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Monday, November 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Daily

TELEVISION

Beyond the Blackboard redeems heroic-teacher clichés

Beyond the Blackboard is another entry in a disreputable movie genre: the white middle-class teacher who goes into the 'hood and, against all odds, gets through to the previously unreachable disadvantaged kids. I'm personally inclined to distrust these glorified stories, having been a teacher myself in a disadvantaged neighborhood with less than glorious results. >More
 Paul Reiser returns to wallow in misery

Where has Paul Reiser been hiding? The star of the beloved 1990s series Mad About You is a natural-born sitcom comedian, and he hasn't lost a bit of his endearing nervous energy in The Paul Reiser Show. >More
 A dweeb attacks corporate firewalls in Breaking In

Usually only one sitcom works for every couple dozen that premiere, and Breaking In is that one. It finds the perfect blend of acting, writing and directing to achieve a craziness all its own. >More
 Pregnant in Heels helps out clueless mothers-to-be

Just when you think all the good reality ideas are taken, here comes Pregnant in Heels. It's about "mommy concierge" Rosie Pope, who caters to preposterous pregnant women on New York City's posh Upper East Side. These women tend to be selfish, status-conscious narcissists, and Rosie knows it -- hence her charm. >More
 Mildred Pierce handles its source material way too politely

HBO turns the James M. Cain novel/Joan Crawford movie Mildred Pierce into a prestige project: a five-part miniseries starring Kate Winslet as a beleaguered mom-turned-businesswoman in the 1930s. The story is your basic trashy melodrama, but director Todd Haynes treats it with misguided tastefulness. >More
 Dancing with the Stars recovers from the Bristol Palin fiasco

Dancing with the Stars had always been a silly showcase for bad dancing. But last season, it took an ugly turn. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol joined the competition (even though the title includes the word "stars") and proceeded to touch off a civil war in the United States. >More
 Nerds battle for supremacy in Best Player

You will be tempted to bypass Best Player because it is a kids' movie on Nickelodeon. Do not, I repeat do not, make this mistake. The tale of an overgrown videogame champion (Jerry Trainor) attempting to undercut his embarrassingly young and female rival (Jennette McCurdy) is one of the funniest things I've seen on TV this season. >More
 America's Next Great Restaurant is a tasty treat

America's Next Great Restaurant is a brilliant concept for a reality series, and it's also brilliantly executed. It searches for entrepreneurs who have a viable scheme for a "fast-casual" restaurant -- in other words, the next Chipotle -- and takes them through the steps for making their dream a reality. >More
 Best Oscars ever

For once, I feel like the gods are with me on Oscar night. I think Christopher Nolan is an overrated director, and he got shut out of the Best Director category for Inception. The overrated Black Swan and The Social Network also got their share of snubs. >More
 MSNBC's Ed Schultz pumps up the protesters -- and himself -- with a live broadcast from the Capitol

On Thursday night, MSNBC's Ed Schultz filmed The Ed Show live from the Capitol's anti-Scott Walker demonstration, convinced he'd found ground zero of a new American revolution. In his booming voice, the cable host lionized the demonstrators for opposing Gov. Walker's assault on Wisconsin public employees, He also took time to lionize himself, using this historic event to boost himself to historic status. >More
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