot Chicken specials, but they seem to be to comedy what podcasting […]

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Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season

When this show debuted on TNT last summer, it was quite popular for critics to bash it for being stupid. I’m not going to say the series is particularly smart, but its fans aren’t looking for insightful, unique observations that advance the television medium. Like much of USA’s lineup, a strategy TNT seems to be emulating, Franklin & Bash is excellent summer viewing. It’s full of pretty people doing dumb thus entertaining things. It’s wonderful escapist fantasy. You’ll forget it […]

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Sherlock Season 2

Given how much I enjoyed the first season of Sherlock, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this second season. When I heard that the episodes were clipped when they aired on PBS, I skipped watching them and went straight to DVD, which allowed me to wallow in all of them at once. I love this show, even more than Doctor Who. (They share a producer in Steven Moffat, who co-created Sherlock with Mark Gatiss.) It’s a wonderful modernization of the characters and […]

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Young Justice Season 1 Volume 3

The newest Young Justice DVD, Season One Volume Three, contains four episodes, continuing from where the previous release left off. “Bereft” gives me what I’d been waiting for since the start of the series: a significant role for Artemis (Stephanie Lemelin) with the team. Unfortunately, the group is all split up, with no one remembering the last six months, and Superboy’s (Nolan North) kind of Hulk-like here, nothing but rage and power without his memories. I’ve seen amnesia episodes before […]

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Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series

It’s Matt Smith’s second series as the Doctor! The 14-episode set of Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series begins with a disc containing the hour-long special A Christmas Carol, a charming story that freshens up the classic Dickens tale with comedy and a giant flying shark. The Doctor has to un-harden the heart of Michael Gambon by going back in time to make his childhood holidays more fun. It’s a brilliant blend of time travel and a story well-known enough […]

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Young Justice Season 1 Volume 2

As with the first volume, Young Justice Season 1 Volume 2 is a bare-bones, just-the-episodes disc. I didn’t care much for the first few episodes, but I keep hearing that the show continued to improve over its run, so I figured I’d try these next four and see what I thought. “Schooled” begins with Superboy (Nolan North) and Superman (Nolan North) facing off during a school bus rescue, as Superboy clearly wants more of his mentor’s attention than he’s getting. […]

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