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Doctor Who Recap 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

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Doctor Who Recap: 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

“Twice Upon a Time,” Doctor Who’s 2017 Christmas special, is a story of endings and of continuing beyond them. It caps off the Doctor Who careers of both showrunner Steven Moffat and the current Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, and heralds a time of wholesale change both in front of and behind the camera, as new showrunner Chris Chibnall arrives with his new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Moffat’s swan song is a fittingly elegiac tale that looks at how the Doctor has changed in the course of his 54-year journey by placing Capaldi’s Doctor side by side with his very first incarnation, originally played back by William Hartnell and here by David Bradley.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

In the past, some season finales of Curb Your Enthusiasm have been kind to Larry David: They’ve seen him triumphantly salvaging a potentially disastrous restaurant opening (“The Grand Opening”) and saving a doomed musical (“Opening Night”). But even when Larry is in the right, when he deservedly wins a petty squabble or outwits an obnoxious celebrity, there’s a particular satisfaction in watching him reap the consequences of his own foot-in-mouthedness. And last night’s season-nine finale episode, “Fatwa!,” doesn’t cast Larry in a heroic light. Throughout, it indulges whole-heartedly in fiasco, and much to the detriment of Larry and everyone in his inner circle.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

“There’s no discretion anymore,” Larry David laments in the penultimate episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s ninth season, and there’s an inkling of truth to his complaint. Were Larry’s company more discreet, Cheryl might not have divulged personal information about Larry to her new beau, Ted Danson. In the event that there is still discretion in a world full of big mouths, it usually comes at a price: $2,500 to be exact, from an extorting shellfish shucker (Steven Weber), in exchange for not telling Lin-Manuel Miranda that Larry fell asleep during a performance of Hamilton.

Watch: Exclusive Clip Featuring Michelle MacLaren on Directing The Deuce

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Watch: Exclusive Clip Featuring Michelle MacLaren on Directing The Deuce

HBO

Watch: Exclusive Clip Featuring Michelle MacLaren on Directing The Deuce

In his recap of the season finale of The Deuce‘s first season, Slant‘s Michael Haigis wrote about how unwitting transformation was on display throughout the episode, and how “a character montage at the episode’s conclusion reveals a series of fates mostly crafted by outside influence.” In the exclusive clip below, director Michelle MacLaren elaborates on her decision to rhyme a character’s slow walk down a corridor with a scene from the show’s first episode. It’s a correlation that artfully speaks to the show’s obsession with the nature of gender politics in the early 1970s in New York City’s Times Square, during which time the porn industry was beginning its climb to legitimacy, as well as cultural permanence and billion-dollar profitability.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

Larry David isn’t what you would call a bad tipper. He may squabble with individuals in the service industry, even insult or baffle them in the process, but he’s usually quick to rustle up some cash for their troubles. Maybe he genuinely appreciates their assistance. Or, as it becomes increasingly clear in “Never Wait for Seconds!,” perhaps he’d rather wash his hands of the situation, extricating himself from any more involvement with a stranger. Given the abundance of service employees who Larry has run into throughout season nine of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not to mention the instances of him expressing his distaste for being indebted to anyone, it’s not surprising that the series should devote an entire episode to the politics of favors.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 11, “Great Again”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 11, “Great Again”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 11, “Great Again”

The season finale of American Horror Story: Cult, “Great Again,” ends on an unmistakably cathartic note. A red-pantsuit-clad Ally (Sarah Paulson), once a terrorized, fearful woman, is no longer willing to be seen as a victim or a survivor. Indeed, she stares down both the slick politician, Herbert Jackson (Dennis Cockrum), whose senate seat she seeks, and then the man who abused her, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), telling him: “There is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man: a nasty woman.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

In last week’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David briefly played the people’s hero, standing up to self-righteous hostesses and ill-mannered travelers. In “Namaste,” he proudly reemerges as a shameless asshole and nuisance, which leads to some of the best—and worst—tussles of the season so far.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 10, “Charles (Manson) in Charge”

In so fervently, even humanely, leaning into Kai’s (Evan Peters) madness as it once did into Ally’s (Sarah Paulson), “Charles (Manson) in Charge” manages to get back to the inspired lunacy of American Horror Story: Cult’s first few episodes and reclaim a sense of purpose, one that puts character development on a level playing field with political provocation. The flashbacks are no longer misleading or disconnected and the aesthetics are, while still dissonant, lush with meaning, as in the framing of bodies and use of mirrors that stress both Kai’s fraught connection to his sister, Winter (Billie Lourd), as well as his psychic break from reality.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

Larry David has worn many hats throughout Curb Your Enthusiasm’s run. This season alone he’s been a pickle hero and fatwa boy, but more often than not, he’s just a “four-eyed fuck.” “The Accidental Text on Purpose,” last night’s episode of the show, introduced the unlikeliest of roles for Larry: relationship guru. Why anyone would trust Larry with relationship advice is unclear, but for the better part of the episode, Larry doles out some inspired—and appropriately disingenuous—nuggets of wisdom.

American Horror Story: Cult Recap Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”

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American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”
American Horror Story: Cult Recap: Episode 9, “Drink the Kool-Aid”

“Drink the Kool-Aid,” the latest episode of American Horror Story: Cult, opens with Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), a flashlight held under his face and his underwear-clad recruits sprawled out on sleeping bags before him, telling what could be a ghost story at summer camp. The scene is at the very least effective for infantilizing Kai and his followers. It’s a succinct expression of the blind leading the blind, which is, of course, what the makers of the show understandably believe is the governing principle of the Trump presidency.