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Video: From Hulu to Netflix, this week brings a bit of spooky television

 
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'The Returned' Sundance Channel

"The Returned" on Sundance Channel

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See clips on the video version of Lori’s List at tv.suntimes.com

Updated: April 14, 2014 4:48PM



“BEHIND THE MASK” (Tuesday on Hulu): We’ve all seen them at sporting events: mascots, the athletic equivalent of court jesters whose job it is to pump up the crowd and get fans cheering. But who lurks inside that costume? The story of these real-life Clark Kents gets explored in the streaming service’s 10-part original series. It’s told from the perspective of four mascots, from the often banged-up Bango of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to an introverted high school student who only blossoms when he becomes Rooty the Cedar Tree. Rating: ★★★

“THE RETURNED” (8 p.m. Thursday, Sundance Channel): Chicago-based Music Box Films has given us a real treat this Halloween by snapping up U.S. rights to the French hit “The Returned,” a supernatural drama featuring tres chic zombies. An idyllic mountain town gets turned upside down when men, women and children who were dead and buried suddenly show up again, ready to resume their old lives. Head trip doesn’t begin to describe this addictive eight-episode series. It’s eerie, suspenseful and yes, subtitled, but give the premiere a chance and you’ll return for more. Rating: ★★★½

“TIME OF DEATH” (8 p.m. Friday, Showtime): Magical Elves, the production team behind reality shows “Top Chef” and “Fashion Star,” turns the camera on a much darker reality in this poignant documentary. The six-part series features a few brave souls and their families who’ve given viewers an intimate, unflinching look at the final weeks, days and, in some cases, seconds leading up to their demise. As a terminally ill psychotherapist says in the program, Americans live in a death-denying culture. The series opens up a dialogue on an uncomfortable but important subject. It’s not always the easiest show to watch, but it just might be the most profound. Rating: ★★★★

“AZIZ ANSARI: BURIED ALIVE” (Friday on Netflix): Aziz Ansari began his career doing stand-up comedy while a student at NYU. Now 30 years old, the “Parks and Recreation” star goes back to the beginning with his new special. Filmed live this spring at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, it’s 80 hilarious minutes of Ansari riffing on love, marriage, babies and the admirable efficiency of Grindr, the geosocial networking app that he argues would be a disaster in the hands of straight people. Raing: ★★★½

Email: lrackl@suntimes.com

Twitter: @lorirackl



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