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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 58.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

TELEVISION

Lena Dunham is on a roll with the second season of Girls

Part of me would love to be 26-year-old Lena Dunham: widely hailed as a comic genius when her series Girls premiered on HBO last year. Another part of me wouldn't want to be Dunham at all: forced to show that season one wasn't a fluke by delivering an equally brilliant season two. But the premiere episode proves that Dunham has plenty more up her sleeve. >More
 The best and worst of 2013's midseason TV

2013's new midseason TV shows take viewers to extremes. Some are very, very good, and others are very, very bad. Then there's my favorite category: Shows that are so bad they're irresistible. Here's a sampling from across the spectrum. >More
 Shirley MacLaine gives the Brits a run for their money in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Classic's period soap opera, returns amid post-World War I turmoil. Money troubles and personal crises abound in the grand country estate, requiring a stiff upper lip from both the aristocrats and their servants. And if you doubt the stiffness of these particular upper lips, well, you must have missed the last couple seasons. >More
 Joan Rivers rips into 2012's celebrity style in Fashion Police

Joan Rivers weighs in with a year-end fashion roundup on Fashion Police. Along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, Rivers will call out the best and worst of celebrity frocks, naming the "Fash-Hole" who's committed the most egregious crimes against couture. >More
 Project Nim tells a true tale of science gone wrong

Project Nim tells the story of a chimpanzee who was raised like a child in a misbegotten 1970s science experiment, then cruelly sent back into captivity. James Marsh's absorbing documentary interviews the academics from Columbia University who plucked two-week-old Nim from his mother to see if they could teach him to communicate like a human being, via sign language. >More
 Magical Mystery Tour Revisited claims the Beatles' film has improved with age

The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour is widely regarded as a failure, but Magical Mystery Tour Revisited (Friday, 10:30 p.m., PBS) gives it an overdue reconsideration. The documentary interviews Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam and those involved with the 1967 project, in which the Beatles filmed themselves on a surreal bus trip around England. >More
 Hunted comes to a stunning conclusion

While other critics were obsessing on Homeland, I urged you to watch Hunted, an even better spy series about a troubled female heroine. After this week's thrilling conclusion, I know you will want to thank me in some way. Chocolates are always nice. >More
 Finding Mrs. Claus wallows in Christmastime greed and lust

Our cynical age will never be able to turn out a convincing movie about a Christmas miracle, like It's a Wonderful Life. Filmmakers keep trying, though, especially in December TV movies. It's refreshing that Finding Mrs. Claus declines to play this losing game, instead embracing 21st-century cynicism. >More
 Witness follows journalists into dangerous conflicts

"Rio" is the last episode in the documentary series Witness, which follows war photographers into hotspots around the globe. Rio de Janeiro's conflict is internal: police vs. drug gangs in the Brazilian city's 900 slums. Photographer Eros Hoagland ventures into dangerous neighborhoods to find the real story, despite the fact that journalists tend to turn up dead in a horrific manner of execution known as "The Microwave." >More
 The Rolling Stones evolve from villains to heroes in Crossfire Hurricane

With Crossfire Hurricane, the Rolling Stones have produced a worthy 50th-anniversary documentary. It chronicles their journey from being "the band everybody hated to the band everybody loves," in Mick Jagger's words. >More
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