Black Mirror

dvr this DirecTV, Christmas, 9:30-11 p.m. Also on Netflix Instant This British import is a contemporary Twilight Zone, mostly focused on the dark, dark possibilities of over-reliance on technology. Each episode is creepy and perfectly plotted and a little unnerving and stars someone pretty great. The first has Rory Kinnear as the British prime minister [...]

The Affair

dvr this Showtime, Sunday, Dec. 21, 10 p.m. The season finale of the much-buzzed about Showtime soap opera will probably not answer the key question of the show: Will Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) end up together, dump their spouses (Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, respectively), and live unhappily ever after? If it’s [...]

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

dvr this Toon Disney, Saturday, Dec. 13, 5 p.m. Of all of the very strange novelty songs and of all the weird Christmas tunes, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is possibly the pinnacle. As song by Elmo and Patsy, it’s a crass, tasteless, and very funny yarn about what happens when Santa Claus [...]

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

dvr this Lifetime, Saturday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m. The “Internet sensation” known as Grumpy Cat – named so because it’s a cat that always looks grumpy – has been monetized into a Lifetime Christmas movie. This sounds awful and absurd, but it’s also potentially rather funny, since the cat is voiced by the hilariously deadpan [...]

Getting On

dvr this HBO, Sunday, Nov. 23, 10:30 p.m. For some reason, Getting On, the genius half-hour comedy about an enormously dysfunctional geriatric unit of a Long Beach hospital, is barely on anyone’s radar. Put it on yours. Nurse Dawn (Alex Borstein) is meek, desperately lonely, and competent; Nurse Didi (Reno 911’s Niecy Nash) is loud-mouthed [...]

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

dvr this Lifetime, Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m. I always hope that Lifetime’s celebrity biopics will be good or so bad they’re good, but they usually fall between the two. This week’s entry is two hours about the short life of ‘90s R&B star Aaliyah, who sold a few million records before dying in a [...]

Saturday Night Live

dvr this NBC, Saturday, Nov. 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. Chris Rock hosts and Prince is the musical guest. Rock can be a comic genius, and his presence will hopefully inspire the erratic SNL writers to give us one of those now rare great shows. Prince is on a roll, putting out two critically [...]

American Horror Story: Freak Show

Jessica Lange in American Horror Story

dvr this FX, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. Ryan Murphy’s ridiculous anthology series is back, this time with his stars working at a side show in 1950s rural Florida. There are little people, a guy with lobster hands, a chanteuse and Siamese twins. There’s also a murderous clown. It’s violent, disgusting, campy and occasionally sublime. Jessica Lange [...]

How to Get Away with Murder

dvr this ABC, Thursdays, 10 p.m. Shonda Rhimes’ new show is more Scandal than Gray’s Anatomy, and that’s perfect fine with me. Led by two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis as a brilliant, cynical and sexy law professor, the show revolves around her cases and her students who help her win them. Everyone is morally and [...]

The Blacklist

James Spader in The Blacklist

The Blacklist was one of network television’s few breakout hits last year, and after I caught up on it this summer, I realized why. It’s James Spader, playing Raymond “Red” Reddington, a murderous criminal mastermind who decides to help the FBI catch the world’s worst criminals. When he is not spitting out campy insults at [...]

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