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Steve Agee

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  • TV Picks: Thanksgiving TV, 'Hello Ladies,' 'MasterChef Jr.,' more

    TV Picks: Thanksgiving TV, 'Hello Ladies,' 'MasterChef Jr.,' more
    "Hello Ladies: The Movie" (HBO, Saturday). Those mourning Stephen Merchant's one-season-and-canceled HBO series about an Englishman in Hollywood looking for love in (some of) all the wrong places, or those just seeking closure, will be cheered by this brief return. Or not so brief: At two hours, it is fully half as long as the whole first season. But it's a real movie, with a dominating through-line and an actual conclusion, not just a series of episodic exertions and humiliations strung together. Directing and starring and writing again with Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (veterans of the American version of "The Office," whose British original Merchant co-created with Ricky Gervais), Merchant concentrates on the relationship between his character, Stuart, and his friend and tenant Jessica (Christine Woods), a long-aspiring actress who has decided that her aspiring days are through. Some of the shots at Hollywood feel a little easy and familiar -- it's a target as broad as a barn's side -- and the story runs down some well-worn paths: There is a showing-off-for-an-old-girlfriend subplot and more than a little of Harry and Sally in Stuart and Jessica. But "The Movie," though the term "cringeworthy" still applies, is also less exaggerated than the series; it wants to keep things relatively real. (There is good support again from Nate Torrence, Kevin Weisman and Kyle Mooney as Stuart's posse.) Merchant is not an actor of enormous range; but he has the awkward-but-forward thing down and does some subtle, effective work as Stuart, whose memories of lifelong failures have kept him in a state of protective self-importance, begins to step outside his own head. Woods, lately seen in a recurring role on "The Walking Dead," is marvelous once again, completely present and whole even when instructed to lie on her back and kick her legs like a dying cockroach. Nicole Kidman plays herself in a party scene; Stephen Tobolowsky is a rich guy with a yacht; and Allison Tolman, of TV's "Fargo," and everywhere you look nowadays, shows up here, too, in a bar. ("Hello Ladies: The Movie" will replay through November and December on HBO and HBO2; check whatever it is you check for dates, for dates.)
  • Watch: Kate Mara and Ellen Page are 'Tiny Detectives' in 'True Detective' Parody

    On Wednesday, it was revealed that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn will be the leads in season two of HBO's "True Detective," but what if the stars were a little smaller? Kate Mara and Ellen Page have stepped in to find out just that, with help from Funny...

    Nazareth's Kate Micucci posts teaser trailer for "Garfunkel and Oates"

    Nazareth native Kate Micucci has posted the latest teaser trailer for "Garfunkel and Oates" her new show on IFC debuting next month. The eight-episode series, called "Garfunkel and Oates," after Micucci and Riki Lindhome's comedy duo will air on IFC...

    Check out the opening credits for "Garfunkel & Oates"

    Check out the opening credits song for Nazareth native Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome's new IFC series about their comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. The catchy tune will definitely stick in your ear. The eight-episode series, called "Garfunkel and Oates,".....

    'Garfunkel and Oates' finds an odd, funny, endearing harmony

    'Garfunkel and Oates' finds an odd, funny, endearing harmony
    With Comedy Central's "Broad City," USA's "Playing House" and now "Garfunkel and Oates," which premieres Thursday on IFC, it is springtime on television for female comedy teams. If the dynamic is not exactly without precedent — Lucy and Ethel,...