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Tuesday, January 24 2012

‘How to Make It in America’? Well for Starters, Don’t Make Hopeful Television

The HBO dramedy How to Make It in America, despite being one of television's best programs, could not make it because it was too hopeful and joyful to survive a culture of cyncism.


Monday, January 16 2012

Misery Loves Comedy, But Has It Killed the Traditional Sitcom?

Comedian Lee Mack believes that realism is the enemy of comedy. But his own series, Not Going Out, proves that the Old-School sitcom is alive and kicking.


Monday, January 2 2012

Designing Fantasy Worlds the Weta Way

Weta Workshop’s Daniel Falconer has designed creatures and worlds from A (Avatar) to X (Xena: Warrior Princess), but with so many projects in his busy schedule, he doesn’t have time for a lot of Zzzzzzzs.


Thursday, December 15 2011

O Captain! My Captain! Going Where No Octogenarian Has Gone Before

As "Bill" explores the meaninglessness of celebrity, "Shatner" embraces the shallow and the superficial like an Andy Warhol soup can come to life.


Sunday, December 11 2011

Hollywood’s Steep Hills: Gender Inequality and ‘Miss Representation’

Gender inequality in Hollywood reigns supreme, but as Miss Representation shows, the male/female binary is so insidious that it even makes its way into productions that aim to counter it.


Monday, December 5 2011

Showing My References: On Reading Too Much About TV & Watching Too Much TV

I still yearn for a hefty volume of pages to take down from the shelf, to leaf through at my leisure or to zero in on that relevant fact.


Wednesday, November 9 2011

How Would You Like It, a Little More Off the Top?

Makeup and special effects artist Genevieve Garner can transform the average beast into a beauty—or vice versa.


Monday, November 7 2011

Humor vs. Religion: An Unholy War. Part Two: Dispatches from the Front Lines

For comedians like Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher and others, the non-rational beliefs and behaviors that religion fosters are, from a “material” perspective, manna from heaven.


Wednesday, November 2 2011

This Show Just Got a Little Too Real: Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Bravo’s schadenfreude is such a fundamental part of Real Housewives that every episode unavoidably concerns a tragic figure that never appears on screen and cannot defend the character assassination the show perpetuates.


Tuesday, October 25 2011

Tough Guys Recite: The 5 Best Poetry Spittin’ TV Characters

Every generic hero on TV can finish a poetic quotation or identify a poignant quatrain (down to the line numbers). But few can spit Tennyson or Yeats with such venom as these guys.


Thursday, October 20 2011

The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.


Thursday, October 13 2011

Clear! Old-School Medical Drama, Stat!

A once-popular medical drama reveals how much has changed in America's health care industry -- and its television medical dramas -- and how much remains the same.


Wednesday, October 12 2011

‘The Sopranos’, Dissatisfaction and The American Dream

The Sopranos' portrayal of an American family, of the dueling pursuits of physical and spiritual, questions the principles of success distributed by governments and advertisers.


Thursday, October 6 2011

Jean-Teddy Filippe’s ‘Forbidden Files’: Found Footage Lost (and Found Again)

Oddly missing in histories of the "found footage" genre, Jean-Teddy Filippe's "Forbidden Files" offers intriguing glimpses at horror and fantasy flickering into an uneasy camcorder reality, ten years before The Blair Witch Project made it fashionable (and lame).


Tuesday, October 4 2011

Beyond Jodie Dallas: TV’s 10 Most Important LGBT Characters

Several "best" or "favorite" LGBT TV character lists have popped up in recent years, but they don't always include the most important LGBT characters. So, we pay tribute to the ten(ish) most significant LGBT characters in US television history.


Monday, September 19 2011

A Film’s Beauty is in the Eye of the Cinematographer

“Stories need to be told,” emphasizes cinematographer Michael Garcia. And he’s just the man to wield the camera.


Thursday, September 8 2011

Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.


Wednesday, September 7 2011

Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.


Wednesday, August 31 2011

Life, Murder and Companionship: Dexter’s Quest for Friendship

Looking back over Dexter’s journey, the need for a trustworthy companion has never been greater. As the character has become more human, the desire for companionship and a normal life has overtaken the necessitation to kill. It has become—in fact always was—the driving force in his life.


Thursday, August 18 2011

Comedy, Technology and DVD Extras: In Defense of a Dying Format

Media formats come and go, subject to the gale-force winds of technology and the retail market. Me, I'm still clinging to my Monty Python collections on VHS.


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