Opium Traces
More Recent Features
You Bring the Jack; They’ll Bring the Coke: Interviews with Craig Davidson and Brett Alexander Savor

'Once you finish writing a four-page dog fight scene, or a scene where a guy gets his leg chomped off by an incensed killer whale, or one where an old porn star's penis pump explodes ... well, you sort of say to yourself, 'I've effectively eliminated myself from the mainstream.'' Craig Davidson and Brett Alexander Savory want to talk to you about Hell -- real and imagined. (If there's a difference.)

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You’ve seen them. Garish black and white caricatures of Real Important white guys (OK, sometimes a couple black ones) in their suits, smart-ass wordplay

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

All Pasts: Interview with Lance Olsen

'Historians can tell you what happened and on what day it happened and perhaps something about the larger forces that impinged on the happening. But the only fiction writer can offer the why of the happening, what it might have felt like, smelled like, tasted like. By doing so, he or she reminds the world of the fictive underpinnings of all pasts, including those we hold in our own recollections.' Scott Esposito talks to Lance Olsen about Nietzsche's Kisses.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Lori A. May talks to PopMatters about her new book, her love of crime-time TV, and how CSI has made readers of crime lit so very demanding.

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Marc Acito, a humor columnist, whose syndicated column 'The Gospel According to Marc,' appears in 18 newspapers nationwide.

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Fed up with women's literature creating heroes out of lazy women who lie, cheat and steal to reach the top, Claire LaZebnik decided it was time to take a look at the other side of the coin.

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You Don’t Know What You Think You Know: An Interview with Museum of Hoaxes Curator Alex Boese

'The scams that advertisers, politicians, and the media get away with frustrate me enormously, and I often wonder why people allow themselves to be manipulated so easily.' Glenn McDonald talks to author and Hoax Expert, Alex Boese

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Roaring the Truth: An Interview with Steve Almond

'There are people out there cheering for war, treating those deaths like some kind of athletic event. How sick do we have to be that this is not only acceptable, but virtually unchallenged by other politicians or clergy or anyone? And it's artists who have to stand up and be counted. Right now.' Stephen M. Deusner talks to Steve Almond.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Dirty Found is on tour. Co-created by Jason Bitner, the magazine celebrates the smuttiest photos, notes, and other paraphernalia left laying about the world. Jodie Janella Horn caught up with Bitner in Los Angeles. 'I'm not an artist,' Bitner tells her. She begs to differ.

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Cubicle Comedy: Interview with Pete Flies

'Success is an act. I think it's funny when people say, 'I could never be an actor,' and it's what we do all the time, in work, relationships, life in general.' Inspired as much by Voltaire's Candide as Mike Judge's Office Space, Pete Flies talks about Memoirs of a Virus Programmer.

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Nikki Tratner interviews Mara Leveritt, author of Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, on the details behind the indictment of three Arkansas boys for a group of gruesome 1993 murders.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

From millionaire Wall Street whiz kid to novelist with fans covering the literary spectrum, life looks mighty good for Laura Pedersen. Jackie Regales spoke to Pedersen about Her Brilliant Career.

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Melissa Bank discusses her new novel, the writing process, and what it feels like for a girl...

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Lessening the Damage: Interview with Dorothy Allison

I started out as a feminist activist when I was about 18 or 19, marching as an anti-war activist and lesbian feminist. Here I am 55 years old, and I'm having to fight for exactly the same issues all over again, with an enemy, an implacable enemy, who keeps coming back at me as if we have not been fighting for 35 years to establish these rights..

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'Write what hurts you'. Author David Niall Wilson discusses his writing philosophy with PopMatters. In doing so, he finds time to reflect on the state of contemporary horror writing, the dangers of being too literary, and how the blues inspired his latest novel, Deep Blue.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

A Court of Their Own

PopMatters talks to Johnette Howard, author of The Rivals, a book exploring one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova.

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'While I do have an affection for Jill Kelly, I wouldn't call it an obsession. Obsession is the sort of word one immediately associates with statements like, 'Your Honor, my client promises to keep the court-ordered mandatory distance away from...'' Alessandro Porco talks about The Jill Kelly Poems, his ode to porn star that reveals a lot more about the male psyche than perhaps it intended.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

British author Tibor Fischer talks to PopMatters about his new book Voyage to the End of the Room and how London is becoming a 'hellhole'.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Folk Explosion: An Interview with Rick Moody

'I'm tired of double kick-drumming and death-metal guitar tunings and guys yelling about how much trouble they're having with their girlfriends.' Rick Moody talks to PopMatters about his musical life.

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According to Torture the Artist author Joey Goebel, not all mainstream entertainment is bad... just most of it.

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How Easily Snow Covers Everything: An Interview with Gregory Galloway

'One high school student piped up with, 'How do you know what happened? That's only your opinion. What you think happened may not be what really happened.' That blew me away because he was so right.' Steven Horowitz talks to Gregory Galloway, a novelist whose first book explores the mysterious life of teenagers who know too much.

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Various ArtistsMusic Inspired By the Film Scratch(Transparent Music)US release date: 12 February 2002 by Scott Thill Dilated Peoples Mixmaster Mike All This Scratching is Making

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

10th Annual Noise Pop Sees Steady Growth Spurt As Organizers Promise Best Fest Ever The 10th Annual Noise Pop Festival has grown from humble beginnings

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High Sierra Music Festival Part 2 feat. Apollo Sunshine, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, The New Up, and Sh

High Sierra has its fair share of innocuous acts, sure, but in recent years the festival has also opened the door to some healthy aggression.

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High Sierra Music Festival Part 1 feat. My Morning Jacket

You might well be on the road to Rivendell, Shangri-La, or maybe even Grandma's House.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Evolution—The Journey Tribute

Tribute acts are cover bands with sillier names -- the Achtung Babies or Fleetwood to the Max. They're music's C-list, sure, but can they really rock like the big boys?

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Download Festival 2006 feat. Guns & Roses, Metallica, Tool, and Coheed and Cambria

Psychos, thieves, weirdos filling bottles with piss and throwing them into the crowd, this festival is not for boys in parachute pants. It's for metalheads.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Modern Day Hottietots

There is much to be made of / on / about a black woman's backside.

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Damned If You Do.  Damned If You Don’t.

Snitching cuts three ways: it protects the community; it harms the community, and; it slices through the legal system to one's benefit/another's detriment.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Yes, Dear

'Yes, Dear' is a serviceable sitcom that, like most new shows, teeter-totters between doing things well and doing things badly.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The X-Files

After eight years of squishy monsters, labyrinthine conspiracies, and creepy adventures in inner and outer space, the most popular television sci-fi series in recent memory (shut up, trekkies) resorts to the obvious Christian imagery.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The X-Files

Scully took no grief from Mulder; she questioned him, disagreed with him, and stood up to him. With Doggett, however, there is a more traditional he/she split.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The X-Files

As Mulder seeks to confirm a universe of infinite possibilities, Scully attempts to reaffirm her faith in God -- the granddaddy of supernatural phenomena.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

X-Men: Evolution

The teen X-Men interact in that magical place, high school, and get to drive cars and look fashionably funky (mandatory skater cuts for the guys and thumb rings for the girls) and do all those other things a kid would do in a parent-free environment.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Cameramen with chest-mounted cameras, wearing their own protective helmets, run pell-mell around the players shoving cameras into the huddles, pile-ups, and sidelines to create an up-close and personal 'feel' for viewers.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Weakest Link / Boot Camp

My favorite contestant in the premiere episode, Renee, seemed to be the smartest and most well-behaved player. Her response to losing the game at the end, however, was filled with such animosity towards the winner, John, that I was left feeling like I didn't know Renee at all, which of course I didn't.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Welcome to New York

Christine Baranski delivers one-liners so fast the audience barely knows what hit them. More importantly, she adds shading to what could potentially be a one-dimensional character.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Will & Grace

Will & Grace was an eight-year advertisement for a 'commercialized gay identity' that did nothing to challenge current constitutions of power.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The West Wing

As is often the case with presidential terms, the Bartlett administration ended with great pomp and little circumstance.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

WWF Tough Enough

In order to get this job [with the WWF], the 'Tough Enough' participants are clearly put through hell.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Will & Grace

While 'Will & Grace' is one of the funniest sitcoms on television today, the source of its comedy is occasionally troubling.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Watching Ellie

And now that I'm used to the neck-snappin', speed-skatin' lifestyle this Ellie leads, I'm looking to wash up in Lake Guffaw, to take a dive into the deep end of the Funny Pool.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Web Junk 20

O'Neal is almost never not funny, but his takes can fall flat, especially when he's responding to items like a two-legged dog.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Witchblade

Sara (Yancy Butler) is sexy without wearing high heels and showing lots of cleavage. This is truly a supernatural show.

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Wit

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Wit

In the end, 'Wit' may be remarkable not for what it is but merely for the fact of its existence -- a serious, quasi-intellectual drama filmed by two Oscar-winners miraculously commissioned by and shown on TV.

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?

Just when you think that we might have entered a progressive age when old stereotypes have been eroded beyond recognition, along comes some media event

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PopMatters - Television - Reviews - The West Wing

Leo admits his addictions, and loses his wife through love of politics. Josh follows rashness with rudeness and hands the VP another dagger for the

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Wolf Lake

It's not long before you realize that 'Wolf Lake' isn't so inclined to spell out exactly what is happening or has happened to whom, and that this is actually one of its better inclinations.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Veronica Mars

Beaver's budding criminal career underlined one of Veronica Mars' favorite themes: the abuse of power by the rich.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The View

Why aren't these smart, accomplished women discussing things that are a little more global and political in nature?

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VIP

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

VIP

PULL.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Undeclared

Undeclared is both funny enough for those currently mired in dorm life and smart enough for those with a sense of objective distance on their college days.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

UC: Undercover

Frank's (Oded Fehr) orneriness parallels that of UC's flamboyant villains, who get almost as much screen time as the supposed heroes.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Time of Your Life

Time of Your Life, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s first starring vehicle since leaving Party of Five, is, if nothing else, an interesting failure. At first,

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (7 February 2001)

The women are also experiencing a lapse in reason, especially Shannon, which both shocks and appalls me. Her dilemma involves Tom, the sexy single whose designated 'occupation' is 'Ivy League Graduate'.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (31 January 2001)

When the producers of 'Temptation Island' showed up on their designer beach, the contestants knew that something serious was about to happen.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Tick

The Tick is just as likely to defeat a foe by exhausting his or her patience as by a head-butt.

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24

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

24

At 12:38:54 a.m., Jack's somewhat estranged wife accidentally breaks what looks to be a really nice coffee cup.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Touched By An Angel

Touched By An Angel has the distinction of being the most openly, overtly religious primetime show since the glory days of Fulton Sheen’s Life

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

That’s Life

It's more like those funny skinny line drawings of 1950s housewives.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Titans

Before they sink beneath the sheets, she coos coyly, 'So why are we wasting it?' My sentiments exactly.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters is all about America, taking viewers back to a glorious past, boosting domestic tourism, and helping us forget about the war on terror, the price of oil, Karl Rove, and his New World Order.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (17 January 2001)

Come on contestants, get tempted or get off the island.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - The Tom Green Show

By refusing to abide by the modalities of the medium, Tom Green makes the medium itself stand out.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (21 February 2001)

The women are also experiencing a lapse in reason, especially Shannon, which both shocks and appalls me. Her dilemma involves Tom, the sexy single whose designated 'occupation' is 'Ivy League Graduate'.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (premiere)

I'm not making any judgements on escort services (right now), but I never would have expected a major network to become one. Then again, I can be naive.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Thief

Even before his wife was killed and he committed a brutal murder, Nick's life was hardly what you'd call stable.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

That ‘80s Show

Seems to regard the '80s as a convenient frame to put around their snooze-inducing, standard sitcom plots.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Take Home Chef

Hoping to reintroduce refinement to the average household menu, Curtis Stone has come to America (he is currently a top restaurateur in the UK) to prove that being an epicure can be easy and exciting.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

They Call Me Sirr

Unfortunately titled to call up memories of a couple of Sidney Poitier's most famous films.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Titus

It’s no secret that the sitcom is one of the most precise of all television formats. It’s like television haiku. Twenty-two and a

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Two and a Half Men

Charlie, Alan, and their friends and family may be like hamsters, but it's great fun to look inside their box and watch them squirm.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - That ‘70s Show

That ‘70s Show is one of the better new sitcoms on television, yet it took me more than half a year to tune in — and

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters - Television - Reviews - Two of Us

A disclaimer greets the viewer of Two of Us, currently repeating on the VH-1 cable channel about a fictional meeting between John Lennon and Paul

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (28 February 2001)

All that remains, I suppose, is the question of whether or not Fox will ever conceive another relationship-testing reality show.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Temptation Island (24 January 2001)

Come on contestants, get tempted or get off the island.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Scrubs

Although Scrubs' consistency is somehow comforting, it also runs the risk of monotony by giving audiences exactly they expect week after week.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Smallville

In Smallville, Clark's parents manage to convince him that he isn't from this planet -- just what every insecure high school freshman needs to hear.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Survivor 3

No longer merely a television show conceit, the idea of survival has now taken on a new and frightening immediacy to viewers.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Slayer

While its premise and execution are overtly derivative, Slayer works through an illuminating politics concerning U.S. military actions and local populations.

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All My Children / General Hospital / One Life to Live / Port Charles

Abernethy looks at the current state of the soap opera genre, altruistically subjecting himself to a solid month of watching 10 soap operas to give us the low-down on the soaps in the age of Dubya.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Sex and the City

Underneath its slinky-gown allure, 'Sex and the City' is starting to resemble a bare-assed 'Friends' sliding into the flabby ennui of a post-millennial 'thirtysomething'.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Secret Life of Us

. . . provides an encouragingly fresh take on a genre that has been re-hashed numerous times.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Sopranos

Punctuated by whip-smart, often salty humor, The Sopranos is also permeated by violence, uncertainty, and dread. By Season Six, Tony Soprano's fear seems realized.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Howard Stern Show

Like the notoriously funny 'Mad Magazine', Stern holds nothing sacred; everything and everyone's susceptible to parody and verbal attack, which is a breath of fresh air at a time when the First Amendment seems in mortal danger.

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The Sandra Bernhard Experience

Like her former gal-pal Madonna, Bernhard is now a 40-something working mom: just how 'hip' and 'edgy' she is in the world of Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse is open to debate.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Simpsons

The truth is that a typical Simpsons episode today does not stack up to one picked at random from a decade ago.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Survivor II: The Australian Outback

'Survivor' redux is very similar to 'Survivor' number one, meaning that it features a cast of predominantly white, semi-attractive adults engaged in a bizarre mix of 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Days of Our Lives'.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Survivor

Survivor's tone is very difficult to locate, and while this elusiveness may be more than the producers intend, it's just as possible to surmise that they know what they're doing and that teasing the audience with its own naivete is their way of undermining the medium even as they exploit it so well.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch / Grosse Pointe

'Grosse Pointe' is a mean, mean show -- and nobody escapes the knife. For me, mean is good.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Star Trek

The overwhelming theme of 'Star Trek' is 'Yay, us!'

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Some of My Best Friends

The series premiere of 'Some of My Best Friends' was like a 'Reader's Digest' version of 'Kiss Me, Guido', with a few changes so that the writers couldn't be accused of total plagiarism.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Supernatural

Fearful of being 'freaks' themselves, the Winchester brothers find solace in saving others from that same fate.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Six Feet Under

'Six Feet Under' makes us think about death's implications and how to deal with it, and, more importantly, it helps us to realize what a tragedy a life wasted or spent in conflict can be.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

The Real World

In the ever-shorter cycle of entertainment trends, where life-spans are measured in dog years, the fact that a show can survive nearly a decade is exemplary. That 'The Real World' has accomplished this feat on a station whose lifeblood is perpetual youth and of-the-moment trends is incredible.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Rove Live

Sadly, Rove has castrated his own natural humour to please the big bosses, behaving like he's been thrown in the deep end without his floaties.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Rocket Power

The message 'Rocket Power' sends seems especially geared toward encouraging a new generation of self-absorbed punks: winning isn't everything, but it's 'way' cooler than losing.

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1 Jan 1995 // 1:03 AM

Raising the Roofs

By definition, all this farting and foolishness is one-note.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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