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by Melissa Crawley

9 Feb 2011


Skins is a new scripted drama on MTV that focuses on a group of friends. They have sex and spend a lot of time trying to have sex. They take drugs and talk a lot about taking drugs. They don’t apologize for their behavior, suffer many consequences or think too deeply about what it all means. They’re also in high school.

The pilot episode of Skins, based on a UK show of the same name, was watched by 3.3 million viewers in the 12-34 age bracket. While its subject matter is nothing unique (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, among others, covered it more than two decades ago), what is new is that the actors playing the rebellious teenagers are actual teenagers, aged between 15 and 19. This fact, coupled with the show’s graphic tone, was enough for the Parents Television Council (PTC) to say that: “Skins may well be the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.” It’s a bold and alarming statement that deserves a closer look.

by Kerrie Mills

28 Jan 2011


Dora the Explorer

Children’s TV. It’s something I’ve been confronting lately—well, actually, as I rummage around in my a-intensive past. Do you realise, fellow Gen-Xers, that the newest DVD sets of the show carry a disclaimer to the effect that “These early episodes of Sesame Street are intended for grown-ups, and may not meet the needs of today’s preschoolers”?

Sad, and a little strange—not least because it’s accurate. On the one hand, the belief seems to be that children are more sophisticated than ever before; on the other, that they’re fragile flowers whose every input needs monitoring for fear it’ll corrupt the mechanism.

by Melissa Crawley

26 Jan 2011


A new year means a new start and for many of us, resolutions. This year, I’ve decided that along with my usual resolve to break-up with sugar, others should resolve to do some things for me. This includes my mother, who should resolve to learn the difference between time zones when calling me and my dog, who should resolve to stop hopping up on the couch every time I leave the room.

Television can also do a few things for me. After all, I give it many hours of my week and it gives me—Animal Hoarding. So in the spirit of new beginnings, here are a few resolutions that television executives can make to improve my time spent with the small screen:

by Lynnette Porter

21 Jan 2011


Being Human sometimes involves suffering déjà vu. Fans of the cult-fave British series might focus on a few nitpicks or Britpicks, because they already know the plot of Syfy’s latest series. More important, though, the story didn’t get lost in translation, and the human dramas of the series’ protagonists—vampire, werewolf, and ghost—are well worth exploring, again or for the first time.

Fans of the British Being Human, now slated for a late-January premiere on BBC, already know the story, for the American series often matches the original scene for scene. A few details have been changed and the story somewhat compressed so that the pace of Syfy’s first episode is very fast indeed. It’s as if the writers assume that at least part of their audience already knows the plot and is busy making comparisons with the British version (which I found myself doing, despite my best intentions not to). Those with no prior expectations for characters or stories should be particularly intrigued—and those who know the plot will still find a lesbian kiss here, a Bon Jovi reference there that differs from the original script.

by Andrea Dulanto

19 Jan 2011


The Golden Globes are usually a good substitute for Ambien. But this year, Ricky Gervais gave us the televised equivalent of crystal meth—we may be up for days.

Call him “mean-spirited,” but Gervais hosted the Golden Globes with an incisive deadpan wit that penetrated the veneer of Hollywood and left hardly any celebrity unscathed.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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