‘Fever Dream’: This time it’s personal for Special Agent Pendergast (Book review)

“Fever Dream,” the latest Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child novel, opens with FBI Special Agent Pendergast and his wife, Helen, hunting a lion in Africa. I thought, “Uh oh, I don’t really want to read P&C’s take on ‘The Ghost and the Darkness.’

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State of Television Address: New fall shows (Commentary)

Here’s a look at the noteworthy premieres of the fall season. I’m skipping over the bland sitcoms (even if they’re based on a clever Twitter feed or star Joanna Garcia) and the procedural remakes (“Hawaii Five-O”) and spinoffs (like the one for “Criminal Minds”). But I encourage you to check out Zap2It’s guide for a more comprehensive look at the fall lineup, as well as the primetime grid.

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Fond farewell: ‘Law & Order’ (TV review)

“Law & Order” (9 p.m. Central Monday on NBC)

On air: 1990-2010, 20 seasons

Why it was great: It ripped about one-third of its stories from the headlines. I’m not a big news-watcher — I find it depressing — but I am a big entertainment guy, so when I can be entertained and keep up with current issues by accident, that’s cool. Watching the detectives and prosecutors at work drove home the thrill and the value of doing something important with your life.

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‘Lost’ isn’t so much about ‘good versus evil’ as it’s about ‘faith versus reason’ (TV commentary)

I kind of feel sorry for Jacob and the Man in Black after watching this week’s episode of “Lost” (8 p.m. Central Tuesday on ABC, followed by the two-and-a-half-hour series finale at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 23). We learned that they are twin brothers who were raised by a crazy woman who claimed to be their mother, but actually was the killer of their mother. And we learned that neither of them are inherently supernatural, but rather that they gained their supernatural powers from the island.

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5 random observations about current TV shows (Commentary)

1. “10 Things I Hate About You” recently returned, and it hasn’t missed a beat from its run last summer. Although it more openly admits to being aimed at all ages, “10 Things” is treading the path paved before it by “Lizzie McGuire” and “Zoey 101” — two other shows about teenagers with humor for adults. For example, when Kat complains about how the school is “violating our Constitutional rights,” Bianca says, “God, you’re like a live feed from C-SPAN.” It’s slightly too witty for believable teen-speak, but it’s just right for adults who find the clichés of teen worries equally relevant and absurd.

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This week on ‘Lost’: You wanna see something awesome? (TV commentary)

I’m not an awards-show guy. If you’re perusing my blog archives looking for analyses of Oscars, Emmys or Grammys, you won’t find any. That having been said, someone needs to give Nestor Carbonell an award (even if it’s a worthless award like an Emmy) for his performance as Richard Alpert in “Ab Aeterno,” Tuesday’s episode of “Lost.”

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Early evidence points to Jacob being evil, Man in Black being good. Discuss (TV commentary)

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has a nice chart comparing the “Lost” (8 p.m. Central Tuesdays, ABC) characters’ lives in the Island World to their lives in the Sideways World. The evidence points to Jacob being the bad guy and the Man in Black being the good guy — which is the opposite of what one would initially assume.

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Where are we? ‘Lost’s’ final season starts tonight (TV commentary)

It’s appropriate that “Lost’s” two-hour final-season premiere (8 tonight, ABC) airs on Groundhog Day. Like the Bill Murray movie, “Lost” has done a lot of circular storytelling. First the characters were in 2004, then they jumped back to 1977, then we jumped ahead to 2007 to follow the characters who didn’t go back in time, and now we all want to know what will happen to everyone in 2010 — the show’s future, our present.

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