Credit: Warner Bros.

Programming note: Last days of summer vacation

I'll be back next week, but a few things will post in my absence

It's the last days of summer, and that means I'm taking a much-needed week off to take care of home and family business before the post-Labor Day period brings with it the launch of approximately 8,000 new shows, plus the release of TV (THE BOOK).

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<p>The night Of</p>

The night Of

Credit: HBO

Review: What's the verdict on 'The Night Of' finale?

Were the resolution to the mystery, and the trial, satisfying?

A review of The Night Of finale coming up just as soon as I forget my hat...

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<p>TV The Book</p>

TV The Book

Credit: Grand Central

TV Trivia: Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of ‘TV (The Book)’

A contest via Twitter over the next week

On September 6th, TV (The Book) — my reunion with former Star-Ledger partner Matt Zoller Seitz, in which we picked the top 100 American sitcoms and dramas of all time, ranked them, and wrote essays about them — will be released. You can pre-order it now via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or your favorite indie bookseller. Matt and I are really proud of the thing — which, beyond the top 100, also features essays on TV's best miniseries and movies,  the best current shows (since, with a few long-running or on-hiatus exceptions like The Simpsons and Louie, we considered current series ineligible for the top 100), live broadcast plays of the '50s, and various sentimental favorites that we couldn't resist writing about — and we can't wait for the public at large to get a look at it. (Or, if you prefer the audiobook version — recorded by us, which means you will get to at times hear our poor vocal impressions of Homer Simpson, Don Draper, and Leslie Knope, among others — give it a listen.)

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Ask Alan: Where does 'The Office' series finale rank?

Ask Alan: Where does 'The Office' series finale rank?

Thomas Gibson's job prospects, when actors change roles on the same show, and 'Night Of' finale expectations

Happy Friday, everybody! Time for a new installment of Ask Alan, in which I discuss Thomas Gibson's job prospects post-Criminal Minds, look at the illustrious history of shows recycling former guest stars into new roles as cast regulars, discuss where The Office series finale ranks in the last decade of comedy series endings, and speculate on The Night Of's conclusion.

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<p>John O&#39;Hurley as J Peterman on Seinfeld</p>

John O'Hurley as J Peterman on Seinfeld

Credit: NBC

'Seinfeld' bosses, ranked

In a couple of weeks, TV (The Book) will be in stores (though you can pre-order it now), featuring my and Matt Zoller Seitz's top 100 list of American TV shows and essays extolling their greatness. Most of the book was assembled with a Talmudic level of thoroughness. But scattered throughout are some shorter, sillier lists, which we assembled more on instinct and/or what made us laugh in the moment, on subjects like TV's best spies, best mustaches, and most important articles of clothing.

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<p>Carly Chaikin as Darlene in Mr. Robot</p>

Carly Chaikin as Darlene in Mr. Robot

Credit: USA

Review: How does 'Mr. Robot' get through an entire episode without Elliot?

Darlene takes the spotlight in 'Successor'

A review of tonight's Mr. Robot coming up just as soon as I create an Angelfire fan page...

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Credit: Sundance

Review: Is 'Gomorrah' really Italy's 'The Wire'?

A Naples mob drama moves slowly with thin characters, but pays off well at times

The Italian mob drama Gomorrah was first described to me as "Italy's The Wire." That's an unfair label to hang on any new show, and one that for the most part doesn't even really fit, as Gomorrah is a much more traditional crime show, without most of the larger sociological interests that made The Wire one of the best series in TV history. But as I watched the early installments of the series, which makes its American debut tonight at 10 on Sundance with back-to-back episodes, I experienced the same two feelings I often hear of from people watching The Wire for the first time:

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<p>Halt and Catch Fire</p>

Halt and Catch Fire

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Halt and Catch Fire' heads to Silicon Valley at the start of season 3

Joe turns heel, Cameron lives with the Clarks, and Ryan wants people to appreciate his genius

Halt and Catch Fire is back for its third season. I published my review yesterday, and I have some spoiler-y thoughts on the season's first two episodes coming up just as soon as I laugh at your robot butler...

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Credit: Hulu

'Casual' season 2 in review

Michaela Watkins and Tommy Dewey shone again, but is 13 episodes too much?

Casual just concluded its second season. I sang the show's praises in non-spoiler fashion at the start of the season  and I have a few spoiler-y thoughts on the finale, and season 2 as a whole, coming up just as soon as you insult my eyebrows...

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<p>Lee Pace in Halt and Catch Fire</p>

Lee Pace in Halt and Catch Fire

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Halt and Catch Fire' upgrades again for season 3

A new year, new city, and much better role for Joe MacMillan

"Many companies start doing one thing, and then change direction," Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) notes midway through the third season of AMC's '80s computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, which premieres tomorrow night at 9(*). He notes, for instance, that Coleco started off as the Connecticut Leather Company, then began manufacturing toys, and by the '80s was in the video game business, just as Joe himself stumbled into his current, hugely lucrative career selling anti-virus software after several prior computing ventures went sideways.

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