For 1,595 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Brian Lowry's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
Lowest review score: 10 I Survived a Japanese Game Show: Season 1
Score distribution:
1595 tv reviews
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    There's a breezy charm to the show.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While certainly not bad, the series would be better if it came with fewer built-in speed bumps, and a little more narrative momentum.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Goodman does a fine job of helping the experts to explain the science, from the use of graphics to the way news footage is woven into the film. But Emperor of All Maladies also stalls at times along the way, to the point where a more focused treatment and fewer anecdotal stories, condensed to two nights, would have likely been beneficial all around.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Girls continues to operate in a very limited range, both benefiting from, and in some ways handcuffed by, its generational specificity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Filled with arresting imagery, much of the action takes place in a beyond-creepy L.A. hotel.... There’s almost an indifference to story--after the premiere, it’s hard to see a huge motivation to watch in order to unlock the show’s lingering mysteries.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Brotherhood certainly has its moments and does an especially artful job conveying violence in a brutal but not gratuitous way--one that's often more harrowing precisely because of its restraint. Ultimately, though, once you get past the brothers, the whole thing's a bit too grim.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Good actors pop in and out of their lives (including Richard E. Grant as another rehab patient, and Bob Balaban as a shrink), but Dunham’s narrow field of vision doesn’t accommodate much beyond her core. That’s fine, in most respects, except that as played, it tends to sap the reality from situations.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    This is a template as well-worn as "Marcus Welby, M.D.," albeit with greater visual style and an accelerated pace--as well as an underlying "pay it forward" message about organ donation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    "Family Guy" begins its new life with a slightly more assured mix of satire and non sequiturs while still displaying the kind of hit-miss joke ratio that doesn't quite belong in the major leagues. [28 Apr 2005]
    • Variety
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Credit Jones and MacArthur with wringing about as much mileage as they can out of scenes where the two are thisclose to kissing before experiencing some spectacular interruption, but there’s only so far one can go on jokes that feel so well worn.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Tyrant finds more nuance in these episodes, as well as some pretty overt biblical overtones in Barry’s emotional arc. And while the character remains a rather tepid protagonist, his role in driving the story is mitigated by the unfolding events in Abbudin.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Rhimes (who co-wrote the premiere with Marti Noxon) weaves the dense web of life-or-death medicine and romantic whimsy well enough, and the program is so slickly written and performed it's easy to overlook the familiar patterns that are emerging; still, it would behoove both the characters and show to take a deep breath and find the key players some kind of extracurricular hobby--even if that just means lusting after strangers, perhaps, instead of co-workers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    [Even with Matthew Perry,] the familiar game plan and trappings make it at best a crapshoot as to whether Ryan and his wounded heart will, well, you know.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The idea itself... is pretty damn good, even if the execution doesn't quite live up to it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The net effect, though, has a slightly tired feel to it--or at least, one that doesn’t feel wholly worthy of Netflix’s premium-TV niche. Indeed, in terms of laughs, the show essentially peaks in its first few minutes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The competent but uninspiring two-hour pilot doesn't deliver the kind of thrills destined to rock anyone else's world.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The show is mildly likable, with Chris Geere and Aya Cash as the grudgingly involved central couple, who chafe at any suggestion they might settle down or become boring like, well, other people. The central joke, however, has a repetitive quality, and if series creator Stephen Falk brings a singular voice to the proceedings, it’s partially dulled by the fact that every character essentially speaks with it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The well-traveled Carell is a very talented guy, from "The Daily Show" to "Anchorman," but understatement and restraint are hardly his forte. As a consequence, he plays Michael bigger, and therefore harder to endure, than Gervais did --- a fine line that's significant in such a delicately balanced comedy. [24 Mar 2005]
    • Variety
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While the title character is consistently rough and the language blue, in subsequent episodes (Showtime sent six out for review) the series increasingly feels like all style and limited substance--a star showcase that's less "triumphant return" than "Nice to have you back, but ..."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    As trite as it sounds, the series plays it all earnestly enough for its target audience, and the show is beautifully shot in North Carolina, the basketball mecca where the fictional town is set. Even the sports scenes are well staged (in the pilot, anyway) and less schlocky than "The White Shadow" norm, with Lafferty, at least, looking like he's actually got game. [23 Sept 2003, p.13]
    • Variety
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Agents of SHIELD remains a flawed construct, but the less viewers thinks about that, the more they’re apt to enjoy it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Given the acerbic nature of Savage’s commentary, in fact, the tone of the series seems to offer a window onto the edge-blunting nature of ABC’s development process. That doesn’t invalidate the show, necessarily, but it does render it somewhat toothless.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    At this point, about all one can definitively say is whether the cast has potential (they do) and the situations are involving (they aren’t, unless you’re predisposed to such nonsense). On the plus side, the producers pay sly homage to the program’s roots without appearing beholden to it, indicating that the show will have the latitude to evolve into its own entity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    In short, if you come for the sex, you'll only stay for the characters, and those represent an intriguing but decidedly mixed bag.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright remain splendid as the central couple, but with their quest for power having succeeded, series architect Beau Willimon seems forced to resort to unconvincing contortions to maintain the drama. Even then, the first half of Season 3 feels flimsy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    What the production most sorely lacks, though, is a strong sense of cohesion, which often makes the hours play more like loosely assembled snapshots of the war without a compelling hook to pull the audience along. Nor do any of the key performers really distinguish themselves, dwarfed as they are by the general sense of pageantry--the sound and fury--that usually surrounds them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    If it’s a flawed exploration of the old nature-vs.-nurture debate, the players and Mei’s predicament consistently make it interesting.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    For reality TV’s survival subgenre, the inside of a jail is one of the last frontiers, the claustrophobic flip side of stranding people on a remote island or in the Alaskan wilderness. That A&E somehow managed to deliver that experience with 60 Days In--an undeniably compelling if highly questionable concept--is a dubious achievement, from the ethical concerns to the thought process that inspired the Indiana officials who gave the go-ahead to this idea.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The loony group conjures some witty moments, but the tiny conceptual wrinkle differentiating these half-hours--which ABC will air back to back--tends to yield diminishing returns.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    This ABC comedy is the equivalent of a big fat pitch over the heart of plate, and will need to get mileage out of more characters, but what’s here has the potential to hold its lineup spot between leadoff hitter “The Middle” and ratings slugger “Modern Family.”
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The early episodes, moreover, are too chaotic and scattered (the Wachowskis’ Netflix series “Sense8” comes to mind), even with the framing device of the month-long countdown to impact. Stick with it, though, and the series begins to throw in some peculiar twists.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Fitfully funny, there's undeniable energy but also obvious limitations to this approach, which perhaps explains each half-hour's segmentation into back-to-back 11-minute episodes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Part of that shortcoming relates to the structure, which deals with one story unfolding across all six hours, with a self-contained “B” player in each. Ultimately, the series is worth a look if not necessarily worthy of the whole journey, as Death doesn’t completely become Showtime.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Producer/director/co-writer Jeffrey Roth spent extensive time with the man and endeavors to humanize him, but ultimately delivers a film long on biography and short on insight.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Yes, it’s worth watching for the historical moment it represents--particularly since that moment continues to echo through to the present--but it’s less compelling than it might have been.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Lacking "Prison Break's" tough milieu and its initial narrative drive, "Vanished" doesn't exactly scream "Watch me." Nevertheless, it's polished enough and very much a work in progress.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While this latest version of the show remains above that sometimes-toxic mix [stories of missing women, murderous husbands (or did he?) and obviously staged moral dilemmas], these hours prove that it is not, alas, immune to its influence.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Recruiting Danny DeVito to play the estranged dad to half the show's central quartet might have seemed like a good idea, but the result is a more uneven and mean-spirited show that overreaches and forces some gags. [29 Jun 2006]
    • Variety
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Kelley is no stranger to writing comedy, even if it’s traditionally been in service of hourlong shows, and between his gifts as a wordsmith and Williams’ frenetic energy (best displayed in a closing-credits outtake sequence), The Crazy Ones has potential beyond what the pilot demonstrates.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Although there's no shortage of romance surrounding Alcatraz -- and the idea of hardened criminals becoming dangerous anachronisms is a time-worn concept -- there's a nagging sense these are just going to be (very) cold cases, which will grow tedious without something more, and quickly, to fuel the larger mystery.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The premise calls for a level of creativity from the producers (Forte is joined by directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord of “The Lego Movie”) that these episodes don’t consistently deliver. That’s not to say “I wouldn’t watch him if he were the last man on Earth.” But like the fate of humanity within the series, while the future certainly isn’t hopeless, neither does it look particularly bright.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    As the introductory hour demonstrates, there’s only so much a director can do with this kind of material, and certain efforts to make it more accessible risk becoming risible. Simply put, it’s hard to make some of this stuff exciting, no matter how beautiful the animation is, or how artfully one shoots the drips of blood generated by an outbreak of Ebola.... Judged strictly on its merits, the hours are perfectly respectable.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The Americans is an intriguing and provocative concept.... The execution, alas, initially isn't worthy of the premise, becoming fairly standard spy stuff, and relying heavily on awkward flashbacks to fill in the backstory.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Aside from an easygoing quality and mild comic flair, there's not much here to steal the hearts of viewers; instead, it's another modest, lightweight addition to TNT's diner-style menu of comfort food for a weary nation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Wilmore exhibited a quickness and light touch about sensitive topics, yet struggled to bring much coherence or flow to the overpopulated discussion that took up most of the premiere. The unknowns, at this point, outnumber the knowns, making an unqualified tip of the hat premature.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Although light on laughs, with its spare design and limited animation Unsupervised does create a reasonably cohesive, grimy little world, made tolerable by the absence of actual kids.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The template sets up a semi-serialized storyline hewing pretty closely to the original but with some interesting twists.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Like "High School Musical," it's a painfully simple but efficient fairy tale for a generation that never heard of Frankie and Annette, blending music with teen angst about fitting in--all built around a likable protagonist, multiethnic cast and hot pop trio.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Adapted by Hilary Winston from the movie, the show quickly falls into a predictable pattern.... Still, taken on its own terms, the series is pretty amusing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Yet if the premise sets up a promising square-off of titans, the premiere retreats to a rather predictable, time-killing murder mystery, which serves to establish Lamb's new role, but also smacks more of CBS' stodgier procedurals than a character-driven drama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Yet despite an unusually high-octane (and yes, reasonably sexy) cast ably led by "Six Feet Under's" Peter Krause, the pilot doesn’t quite gel--feeling too determined to be quirky and provocative, and baited with a mystery that lacks the allure of the suicide that set "Housewives" in motion.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Ferrara... is consistently endearing, bringing heart and soul to a character that could easily be a cartoon. Too bad that doesn't extend to the rest of the series, which oscillates from screwball comedy... to florid soap elements.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    It’s a welcome respite from some of the network’s noisier fare. The main problem here is that even when they’re not being whiny, the kids (beginning with Breeanna, our ostensible tour guide) simply aren’t articulate enough to trigger a genuine discussion about the sometimes-thorny issues surrounding procreation via test tube or the nature of being “a sperm donor kid.”
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    That's a lot of acting chops squeezed into one series, and Kelley is too gifted a writer not to produce some clever dialogue and twists; still, the tale of a drunken lawyer seizing this shot at redemption can't help but feel a tad stale, almost like a variation of Thornton's "The Bad News Bears" role.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    It's all played solidly enough, though so many elements seem plucked from other fare.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    At its best in the boardroom and still flabby in the buildup to it. [9 Sep 2004]
    • Variety
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Tara" also acquires some new supporting players, but the show feels more disconnected in scattering to pursue these various plots. In addition, the evolving interaction between Tara and her alters as she becomes "co-conscious" with them feels like little more than split-screen gimmickry.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Interesting but not fully compelling, it's a long shot to make a big score.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    As usual, Glee also occasionally veers out of its lane to score political points and pick fights.... From a musical standpoint, however, there are impressive and characteristically eclectic highlights.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    This is, quite simply, a Frankencom, stitched together from pieces of other comedies. To their credit, Sheen, the talented cast and seasoned writers know how to make it all look slick and polished.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Created by Barbara Hall, Madam Secretary has enough interesting pieces, as well as a great big world of trouble to mine, to have significant potential. The premiere, however, doesn’t bode particularly well for being able to maximize those assets, and as they say in diplomatic circles, the devil is in the details.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Another sumptuous-looking hour based on a famous hero, infused with scads of potential but also some problematic underpinnings. [1 Oct 2003, p.7]
    • Variety
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Breezy and fun, there are several reasons to sample "Emily," but also plenty of room for skepticism over whether this witty half-hour has the depth to survive a highly competitive timeslot.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Essentially, Saul is an extended origin story, possessing Bad’s flavor and black comedy but at least initially lacking its emotional core. While that dictates a mixed verdict, the creative auspices nevertheless bode well.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    AHS derives inspiration from so many horror films there's some fun in simply identifying those moments. But there's also a surreal quality that feels wildly overdone--and periodically risks tumbling from inspiring fright into inducing giggles.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    It's just too bad a show paved with such an enticing premise doesn't get a little deeper under your skin.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While stately and reasonably smart, the first three episodes unfold at a less-than-galvanizing pace, featuring a young King Arthur whose appeal seems more calibrated to please the "Twilight" demo than action-craving men.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Working with directors Allen Coulter and Michael Dinner, Sutter does bring a visceral quality to the violence, while detailing the club's code and commitment to functioning as an extended family; there's just so little dimension to the characters early on that it's difficult to care.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Interesting but not especially funny. [1 Aug 2005]
    • Variety
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    If the series doesn't generate any grand creative magic, it at least possesses a certain old-fashioned charm.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While it was easy enough, and mildly enjoyable, to binge through the 10 episodes (all of which were made available), having now seen this extended introduction to their story, it would be hard to muster much enthusiasm for devoting another two hours--much less five--to see where this modern tale of “When Gus Met Mickey” goes from here.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While it’s fun to see the band Chicago drawn into a subplot about the sexual history of Nathan’s ex (Amy Ryan)--or savor an in-joke playing off the name of HBO CEO Richard Plepler--even some of those intricately woven gags feel like a bit of a distraction.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    A half-hour firmly ensconced in the "witty" zone that seldom crosses all the way over into funny.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Grammer and Heaton spar like old hands, but the punches (and punchlines) are so consistently telegraphed, the series seldom rises above the mundane.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Despite sharp casting, the real trick will be to develop Cold War-style fear while dribbling enough clues to elevate this above being just a post-apocalyptic "The Young and the Restless."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    There’s also such a chilliness to the interactions that while there’s some debate and uncertainty over whether the protagonists will wind up together, there’s less reason to care. That said, the show represents a credible twist on the familiar romantic-comedy notion of characters being drawn to each even when they shouldn’t be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    [It] won't earn many points for subtlety, but for aficionados of the horror genre it's the kind of stylish gorefest that should keep them up nights.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    This is a series for people with a reasonably high TV IQ, but not a particularly challenging formula.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    It’s a clever enough idea--or at least a serviceable one--primarily to give the leads an excuse to play off each other. Lowe also has the mix of casual egomania and well-trained earnestness down to a science.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    There are, admittedly, some funny lines (Valerie laments about a guy, “His favorite movie is ‘Underworld’ ”), and a bittersweet quality throughout that approximates some of Reitman’s films.... Still, the series just isn’t distinctive enough to separate itself from the pack, from the casting to the premise, in the way something like Hulu’s “Difficult People” did
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    It's just that creatively speaking, the current season looks like it's going to require a major late-act rescue.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Rubicon dares to be smart but, as conventional thrillers go, it's not very thrilling.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The well-traveled Beghe nevertheless convincingly sells the gravelly voiced tough-guy routine, and Chicago PD plays to the cathartic aspects of crime-fighting, provided one tries not to think too much about terms like “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And the show is aided by having the likes of Jon Seda, Elias Koteas and Sophia Bush on the case, even if most of the plotting has a musty and manipulative aroma.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Mixing equal parts court intrigue with Calvin Klein ad, the series falls short of greatness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Aside from the coup of landing Berry--a woman, apparently, irresistible to sentient life throughout the galaxy--the show’s strong cast hints at more promise than the premiere ultimately exhibits, racing as it does to establish a foundation for what’s to come.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    No one associated with Political Animals needs to hide under the covers, exactly, but nothing here qualifies as a game-changer, either.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While the big-finned Cadillacs and old pop songs create an aura of pre-"Mad Men" nostalgia, the show is conventional in most other respects.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While The Address is laudable, based on how loudly Burns’ voice echoes across the network, this one-off amounts to little more than an understated bit of throat-clearing before the next event.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Animation would seem to be an ideal vehicle for this, but there's only so much it can do--in part because there's no adhesive to the episodes. The three guys sit and bullshit for 20-some-odd minutes--at times entertainingly--until the program simply ends.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The Newsroom essentially presents viewers with two options: Lament how the series doesn't match the lofty crests of Sorkin's finest work, or admire the show's ambitions and embrace of serious ideas, and grudgingly roll with its uneven tides.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    At least initially, though, Legion is intriguing but well short of extraordinary.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Shades of Blue is reasonably compelling by that measure [helping lure viewers into the program’s serialized plot], and clips along smartly enough (eight episodes were made available) that the show should inspire some return business if it can generate the requisite sampling. Nevertheless, it’s too bad Blue couldn’t bring at least a few new, more colorful hues to a crime drama that paints, ultimately, with a rather familiar palette.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Slow-going in developing its web of interconnected plots, this latest demonstration of cable's series-for-every-interest-group strategy is watchable enough, but probably not likely to be the sort of buzzworthy addiction-in-waiting Showtime would like and certainly could use. [13 Jan 2004, p.06]
    • Variety
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Together, the stars instill the movie with sweetness and a sense of melancholy, and will likely manage to get those who buy Mother’s Day cards embroidered with flowers rooting for them, even if the situation doesn’t.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    To its credit, Legends goes a bit beyond the expected stings, as a shadowy figure prompts Martin to doubt everything he knows and question whom he can trust. For the most part, though, almost everything here feels culled from earlier variations on this theme.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    At some point, though, a program this reliant on workplace sexcapades begins to run out of combinations, and the writers haven't done much more to address the problem than pad on new layers of interns (starting with Meredith's younger sister, played by Chyler Leigh) to further confound things.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    In the Flesh has potential, even if it just shuffles along at times en route to driving home its point.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    These latest episodes represent a tentative first step toward seeing whether the show can re-ascend to those heights or, conversely, plummet into an abyss of implausibility. Like so much else pertaining to Homeland, at this point, it could go either way.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Yet even with the premiere sprinkling enough tantalizing bread crumbs to warrant a return visit, there's insufficient evidence as to how the more muddled aspects will unfold over future installments.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While Plain Jane hardly amounts to a feminist breakthrough (egad, far from it), given the appetite for such fare, the CW--having kissed plenty of unscripted frogs--might have found a glass slipper that fits.

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