Channel Surfing

August 2010

Prophylactic Television: MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’

MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant walk a fine line with their audience; both programs are honest and interested in telling a sympathetic story about what life is like as a teen mom while also telling viewers, “your life doesn’t have to end up like this.” The lesson is invaluable, but for the kids to really be all right, should MTV do more?

Anatomy of a Joke: ‘The Office’, “Fun Run”

The flipside to the comedic realism of The Office is the sometimes shocking vulnerability of its characters.

The Violent Legacy of Flour Power

Apparently, my fellow PopMatters readers, we have reared an entire generation of very angry food. So angry is this generation of food, that it has declared an epic civil war with itself.

The Game Is On: The BBC Series ‘Sherlock’ Adapts Holmes and Watson for 2010

Hardly relics of the British Empire, this Holmes and Watson are thoroughly modern men thriving in our fast-paced, modern world.

Which Portrayal Is Fairer to the Sexes?

Women may often be victims in shows like Luther, but this status frequently exonerates them; men, on the other hand, are labeled sick, creepy and twisted -- there is hardly ever an understanding for their deviant behavior.

ABC’s ‘Rookie Blue’ Is a Hit, But Why?

Ever since NYPD Blue went off the air in 2005, ABC has been trying to replicate its success. Ranging from the 13-episode flop Blind Justice to

July 2010

You Can Shoot Me with Your Butt As Long As You’re Trained to Do So

If So You Think You Can Dance’s seventh season has proven nothing else, it's that the judges can offer commentary that is straightforward -- and potentially racist, sexist, and homophobic.

On TV This Week: Paul McCartney and the PBS Special with a Long Title

As a fan of both Paul McCartney and the Beatles, I heard quite a bit about this special, and had low expectations. The event seemed focus too much on itself and its guests instead of the real reason they were there.

USA’s ‘Royal Pains’: More Than Just a Medical MacGyver

These puppeteers of Tinseltown tomfoolery haven't just performed an architectural miracle in Brooklyn; they’ve also beaten the odds and (at least presently) put a previously cursed actor into a hit series.

Death Was Televised in ‘Deadliest Catch’. So Was Life

Deadliest Catch handles the death of Captain Phil Harris in a moving, dignified manner. While reality television is typically founded on exploitation, the Discovery series proves there is hope for the genre to be something better.

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

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February 2010

January 2010

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article