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Four Suggestions for the Future of the Lifetime Original Movie

Whatever happened to that basic cable equivalent of Old Faithful known as the Lifetime Original Movie? Once upon a time, the network was a reliable source for campy, crazy and compulsive watchable television movies with melodramatic titles like My Baby is Missing, Mom at Sixteen and While the Children Sleep. Boasting C-list stars, shamelessly manipulative storytelling and subject matter that ranged from murder and sex to kidnapping and body issues (and sometimes all of the above), these telefilms provided countless hours of entertainment to housewives (and househusbands), bored college students and snarky entertainment journalists looking for something to make fun of...while secretly enjoying.

5 Other Sylvester Stallone Characters That Need a TV Show

No longer content with reliving his past glories on the big screen and on Broadway, Sylvester Stallone is now expanding his nostalgia tour to television. News dropped yesterday that Sly is in talks to bring John Rambo to television. But why stop there? Here are five other Stallone characters that could easily headline their own series.

House of Cards: Five Reasons to Binge-Watch This Show

The future of television may have arrived today in the form of Netflix's heavily hyped original series House of Cards, a 13-episode political thriller set inside the halls of power in the nation's capital. It's not just the prestigious names (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are in front of the camera, while directors like David Fincher, Carl Franklin, James Foley and... um, Joel Schumacher are behind it) that are associated with this remake of a popular British series that makes it such a notable production -- it's also the way Netflix is choosing to put it out into the world. Instead of going network-style with one episode per week, the streaming service is releasing all 13 hour-long installments of Season 1 in bulk, allowing viewers to decide if they want to consume the whole thing in one day, one week or one month. It's the ultimate test of the relatively new practice of "binge-watching" television, an experiment Netflix will try again in April when it unveils an entire new season of Arrested Development in one fell swoop. Will it work? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we watched the first episode of House of Cards and here are five reasons why you'll probably want to binge-watch this series.

How The Amazing Race and Survivor Got Their Grooves Back

Back in January, we included reality TV warhorses Survivor and The Amazing Race on our list of reality franchises that needed to be benched. At the time, both shows deserved to make that list as they were each coming off career-worst seasons filled with boring characters (Brandon Hantz anybody?), unimaginative challenges (setting up beach umbrellas... really?!) and a general lack of tension. Rather than watch these once-great shows continue to stumble downhill, we felt it best for all concerned that they take a prolonged break and return when they had some fresh ideas up their sleeves. But surprise, surprise: ever since Survivor: One World and the 20th Amazing Race premiered in February, both shows have been back on their game. In fact, we actually find ourselves anticipating -- rather than dreading -- each new episode (for now, at least -- there's still plenty of time life for these seasons to go south, after all). Here are the notable changes we think have improved both shows:

Up All Night: Five Reasons Why The Show Deserves Its Renewal

It's nice to remember that sometimes the TV Gods giveth as well as taketh away. On the same day NBC mildly disappointed us by announcing the premature end of the The Playboy Club, they warmed our hearts by mentioning that they were granting the Christina Applegate/Will Arnett comedy Up All Night a full season pickup. (They also dropped the bomb that they were going to inflict an entire season of Whitney on us, but we choose to ignore that news in the hopes it will just go away.) Granted, the full season order isn't that big a surprise; since its September 14 premiere, Up All Night has been one of the network's few bright spots, winning strong reviews from critics (including us) and solid (particularly for NBC) ratings. And as last night's very funny episode showed, the series has been growing creatively as well. Here are the five reasons we think Up All Night is clicking with viewers and earned its renewal.

SNL Celebrates Mother’s Day and Stale Osama Jokes

by F. John Rickert May 9, 2011 9:25 am
SNL Celebrates Mother’s Day and Stale Osama Jokes

We love Tina Fey. There's just something about her that makes us willing to sit through lukewarm movies like Baby Mama or even pick up a book. And watching 30 Rock for some reason makes us remember her time as SNL's head writer as actually being funny. So the moment we heard she and her unborn child were going to host this week we were stoked. Thankfully, even with higher expectations, this weekend's episode wasn't any more of a disappointment than usual (mostly because of the special appearances by other former SNL cast members Maya Rudolph and Darrell Hammond). Here's the best and worst of this week's sketches:

The Six Most Horrendous Things About the New Wonder Woman Costume

The first official photo of Adrianne Palicki in her Wonder Woman costume was released to Entertainment Weekly today, promptly causing the collective internet's eyes to bleed. Judging by this costume, the David E. Kelly show -- which has been asserting since the beginning that it would be a serious, non-campy take on the character -- either has no idea what "serious" and "non-campy" means, or it just changed its mind somewhere along the way. Let's just quickly go over the worst things about this twelve-dollar Halloween costume that will soon be the face of a very expensive major network television show. Oy.

My Last Reason to Care About Star Wars Has Been Destroyed

Hey, remember when George Lucas said that he was going to make a live-action Star Wars TV series? Remember how excited everyone was? I'm not even a big Star Wars fan anymore, and yet I was beyond psyched about getting to visit this rich world of characters on a weekly basis. I hate the prequels, and I could care less about the cartoons, but for some reason I had it in my head that this TV show, which would reportedly feature bounty hunters and would take place before the original trilogy, could be a return to what was great about the franchise in the first place. Then the Clone Wars cartoon stretched into a second season, and an animated comedy series was announced, and no progress seemed to get made on the live-action show. Well, now it's "on hold." Um, excuse me?

Earth Day 2010: Television's Most (Unintentionally) Eco-Friendly Shows

Earth Day has arrived and once again we can expect to see special episodes of both scripted and reality-based shows about how to save the planet. But what about the series that do it all year round? They may not realize they're doing it, but there are plenty of TV programs out there that promote green behavior on a weekly basis, whether it's in the creative, the behind-the-scenes decisions or the examples set by their characters in an average episode. So when we're not all underwater in 50 years, these are the ten of the shows we should thank.

10 Things I Hate About You: A Review of an Adaptation of an Adaptation

Having seen the movie version of this show almost ten years ago, I'm not exactly sure why this TV show exists. I guess somebody at ABC Family thought that the premise of two diametrically opposed sisters, one a rebel feminist and one a popular wannabe, was good enough to milk for at least one season? I'm not sure what will happen once the concluding events of the original movie (and The Taming of the Shrew before it) come to pass, i.e. the feminist sister finally dating a boy, thereby making it okay for her little sis to date, but they seem to be providing a number of other sub-plots to fill the time. And I suppose they could always have the older sister date, then stop dating, and the wacky dad can make the younger sis stop dating until big sis is up and running again, thereby stretching out the drama. Seems far-fetched, but this is a sitcom, after all.



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