Columns > TV

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.


Wednesday, April 6 2011

The Last Time I Saw Paris

Paris Benjamin is a working actor in Hollywood, a long way from her acting roots in France and the UK. Her recent experiences on the sets of TV series and films shine a spotlight on the US and European entertainment industry.


Sunday, April 3 2011

Richard Whitman Shrugged: The Merging of Identities in ‘Mad Men: Season 4’

Military deserter, super-confident ad man, or attentive fiancé. Is there a real Don Draper or is he destined for instability?


Sunday, March 27 2011

Television’s Evolution of the Major Black Antagonist

When TV historians talk about the black image in the 21st century, they’ll note that 2011 was the year that network TV consistently portrayed black people as major antagonists in search of the same brass rings that their white counterparts sought for nearly 60 years.


Monday, February 21 2011

What ‘La Femme Nikita’ Has to Say about Egypt and Former President Hosni Mubarek

La Femme Nikita's miserable and corrupted world of moral dead zones and US-sanctioned torture forces its hero to make a real-world choice between pragmatic collusion or principled, perhaps doomed, resistance.


Tuesday, January 18 2011

Mighty Morphin’ Masterpiece: One Man’s Inexplicable Love for ‘Power Rangers: The Movie’

The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series was after my time, and a passing glance at any given episode was enough to convince me that it was, well, 'stunted'. So why have I seen Power Rangers: the Movie five times?


‘Glee’ on the Wii

Video games and cross-promotional marketing yield the inevitable: console karaoke for Gleeks.


Monday, January 17 2011

Jack Bauer, The Last of the Secret Agents, Finally Escapes… Or Does He?

The following takes place between 2:00 am and 3:00 am, seven months after the failed peace treaty sponsored by the US, the Islamic Republic of Kamistan, and Russia. Critiques occur in real time.


Thursday, January 13 2011

Gotta Be ‘In Treatment’

Loss is a necessary part of life, sure, but must it be a necessary part of TV?


//Mixed media
//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.

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