Recent Features
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.

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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.

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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 ...

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Documenting Memories of 9/11

The many documentaries on 9/11 show that this is what the day has been and remains, history conveyed by images, history reconfigured to shape what comes after, history that is perpetual.

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Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.

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Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.

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6 Sep 2011 // 9:00 PM

B(ew)itchin’ the Kitchen: Funny, Feminine, Femminista

On Bitchin' Ktichen', Nadia G. cooks up culinary comedy while taking on and upending the televisual and societal conventions of the traditional cooking show format.

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Life, Murder and Companionship: Dexter’s Quest for Friendship

Looking back over Dexter’s journey, the need for a trustworthy companion has never been greater. As the character has become more human, the desire for companionship and a normal life has overtaken the necessitation to kill. It has become—in fact always was—the driving force in his life.

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Comedy, Technology and DVD Extras: In Defense of a Dying Format

Media formats come and go, subject to the gale-force winds of technology and the retail market. Me, I'm still clinging to my Monty Python collections on VHS.

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Zoë Howerska Dresses (Films) for Success

Creating a gypsy wedding dress, designing costumes holograms for of the far future, dressing actor Robert Carlyle, and finding the perfect prop for Rutger Hauer -- it's all just part of the job for costume designer Zoë Howerska.

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Here Comes Fall TV: 2011 Edition

This year's new shows include fewer straight up procedurals about cops, doctors, and lawyers than usual. And only a few comedies involving young people cohabitating in urban environments. We've got the video previews here along with what to watch and what to miss.

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Weighing In: Fitness Films and Ordinary People

When fitness celebrities turn fat folks into fitness celebrities in their own image, self-preservation and betterment are eclipsed by the value of self-promotion. Remember the subjects undergoing these life-changing metamorphoses are “real” people.

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The Return of 120 Minutes

120 Minutes returns to guide us through the alternative/indie/hip-hop/whatever-else universe. But what's a show to do when nothing's as hard to find as it used to be?

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20 Questions: Jon Polito

Jon Polito’s mug is so familiar that he almost feels… familiar, like the merchant at the corner store, the beat cop in your ‘hood, or the local mobster. Yeah that's it, the local mobster.

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7 Aug 2011 // 9:00 PM

First Impressions Count: The Importance of TV Pilots

It’s one of entertainment's must cutthroat tryouts. The modern TV viewer knows what they want. Failure to deliver on such expectations can spell doom for a new program.

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2 Aug 2011 // 9:00 PM

When Reality TV Is Real… No One Is Watching

"You can’t have drunk bicycle messengers, it would be too dangerous and these were real businesses with reputations on the line." What’s interesting about Triple Rush is not the show itself, but why the show foundered and what this reveals about audience’s expectations from reality TV shows today.

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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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