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by Diepiriye Kuku

14 May 2010

“The Outcast” shows our Enterprise crew on a peaceful mission on some far off planet. That’s the back-story. The front story is that this new species is a genderless society, or as Trekkie Michael Ricci writes: an androgynous species (cast entirely of female actors) known as the J’naii who do not have typical gender roles of male and female.” The episode, “The Outcast”, then proceeds to thread through several clichés to establish the fallacy of ‘gender’ when it comes to sex. One of the genderless people falls in love with the Enterprise’s First Officer Will Riker. Riker is the known playboy of this crew—he embodies the libido of captain James Kirk from the original series. I suppose someone has to screw their way around the universe.

The Star Trek franchise has dealt a lot with sexuality, but always through the backdoor. In the Deep Space Nine (DS9) series, for example, there is the character Dax, a genderless worm that is hosted by a gendered humanoid being, a Trill, through several lifetimes. Hence, Dax is effectively transsexual, having lived several times in male and female bodies, always retaining the life experiences and memories of each previous host. In an episode from The Next Generation, “The Host”, Dr. Beverly Crusher fell in love with a Trill in male host, only to end the relationship when the worm remerged with a female host—although still the same ‘person’. Yet, that was just one episode. There are loads homoerotic and homosocial moments through DS9 built around Dax, including a Ferengi cross-dresser who comes out to her.

by Matt Paproth

22 Apr 2010

So, there’s a show on ABC… I’m sure you’ve never heard of it… but it will be airing its final five episodes during the next month, and I figured that at least someone on the web should be writing about it.

In all seriousness, the prospect of writing about Lost is a daunting one, as so many people out there on other websites clearly devote more of their time and energy to this show than I ever possibly would be willing to. I love reading the Lost threads, though, because they are filled with that mixture of devotion, passion, and at times full-on craziness that exemplifies what I love about sci-fi and its fans. However you personally feel about Lost as a series – and, for what it’s worth, I think it is one of the most fascinating, enjoyable, compelling texts ever to grace my TV screen – you must admire its audacity. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have woven this impossibly dense mythos that they are now unwinding before our eyes… and it doesn’t suck.

by Robert Moore

19 Apr 2010

Over the course of the past decade there have been few shows that I have consistently enjoyed more than Smallville. As a student of television, I watch a large number of shows, including most of those that are considered the best in the medium. Objectively I have never ranked Smallville among the dozen or so best shows on TV, but I nonetheless retain an affection for this show that transcends its aesthetic achievements. What is more, I sometimes find myself looking forward to the next episode of Smallville more than the next episode of more acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad or Big Love.

Certainly there is little on Smallville to justify ranking it among the elite shows on TV. The writing is inconsistent and occasionally downright awful, though it must also be conceded that there are times when it is unexpectedly and delightfully memorable. The acting is not going to win many awards. While Tom Welling—given his uncanny resemblance to anyone’s expectations of what Clark Kent should look like—is absolutely perfect for the lead role, he will never be nominated for an Emmy or Golden Globe. While the revolving cast (only Welling and Alison Mack, who plays Chloe, remain from Season One) is adequate to the task at hand, the show is not going to win any awards for ensemble acting.

by Matt Paproth

14 Apr 2010

Am I the only person who watches HGTV? My wife has dragged me into the world of HGTV very begrudgingly, and it is only after about a year of mostly scowling acceptance that I am prepared to, very sheepishly, admit that I am actually starting to enjoy it.

If you are not watching this channel, I would encourage you to at least check it out. It is filled with a variety of shows for viewers with various interests: homeowners will find shows advising them on how to improve their resale value, how to work on their landscape, or how to fix problems that arise; prospective buyers will find shows about people trying to decide what they value as they look for their first home; even renters will find shows about how to spruce up their rentals.

by Maysa Hattab

13 Apr 2010

The dark things behind the veil communicate via the idiot box. For confirmation, ditch the shrieking ghost hunters and mediums, with their silly trailer campaigns splashed across TV schedules. Look no further than flat-share-horror Being Human. The first series sprung from something like the set up for a bad joke: a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost commune in a house somewhere in Bristol, first broadcast on niche, youth oriented channel BBC Three.

Where the first series saw each of the characters struggling to find their place in a world which can’t or won’t acknowledge them, the second finds them fighting to protect it. Gentle, geeky werewolf George (Russell Tovey, The History Boys,Dr. Who) continues as the beating heart of Being Human, as he struggles with the repercussions of a brutal murder he committed while transformed.

Charismatic vampire Mitchell (Aiden Turner, Desperate Romantics) finds himself adrift having controlled his cravings for blood, and vanquished, for the moment at least, the vampire hordes intent on taking over the world, led by Herrick (the excellent Jason Watkins). The apparent villain of this series is both more and less overt – craggy faced scientist Kemp, first seen as a psychiatrist at the end of series one (Donald Sumpter). He’s a trench-coat wearing, Van Helsing type monster hunter working with a shadowy figure whose identity and motives remain shrouded. By contrast, Herrick’s softly-spoken, inclusive middle-manager brand of villainy is one of the most interesting facets of the first series, reinforcing the intriguing idea of unimaginable terrors hidden in the mundane.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article