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

An ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Episode Targets Baby-Boomers — If you're PBS and want to serve up a holiday present that hits your viewership right in its sweet spot, here's what you do: Take one of your most durable franchises and assemble a baby-boomer edition of it. Thus "Antiques Roadshow" offers a special episode called "The Boomer Years" on Monday night.

‘Christmas Icetastrophe’ on Syfy Defies Tradition — Warning: Humans may be enjoying time off starting right about now, but asteroids don't give a hoot about the holidays. They just keep right on hurtling toward Earth with devastation on their minds. Be ready to seek shelter, because one of them breaks through the atmosphere on Saturday night, and even a guy in a Santa suit isn't safe.

‘The American Revolution,’ on the American Heroes Channel — "The American Revolution" isn't great history programming, but it does teach us one thing: There are a lot of ways to help along an independence movement. The three-part program (two Monday, one Tuesday) on the American Heroes Channel, whose highest use is probably as a classroom aid, is a collection of mini-stories about people not named George Washington or Paul Revere who played parts in the American Revolution.

‘Ascension,’ a Space Travel Mini-Series on Syfy — The Syfy channel has given us some of 2014's silliest programming (that "Sharknado" sequel comes to mind), but it has saved one of its slickest offerings for late in the year. "Ascension," a mini-series running Monday through Wednesday, has an intriguing premise, lots of plot twists and high production values.

TV Shows That Failed in 2014, by the Month — The carcasses of dead television shows line 2014 like roadkill. More than 70 shows were canceled during the year, according to websites that track such things. Some had enjoyed long runs and had simply reached the point of diminishing viewership that practically all series encounter eventually. Others lasted only a few episodes.

‘Theo’s House,’ a Rax Rinnekangas Romance Drama — Not many movies can say they feel alternately like the romantic fantasy of a possibly deluded older man and a discourse on bad architecture, but that describes "Theo's House," an odd film from the Finnish director Rax Rinnekangas.

‘Marco Polo,’ Fur-and-Armor Drama From Netflix — Netflix is trying to expand globally, and it's hoping that bloody combat, naked women and uninvolving 13th-century empire building are the way to do it. The company has put a lot of money into "Marco Polo," a 10-episode historical drama that becomes available on Friday, and those are the defining characteristics of the series.

Golden Dragon Acrobats in 'Cirque Zíva' — Here's a fun experiment for you to try. Stand on one leg, then raise your other leg up until your foot is above your head, sole facing the ceiling. Now balance a bunch of glassware on the bottom of that upturned foot.

'The Newsroom' Recap: Technology's Latest Victim — Season 3, Episode 24: "Contempt" Given that he killed off a major character Sunday night in "The Newsroom," Aaron Sorkin, the show's creator, probably never thought that the episode's dominant talking point might end up being an accidentally prescient side plot involving campus sex crimes.

Whose Dinosaur Is It Anyway? — Imagine making a thrilling, career-topping discovery. Then imagine the resulting glow being snuffed out by a grueling, yearslong legal battle. That is the tale told in "Dinosaur 13," a documentary by Todd Douglas Miller being broadcast Thursday night on CNN. The title refers to the 13th Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found, the most complete such skeleton yet discovered.
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Dec 19, 2014

Who needs "The Interview" when @SyfyTV is premiering "Christmas #Icetastrophe" tomorrow night? For my 300 wds about it, see Saturday paper.

Dec 19, 2014

...and yes, it took me four tries to spell "sacrilegious" correctly.

Dec 18, 2014

@nhagerwnew Of course, you're also describing my kitchen at the moment.

Dec 18, 2014

I hope we're at least planning to retaliate by air-dropping boxed sets of "Mr. Belvedere" all over North Korea. #TheInterview

Dec 17, 2014

My sis has digitized old family photos and is emailing them around. Seems I spent my first 16 years wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look.

Dec 15, 2014

RT @Thogar: After everything that just happened on #Ascension I need a cigarette ... and I don't even smoke.

Dec 12, 2014

My kid's class, all #SpecialNeeds, had a mall field trip today. Random shopper saw them, gave teacher $100 so kids could buy presents. #Xmas

Dec 12, 2014

RT @danielle_ivory: Virginia is the first government to participate in the whistleblower cases against Trinity. My story w/ @akesslerdc:…

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