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Thursday, July 8 2010

Brava, Bravo!

Those Bravo executives are tricksters, fooling me into believing familiarity breeds contentment, not contempt. I'm totally hooked.


Thursday, June 24 2010

Peyton Place: When Discretion Was Partly a Genteel Quality, Partly a Requirement of the Censor

A world where nothing is right or reassuring, and little will ever be resolved happily, not in 30-minutes or 30 years – TV as depression, an endless picturesque grind. Rather like life.


Wednesday, June 23 2010

Vampires vs. Werewolves: An Immortal Pop Rivalry

Pop culture thrives on rivalries, but few are as epic as the one between werewolves and vampires -- a rivalry which predates Twilight by, oh, some 60 years.


Thursday, May 27 2010

Perry Mason Knows: Anyone May Be Guilty, Evil Lurks Just Beneath the Mask of Respectability

Perry (Raymond Burr) remains a heroic cypher, cool and professional, sometimes jovial but with a cut and thrust when confronting witnesses.


Tuesday, May 25 2010

Pete Seeger’s ‘Rainbow Quest’: The Anti-TV, TV

Somewhat awkward, clunky and charming on his TV show, Pete Seeger seemed to trust the viewers in the same way he recognised that TV's priorities don't represent the priorities of the people he meets in his travels.


Wednesday, May 19 2010

‘Lost’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Are Both Pop Culture Belief Systems That Inspire Worship

Lost and The Empire Strikes Back revolve around the nature of light vs. dark, good vs. evil, science vs. faith and ultimately about the redemptive power of love and sacrifice. Ala Douglas Adams, both are about life, the universe and everything.


Monday, May 10 2010

‘Cause Who Would Hear Me Scream? A Faith No More Mixtape for the Joker

One could almost make the case that the four Faith No More albums produced during the Mike Patton era were written for the Joker.


Wednesday, April 28 2010

Robert Culp: From ‘I Spy’ to ‘Hickey & Boggs’

Robert Culp and Bill Cosby's wit and warmth in I Spy also established a foundation of fragility and fatalism for Culp's despairing Hickey & Boggs.


Tuesday, April 27 2010

The Goldbergs: The Most Jewish Show on Television

This show is an example of "melting pot" art from the tail end of the Ellis Island era in popular culture, when the wide variety of accents heard in city streets was reflected on the vaudeville stage, on radio, in comics, and wherever pop culture served the mythology of the mainstream.


Wednesday, March 24 2010

Beyond Barthes: Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXV

If any wrestling match has crossed over to the emotional realm, it's the epic bout between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, but is it enough to bring sensitivity to professional wrestling?


Sunday, March 21 2010

Come Back to the 9-5, Dave Chappelle, Dave Chappelle

If Dave Chapelle came back, spring would come earlier, melodies would sound sweeter, the polar ice caps would stop melting, and maybe we might all understand and treat each other just a bit better.


Sunday, March 14 2010

Chronic ‘Lost’ Sickness

The Lost Syndrome has consumed me for five years running, and I'm growing weaker. It’s like X-Filesioma all over again.


Wednesday, March 10 2010

‘Girls’ Gone Wild

While following a storyline about the trials of a mother and daughter may not be demographically the most masculine thing in the world, neither is my unabashed enjoyment of ABC Family original movies.


Thursday, February 25 2010

Does Late Night Still Matter? Jay V. Conan and the Death of Network Television

The Rockist celebrates the demise of The Jay Leno Show. The Rockist shakes his head at the return of The Jay Leno Show.


Wednesday, February 24 2010

Ghost Hunters: Paranormal Pop Culture for Normal People

Amongst the familiar mythologies in all of reality television, Ghost Hunters ranks in the top 10. Love the show or loathe it, it is popular culture and has earned a spot in the reality TV pantheon.


Sunday, February 14 2010

The Simpsons, ‘Radio Bart’ Part 2: ‘Ace in the Hole’ and Jessica McCllure

'Radio Bart' may not offer any solutions, but it manages to compress an extraordinary amount of media history, compassion, manipulation and cynicism into a sharp, quick and funny 20-minutes or so.


Wednesday, February 3 2010

The Simpsons, ‘Radio Bart’ Part 1: Floyd Collins and Kathy Fiscus

'Radio Bart' draws on 70 years of media history to position itself in that uneasy mix of altruism, morbid curiosity and callous self-interest.


Wednesday, January 27 2010

A Little Human Magic in Recent DVDs

Either by coincidence or because I just happened to watch these all on a cold day when I needed a little warmth, the magic of the human condition emerged as a trend in these new DVD releases.


Thursday, January 14 2010

Does Late Night Still Matter? Heeere’s Stephen!

Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report is a comedic game-changer as culturally significant right now as Letterman or SNL were at their peak.


Wednesday, January 13 2010

The Burden of Being Pop Psychic

Based on the shock and awe the media is exhibiting over recent entertainment events, my predictions must involve supernatural psychic powers since I saw it all coming.


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