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Monday, March 7 2011

Joss Whedon 101: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Whatever else that Joss Whedon achieves in his career, he may forever best be known as the creator of one of the landmark series in TV history, as well as one of TV's most iconic characters, a blonde cheerleader turned vampire slayer named Buffy.


Failure of the Everyman: The Lost Character That Was Xander Harris

Xander Harris was the member of the Scooby Gang on Buffy the Vampire Slayer positioned as the one most like us, the most average, everyday individual among a group of exceptional members. Kyle Garret argues that later arcs in the series undermined this role for Xander.


Sunday, March 6 2011

Note to Self, Religion Freaky: When ‘Buffy’ Met Biblical Studies

Taking aim against critics of Buffy who see pervasive evidence of sexism, racism, ageism, and class bias, Ronald Helfrich looks at some of the lessons concerning interpretation that Biblical studies can better inform our readings of Buffy.


Thursday, March 3 2011

Why Cast a Spotlight on Joss Whedon?

PopMatters will, over the next five weeks, publish almost 60 essays and/or interviews on pop cultural icon Joss Whedon. So just what has he done that is worthy of such attention, and why should we care?


Joss Whedon 101: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: The Movie

Proving that from small things great things come, the path breaking, critically adored 1997 television series was preceded by the critically abhorred, terminally silly 1992 film.


Thursday, February 24 2011

J.F.K. Symbolism on ‘The Sopranos’

As both a desired endgame to the American dream as well as the tragic flaw underlying that dream, the mythology of J.F.K. crops up on multiple occasions in The Sopranos to show the self-contradictions of the show’s characters.


Monday, February 14 2011

Oh, We’re Supposed to Give Awards, Too?: The 2011 Grammy Awards

Amidst all the tributes, over-the-top performances, and CBS-centric presenters, the Grammy ceremony only occasionally remembered to hand out an award or two. But when it did, the results were often surprising ...


Wednesday, February 9 2011

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Nostalgia for the ‘60s in TV

The early-'60s -- Mad Men time -- has become a source of endless fascination in popular culture. Timothy Ledwith investigates the many uses of nostalgia.


Thursday, February 3 2011

HBO or TV: Or How ‘The Wire’ Is Not a Novel

Although many fans, critics, and scholars have compared some television series to novels -- though perhaps none more than HBO's The Wire -- Cynthia C. Scott challenges the analogy


Wednesday, January 19 2011

“Doctor Who” and the Cultural Divide: Fandom in America

Lynnette Porter explores the many dimensions of the growing international popularity of Doctor Who, and the very different fandoms in Great Britain and the rest of the world.


Monday, January 17 2011

TV Party Tonight: Interview with the 88

Frontman Keith Slettedahl recently called in from sunny California to talk with PopMatters about their new album, new priorities, and the band's continuing presence on silver and small screens.


Wednesday, January 12 2011

Yet Another British Invasion: “Doctor Who” in America

On Christmas 2010 the US got to participate in an ongoing UK tradition, the annual Doctor Who Christmas episode, instead of seeing it a few week's later as in past years. Lynnette Porter explores what this reveals about the show's growing popularity in the US.


Tuesday, January 11 2011

The Best TV Shows of 2010

Running the gamut from the ever-present to the new and novel, PopMatters' TV picks prove that, as a medium, the small screen challenges the big at every entertainment (and aesthetic) level.


Monday, January 10 2011

Undead and Kicking: Zombies and Betty White Ruled TV in 2010

It was difficult to turn on your TV this past year without seeing the undead... make that the undead and Betty White.


Thursday, January 6 2011

The Year in Television Conspiracies

Secret, usually evil, plots dominated TV drama in 2010, from Lost, Rubicon, and Persons Unknown to 24, V, Flashforward, and Terriers.


Wednesday, January 5 2011

The Best DVDs of 2010

As the medium continues to struggle with significance in the steady "streaming" of the 21st Century, here are PopMatters' picks for the best the format(s) have to offer.


Monday, January 3 2011

The Guilty Pleasure Television of 2010

As if it wasn't already a lamentable leisure time suck, here are ten more reasons why TV rules our daily routine - perhaps more than it should.


Thursday, December 23 2010

Have Yourself a Counter-Culture XMas: Red-Nosed Misfits, Elven Outlaws & Bearded Marxists

The TV versions of Rudolph, Santa, and Frosty are chaotic, freewheeling, and anarchic -- closer in spirit to Heath Ledger's Joker than to Bing Crosby's Father O'Malley.


Tuesday, November 30 2010

Oprah, Australia, and Tourism: Defining ‘Nation’ as ‘Product’

Since 2008, the "Oprah connection" has helped market Australia-the-product and illustrates an intriguing link among nations, television, film, and successful tourism.


Sunday, November 28 2010

Meme Maker: The Slater-Dodson Effect

If you are a fame-seeker that is paying attention, you've seen that the best way to get noticed is to get on TV -- in whatever way possible -- and bypass the usual arbiters of entertainment. It is a recipe for fame without any marketable talent: simply create a situation that centers on you.


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