Columns > TV

Monday, July 25 2011

Voluntary Amnesia in ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Pygmalion’

Long before Dollhouse's Echo submitted herself to five years of memory loss, Eliza Doolitle of Pygmalion experimented with some personal tabula rasa.


Monday, July 18 2011

Talking About My Generation, ‘Mad Men’ Style

Getting older during the '60s was a cruel fate: it was unfair; it was depressing. But, in some respects, it was a party compared to getting older these days.


Tuesday, July 12 2011

Have You Seen This Man? Or Perhaps This Dalek? John Jenner and the Face of BBC Sci-Fi

Whether audiences see his face or that of a Dalek hybrid or robot, Cardiff-based actor John Jenner has a job to die for.


Sunday, July 10 2011

Does ‘Treme’ Hate Modern Jazz?

Watching Treme, one might get the impression that modern jazz is the soundtrack for the soulless, and therefore has no place in New Orleans, pre- or post Hurricane Katrina.


Sunday, June 26 2011

What Harm Can ‘Ice Road Truckers’ Do to Tender Young Minds?

We went into Ice Road Truckers with the best intentions for our eight-year-old, I swear. It's the History channel, right? It's educational!


Monday, June 20 2011

Reality, and Then Some, as Conveyed in ‘The Wire’ and ‘Oliver Twist’

The spoonful of sugar that The Wire employs in relating its harsh theme is all wrapped up in that medicine's themes of fatalism. The humor employed in Oliver Twist highlights the opposite: the needlessness of the system that allows orphans to starve to death.


In Praise of Silliness

They say you gotta laugh to keep from crying. A simple dose of pure silliness taken on a regular basis is much needed, these days.


Wednesday, June 8 2011

Characters, Compounds, & the Study of Change in ‘Breaking Bad: Season 3’

Walter White didn't just wake up one morning and decide he'd spice up his life by cooking methamphetamine and muscling his way into a business with life-or-death stakes. It was a chain of events.


Thursday, June 2 2011

“Kill Yourself for Recognition”: The Odd Future of Young Celebrity

When anticipation of death combines with the cult of celebrity, stars are pressured to literally give up the ghost -- or at least produce the effect through artistic means.


Wednesday, May 25 2011

Share the Stage, ‘Glee’—TV Feels a Song Coming On

The history of TV musicals is richer -- and stranger -- than you think. At least three sitcoms were singing long before Glee came along: That's Life, The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Before them, well, if I could sing it to you...


Tuesday, May 24 2011

Oprah May Say Goodbye, But I Say Hello

Not since the Beatles broke up has there been such a communal feeling of abandonment as there is with Oprah's final airing of The Oprah Winfrey Show.


Monday, May 23 2011

Is ‘Glee’ the New Elvis, Really?

There's all this buzz that Glee has passed Elvis Presley for the most Hot 100 hits in history. But does this really put that two-year old show on the same level as the King of Rock 'n' Roll? Really?


Sunday, May 22 2011

Comics Superheroes Leap Across the Great Cultural Divide

Bounding from the pages of comic books onto the screens of films and TV, our superheroes unite formerly divided interests -- comics geeks vs. everyone else.


Thursday, May 19 2011

Killing Osama bin Laden and David Mamet’s Special Ops Drama, ‘The Unit’

Viewing the world through a haze of vaguely remembered TV shows, tough-guy dialogue and TV jingles, the news about Osama bin Laden’s death quickly turned thoughts to The Unit, the TV series created by once-great writer David Mamet.


Tuesday, May 10 2011

Dy(e)ing to be White: Whiteface Performance in Postracial America

On the surface, whiteface performers often exaggerate widely recognized and aesthetically pleasing aspects of white people and culture from a minority viewpoint: light eyes, light colored hair, swanky clothes, snobbish attitude...


Tuesday, May 3 2011

The Laughable Charm of Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen's idiosyncratic laugh colors both his film characters and his real-life persona. Like it or not, that laugh has a significant effect on how we watch his movies.


Monday, May 2 2011

Characters Inside Out: Bryan Elsley’s ‘Skins’ and William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’

Hamlet would have fit right in with the Skins kids; in particular, he would have found a friend in Effy, from Generation 2. Both question the nature of their worlds, both grow melancholic.


Monday, April 25 2011

Shoot the J!: Negotiations of Blackness and Normalcy in The Fab Five

Looking back at the Fab Five’s reign in the early '90s, it was framed by numerous moments in blackness, including the burgeoning crossover of hip-hop music and culture into mainstream “white” America, Rodney King’s beating, the ‘hood genre in film, and Michael Jackson’s vitiligo.


Sunday, April 24 2011

Why Do So Many Aliens Look Like Tony Blair?

The unfamiliar will only find acceptance if it is expressed in familiar terms; thus, aliens "...may have bulbous heads and triangular eyes, speak in a chillingly robotic monotone or emit a strong stench of sulphur, but otherwise they look much like Tony Blair."


Tuesday, April 19 2011

How TV Ruined Charlie Brooker

Everything the media told us we now had to question, because Charlie Brooker showed us the truth. But hearts were broken when television's biggest critic was seduced by the boob tube's charm.


//Blogs

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.

READ the article