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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 51.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

TELEVISION

Masterpiece Mystery makes Sherlock Holmes a hunk

Last year, Masterpiece Mystery's "Sherlock" did Sherlock Holmes a favor by plunking him down in our own time. The contemporary setting revived the detective franchise, rescuing it from period-piece quaintness. The new Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) is, in modern parlance, a hunk. ("Brainy is the new sexy," as a female admirer puts it.) He's become an Internet phenomenon thanks to a blog by sidekick Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman). And he's a recognizable 21st-century type: a jerk. >More
 The Borgias sets the standard for depravity

With their greed, brutality and lust -- not to mention their Italian Renaissance duds -- the Borgias make the Sopranos look practically modest. Neil Jordan's The Borgias, based on the powerful 15th-century family, wallows in deliriously bad behavior in season two. >More
 Battleground, Episode 11 recap: Nothing About Chile

A new WKOW poll puts Wisconsin State Sen. Deirdre Samuels (Meighan Gerachis) within three points of her rival, Gov. Creighton, in the race for U.S. Senate. This is great news for the feisty Samuels campaign staff, but it has a downside: increased attention from the Democratic National Committee. >More
 Game of Thrones has a taste for torture

Season two of Game of Thrones is in full swing, with five kings battling to claim the Iron Throne in fantastical Westeros. The series remains compelling and confusing, as a huge cast of characters jostle for survival in a realm of knights, savages and dragons. This universe is stunningly rendered, from the torch-lit castles to the wolf-infested woods. The actors give the antique dialogue the ring of authority, and they look striking both in and out of clothing. >More
 Battleground, Episode 10 recap: Flashback

The entire episode is framed as "Demo-Crazy '04," itself an episode of the fictional Reel Life, an MTV News-style documentary show from "Global Music Television." The host, a convincingly treacly reporter -- expertly portrayed by Dave Holmes, who actually appeared on MTV in the late '90s -- paces Bascom Hill in a down jacket throughout and frames the footage of the Makers and Thompson campaigns preparing for a debate in the 2004 campaign as a melodrama. >More
 Young women struggle with adulthood in Girls

Girls is a new series about friends trying to get their adult lives started in New York City after college. That may sound old hat, but executive producer Judd Apatow and writer-director-star Lena Dunham have created something extraordinary. >More
 Battleground, Episode 9 recap: It's Getting Ugly, Tak

At the UW Humanities Building, the rally is about to get under way. Only one problem. A campus cop says that what the campaign has a applied for is a meeting, not a rally. Nothing like an inflexible bureaucrat to dampen the human spirit. >More
 Women bond -- a bit too intensely -- in Best Friends Forever

In Best Friends Forever, Jessica (Jessica St. Clair) moves back in with her high school soul mate, Lennon (Lennon Parham), after a messy divorce. Only one problem: Lennon's overgrown child of a boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones), now lives in the apartment too. >More
 Battleground, Episode 8 recap: Nothing to Hide

Tak gets creative too, sending Ben Werner and Lindsey Cutter back in their Makers' t-shirts that they picked up at the straw poll so they can collect signatures to get Makers on the ballot, with the intention of trashing the sheets when they are done -- shades of rumored infelicities experienced during the collection of signatures for the real-life Walker recall. >More
 Battleground, Episode 7 recap: Political Machine

Battleground sheds a little more of its heretofore reticence on the Blue vs. Red identity of its characters now that it's time for the big show. While previous episodes have offered cultural markers and oblique references to the partisan identity of the campaign, it's now made clear that Samuels is the Democratic nominee for Senate. >More
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