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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 79.0° F  Partly Cloudy

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A wife orders her spouse to fool around in FX's Married

Finally, after a summer's worth of awful new sitcoms, I'm laughing again. In Married, Russ (Nat Faxon) and Lina (Judy Greer) are a once-happy couple weighed down by three kids. Russ is frustrated by their nonexistent sex life, and Lina is frustrated by everything else. >More
 Vince O'Hern starts a newspaper, creates a family

When I moved to Madison in the 1980s, it was a hot spot for alternative weekly newspapers. Myself, I liked the one with the funny name -- Isthmus -- but there were plenty of other choices, like City Lights and Free for All. Who would have predicted that the one with the funny name would survive them all and prosper into the 21st century? >More
 A virus creates vampires in Guillermo del Toro's exciting thriller The Strain

Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) co-wrote and directed the first episode of The Strain, a stylish thriller about a virus with vampiric origins. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of a Centers for Disease Control unit in New York City, is called in to investigate the mysterious deaths of 200 airline passengers. >More
 A teenager prefers her abductor to her real family in Finding Carter

In the opening scene of Finding Carter, 16-year-old Carter (Kathryn Prescott) shares a tender moment with her mother over frozen yogurt, then heads off to party with her friends. A bit of low-level recklessness lands them briefly in jail, but the authorities don't release Carter along with the others. >More
 Lusty lawyers strip to their briefs in Reckless

With Reckless, CBS tries to create a sexy summer series -- and succeeds. Jamie (Anna Wood), a gorgeous Yankee lawyer in Charleston, S.C., is introduced stiletto heels first, the camera practically drooling as it pans up to her tight miniskirt. You might think that's offensive, and maybe it is. >More
 Isthmus Jazz Festival 2014 busts boundaries on opening night

I walked out to the Union Terrace at sunset for an entirely different sort of musical pleasure. The Darren Sterud Orchestra played a set of punchy big-band jazz, heavy on Thad Jones. >More
 In Freedom Summer, Mississippi greets '60s activists with machine guns and nooses

Once upon a time, the state of Mississippi used intimidation, violence and corrupt laws to keep African Americans from voting. In 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had the idea of asking a thousand mostly white students from around the country to spend the summer in Mississippi, educating and registering black residents. >More
 Duke Ellington's love letter to the University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the early 1970s, the University of Wisconsin-Madison made an extraordinary gesture for the time. It granted jazz composer Duke Ellington an honorary doctorate and mounted a weeklong festival of his music. It even gave Duke and the members of his orchestra the rare opportunity to conduct master classes. >More
 Pregnancy adds a twist to the detective series Rizzoli & Isles

The season premiere of Rizzoli & Isles proves why it's one of cable's most popular series. Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) has instant rapport with medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander). As opposite types -- Rizzoli rough and rude, Isles posh and pedantic -- they tease each other mercilessly. >More
 ACLU and plaintiff couples celebrate the end of Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban at the Capitol

Word spread on Friday afternoon that U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb had ruled Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. And in Madison, that could mean only one thing: party at the Capitol! >More
 Pop musicians justify their art form with a Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the ages

You can roll your eyes over the idea of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame " I have myself at times. But this year's induction ceremony will wipe the sneer right off your face. It's a three-hour compendium of passionate words and soulful music that makes a case for pop as art. >More
 Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl emerge as formidable songsmiths in the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

Sean Lennon hasn't exactly shied away from associations with his famous parents. He works with his mother, Yoko Ono, in her Plastic Ono Band. With his own band, the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, he courts comparisons with his late father, John Lennon, by creating psychedelic music reminiscent of late-period Beatles. >More
 How Bob Dylan bombed in Madison

Once upon a time, Bob Dylan wasn't good enough for Madison. The budding singer briefly lived here in the early 1960s. Dylan had left the University of Minnesota after only a year, ready to conquer the national folk scene. His friends scoffed, since he hadn't even conquered the Minneapolis folk scene yet. >More
 Animal House meets ER in the hot-to-trot hospital series Night Shift

At San Antonio Memorial Hospital, the night shift is like a fraternity party. Doctors strip off their shirts to reveal hot bods, and a plastic surgeon demands sexual favors in exchange for an MRI. "Forget all the stuff you learned in medical school," counsels physician/party hound TC (Eoin Macken). >More
 Barbara Walters earned her celebrity-journalist status

Jay Leno's recent departure from The Tonight Show didn't feel too culturally significant, did it? But Barbara Walters' retirement is a true TV milestone. On Friday ABC airs her farewell to The View, followed by a special on her storied career. It's hard to imagine how a mere day's worth of programming can do justice to her five history-making decades. >More
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