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by Melissa Crawley

8 Mar 2011


NeNe of The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Every reality TV show has an element of performance, but I always hope for an uncensored slice of life. The less than comfortable moments give the genre credibility and authenticity. We all know that it’s often messy behind the scenes of marriages and friendships. For me, part of the appeal of reality TV is that I get to witness the mess. But what happens when the mess becomes more about holding onto celebrity status than exploring the ups and downs of real life?

The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which recently finished its third season, is one reality series that has mastered the art of revealing how messy life can be behind the scenes. In this case, it’s a look at the lives of privileged women who, despite the smiley picture in the show’s opener, are rarely actual ‘Georgia peaches’. On the series, they attend social events, spend money and sometimes work. They also eat each other up and spit each other out. The women are alternatively best friends and mortal enemies, occasionally in the same episode.

by Kate Dries

2 Mar 2011


Parenthood, a decent show from NBC that has been generating medium-high heat this season, doesn’t hesitate to confront the mundane. Most problems, especially those involving family, are not exciting, sweeping affairs, but involve small fights that escalate because people just see things differently; Parenthood specializes in said fights.

The show, which PopMatters’ Daynah Burnett originally reviewed to low marks, has become markably better this season. The characters have developed into a relatively healthy family grappling with its fair share of normal and less than normal issues; Aspergers, unemployment and adultery are just some of them. But by far the most interesting hurdle in this second season for the Braverman family is addiction; most specifically, alcoholism.

by Nathan Pensky

28 Feb 2011


David Mitchell and Robert Webb, decapitated for Peep Show

1. Arrested Development, Season 1, Ep. 12 “The Marta Complex”—We’re just a couple of consenting adults getting a stew on.
The use of unlikely supporting players in Arrested Development sometimes made actual jokes unneeded. This show illustrated the fact that, given the right casting—say of Henry Winkler as a randy attorney—what is actually said is really beside the point. Take the above line about “stew”, which made an unlikely comedic genius of Carl Weathers. Mitch Herwig and his writing staff gloried in creating characters that are either terrible wastrels or obsessive misers, as if the existence of one somehow explains the other. Weathers’s character is the epitome of the miser impulse. He has an almost MacGyver-like talent for squeezing the most out of his immediate resources, usually by making “stew”. That he would not relax his miserdom when romancing a lady—in this case Lucille 2, a character that had another creative casting choice in Liza Minelli—effortlessly blends story with a hilarious stand-alone catch phrase.

by Kate Dries

17 Feb 2011


Superman’s new identity has been revealed, and history be damned, it’s England’s 1st Duke of Suffolk. Well actually, it’s his alter-ego, actor Henry Cavill, who some have called “the unluckiest man in Hollywood.” Cavill has had several close calls to winning franchise roles in recent years, nearly nabbing the part of vampire Edward in the Twilight series (played by Robert Pattinson), James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Batman (Christian Bale).

The choice of Cavill for Superman is a bold one; he’s the first non-American actor to play Superman (note that all the other franchise roles he missed on have gone to non-Americans as well). But he’s also next in the long line of superstar actors who have made the big jump from TV to the movies. The news over Cavill’s assumption of this iconic role does not just concern who will be the new Superman; it stirs up the age old rivalry between the television and movie industries, one that film always seems to win.

by Kate Dries

11 Feb 2011


Five episodes in, the new NBC comedy Perfect Couples is still endearing. Sure, episode one was technically a pre-pilot, an attempt to gain committed viewers during the slow holiday season with a preview. But the show is officially in full swing now; it had its official premiere during NBC’s take back comedy block. In fact, it’s safe to say that Perfect Couples has been poised to become the modern day Friends, arguably one of the most popular sitcoms to ever air.

NBC’s “Must See TV” dominated Thursday nights. Launched right before the fall television season of 1993, it ended up being such a popular phrase that the network used it for all comedy programming, even that which was moved away from Thursday nights. The attempt to maintain a comedy block during Thursday’s prime-time television, however, remained the same. In 2006, NBC changed their slogan to “Comedy Night Done Right” to play off of the increasing popularity of shows in the vein of 30 Rock, The Office, and Parks and Recreation. In more recent years, they’ve taken this concept further, extending it to “Comedy Night Done Right—All Night.” Some have argued that this new three-hour block of shows is far too much to handle in one sitting, but sandwiched right in the middle is the blast-from-the-past concept in a new format, Perfect Couples.

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The Moving Pixels Podcast Discusses 'Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2'

// Moving Pixels

"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.

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