Recent Features
You Can’t Fix Death: Living Life, Fisher Style

The tumultuous, but loving, relationships within the Fisher family illustrate Six Feet Under's complex and often contradictory views of the well-lived life.

READ more
Funeral Songs: The Music of ‘Six Feet Under’

Two specific sequences from two separate episodes of Six Feet Under illustrate the show's complex and sophisticated use of popular music as both dramatic dramatic device and cultural signifier.

READ more
This Show Just Got a Little Too Real: Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Bravo’s schadenfreude is such a fundamental part of Real Housewives that every episode unavoidably concerns a tragic figure that never appears on screen and cannot defend the character assassination the show perpetuates.

READ more
The Funeral Parlor Palette: Color Symbolism in ‘Six Feet Under’

The use of a symbolically coded color palette in Six Feet Under adds a subtle dimension of depth to an already complex and rich array of characters.

READ more
‘Six Feet Under’ and the Funeral Industry

Six Feet Under brought the stark, unglamorous realities of death and dying into living rooms, and shed light on the often times vicious business of the funeral industry.

READ more
Living the Scream: How ‘Six Feet Under’ Woke TV from the Dream

Six Feet Under went straight for the jugular of the American Dream, daring to suggest it less an ongoing embarrassment of riches, more a shame-filled endurance of unease.

READ more
‘Your Whole Life Is Leading Up to This’: Developing ‘Six Feet Under’ at HBO

Kicking off our Six Feet Under series... Like its fellow HBO series, Six Feet Under blurred genre categories, merging elements of soap opera and serialized broadcast dramas alongside nods to art-house cinema and modernist theater.

READ more
Tough Guys Recite: The 5 Best Poetry Spittin’ TV Characters

Every generic hero on TV can finish a poetic quotation or identify a poignant quatrain (down to the line numbers). But few can spit Tennyson or Yeats with such venom as these guys.

READ more
The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.

READ more
Clear! Old-School Medical Drama, Stat!

A once-popular medical drama reveals how much has changed in America's health care industry -- and its television medical dramas -- and how much remains the same.

READ more
‘The Sopranos’, Dissatisfaction and The American Dream

The Sopranos' portrayal of an American family, of the dueling pursuits of physical and spiritual, questions the principles of success distributed by governments and advertisers.

READ more
Jean-Teddy Filippe’s ‘Forbidden Files’: Found Footage Lost (and Found Again)

Oddly missing in histories of the "found footage" genre, Jean-Teddy Filippe's "Forbidden Files" offers intriguing glimpses at horror and fantasy flickering into an uneasy camcorder reality, ten years before The Blair Witch Project made it fashionable (and lame).

READ more
Beyond Jodie Dallas: TV’s 10 Most Important LGBT Characters

Several "best" or "favorite" LGBT TV character lists have popped up in recent years, but they don't always include the most important LGBT characters. So, we pay tribute to the ten(ish) most significant LGBT characters in US television history.

READ more
20 Questions: William Shatner

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, Cultural Icon Extraordinaire. Shatner Rules. Like all great American actors – he’s not American. We’re not even sure he’s human. We’re certain, however, that he’s The Captain of Everything -- not least PopMatters 20 Questions.

READ more
Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge

MTV’s central role in delivering grunge to a national audience in the early 1990s demonstrated the network’s power as a creator and definer of culture, and the reaction of many of grunge’s iconic figures against the video medium revealed the gulf between principle and reality.

READ more
Michael Has Issues: A Sad Sad Conversation with Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black -- of The State, Stella, and Michael & Michael Have Issues fame -- discusses his new album, Very Famous, and connecting to people through sad, sad conversations ...

READ more
“I Cherish the F—k Ups As Much As the Triumphs”: An Interview with Patton Oswalt

With a Showtime special behind him and his new album out now, Patton Oswalt speaks to PopMatters and manages to fit in The New Yorker, Penthouse, and Acme Novelty Library in a single sentence.

READ more
A Film’s Beauty is in the Eye of the Cinematographer

“Stories need to be told,” emphasizes cinematographer Michael Garcia. And he’s just the man to wield the camera.

READ more
With Our Help, You Can Have It All: The Depressing Rhetoric of Unemployment TV’s Commercials

Viewers of daytime TV are perceived to be losers in need of services (mostly legal), because they don't seem willing to make long-term decisions or capable of helping themselves.

READ more
Joke’s on Us: Reality TV Always Gets the Last Laugh

The "rich" and "famous" are NOT like us... at least not on TV. Reality 'stars': Whether we love them or loathe them, if we watch them, they win.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media