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Tuesday, November 18 2014

Jumping the Shark and Surviving: A Reappraisal of the Fifth Season of ‘Happy Days’

"Jumping the shark" may be a fun and lingering trope in popular culture, but its truth in relation to the Happy Days episode from which it gets its name is questionable.


Friday, November 14 2014

Retracing Classic TV With ‘Twin Peaks the Entire Mystery’

This restoration of the television classic will remind you of all that was wonderful and odd, sweet and quirky, intriguing and terrifying about Twin Peaks.


Tuesday, October 28 2014

Of Grimms, Slayers, and Vampires with Souls

Although our heroes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Grimm are initially alone, accepting help, and valuing their found families, is a virtue.


Thursday, October 16 2014

Lucifer Is Free to Roam: (In)Justice and Retribution in ‘Hannibal’

Hannibal, unlike much-hyped pulp revival shows like True Detective and Fargo, refuses to give its audience neat answers on matters of right and wrong.


Monday, October 13 2014

John Woo Said “For a Better Tomorrow:” CW’s “The Flash” and “This American Life’s” “Serial”

Just ahead of tomorrow's second episode of The Flash, we present this special Iconographies on this show isn't very different from This American Life's spinoff, Serial.


Friday, September 26 2014

The Day the Old Batman-town Steel Mill Shut Down

Imagine Batman, the whole of the intellectual property, the full weight of publication and production history, now 75 years on from its inception, and imagine it as a town.


Monday, September 22 2014

Deconstructing the Game Show

Craig Ferguson has won his own game show in becoming a celebrity, and he's parlayed his winnings into being the host of The Celebrity Name Game with a chance to challenge the institution that turns so many everyday people into predictable, cookie-cutter contestants.


Wednesday, September 10 2014

‘True Detective’ and the Conventions of Morality

In the realm of moral ambiguity they occupy, Rust Cohle and Marty Hart become a microcosm of Lawrence Kohlberg's three stages of moral development.


Tuesday, September 2 2014

Disaster and Individualism in ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones trades in everything good and bad about nations and realms for everything good and bad about pure individualism.


Wednesday, August 13 2014

“You Should Have to Make Your Case with Comedy”: An Interview with MST3K’s Michael J. Nelson

He has been the host and head writer of both Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax, and now takes on his biggest comedy challenge yet: riffing 1998's Godzilla in front of a live audience.


Tuesday, June 17 2014

Does Fan Service Ruin Television?

Too often fan service, not inspiration, becomes the end goal of creative work.


Friday, June 6 2014

“The Pressure Is Different Now”: An Interview with Fred Armisen

When not working on Portlandia or leading the band on Late Night with Seth Meyers, SNL album Fred Armisen is releasing his "Hometown Heroes" series of singles under the guises of fake bands.


Wednesday, April 9 2014

Why Do Feminists Love Don Draper?

Don Draper’s insightful ad pitches are full of arrogance and sexism, but they’re also full of rhetoric, history, philosophy, psychology, and even pure, sexy poetry.


Tuesday, April 1 2014

“Doll & Em’s” Azazel Jacobs on the Pleasure of Being Stuck and Working Your Way Out of It

Azazel Jacobs’ unique worldview -- a place populated with characters that seem too strange to be real, and too sympathetic to be completely invented -- proves to be the perfect fit for Doll & Em.


Monday, March 31 2014

‘True Detective’ and the Primal Urge to Tell Stories by Starlight

The True Detectives are driven by the desire to create form from void, to seek meaning where none exists. They share the primal urge to daub on cave walls and tell stories about the shapes we see in the stars.


Monday, March 24 2014

Sex, Drugs, and Honey Nut Cheerios

Nelly on Cheerios is a deconstructionist’s dream: full of sweet contradictory goodness.


Monday, February 17 2014

White Jumpsuits, Catsuited Babes, Pornstaches and Other Joys of ‘70s Sci-Fi Television

As the idealism of the ‘60s congealed into the malaise of the ‘70s, TV offered us small bands of forlorn humans in tight suits, roaming the stars. These are the “the starlost shows”.


Tuesday, January 21 2014

Art Is a Lie, Nothing Is Real: An Interview with Bo Burnham

His third standup special was one of his most popular to date, and the 23-year-old Bo Burnham decided to release the entire thing on YouTube for free. In talking with PopMatters, Bo tells us about all the why's of what.


Monday, January 13 2014

The Best Television of 2013

Perhaps the most stunning element of this years list is the lack of domination by the broadcast networks. In fact, there are more streaming and pay cable shows taking top honors than any Big Three offering. The future of the medium is here and now.


Thursday, December 19 2013

The Best DVDs and Blu-rays of 2013

As home video spins off into various immediate options -- streaming, simultaneous theatrical and digital release -- there are still many gems to uncover in the increasingly obsolete format.


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