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Monday, February 9 2009

Pulling Names from a Hat: The 2009 Grammy Awards

If the Grammy Awards are really supposed to be "Music's Biggest Night", then what does the 2009 ceremony say about the state of sonic entertainment right now?


Sunday, February 1 2009

The New Golden Age of British TV Comedy

Every once in awhile, Britain rules over America. The Office, Spaced, Coupling and other British shows are gradually narrowing the Atlantic-sized gap between the United States and England.


20 Questions: Max & Jason

Al 'Gore’s Boys’ and Current TV producers and hosts Max Lugavere and Jason Silva chat with PopMatters 20 Questions about enthusiasm-inducing people and things.


Tuesday, January 13 2009

The Best Television Performers of 2008

More than anything, though, I wish all those political pundits would take some time off, to rest and let their vocal cords recuperate. That truly would make for a happy new year.


Sunday, January 11 2009

‘But Every So Often, A Miracle Happens’ - A Send Off for Moral Orel

It's Art Clokey vs. the Antichrist at Adult Swim as we say goodbye to one of the best, most brazen stop motion animation efforts ever. God only knows why this show isn't coming back for another sensational season.


As Charged - Top 10 TV Guilty Pleasures of 2008

If television is indeed a vast cultural and artistic wasteland, then the 10 examples of culpable amusement selected by our staff must represent something significant -- or perhaps we're just way too addicted to the old boob tube.


Back to Basics - The 30 Best TV Shows of 2008

The Year in TV was a lot like the US economy: struggling until summer and then tanking under the hope of a 2009 comeback. Still, our staff found 30 solid reasons to be cheerful come entertainment investment time.


Wednesday, October 15 2008

Cinema Qua Non - Indispensable DVDs: Part 3

Day Three - The final ten, a cross-culture collection teeming with big ideas, larger than life visions, and perhaps the greatest documentary on rugby you've probably never heard of.


Thursday, October 2 2008

The Olbermann Effect

Keith Olbermann has transformed news into entertainment. Countdown viewers no longer expect the facts; they expect to laugh and to think. Thank goodness.


Thursday, September 25 2008

The Detective & His Reflections: The Shield: Sixth Season

The nihilistic, morally blurred world of The Shield reflects the inner workings of its characters.


Thursday, August 28 2008

The Invaders: Cold War Central with the Vietnam Blues

The aliens carry silver dollars with lights which function both as cell phones and as gadgets that can make anyone drop dead from an instantly diagnosable "brain hemorrhage".


Sunday, August 24 2008

Women and ‘The Wire’

Why the most intelligent show on TV, a compelling exploration of the circumstances and institutional pressures that make people who they are, gets an "F" in Gender Studies.


Tuesday, August 5 2008

Mad Men, Sad Men

The increasing prevalence and sophistication of advertising, the popularization of psychotherapy, and an emerging political consciousness in the American middle class all come to the fore in this excellent television series.


Sunday, August 3 2008

DHARMA’s Bent Reality: The Video Game Sensibility of Lost

Perhaps the most complete and fascinating assimilation of video game-type content into a different medium at a deep and thorough level occurs within the narrative world of the popular television show Lost.


Tuesday, July 22 2008

Pop Culture: Finding Meaning and Purpose in the Neighborhood

Whether intentionally spiritual or not, popular culture and its products serve many of the same drives of religion: making meaning and forging the bonds of community.


Monday, June 30 2008

“Swiper, No Swiping!”: The Demonology of Dora the Explorer

With his moral ambiguity, ritualistic expulsions, and trickster ways, Dora the Explorer's Swiper is an archetypal image of the diabolical fox-spirit in the history of religions -- which might be an unacknowledged lesson for children.


Sunday, June 22 2008

20 Questions: Alan Cumming

Stage, TV and film actor, model, Tony Award-winner and new Masterpiece Mystery! host Alan Cumming speaks with PopMatters 20 Questions about Dionysus, the prudency of using prophylactics, and Leon, the singing Chihuahua.


Monday, April 14 2008

Twilight of the Leading Ladies?

As cancellations force more alpha female characters off the air, the question arises: Are we seeing television audiences and studios turn away from strong women as leads?


Wednesday, April 9 2008

Lest You Be Judged

Watching these courtroom dramas had me wondering why people choose to bicker over their disagreements on television, particularly in front of judges whose impartiality is questionable.


Thursday, March 13 2008

The Truth You Say?: The End of ‘The Wire’

Finding ourselves at the end of The Wire we might ask: what was the point of these sometimes hopeful but often tragic stories? What purpose did they serve?


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