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October 2010

R.I.P. Barbara Billingsley, Sit-Com Mom Emeritus

If Americans needed a manufactured (but, according to colleagues, family and friends, more than half-genuine) mother figure to enshrine in sit-com heaven, they got it in Barbara Billingsley.


The Mad Man and the Comedy Writer: Two Sides of the American Dream

If The Dick Van Dyke Show's Rob Petrie represents the ideals of American manhood, Mad Men's Don Draper represents a descent into the American nightmare.


Modern Family’s “The Kiss”: The Fundamental Things Apply

Modern Family's adorable gay couple finally showed a little onscreen PDA.


It’s Technology, My Dear Watson: Sherlock for the 21st Century

The famous detective now texts and surfs the net while Watson writes a blog. This is not your mother's Sherlock Holmes.


‘The Event’ Will Be Unrequited

I don’t know what The Event is – and I suspect I never will -- but not for lack of trying.


‘The Simpsons’ Gleeful Commentary on the Dark Side of the Arts

The Simpsons neatly bursts Glee’s bubbly premise that the arts are the lifeblood of society, and freedom to be oneself is a guaranteed human right.


‘Sesame Street’ Has More to Be Worried About Than Katy Perry’s Low-Cut Top

Unfortunately, all debates about breasts ever seem to do is draw attention away from the real points of concern.


Fall’s First Canceled Show: FOX’s ‘Lone Star’

Critics hailed it as one of the best new shows on television, but FOX’s Lone Star has been canceled due to poor ratings.


Let’s Get Physical: Casting Choices on ‘Nikita’

Actors often talk about bringing an emotional authenticity to the characters they play. A physical authenticity should also be required if the part involves a weekly round of fighting off scary Russian operatives or shady government spies who know jiu jitsu.


September 2010

‘Spartacus’: There Will Be Blood, Lots of It

With all the slicing and cutting and loss of bodily fluids, Spartacus would seem to be a prime candidate for criticism about its excessive violence, but its stylized approach to violence makes for unconventional, provocative programming.


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