<p>The Americans</p>

The Americans

Credit: FX

Review: On 'The Americans' will the 'Clark's Place' situation end badly for Martha?

The aftermath of Nina's exit hangs over everything this week

A review of tonight's The Americans coming up just as soon as I know who Howdy Doody's brother was...

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<p>Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt</p>

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Credit: Netflix
A-

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' hasn't changed for Netflix. That's a good thing.

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have kept things silly in the first season not made for NBC

"I'm like a biscotti," Kimmy Schmidt explains. "People act like I'm this sweet cookie, but I'm really this super hard thing, that nobody knows what I am or why I am."

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<p>iZombie</p>

iZombie

Credit: CW

The 'iZombie' finale staged a massacre that was like 'Walking Dead' — but fun

The other Rob Thomas also gets his just desserts as Major and Liv assault Max Rager

iZombie wrapped up its second season tonight with back-to-back episodes. I already offered some overall thoughts on the season after last week's outing, so let's get specific on the finale, coming up just as soon as I'm a squad leader of my Call of Duty World League challenge team...

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<p>Dennis Haysbert and Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine-Nine</p>

Dennis Haysbert and Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Credit: FOX

Review: Dennis Haysbert is Andre Braugher's perfect match on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

How have these two never worked together before?

A review of tonight's Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as my lint is oblong and blue...

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<p>Better Call Saul</p>

Better Call Saul

Credit: AMC

Review: On 'Better Call Saul,' Mike and Jimmy's crimes have ugly consequences

The shadow of Walter White hangs over "Nailed"

A review of tonight's Better Call Saul coming up just as soon as I tune into Diagnosis: Murder sometime this morning between 11:18 and 11:35...

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<p>Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt</p>

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Credit: Netflix

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' star Ellie Kemper on Jon Hamm, that big smile & more

How much does she consider Kimmy's dark backstory in her performance?

Even with 30 Rock partners Tina Fey and Robert Carlock as creators, it's hard to imagine Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt being the least bit funny without Ellie Kemper in the title role. The show's backstory — Kimmy was abducted in middle school and held prisoner for years by a doomsday cult leader (Jon Hamm) before escaping and moving to New York to get a clean break from the trauma — is so dark, and so at odds with Fey and Carlock's silly brand of humor, that it wouldn't work at all if not for Kemper's enormous reserves of warmth and joy. When Kimmy flashes that cartoonish, kilometer-wide smile, you understand how she got through her ordeal, and you have permission to move on from thinking about everything that happened down in the bunker.

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<p>Jay and Mark Duplass</p>

Jay and Mark Duplass

Credit: HBO

Farewell to 'Togetherness,' a rare Peak TV cancellation

The Duplass brothers' dramedy made it to a second season, but no more

(This column will have spoilers for the Togetherness series finale, and other parts of the show's second season, but not for a while, and with another warning before they come.)

Something odd happened tonight: Togetherness ended.

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<p>Ask Alan</p>

Ask Alan

Credit: AMC

Ask Alan: Is 'Modern Family' overrated & subplots that took forever to pay off

And can you just jump into 'The Leftovers' with season 2?

Happy Friday! We don't always do immediate follow-ups to Ask Alan questions, but one of this week's emailers gave me a very obvious counter for last week's discussion of whether The Walking Dead is the most overrated TV show ever.

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<p>Riley Keough in The Girlfriend Experience</p>

Riley Keough in The Girlfriend Experience

Credit: Starz
C+

Starz's 'The Girlfriend Experience' represents the downside of binge TV

Riley Keough gives an intriguing performance in a show that's much too long

The binge forgives a lot. But it doesn't forgive everything.

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<p>Carrie Underwood</p>

Carrie Underwood

Credit: FOX

Before 'American Idol' ends, here are 10 performances I loved

From obvious favorites like Kelly and Fantasia to obscurities like Chikezie

American Idol season 1 debuted about a week after The Wire season 1 did. Though my TV tastes over the years trended much more towards complicated scripted dramas like the latter, I spent a long time watching the former, and enjoying it in the moments when the series wasn't busy padding its run time with inanities (like the entire judging career of Randy Jackson) and simply let the contestants sing. Often, those performances were just overpraised photocopies of the original moments, but when an Idol singer put their own stamp on a familiar tune, or dug up an obscurity and made it sound like a hit, I couldn't begrudge the series its enormous popularity.

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