David Bianculli

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Leaving Neverland, by documentary filmmaker Dan Reed, is a tough show to watch — but it should be seen. Its central question is whether Michael Jackson used his fame and money to seduce young boys and their families into enabling a hidden pattern of serial pedophilia.

In 1993, a 24-year-old woman named Lorena Bobbitt reacted violently to what she said was a long-term pattern of marital abuse — sexual and otherwise — by severing the penis of her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, then driving away and tossing the remnant out her car window.

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie's first novel featuring fictional detective Hercule Poirot.

An acutely observant crime-solver in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Poirot has since been played on screen by such actors as Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and, most famously, David Suchet, who starred in Poirot, a lengthy series presented in the U.S. by PBS.

Being a TV critic right now is kind of like being a sports writer — in a league where 10 new teams spring up every week. Among the most memorable TV moments of 2018 was James Corden's Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney, which hit all the emotional notes.

Every December, our critics look back on the books, movies, music and TV they loved — and this year, we've gathered all of those Fresh Air recommendations for you in one place.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

AMC's decision to show its new six-hour miniseries The Little Drummer Girl over three consecutive nights is a smart strategy. This spy story, based on the bestselling novel by John Le Carré, begins at such a deliberate pace that it takes almost two hours before the central story line — the actual spy mission — is set in motion.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The rollout plan for the new TV series The Romanoffs is unusual for Amazon — just as the drama series itself is an unusual experiment for the show's creator, Matthew Weiner.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Last week the dramatic Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made headlines and also made for riveting television. Over the weekend, two of TV's most tenured series, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and CBS's "60 Minutes," returned with season premieres reacting to that fast-breaking news. Our TV critic David Bianculli has these reactions.

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