Credit: HBO

Review: Why last night's Marnie spotlight was 'Girls' at its best

The show's most annoying character somehow carries a terrific half-hour

A few thoughts on last night's Girls coming up just as soon as you pay the $100 gown rental fee...

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<p>Horace and Pete</p>

Horace and Pete

Credit: Louis C.K.

Review: Pete goes missing on a devastating 'Horace and Pete'

Another powerful illustration of the theater/TV hybrid format

Thoughts on this week's Horace and Pete coming up just as soon as I tell you my dad walked on the moon...

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<p>The Walking Dead</p>

The Walking Dead

Credit: AMC

Why tonight's 'The Walking Dead' has me on the verge of quitting the show

'East' is full of dumb decisions made in support of a plot not interesting enough to deserve it

A review of tonight's The Walking Dead coming up just as soon as I put up my feet and eat some pickles...

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<p>Parks and Recreation</p>

Parks and Recreation

Credit: NBC

Ask Alan: Director wishlists, great sitcom opening scenes, and more

How would Quentin Tarantino have done directing 'Justified'?

Happy Friday, everybody! Time for a new Ask Alan video, where I get to fantasy draft movie directors to work on old TV shows, name some of my favorite sitcom cold openings of all time, and get all process-y by discussing the different ways I watch TV.

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<p>Larry Sanders Show</p>

Larry Sanders Show

Credit: Darryl Estrine/HBO

Goodbye to Garry Shandling, who gave us the greatest TV show about a TV show

The star and co-creator of 'The Larry Sanders Show' and 'It's Garry Shandling's Show' was 66

Of the many many TV shows over the years that were about TV shows, Garry Shandling didn't just co-create and star in the very best, he starred in two of the very best.

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Credit: FX

How Zach Galifianakis's 'Baskets' turned out to be a great oddball TV show

The saddest of sad clown comedies concludes its first season tonight on FX

"Don't be sad, okay?" Chip Baskets' estranged wife Penelope tells him early in tonight's Baskets season finale on FX. "You're not that kind of clown."

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Credit: ABC

'Nashville' is about to do something VERY strange behind the scenes

Why would the 'thirtysomething' guys take over the show?

Last night, an odd bit of TV news popped up: according to TVLine, thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick have been hired to run the fifth season of Nashville.

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<p>Matthew Rhys in The Americans</p>

Matthew Rhys in The Americans

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' tries to solve a problem like 'Pastor Tim'

Philip and Elizabeth look for an impossible solution, while Nina risks everything for Baklanov

A review of tonight's The Americans coming up just as soon as I like you better as a blonde...

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<p>The People v. O.J. Simpson</p>

The People v. O.J. Simpson

Credit: FX

Review: 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' goes crazy with 'A Jury in Jail'

The 24 angry men and women take center stage this week

A review of tonight's The People v. O.J. Simpson coming up just as soon as we vote on whether we're going to watch Martin or Seinfeld...

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<p>Happy Valley</p>

Happy Valley

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'Happy Valley' season 2 follows up a tough first act incredibly well

Sarah Lancashire remains a powerhouse as Yorkshire cop Catherine Cawood

(This column discusses the new season of Happy Valley in general terms at first; spoilers come towards the end, and will have a warning when you get there.)

Catherine Cawood is too tired for your bullshit.

Of the many traits that define Catherine, the heroine of the great British cop drama Happy Valley, her implacable world-weariness stands out the most. Catherine (played wonderfully by Sarah Lancashire) checks many familiar cop hero boxes, particularly in the way she's constantly being reined in by bosses who know less about the streets than she does, but where that usually manifests itself in some mix of rage and self-righteousness, with Catherine, it's always quiet exasperation. She has been through every situation, witnessed — and, in some cases, endured — every potential tragedy, and if she's short with you, it's because she can't believe you won't just take her advice when she so generously offers it.

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