Columns > TV

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.

Zoë Howerska Dresses (Films) for Success

Creating a gypsy wedding dress, designing costumes holograms for of the far future, dressing actor Robert Carlyle, and finding the perfect prop for Rutger Hauer -- it's all just part of the job for costume designer Zoë Howerska.

Tuesday, August 16 2011

Weighing In: Fitness Films and Ordinary People

When fitness celebrities turn fat folks into fitness celebrities in their own image, self-preservation and betterment are eclipsed by the value of self-promotion. Remember the subjects undergoing these life-changing metamorphoses are “real” people.

Wednesday, August 10 2011

The Return of 120 Minutes

120 Minutes returns to guide us through the alternative/indie/hip-hop/whatever-else universe. But what's a show to do when nothing's as hard to find as it used to be?

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.

//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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