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How does the original What Women Want hold up two decades later? How does the original What Women Want hold up two decades later?

For the second-highest-grossing romantic comedy ever made, What Women Want hasn’t had much cultural staying power. The Mel Gibson-Helen Hunt vehicle mostly feels like a relic from a very different era, but it’s back in the consciousness again thanks to the recently released What Men Want, a…

Happy endings don’t come easily for once on This Is Us Happy endings don’t come easily for once on This Is Us

“Songbird Road: Part Two” is a conversation-heavy episode of a show that’s usually strongest when it’s telling its stories through visuals, rather than words. It still works, but I’d say it works despite that choice, not because of it. There’s something that feels very stage-bound about the way…

Bride & Prejudice weaves an impressive cultural critique into a Bollywood-inspired Jane Austen update Bride & Prejudice weaves an impressive cultural critique into a Bollywood-inspired Jane Austen update

There’s good news and bad news for American rom-com fans sick of rewatching the same Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts vehicles over and over again: The good news is that Bollywood—Mumbai’s booming Hindi-language film industry—has literally thousands of romantic comedies just waiting to be discovered. The bad news is that it…

A not-quite-live Rent is a lovingly imperfect celebration of a lovingly imperfect musical A not-quite-live Rent is a lovingly imperfect celebration of a lovingly imperfect musical

January 27th, 8pm, Eastern Standard Time, from here on in Rent: Live shoots without a script. Of the eight live musicals that have now aired on NBC and Fox, Rent is the first one to experience a last minute disaster that totally derailed its production plans. News broke just a few hours before the…

This Is Us uses its latest twist to complicate the legacy of Jack Pearson This Is Us uses its latest twist to complicate the legacy of Jack Pearson

After easing us back into the season with last week’s lackluster outing, This Is Us finally circles around to that big reveal from the mid-season finale: Nicholas Pearson is alive and living in a trailer in Bradford, Pennsylvania. As I wrote in my review of that episode, it’s a twist that threatens…

Supergirl introduces a game-changing new status quo for the Danvers sisters Supergirl introduces a game-changing new status quo for the Danvers sisters

Welcome back to Supergirl and welcome back to a brand new Supergirl status quo! Rather than pick up on the Ben Lockwood arrest storyline from the midseason finale, “Suspicious Minds” takes some unexpected swerves as it explores Kara’s newfound separation from the DEO. It’s a pretty weird outing, one that starts as…

The Punisher finale has some questionable thoughts on who deserves redemption The Punisher finale has some questionable thoughts on who deserves redemption

Hey, remember when Frank Castle experienced a morality shifting existential crisis when he thought he’d accidentally murdered three innocent people in a manic shootout? No? Well, good because neither does The Punisher! That hugely dramatic scene from the end of “The Dark Hearts Of Men” has literally no bearing on the…

The penultimate Punisher sets up the season’s endgame The penultimate Punisher sets up the season’s endgame

Let’s talk about Dr. Krista Dumont, a wildly uneven character who feels reflective of this wildly uneven season of The Punisher. There are times when the character totally worked—pretty much anytime she was putting on a polite face to manipulate someone and particularly in her relationship with…

Karen Page stands by her man as The Punisher backs down on its convictions Karen Page stands by her man as The Punisher backs down on its convictions

To be fair, this season of The Punisher already warned us that it didn’t actually have the guts to meaningfully critique Frank’s violent philosophy. That’s exactly what the show did when it had Frank experience guilt over getting an innocent hostage killed even as it revealed that said hostage…

Is The Punisher’s critique of toxic masculinity compelling or hypocritical? Is The Punisher’s critique of toxic masculinity compelling or hypocritical?

One of the tricky things about binge-reviewing a heavily serialized show like The Punisher is that I feel like I’m constantly trying to review both each individual episode and the season as a whole. But, of course, it can be hard to weigh in on a whole season before you’ve actually seen it all. So…

A frustrating Punisher indicates this season might’ve put its focus in the wrong place A frustrating Punisher indicates this season might’ve put its focus in the wrong place

I kind of hit a wall with this episode of The Punisher, which could be a result of some binge-review exhaustion, but I think is more so a result of this season’s frustrating structural choices. As many of these Marvel Netflix shows have done in the past, this season of The Punisher weaves in two…

The Punisher gets unapologetically operatic as a brotherly betrayal takes center stage The Punisher gets unapologetically operatic as a brotherly betrayal takes center stage

“My Brother’s Keeper” operates in a slightly different mode than any of The Punisher’s previous episodes, either this season or last. It’s operatic in tone—shamelessly melodramatic and extremely heightened. I could imagine that over-the-top quality being divisive, but it really worked for me. I’ve …

An exhilarating Punisher asks: How do you solve a problem like Billy Russo? An exhilarating Punisher asks: How do you solve a problem like Billy Russo?

The previous episode of The Punisher ended with a statement of purpose for Frank that doubled as a statement of purpose for the show: Take care of Billy Russo first and then tackle the rest of the season’s dangling threads, most notably John Pilgrim. So “One Bad Day” is an episode all about what to…

The Punisher finds a new spark by exploring Frank Castle as a dad The Punisher finds a new spark by exploring Frank Castle as a dad

We’re a little less than halfway through The Punisher’s second season and “Nakazat” (the Russian word for “punish”) is the episode where things finally feel like they get going. Better late than never I suppose? Most importantly, this is an episode that puts Frank front and center. I’m on record as…

The Punisher heads to the gym with bloody results The Punisher heads to the gym with bloody results

It would be a stretch to call Frank Castle a mentally healthy character, but I’m fascinated by the way this season is built around Frank as its relatively well-adjusted center. There are no more endless flashbacks to Frank’s personality-free dead wife. He really has moved on, even as everyone around him is left…

The Punisher unmasks its villain to mixed results The Punisher unmasks its villain to mixed results

I’m entirely agnostic about live action superhero properties staying true to their comic book character designs, but if you spend three episodes building up to the big reveal of your villain’s scarred face, it better have at least a little bit of oomph to it. Instead, The Punisher pulls the…

The Punisher gets pulpy during a tense small town standoff The Punisher gets pulpy during a tense small town standoff

I spent most of my time watching “Trouble The Water” trying to figure out if this was an episode I found really dumb or really fun. And while it would naturally seem to follow that this episode is “dumb fun,” I’ve always felt The Punisher is a little too serious to be lumped into that category.…

Frank holes up in a motel as The Punisher frustratingly slows down its pace Frank holes up in a motel as The Punisher frustratingly slows down its pace

If I’m being charitable, I’d say that “Fight Or Flight” is an episode with about 20 minutes of story stretched across a 55 minute runtime. It’s not that the plot and character choices the episode makes are bad, per say, it’s just that they’re way too simplistic. And once they’re established, the…

The Punisher’s second season kicks off with some kiss kiss, bang bang The Punisher’s second season kicks off with some kiss kiss, bang bang

It’s a weird time for the Defenders universe. With Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil rather unceremoniously canceled (the first two with overt setups for new seasons in place), that leaves just The Punisher’s second season and Jessica Jones’ upcoming third to wrap up the Marvel Netflix universe.…

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