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Last update: 2012-02-15

NCIS 200

2012-02-15 :: Paul Levinson

This superb 200th episode of NCIS features Gibbs in a diner, fired on point blank, learning the truest lessons of his life ..

 

blog post review: NCIS 200

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid

2012-02-04 :: Paul Levinson

We get Alternate Astrid and the Eternal Bald Observers in two separate threads in this touching, significant episode.

 

blog post review: Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid

 

Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology

  

 

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Treme 2.4: Angry Albert

2011-05-16 :: Paul Levinson

Episode 2.4 of Treme finally gives us a close look at Albert and what he's up to, how he's feeling, how he's struggling to to fulfill his position as Mardi Gras Indian Chief ...

 

blog post review: Treme 2.4: Angry Albert

 

 

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Game of Thrones 1.4: Broken Things

2011-05-15 :: Paul Levinson

Tyrion continues to have the best lines and the greatest potential for getting into serious trouble in Game of Thrones 1.4 ...

 

blog post review: Game of Thrones 1.4: Broken Things

 

 

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Treme 2.3: Crime and Music

2011-05-15 :: Paul Levinson

The music is as fine as ever in Treme 2.3, but crime is really starting to rear its ugly head in post-Katrinia New Orleans.

 

 

blog post review:  Treme 2.3: Crime and Music

 

 

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Game of Thrones 1.3: Genuine Demons

2011-05-14 :: Paul Levinson

Terrors of the north and elsewhere revealed in Game of Thrones 1.3, along with some great lines ...

 

blog post review:  Game of Thrones 1.3: Genuine Demons

 

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Games of Thrones 1.2: Prince, Wolf, Bastard, Dwarf

2011-05-08 :: Paul Levinson

We learn the value of dire-wolves in Game of Thrones 1.2 ...

 

blog post review: Game of Thrones 1.2: Prince, Wolf, Bastard, Dwarf

 

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Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened

2011-05-06 :: Paul Levinson

The Fringe Season 3 finale will all make sense to you, after you listen to this explanation about time travel and Fringe ...

 

blog post review: Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened

 

coming August 2010:  my new essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology: Fringe Science

 

 

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Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones

2011-05-06 :: Paul Levinson

An unusually senstive, beautiful Bones 6.21 - the best episode of the season - in which the team focuses on a deaf girl, quite alive, rather than skeletal remains ...

 

blog post review: Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones

 

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Game of Thrones Begins Greatly on HBO

2011-05-05 :: Paul Levinson

Setting the table for this lusty, powerful, compex series - Game of Thrones on HBO ...

 

blog post review: Game of Thrones Begins Greatly on HBO

 

See also A Game of Thrones: My 1996 Review of the First Novel

 

 

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NCIS 8.22: "I'd Rather Have a Lead"

2011-05-04 :: Paul Levinson

Gibbs quips "I'd rather have a lead" than a pre-cog crime unit from Minority Report in NCIS 8.22, which features Gibbs and DiNozzo ten years ago, and leaves us with three mysteries in the present: (1) whose blue opened MTAC, (2) who is the NCIS team member in the coroner's wagon next week, and (3) who is the port-to-port killer?

 

blog post review:  NCIS 2.22: "I'd Rather Have a Lead"

 

 

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Treme 2.2: Bounce and Jazz

2011-05-03 :: Paul Levinson

Debates about music, rising crime, and Thanksgiving dinners take center stage in Treme 2.2.

 

blog post review:  Treme 2.2: Bounce and Jazz

 

 

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Treme Back!

2011-04-30 :: Paul Levinson

Treme's back in business and fun with its patented mix of great food, music, characters and storylines ...

 

blog post review: Treme Is Back!

 

 

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Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, and Tron

2011-04-16 :: Paul Levinson

A surprising, derivative - or homage-intensive - episode 3.19 of Fringe, with big nods to Inception, The Walking Dead, and Tron ...

 

blog post review: Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, and Tron

 

 

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Friday Night Lights 5.1: Football and Family

2011-04-16 :: Paul Levinson

Friday Night Lights returns for its final season a NBC with a kick-off episode that's a touchdown in all the usual, wonderful ways ...

 

blog post review:  Friday Night Lights 5.1: Family and Football

 

 

And coming this summer, my "Friday Night Lights, NBC, and DirecTV: How an Unlikely Partnership Saved a Great Show and Pointed the Way to the Future" in this brand new anthology ...



  

 

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Criminal Minds 6.20: Emily's Ghost

2011-04-09 :: Paul Levinson

Emily's ghost continues to haunt the team in Criminal Minds 6.20, and raises questions about why Hotch may be keeping the truth from his colleagues ...

 

blog post review: Criminal Minds 6.20: Emily's Ghost

 

 

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Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet

2011-04-08 :: Paul Levinson

An odiferous but very funny episode ...

 

blog post review: Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet

 

 

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NCIS 8.20: CIRay

2011-04-06 :: Paul Levinson

A powerhouse relationship NCIS 8.20, with Ziva's and DiNozzo's lovers revealed, and a dangling serial killer on hand just for good measure.

 

blog post review: NCIS 8.20: CIRay

 

 

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The Event 1.16: High-Placed Sleeper

2011-04-05 :: Paul Levinson

The strings are pulling ever tighter on The Event 1.16, but does its suggestion that someone in the White House may be an alien hit a little too close to our own real media coverage?

 

blog post review:  The Event 1.16: High Placed Sleeper

 

 

 

 

 

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Boardwalk Empire 1.10: Arnold Rothstein, Media Theorist

2010-11-30 :: Paul Levinson

This superb episode 1.10 of Boardwalk Empire features a bar mitzvah attended by Al Capone, a hot scene with repressed Federal agent Alden, and Arnold Rothstein talking media theory as he had read McLuhan's Understanding Media or my The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution.  This series is one of the best ever on HBO, which is to say, ever on television.

 

blog post review: Boardwalk Empire 1.10: Arnold Rothstein, Media Theorist

 

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Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision

2010-11-30 :: Paul Levinson

The vice continues to close around our Olivia in the alternate universe in Fringe 3.7, and there were lots of excellent alternate reality touches, but I'm looking forward to the explosion ...

 

blog post review: Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision

 

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The Event 1.10: Satellite!

2010-11-30 :: Paul Levinson

The Event 1.10 carries more evidence that Thomas' people are aliens from space - a satellite!  Or does it?  Full analyis of implications or not for time travel ...

 

blog post review:  The Event 1.10: Satellite

 

 

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Dexter 5.10: Monsters, Worse and Better

2010-11-29 :: Paul Levinson

As the forces arrayed against Dexter press ever closer, he finds a new level of humanity in episode 5.10.

 

blog post review:  Dexter 5.10: Monsters, Worse and Better

 

 

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NCIS 8.9: Leon

2010-11-28 :: Paul Levinson

Episode 8.9 of NCIS is all about Leon - including how he was first recruited, and the beginning of his relationship with Gibbs.   A fine chapter in the most-watched drama on television.

 

blog post review: Leon's Story

 

 

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Bones 6.7: Newman and "Death by Chocolate"

2010-11-28 :: Paul Levinson

Review of a delightful episode of  Bones - 6.7 - that features Newman from Seinfeld (Wayne Knight) and ends with what could be a significant non-event for Booth and Bones.

 

blog post review: Bones 6.7: Newman and "Death by Chocolate"

 

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In Treatment 3.5.4: Why Didn't Paul Kiss Adele

2010-11-28 :: Paul Levinson

In the midst of a great season of In Treatment , I offer an analysis of what's going on between Paul and Adele.

 

blog post review: In Treatmenet 3.5.4: Why Didn't Paul Kiss Adele?

 

 

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NCIS 8.4: Gary Cooper not John Wayne

2010-10-15 :: Paul Levinson

Gibbs says he's more Gary Cooper than John Wayne in NCIS 8.4, and that tells us a lot about what's great about the series...

 

blog post review, with link to High Noon vids and song:  NCIS 8.4: Gary Cooper not John Wayne


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bones 6.2: Hannah and Her Prospects

2010-10-02 :: Paul Levinson

Hannah's beautiful, bright, courageous, in Washington, and likely won't be going anywhere else any time soon....

 

blog post review:  Bones 6.2: Hannah and Her Prospects

 

 

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NCIS 8.2: Interns!

2010-09-30 :: Paul Levinson

A sea-change in NCIS 8.2, as Gibbs becomes hospitable to interns!

 

blog post review:  NCIS 8.2: Interns!

 

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The Good Wife Starts Second Season

2010-09-30 :: Paul Levinson

A steamy scene between Alicia and Peter reverses usual male-female power-sex roles on this fine return of The Good Wife for its second season...

 

blog post review:  The Good Wife Returns for Second Season on CBS

 

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Criminal Minds 6.2: The Meaning of JJ Leaving

2010-09-30 :: Paul Levinson

JJ leaves the BAU in Criminal Minds 6.2 - this podcast probes the complex relationship between our enjoyment of fiction and the complex business and personal reality that brings it to us...

 

blog post review:  Criminal Minds 6.2: The Meaning of JJ Leaving

 

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The Event 1.2: Aliens!

2010-09-28 :: Paul Levinson

"Not of terrestrial origin" - sure sounds like aliens to me - and this puts The Event, now up to episode 1.2, in the great company of The Invaders and V, which not only were/are about aliens on Earth, but also have "v" in their titles...

 

blog post review:  The Event 1.2: Aliens!

 

 

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House 7.2: House and Cuddy, New Chapter

2010-09-28 :: Paul Levinson

Now that House and Cuddy are a real couple, the two struggle to make it work on the job in 7.2.

 

blog post review:  House 7.2: House and Cuddy, Chapter 2 of New Relationship

 

 

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Boardwalk Empire Opens on HBO

2010-09-26 :: Paul Levinson

Another vibrant slice of history from HBO ... Boardwalk Empire has color, style, depth, and full-frontal nudity...

 

blog post review:  Boardwalk Empire on HBO

 

 

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The Event Begins on NBC

2010-09-25 :: Paul Levinson

This blend of 24 and FlashForward looks like a keeper!

 

blog post review: The Event Debuts on NBC

 

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Rubicon 1.5: Bloom

2010-08-31 :: Paul Levinson

Taking a crack at episode 1.5 of cerebral, code-cracking, high-spying new drama Rubicon , where the plots are almost as complex as those in Joyce's Ulysses , which, like Rubicon 1.5, also has a character named Bloom ...

 

blog post review: Rubicon 1.5: Bloom

 

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Covert Affairs 1.7: Amtrak Split

2010-08-31 :: Paul Levinson

Trains have always been one of my favorite vehicles of fiction, and Amtrak figures in quite effectively in episode 1.7 of Covert Affairs, the stylish, Bondian, Aliasesque new series on USA Today.

 

blog post review:  Covert Affairs 1.7: Amtrack Split

 

 

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True Blood 3.11: Here Comes the Sun

2010-08-31 :: Paul Levinson

Everything hinges on the sun and Sookie's blood in penultimate Season 3 episode 11 of True Blood...

 

blog post review:  True Blood 3.11:  Here Comes the Sun

 

 

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Mad Men 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Black Out, Flashback

2010-08-31 :: Paul Levinson

Mad Men won the Emmy for best television drama for the third straight year, just as episode 4.6 of Mad Men was airing, in which Don wins a Clio for his Glo-Coat, and that's almost the least of this superb episode.

 

blog post review:  Mad Men 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flash Back

 

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True Blood 3.6: True Life, Love, Death

2010-07-30 :: Paul Levinson

Relationships and existences pushed to the limits in True Blood 3.6, including Tara and Mott and Mott's head, how much blood can Bill lose,  much more ...

 

blog post review:  True Blood 3.6: True Life and Death

 

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Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight

2010-07-29 :: Paul Levinson

Mad Men returned in fine form for its fourth season with a great line about Chicken Kiev, Don strangling an interview, Peggy instigating a ham stunt and much more...

 

blog post review: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight

 

 

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The Closer 6.2: Close Calls and Fun Bumps

2010-07-25 :: Paul Levinson

The Closer 6.2 features Brenda having a close call, Captain Raydor back, and another surprise bump at the end ....

 

blog post review: The Closer 6.2: Fun Bumps

 

 

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True Blood 3.5: Square, Thumb, Crown, Power

2010-07-19 :: Paul Levinson

True Blood 3.5  brings us Mott texting at vampiric speed to impress Tara, Eric discovering something crucial to his past in the King's domain, and Sookie flashing her power.

 

blog post review: True Blood 3.5:  Square, Love, Crown, Power

 

 

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Lie to Me 2.15: Melissa George and Shawn Ryan

2010-07-18 :: Paul Levinson

Lie to Me 2.15 features the return of saucy Melissa George and a story that bespeaks Shawn Ryan's The Shield ...

 

blog post review:  Lie to Me 2.15: Melissa George and Shawn Ryan

 

 

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The Closer 6.1: New Building

2010-07-17 :: Paul Levinson

The premiere for The Closer's 6th season feautures a new building, a suprise at the end, and the same delightful mix of police work and humor...

 

blog post review:  The Closer 6.1: The New Building

 

see also my interview in The Christian Science Monitor article by Gloria Goodale, 'The Closer' opened doors for women – and for basic cable July 12, 2010 ...

 

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True Blood 3.4: Running Hot, Winning Names

2010-07-12 :: Paul Levinson

True Blood 3.4 features some cool lines, fine scenes, and powerful plot developments - this podcast contains a frank analysis of the language.

 

blog post review:  True Blood 3.4:  Running Hot, Winning Names

 

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Lie to Me 2.14: Even Paranoids Have Enemies

2010-07-07 :: Paul Levinson

Lie to Me 2.14 has a fine story about a vet who thinks someone is out to get him, and an even better coda in which we learn how Lightman really feels about the three women in his life...

 

blog post review:  Lie to Me 2.14: Paranoids Have Real Enemies

 

 

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Lie to Me 2.13: The Whole Truth and Rep Joe Wilson

2010-07-02 :: Paul Levinson

Lie to Me 2.13 features Pres. Obama's response to the outburst  by Rep. Joe Wilson ("You lie!") and beautiful Melissa George accused of killing her husband more than twice her age.

 

blog post review:  Lie to Me 2.13: The Whole Truth and Rep Joe Wilson

 

 

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Lie to Me 2.12: The One Prevarication

2010-07-01 :: Paul Levinson

Lie to Me 2.12 is one of the best episodes of the series, featuring a conflict between Cal and Gillian that goes back seven years, and may have life-and-death consequences for Cal's daughter Emily.

 

blog post review:  Lie to Me 2.12: The One Prevarication

 

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True Blood 3.3: Rolling Eyes and Spinning Heads

2010-06-28 :: Paul Levinson

Lots of hot love-making in True Blood 3.3, between surprising partners...

 

blog post review: True Blood 3.3: Rolling Eyes and Spinning Heads

 

 

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True Blood 3.2: King and Wolves

2010-06-27 :: Paul Levinson

A King of Vampires in charge of a pack of weak werewolves and new vampire played by James Frain all figure in Episode 3.2 of True Blood .

 

blog post review:  True Blood 3.2: King and Wolves

 

 

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Treme 1 Finale: Happy Sad Life

2010-06-24 :: Paul Levinson

A fine Season One finale for Treme, with happy sad endings and stories for most of our characters, a satisfying flashback Katrina coda, and a superb platter of music indeed!

 

blog post review:  Treme Season One Finale: Happy Sad Life

 

album mentioned in the podcast:   Twice Upon a Rhyme

 

 

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Treme 1.9: Dire Times for One

2010-06-19 :: Paul Levinson

The next to last episode of the first season of Treme is chock full of great lines, music, and situations, and some dire times for Creighton.

 

blog post review:  Treme 1.9: Creighton

 

also: My Favorite Moment in Treme - with the YouTube video

 

 

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True Blood 3.1: Oxygen vs. Phone

2010-06-15 :: Paul Levinson

The Season Three premiere of True Blood had all sorts of good evil things, including a line that appealed to me about oxygen vs. the phone.

 

 

blog post review:  True Blood 3.1:  Oxygen vs. Phone

 

 

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Lie to Me 2.11: Double Feature

2010-06-11 :: Paul Levinson

The return of Lie to Me with episode 2.11 features two fine stories, one about a Ted-Bundy-like serial killer, just starting out, who locks horns with Lightman, and the other about a teacher who sees a UFO, and needs Loker's support.

 

blog post review:  Lie to Me 2.11: Double Feature

 

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Treme 1.8: Passions and Dreams

2010-06-07 :: Paul Levinson

Just about everyone is happy and passionate on Madri Gras day in Treme 1.8, except Creighton.

 

blog post review:  Treme 1.8: Passions and Dreams

 

 

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V Season 1 Finale: Red Cloud

2010-06-04 :: Paul Levinson

V ended its first season with a fine ratcheting up of the complex chess game and a red cloud.

 

blog post review:  V Season 1 Finale: Complex Chess and Red Cloud

 

 

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House Season 6 Finale: Finally!

2010-06-03 :: Paul Levinson

The suprise ending of the highly satisfying Season 6 finale of House finds House without shrink or cane, but he was something much better, at long last!

 

blog post review:  House Season 6 Finale: Finally!

 

 

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Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye Contact and Evolution

2010-05-30 :: Paul Levinson

The fine, sad Bones Season 5 finale is all about letting go and moving on ... lets hope for not more than a year in television time, a summer in our time, calling Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

 

blog post review:  Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye Contact and Evolution

 

 

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Fringe 2 Finale: The Switch

2010-05-29 :: Paul Levinson

A fabulous finale for Fringe Season 2, which reveals a lot about William Bell, the other reality, and some real emotional punches and surprises.

 

blog post review:  Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

 

 

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FlashForward Ends on a High Note

2010-05-28 :: Paul Levinson

FlashForward ended its first and apparently final season with a fine show that tied up lots of loose ends, answered some questions, and left me very much wanting at least another season.

 

blog post review:  FlashForward Ends on a High Note

 

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NCIS Season 7 Finale: Retribution

2010-05-26 :: Paul Levinson

NCIS continues its tradition of excellent season finales, with a Season 7 ending about Gibbs and retribution.

 

 

blog post review:  NCIS Season 7 Finale: Retribution

 

 

 

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24 Forever!

2010-05-25 :: Paul Levinson

The 24 series finale was a lesson in how to conclude a brilliant, revolutionary, adrenalin-pumping television show.

 

 blog post review:  24 Forever!

 

 

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Lost Finale: Jack's Story and Missed Opportunities

2010-05-24 :: Paul Levinson

Lots of powerfully satisfying emotional moments in the finale of Lost,  but there were also lots of missed opportunities for more rational, scientific endings.

 

blog post reviews:

 

The End of  Lost: Preliminary Thoughts: Jack's Story

The End of Lost 2:  Further Thoughts: Missed Opportunities

 

see also: Lost: Keys to What's Really Going On

 

 

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24 Season 8 Hour 22: Stunning Rollercoaster

2010-05-20 :: Paul Levinson

The penultimate episode 8.22 of 24 takes us on heart-in-your-mouth rollercoaster ride as Jack Bauer goes further than ever before in one of the best seasons of one of the best series ever on television.

 

blog post review:  28.8.22: Rollercoaster Brilliantly Off Grid

 

 

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Penultimate Lost: Coincidence for Fate

2010-05-19 :: Paul Levinson

The best part of this excellent next-to-last episode of Lost was the powerful split story of Ben in Lost Angeles and Ben on the island, each true to their natures.

 

blog post review:  Penultimate Lost: Coincidence for Fate

 

 

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Lost 6.15: Jacob and Esau/MIB

2010-05-12 :: Paul Levinson

Lost's explanation for how Jacob and the MIB arose is big on mysticism and short on science.

 

blog post review:  Lost 6.15: Jacob and Esau/MIB

 

 

 

 

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Treme 1.4: New Orleans, New York, and Nashville

2010-05-09 :: Paul Levinson

Lots of great music, as always in Treme 1.4, especially Antoine's rendition of St. James Infirmary.   Also love under pressure, and parallels to Robert Altman's Nashville and what's happening in the flooded city of Nashville right now.

 

blog post review:  Treme 1.4: New Orleans, New York, and Nashville

 

Robert Altman's Nashville :



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FlashForward 1.19: The Recalcitrant Universe

2010-05-08 :: Paul Levinson

Robert J. Sawyer - author of the novel upon which FlashForward wasa based - wrote this powerful episode, teeming with paradox and fun intellectual puzzles at every turn.

 

blog post review:  FlashForward 1.19: The Stubborn Universe

 

see also:  The Chronology Protection Case

 

and listen to my interview with Robert J. Sawyer

 

Robert J. Sawyer's novel, upon which FlashForward is based:





 

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Friday Night Lights!

2010-05-08 :: Paul Levinson

Why Friday Night Lights, which just returned for its 4th season on NBC, is one of the all-time best shows on television!

 

blog post:  Reasons to Watch Friday Night Lights

 

 

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Lost 6.14: Jack's Tears

2010-05-05 :: Paul Levinson

Jack gives Claire a music box in Los Angeles that plays "Catch a Falling Star," but the sky itself seemed to be falling in this heart-rending episode 6.14 of Lost, which took three major and one minor character from us on the island.


blog post review:  Lost 6.14: Jack's Tears

 

And here's a bit of Pat Hamilton's "Catch a Falling Star" 

 

 

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24 Season 8 Hour 20: Jack vs. Chloe

2010-05-04 :: Paul Levinson

A superb episode of 24 - 8.20 - which shows just why I like Jack Bauer and this series.  Real terror attacks in New York City also show why 24 is still relevant to the dangerous world in which we live, especially if, like me, you live in New York City.

 

blog post review:  24.8.20:  Jack vs. Dana

 

 

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