When do you stop watching?

It’s a dilemma.

You start watching a show. You have the best of intentions, but, for any number of reasons, can’t quite get into it. Something isn’t grabbing you, and you’re thinking about bailing.

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Procedural 2.0

The old stalwart is back, and no one saw a thing

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Procedurals have ruled the television landscape for decades. Pretty much since television became a thing, it’s been defined by the case-of-the-week format, with police, lawyers and doctors solving, saving, and then starting over again each episode.

At some point, however – probably around the mid-2000s – they became decidedly unsexy. There are still a huge number of standard procedurals, of course, including the highest-rated show on TV (NCIS, as well as CSI, Bones, Law & Order: SVU, all the Chicago shows), but they’re mostly ignored by critics, and they sure as hell aren’t in any awards conversation. They’re the meat-and-potatoes of network and basic cable: reliable, older-skewing, dull.

And so it is that ‘procedural’ became a kind of dirty word.

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Review: Flesh & Bone

Starz’s ballet miniseries reaches opening night

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Flesh and Bone was originally conceived as a regular series, before Starz decided they wanted a miniseries instead. That explains the various hanging threads and storylines that feel like they barely got going, even as the final credit rolled. Alas, we’ll never know what came of the child sex slaves on Sergei’s yacht, or why Paul periodically throws eggs at a tombstone, or whether Jessica’s embezzling will catch up with her.

That the cast can really dance has never been in doubt, but what the finale did give us was our first full-scale performance. They’ve been killing themselves over the choreography all season, and the end results were suitably impressive. (Having said that, I’m not at all convinced I’d be able to spot the difference between an excellent ballet dancer and an average one; or an edgy, modern piece and a classical one, but there you go.)

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