Family Guy (Season 1) (1999)

Seth MacFarlane’s often-controversial sitcom has been around for so long that it’s sometimes easy to forget how inventive and genuinely hilarious it used to be. Here in Season 1, we see MacFarlane’s predilection for multi-layered references that jumble up the typical format of a cartoon sitcom but always with effective results, while the voice work…

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

Filled with promise and peppered with remarkably eerie atmosphere, this quiet little chiller starts off well, with a peculiar but arresting main character and some genuinely chilling moments here and there… but then quickly begins to spin its wheels until runs out of steam well before the climax. It really is a shame, as leading…

2010: Odyssey Two, by Arthur C. Clarke (1982)

Following a pop culture staple like “2001: A Space Odyssey” is no easy feat even for its author, as we see here. Although it’s a direct sequel, Arthur C. Clarke chose to follow the sequence of events from the Stanley Kubrick film version (well, both screenplay and novel were developed simultaneously), which makes for several…

Baywatch (2017)

I suppose it’s the trend du jour to bash this adaptation of the supremely silly show, and while admittedly it’s no “21 Jump Street,” “Baywatch” does exactly what it sets out to do: It’s entertaining, charming, funny, and a pleasure to watch if you can accept the movie on its own terms. Dwayne Johnson and…

Britney Spears – Glory (2016)

After a tumultuous last decade, Britney Spears has emerged as a surprisingly resilient pop culture figure, one whose headlines often overshadow her music but here, with 2016’s “Glory” she’s delivered her best album since 2007’s “Blackout.” Lush, sleek and sensual, the album glides along effortlessly, with terrific pop tracks like “Just Luv Me” and “Slumber…

Beyonce – Lemonade (2016)

A stunning artistic achievement for the superstar, “Lemonade” is the type of album that will likely only grow in stature as the years pass. As it is it’s already legendary, thanks to its confrontational attitude about racial injustice, itself an unexpectedly aggressive move for the typically hyper-managed and image-conscious performer. Songs like lead single “Formation”…

Maitre Gims – Subliminal (2013)

The French rapper and singer’s first solo album (he had previously been a member of Sexion d’Assaut) is an ambitious and artistically satisfying gem. With strong tracks like “Bella,” “J’me Tire,” and “Ou Est Ton Arme?” that highlight the production’s varied influences and styles, as well as Gims’s powerful vocals, the finished album resembles something…

Roseanne (Season 6) (1993-94)

Season 6 of the classic show continues a trend first introduced in the previous season, namely that of Roseanne Barr’s ever-problematic off-screen persona becoming more central to the fabric of “Roseanne.” Her radically altered physical appearance here is matched only by how much the character has changed, having become unpleasant and strident along the way,…

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alternately riveting and disappointing, Ridley Scott’s follow-up to 2012’s divisive “Prometheus” feels stuck somewhere between Scott’s evident desire to open up the mythology of the series, and paying lip-service to fans of the series disappointed by the lack of xenomorphs in the predecessor. While the first half is tense and intriguing, the second half gradually…

Flight of the Conchords (Season 1) (2007)

One of the best shows of the aughts, “Flight of the Conchords” arrives fully formed from the first episode, with leads Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement born to play their respective roles as members of a folk-rock group. The musical interludes are never less than hilarious as well as impressively informing each episode’s plot, while…