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T.J. DeGroat

University of New York, class of '02.

Reviews

New Girl

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"New Girl" is kind of like a college friend. I liked it immediately and remained enamored for a good two years, but then we drifted apart. What I had thought of as cute eventually became annoying. But after a little time apart, I checked in on Jess and co. and decided to give it another go. This season has been consistently entertaining, even during the Megan Fox episodes.

Lopez

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The hesitation is understandable, but this series is a bit of a departure. Think "George Lopez" meets "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The single-camera format immediately cuts down the cheesiness of Lopez's other shows. And he succeeds in mocking himself as often as he lampoons others (note the early mention of taking a kidney from his wife and then divorcing her). It's definitely a different George Lopez. And, I think, a better one.

Bravo was made for me, but this is the only RH show I've watched in its entirety. Sure, it's as fake as the rest. And errbody is crazy. But y'all know Bethenny "Get Off My Jock" Frankel is good TV. And I can't wait for the new season.

Broadchurch

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Broadchurch is about a small community that is ripped apart when a local boy's dead body is discovered on the beach. It's the kind of town where everyone knows everyone, so the reality of a killer living among them leads to some dark moments. David Tennant (my Doctor) and Olivia Colman play the detectives in charge of the investigation, which twists through the town, making residents — and viewers — scrutinize many suspects. When the killer is revealed, the reactions from the key players are absolutely gut-wrenching.

Playing House

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This is one of those victims of Peak TV, an excellent show that has gotten lost in the noise of prestige dramas, bloody battle sequences, and gently funny "comedies." Playing House is the second sitcom created by and starring Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair (whose Best Friends Forever will forever be on my personal canceled-too-soon list). They play childhood friends who come to each other's aid and create their own quirky, loving family. The show is funny, emotional, and charming.

Schitt's Creek

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A video store magnate and his ex-soap star wife find themselves broke and forced to move their entire family to a tiny town the couple bought as a joke: Schitt's Creek. The locals seem uncultured, the motel they have to live in is a dump, and life is a total Schitt show. But wouldn't you know it, the family winds up kinda liking their new home. You'll definitely like it.

The Mick

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When her estranged sister and wealthy brother-in-law flee the country to escape federal charges, lifelong hustler Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) realizes the good life she has always envied finally may be within reach. But there's a pretty serious catch: she'll have to take care of her sister's three high-maintenance children. Straight-up fire on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for more than a decade, this is a higher-profile show that could make the talented Olson a household name. It's slightly difficult to see where the show goes beyond the predictable adult-kid conflict, but so far it's funny as hell.

The Pizza Show

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Beauty, thy name is pizza.

Transparent

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Jill Soloway's award-winning series is one of those modern comedies that is as moving as it is funny, with as many weepy spells as laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the third season's stories seem to be a response to the show's critics, including one forcing Maura to address the privilege with which she moves through the world compared to many transgender women. Among the best surprises is actress Trace Lysette, who gets to stretch beyond her previous role as sassmaster and share an important romantic storyline.

Time of Death

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This is rooof stooof, you guys. Tears, tears, tears. But it's also so heart-warming and funny and life-affirming.