David Bianculli http://redriverradio.org en Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery http://redriverradio.org/post/case-closed-agatha-christies-detective-poirot-solves-his-last-tv-mystery Agatha Christie published her first novel, <em>The Mysterious Affair at Styles, </em>in 1920. It featured fussy Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who proved the most popular of all her mystery-solving characters. Hercule made his final appearance in 1975, in the novel <em>Curtain — </em>and this month, nearly a century after he first appeared in print, the mystery series completes its lengthy run as a TV series, still starring David Suchet in the title role. But as the final episodes of television's <em>Poirot </em>provide closure, they are, for the moment, somewhat of a mystery themselves. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:48:00 +0000 David Bianculli 48579 at http://redriverradio.org Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions http://redriverradio.org/post/stick-knick-medical-drama-amazing-inventions The first impression of <em>The Knick, </em>the new 10-part drama series that begins this weekend on Cinemax, is that it seems derivative. It's about a maverick doctor played by Clive Owen who's rude to almost everyone around him — like the abrasive hero of Hugh Laurie's Fox series, <em>House. </em>He works at a hospital in a big city, in the shadow of bigger hospitals, fighting for attention and respect — like the doctors on <em>St. Elsewhere. </em>The title <em>The Knick, </em>in fact, is short for Knickerbocker Hospital, and is as derisive a nickname as "St. Elsewhere" was for Boston's St. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:37:00 +0000 David Bianculli 48315 at http://redriverradio.org Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions How Interactive TV Is Older Than TV Itself http://redriverradio.org/post/how-interactive-tv-older-tv-itself <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=How+Interactive+TV+Is+Older+Than+TV+Itself&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4NDI3MDk2MDEzMjA0NDE3NTExOWRjNg004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>TERRY GROSS, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. The more complex our personal technology gets the more eager television is to take advantage of it. In the case of interactive TV that now means the ability to vote on contestants and otherwise affect the outcome of what transpires, often in real time. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:31:00 +0000 David Bianculli 48147 at http://redriverradio.org Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding http://redriverradio.org/post/maggie-gyllenhaal-honorable-woman-series-both-ruthless-and-rewarding Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in a new eight-part miniseries that couldn't be more timely: It's about a woman who finds herself embroiled in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.<p><em>The Honorable Woman </em>is a co-production between the Sundance Channel, which premieres the eight-part miniseries beginning Thursday, and England's BBC-2, where viewers already have seen about half the episodes. So have I. And while I expected <em>The Honorable Woman </em>to be topical and potentially controversial, given its setting and premise, I didn't expect it to be so involving, or so intense. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:09:00 +0000 David Bianculli 47988 at http://redriverradio.org Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding 'The Strain' And 'Extant' Play On Fears Of Forces Out Of Our Control http://redriverradio.org/post/strain-and-extant-play-fears-forces-out-our-control They say every generation gets the science fiction it deserves, built around its biggest and most primal fears. Well, maybe they don't say that — but they should. In the '50s, all those movies about mutant giant monsters going berserk were a way for us to channel our fears about the atomic bomb. In the same way, in that same decade, all those body-snatcher movies were about being unable to tell friend from foe, or trust even your closest loved ones — the perfect paranoid parable for the Communist witch-hunting era.<p>So what are we watching this decade, more than anything else? Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:09:00 +0000 David Bianculli 46950 at http://redriverradio.org 'The Strain' And 'Extant' Play On Fears Of Forces Out Of Our Control