Columns > TV

Wednesday, November 18 2015

Land of Soap and Glory: An Ode to British TV

If you type the word “doctor” in the Wikipedia search box, “Doctor Who” appears ahead of “doctorate”. Now that’s cultural relevance for you.

Tuesday, October 20 2015

Bill Maher and the Perils of the Commentator-Comedian

To offend is inevitable for the socio-political commentator-comedian, and to suffer the slings and arrows of backlash should be equally expected.

Wednesday, October 14 2015

Night-Wing Media: Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s Lessons in Discourse

Through the levelling power of humour, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report cut through the culture's sensationalism and panic to remind us of the baseline of normality beneath all the hysteria.

Thursday, October 1 2015

‘No God But Funny’ and ‘Earth Angel’ Are Preaching to the Choir

It's challenging enough to write good comedy. It's nearly impossible to do so burdened with an agenda, even one as innocuous as featuring a "likeable atheist" as the protagonist.

Friday, September 25 2015

In France They Kiss on Netflix

What does the French version of Netflix look like? How much gratuitous nudity can you expect to find in the French Netflix catalogue? Isn’t “French movie” code for “mild erotica”, anyway?

Monday, September 21 2015

If We Lose BBC Three, Will We Lose Our Sense of Humor, Too?

With the apparently inevitable closure of BBC Three, comedy lovers will mourn the loss of an important television ally. Will the Internet save it?

Wednesday, September 16 2015

Fighting the Battles of ‘Jericho’, the Show That Came Tumbling Down

Jericho wore the influence of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on its sleeve, but that didn't protect it.

Thursday, August 27 2015

George Carlin: Philosopher, Poet, Preacher

Few comedians have aimed for the mind over the funny bone (while still reaching both) quite like George Carlin has.

Wednesday, August 19 2015

What About the Victim of the Victim of Homophobia?

Recent televisions shows are focusing attention on the plight of the spouses of gay men and lesbians. But is it enough to make their lives less traumatic?

Monday, August 17 2015

‘24 - Live Another Day’ ‘Cause You’re Gonna Die Anyway

24 began sugared-up on gooey clichés of liberty and freedom -- and ended in hypoglycemic shock. Would a new series be worse for our health?

Wednesday, August 12 2015

‘Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist’ Is Older But Still Wise and Just As Funny

While this show is as funny now as it was when it first aired 20 years ago, the passing of time has given it even greater cultural meaning.

Tuesday, August 11 2015

In Praise of Kristen Wiig’s Risky Career Choices

Kristen Wiig’s genius is that she can generate humor and pathos from the same source, her characters’ pain.

Thursday, July 30 2015

Does Reality Television Need ‘The Profit’?

A series about making money, airing on CNBC, might seem like an unlikely place for fostering positive values.

Wednesday, July 22 2015

What Sebastian Bach and ‘Gilmore Girls’ Taught Us About Music and Life

Gil (Sebastian Bach) was the physical embodiment of the themes Gilmore Girls tried to convey through music.

Friday, June 26 2015

What’s So Funny About Atheism?

Since New Atheists have done a stand-up job of elucidating the illusions of religious belief, why not point out some of the logical absurdities of atheism?

Monday, June 15 2015

Can I Say That? Stand-Up Comedy in the Age of Political Correctness

For all the alarmist propaganda about political correctness in the US, insensitive speech is still protected by the First Amendment. The complaints about PC are BS.

Thursday, June 4 2015

Someone Else’s South America: Louis C. K. Considers Life on Other Planets

Louie knows that if we do, ever, really encounter aliens, they're sure as hell not going to bend over backwards to accommodate our point of view.

Wednesday, May 27 2015

‘Inside No. 9’: The Beautiful Horror Continues

Series 2 of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's Inside No. 9 provides a perfect balance of tragedy and comedy.

Friday, May 22 2015

How Are Sci-fi TV Shows and Their Starships Like Canadian Cities in Winter?

Two Canadian forays into sci-fi television, Ascension and The Starlost, bear interesting parallels to modern life in Canada.

Tuesday, April 21 2015

Great Movies With Terrible Sequels: Laughable Sequels in Action

Not even the combined might of Superman, Batman, Predator and James Bond can save their respective series from sinking like an ocean liner into the Bay of Pigs!

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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