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Tipping Point: Our picks and pans ('The Wonder Years,' Werther's Cinnamon Creme Soft Caramels, Lorde's 'Solar Power')

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The Wonder Years

8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, ABC

It’s still early in the run of the new “Wonder Years,” but so far, it’s funny and warmhearted and thought-provoking and pretty um, wonder—ful. This version centers on a Black family living in 1968 Montgomery, Alabama. It deals with 12-year-old Dean Williams’ coming of age, but it sets that within the context of all the racism, social unrest and political activism of the era. Elisha “E.J.” Williams charms as Dean, but Dule Hill steals every scene as Dean’s very cool funk-musician father. Don Cheadle — always a welcome presence, even if just vocally present — provides the narration.

— Kristina Dorsey


Werther's Cinnamon Creme Soft Caramels

Have you seen those "old world" TV commercials where candy chef Werther is in his kitchen in Austria or Switzerland or wherever — one of those cobblestone-streets places where a cathedral bell is always chiming and Young Werther isn't yet as sad as he will be later, as described by Goethe? Instead, in the ads, Happy Young Werther just stands in his warm kitchen, smiling gently and stirring incredibly rich caramels. The commercials are sufficiently evocative to make you snort in derision at Charlie and that cornball Chocolate Factory. Well, it's Halloween time and Werther has introduced a limited edition new candy for his "Harvest Line" of sweets. This one has that chewy soft caramel we all love as an exterior, but clever Werther has infused into the center of each caramel a pocket of gooey cinnamon sauce. You let the caramel melt on your tongue and then you reach that point where you simply HAVE TO bite down — and THAT'S when you hit the rich cinnamon sweet spot! Give the cheap stuff to the trick/treating kiddos and hold all the Cinnamon Creme Soft Caramels for yourself. Expect to pay about $12 for a seven ounce bag of greatness.

— Rick Koster


Solar Power


Lorde’s latest CD is decidedly laid-back in attitude and indie-folk in sound. Tracks tend toward the dreamy or wistful (like “California” and “Stoned at the Nail Salon”), although “Dominoes” and “Mood Ring” both have a little bounce to them. Lorde wrote and produced “Solar Power” with Jack Antonoff, and not surprisingly, the album sometimes has echoes of Antonoff’s work with Taylor Swift on “Folklore” and “Evermore.” This is a subdued Lorde who is all whispery, but her lyrics are as interesting as ever. I do miss the more energetic attack that Lorde had on her last album, “Melodrama,” with songs like “Green Light” or “Supercut.” But “Solar Power” is a fine soundtrack for low-key hanging out. You WILL chill.

— Kristina Dorsey 


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