Recent Features
A Look to the Past, An Insight Into the Present: The Use of Gender in ‘Mad Men’

Looking beyond the aesthetic surface of the series, what is the true motivation behind Mad Men’s frank depictions of these troubled social times? Is sexism being used as some sort of nostalgic trope, or does Mad Men actually delve deeper and explore these issues?

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Mitt Romney Can Reside at Today’s Proverbial ‘Downton Abbey’... Newt Gingrich Cannot

Downton Abbey reveals not only the play of chance that often confounds choice, but the power of social class to confine choice within established boundaries -- and we're comfortable with that.

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Prime Time Larceny: It Takes a Thief

Al Mundy (Robert Wagner) enjoys a reputation as a world-class thief, a glamorous burglar, a pickpocket's pickpocket. Too bad he landed in prison.

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‘How to Make It in America’? Well for Starters, Don’t Make Hopeful Television

The HBO dramedy How to Make It in America, despite being one of television's best programs, could not make it because it was too hopeful and joyful to survive a culture of cyncism.

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TV 2011: Survivalist Crime Solvers

Recent US crime shows claim not only that the law does not provide justice to ordinary Americans, but also that it cannot do so.

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Misery Loves Comedy, But Has It Killed the Traditional Sitcom?

Comedian Lee Mack believes that realism is the enemy of comedy. But his own series, Not Going Out, proves that the Old-School sitcom is alive and kicking.

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The Best TV Performances of 2011

For all the high points on TV in 2011, there were also things that bothered me, and not all of them were named Kardashian.

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The Guilty Pleasure TV Shows of 2011

Anthropomorphized food... insane soap opera creeepshows... and at least one example of the 'Unhappy Englander" on holiday. Must be time for the guiltiest of TV fare.

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The Best Television Shows of 2011

The small screen offers up the usual suspects, proving once again that, with a few exceptions, what's good on today's prime time schedule will stay that way until the next best-of list.

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Designing Fantasy Worlds the Weta Way

Weta Workshop’s Daniel Falconer has designed creatures and worlds from A (Avatar) to X (Xena: Warrior Princess), but with so many projects in his busy schedule, he doesn’t have time for a lot of Zzzzzzzs.

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O Captain! My Captain! Going Where No Octogenarian Has Gone Before

As "Bill" explores the meaninglessness of celebrity, "Shatner" embraces the shallow and the superficial like an Andy Warhol soup can come to life.

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Hollywood’s Steep Hills: Gender Inequality and ‘Miss Representation’

Gender inequality in Hollywood reigns supreme, but as Miss Representation shows, the male/female binary is so insidious that it even makes its way into productions that aim to counter it.

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Showing My References: On Reading Too Much About TV & Watching Too Much TV

I still yearn for a hefty volume of pages to take down from the shelf, to leaf through at my leisure or to zero in on that relevant fact.

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And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert

A funny and personal portrait of the comedian who became the headline-making, ground-breaking star of The Colbert Report.

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Mothers, Killers and Vampires: The Post-Familial Society in “True Blood”

True Blood suggests that a change in family structure within a society doesn't necessarily entail a downfall of traditional concepts of morals and values.

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A Truly Grand Finalé: The Final Six Minutes of ‘Six Feet Under’

Six Feet Under cements its legacy with a send off that is so sublime, so simple and so perfectly obvious you can't help but laugh... through buckets of tears.

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The Crows Come Home to Roost: The Death of Lisa Kimmel Fisher

Six Feet Under concludes its third season with a bold suite of emotionally devastating episodes that go straight for the jugular, nearly drowning the Fishers -- and the viewers -- under a tidal wave of fear, guilt and despair.

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Better Living Through Therapy: Six Feet Under’s “The Plan”

In the episode "The Plan", Ruth's humorous attempt at self-actualization and self-discovery at a self-help seminar reflects television's ingestion of and obsession with society's therapeutic culture.

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Defying Convention: “Six Feet Under” and the Unreliable Narrator

A pivotal, emotionally raw argument late in the second season of Six Feet Under completely undermines our perceptions of Nate and Brenda's primal and toxic relationship, illuminating the way the show plays havoc with our sympathies and televisual convention.

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Margaret Chenowith: “Six Feet Under’s” Resident Existentialist

The bitter taste that the existentialist worldview may leave in some people’s mouths can be compared to the sting we feel when we meet Margaret Chenowith, the eternally cackling, gleefully hedonistic, complexly troubled mother of Brenda.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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