David Bianculli

When Fargo premiered on FX in 2014, the anthology miniseries promised to present its own take on the oddball spirit and quirky plots and characters of the brilliant 1996 movie by Joel and Ethan Coen. At the time, I didn't think series creator Noah Hawley could pull it off — but he did.

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This is FRESH AIR.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

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We hardly get to know the lead character of new sci-fi comedy Upload — and the world of the near future in which he lives — before he stops living.

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This is FRESH AIR. These days, many people are watching much more TV. That's certainly true of our TV critic David Bianculli, who has recommendations not only about what to watch and where but how.

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Seven Worlds, One Planet, BBC America's new big-budget, big-scope documentary series, devotes one episode to each of Earth's continents — beginning with an episode devoted to Australia.

There are two main theories about how the commercial broadcast networks can continue to compete against the onslaught of such streaming video operations as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+. One is to attack them directly by offering the same sort of unusual and imaginative programming. The other is to retreat — and offer familiar comfort food, like police procedurals.

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Tonight HBO premieres a new four-part miniseries called "Catherine The Great" starring Helen Mirren as the 18th century Russian empress. Our TV critic David Bianculli has this review.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

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Back in the old, old days of TV, before either streaming or cable television, the broadcast networks were king — enjoying a virtual monopoly. And each fall, CBS, NBC and ABC would roll out their new shows at the same time to attract the most viewers for their automotive advertisers, who, in turn, were rolling out their new fall models. It's a TV tradition that has persisted, even though neither Detroit nor the networks are nearly as dominant as they used to be.

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