A 21st-century “Hunger Games”
By Carl Bronski, 4 September 2019
In all, five of the nine runners-up of Season 6 of Alone were medically evacuated. Others voluntarily withdrew due to the effects of starvation, psychological breakdown or the loss of shelter.
By Nick Barrickman, 24 August 2019
In the third season of Justin Simien’s series, events culminate in a #MeToo-style attack on a popular professor.
By Clara Weiss, 5 August 2019
Under conditions of an international resurgence of fascist forces, the series, which had an enormous impact in West Germany in 1979, has lost none of its relevance.
By Matthew MacEgan, 27 July 2019
Stranger Things, created by the Duffer Brothers, continues with its tribute to the 1980s, science fiction and horror themes.
By Joanne Laurier, 11 July 2019
Charité at War is a German television drama, set in the years 1943 to 1945 at Berlin’s Charité hospital, one of the most prominent in Europe. The series depicts life under Nazi rule.
By Ed Hightower, 27 June 2019
Barry follows a discharged Marine-turned-assassin as he attempts to shed the moral baggage of his military service, with tragi-comic results.
Miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster
By Andrea Peters, 15 June 2019
Director Johan Renck and scriptwriter Craig Mazin capture the reality of the explosion that tore open the facility’s nuclear reactor core and spewed radioactive material over large swathes of the western USSR and Europe.
By Gabriel Black, 27 May 2019
Game of Thrones’ final season was met with a widespread public backlash critical of its simplistic and misanthropic ending.
By Joanne Laurier, 26 March 2019
An Amazon Prime original, This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy is an eight-episode documentary series that purports to make sense of a complex global situation.
By Josh Varlin, 22 March 2019
The show is too savvy to be a simple #MeToo parable about its protagonist’s fall from grace, although the anti-democratic campaign does find reflection.
By Barry Grey, 19 February 2019
There is no precedent in US presidential history for such a direct incitement of violence against a public personality.
By David Walsh, 1 February 2019
William Makepeace Thackeray’s work, a remarkable social satire and picture of life, is set during and after the Napoleonic Wars, with the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 playing a role in the events.
Russian television’s Trotsky serial: A degraded spectacle of historical falsification and anti-Semitism
By Fred Williams and David North, 19 December 2018
The eight-part mini-series, now available on Netflix, is an exhibition of the political, intellectual and cultural depravity of all those involved in its production. This comment was originally posted in November 2017.
By David Walsh, 15 December 2018
The series centers on a British Army veteran, David Budd, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Budd now serves as an officer with a branch of the police in charge of security for politicians.
By David Walsh, 14 November 2018
The series begins with the shooting death of a south London pizza delivery man. The murderer, we soon learn, is a female British army captain, who believes she has killed an Iraqi “terrorist.”
By Sandy English, 26 September 2018
Game of Thrones, which premiered in 2011, is a complex and well-acted drama for the most part, but lacks resonance or genuine substance in relation to the big problems faced by its audience.
By Ed Hightower, 27 August 2018
Australian comic Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special, Nanette, has become a huge success. Great claims, unsupported by the reality of the hour-long program, have been made for it.
By Ed Hightower, 16 July 2018
The familiar problem of having run out of something to say pervades the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
By Joanne Laurier, 13 July 2018
The HBO television series, Succession, is a sharply drawn portrait of a family that runs a global media conglomerate.
By David Walsh, 7 July 2018
A slightly bored British intelligence officer takes on a new, more “exciting” assignment, pursuing a female assassin.
By Nick Barrickman, 4 July 2018
The second season picks up where the first season left off: focused on the petty and self-centered exploits of a group of African American students at a fictional upscale university.
By David Walsh, 31 May 2018
On Tuesday, ABC television cancelled the revived Roseanne after its star Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet.
By Ed Hightower, 22 May 2018
A breath of fresh air, Corporate, directs its fire against the multinational corporation with considerable honesty and success.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 9 April 2018
The result is surprisingly optimistic and confident, not what one might have expected from Fassbinder, known for his emotionally dark, harsh and even cynical films.
By David Walsh, 4 April 2018
The first two episodes of the new season, broadcast on ABC back to back on March 27, were watched by more than 20 million people. The network has announced plans for an 11th season.
By Paul Mitchell, 30 January 2018
The season begins with the Suez crisis in 1956 and ends in 1963 with the Soviet spy scare centred on War Minister John Profumo.
By Bryan Dyne, 22 January 2018
The series is a vindication of what can be achieved with scientifically coordinated and socially progressive human activity.
Russian television’s Trotsky serial: A degraded spectacle of historical falsification and anti-Semitism
By Fred Williams and David North, 25 November 2017
The eight-part serial is an exhibition of the political, intellectual and cultural depravity of all those involved in its production.
By Patrick Martin, 2 October 2017
The 18-hour documentary series on PBS combines gripping images of the US war, an exposure of the lies and crimes of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and a narrative that seems intended to block any serious understanding of American imperialism.
By Hiram Lee, 20 September 2017
Twenty-five years after its last episode aired, Twin Peaks, the surreal small-town mystery, has been brought back to life by David Lynch.
By David Walsh, 19 September 2017
The media was more or less agreed Monday that the highlight of the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was the brief appearance by Trump’s former press secretary.
By Carlos Delgado, 21 August 2017
The acclaimed science fiction drama imagines a futuristic amusement park populated by ultra-lifelike robots.
By Bryan Dyne, 20 July 2017
The 10-episode season depicts the life of one of the most renowned scientists in world history without paying much attention to the science he developed.
By Ed Hightower, 1 July 2017
The prequel to AMC’s hit Breaking Bad has an identity crisis, and in Season Three resolves this by largely becoming another cop drama.
By Hiram Lee, 20 June 2017
The newest season of the Netflix drama House of Cards sees the corrupt administration of President Frank Underwood struggling to retain power while battling rival factions within the state.
By James Brewer, 3 June 2017
The Public Broadcasting Service presented an engaging and informative documentary on the science behind the Flint water crisis.
By Joanne Laurier, 30 May 2017
The film admirably revives a venerable tradition of anti-military and anti-war drama and comedy in the US.
Anthony Bourdain in Laos
By Walter Gilberti, 27 May 2017
Perhaps only a culinary celebrity can evade the wall of self-censorship in the American media to discuss a war crime committed by the US military.
By Joanne Laurier, 24 May 2017
The first season of the new Netflix 10-part series, Dear White People, an expansion of Justin Simien’s 2014 movie, concerns a group of black students at a fictional, predominantly white, Ivy League college.
By Ed Hightower, 15 May 2017
The few elements that might have been the show’s saving grace vanish in this final season as Girls dives hard into the morass of identity politics and “personal responsibility.”
By Matthew MacEgan, 12 May 2017
The series’ first season tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who goes missing in a small town where a top-secret government agency is running tests on supernatural phenomena.
By Genevieve Leigh, 10 May 2017
The new Netflix series treats the background to the decision by Hannah Baker, a high school student in a more or less average American suburb, to kill herself…and its consequences.
By Joanne Laurier, 3 November 2016
Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, commissioned by Amazon Studios, is a television miniseries set in the period of the anti-Vietnam War protests.
By Johannes Stern and Peter Schwarz, 24 October 2016
The TV film “Terror—Your Verdict” was a deliberate political spectacle to promote German militarism, undermine the constitution, and nullify elementary democratic rights.
By Josh Varlin, 15 August 2016
Netflix’s original animated series BoJack Horseman manages to provide a comedic yet thoughtful look at the entertainment industry and the psychic damage it inflicts.
By Ed Hightower, 6 August 2016
A number of new comedies on Netflix offer mixed results.
By Carlos Delgado, 2 August 2016
The popular HBO television comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a hopelessly inept and unprincipled US vice president who ascends to the presidency.
By Ed Hightower, 26 July 2016
The fourth season of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, the comedy-drama set in a fictional women’s federal prison, is now available.
By Carlos Delgado, 3 June 2016
Praise for Lena Dunham’s “Girls” generally lauds its “frankness” and “realism” about the unpleasant, even ugly, aspects of life for American youth.
By Jean Shaoul, 5 April 2016
The Saudi ruling family spent $70 billion exporting its particularly repressive form of Islamism through books, the media, Islamic welfare institutions and charities.
By Andre Damon, 24 March 2016
The latest season of the Netflix series suggests that the US government facilitates terrorism to keep a lid on domestic opposition, spies on the population for political gain, and conspires to go to war for Machiavellian ends.
By Charles Bogle, 8 March 2016
The FX series examines the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994, for which former football star O. J. Simpson was charged.
By Verena Nees, 30 July 2015
The “Trust Fund” is the centrepiece of the EU’s new austerity programme and is aimed at plundering the Greek economy.
By Christine Schofelt and David Walsh, 17 July 2015
Making a direct appeal to debt-ridden youth and branding itself as “anti-corporate,” Mr. Robot raises many issues. But how does it deal with them?
By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2015
Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, the series follows the ups and downs of six young men who live together in a Silicon Valley “business startup incubator.”
By Richard Phillips, 13 March 2015
The multi-episode program, which glorifies Australian military involvement in the World War I invasion of Turkey, has been ratings failure.
By Paul Mitchell, 14 January 2015
Downton Abbey, set in Yorkshire, depicts the lives of the Crawley family and their 16 servants in the early decades of the twentieth century.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 November 2014
Adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, HBO’s miniseries Olive Kitteridge deals with life in a small community on the coast of Maine.
By Christine Schofelt, 28 August 2014
Presented in an almost painterly fashion, the first season of True Detective offers up a sad picture indeed.
By Isaac Finn, 27 August 2014
The HBO documentary reveals how the FBI and mainstream media worked to get four impoverished men in New York state convicted of a “terrorist plot.”
By Charles Bogle, 30 July 2014
The AMC series, about an ad agency in the 1960s, has attracted a great deal of attention for its efforts to recreate the social atmosphere and circumstances of those years.
By Ed Hightower, 20 June 2014
The television series, based on the experiences of a former inmate, takes a generally serious and realistic look—something terribly rare on American television—at the prison population in the US.
By Jeff Lusanne and George Marlowe, 29 May 2014
Recent emails reveal that the producers of the documentary series Chicagoland worked closely with the Emanuel administration.
By Bryan Dyne, 14 April 2014
The remake of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, has its moments, but does not go far enough either in its exposition of science or its criticism of anti-science.
By Joanne Laurier, 21 February 2014
The second season of House of Cards, the series produced by Netflix, reveals more of the exploits of Frank Underwood, Democratic Party vice president and chief conspirator.
By Christine Schofelt, 17 January 2014
With varying levels of style and blood-thirstiness, two more US television series seek to excuse the ongoing attacks on constitutional rights.
By Christine Schofelt, 8 November 2013
Television programming in the US is currently and disturbingly dominated by the presence of series featuring the police, intelligence and military.
By Christine Schofelt, 21 October 2013
The scattershot approach of the writers in an effort to cover as many bases as possible leaves Fox Television’s Sleepy Hollow a mess.
By Verena Nees, 19 September 2013
The Kunduz massacre four years ago was a baptism by fire for Germany as it returned to the world stage as an aggressive military power.
By Joanne Laurier, 1 June 2013
The much anticipated new season of Arrested Development was released last week. Steven Soderbergh’s biography of Liberace also aired on HBO. Christopher Guest’s Family Tree is a new and promising series.
By Fred Mazelis, 29 April 2013
A television broadcast examines the crisis facing American workers as pensions disappear and Social Security comes under attack.
By Tom Mackaman, 31 January 2013
The Public Broadcasting System’s The Abolitionists is a reminder that the fight against slavery in the US was a hard-fought political struggle.
By Thomas Scripps, 19 December 2012
Media slurs against socialism are commonplace, but rarely are they as pointed and mired in historical distortions as those advanced in the recent BBC series.
CBS’s “60 Minutes” interviews Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky
By Fred Mazelis, 1 May 2012
Dr. Nora Volkow appeared on the “60 Minutes” television program to discuss not only her work as the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), but also her family background as the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky.
By Barry Mason, 21 March 2012
Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished shows horrific scenes of the closing days of the campaign against the LTTE and the thousands of civilians caught up in it.
By Paul Bond, 15 February 2012
Confessions from the Underground on Channel 4 made for striking viewing. Actors relayed comments and thoughts documented from workers across London Underground.
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields
By Paul Bond, 22 June 2011
Channel 4 News has amassed mobile phone footage exposing the Sri Lankan military’s war crime against Tamil refugees.
By Liz Smith, 18 June 2011
Poor Kids, a new documentary broadcast on the BBC, highlights the plight of some of Britain’s 3.5 million children who live in poverty.
By Charles Bogle, 1 June 2011
This HBO production wastes a fine cast in its dramatization of New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book on the 2008 financial crisis.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 April 2011
Based on the novel by James M. Cain, director Todd Haynes’s five-part miniseries is an account of an unhealthy mother-daughter relationship in 1930s southern California.
100 years since tragic blaze killed 146 garment workers
By Charles Bogle, 12 March 2011
Triangle Fire recreates one of the truly tragic workplace disasters in US history. Producer-director Jamila Wignot offers a compelling portrayal of the inhuman conditions that led to the fire and the loss of 146 lives.
By Charles Bogle, 3 January 2011
HBO’s Boardwalk Empire contains several superior performances, but the series suffers from numerous stereotypes and the Martin Scorsese imprint of paying homage to previous gangster movies.
By James Brewer, 2 December 2010
US television series about the intelligence apparatus has been cancelled after only one season.
By Ed Hightower, 5 November 2010
Top Chef D.C. is the seventh installment of the Top Chef reality television series, which features chefs competing for various prizes and avoiding the weekly elimination, roughly following the format of American Idol.
New US television series
By James Brewer and J. Cooper, 4 October 2010
The spy thriller Rubicon recently debuted on cable network channel AMC. It is a further sign of intelligent life on US television, although the program’s assumptions and trajectory need to be scrutinized carefully.
By Charles Bogle, 13 September 2010
True Blood buries several good performances and southern Louisiana humor under the weight of sex, violence, and a condescending attitude toward its audience.
By James Brookfield, 29 July 2010
AMC’s Mad Men, whose fourth season premiered on Sunday night, stands out as one of the more interesting and well-written US television series at present.
By James Brewer, 17 July 2010
The devastation of Detroit is the backdrop for HBO’s series Hung, which examines, semi-comically, how far people will go in the face of dire circumstances.
By William Moore and Fred Mazelis, 28 June 2010
History (the cable television channel) recently presented a 12-hour series entitled “America: The Story of Us.” The ambitious project spanned the history of the United States from the first European settlements of North America until the present day.
The Pacific (2010), HBO miniseries, ten episodes
By Charles Bogle, 6 May 2010
HBO has aired seven of the ten episodes of the Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg production of the miniseries The Pacific, which focuses on the Pacific theater during World War II.
The Criterion Collection’s The Golden Age of Television
By Charles Bogle, 2 March 2010
The Criterion Collection has released a boxed set of eight teleplays from the “golden age of American television” in the 1950s. The dramas (and comedies) have distinct limitations, but there are some remarkable pieces and performances.
By Alfonso Santana, 24 June 2009
The entertainment media in the US is in the process of fattening up its new golden goose: New Moon, the next installment of The Twilight Saga series about vampires living in small-town America, set for a November 2009 release.
By Charles Bogle, 8 January 2009
John Adams, first aired on HBO in early 2008 and now released on DVD, is the latest and in some ways most satisfying rendering of the American Revolution on film. The television series covers the last 56 years of Adams’ 90-year life.
By David Walsh, 24 March 1998
A weekly guide to some of the more interesting films on basic cable television networks. The vast majority of what appears on American television screens is not worth watching. The purpose of this listing is to direct attention to those televised films that possess some aesthetic and social value.