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Mar 27, 2020. 11 comments

The Sinner closes out its murderous season in potent but predictable fashion

The Sinner closes out its murderous season in potent but predictable fashion
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

There wasn’t much mystery to this season of The Sinner. True, the show was attempting something a little different than past installments—more of a character study than a “what happened?”—but it’s resulted in a muted and less exciting season, one that gained strength by turning inward on Bill Pullman’s beleaguered detective as opposed...

11 Comments

Mar 20, 2020. 5 comments

In its penultimate episode, The Sinner digs up murder and betrayal

In its penultimate episode, The Sinner digs up murder and betrayal
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

There’s a scene right around the halfway point of “Part VII” where Harry goes to visit Jamie in prison. Having secretly recorded the teacher confessing to letting Nick Haas die, detective Harry Ambrose turns over the recording, the police arrest Jamie, and the precinct takes Harry out to a bar to toast the most unconventional cop on the...

5 Comments

Mar 13, 2020. 6 comments

Death-defying acts from the past drive The Sinner toward an equally perilous future

Death-defying acts from the past drive The Sinner toward an equally perilous future
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

A leap of faith is usually symbolic, not literal. People choosing to trust in a higher power, themselves, or another hope that they’re making the right choice, armed with nothing more than the conviction it’s the right thing to do. Not so for college-aged Jamie Burns or Nick Haas, for whom the leap is an actual, physical one. Halfway...

6 Comments

Mar 06, 2020. 8 comments

The Sinner reveals its real story is about the cop, not the killer

The Sinner reveals its real story is about the cop, not the killer
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

It’s clear that The Sinner is doing something different this year. Unlike past seasons, which went down intriguing rabbit holes of conspiracy and mystery, there’s not much being withheld in the story of Jamie Burns’ steady unraveling. Even after the closing murder last week, this episode wastes no time in telling us exactly what...

8 Comments

Feb 28, 2020. 10 comments

A dark night of the soul pushes Matt Bomer's Sinner to his breaking point

A dark night of the soul pushes Matt Bomer's Sinner to his breaking point
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

“If feelings aren’t the truth, then what is?” That’s the question Jamie Burns poses to Harry Ambrose at the beginning of their night together, as the former stands on the precipice of a tall building, letting his handmade fortune teller decide whether he’ll step forward into the void, or remain alive to rue another day. It’s a more...

10 Comments

Feb 21, 2020. 5 comments

Philosophy and fantasy blur as The Sinner threatens adult and infant alike

Philosophy and fantasy blur as The Sinner threatens adult and infant alike
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

College is a time for experimentation. Be it styles, habits, or even entire belief systems, when you’re young and questioning everything, it only makes sense to try on a variety of different ideas and actions to see what fits. Most of us grow out of it (and into a more routine lifestyle and thought process) as we get older, but some...

5 Comments

Feb 14, 2020. 7 comments

In its second episode, The Sinner starts to get weird

In its second episode, The Sinner starts to get weird
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

“Strange, isn’t it? That some letter should determine your fate?” Jamie Burns says this to his student, while she protests his undercutting of the college recommendation letter she wrote for herself, but it’s also a clear (and ominous) foreshadowing regarding the destruction Jamie wreaked in his own life by inviting Nick Haas back into...

7 Comments

Feb 07, 2020. 5 comments

The Sinner season-three premiere wrecks Matt Bomer and Chris Messina

The Sinner season-three premiere wrecks Matt Bomer and Chris Messina
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

One of the most compelling elements of The Sinner has always been how it kicked off each season’s murder-mystery-conspiracy plotline with an inciting incident that seems almost incomprehensible from a logical standpoint. Season one had Jessica Biel’s easygoing housewife suddenly snap and stab a stranger for no discernible reason; season...

5 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Nov 14, 2019. 22 comments

Our actor of the decade Carrie Coon tells all about The Leftovers, David Fincher, and more

Our actor of the decade Carrie Coon tells all about The Leftovers, David Fincher, and more

Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them about.

The actor: When we started discussing names here at The A.V. Club for our favorite actors of the decade, one immediately jumped to mind: Carrie Coon. It’s not just because Coon is an immensely talented performer, one who has...

22 Comments

Gwen Ihnat Gwen Ihnat Oct 18, 2019. 2 comments

Chris Messina turns menacing in The Sinner’s season 3 trailer

Chris Messina turns menacing in The Sinner’s season 3 trailer

As previously announced , season three of the Jessica Biel-produced USA suspense drama The Sinner will star Matt Bomer and Chris Messina as former college pals who get caught up in a local conspiracy. TV Line reports that “Matt Bomer’s Jamie is the upstanding local resident at the center of it all” when he gets into a tragic car accident in upstate New York, “while Messina plays Nick,...

2 Comments

Gwen Ihnat Gwen Ihnat Aug 03, 2019. 4 comments

Chris Messina joins the cast of The Sinner for season 3

Chris Messina joins the cast of The Sinner for season 3

Good news for Danny Castellano fans: Veteran of several TV series Chris Messina (not just The Mindy Project, but The Newsroom, Damages, Six Feet Under) heads back to the small screen after his successful turn as Detective Richard Willis in HBO’s prestige mini-series Sharp Objects. TV Line announces that Messina is joining the cast of the USA series The Sinner as Matt Bomer’s college buddy.

The...

4 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Sep 20, 2018. 10 comments

The Sinner reveals its secrets in a satisfying if predictable season finale

The Sinner reveals its secrets in a satisfying if predictable season finale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

It went to some very dark places. There was murder, kidnapping, arson, abuse, blackmail, and lots of very unpleasant therapy. The season finale of The Sinner answered questions, but it left one unanswered: Does Elisha Henig have the most unsettling thousand-yard stare of any kid on TV, or just one of the most?

The final moments of...

10 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Sep 13, 2018. 7 comments

Right before the finale, The Sinner solves one of its two biggest mysteries

Right before the finale, The Sinner solves one of its two biggest mysteries
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

In the universe of season two of The Sinner, everyone is either hiding something, or grieving, or stumbling past an even bigger mystery hiding just below the surface of everyday life—and often all three. Frankly, the town of Keller is lucky its citizens aren’t all wearing tinfoil hats or filling Xanax prescriptions by now.

The biggest...

7 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Sep 06, 2018. 8 comments

A fast-paced The Sinner gets darker the more its past comes to light

A fast-paced The Sinner gets darker the more its past comes to light
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

There was no smooth transfer of power at Mosswood Grove. Sure, many of its residents may have been concerned about the increasingly violent direction of the Beacon’s teachings, but no one willingly sets aside that much authority without good reason. And Vera Walker almost certainly supplied one.

The extended flashback that takes center...

8 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Aug 30, 2018. 10 comments

The Sinner goes into the past but skimps on the present

The Sinner goes into the past but skimps on the present
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

The Sinner has always excelled at playing to the top of its intelligence, keeping the audience in the same headspace as its lead detective to prevent cheap reveals or dragging out plot points. Unfortunately, “Part V” decided to stray from that course, sacrificing character for the sake of keeping a mystery alive.

There’s no reason Harry...

10 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Aug 23, 2018. 9 comments

Bill Pullman's detective has gotten in over his head on a menacing The Sinner

Bill Pullman's detective has gotten in over his head on a menacing The Sinner
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

For all of Vera Walker’s psychological insight, she can’t see the most obvious of facts staring her in the face: Julian Walker is just a kid. She can pretend he’s a “new kind of man” all she wants, but despite all the work and all the supposedly profound teachings he’s ingested, he doesn’t even know what’s real.

There’s a genuine irony...

9 Comments

Alex McLevy Alex McLevy Aug 08, 2018. 3 comments

The future is looking dark as Harlots levels up the intensity

The future is looking dark as Harlots levels up the intensity

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, August 8. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Harlots (Hulu): Summer TV is entering its final month, and Harlots is wasting no time ratcheting up the adrenaline and intrigue. Jessica Brown Findlay’s Charlotte is in a tight spot—she’s basically screwed unless she can convince Lydia of her loyalty. Meanwhile, Margaret is on a mission...

3 Comments

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