Monthly Archives: February 2012

Downton Abbey: Week 6

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: An intense two hour episode of “Downton Abbey” rarely leaves much to the imagination when all questions are asked and answered without much lull in between. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t love every minute of this episode, but oy veh, is this emotional roller coaster exhausting!

ZOË RICE: The pacing of this week’s two-hour whirlwind left little room to breathe. So much action keeps a viewer utterly engaged. But from another point of view, it also robs us of the kind of slower progression that allows for heightened suspense and a savoring that only comes when a drama series makes you earn its tastiest moments.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: Much better. Much, much better. Love stories were advanced, an in-the-way character died, affairs were narrowly avoided, the annoying long-lost presumptive heir nobody cared about stayed away (hopefully for good), and everybody’s favorite nice-guy walked bravely to his arrest. All in all, it was an outstanding week, but one minor detail keeps nagging me: How old is everyone?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The conclusion of Season 2- from what I understand, this coming finale is really a separate, Christmas at Downton aired later over in Great Britain- had the pacing problems Zoë mentioned for me as well. That said, there was so much to like, and I am greatly saddened at the idea that Downton is coming to a close for now.
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Paul McCartney’s Latest

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: The beginning of Paul McCartney’s new album of classic standards begins with a swinging, jazzy prelude to “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.” It sounds like the beginning of any martini party playlist, soon to be followed by the voices of Ella, Louie, Billie, Dean, Frank, or Peggy. Yet then, we hear the soft, whispering tones from the aging voice of a rock and roll legend, and the tone shifts

DAVE TOMAR: Paul McCartney looks increasingly like somebody’s grandmother. So it’s fitting that he should make a record my grandmother would love. This is no insult. My grandmother has great taste. Continue reading

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SNL: Zooey Deschanel/Karmin


ZOË RICE: A sharp take on Mitt Romney’s distance from voters and on political spin in general. Nicely done, even if I imagine Howard remains more moved by Sudeikis’s impression than I am.

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Whitney Houston Remembered


AKIE BERMISS: The music world was rocked last Saturday night when it became known that singer Whitney Houston had died in a hotel in Beverly Hills.  And the night before the 2012 Grammys no less.  I found out while…

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Jeremy Lin Perspectives

HOWARD MEGDAL: It never occurred to me that I might root for a player as vociferously as Patrick Ewing. But Jeremy Lin might just get there for me.

ROBERT SHATZKIN: I’m scared to fully embrace the Linsanity. Continue reading

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New Van Halen Album

KEVIN ZIMMERMAN: I’m hardly the world’s biggest Van Halen fan, but the new album, A Different Kind of Truth, is surprisingly decent — a lot better than I (or I’m guessing most people) would have believed. Continue reading

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Modern Family: Feb. 8 Episode

KIP MOONEY: It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Three weeks since our last new episode, but boy was this one worth the wait. Continue reading

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SNL: Channing Tatum/Bon Iver


ZOË RICE: I was utterly enchanted by this view of two years into the “future,” and I may have to use “May divorce be with you” in conversation somehow. I found it a…

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Komen v. Planned Parenthood

Breast cancer was chosen as a feel-good marketing focus — some might say ploy — by the high-end department-store makeup companies precisely because it had non-political, non-sexual, non-icky associations that other women’s health issues like HIV/AIDS or cervical cancer did…

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Best Sitcom Actress: Moore or Ball?

KEVIN ZIMMERMAN: Mary Tyler Moore received the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 29, begging the question: Is she the best sitcom actress of all time?

NAVA BRAHE: While Kevin makes some excellent points about why he thinks Lucille Ball is the best sitcom actress of all time, I have to respectfully disagree and choose Mary Tyler Moore.

With all due respect to MTM, enduring star of both her own Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show, I have to say no. My main reason? Two words: Lucille Ball.

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