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Thursday, February 20 2014

The Sitcom As Ideological Torture

Family Matters is a sterling (and torturous) example of the allegedly “post-racial” America inaugurated by the bourgeois and only mildly Afrocentric triumphs of The Cosby Show.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

‘Spies of Mississippi’: When the US Government Was Committed to an Apartheid System

Congressman Bennie Thompson's recollections are chilling, and not only because the government of Mississippi once posed a real threat to some of its citizens.


Tuesday, February 18 2014

Jiggle TV? ‘Charlie’s Angels’

It's worth noting that, the problematic politics of the series aside, this is not great TV.


Monday, February 17 2014

‘Game of Thrones’ Sets the Gold Standard for TV Dramas

It’s no wonder that Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s biggest successes and a worldwide phenomenon. Plus, you know, it's got dragons.


Friday, February 14 2014

The Darcys Have Reputation Anxiety in ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

The spectre of murder threatens to divide Elizabeth and Darcy in this adaptation of P.D. James' Austen homage, but the poor grasp of character might be the more devastating crime, here.


Thursday, February 13 2014

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a Well-Made BBC Biopic

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West capture the emotional truth of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's relationship in the BBC biopic, Burton and Taylor.


Wednesday, February 12 2014

‘Good Times’: Ain’t We Lucky We Got ‘Em?

The truth is that Good Times is an excellent and remarkably funny show. The irony of the show and its title continues to resonate.


Tuesday, February 11 2014

‘Sherlock’ and the Case of the Changing, Challenging Identities

The third season of Sherlock becomes much more meta and challenges the very concept of who Sherlock Holmes is, and suggests change is indeed in the (east) wind.


Monday, February 10 2014

‘The White Queen’ Is the War of the Roses, from the Women’s Point of View

Battles and beheadings, letters sent and lost, dungeons and plenty of who-can-you-trust moments. The White Queen is a whopping good time.


Thursday, February 6 2014

Yield to Dilbert’s Technical Superiority

The 2014 re-release of the complete Dilbert series looks and sounds good and is bargain priced, but has none of the extras of the 2004 release.


Wednesday, February 5 2014

What Happens to the Excommunicated Amish?

The Amish: Shunned reveals the complexity of these lives and choices, hopes and losses.


Monday, February 3 2014

Darkness Comes to ‘Downton’

Season 4 of Downton Abbey is suddenly like the British aristocracy’s version of Breaking Bad.


The ‘Mad Dogs’ Are Fast on a Road to Nowhere

The desperate foursome are running from themselves and don't notice the Afrikaans sign, ‘Oppad na nerens'. ‘On the road to nowhere’.


Friday, January 31 2014

Ain’t Life Just Like That?

Sure, Treme is about the sacred, but you can’t have the sacred without the engine of the profane motoring things along, and there’s nothing more profane than money.


Thursday, January 30 2014

‘The State of Arizona’ Declares, Show Your Papers or Else

The State of Arizona presents the "immigration" question from a number of perspectives as well as contexts.


Thursday, January 23 2014

Three Doctors, One Special, and a Big (Blue) Box of Surprises!

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor leans towards the lighter side of the Whoniverse.


Tuesday, January 21 2014

Selflessness and Courage, Self-Awareness and Naiveté Combine in ‘Blood Brother’

Like so many white male heroic types before him, Rocky seeks experience in an exotic place where people are plagued by poverty and disease.


Wednesday, January 15 2014

What Happened to Tonya Harding? ‘30 for 30: The Price of Gold’

Shrewdly and consistently, The Price of Gold underscores the trouble posed by a culture still invested in impossible "feminine" ideals.


‘Shameless’ Keeps Proving That We Love Our Dysfunctionals

The Showtime comedy continues to surprise during its third season, demonstrating why its British counterpart lasted as long as it did.


Tuesday, January 14 2014

‘Frontline: The Secret State of North Korea’: Information in Motion

As much good as James Bond might do in a long run, the short run for most North Koreans remains hard.


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