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Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011
PopMatters continues its 10-day countdown of some of the high and lowpoints of the 2010 to 2011 TV season. This time up... the superlative BBC drama Being Human and the oh-so-sad, watered down SyFy version of the show.

Highpoint Number 9: Mitchell’s Arc in Season Three of the BBC series Being Human


After two spectacular seasons, the only question was whether Being Human—the critically acclaimed BBC series about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who live together—would continue the standard of brilliance it had already laid down. The great news is that it did. Although Annie and George’s (and his girlfriend Nina’s) stories continued to new and interesting places, Season Three was dominated to a degree previously unknown by the story of the vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner).


In the first two seasons he had been merely the most compelling character on an overall superb show, but even while splitting the overall narrative, his story reached fever pitch this year. Season Two ended with Mitchell driven to commit unspeakable horrors, horrors so terrible that one had to ask whether he had gone beyond the pale. Had he crossed the point beyond which there was no redemption?


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Friday, May 20, 2011
‘A middle-aged, middle-class, balding Englishman has no business playing the blues… But what do you do about it?’

You did not know this perhaps, but Hugh Laurie’s real intention when adopting America as his home was not to create a stir on television but to break into music. His ulterior motive, with the whole acting gig in House just a ploy really, was to be accepted as a serious musician in New Orleans. And being House has certainly opened many doors for him as this documentary, shown on I TV1 in the UK on 15 May 2011, demonstrates.  As he tells us, his belief is: ‘There’s only two categories of music that matter: there’s good and there’s bad, the rest is just indexing.’


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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
PopMatters sat down with Firefly and V. star Morena Baccarin in February 2011 to get her thoughts on working with Joss Whedon and playing an alien lizard queen.

Though she’s since become known to fans of the contemporary remake of the sci-fi television classic V, in a former TV life Morena Baccarin was known to fans the world over as an interplanetary prostitute on Joss Whedon’s heralded but short-lived series Firefly.


Inara Serra was really more than just a mere hooker in Firefly (and its follow-up feature film, Serenity). In the late 25th century world concocted by Whedon, Companions like those played by Baccarin are really high-society courtesans and part of the social fabric. Naturally, Inara Serra is something of a tormented soul. Coming as Baccarin’s first steady Hollywood gig, it was also an unforgettable experience.


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Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010
Unfortunately, all debates about breasts ever seem to do is draw attention away from the real points of concern.

According to recent news reports, Katy Perry’s recent duet with Elmo for Sesame Street won’t be aired thanks to complaints about Perry’s low-cut top (although it’s still available on YouTube—see below).


Unfortunately, all debates about breasts ever seem to do is draw attention away from the real points of concern.


Perry’s outfit is no big deal. More concerning is the typical warped viewpoint that sees a little cleavage as a huge problem, while the actual content of Perry’s mind-numbing ideologically stilted nonsense (referred to as ‘music’ by her marketing company) draws no attention whatsoever. Defenders of Perry’s outfit are no better, responding with either a hip shrug or sexual-liberation self-righteousness, but similarly turning a blind eye to the fact that this immensely disturbing ideologue does her real damage in more insidious ways.


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Thursday, Jul 22, 2010
Deadliest Catch handles the death of Captain Phil Harris in a moving, dignified manner. While reality television is typically founded on exploitation, the Discovery series proves there is hope for the genre to be something better.

When I was a kid, I remember my mother and father talking about the then-new concept of reality television. Shows like MTV’s The Real World had spearheaded the movement with competition reality shows such as Survivor soon followed suit. Following the writers’ strike of 2000, reality television soon permeated the airways in an effort to bolster networks’ television schedules affected by a lack of show scribes, reality television received a surge in popularity that stuck well beyond the strike.


One of the most frequent points that cropped up in my parents’ conversation regarding reality television was one or the other griping: “It’s only a matter of time before they show somebody die on television.”


As it turns out, my folks were right. It happened. Death was televised and broadcast to the masses—this time in entertainment form, rather than via newscast.


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