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by Lynnette Porter

20 Aug 2010


On August 21-22, LOST fans around the world have one final chance to take ownership of their favorite TV series. During an official auction held in California (but set up for online viewing in real time), six years’ of costumes, props, and even pieces of sets will hit the block. Die-hard LOST fans who carefully analyzed Ben Linus’ mind games should do well in the bidding war over the most highly coveted items, but those with limited funds might find their hopes to take home something held or worn by their favorite actor as thwarted as Skate shippers’ dream for the finale.

Movie or TV auctions aren’t new, and LOST’s highly publicized garage sale is just the latest auction playing off popular interest in celebrity, Internet-fueled binge buying, and the need for status gained through personal connection with icons of popular entertainment. In February, an auction of Doctor Who and Torchwood memorabilia raised more money than expected and generated plenty of fan interest on the Internet. More than ever, fans who love a TV series or movie, follow an actor’s career, and e-network with other viewers internationally feel compelled to “own” a piece of their favorite entertainment (or entertainer’s career).

by Jessy Krupa

17 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 put them on at odd times, and mostly focus on what seems to be the worst of what they have to offer. Consider this as an improved version of that.

The following are previews of the new shows that will be airing on Tuesday nights, along with a little background information and some speculation on how long they might last.

At 8 pm, ABC is offering the drama, No Ordinary Family, in which a typical family discovers that they have superpowers. Imagine a live-action version of The Incredibles, or a more serious TV version of Disney’s Sky High.

by Elizabeth Wiggins

13 Aug 2010


I came to Mad Men late, in the middle of the show’s second season. Unwilling to simply dive in and pick up in the middle of things and worry about catching up later, I exercised restraint and watched the first two seasons of the show on DVD.  Watching the first two seasons this way allowed the story to unfold as a whole, without the interruptions of commercials or weeklong gaps between episodes. 

It was clear to me that each season of Mad Men is conceived of as a long story, told in 13 parts, and held together over an extended arc. On DVD, I was enthralled by the way this story came together; the pacing I saw in uninterrupted viewing gave it and the characters an honesty that I thought spoke to exceptional storytelling ability. More than anything, though, I did not understand why some people found Mad Men boring.

by Elizabeth Wiggins

9 Aug 2010


From 16 and Pregnant

While it’s possible to level many criticisms at MTV’s current programming – the lack of music on “music television”, the disappearance of my childhood VJs, to name a few – the network’s development of serious documentary-style reality programming is adding some unexpected depth to its schedule. Tapping into the fraught battleground of teenagers, sex, and teen pregnancy, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom attempt to turn an honest eye towards the day-to-day struggles of American teens – particularly teenage girls – as they become living consequences of the unresolved debate over teenagers’ access to information about sex, contraception, and romantic relationships. 

The popularity of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom (season two debuted July 20 and continues to follow Maci, Amber, Farrah, and Catelynn from season one of 16 and Pregnant) speaks directly to MTV’s desire to participate in thoughtful storytelling and to a real social need to discuss what, exactly, teen pregnancy looks like, what social forces prompt it, and how it can be prevented.

by Jessy Krupa

2 Aug 2010


Missy Peregrym in Rookie Blue

Ever since NYPD Blue went off the air in 2005, ABC has been trying to replicate its success. Ranging from the 13-episode flop Blind Justice to the recently canceled The Unusuals, the network has been trying one cop show after another in its search for a hit. Now NBC may have unexpectedly found it.

Canadian police drama Rookie Blue had only aired four episodes before ABC announced that its picking it up for a second season. While 6.4 million viewers is usually nothing to cheer about, it’s special for a show with relatively little promotion, nowadays. ABC’s heavily hyped original dramas The Gates and Scoundrels have been languishing in its Sunday night summer spots, while Rookie Blue is the highest rated non-reality, non-repeat show on network TV that isn’t a news program or a sporting event. Again, this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is.

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