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Sunday, July 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 64.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

TELEVISION

The Protector presents a formidable female cop

In The Protector, Gloria Sheppard (Ally Walker) is a single mom and L.A. homicide detective. In the TV universe, where most female dramatic heroines must be soft and sympathetic, the scenario would imply that Gloria do her job in sexy outfits; that she have some weakness beneath her hard exterior; and that she go weak-kneed at the sight of a handsome guy. >More
 The Marriage Ref takes sides between spouses

Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref is an original game-show idea, beautifully executed. A panel of funny judges insert themselves into a marital spat, offering opinions on which spouse is right. The winner in each episode gets $25,000, plus a billboard proclaiming that he or she "was right." >More
 Aliens attack in Falling Skies on TNT

Falling Skies is a superior alien-invasion series because it cares about the humans more than the aliens. In the prologue, we learn about a horrifying chain of events through the perspective of a child's drawings: The aliens came and conquered, forcing survivors to form ad hoc resistance factions. >More
 Friday Night Lights finds epic grandeur in small-town football

In the midst of its final season, Friday Night Lights remains one of the best shows on TV. This week, things look grim for our small-town Texas football team after a loss jeopardizes their spot in the playoffs. The problem is egocentric quarterback Vince (Michael B. Jordan), who's sowing dissension. Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) must find a way to bring the team together before the promising season slips away. >More
 The World According to Paris is a scam

The World According to Paris is the latest reality series to chronicle the life of brain-dead party girl Paris Hilton. Oh, sorry -- "singer/actress/author/fashion designer Paris Hilton," as she pompously describes herself in the intro. >More
 Would-be composers can't carry a tune in Platinum Hit

Have you ever wondered why most pop music sounds so bad, given all the talented musicians to choose from and all the money that goes into each song? Platinum Hit offers a clue. In this reality competition, Jewel, Kara DioGuardi and other music-industry bigwigs put a dozen composer-performers through a series of tests to identify the next big hitmaker. >More
 Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez hurt American Idol

Everybody seems delighted with the new version of American Idol, from the media to the fans. On the eve of the season finale, I still haven't figured out why. There have been a few solid singers, but no spectacular ones to rival the Adam Lamberts or Fantasias of previous seasons. And to me, new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are no substitute for Simon Cowell. If they made an insightful comment during this season's run, I missed it. >More
 The Real Housewives of New Jersey come to blows

In some ways, life is good for the Real Housewives of New Jersey in the season premiere. Teresa has gotten a great reception for a cookbook, and her sister-in-law Melissa is looking forward to her son's christening. "I can't wait to welcome my son into God's kingdom," she says. >More
 Lady Gaga appoints herself supreme freak

Three things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and the fact that Lady Gaga will put on a good show. It's hard to be bored during Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, with its delirious beats, crazily shaped costumes, sexy dancing and glittering sets. And yet, I can't deny feeling uncomfortable in certain parts. >More
 The royal wedding takes over American TV

The media have already proclaimed the April 29 nuptials of England's Prince William and Kate Middleton "the wedding of the century" Apparently there won't be anything to compare to it in the next 89 years, so you'd better pay attention RIGHT NOW, hadn't you? TV is more than happy to help, with frothing-at-the-mouth coverage of this seemingly bland couple and their very undramatic decision to marry after eight years of normal dating. >More
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