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Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry
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The 18-episode second volume of “Superman: The Animated Series,” $26.98 in 2010 and $17.10 last month, is now $8.00!! (71% Off!!)
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The fourth season of “The Rockford Files,” $37.99 in 2009 and $34.99 last month, has just fallen to its lowest price ever: $12.49 (68% Off!!)
Blu-ray “Star Trek,” $35.99 in 2010 and $18.96 in March, just fell to its lowest price ever: $9.99!! (67% Off!!)
The fourth Blu-ray volume of “Masters of Horror” featuring Takashi Miike’s too-disturbing-for-Showtime “Imprint,” $21.49 in 2010 and $19.99 last year, has fallen to $5.29 (74% Off!!)
New This Week
The latest political drama from Greg Berlanti (“Jack & Bobby,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “No Ordinary Family”), “Political Animals” follows a female U.S. secretary of state (Sigourney Weaver) who was also the the wife of the 42nd president of the United States and once ran for POTUS against the guy who gave her her current job.
But her name is not Hilary Rodham Clinton. Her name is Elaine Barrish Hammond.
Weaver is supported by a host of great actors, including Carlo Gugino (“Karen Sisco”), Ciaran Hinds (“Rome”), and Ellen Burnstyn (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”) -- all struggling under the Berlanti’s lazy, trite, undercooked teleplay.
If you’re expecting “The West Wing,” only written by the longtime showrunner of “Dawson’s Creek” (rather than “West Wing” mastermind Aaron Sorkin, the guy who wrote the excellent political dramedies “An American President” and "Charlie Wilson's War"), you expected right.
The “Political Animals” pilot is abominable. It’s packed solid with wretched dialogue, absurd behavior and predictable plotting. A series sequel to this miniseries could run on USA for decades.
Oh, and don’t watch “Political Animals” while playing a drinking game tied to the word “bitch.” You will die.
The Hollywood Reporter says:
... what Animals is trying to do is take The West Wing and turn it into Dallas. And if you don’t like Dallas, that can be a real letdown.…
... initially more preoccupied with what transpires between the sheets than within the halls of power. As such, the super-sized opener contains promise, but primarily feels like someone's idea of an edgy concept -- not so much wild as the hollow product of a skilled taxidermist. …
... Because "Political Animals" is still being assembled, I've only seen that first two installments so far. The second one is more interested in family squabbles and other soap operatics than the first one is, and it's possible that this is the direction Berlanti wants to take things in for the rest of the run. But with a cast this good, and with so many potentially juicy conflicts already in play, I'm going to take a more optimistic point of view than Elaine Barrish might.
HuffPost TV says:
... both mildly subversive and very enjoyable …
The New York Times says:
... This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun …
The Los Angeles Times says:
... more "Dallas" than "The West Wing," a high-class, relatively naturalistic, behind-closed-doors soap opera that plays in fairly obvious yet also fairly affecting ways with the space between public face and private pain and is made highly watchable by an excellent cast that finds the human among the hokum. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
... The problem is not the concept, it's the execution. … ignores the sound advice given to all writers: show, don't tell. …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
... an unsavory and silly miniseries … The basic story line could have been workable, if only it had been handled with thought and creativity. … Berlanti isn't interested in depth. Wanting soap and dirt - a lot of dirt - he has fashioned something that's watchable only if you completely divorce it from the realm of credibility. Real-life politics may be a soap opera, but at least it's better written.
The Washington Post says:
... verges right up to the edge of ludicrous with the right combination of salty-sweet and silly-smart. In just two episodes, it exhibits better writing, stronger acting, cleaner momentum and more confidence than most new shows ever find. If the secretary of state’s dysfunctional family and bizzaro politics become too much to bear, then, happily, it’s over after six episodes. ...
The Boston Herald says:
... boorish … Here’s a series begging to be impeached from prime time. Vote with your remote.
The Boston Globe says:
... flawed but addictive … soaps are almost by definition built on types, right? What distinguishes the good ones are colorful performances, scandalous twists, and the age-old reminder that money and power can’t buy love – all of which “Political Animals” has. …
... an inconsistent, sometimes ludicrous, but also juicily fun political soap .…
USA Today says:
... seems designed to call the Clintons to mind. Which would be fine if the pair were as interesting as their real-life counterparts … goes down relatively painlessly but that is nowhere near as sharp or as on-point as it needs to be. …
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Blu At Last Aug. 27!!