Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Preview: Restaurant Startup

CNBC's Very Good Real-Life Competition Keeps Getting Better

Waylynn Lucas

Financial news network CNBC hit on a winning format with Marcus Lemonis' The Profit. On that show, Marcus - an entrepreneur and CEO of Camping World - invests his own money into businesses that he overhauls into profitable enterprises. It's a great show. And it's a great format that CNBC is having success reproducing with Restaurant Startup (9pm).

On the show, chef-preneurs Joe Bastianich and Tim Love choose from a group of restaurant wannabes to invest in. But that's just the beginning of the winning team's overhaul.

Joe and Tim, along with the newbies' mentor, pastry chef and businesswoman Waylynn Lucas, guide the winning team to create a brand and menu that will attract a following and, the goal is, generate a profit for themselves and the investor they choose - Joe or Tim.

Restaurant Startup isn't a gimmicky reality competition. While it has elements of that, like The Profit, Startup mostly sticks to serious-minded business. It's entertaining and inspiring.

Preview: Losing Iraq

Thousands of Soldiers Sacrificed Their Lives For Iraq's Vanishing Freedom

Losing Iraq (PBS, 9pm) - In a special developing report, Frontline examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq and how the U.S. is being pulled back into the conflict. Drawing on interviews with policymakers and military leaders, the investigative team behind The Lost Year in Iraq, The Torture Question, Endgame and Bush’s War traces the U.S. role from the 2003 invasion to the current violence — exploring how Iraq itself is coming undone, how we got here, what went wrong and what happens next.

Preview: Dark Horse Nation

Bearded Brewers Make Beer Not Duck Calls
History Channel

In small town Marshall, Michigan, there is a group of life-long friends living out their version of the American dream. Led by rebel entrepreneur and fearless visionary, Aaron Morse, Dark Horse is a thriving business set amongst a rural paradise.

Morse and his team have been making a name for themselves since 1997, when Dark Horse started bottling their unique line of craft beers. Now distributed in 12 states, the Dark Horse crew is determined to turn their business into a household name. Its die-hard fan base even has its own nickname: Dark Horse Nation (History, 10pm).

Monday, July 28, 2014

News: CBS This Morning

Charlie Rose Interviews Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal

Israel, by many accounts, is losing the PR war in its deadly ongoing conflict with the Hamas-led Gaza strip, home to Palestinians who, like Israelis, claim the land as their own. Israel isn't helping itself by killing hundreds of people, including civilians and kids at a United Nations school. Moreover, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't exactly exude warmth or a clear understanding of what's going on when he explains the killings.

(Click on video to play.)

But, as it turns out, neither does opposition leader Khaled Meshaal. CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose interviews Khaled today on the CBS morning news show and his own PBS show Charlie Rose. Charlie - smart, confident and unyielding - gives Khaled a chance to be the voice of reason in the frustratingly never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But when asked about Israel's right to exist, judging by clips of the interview, Khaled doesn't do much to help the Palestinian cause.

News: Poirot

The First of Five Final Poirot Episodes Debut on Acorn TV

Last night's Poirot on PBS is today's Poirot on Acorn TV. The streaming service Acorn TV, which airs mostly British shows such as Poirot with David Suchet brilliantly portraying Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot, today debuts the first of five final episodes of the show with David starring as the clever and well-dressed detective.

Last night, PBS debuted the episode The Big Four adapted by Sherlock's Mark Gatiss. Acorn TV gets it today. Same goes for next week's episode. But, after that, the final three episodes of Poirot will air only on Acorn TV.

Review: Love Child

Valerie Veatch's Gaming Addiction Documentary Tries Too Hard

A fascinating topic presented in a heavy-handed way, Love Child (HBO, 9pm), joins a growing body of work that explores the potential costs of our Web-connected existence, using the tragedy of a South Korean infant neglected and left to die by her game-obsessive parents. Yet Valerie Veatch’s documentary tries too hard to be lyrical and Important, incorporating images of role-playing games in lingering shots that have about as much as subtlety as being whacked over the head with a console. Keep reading.

Preview: Fallen City

Rebuilding Earthquake-Destroyed Beichuan Can't Heal Human Losses

In today’s go-go China, an old city completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake can be rebuilt — boasting new and improved civic amenities — in an astoundingly quick two years. But, as Fallen City (PBS, 10pm) reveals, the journey from the ruined old city of Beichuan to the new Beichuan nearby is long and heartbreaking for the survivors. Three families struggle with loss — most strikingly the loss of children and grandchildren — and feelings of loneliness, fear and dislocation that no amount of propaganda can disguise. Keep reading.

News: Young Hollywood Awards

Fashionable Kelly Osbourne Hosts 16th Annual YHAs
Daily Mail

From fashionista, to rock chick, to classic Hollywood, to pure business. Kelly Osbourne pulled off four very different looks as host of The Young Hollywood Awards (CW, 8pm) at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday evening.

The 29-year-old Fashion Police star walked the blue carpet in an ultra-modern white minidress with a geometric pattern, cinched in at the waist with a black belt.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Preview: Poirot

David Suchet's Brilliant 25-Year Run as Poirot is Ending

For 12 television seasons and 70 episodes spread over 25 years, actor David Suchet has so thoroughly embodied the role of Agatha Christie's Belgian, mustachioed detective that it's hard to imagine either David in another role (although, he has capably done that) or Hercule Poirot portrayed by anyone other than him.

On the Poirot series, David brilliantly portrays the detective as fastidious, meticulous and more than a bit irritated by damsels in distress, who regularly show up at his office with a mystery that needs a smart, clever detective to figure out.

Poirot, the series, moves at a slow, confident pace that comes only after many years of producing consistently polished television led by an actor of David's caliber.

The first two of the last five episodes of Poirot air on PBS this Sunday and next Sunday, both 9pm. But the final three episodes will be available only on Acorn TV on Aug. 11, Aug. 18 and Aug. 25.

We'll miss you, Poirot.

Review: Manhattan

WGN America's Cold War Drama is Overly Ambitious
Washington Post

Manhattan (WGN America, 9pm) - From the writing to the performances to some overly artistic visuals and camera cuts, the first episode could not be more crammed with self-seriousness if it tried. The dust blows, the wind howls, a scorpion skitters across the desk of a tormented scientist. There can be no mistaking that this is a serious show about serious men and the women who are fated to wonder what their super-smart husbands are so desperately doing.

“What’s this place called?” asks young Harvard-educated physicist Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman), pulling up to the gate to report for his new mystery job, with his wife, Abby (Rachel Brosnahan), and their young son in tow. 

Keep reading.