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Violent, Complicated, Over

Television: ‘The Bastard Executioner’

“The Bastard Executioner” has been dragged into the town square and beheaded, the blood splattering onto a small crowd of horrified onlookers.

At least, that’s how the news of the show’s demise would have played out on the screen. The violent medieval FX series — which tells the tale of a 14th-century Welsh warrior who assumes the identity of an executioner — has been canceled after one season by the series creator himself, Kurt Sutter, and FX Networks CEO John Landgraf.

Giving the Fans What They Want

Television: ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’

After more than 30 years, chainsaw-wielding Deadite slayer Ash Williams is back on the small screen Starz’s “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” Hail to the king, baby.

If you’re not familiar with this immature monster hunter portrayed by Bruce Campbell, he’s the anti-hero of the “Evil Dead” trilogy of films. Ash and a group of friends stay in a cabin in the woods, they find a Book of the Dead — you get the idea.

Millennials Relive Their Youth

Television

Way back in 1991, Nickelodeon debuted three original cartoons: “Doug,” “Rugrats” and “Ren & Stimpy.” I can confirm this bit of trivia because my 8-year-old self was glued to the television for this block of shows. Doug Funnie, Tommy Pickles and Powdered Toast Man are a part of my childhood.

Something for Collectors, Digital Trading Cards

Technology

When I was a kid, I collected trading cards. I bought packs that featured superheroes and scenes from movies like “Star Wars.” I kept them organized in nine-pocket plastic sheets and stored them in three-ring binders.

It’s 20 years later and I’m still collecting “Star Wars” cards — but I’m doing it digitally. On my phone. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Animated, Unusual and Clever

TV: Darryl Gangloff

You’ve seen the “Back to the Future” trilogy, right? If you haven’t, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the first film, so it’s the perfect time to watch it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now It’s Done, There’s No Going Back

TV Scene

By the opening credits of “Mr. Robot,” I was immediately hooked. The show follows Elliot (Rami Malek), a talented programmer who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot’s not your typical hero: he’s got social anxiety disorder, depression and an addiction to morphine. He talks to us, the audience, in a monotone voice as though we’re his imaginary friend. He hides under his hoodie while his wide, unblinking eyes peek out at the world. 

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Alan Cumming Gets Spiegeltent Going

Nightlife

The tenth anniversary season of Spiegeltent, Bard College’s summer cabaret, kicked off with a semi-autobiographical show by the versatile Scottish-born actor, Alan Cumming. A small, wiry and energetic man, wearing a sleeveless muscle shirt, sweatpants, and his hair in a fade, Cumming launched into a rendition of Annie Lennox’s song “Why?” and kept up a lively mix of music and droll anecdotes for the next 90 minutes.

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Starting Over With High Expectations

TV Scene

In HBO’s “True Detective,” returned now for its second season, you won’t find Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. They were the stars of the wonderful first season, which featured two detectives investigating a ritualistic murder in Louisiana.
The second season of this anthology series tells a brand new tale set in California with a different cast, including Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch. 

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Small, Like Us, But Different

The TV Scene: ‘Wayward Pines’

Those of us who live in and around the Northwest Corner are familiar with small towns like Wayward Pines, Idaho, where everyone knows your name.

But this bucolic town holds some diabolical secrets. Residents must abide by seven rules:

1. Enjoy your life in Wayward Pines.

2. Be happy.

3. Work hard.

4. Always answer the phone if it rings.

5. Do not discuss the past.

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Back Again, Mulder, Scully And Friends

TV Scene

It seems like 2015 may go down in history as the year Hollywood officially ran out of ideas. Beloved TV shows are being revived left and right, feeding on our nostalgia for classics from decades past.