<p>Gillian (Gretchen Mol)&nbsp;and Jimmy (Michael Pitt)&nbsp;on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Gillian (Gretchen Mol) and Jimmy (Michael Pitt) on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire': I want my mommy!

Jimmy flashes back to his college days in season 2's horrifying, riveting penultimate chapter

A review of last night's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I don't like the way you loom...

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<p>Carrie (Claire Danes)&nbsp;and Brody (Damian Lewis)&nbsp;on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'Representative Brody': My funny Valentine

Carrie tries to turn an asset, while Brody gets an offer

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as this isn't my first polka...

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<p>Cullen (Anson Mount)&nbsp;and Elam (Common) put up their dukes in &quot;Hell on Wheels.&quot;</p>

Cullen (Anson Mount) and Elam (Common) put up their dukes in "Hell on Wheels."

Credit: AMC

'Hell on Wheels' - 'Bread and Circuses': Fight night

Cullen and Elam square off in the ring, and Doc tries to make a deal

Tonight's "Hell on Wheels" was the last of the episodes AMC sent out to critics before the season began, and while I assume I'll be getting a new batch soon, we'll have to play it by ear in terms of how/if I cover it in the coming weeks. (The show is going to be helped by the fact that so many other cable dramas have wrapped or are about to wrap their seasons; within a couple of weeks, it'll be the only one still going for a little bit.)

In terms of "Bread and Circuses," it wisely focused on the uneasy alliance between Cullen and Elam, letting them work out some of their differences in the boxing ring (and letting Anson Mount and Common show off some very sculpted torsos for the 1860s), and it gave me just enough of the Swede to compensate for time spent on the show's less interesting areas (the cliched/fetishized Native American characters, Doc Durant trying to get the maps from Lilly).

What's everybody thinking at this point? By the fifth episode, I imagine the show has shed all the viewers who have decided by now that they just don't like it, so for those of you who are sticking with it, what's the appeal for you?

<p>Corin Nemec in the &quot;What's Alan Watching?&quot;&nbsp;pilot.</p>

Corin Nemec in the "What's Alan Watching?" pilot.

Credit: CBS

What's Alan watching? Why, the 'What's Alan Watching?' pilot, of course!

Eddie Murphy, Corin Nemec and Fran Drescher in the unsold pilot that gave this blog its name

It's December, which is list-making time in the entertainment journalism business, and I've noticed a lot more chatter this year on Twitter between different critics as they try to figure out their best-of and worst-of lists. The other day, someone asked whether NBC's horrible "Wonder Woman" pilot - which never aired, but leaked briefly on the Internet - should be eligible. That got me thinking about ye olden days of the '70s and '80s when TV networks would actually air some of their unsold pilots, especially when they were two hours long and could be presented as a TV-movie, or if they had something special that the network could promote one time, even if no one felt it would work as a series.

One example of the latter kind of Busted Pilot Theatre was the show that gave my blog its name: 1989's "What's Alan Watching?," a one-hour family comedy starring a pre-"Parker Lewis Can't Lose" Corin Nemec as Alan Hoffstetter, a suburban teenager who tried to escape his unhappy life by spending hours in front of the TV, often having fantasies where the TV characters would talk to him.

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<p>Leslie (Amy Poehler)&nbsp;has reason to smile on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Leslie (Amy Poehler) has reason to smile on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'The Trial of Leslie Knope': That's what Ethel Beavers said

Chris challenges the origin and nature of Leslie and Ben's romance

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I eat an unreasonable amount of St. John's wort...

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<p>Annie (Alison Brie)&nbsp;and Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Annie (Alison Brie) and Troy (Donald Glover) on "Community."

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism': Das Bat

A strong Jeff/Shirley story is paired with a silly Annie/Abed/Troy one

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I review frozen pizza on YouTube...

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<p>The guys from &quot;Terriers&quot; still don't have a DVD, but they've come to Netflix.</p>

The guys from "Terriers" still don't have a DVD, but they've come to Netflix.

Credit: FX

'Terriers' comes to Netflix Instant, productivity says goodbye

Brilliant-but-canceled detective series still has no DVD set, but you can watch all the episodes

I have a lot of things I should be watching today for next week's reviews and podcast, yet I'm sorely tempted to devote the entire day to watching "Terriers" now that the brilliant-but-canceled FX detective drama has arrived on Netflix Instant.

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<p>Q'orianka Kilcher, Charlie Rowe and a CGI&nbsp;Tinkerbell in &quot;Neverland.&quot;</p>

Q'orianka Kilcher, Charlie Rowe and a CGI Tinkerbell in "Neverland."

Credit: Syfy

Review: Syfy's 'Neverland' takes the magic out of Peter Pan

HitFix
C-
Readers
C+
Too much explaning, not enough entertaining in prequel miniseries
There's an old saying in showbiz that a magician never reveals his secrets. The magician obviously doesn't want to put himself out of work, but he also recognizes that, to an extent, the audience doesn't want to know how the trick works, because it's more fun on some level to accept that something magical just happened.
 
"Neverland," the latest Syfy re-imagining of a beloved public domain title (following 2007's "Tin Man" and 2009's "Alice," all directed by Nick Willing), isn't big on belief. In providing an origin story for Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Neverland itself, it wants you to know exactly how the magic works, how every trick is done, and why J.M. Barrie was foolish to not give everything a proper name, date and location.
 
It is, unsurprisingly, not the least bit fun.
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<p>Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran in &quot;I&nbsp;Hate My Teenage Daughter.&quot;</p>

Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran in "I Hate My Teenage Daughter."

Credit: FOX

'I Hate My Teenage Daughter' - 'Pilot': The worst people in the world

What did everybody think of the new FOX comedy?

I posted my review of FOX's "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" yesterday. Now it's your turn. I couldn't stand it, but you may have felt more kindly about it, had more built-up affection for Jaime Pressly and/or Katie Finneran (or Chad L. Coleman from his "Wire" days), or genuinely found it funny. 

What did everybody else think? Will you be tuning in next week? 

Also, if anyone watches "The Exes" on TV Land tonight, feel free to discuss it here if you want.

<p>Kelly Stables, Donald Faison,&nbsp;Kristen Johnston, David Alan Basche and Wayne Knight in &quot;The Exes.&quot;</p>

Kelly Stables, Donald Faison, Kristen Johnston, David Alan Basche and Wayne Knight in "The Exes."

Credit: TV Land

Review: TV Land's 'The Exes'

HitFix
C+
Readers
B
Donald Faison, Kristen Johnston and company go for deliberately retro laughs

In one of the few laugh-out-loud lines in TV Land's new sitcom "The Exes" (tonight at 10:30), we meet Eden, the pint-sized, sexpot assistant to divorce lawyer Holly. Eden is played by Kelly Stables, whom the Internet Movie Database very generously lists at 5' tall, and one of Holly's clients suggests that Eden "looks like someone threw a hot chick in the dryer."

 
"The Exes," like most of TV Land's inventory of deliberately retro comedies (starting with "Hot in Cleveland"), feels very much like someone threw a good sitcom in the dryer. It looks and sounds like the kind of genuine oldiest-but-goodies that rerun on TV Land and Nick at Nite – and has a cast filled with actors who appeared on those kinds of shows – but everything is smaller, including the laughter.
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