“Revelations” lead to the best Black Lightning yet

Read on: The A.V. Club.

After a few weeks of failing to really hit the mark when it comes to the season’s larger stories, “The Book Of Revelations” sees Black Lightning get right back on track. The problem with the last few episodes has been the purposeful withholding of information in order to build up the season’s biggest mysteries, from…

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Collateral damage leads to a moral reckoning on Black Lightning

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The characters that populate Black Lightning love to talk. More than any other superhero TV show, this one spends a lot of time discussing the various ethical conundrums that come with being a vigilante. Arrow, The Flash, and plenty of others have explored similar territory, but Black Lightning’s string of episodes to…

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Gotham’s spring premiere is as confident and compelling as the first half of the season

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After three seasons of stumbling through a number of storylines that either fumbled the promise of the plot or failed to engage with the show’s characters in a meaningful, impactful way, the first half of the fourth season of Gotham found its groove. Not every episode was compelling, but as a whole the first half of…

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Valentine’s Day gives Modern Family the loving spark that it needs

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It’s not often, especially these days, that Modern Family gets to really dig into its central relationships. Every now and then there’s a storyline that tries to explore some of the complications within this massive family, but more often than not the relationships act as a springboard for the comedy. At this point in…

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A familiar, formulaic story bogs down Black Lightning

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What made Black Lightning so compelling right out of the gate was its unique voice and perspective. Musing on various issues and triumphs related to being black in America, the show quickly established a tone that found the right balance between being a family drama and a fun superhero show with a more political bent,…

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An overstuffed Black Lightning revels in the shared past of its characters

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One of the pleasures of watching Black Lightning has been its approach to storytelling. Through four episodes the show’s been patient in unraveling the story of Jefferson Pierce once again donning his mask as Black Lightning, while also taking its time filling in the details of the world he occupies. Where so many…

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Black Lightning reckons with the violence of revolution

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One of Black Lightning’s greatest strengths in the early part of this season is its ability to take the larger issues affecting Freeland and use them to tell small-scale stories about various communities. Whether it’s the Pierce family, the student body at Garfield, or the various neighborhoods that make up Freeland,…

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The violence of capitalism in The Assassination Of Gianni Versace

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There’s a moment early on in The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story that, perhaps more than any other, sticks with you long after the image fades. Andrew Cunanan (a remarkable, terrifying Darren Criss), who we’ve already seen kill Gianni Versace, stands in the bathroom of a rundown motel room that…

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Black Lightning falters by being too neat and tidy when things get messy

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Right out of the gate, Black Lightning had an understanding that every superhero drama needs, well, both its superhero aspects and its drama aspects. The first two episodes of the series made it very clear that Jefferson Pierce—the father, the ex-husband, and the community leader—was, in many ways, more important than…

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Black Lightning expands its scope, and challenges Jefferson in the process

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Black Lightning may not have a time-travelling superhero, but it does have a thorough understanding of the past. The past, with its influence on the present, its ability to contribute to a rosy nostalgia, and the way it creates wounds that never truly heal, is an integral part of the show, even with only two episodes…

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Modern Family’s lust for life is surprisingly effective

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Maybe it’s the fact that there’s a bit of the old Modern Family poking through lately, or perhaps it’s just a welcome feeling of relief while living through the eternal hellscape that is our current political moment, but there’s something about the life-affirming nature of “In Your Head” that I can’t help but fall…

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Black Lightning’s series premiere gives us the mature, nuanced superhero show we need 

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There are a lot of superhero shows on The CW, and there’s a lot of superhero stories out there in general. You can’t log in to Netflix without seeing a new Marvel show promoted, and you can’t go a few weeks without seeing a new trailer or cast announcement for a Marvel or DC film. Standing out from the crowd is no…

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A health scare sees Modern Family musing on death (in a fun way!)

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There’s a lot of potential in “Dear Beloved Family,” an episode that, early on, sees Phil Dunphy rushed to the hospital with inexplicable and sudden stomach pain. After the episode gets past its rather silly, paint-by-numbers cold open—Phil has weird ideas for family traditions and Jay generally hates him, we get…

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The latest Modern Family is a showcase for the cast’s physicality

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As Modern Family ages and relies more and more on comedic situations where, quite frankly, the characters aren’t particularly good to each other, or are sometimes outright irritating, patience with the show and one’s enjoyment of it will vary from person to person. This week’s episode, returning after just a short…

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A little “Tough Love” goes a long way on Modern Family

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Early on in “Tough Love,” Pam, Cam’s sister, wanders into Cam and Mitchell’s house with her baby. She’s barely moving her neck, telling the guys that she pulled a muscle while changing the baby and that she needs to go get a massage to get it all worked out. Cam, being the nice (or gullible, according to Mitchell) guy…

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Chris Martin is the highlight of Modern Family, and yes this is a headline from 2017

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When a sitcom spends most of its marketing time promoting the numerous guest stars set to appear in its next episode, you usually have a pretty good sense of what kind of episode you’re about to get. You can predict that it won’t be too serious, that there won’t really be any storylines that tie in with the rest of…

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