Recent Features
Bill O’Reilly’s Rock & Roll Machine

Nostalgia has its uses, its benefits. But is it useful and beneficial when it obscures the reality of the past and present, usually in the service of power, prestige, and making a buck?

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As the ‘60s Moves Forward for Women, ‘Mad Men’ Leaves Its Women Behind

Mad Men may have started out as a feminist show, but in later seasons it reinforces rather than critiques the sexism faced by its female characters.

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31 Mar 2015 // 2:20 AM

Beyond Don as Dorian: Fin de Siècle, Mad Men, and Aesthetics

Given the parallels between Dorian Gray and Don Draper, can we use the lesson of the former to predict the fate of the latter?

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Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime, ‘True Detective’, and ‘Serial’ Obsessions

True Detective and Serial mark our society’s preoccupation with all things illegal, especially when they end in murder.

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It’s Not That Steven Toast Is a Total Failure

Arthur Mathew and Matt Berry's sitcom, Toast of London is almost too weird and wonderful to put into words.

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Power and Possibility in Political Satire: 22 Years of ‘22 Minutes’

Canada’s hit comedy news program offers a provocative example of the role political satire and popular culture can play in defining and even changing a nation

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In Defense of Doing Away With Guilty Pleasures

The CW's excellent Jane the Virgin reminds us there is no such thing as a true guilty pleasure.

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The Upside of No-See Me: Invisibility and ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’

For Buffy, turning invisible allows her to indulge all her worst impulses; but in doing so, she realizes that she is not embracing life, but fleeing it.

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The Hays Code Nightmare Has Come True. Ain’t That Grand?

The '30s era Hays Code limited significantly what artists could express and what audiences could see. Today's LGBT media has blasted through all that.

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‘The Jimmy Stewart Show’ Emerges from TV’s Never-Never Land

This is a traditional family sitcom, which means it's not funny.

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Can Television Be a Solution to Hollywood’s Diversity Problem?

We are living in the second Golden Age of Television, and not just because the writing is so good: TV is where we can tune in for real diversity.

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In Defense of the Chris Rock Renaissance

Chris Rock transcends generations of fans with a signature combination of intelligence and contemporary comedy.

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“It’s Morphin’ Time!”: Twenty Years of Power Rangers With No End in Sight

The campy Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: 22 years, 22 seasons and two movies in (and a reboot on the way). Why do we love this show?

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How We All Survived the Astoundingly Morose 57th Annual Grammy Awards

AC/DC opened the telecast with a song called "Rock or Bust", a prophetic ultimatum that was answered all too quickly by a cavalcade of performers who seemed to be tripping over themselves to see who could be the most uninspiring of them all.

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The Trials and Tribulations of “Dirty” Harry Callahan

Feeling lucky, punk? The road from obscurity to legend wasn't easy for Clint Eastwood's iconic character Dirty Harry. Think you know the back story? Read on!

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Wanna Buy Some Old Bill Cosby Records?

In the face of mounting allegations against the beloved comedian, we are left to reconsider his artistic legacy.

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The Best Television of 2014

In 2014, we let Russian spies, biker gangs, Silicon Valley techies, and existentially frustrated detectives into our living rooms. As these 25 picks reveal, we had good reasons for doing so.

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The 10 Best of ESPN’s 30 for 30

On the occasion of 30 for 30's fifth anniversary, ESPN Films has released a 100-Film Gift Set. And on that occasion, a list of the 10 best 30 for 30 films.. so far.

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The Adventures of Two Boys and an Elephant

At its best, Maya serves as a window into an era of kids' adventure series with unusually authentic production values and undercurrents of thoughtful attention to cultural differences.

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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.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

// Moving Pixels

"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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