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by Matt Paproth

6 Dec 2012

Well, I seem to be late to the party in weighing in on Homeland’s most recent jawdroppers, unleashed in the hilariously titled “Broken Hearts” episode. With the week nearly over and episode 2.11 days away from hitting our screens, I am compelled to take a minute and see where we are and how we got here.

The backlash has been fervent this week, responding to the improbable events surrounding (OK, seriously, SPOILERS) the death of the Vice President. Other backlash topics include the frenzied over-emoting of Damian Lewis as Nick Brody, the bad-season-of-24-style-terrorism of Abu Nazir, the sudden and ridiculous surveillance-fails of the government, and the Lifetime-movie behavior of Carrie Matheson. The backlash-to-the-backlash articles have followed suit, reminding readers that this is indeed a television show, one that has always been more interested in maintaining suspense and surprising viewers than in subtlety or in portraying the business of fighting terrorism with any degree of realism.

by Dorothy Burk

17 Oct 2012

“When I look at my day, I realize that most of it is spent cleaning up the damage of the day before… all I have is distraction. And remorse.” Jax Teller’s moody voiceovers and Emma Goldmanesque sentiments have become an anchor for Sons of Anarchy. The fifth season of the popular biker drama has been heavy with the gloominess that Jax voices as episode five, “Orca Shrugged”, kicks off.

Despite heady promises to boycott the drama after the graphic death of fan favorite Opie in episode three, the show’s viewership jumped by roughly half-a-million households for episodes four and five. No doubt this is thanks to the irresistible pull of romantic criminal extraordinaire Jax Teller and his gang of lovable—if not always ethical—biker brothers.

by Cynthia Fuchs

16 Oct 2012

“Breathe.” On her first rounds at Denver Memorial, her first internship after medical school, Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer) hears a voice. It’s Micah (Michael Rady), the resident assigned to look after her, and he’s just what he’s doing. A little uncomfortable, but not enough, she turns to answer, “Is it that obvious?” Actually, yes, everything she’s doing is that obvious in this premiere episode of Emily Owens M.D.. Whether she’s nattering on in her voiceover about her insecurities or behaving as if she’s confident, Emily can’t seem to strike a balance. And so she leaves you feeling on edge for 42 minutes.

She means to be more interesting. Emily has a love interest, her med school colleague Will (Justin Hartley, former the Green Arrow on Smallville) and she has a rival named Cassandra (Aja Naomi King), who taunted her in high school (who they’ve come together so many years later is one of those remarkable coincidences that befall girls wrapped up in dubious plots on TV) and an seemingly cruel but plainly impressed mentor, Gina (Necar Zadegan). As Emily tries to sort out how to get close to Will, she relies on advice from her 12-year-old patient (Sarah Wiley), but gets hung up when she thinks that his compliment on her surgical skills (“You have great hands”) mean what she thinks it might mean. !You know, because boys are baffling!

by Dorothy Burk

12 Oct 2012

For three glorious seasons in the late ‘80s, the CBS crime drama Beauty and the Beast told viewers the story of man-beast Vincent (Ron Perlman) and young assistant district attorney Catherine Chandler (Linda Hamilton). Together, the pair navigated New York City and a secret, subterranean world of misfits and social outcasts. They formed an intimate bond that was broken only by Catherine’s murder at the beginning of the third season.

Despite its relatively brief run, Beauty and the Beast has consistently been voted one of the most popular cult shows of all time.

by Cynthia Fuchs

10 Oct 2012

“Looks like we’re gonna meet the mayor after all.” Sort of. When Rahm Emanuel makes an appearance near the end of the first episode of Chicago Fire, the camera swings around his handshake with the battalion chief so it looks momentous, but as he speaks, the scene cuts to a wide shot and the soundtrack music overwhelms the dialogue, the first responders’ sirens, and the ongoing hosing. It’s the sort of melodramatic overkill that besets the show, which by this point has become a checklist of clichés. You’ve got the comrade lost in the first five minutes; the combative-and-chiseled co-lieutenants, Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Severide (Taylor Kinney); the newbie Mills (Charlie Barnett), the strained relationship (Casey and his medical resident almost-fiancée Hallie [Teri Reeves]); the wise and financially harried vet Herrmann (David Eigenberg); the inspirational hard-ass station boss Boden (Eamonn Walker); the pair of pretty paramedics Dawson (Monica Raymund) and Shay (Lauren German). As for introductory events, you’ve got the floor collapsing in flames, the jaws-of-life rescue, the gay character reveal, and the station house cooking-bonding scene. And oh yes, a decision to go off protocol to save someone’s life, followed by trouble with administrators.

//Mixed media

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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