Recent Features
20 Questions: Harry Shearer

What can one say about the irrepressible comedic cultural critic Harry Shearer that hasn’t already been said – or that he hasn’t already said, himself (in an array of voices)? Never short of words, Shearer has a few things to say to PopMatters.

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Murder, They Watched: Are the French Obsessed with American Crime Drama?

Why are there so many American police procedurals on French TV? Is it because French women have a massive crush on David Caruso? This and other hypotheses come to mind...

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9 Aug 2012 // 10:20 PM

Dyn-o-mite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times—A Memoir

Starting in small clubs and eventually opening for Black Panther rallies, Jimmie Walker became an icon, playing J. J. on Good Times. He was the first successful young black sitcom star, and his catchphrase -- “Dyn-o-mite!” -- remains an indicator of the era.

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5 Aug 2012 // 10:08 PM

Defending Oprah

The Oprah Winfrey Network's shortfalls have come not by aiming too low, but instead in trying to buck the trends of the current cable landscape.

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Stand-Up! America’s Dissenting Tradition Part 3: The Bills of Rights, Hicks & Maher

Two sides of the same coin, Bill Hicks and Bill Maher are comedic patriots; leave (their country) they will not, nor will they leave it alone, for they persist at picking at their nation’s open sores of injustice, hypocrisy, and superficiality.

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26 Jul 2012 // 10:20 PM

Flash Points: Penn State’s Cover-Up and the Ethics of Rape Jokes

This week Flash Points looks at the Penn State cover-up and examines the way powerful people typically go to great lengths to cover their collective asses. We also examine rape culture and the ethics of rape jokes.

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18 Jul 2012 // 10:10 PM

Bountiful Landscapes of Junk: The History Channel and Reality TV

As the American economy struggles in this eternal recession, the TV screen is filled with images that bring back a more primitive sort of capitalism, one which operates on the border between the compulsive hoarding and the accumulation for profit.

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Flash Points: Making the Bus Monitor Cry, Frank Ocean’s Watershed Moment & Louie CK’s “Rape”

This week we critically examine the 'Make the Bus Monitor Cry' video, look at the watershed moment of Frank Ocean's coming out, and laugh with tears at the "rape" of Louie CK.

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Spoiler Alert! The End of Film Endings

The ambiguous ending in a movie doesn’t feel like 'art'. It feels like a copy. And it resembles the tendency of the franchise ending, with intent to leave it open for a sequel.

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In Defense of Celebrities Making Fun of Themselves à la ‘Episodes’

With the latest season of Episodes about to air on Showtime, we're reminded of how affecting the always-entertaining act of self-deprecation can be.

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Lost In Translation, or, Why ‘The Hangover’ Can’t Just Be ‘The Hangover’

Thanks to translation, the cult '60s British show The Avengers is known to French viewers as Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir, literally "bowler hat and leather boots", a title which could be misconstrued for a show about bondage tips and foot fetish.

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Stone Me, What a Life: Tony Hancock’s Lasting Impact on Comedy

Tony Hancock played an Every Man with the lovable charm and the infuriating selfishness of a know-nothing know-it-all. Like his character, most of us want what we don't have and the rest of the world, we believe, is responsible for our dissatisfaction.

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In Defense of the UK Version of ‘The Office’ Being Better Than the US Version

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's crowning achievement has aged with grace, in part because of its short run, but mostly because of its originality.

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The Mammy Image: What’s Christie Love Got to Do With It?

Depictions of black women in popular culture have long surpassed the 'mammy' archetype. Let's talk about Teresa Graves in Get Christie Love (1974), for starters.

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The Good, The Bad, and the Stoned: An Interview with the Trailer Park Boys

Comedy phenoms the Trailer Park Boys stay true to their personal ethics despite their unabashed love for weed, booze, and prison. Here, they open up about who's stolen their weed, learning the hard way about glory holes, and the possibility of going into space.

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When “Good” TV Goes Bad: Five (Out of Many) Flaws of ‘The Killing’

Deep into Season 2, the problems with AMC's The Killing are rich and varied in their depth and breadth... here are five.

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In Defense of Billy Corgan’s Foray Into Professional Wrestling

The Smashing Pumpkins leader is developing a reality television series around his Resistance Pro imprint.

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Animated Inspiration: TV Artist Jean Kang

Like Suzi, the character she drew for Womanthology, Jean Kang tells stories in “her own small way to take a stand against stereotype.”

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In Defense of the First 11 Episodes of Season Five of ‘Mad Men’

With Mad Men's season finalé set for Sunday, we look back at how polarizing the show's return to television has been.

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From ‘Little Women’ to ‘Girls’

Hannah of Girls is not your grandmother’s fictional heroine, but she's a worthy, modern-day descendant.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Could 'Heroes Reborn' Be the Stealth Reboot the Series Always Needed?

// Channel Surfing

"Heroes: Reborn looks like what the original Heroes could have been in an alternate, better universe.

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