ty burr | commentary

Trevor Noah feels the envelope push back

Noah, shown at a 2008 show, responded to criticism by saying a “handful of jokes” do not reflect his character.

Noah is a comedian who’s pushed the taste envelope in pursuit of laughs and maybe insights about our world.

From left: Rachael Brosnahan, Cote de Pablo, and Sam Neill in the CBS miniseries based on Alice Hoffman’s 2011 novel.

Television Review

In ‘Dovekeepers,’ romance is hot but historical drama lacks sizzle

The miniseries displays an abundance of sincerity, too-perfect costuming, and soap opera faces and a shortage of real grunge, nuance, and complexity.

Television Review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/18/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/Ep1DrSidneyFarberwithcolleaguesc1950.jpg ‘Cancer’ an unblinking look at the enemy

The film is an unsentimental and clear-eyed portrait of what is called “one of the most significant challenges in our history.”

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/26/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/461787096.jpg PBS series inspired by Mukherjee’s ‘biography’ of cancer

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2010 “biography” of cancer went a long way toward explaining the complicated subject to laypeople.

Cote de Pablo as Shirah in “The Dovekeepers,” a two-part CBS miniseries set during the siege of Masada.

Hoffman stays true to her characters in ‘Dovekeepers’

Massachusetts writer Alice Hoffman’s novel “The Dovekeepers” has been adapted as a two-part miniseries on CBS.

Ticket: television

A look at this week’s TV highlights, including the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber” on Comedy Central.

With just one season of “Downton Abbey” left, there are many questions still to be answered for the cast of the hit PBS series.

Buzzsaw

Very proper ending for lords, ladies of ‘Downton’

Teacups around the world were heard dropping with the news that PBS’s “Downton Abbey” would end after the sixth season.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/414_01_05_tk1-0102_hires2.jpg Stage show has Benjamin and ‘Burgers’ cast fired up

The second “Bob’s Burgers Live” tour hits the Orpheum, with stand-up sets from its cast, table reads, and an audience Q&A.

Television Review

A damning view of Scientology in HBO’s ‘Going Clear’

Is Scientology a religion that leads its followers to spiritual understanding? Or is it a long con meant to bilk people out of their money?

Television Review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/23/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/KillingJesus_NGC_01.jpg ‘Killing Jesus’: A lackluster telling, but with wigs

It’s a shallow telling of the Jesus story, with no more distinction than you might find in the generic reenactments of some historical documentary.

Television Review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/20/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/GP_LAllegro_MensDance.jpg ‘L’Allegro’ a masterpiece for Morris and Handel

“Great Performances” airs a 2014 performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group of Morris’s landmark “L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato,” set to the music of Handel.

TV Review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/24/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/bd5bac1509284ce587e0dad368e2cf13-bd5bac1509284ce587e0dad368e2cf13-0.jpg In James Corden’s ‘Late, Late Show’ debut, instant familiarity

Many Americans might easily have felt as though they were spending the hour with an old friend.

Television

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/20/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/465402510.jpg James Corden is ready to stay up ‘Late, Late’

The British comic actor takes the reins of “The Late, Late Show” on CBS early Tuesday morning, succeeding Craig Ferguson.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/10/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Advance/Images/The%20X-Files(3)-6776499.jpg Fox announces brief return of ‘The X-Files’

Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will reprise their roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully this summer.

documentaries

TV is giving documentaries their due

Truth, as the cliché goes, is stranger than fiction — something the Robert Durst story has reinforced. No actor could quite re-create Durst’s ice-cold eyes.

What's on TV

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/03/31/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/v3_02_06122014_jh_01364.jpg Critic’s corner: What’s on TV Thursday

Matthew Gilbert’s guide to television today, including “Vikings” on History.