<p>Better Call Saul</p>

Better Call Saul

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Better Call Saul' keeps weaving in and out of 'Breaking Bad' territory

A terrific Kim spotlight episode ends with a very familiar face

A review of tonight's Better Call Saul coming up just as soon as I do the Carol Burnett thing with my ear...

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<p>Alison Wright as Martha in The Americans</p>

Alison Wright as Martha in The Americans

Credit: FX

Why Alison Wright knows more about 'The Americans' than 'Poor' Martha does

On wigs, accents, bad fashion, and a lot more from one of the show's best performers

On The Americans, Alison Wright plays Martha Hanson, the dowdy, plain, timid secretary to FBI counter-intelligence agent Gaad, and secret wife to Clark, one of the many aliases of Matthew Rhys' KGB deep cover operative Philip Jennings. In real life, Wright is striking in appearance, speaks loudly and confidently in her native English accent, and dresses far more stylishly (here's what she wore when I interviewed her in January) than her alter ego. In other words... acting!

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<p>The WAlking Dead</p>

The WAlking Dead

Credit: AMC

What has 'The Walking Dead' done to its best character?

Carol and Maggie get to know the Saviors

A review of tonight's The Walking Dead coming up just as soon as I want to be the coffee beans...

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<p>Bokeem Woodbine and Courtney B. Vance</p>

Bokeem Woodbine and Courtney B. Vance

Credit: FX

Ask Alan: Mike Milligan vs. Johnnie Cochran, great TV musical numbers, and more

Will 'Flash' star Grant Gustin have the busiest season in TV history?

Happy Friday, everybody! Time for another Ask Alan. In this week's episode, we start right off with a question that has no right — or wrong — answer: who should win in an Emmy faceoff between Fargo's Bokeem Woodbine and The People v. O.J. Simpson's Courtney B. Vance? Then I pick some — but by no means all — of my favorite musical numbers from non-musical TV shows, before another showdown of sorts: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen vs. Richard Belzer as John Munch for most ubiquitous character in TV history.

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<p>Bosch</p>

Bosch

Credit: Amazon
B+

Review: How Amazon's 'Bosch' figured itself out for season 2

No serial killers, a more fleshed-out supporting cast, and improvements everywhere

Titus Welliver's righteous LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch begins the second season of Amazon's Bosch on suspension for a stunt he pulled when last we saw him. Shaving off the beard he grew during his time away from the job, he playfully considers sticking with some mutton-chop sideburns and/or a mustache, before finally chopping it all off to the great relief of his daughter Maddie.

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<p>American Crime</p>

American Crime

Credit: ABC

Review: An often brilliant 'American Crime' season comes to a busy end

What did everybody think of the finale?

A few thoughts on the American Crime season finale coming up just as soon as I hack your webcam...

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<p>Carmichael Show</p>

Carmichael Show

Credit: NBC
B+

Review: Politically-charged sitcom 'Carmichael Show' returns to take on Cosby

Jerrod Carmichael's series part of a recent wave of shows indebted to the great Norman Lear

Because TV storytelling has evolved in so many ways over the years, it's easy to think of that growth as a straight line angled ever upward. But it's more a series of peaks and valleys, and sometimes huge progress is followed by sharp regression; look at how ABC's American Crime has to clumsily mute dialogue featuring words that NYPD Blue used casually 20 years ago on the same network.

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<p>Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown in The People v. OJ Simpson</p>

Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown in The People v. OJ Simpson

Credit: FX

Review: 'The People V. O.J. Simpson' gives 'Marcia, Marcia, Marcia' a fair trial

Sarah Paulson is a knockout in a Marcia Clark spotlight

A few thoughts on tonight's The People v. O.J. Simpson coming up just as soon as my stylist turns me into Rick James...

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<p>Underground</p>

Underground

Credit: WGN
B+

Review: WGN's 'Underground' is 'Roots' meets 'Prison Break'

A smart, thrilling approach to making slavery work as the subject of an ongoing drama series

American slavery should be an impossible subject for an ongoing TV series to handle. Done right as a standalone movie like 12 Years A Slave, or a miniseries like the iconic Roots or BET's more recent The Book of Negroes, it can create a difficult but incredibly cathartic short-term experience. But it's a lot to ask an audience to tune in week after week, season after season, to a story of degradation and unfathomable cruelty that any kind of serious treatment of this blight on our nation's history requires. Do it properly, and you chase away viewers in a hurry. Lighten things up, and you risk diminishing the subject to the point of offensiveness.

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<p>Better Call Saul/Curb Your Enthusiasm</p>

Better Call Saul/Curb Your Enthusiasm

Credit: AMC/HBO

What do Tuco from 'Breaking Bad' & Larry David have in common?

In my review of last night's outstanding Better Call Saul, I noted a very obvious similarity between Tuco Salamanca's "lie detector" and the stink eye that Larry David gives people on Curb Your Enthusiasm when he suspects they're not telling the truth. I assumed the Internet would provide a mash-up of the two by morning, and I was proven right. Enjoy:

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