<p>James Franco in 11.22.63</p>

James Franco in 11.22.63

Credit: Hulu

Why did '11.22.63' change so many parts of the book?

Why wasn't there much at the school? Could Jake have taken a do-over?

When Hulu's 11.22.63 debuted back in February, my review — which praised James Franco's performance as a teacher who travels back in time to stop the JFK assassination, but was disappointed in some of the changes made in adapting Stephen King's novel — included a couple of quotes from writer/producer Bridget Carpenter about why she chose to gloss over my favorite part of the book, where Franco's character gets to enjoy being a high school teacher in early '60s Texas.

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<p>The Walking Dead</p>

The Walking Dead

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' ends its season on a hilariously stupid cliffhanger

Your local critic has no regrets about his decision to make this his last episode

A review of tonight's The Walking Dead season finale coming up just as soon as I have a recipe for you, and it ain't gazpacho...

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<p>The Walking Dead</p>

The Walking Dead

Credit: AMC

Ask Alan: Is 'Walking Dead' overrated? What TV show had the best directors?

And what are all those things on Alan's bookshelf?

Happy Friday, everybody! Time for a new installment of Ask Alan, where we revisit my recent frustrations with The Walking Dead, try to figure out if The Office has the most impressive roster of directors of any TV series, and take a little tour through all the swag, books, and DVDs on my office bookshelf(*).

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Credit: Cinemax

Review: The final season of 'Banshee' is excellent, except for this one thing

The Cinemax pulp drama may have tackled one trope too many

Through its first three seasons, Cinemax's Banshee was one of the most violent, gory dramas on television. The show doesn't just revel in excess; it would barely have a reason to exist without it. At its core, the series is a familiar, seemingly unsustainable, pulp thriller about a criminal (Antony Starr as Lucas Hood) posing as a cop in a rural Pennsylvania town. But because the show's creative team, led by Jonathan Tropper, insists on overdoing nearly everything — more blood, more broken bones, more odd character traits, and just more, period — Banshee has been one of this era's most surprisingly reliable entertainments. Week after week, and even scene after scene, the show takes tired old cliches (say, the smug and invulnerable local crime boss Kai Procter, played by Ulrich Thomsen) and piles layer after layer of detail onto them (Procter is not only a shunned former member of the local Amish community, but grapples with a host of emotional demons) until they feel compellingly new again.

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<p>Keri Russell in The Americans</p>

Keri Russell in The Americans

Credit: FX

Review: On 'The Americans,' the Pastor Tim problem gets even worse

Will a trip to the 'Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow' solve things?

A review of tonight's The Americans coming up just as soon as my skin has no natural lubricants...

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<p>The Ranch</p>

The Ranch

Credit: Netflix

Why are Debra Winger and Sam Elliott doing a multi-cam sitcom for Netflix?

A frank, foul-mouthed trip down memory lane with the two veteran co-stars of 'The Ranch'

Through long, varied, and successful careers in show business, Debra Winger and Sam Elliott have done a little bit of everything. She was one of the world's biggest movie stars in the '80s thanks to films like An Officer and a Gentleman and Terms of Endearment, but she also played Wonder Girl on the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series, did stand-up comedy at the start of her career, and was one of the final patients on HBO's In Treatment. Elliott was a late-period castmember on the Mission: Impossible TV show, has played dozens of heavies and heroes in the movies, and even turned up clean-shaven on the final season of Justified.

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<p>Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran</p>

Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran

Credit: FX

Review: 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' revisits the N-word in 'Manna from Heaven'

Another tense, sympathetic hour for Clark, Darden, and Cochran

A review of tonight's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story coming up just as soon as I notice the smell of mint julip and condescension in the air...

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<p>Brooklyn Nine-Nine</p>

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Credit: FOX

Review: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' borrows from a classic 'Parks and Rec' episode

Dueling bachelor and bachelorette parties are on the menu when Diaz and Pimento get engaged

A quick review of tonight's Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as I use Frasier's name in vain...

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<p>The Path</p>

The Path

Credit: Hulu

Review: Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan go down a dull 'Path' for Hulu

Religious cult drama too often feels like you're stuck on the compound with these people

As longtime showrunner of Friday Night Lights, Jason Katims was responsible not only for one of the great family TV dramas of all time, but one of the most fundamentally spiritual. Church only occasionally became a major plot point (usually when Smash was around), but the characters' religion was presented upfront as a core part of who they were and what they cared about. On other shows like Parenthood and the short-lived Relativity, Katims and his writers have done a great job illustrating what happens when the lives of the devout get tangled up with non-believers, or with people who belong to another religion altogether.

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<p>Supergirl and Flash</p>

Supergirl and Flash

Credit: CBS

'Supergirl'/'Flash' teamup offers welcome fun alternative to 'Batman v Superman'

But did 'World's Finest' do enough to keep 'Flash' fans watching 'Supergirl' in the future?

A few thoughts on tonight's Supergirl/Flash crossover coming up just as soon as we both have Mariah Carey...

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