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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Despised contestant Brad Womack returns to The Bachelor

Three years ago, Brad Womack made one of the most sensible moves in reality-TV history: He rejected both women in the Bachelor finale. "I can't look you in the eye and tell you that I love you," he said with admirable clear-headedness. The alternative, of course, was going through with the charade of "proposing" to some random, unappealing stranger from a group chosen by ABC producers. >More
 Pianist Glenn Gould's brilliance came with a price

Classical pianist Glenn Gould was a genius and an eccentric, and American Masters spends two hours trying to penetrate the mysteries of his life. In the early 1950s, Gould burst onto the international classical scene out of nowhere (i.e., Toronto), shaking up the established ways of doing things. He had James Dean looks, astonishing technique and a highly personal way of playing canonical music. >More
 Leverage steals an election

TNT's Leverage is a funnier Mission: Impossible, in which Timothy Hutton's merry band of thieves, con artists and hackers set up elaborate stings to thwart that week's bad guy. The series makes expert use of cheesy accents, stagy disguises and unlikely gizmos, not to mention wisecracks at the tensest moments. >More
 Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking turns catastrophe to comedy

Like most people, I developed a crush on Carrie Fisher after seeing her as Princess Leia in Star Wars. My crush faded over the years as Fisher made headlines for bad marriages, drug addiction and mental-health problems. Eventually, I stopped reading the headlines. In the one-woman show Wishful Drinking Fisher tell us what happened to her and why. >More
 The Sing-Off features a very unlikely contestant: Soul great Jerry Lawson

What if American Idol had been around in the 1950s and Elvis Presley entered the competition? Would the judges have simply crowned him the winner after one episode? The new season of The Sing-Off faces a similar situation. >More
 Bob Saget, bad-ass

Bob Saget inspires a surprising amount of hostility. For years, he's been a punchline for viewers and snarky TV critics because of his stint as a goody-goody dad on the sitcom Full House. I always considered this unfair, given the comic skill with which he played the role. Saget must consider it unfair, too, since he's tried so hard to run away from his squeaky-clean image in the years since. >More
 John Lennon, human being

Masterpiece Contemporary's "Lennon Naked" is one of the best Beatle dramatizations ever. The need to sort through the sheer number of epochal events in John Lennon's life from 1964 to 1971 would sink most biopics, but this one handles the exposition elegantly. Beatlemania, the Maharishi debacle, the tumultuous affair with Yoko Ono, the band's breakup and other key incidents pass across the screen, but they don't interfere with the primary drama: Lennon's internal struggle as a man and an artist. >More
 Soldiers suffer post-traumatic stress disorder in Wartorn

Executive produced by James Gandolfini, Wartorn: 1861-2010 examines the scourge of post-traumatic stress disorder among U.S. soldiers, from the Civil War to today. It begins by charting a Civil War soldier's decline through his letters home. He insists that he would never shame his family by committing suicide, as some of his fellow soldiers have done. After two years immersed in the horrors of war, however, he...shames his family. >More
 Conan O'Brien, Act II

I've always liked Conan O'Brien, but he turned sour at the end of his stint on NBC. Last season, as you remember, the network moved him into the Tonight Show slot while giving Jay Leno a chance in prime time. Neither of those experiments worked, with low ratings for both shows. NBC's proposed solution seemed reasonable from a business standpoint: move the shows back to where they actually worked, meaning a mere half-hour later start time for Conan. >More
 TCM tracks Hollywood from the beginning in Moguls & Movie Stars

The seven-part Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood takes a sweeping look at the American film industry from the late 19th century to the 1970s. "From the first flickering images of the 1880s," says narrator Christopher Plummer, "it was a story as dramatic and unexpected and involving as the grandest Hollywood epic." >More
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