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Reviews

Sunday, January 1 1995

American Idol

When the potential Idol whined he was Season Five's Aiken, Simon Cowell responded acerbically, 'But Clay Aiken could sing.' With this one line, he perfectly encapsulated the problem with Idol.


American Family

PULL.


American High

The best parts of the show have had the least plot. Meeting the characters and exploring their backstories is more fun than watching anything they actually do.


Adult Swim

PULL.


Ally McBeal

At first, the fourth season's casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as a love interest for Ally seemed cheap and easy publicity for both show and actor. Maybe it was, but it paid off handsomely.


The American Embassy

'The American Embassy', no matter the PR concerning its political environment or interests, is essentially about relationships.


Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism edited by Danya Ruttenberg

... is rich with shimmering moments of truth, flashes of brilliant insight, a wealth of fascinating personal experiences, and plenty of food for thought. The reader is drawn out of his or her own 'box' and into an intriguing, unfamiliar, and often exotic world. My honest reaction after finishing the book was to wish I could email all these interesting, lively women so we could keep the discussion going.


Where Dead Voices Gather by Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches's elegantly written and emotionally satisfying case for [elusive singer Emmett Miller] makes one think of American music in an altogether different manner. Tosches convinces us that hearing Miller and the expansiveness of his yodel redraws the landscape of our cultural environment.


Wrestling: A Pictorial History by David Hofstede

David Hofstede presents wrestling from its early days of genuine competition to its current offerings of circus-like performances, but throughout the book he shows a deep respect for the sport.


What the Fuck: The Avant-Porn Anthology by Michael Hemmingson

'What the Fuck' is too concerned with being artsy and obscure to truly be what it envisions itself as: the Johnny Depp film of literary porn.


The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll

People appear who may not be people, things happen that might not have really happened, and the answers provided may be merely lies. McCabe does not know if the tricks before his eyes originate from the heavens, outer space, drugs, or future technology, but for the reader these tricks make the fictional small town of Crane's View, New York continually interesting.


We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet, The Collected Interviews by Daniel Sinker, ed.

It was the 'rules and regulations' of punk aesthetic, sound, and lifestyle that limited its potential and undermined its intention to be a culture more enlightened then the powdered and corporate-sponsored products.


Whose Improv Is It Anyway? Beyond Second City by Amy E. Seham

It's designed to make you think about what you laugh at.


Water in Darkness by Daniel Buckman

...a gritty tale rendered with tough, spare prose that fits the story like a flak jacket.


Women in Dada:  Essays on Sex, Gender and Identity by Naomi Sawelson-Gorse (editor)

Not only does it paint a startling but credible image of the misogyny of well-respected practitioners like Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, it focuses on women Dadaists, who blow all misconceptions out of the proverbial water.


WithoutCovers://literary_magazines@the_digital_age Edited by Lesha Hurliman and Numsiri C. Kunakemak

There is a certain mystique, a romantic vision, surrounding the “process” of publication when it comes to literary journals. Visions of editors and staff members


Washington by Meg Greenfield

'Washington' dissects the media, the politician, 'the policy dingdongs on the seventh floor' and the social elite. No weasel words here. Meg Greenfield never dulls her scalpel while dissecting the town and its inhabitants.


The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

Depending on whom you ask, Nashville author Alice Randall's novel - a pseudo diary, really, of Scarlett O'Hara's mulatto half-sister, Cynara - is a parody of 'Gone With the Wind', a sacrilegious retelling of a literary classic or a revisionist history of a vastly overrated, racist melodrama.


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