Joshua Alston

Lisa Kudrow's Comeback

The most conspicuous comeback of late belongs to the Sundance Channel and The Comeback, the most incisive, hilarious, and delightfully savage takedown of reality television ever made.

Reality TV Loves Polygamy!

The Browns, who live in a single-family home that is secretly three conjoined apartments, star in the new TLC show "Sister Wives," which captures the family's day-to-day life. It's essentially an unscripted answer to HBO's "Big Love," but unlike that show, in which the harried patriarch Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) is practically crushed under the weight of his tripled domestic duties, Sister Wives casts a more favorable light on polygamy.

Spoilers Suck!

Here's an advantage that television creators have over movie creators: there's a sense of community created among fans of a TV show that a movie never gets to amass—and generally, that community takes its cues from the top. If Matthew Weiner makes clear that the "Mad Men" community doesn't tolerate spoilers, there's a stigma around them. That's why the marketing campaign for "Catfish," the new documentary with a supposedly wild twist, is almost hilarious in its marketing hubris.

Five Emmy Shockers

With so many buzzy new series and first-time nominees, there were bound to be some shake-ups during this year's Primetime Emmys. But in what categories they would occur was still a moving target, with prognosticators puzzling over whether voters would revert to old habits or reward television's newest hopefuls. Naturally, the answer was a little of both.

'The Big C' Is No Cancer Comedy

Showtime has been able to find a toehold with this brand of hard-to-classify, half-hour dramedies in a way that has eluded HBO. The reason for their success is that unlike "Hung," which takes an inherently comedic idea and mines it for pathos, Showtime's comedies take dark premises and inject them with laughs.

Bravo's 'Real Housewives of D.C.': To Veto, or Not to Veto?

Bravo's take on the D.C. power-based economy might have yielded interesting results, but any bona fide Beltway divas wouldn't touch this "Housewives" show in a couture hazmat suit. What remains? The lowest-hanging cherry blossoms—the women with no proximity to power, either physical (most of the cast members live in outlying burbs) or personal. To veto, or not to veto?

The New 'Mad Men' Likes It Rough

Don Draper is back—and in many ways, 'Mad Men' now feels like a brand-new show. Some of the differences are subtle—Peggy Olson has freshened her priggish hairstyle, for one thing—but there's so much new going on in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce that such details might only assert themselves with repeated viewings. What can fans expect?

Snooki, Situation, 'Jersey Shore' Rule the World

In spite of quickly becoming an international phenomenon, Nicole Polizzi would probably not feel welcome in France. Not because of the unfair yet persistent perception that the French are less than hospitable to tourists, but because the French Academy of Medicine recently announced it's recommending a nationwide ban on tanning beds. And Polizzi, best known by her nickname, Snooki, needs her tanning bed.

Josh Fox's New HBO Documentary GasLand

It's not hard to rage at BP, what with CEO Tony Hayward reminding us almost daily about how the company has bungled the gulf oil spill. What's difficult is to point the finger at ourselves, to look at our own energy-consumption practices and think about how each of us could make tough choices in the short term that would benefit our environment and security in the long term.

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