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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 57.0° F  Fair
The Daily

TELEVISION

A hunky outsider gets his man in The Finder

If I had a dime for every pilot that failed at being simultaneously exciting, funny, sexy and poignant, I'd be able to finance my own series. (Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja TV Critic.) But The Finder actually gets the job done, thanks to a rare combination of great acting, writing and filmmaking. >More
 The master-servant relationship evolves in Downton Abbey

Masterpiece has worked hard to expand its range, but the success of Downton Abbey -- rave reviews, Emmy awards, high ratings -- proves that people really just want to see another variation on the old Upstairs Downstairs theme. And why not? Nobody can tease out the nuances of the master-servant relationship like the Brits, and few periods inspire British filmmakers more than the Edwardian 1910s. >More
 Jane by Design peddles fashion-industry fantasy

The new series Jane by Design is a wish-fulfillment fantasy for ordinary teen girls who think they just might wind up in the glamorous fashion industry one day. Jane (Erica Dasher) introduces herself as "a dateless high school zero" who's taunted by the popular girls and ignored by her longtime crush. Oddly enough, nobody seems to have noticed that she's really an Anne Hathaway-level beauty whose perfect figure is draped in stunningly sexy clothes. >More
 Have the Leverage con artists met their match?

Leverage is Mission: Impossible with a sense of humor about itself. In every episode, Timothy Hutton's gang of thieves and hackers pull off a difficult task to help some underdog. They also pull off the difficult task of entertaining us, making it look easy. >More
 Impractical Jokers wallows in embarrassment

Impractical Jokers begins with these words: "This program includes scenes of graphic stupidity among four friends who compete to embarrass each other." Don't say they didn't warn you. >More
 We all scream over Stephen King's Bag of Bones

The miniseries Stephen King's Bag of Bones wastes no time scaring you to death. With horror movies, I can usually keep my wits about me at least through the credit sequence, but not this time, thanks to merciless music, editing and imagery. >More
 Moms say I Hate My Teenage Daughter; we hate them too

It's hard to believe that Fox, the same network that premiered New Girl this fall, now gives us I Hate My Teenage Daughter. Where New Girl is a sophisticated take on the sitcom genre, I Hate My Teenage Daughter is painfully old-fashioned, with cornball punchlines that drive the laugh track mad. >More
 Kim Kardashian karries on

I got caught up in the excitement of Kim Kardashian's whirlwind romance with basketball player Kris Humphries, which played out on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. True, Kim and Kris had known each other only for a few months, but come on -- his name started with a K, the same as all the Kardashian sisters. >More
 Woody Allen calls himself a failure in a revealing documentary

More than a decade after the disappointing Wild Man Blues, American Masters gives Woody Allen the documentary he deserves. Allen has long been a remote figure, loath to grant interviews or make personal appearances. The two-part "Woody Allen: A Documentary" allows us to get as close to the writer/actor/director/standup comedian/clarinetist as we ever have and probably ever will. >More
 Chuck expertly mixes spy action and comedy in its final season

Despite its awesomeness, the comic spy series Chuck has been under threat of cancellation ever since it premiered in 2007, and NBC has finally decided to pull the plug after the current season. But until then, we can enjoy the adventures of Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), the lowly retail clerk who became a superspy when an "Intersect" downloaded amazing skills into his brain. >More
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