<p>Alfred Molina in &quot;Monday Mornings.&quot;</p>

Alfred Molina in "Monday Mornings."

Credit: TNT

Review: TNT's 'Monday Mornings's offers a refreshingly restrained David E. Kelley

'Harry's Law' creator dials back his usual quirks for new hospital drama
When you’re blessed with more natural talent in your chosen field than all but a handful of human beings in history, it’s easy to get bored and start goofing around. You see it with athletes all the time. Sometimes, they’ve already established their Hall of Fame bonafides by the time they start doing weird things, like that season when Wilt Chamberlain decided he was going to lead the league in assists (and did), just to prove he could, or when Michael Jordan quit the NBA to chase after curve balls in the baseball minors for two years.
 
A lot of the time, though, you’ll see a player decide that it’s all coming so easy to them that they don’t have to work as hard at the fundamentals, and that people would rather see something flashy than something effective. Everyone said Vince Carter had the tools to be the next Jordan, and Carter could dunk with anyone, but he never had Jordan’s focus, and never became as great as we thought he could be.
 
This isn’t limited to sports, of course. Many of the best writers in TV history have had trouble getting out of their own way, whether it’s David Milch disappearing down a metaphysical rabbit hole on “John From Cincinnati” or Aaron Sorkin writing women on “The Newsroom.”
 
But in terms of a disappointing Vince Carter-esque talent-to-production ratio, the champ may be David E. Kelley, whose new TNT medical drama “Monday Mornings” debuts tonight at 10.
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<p>Jemima Kirke and Chris O'Dowd in &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Jemima Kirke and Chris O'Dowd in "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Girls' - 'It's a Shame About Ray'

A tale of two dinner parties in which almost everything goes wrong

A quick review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as we have a look at the bad one...

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<p>Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in &quot;House of Cards.&quot;</p>

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in "House of Cards."

Credit: Netflix

'House of Cards' producer Beau Willimon on writing for Kevin Spacey and David Fincher

'Ides of March' screenwriter served as showrunner for Netflix original drama
By the time you read this, you’ve had the opportunity to watch all 13 hours of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” though I’m guessing most of you haven’t had that kind of free time. (As I noted in my review yesterday, I’ve only seen the first two hours so far, and am not sure when I’ll get around to the remaining 11; if you've watched a lot already, please be vague, plot-wise, in your comments.) In the meantime, though, you can read my interview with the show’s executive producer and head writer, Beau Willimon, who was hired by director/producer David Fincher after impressing with his play “Farragut North” (which was adapted into the movie “Ides of March”).
 
At press tour last month, Willimon and I spoke about what pieces he borrowed from the original British “House of Cards,” how he and the rest of the TV neophytes involved in this series approached crafting 13 hours that could all be watched consecutively, and what contemporary TV dramas he enjoys.
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<p>Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson and Clark Duke in &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson and Clark Duke in "The Office."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'The Office' - 'Junior Salesman/Vandalism'

Is it a mistake to make Brian the boom mic operator into a character at this point?

A review of last night's "The Office" double-feature coming up just as soon as I redact my resume...

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<p>Steven Pasquale in &quot;Do No Harm.&quot;</p>

Steven Pasquale in "Do No Harm."

Credit: NBC

Series premiere review: 'Do No Harm' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new NBC drama?

I didn't have time to write a review of NBC's "Do No Harm," though Dan and I discussed it for a while on this week's podcast. The short version: though I like Steven Pasquale, this is a weird show that can't entirely settle on a tone, covering the same modern Jekyll & Hyde territory(*) that Steven Moffat's "Jekyll" handled so much better a few years back.

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<p>Jack (Alec Baldwin)&nbsp;enjoys a moment of happiness in the &quot;30 Rock&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Jack (Alec Baldwin) enjoys a moment of happiness in the "30 Rock" series finale.

Credit: NBC

Series finale review: '30 Rock' - 'Hogcock!/Last Lunch'

Jack chases his happiness, and Liz has to put on one last episode of 'TGS'

Well, "30 Rock" is over. Which is the worst. I paid tribute to the series as a whole last night, and I have a review of the series finale coming up just as soon as I deposit $70 in my bank account...

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<p>Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey in &quot;House of Cards.&quot;</p>

Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey in "House of Cards."

Credit: Netflix

Review: Kevin Spacey a force in Netflix's 'House of Cards'

HitFix
B+
Readers
A
Will David Fincher-directed political drama reinvent the way we watch television?
Francis Underwood, the politician central character of the new Netflix original drama “House of Cards,” is fond of the colorful metaphor. As House Majority Whip, he explains, “my job is to clear the pipes and keep the sludge moving.” And when he tells his chief of staff about a complicated plan to take down a rival, he adds, “That's how you devour a whale... one bite at a time.”
 
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<p>Tina Fey on the &quot;30 Rock&quot;&nbsp;set one last time.</p>

Tina Fey on the "30 Rock" set one last time.

Credit: NBC

Celebrating seven seasons of '30 Rock'

HitFix
A
Readers
D+
A look back at one of the best comedies ever on television, about television
Early in the series finale of “30 Rock” (tomorrow at 8 p.m. on NBC), the series makes a half-hearted attempt at going full-circle in its meta commentary, with Liz Lemon pitching new NBC president Kenneth on the idea of making a sitcom about her life, in much the same way “30 Rock” was itself (very) loosely adapted from Tina Fey’s experiences on “Saturday Night Live.”
 
Kenneth stops her right there, genially explaining, “‘Woman,’ ‘writer,’ ‘New York.’ Those are all on my list of TV no-no words." He then presents her with the full list, which also includes “complex,” “quality,” and “shows about shows” — all words that could describe “30 Rock” itself.  
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<p>Matthew Rhys in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Matthew Rhys in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Series premiere: 'The Americans' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new FX spy drama?

I posted my review of "The Americansyesterday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the new FX spy drama? Did you find the period touches believable? Were you able to sympathize with the Soviets? Did you find the dynamics of their quasi-marriage interesting or creepy? Do you like Matthew Rhys' perm? Will you ever be able to get Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" out of your head after the opening and closing sequences? And will you watch again? 

My plan going forward is to make this a part of the regular rotation. I just ran out of time today to write something longer, and I covered a lot of my feelings about the pilot (including the sense that Noah Emmerich living across the street maybe wasn't the most elegant way to have him interact with Rhys and Keri Russell) in that advance review.

Have at it, and I'll have a lot more to say about the second episode, which does not feature "Tusk" but does feature the den of Caspar Weinberger. 

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<p>The &quot;How&nbsp;I&nbsp;Met Your Mother&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back for a ninth and final season, now that renewal is official.</p>

The "How I Met Your Mother" gang will be back for a ninth and final season, now that renewal is official.

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' officially renewed for 9th and final season

We won't meet the Mother until season 9, but hopefully early

It's official: "How I Met Your Mother" has been renewed for a ninth and final season.

And we won't be meeting the Mother until that season. Although in theory, we'll get some time to know her before things end.

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