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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


American Idol survives its cast changes

Before the new season began, I despaired over cast changes to American Idol. Paul Abdul left, and Simon Cowell announced he would leave after this year. The chemistry among the judges is at least half the fun on this beloved singing competition, and I thought significant departures would spell disaster. >More
 Antiques Roadshow finds valuable objects and stoic owners in Madison

Last July, Antiques Roadshow set up its booths and blue banners in Madison's Alliant Energy Center. Local folks showed their antiques to Roadshow's appraisers, who offered insight into the objects' origin and value. Now the three episodes filmed here will finally air, and I thought they'd give Madison a chance to look cool on national TV. >More
 Shear Genius hairstylists say the dumbest things

Shear Genius has a knack for finding the world's least charming hairstylists. The new season features the usual group of crude, arrogant self-promoters, who must create "hot" (read: horrifying) hairdos for a $100,000 prize. They're attended by a mentor who dispenses vapid advice like "make sure it looks like a hairstyle." >More
 Lying to Be Perfect attempts an extreme makeover

In Lying to Be Perfect, Nola (Poppy Montgomery) is an overweight magazine editor who has a deep, meaningful relationship with doughnuts. She's a frumpy doormat in the office but has devised a secret alter ego: a sexy advice columnist whom no one has ever seen. >More
 Caprica offers a shocking view of the future

I don't often use the word "visionary," but it applies to Caprica, a Battlestar Galactica prequel that imagines every detail of a futuristic society not quite like our own. >More
 Human Target laughs in the face of danger

A charming rogue beats the bad guys while flirting with the ladies and dodging slow-motion explosions. Human Target takes the same approach as countless TV series featuring wisecracking law-enforcement types, colorful sidekicks and nonstop action. The only difference: This one works. >More
 Celebrating the short, influential career of Sam Cooke

Even if you adore Sam Cooke songs like "Bring It On Home to Me," "You Send Me" and "Chain Gang," you might not know how culturally important they were in the late '50s and early '60s. As a singer who crossed from rhythm 'n' blues to pop, Cooke breached the color barrier and left an opening through which other African Americans could follow. >More
 This Emotional Life brings science to bear

This Emotional Life explores the nature of happiness. Why is it often an elusive goal? The subject itself may sound elusive, but host Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, brings the latest scientific research to bear. >More
 The Jackson family creates a shameless reality series

Last spring, members of the Jackson family decided to create a reality series. Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon would reunite the Jackson 5, even though an important member -- actually, the only important member, Michael -- had opted out. This was garden-variety Jackson tackiness, but they outdid themselves by continuing the project after Michael's sudden death in June. >More
 The Closer overdoes it, again

The world has rightly taken notice of the awesome actresses headlining cable TV series: Glenn Close in Damages, Holly Hunter in Saving Grace, Mary-Louise Parker in Weeds, and several others. The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick gets lumped into this group, but I find both her performance and her show less compelling. >More
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