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' Doctor Who: Season 7.2'

3 1/2 stars = Very good
Ratings explained

This second half of the seventh season features one of the biggest puzzles that Doctor Who (Matt Smith) has ever faced. His new traveling companion, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), has popped up twice before in his other time and space travels. And she died both times.

While he tries to unravel the mystery, the pair face a series of adventures from chasing ghosts to fighting an upgraded army of Cydermen.

Mr. Smith continues to bring energy and vigor to the role. Ms. Coleman provides enough spunk to make their journeys even more entertaining.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers

' Covert Affair: Season Three'

3 stars = Good
Ratings explained

This is one of the weaker seasons for the cable spy drama because CIA operative Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) gets reassigned to a new and more covert division. The missions have as much danger, but the stories are a little more ragged as the writers try to maintain Walker's connection to the rest of her original team.

That connection is vital, particularly when it comes to Auggie Anderson (Christopher Gorham), her protector, friend and maybe more. They make the best sleuthing team since the days of "Moonlighting."

Set includes 16 episodes.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers

' Beetlejuice: The Complete Series'

3 1/2 stars = Very good
Ratings explained

It's rare when an animated version of a feature film is as good as the original. It's even more shocking when the animated effort is better.

These 94 episodes that aired on TV from 1989-1992 feature some extremely funny exploits of Lydia Deetz, a Goth girl who loves the macabre, and her best friend Beetlejuice. The series takes the high energy of the motion picture and cranks it to a new height. That's one reason it won the 1990 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program.

The key is the voice work of Stephen Ouimette as Beetlejuice. His delivery is just as funny and sharp as the film version played by Michael Keaton.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers

' Longmire: The Complete First season'

3 1/2 stars = Very good
Ratings explained

With all of the cop shows on network and cable TV, it takes some extra effort to stand out. This series, based on the "Walt Longmire" mystery novels by Craig Johnson, gets that added bump of action adrenaline from being a police drama with a very Old West feel and for its first-rate performances.

Robert Taylor brings the right degree of gruffness and likability to his role as Sheriff Walt Longmire. No matter the challenge in rural Absaroka County, the Wyoming sheriff will find the solution. He's far from perfect, particularly when it comes to the pain he carries since the death of his wife a year ago. Flawed heroes always work well.

The series also features strong supporting work by Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers


• "Dark Skies" (2 stars): From the producer of a string of movies about creepy goings-on -- "Paranormal Activity," "Insidious" and "Sinister" -- comes another twist on the theme of a young suburban family under attack from ... aliens, apparently, who have a boy targeted for abduction. Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton star.

• "Suits: Season Two": Cable legal drama starring Gabriel Macht.

• "Generation Um ...": Keanu Reeves stars in this story of three people during one day in New York.

• "The Numbers Station": After a failed mission, CIA agent Emerson Kent (John Cusack) is given one last chance to prove his worth.

• "Dead Mine": The legend of Yamashita's Gold lures a treasure hunter deep into the Indonesian jungle.

• "Doctor Who: The Snowmen": The holiday special features a new companion for Doctor Who.

• "George Gently, Series 5": The BBC mystery series features an upstanding detective in 1960s England.

• "Shoot First, Die Later": Italian crime movie by director Fernando Di Leo.

• "Priest Of Evil": Thriller where nothing is as it seems. Peter Franzen stars.

• "Lore": A German girl struggles to survive the punishing conditions of post-World War II Germany.

• "The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents": History Channel mini-series that offers a look inside the White House.

• "Nailbiter": A family must fight a mysterious creature in an abandoned storm cellar.

• "Baby Mama's Club": Friends look for help with their relationships. Tommy Ford stars.

• "Rolling Thunder": The story of a tortured vet is now on Blu-ray.

• "Sommore: Chandelier Status": Comedy special featuring the unique humor of Sommore.

• "Dorfman in Love": A woman must learn how to take care of herself if she wants to find love. Catherine Hicks stars.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy newspapers



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