Latest Blog Posts

by Devin Mainville

10 Jun 2011


I read a quote once that I now am unable to find via the usually helpful Google search, but the gist of it was, “One should never feel guilty about pleasure.” I want to say that the quote is from Mae West, but that might just be wishful thinking. Anyway, while I want to agree with the spirit of that quote, I feel too much embarrassment about some of my television choices to fully accept that mantra.

There are many shows I’m not exactly proud to say that I watch, but none that cause me quite as much shame as Degrassi: The Next Generation. This reigns supreme as my guilty pleasure, beating out such favorites as The Real Housewives franchise, Jersey Shore and even House Hunters: International, for a variety of reasons. First and the most obvious, it’s a show that revolves around kids aged 13 to 17 and I am a grown woman of 21. Second, the plotlines consist of the stuff you’d expect to see in bad ‘70s after school specials (were there good after school specials? Probably not). And third, on a good day the acting can only be described as mediocre.

by Kate Dries

7 Jun 2011


Upfront season is a time of cautious optimism; the pilots you’ve long been praying would make it through have been shot, picked up by networks, and the actor that you love is finally getting their big break (or second shot). But the worst feeling is when you’ve put too much stock into a show that just isn’t panning out the way you’d like.

At first, I had high hopes for NBC’s The Playboy Club, and on some level, I still do. Set in my favorite era, the ‘60s, I thought I’d be a network version of Mad Men, except Chicago-style. A potential exploration into the drama behind the glamour, The Playboy Club cast Amber Heard as the new Bunny in town, Naturi Naughton, who wants to be the first black Playboy centerfold, and Laura Benanti as their Bunny Mother.

by Devin Mainville

17 May 2011


Real Housewives of New Jersey

My feelings about reality TV are hard to explain. As a person who wants to make a living writing for television I think it’s a horrible trend that needs to end soon. Preferably in the next year. Yet, as a young woman of Generation Y, I am absolutely addicted to reality TV. I love it the way I love candy corn, even when I feel myself becoming sick as I gorge myself, I can’t stop eating it. I would say that reality TV is my guilty pleasure except that I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. My guilt mostly comes from the fact that I don’t feel guilty, if that makes any sense.

by Suzanne Enzerink

4 May 2011


The house is everywhere. Whether it ‘s one of the stock movies about haunted houses or in literature such as Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street, it’s clear that the house has another function that transcends its materiality. The house (or rather, mansion) figures prominently on British television, rather like a never ending royal wedding. As urban theorist Anthony King observed;

“Socially, buildings support relationships, provide shelter, express social divisions, permit hierarchies, house institutions, enable the expression of status and authority, embody property relations; spatially, they establish place, define distance, enclose space, differentiate area;culturally, they store sentiment, symbolize meaning, express identity; politically, they symbolize power, represent authority, become an arena for conflict, or a political resource.” (King, Global Cities. Routledge 1990)

The house is thus never a given, an uncultured or objective setting where the lives of the characters happen to take place. It’s rather a force in itself, at once reflecting and shaping value systems that are inherent to society and that are incarnated in individuals themselves. ITV’s Downton Abbey is a perfect case in point, as even the title of the series indicates the importance that the house will come to assume; Downton Abbey is the estate of the Crawley family, inhabited by them and their small army of servants.

by Martin Zeller-Jacques

25 Apr 2011


Martin Sheen as President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet in The West Wing

On the eve of the budget deadline, a newly reinvigorated Republican congress holds a Democratic president hostage, demanding stringent cuts to the federal budget.  His legislative capital spent on a series of contentious and difficult measures, the president seems to have no choice but to concede.  Yet when the moment comes, looking coolly into the eyes of the Speaker of the House, the President gets up from the table and walks out.  The Federal Government of the United States of America is shut down.

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Call for Papers: Do You Believe in Life After Auto-Tune?

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"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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