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Austin O'Connor

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Austin O'Connor covers television, film, gaming, gadgets and all kinds of entertainment for AARP.org. Follow him on twitter: @austinjoconnor

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Austin O'Connor'sPosts

Death Becomes Downton: It’s Still Great

Posted on 01/5/2014 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

EntertainmentWho needs Matthew Crawley? That may be the question lingering in the minds of Downton Abbey fans after Sunday’s dishy two-hour season premiere on PBS stations.  The opening episode of Season Four was a welcome return to form — that being high class soap opera — and it reversed most of the sluggishness that accompanied the final episodes of Season Three. Picking up six months after Downton heir and resident hunk Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) stunning death-by-automobile-crash in the finale of …

‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Reload in New Miniseries

Posted on 12/5/2013 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

EntertainmentDoes the world really need another Bonnie & Clyde? That’s the question you may find yourself asking midway through A&E’s new two-part miniseries about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The notorious duo’s crime spree through the American Southwest in the early 1930s has already spawned a film, and a fairly notable one at that: The landmark 1967 version, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, stunned original audiences with its frank depiction of gun violence. >> Sign up for the AARP Health …

Is There Comedy in Geriatric Care? Yes, on HBO

Posted on 11/22/2013 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

EntertainmentGetting On, HBO’s off-kilter new comedy series, is about nurses and doctors working in a female geriatric care unit at a California hospital — not exactly the sort of setting that would seem to inspire humor. Still, the show has genuinely funny moments, even while it remains realistic about its environment. It’s a delicate balancing act, though. Take the first moments of the show’s premiere, which airs Sunday night at 10 on the pay cable network: brand-new nurse Didi (Niecy …

‘Alpha House’: Early Results Are Strong

Posted on 11/15/2013 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

EntertainmentAlpha House is a very funny show, certainly the best of this fall’s new TV comedies. But you won’t find it on any broadcast or cable network. This half-hour comedy, about four Republican senators who share a Capitol Hill brownstone as their home-away-from-home-district, is the first original production from Amazon Studios. It begins streaming at Amazon on Friday, Nov. 15: The first three episodes will be available, free, to all customers at the online retail giant. Thereafter, Amazon Prime subscribers will …

‘Challenger Disaster’ Movie Captures Gripping History

Posted on 11/14/2013 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

EntertainmentThe Challenger Disaster is one of those movies — The Social Network and Moneyball are other fairly recent examples — that manage to wring gripping, suspenseful drama from a subject that wouldn’t seem to inspire it. The film, which premieres on Science Channel on Saturday night at 9, recounts the true story of the Rogers Commission, the presidentially appointed group that investigated the cause of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion. As the Discovery-owned cable net’s first-ever feature film, it’s …

50 Years Later, JFK Death Again a TV Event

Posted on 11/8/2013 by | Television and Entertainment | Comments

Bulletin Today | EntertainmentThe flood of upcoming TV specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination threatens to be a little redundant: Conspiracy theories aside, we probably know about as much as we’ll ever get to know about that awful November day. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter That’s not to say that remembering the tragedy isn’t important. It’s just to point out that the most interesting of the JFK-themed programs scheduled to air in the run-up to the Nov. …