TV critic at The New York Times. Also, the occasional film. Theater too.

Discovery Channel Begins Its Annual Shark Week — We seem to be in a particularly sharky stretch at the moment. It's the 40th anniversary of the release of "Jaws." A new "Sharknado" film is coming July 22 on Syfy. Several shark attacks have taken place off North Carolina recently. So it seems almost mandatory to use this space to note that this is Shark Week.

Review: A TV ‘Scream,’ With Fresh Carnage and Winking Nods to the Genre — The people old enough to be making television shows and movies today apparently spent their childhoods scared out of their wits. Whether that means they know how to scare today's younger generations remains unclear, and MTV's attempt to make a television series out of "Scream" doesn't clarify the picture.

Review: ‘Humans’ Contemplates When Robots are Routine Accessories — No one would blame you for being confused. A new series turned up Wednesday on the USA Network called "Mr. Robot" that is about humans. And on Sunday, AMC will unveil a series called " Humans" that is largely about robots. But if you can't keep them straight, watch both.

Review: ‘Dragons: Race to the Edge,’ a Dark Animated Series on Netflix — Why leave a five-year gap between the events depicted in Part 1 of your animated theatrical trilogy and the events depicted in Part 2? So you can squeeze a few television series into the empty space. The first two "How to Train Your Dragon" movies (the most recent was released last year) were big hits for DreamWorks.

‘Stray Dog,’ Debra Granik’s Portrait of a Biker With a Past — "Winter's Bone," the 2010 film by Debra Granik, is best known as providing the breakout role for Jennifer Lawrence, whose performance in it earned her an Oscar nomination. Less attention-getting in that movie was the work of Ron Hall, a biker with no acting experience but a cool nickname: Stray Dog.

Review: ‘First Peoples’ Finds the Drive to Explore in Our DNA — The narration is often overwrought, and so is the soundtrack, but "First Peoples," a five-part science series beginning on Wednesday on PBS, certainly alerts you to one thing: If your most recent idea of paleoanthropology involves an image of one of the Leakeys dusting off an ancient fibula, you seriously need an update.

Review: ‘A Deadly Adoption’ Stars Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell — It was either a brilliant example of deadpan humor or a mediocre Lifetime movie. You sorely want to give the stars the benefit of the doubt and credit them with a comedic masterpiece, given their résumés. But, gosh, it sure looked like a mediocre Lifetime movie.

Review: ‘Requiem for the Dead’ on HBO Explores Gun Violence in America — A documentary about gun violence that has its premiere on HBO on Monday has been given extra topicality by the massacre in Charleston, S.C. That, though, isn't necessarily to the film's benefit. It might draw additional viewers, sure, but it also underscores the project's voyeuristic shallowness.

Review: ‘Ballers,’ on HBO, Follows a Financial Guru to the Sports Stars — Given the place sports occupy in our culture, you'd think they would be right up there with doctoring and policing as fodder for television dramas and comedies. But "Arli$$" and "Friday Night Lights" notwithstanding, the number of scripted shows about athletics has always been relatively small.

Review: ‘Killjoys’ on Syfy Has Bounty Hunters on Space’s Frontier — The Syfy channel might not be in many Emmy conversations, but in recent years it has served up satisfying show after satisfying show. On Friday it adds another, a cheeky series called "Killjoys." Well cast and written and staged with a campy sense of humor, the series follows three fearless young entrepreneurs as they roam a distant planetary system rounding up miscreants of various kinds for pay.
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Jun 30, 2015

RT @TheFleaTheater: Watch an exclusive interview with Happy Days stars Brooke Adams & Tony Shalhoub! #BeckettHD…

Jun 28, 2015

Loved #Humans, robot show @AMC_TV premieres tonite. Though (sorry, @Gemma_Chan1) I still don't want one in my house.

Jun 27, 2015

RT @JeffLoveness: The surest sign of growing up is to go from a lover of Bart episodes to a lover of Lisa episodes.

Jun 27, 2015

RT @DoveWrites: This Is How You Take the Perfect Nap, According to Sleep Scientists

Jun 27, 2015

Prediction: Any cordless phones in the new @MTVScream series will be smaller than the ones in the original Scream. #screamathon

Jun 27, 2015

RT @machomitch3: Neve Campbell better cut those bangs so she can see while running #SCREAMATHON #MTV

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