The 50 Year Argument fashions an American cultural hall of mirrors that speaks of the chaotic exhilaration of fostering discourse that might initiate real social engagement.
Madam Secretary shoehorns the vast complexity of geopolitics into the most blandly centrist Americanism imaginable.
It appears that Sons of Anarchy is going down in the same manner it started: as a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
In its final season, Boardwalk Empire seems determined to follow up on the show's early tag line, "You can't be half a gangster."
Uli Edel's Houdini miniseries comes across as a mere cataloguing of the magician's exploits rather than an actual inquiry into the man.
Steven Soderbergh's The Knick is informed by a hypnotic sense of old newness that's reminiscent of Deadwood.
Outlander seems to want to use feudal highland politics as a place to comment on contemporary issues, but so far the series only hints at this potential.
For a series that had to switch networks just to provide closure for the galvanizing, open-ended third season, there's no grand expressive sense of ending.
Partners is bad even by most lawyer-joke standards, and the writing's falseness and laziness carries over to the performances.
Resolutely timely, The Honorable Woman spins a series of nested mysteries around that most impenetrable of subjects: the Middle East.
The Strain knows it's a fantasy, and embraces poetic hyperbole in an aesthetic fashion similar to the more sophisticated Hannibal.
In its second season, Hemlock Grove no longer suffers from lethargic pacing, but it's also been scrubbed free of any residual weirdness.
Masters of Sex's second season is no more or less disappointing than a grand seduction that concludes with a minute-long roll in the hay.
Drab and monotonous, The Leftovers is another stultifying example of pop culture's determination to elevate potentially serviceable pulp to the realm of capital-A art.
The series is almost all build-up, a hungry anticipation for what machines can and will do, but it only has a cursory interest in the complex humans that built them.
Nothing lasts forever without repeating itself, and in its final season, True Blood seems to have exhausted its stores of surprises.
The art is the reason to see the enjoyable but egregiously slight Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.
Power is a warmed-over soap opera only superficially obsessed with its protagonist's relationship to guns and drugs.
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