<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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<p>Better Call Saul</p>

Better Call Saul

Credit: AMC

Review: Mike takes the 'Better Call Saul' spotlight in 'Gloves Off'

Can Mike avoid killing a man? And how much trouble is Jimmy in?

A review of tonight's Better Call Saul coming up just as soon as I'm here to get my brother's ink blotter...

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<p>Horace and Pete</p>

Horace and Pete

Credit: Louis C.K.

Review: Pete finds unexpected love as 'Horace and Pete' enters 'Act Two'

A tale of two dates marks the latest episode

Some thoughts on the latest episode of Horace and Pete coming up just as soon as we let the wine breathe...

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<p>Idiotsitter</p>

Idiotsitter

Credit: Comedy Central

Everything you need to know about Comedy Central's hilarious 'Idiotsitter'

Creators and stars Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse break it all down

Comedy Central has gotten a lot of deserved press and acclaim (including from me) for Broad City, a stoner female buddy comedy spun off from a web series. But the channel has another stoner female buddy comedy spun off from a web series that's turned out to be a whole lot of fun in its own right: Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse's Idiotsitter, which is in the home stretch of season 2.

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<p>The Walking Dead</p>

The Walking Dead

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' gets to killing in its best episode in a long time

Rick, Carol, Glenn, and everyone else contemplate a terrible mission in 'Not Tomorrow Yet'

A review of tonight's The Walking Dead coming up just as soon as I enjoy some beet and acorn cookies...

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<p>Homer Simpson</p>

Homer Simpson

Credit: FOX

Ask Alan: Who's the most quotable character in TV history?

What shows benefited from losing their creators? Is there an Emmy solution for Peak TV?

Happy Friday, everyone! Time for a new installment of Ask Alan.

On this week's episode (embedded at the top and bottom of this post), I attempt to figure out if there's any way for the Emmys to properly acknowledge the many great shows of Peak TV in America, talk about some shows that actually improved when their original creator left(*), and don't take very long identifying the most quotable TV character of all time. (Trigger warning: I may in fact sing my answer.)

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<p>Man Seeking Woman</p>

Man Seeking Woman

Credit: FXX

Review: Why 'Man Seeking Woman' went seeking more consistency in season 2

FXX's surreal romantic comedy has gotten more serialized, and more satisfying

FXX's Man Seeking Woman has always been a comedy with a very elastic sense of reality. When Jay Baruchel's Josh fears that his girlfriend's platonic guy friend is a threat to their relationship, the guy turns out to be a Japanese penis monster. When he needs advice on what kind of text to send someone he met on the train, he convenes a collection of scientists and military leaders. And when his sister Liz (Britt Lower) had an affair with a married man earlier this season, it was with Santa Claus himself.

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