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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 42.0° F  Fair
The Daily

TELEVISION

To call or not to call?

The new season of Gossip Girl (Monday, 7 p.m., CW) heats up as the beautiful young Manhattanites make messes of their privileged lives. This week's episode hinges on an explosive plot point: Should Vanessa call Nate? Or, conversely, should she, like, not call him? Jenny, the blond would-be designer, comes up with a brilliant solution based in syllogistic logic: "You like him, he likes you, so just call him!" But Vanessa remains torn, uncharacteristically so. "I am so not the whiny should-I-call-him girl!" she whines. >More
 Hot for teacher

In Privileged (Tuesday, 8 p.m., CW), a literary type named Megan (JoAnna Garcia) gets a job tutoring two spoiled heiresses in Palm Beach. At first glance, Megan looks like a standard character in a standard 14-to-29-demo drama: the neurotic jabbermouth beauty. But there's more to her than that, and more to Privileged, too. The series offers Gossip Girl-style fun, with just enough substance to make it more than a guilty pleasure. >More
 The verdict on Steven Bochco

In the 1980s, I found Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues authentic and compelling. But I watched an episode on Hulu.com the other day and couldn't believe how cartoonish it looked in retrospect. Maybe that's inevitable for a 20-year-old series, but I feel the same way about Bochco's new lawyer show, Raising the Bar (Monday, 9 p.m., TNT). >More
 Morning stars

Israel and Iran have just declared war on each other, the Russians have landed on Mars and removed all our flags, and a Middleton man refuses to eat omelets not made with free-range eggs! Those headlines after this look at the weather. >More
 Hell to the chief

Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press corps, specializes in asking uncomfortable questions. Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House (Thursday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9:30 a.m., HBO) begins with one such question she asked President George W. Bush: "Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, and every reason given has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war?" Bush offered his spin, but Thomas wouldn't drop it. So he dropped her, shutting her out in future press conferences. >More
 Elvis lives!

On the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, TV Land's Myths and Legends (Saturday, 7 p.m.) delves into the mysteries surrounding his life. But it doesn't do so with what you'd call journalistic rigor. What of the idea that Elvis and Oprah Winfrey are distant cousins? >More
 What a way to go

Mystery! just ended "Foyle's War" with a yawn. The "Inspector Lynley" series also ends this summer, but what a difference. This week's episode, the second-to-last (Sunday, 8 p.m., PBS), is almost unbearably tense and tragic. >More
 Phil Ball remembers the late Madison broadcaster Tedd O'Connell

Recently deceased Comrade Tedd O'Connell was a revolutionary when the revolution was fueled by drugs, sex and rock n roll. His sphere of operations stretched from Mr. P's on Madison's southside to Hemingway's Bodega del Media in Havana. >More
 To kill or not to kill?

The line between good and bad cop shows is often thin. At first glance, Flashpoint (Friday, 9 p.m., CBS) seems like a standard entry in the genre: The members of a Strategic Response Unit deal with conflicts at home while handling hostage situations at work. But this series is a cut above. >More
 Reality TV invades Madison with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and High School Musical

It's been three decades since Lee Sherman Dreyfus declared that Madison was 30 square miles surrounded by reality. This number in the slogan has grown since along with the city, climbing to somewhere in the neighborhood of four score on land plus a few more on water. Whatever the exact figure may be until the city's next growth spurt, reality looks to be encroaching on this little sanctuary through our televisions. >More
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