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Thursday, February 28 2008

Extra Ordinary: Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Mad Prophets

Despite its talking hamburgers, mechanical rabbits and the like, Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force is less surreal than hyperreal.


Sunday, November 25 2007

The Ghost Whisperer’s Television Whisperer

Reasons to watch Jennifer Love Hewitt in 'Ghost Whisperer', ways to detect rounded characters on a flat screen, and why I should be called 'Television Whisperer'.


Sunday, November 18 2007

Coming Up Clausen: An Interview with The Simpsons Composer

Alf Clausen explains the workings behind the music of The Simpsons, and shows how he fits right in.


Sunday, October 28 2007

Not Just a Fluke: How Darin Morgan Saved The X-Files

After playing the “Fluke Man”, Darin Morgan reluctantly agreed to write for The X-Files. His four episodes turned a struggling show around with humor and a deep concern with the pain of loneliness in a strange and incomprehensible world.


Tuesday, October 2 2007

Big Brother USA, Season Eight: The Most Dangerous Game

For Eight Seasons, Big Brother USA has brought numerous twists to reality TV. Here is a twist Big Brother might not have seen coming.


Friday, September 21 2007

Ken Burns’ Arithmetic of War: ‘The War’ Premieres Tonight

To its credit, The War considers the terrible effects of difference. But even as it argues that representations can make differences, it also exemplifies how limited vision can reinforce them.


Wednesday, September 12 2007

The Practice Makes Perfect—Well, Almost

What do you call four lawyers, a secretary, and a couple of prosecutors? I call it the best thing since Clarence Darrow.


Tuesday, September 11 2007

MTV Killed the Video Star: The MTV Video Music Awards

The overall effect from watching this year's MTV VMAs was club drug vertigo -- but with none of the fun of the club or the drugs.


Monday, September 10 2007

The Comebacks, The Cut-Ups, and All Cut Too Short: The 2007 VMAs

Isn't it ironic how the 2007 installment of MTV's celebration of music videos was, in fact, a telling death knell for music videos?


Tuesday, August 28 2007

Feldog Revisited: An Interview with Corey Feldman

Feldman talks to PopMatters about the good, the bad, and the ugly of reality TV.


Monday, August 20 2007

“God’s Warriors”: Raging Fires

Christiane Amanpour does not back down from difficult questions. She opens her six-hour report, airing over three nights on CNN, by noting that Jerusalem, the "so-called city of peace, has been torn by centuries of war."


Sunday, August 5 2007

Time Is Standing Still: White Light/Black Rain

HBO's new Hiroshima and Nagasaki documentary is at once simple and infinitely complex. The atomic bombs were disasters both man-made and calculated.


Monday, July 30 2007

Longford: Next to Godliness

If Longford were just the story of a flawless saint, it wouldn’t be very interesting. Instead, we see a nuanced portrait of a complicated and imperfect man.


Tuesday, June 19 2007

Violence for Good

The escalation of violence on television isn't merely a matter of audiences becoming desensitized. It also raises the stakes and the psychological payoffs when the violence is avenged.


Sunday, May 20 2007

Make Mine Vanilla: Season Sanjaya Six and the American Idol Illusion

Far beyond the media sensation of adoration and hate that surrounded Sanjaya Malakar's stint on Idol is how his booting laid bare how empty and soulless the whole affair has become.


Tuesday, May 8 2007

The Shield: The Detective & the Lieutenant

Detective Vic Mackey kills cops, steals money, and beats suspects. How, then, can the man trying to bring him to justice be the "bad guy"?


Sunday, April 22 2007

The Sopranos Is the Most Influential Television Drama Ever

No one-hour drama series has had a bigger impact on how stories are told on the small screen, or more influence on what kind of fare we've been offered by an ever-growing array of television networks.


Wednesday, February 21 2007

The Bluth Company vs. Dunder Mifflin

Why couldn’t Arrested Development find a mass audience when The Office is thriving?


Thursday, February 1 2007

Cavemen R Us

GEICO's recent ad campaign offers yet another example of the ongoing search for cultural groups we can mock in public.


Thursday, January 25 2007

Different Worlds: Does The OC endorse the economic segregation that threatens America?

As The OC (and recent films such as Bring It On or Save the Last Dance) reflects, Americans are increasingly likely to live class-bound lives in class-bound places.


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