Thu October 16, 2014

Elizabeth Peña Remembered As An Actress With Range

Actress Elizabeth Peña arrives at the Hollywood premiere of Nothing Like the Holidays in 2008.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Overture Films

Cuban-American actress Elizabeth Peña has died at age 55. She played dramatic roles in movies such as La Bamba and Lone Star and appeared in sitcoms including Modern Family.

Peña died Tuesday after a brief illness at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to her agent.

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Wed October 1, 2014

FX's 'The Bridge' Finds Authenticity In Spanish-Language Scenes

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:06 am

Demian Bichir, left, and Diane Kruger star in FX's cross-border crime drama The Bridge.
Bryon Cohen AP

It's the best show that you're probably not watching.

As FX's The Bridge ends its ratings-challenged second season Wednesday, it has told a sprawling story about two detectives — one in El Paso, Texas, and one in Juarez, Mexico — pursuing a Mexican drug cartel.

This year, much of the story has centered on reluctant hero and Mexican police detective Marco Ruiz, who's chasing cartel boss Fausto Galvan. Almost all of those moments are filmed in Spanish, helping flesh out characters who tend to remain mere stereotypes in other shows.

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Sun September 21, 2014

In 'Transparent', Transgender Issues Are A Family Affair

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:59 am

Amy Landecker and Jeffrey Tambor are two of the stars of Transparent, in which Tambor's character comes out as transgender to her three adult children.
Beth Dubber Amazon Studios

This fall, one of the more interesting and bold TV shows you'll see isn't being released by a major network — instead, it's coming out of Amazon Studios.

Transparent is a comedy-drama that centers on a family and their lives following the discovery that their father, whom they'd known as Mort (played by Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development fame) is a transgender woman named Maura.

"Are you saying you're going to start dressing up like a lady all of the time?" asks daughter Sarah (Amy Landecker).

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Fri September 19, 2014
Code Switch

Examining Bill Cosby's Legacy As 'The Cosby Show' Turns 30

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:59 pm

The Cosby Show starred Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad as Cliff and Clair Huxtable, an upper-middle-class couple in New York. Tempestt Bledsoe, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet and Keshia Knight Pulliam played four of their five children.
Frank Carroll AP

The Cosby Show celebrates its 30th birthday on Saturday.

It was a monster hit inspired by the comedy and life experiences of its star, Bill Cosby, as shown in the new biography Cosby: His Life and Times. In the book, author Mark Whitaker makes a strong argument that Cosby's comedic style and approach to race issues turned The Cosby Show into television's most quietly subversive program.

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Sun September 14, 2014

'Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories': More Nightmares Than Sweet Dreams

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 7:08 am

Tim Heidecker (left) and Eric Wareheim, shown promoting their film Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, have been friends for two decades.
Victoria Will AP

The comedy of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim is just plain weird.

They alternate between deadpan humor and total absurdity in shows like Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Adult Swim. They like to focus on the existential nausea of everyday interactions and take a sledgehammer to consumer culture.

On Thursday, their latest series — Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories — premieres on Adult Swim. The show features short vignettes in the style of The Twilight Zone.

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