Gillian Flynn

My Boys

Jim Gaffigan, My Boys

Dear My Boys: I owe you an apology. When you debuted in 2006—a comedy about a sportswriting, beer-drinking Chicago gal named PJ (Jordano Spiro) and her troupe of man friends—I found your early episodes so awkward, I mercilessly dropped you on my Worst of TV list. Mea frickin’ culpa. My Boys has modestly morphed into one of the funniest comedies on TV.

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Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception

Need…more…pixie…dust. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series — about a young, nefarious Irish mastermind and his adventures with fairies — has always been staunchly uncute. The elves and centaurs Artemis runs with (and often runs a-fowl of) are technology-toting, gizmo-obsessed bad-asses. But in this fourth edition, Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Colfer is practically channeling Tom Clancy. Fowl and wary elf Holly Short reteam to keep a ”murdering pixie genius” named Opal Koboi from pitting humans against fairies.

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The Irish aristocrat – cum – plotter of world domination returns for a third round, and the kid’s still got it. (For those not familiar with past romps, young Fowl discovered an elf-dwarf-centaur-sprite underground society, which he’s been exploiting ever since.) Now the 13-year-old has invented a high-tech cube from fairy gizmos that renders all communication technology obsolete. When the cube is stolen, Fowl needs his old spritely friend/nemesis, Holly Short, to get it back.

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The 2008 season was lost to the writers’ strike, but long-absent 24 returns with 24: Redemption, a very TV-movie-ish TV movie meant to set up and pique our interest for the seventh season, which begins on Jan. 11. Last we saw agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), he was a man without a CTU, looking gloomily out to sea. As Redemption picks up, we find Jack working with his old special-ops pal (Trainspotting’s Robert Carlyle) at a boys’ school in the fictional war-torn African country of Sangala.

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The Shield

Note to David Chase: This is how you end a series. The Shield has always been an audience pleaser, in the best sense of the word. It’s not just a tragic character study about the barbed lures of power, the slipknot ties of friendship, or the economics of loyalty, although it is all that. It’s also been a double-crossing, blood-spurting, wisecracking belly slither through Los Angeles — a cop drama that doesn’t think itself above some roll up the sleeves and sock it to ‘em! entertainment. In true form, the 90-minute Nov.

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Showtime’s Brotherhood, about a blue-collar Rhode Island family with one sibling in local government (Jason Clarke) and one in the local Mob (Jason Isaacs), has always been as interested in social drama as the vagaries of Providence politics or Irish-American gangs. Season 3 digs deep into the series’ working-class roots; at points it feels like a rather ingenious election-season feel-your-pain ad. Everyone is struggling to make ends meet; even former gang head Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman) is actually forced to sell cars at one of his cover dealerships. State Rep.

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Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, ...

This week, ABC’s Brothers & Sisters tempts a? certain Democrat from the Walker clan into the Republican offices of Sen. Robert McCallister (Rob Lowe) — and the brainy, fractious drama officially becomes the ideal companion piece to this year’s election season. The politically minded B&S gives both sides of the aisle (almost) equal time, and equally persuasive mouthpieces. Matriarch Nora (Sally Field) and gay son Kevin (Matthew Rhys) are liberal Democrats; daughter Kitty Walker McCallister (Calista Flockhart) is a vociferous Republican.

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The Ex List

From the very sound of The Ex List, I didn’t want to watch it: Based on an Israeli series, Ex is about Bella (Grey’s Anatomy’s Elizabeth Reaser), a thirtysomething woman who is told by a psychic that she must marry in the next year or she never will — and her future husband is someone she’s already romanced. I envisioned female friends leaning on each other emotionally and laughing raunchily while they drank fruity things and shopped. Blech. When ?

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Eleventh Hour

In the tradition of Monk, The Mentalist, and, to an extent, Chuck, Eleventh Hour features a quirky genius (Dark City’s Rufus Sewell) and his sensible female handler (Marley Shelton), who solve mysteries. It’s a stale premise — and the drama does nothing to enliven the situation. Based on a British ITV series, this ?Jerry Bruckheimer drama feels more like a limp CSI spin-off, although Sewell, with his ominously handsome face and oddly grandfatherly voice, is a notch above. His superscientist Dr.

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