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Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

TELEVISION

Bates Motel is an appealingly eccentric prequel to Psycho

One has misgivings about a prequel series based on Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror masterpiece about a misfit's murderous fixation on his mother. But the eccentric Bates Motel offers reason for hope, starting with the actress cast as the mother: Vera Farmiga of Up in the Air. >More
 The Client List features the most wholesome prostitute ever

I like shameless soap operas as much as the next guy, and The Client List is more shameless than most. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Riley, a former Texas beauty queen who works as an erotic masseuse (read: prostitute) to support her two kids. In the season-two premiere, Riley's no-good husband needs an expensive lawyer, and you know what that means. She has to earn more money at the massage parlor, fulfilling clients' fantasies in lacy lingerie and a sexy smirk. >More
 Enlightened seeks transcendence in its season finale

In Enlightened, Amy (Laura Dern) is a troubled woman making crazy-ass stabs at transcendence. This season, she has committed herself to doing something meaningful on this Earth by exposing corruption at the company where she works. Friends and relatives think she's out of her mind, and Amy can't help wondering if they're right. "Am I an agent of change or an agent of chaos?" she asks in the dreamy prologue to the season finale. >More
 Good cop, bad cop: In Golden Boy, they're the same person

Golden Boy is a new cop drama that takes an original approach to its protagonist. Walter Clark (Theo James) is not only a smart, capable police officer with a vulnerable streak (nothing new there), but an opportunist. He has a lean, hungry look, watching for the main chance at all times. That's not necessarily an attractive quality. >More
 Cult wants to kidnap and brainwash you

Cult offers one of the 2012-13 season's most intriguing concepts. It's about a TV series, itself named "Cult." The show-within-the-show portrays a creepy cult run by a psycho who kidnaps and brainwashes his followers. "Cult" has inspired a legion of fans, some of whom go off the deep end in their obsession with clues and code words they detect in each episode. >More
 Touch finds the meaning of life in the number 318

If you love TV, you have to love its grand follies. These are the shows that throw caution to the wind to make REALLY IMPORTANT STATEMENTS ABOUT HUMANITY. Touch is one of those shows. Kiefer Sutherland plays the father of a mute boy who sees the connectedness of all things, somehow involving the number 318. (The number 5227 also seems significant. Who knew?) >More
 The Americans seeks to undermine our way of life

We've seen many dramas about married couples living a lie in the suburbs, with tensions cracking the cheery faade. The lie in The Americans, however, is bigger than most. Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) are KGB agents passing as a normal American couple during the Reagan era, with two normal kids. >More
 The Carrie Diaries is a delightfully bad prequel to Sex and the City

The Carrie Diaries is a prequel to Sex and the City, featuring a 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) in place of Sarah Jessica Parker's adult version. In 1984, Carrie obsesses on "finding her voice as a writer" as she discovers makeup, boys and haute couture in her first Manhattan job. >More
 The Following features the world's most unlikely evildoer

I've always argued that a Kevin Bacon performance is never without merit, no matter the production. But I've finally lost the argument with the premiere of The Following, a horror series from Kevin Williamson of Scream fame. It's written so badly that even Bacon bombs as a detective with a permanent Joe Friday scowl. >More
 Lena Dunham is on a roll with the second season of Girls

Part of me would love to be 26-year-old Lena Dunham: widely hailed as a comic genius when her series Girls premiered on HBO last year. Another part of me wouldn't want to be Dunham at all: forced to show that season one wasn't a fluke by delivering an equally brilliant season two. But the premiere episode proves that Dunham has plenty more up her sleeve. >More
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