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FRIDAY
SEPTEMBER 6
2013

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

More Max, 7:15 p.m. ET

Simon Pegg and company, currently getting enthusiastic reviews for their movie The World’s End, first plied their genre-busting ways almost a decade ago, in this 2004 zombie movie that plays like almost no other – but in its treatment of a group of London slacker buddies fighting against an onslaught of the undead, ended up launching an unlikely but highly entertaining franchise.

 
  
 
 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

The good news: CBS is devoting two hours of tonight’s prime time to salute public school teachers, in a special hosted by Queen Latifah. The bad news: CBS also is using the special to showcase some stars of its new series, including Anna Faris and Jerry O’Connell, which makes the whole thing seem a little less altruistic.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1927 science fiction classic, directed by Fritz Lang, is presented in its most complete, recently restored version. Made at the end of the silent film era, its visuals have influenced sci-fi cinema ever since – and Brigitte Helm, as the robot woman temptress, established an iconic role that’s still a cinematic touchstone. And this dystopian future, by the way, was set at a time Conan O’Brien used to intone ominously: “In the year 2000…”

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: This taut, tense drama, starring Idris Elba as a cop with an obsessive streak, concludes for the season, with him chasing down a killer with an obsessive streak of his own.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:45 p.m. ET

This 1927 film pops in at various times in an imagined future, from 1940 to the still-in-our-future 2036. It’s better at predicting television than certain specific wars, and is way off on the whole flying-cars idea, but the general approach, as a parable and warning, continues to make sense.

 
  
 
 
 
 
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583 Comments
 
 
Neil
I would totally watch "The Russians".
Apr 1, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
David, you had me going for a moment, well done. I should have caught it with Cookie Monster. Well done!
Apr 1, 2015   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
David really does know how to pull you in, doesn't he, Bob? The Cookie Monster reference? One of my favorites.
Apr 1, 2015
 
 
 
Erin
Is it sad that I would actually want to watch Umpire?
Apr 1, 2015   |  Reply
 
dad1153
Me three! :-) Shoot, I was buying it until "The Russians" and then it clicked. Good thing I haven't left the house yet, or someone would have talked me already into giving them my clothes and keys to the car I don't yet own.
Apr 1, 2015
 
 
Linda Donovan
Me, too, Erin...!
Apr 1, 2015
 
 
 
Bill
If the BEST BETS are posted early it must be April Fools Day.
Apr 1, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Ahh.3/30 TCM triple feature of films featuring TV news:China Syndrome,Broadcast News(a TCM premiere)and Network. It's like a Memorial Day WWII marathon for media fans.
Mar 31, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Erin
It's particularly touching that Edward Herrmann narrated the Emperor of all Maladies before he succumbed to brain cancer.
Mar 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I just watched an entertainment tv host say that what James Corden does with bringing all the guests out at the same time unique when we have been enjoying Graham Norton doing that for years and I still hope Stephen Colbert will do the same.
Mar 30, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Casey
The listings have moved to the home page. Hope the passive-aggressive harassment over how this site is run has not cost us the ability to comment here.
Mar 28, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
jan
I hope everything is all right with you.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Bob
David, I hope everything is ok.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Cory
Where is your Bianculli's Best Bets for today? I can't live without you.
Mar 26, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
DAN
It is 12:44 pm Wednesday and you are showing Tuesday's info, PLEASE flip the switch at 8 am - it is written please show it!!!!!!!!
Mar 25, 2015   |  Reply
 
Angela
Chill! What would you do if there was a real emergency?
Mar 26, 2015
 
 
 
linda
Just to note, Disney Family will show ALL of their "Princess" movies over Sat & Sun, even the Princesses of color like Mulan & Pocahantas' They are a nice treat as well, maybe even more
Mar 21, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Angela
I'll check out Bloodline simply because of Kyle Chandler, though it does sound like there may be other reasons to watch it, too. But I whole-heartedly agree about Kyle's fantastic acting. I do not understand the acting industry. He should have been in thousands of shows by now. Plus he's not bad to look at.
Mar 20, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I have watched Glee since the beginning and here are my final thoughts---sarahwatches4u.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-tearful-farewell-to-glee-2009-2015.html?spref=tw …
Mar 20, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Sarah
I just remembered your synapsis of IZombie, to me, sounds like True Calling, didn't the lead female character die to come back to life only to work in a morgue and when she touched the recently dead was able to see how they died.
Mar 18, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Peter Brumlik
Bianculli, you've gone over to the dark side. The reason people 'binge watch' is to see if a series gets better; it doesn't. Much of what you recommend has about as much depth as 'Dragnet.'
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
judeann
I totally agree.... and whats the obsession with zombie's and the undead David???? Is it that most people walk around in the state of mental confusion and delirium?? Haven't been on this site since Last Man on Earth debut not sure if it was reviewed but this show to me is worth half hour of my time. Raises some fascinating dilemmas. Now with the addition of January Jones even more potential. Hats off to Will Forte...unique writing and acting!!!
Mar 18, 2015
 
 
 
Elise
There is a peregrine nest on a ledge of the Rachel Carson Bldg. in Harrisburg as well. I agree: best reality footage to be seen and enjoyed. DEFINITELY worth watching!
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Keith Robin
David, I guess every true fan of "Justified" got the same kick out of that line that you did. It's why I lament the end of, to me, one of the most unrecognized, non-award-nominated show on television. But given the way the accolades are awarded these days, it doesn't worry me too much. I have the satisfaction of enjoying the series from the first episode (and subsequently on bluray) in the company of well-informed, intelligent viewers like you and everyone that follows you on this wonderful website!
Mar 17, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
Patrick
I'm really surprised and a bit disappointed that Banshee (which just aired its final episode of the season) has not been mentioned outside of its season premier. I do not feel the need to sing its praises, as I'm sure anyone familiar with the show is already aware of its strengths, but I do want to give it a shout out. After all, The Walking Dead has made it onto the list every Sunday night since it first aired, and yet, that remains a show stuck in an endless feedback loop with a lot of gore and violence to push that cycle along. Banshee on the other hand manages to feel refreshed after every episode. This season in particular has been so packed with story telling and action (hands down the best action you will see on television) that each episode has felt almost like a self-contained film. And yet, each episode has also left you white-knuckled and reeling to find out what comes next. Banshee is one of the best shows on television, and probably the most purely entertaining.
Mar 16, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

Behind David in the picture is the first TV owned by his father, Virgil Bianculli, a 1946 Raytheon. (The TV, not his father. His father was a 1923 Italian.) David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He also teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University, and his most recent book, 2009's Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, has recently been purchased for film rights.  He's currently at work on another.

 
 
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