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buzzsaw| matthew gilbert

Neil Patrick Harris is the host with the most

Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting a weekly live variety show in 2015.

Television Review

// McDormand a strong lead in ‘Olive Kitteridge’

The HBO series accumulates with steady, earned drama into a searing portrait of quiet desperation.

Television Review

‘Bronx Obama’ follows an Obama look-alike

The fascinating Showtime documentary looks at the life of an Obama impersonator.

Television Review

‘A Poet in New York’ brings Dylan Thomas to life

In the BBC America biopic, Tom Hollander joins the exclusive club of actors who seem to live and breathe as the famous person they’re playing.

Television review

Stranded without laughs on ‘Benched’

USA’s “Benched” isn’t awful, but it’s much too formulaic.

‘Boardwalk Empire’ series finale is relatively satisfying

The grim series finale of “Boardwalk Empire” was just the tail end of the season’s ongoing lesson in moral payback.

Television Review

‘The McCarthys’: From here — and another era

The CBS family sitcom set in Boston is dated, operating as if being gay in 2014 looks the same as it did in, say, 1984.

Television Review

// James Brown, explosive on stage and off

The highlights of the HBO documentary “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” are its many, many performance clips.

Game On

‘Alien’ saga continues, but bad guys are a little bored

“Alien: Isolation” is set 15 years after the original “Alien” movie, and you play as Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter.

// When a zombie bloodbath seems less scary than reality

“The Walking Dead” and the Ebola story are both peaking just in time for trick-or-treat — and the midterm election.


Fascinating but flawed ‘Boardwalk Empire’ comes to a close

The HBO show, created by Terence Winter of “The Sopranos,” is a bright star in TV’s antihero movement.

Matthew Rhys as Fitzwilliam Darcy in “Death Comes to Pemberley.”

Television Review

A ‘Pemberley’ that’s less than the sum of its parts

The two-part “Death Comes to Pemberley” is thoroughly and frustratingly middling.

What's on TV

// Critic’s corner: What’s on this weekend

Matthew Gilbert’s TV guide, including “The Good Wife” on CBS.

Fall Arts Preview

special section

// Fall arts offerings

Play revisits a polarizing New England figure, Cambridge dance centers go for a spin, plus critics’ picks.

Game on

game on

Where gamers and a Grecian urn might meet

“Elegy for a Dead World” — set to be released early next year — stands out because it breaks most of the rules of what we think of as a “game.”