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A man stands alone, wearing a designer suit and a shit-eating grin. An anonymous skyline occupies the backdrop behind him, imposed on a green screen. On occasion, some scuzzy-looking dude wearing a bikini top pops into frame. For over ten years, that has been the vehicle that delivers bite-sized pieces of TV at its trashiest right into your home, sealed with a snarky one-liner and a kiss.

With American Idol withering away to obsolescence in its twilight years; The X Factor failing to take hold in the States; and The Voice plateauing into background noise, the moment is ripe for a new singing competition show to ascend to the top (or bottom) of the heap. Something brave and brash and incisive, a new popcultural watershed and bellwether.  A show that says as much about what we’d like to become as what we’ve actually become. A show that addresses directly what we (de)value most as a society; that addresses the concerns of what it’s like to be alive right now, in 2013, in America; and, mostly importantly, a show that addresses and answers the singular vital question of how much humiliation and torture an individual is willing to endure for a chance at winning, at most, ten grand.

//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

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