Latest Blog Posts

by Melissa Crawley

2 Sep 2010


Hoarding: Buried Alive is a TLC show that focuses on people who suffer from a compulsion to collect and keep things until those things literally take over their house. The structure is: exposition, desperation, consultation. It begins with the participant or hoarder taking the viewer on a tour of their home. By tour I mean less a leisurely stroll and more a tight squeeze along one narrow path they have carved between mountains of junk. The hoarders then talk about how they recognize their problem but feel powerless to change. This is where the therapist comes in and the makeover begins. 

During the consultation part of the show, the therapist stands in the one square of clean space left in their client’s home and asks them to discard something. The therapist says things like: “You’re holding onto the past so much that you can’t live in the present.” Or: “How does this sweater/kitchen utensil/broken soap dish, make you feel?” The hoarder cries and after much agonizing, hesitantly puts something in the box marked “discard”. One commercial break and it’s four weeks later. With editing worthy of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, trashed room is now pristine space. In spite of having a compulsion so strong that the hoarder has spent years turning every inch of their home into a dump, they have turned their life around in a few weeks. Their triumph is rooted in one of reality TV’s central lessons: transformation=life success.

by Elizabeth Wiggins

1 Sep 2010


I like FX’s Louie.  The trouble is in explaining why. I’ve tried writing about Louis C.K’s new comedy several times since the show debuted on 29 June, but each time I failed because I couldn’t pin down what I wanted to say about the show in general, let alone come up with an explanation about why I like a crass, absurd, but often funny comedy about an aging divorced man that seems to be at least loosely inspired by Louis C.K.’s own experiences.

One of the reasons I’ve puzzled over what to write is that Louie isn’t like anything else on television. Generically, it’s a comedy, and the show never really violates the conventions of the half-hour comedy to depart for genre-unspecific waters. So, it’s easy to know what Louie is, but in watching the show it becomes apparent that there’s something new here, a different kind of television show. One that maybe pushes into darker territory (on a number of levels), but one that is actively attempting to take on the half-hour comedy differently.

by Lynnette Porter

31 Aug 2010


Sam Beckett may never have returned home, but Comic-Con fans welcomed news that he may yet leap into the future again. Scott Bakula, who played the earnest do-gooder on Quantum Leap, announced yet another proposed movie based on the once-popular series. Leapers (QL fans) briefly rejoiced, although this is not the first time series’ creator Donald Bellisario (also well known for NCIS, JAG, and Magnum, P.I.) has tried to launch a QL movie. This time, however, Bakula sounded confident that a movie will be made, even if the deal has not yet been finalized.

What made the highly publicized announcement bittersweet for long-time fans, many who faithfully watched episodes from 1989 to 1993, is the proposed casting. Bakula gamely noted that his leaping days are over. Although he and co-star Dean Stockwell (Al Calavicci) most likely would have roles, they would not star in the movie. In fact, the Comic-Con crowd was left wondering whether someone else might play Sam or if the character, too, might be retired.

by Jessy Krupa

27 Aug 2010


This is the time of year when all the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW) put out those cheap, cheesy “preview” specials. They often broadcast them at odd times, and mostly focus on what seems to be the worst of what they have to offer. Consider what’s broadcast here as an improved version of what you’ll get on the tube. Following are previews of the new shows that will be airing during the weekends, along with a little background information and some speculation on how long they might last.

by Lynnette Porter

23 Aug 2010


As the hours of the LOST scrolled by, so did the list of auction items and the constant stream of ever-higher bids. If nothing else, this final official LOST event makes a statement about fans as consumers of popular culture, even in a sluggish economy.

Like many long-time LOST fans, I followed the official memorabilia auction online on August 21, the first day of the two-day, multi-hour sale. The view from the auction floor must have been much more invigorating and illuminating. After all, the auction site encouraged ticket buyers, whether they registered as bidders or simply wanted to browse, to come early to peruse the merchandise. Visitors could have their photo taken with wreckage from Oceanic 815, and Kate or Hurley impersonators could participate in costume contests. The on-site activities offered much more than an auction, although that itself was entertainment. The auction “show” featured fast and furious bidding, a bid war or two, and the adrenaline-fueled anticipation of exactly how high those bids would go.

Much of that excitement was necessarily lost in the shift from in person to online, but the view from the screen became riveting in its own way and provided a very different interpretation of the auction’s cultural significance. Images of upcoming items slowly queued up the left side of the screen, with the memorabilia currently up for bid taking center stage one final time. A rapidly changing list of bids scrolled along the right side of the screen. When the bids—marked Floor or Internet to indicate the source of competing offers—slowed for a few seconds, yellow warning signs reminded prospective buyers to hurry. Another prompt indicated that the current lot was about to be closed.

//Mixed media