The Rise of ISIS, PBS Frontline

Sometimes a good documentary merely confirms what is generally feared to be true. But as any government official (or journalist) will acknowledge, confirmation is not an easy task. Layers of nuance and obfuscation have to be scrubbed away before the  ...

Death Comes to Pemberley, PBS

The Jane Austen spin-off industry has a strong contender in this opulent and engrossing adaption of “Death Comes to Pemberley,” based on the 2011 novel by P.D. James, the award-winning British mystery writer. The story imagines the lives of the  ...

The Trouble with Antibiotics, PBS Frontline

While America frets over a potential Ebola outbreak in Texas, another crisis already plagues the country's health-care system: bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics are cropping up in hospitals nationwide. These superbugs infect more than 2 million patients annually,  ...

Miss Marple (Season 7), PBS

Twinkly-eyed Julia McKenzie ("Cranford") is back as Miss Marple in three new productions of well-acted, tightly written, complex and mysterious cases — "A Caribbean Mystery" and "Greenshaw’s Folly" (Sept. 21 at 8 and 9:30 p.m. PT/ET respectively) and "Endless Night"  ...

“Happy Valley” (2014, Netflix Original)

  Is the title ironic?  Because many unhappy things happen in “Happy Valley.”  And many unhappy people live in “Happy Valley.”  Even the economy is depressed. Keeping the peace is police sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), who lets pass few  ...

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (PBS)

Art, scholarship and family combine in two wonderful interlocking features about the renowned American documentary photographer, Dorothea Lange (1895-1965). Most famous for her heartrending portraits of Dust Bowl migrants, notably, the internationally famous “Migrant Mother,” Lange stands alone in the  ...

Hercule Poirot, PBS Masterpiece (Season 12)

Two new exciting episodes featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Dame Agatha Christie’s favorite Belgian sleuth, will be aired soon on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Of the entire series of 70 mysteries, they are two of the five Poirot programs not  ...

Endeavour (Season 2), PBS

A welcome new season of “Endeavour,” the prequel to the legendary “Inspector Morse” series, revisits young Detective Constable Endeavour Morse of the Oxford City Police CID as he hones his deductive powers in four complex new episodes set in the  ...

Mr. Selfridge, Season 2, PBS

In the well-written, well-acted second season of “Mr. Selfridge,” five years have passed since season 1 began with brash and impetuous American Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven, “Entourage”) revolutionizing the London shopping experience. The eight episodes of season 2 start  ...

Classic TV: DVD Review of “The Comedian”

The penultimate teleplay in The Criterion Collections’ DVD set called The Golden Age of Television is the 1957 Playhouse 90 broadcast of Rod Serling’s The Comedian, originally aired on February 14th, 1957. And it’s one of the best of the  ...