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Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Recent
Television

In HBO's 'Watchmen', the Devil Doesn’t Disappear

Damon Lindelof's over-plotted, over-anxious, daring, genre-hopping offshoot of Alan Moore's alternate-history graphic novel, Watchmen, is less a show about hunting down the bad guys than it is about the twisted turns and stubborn legacies of racist trauma in America -- and the resistance to atoning for it.

Television

HBO Teen Drama 'Euphoria' Has More Lows than Highs

As Showtime's brutally honest Nurse Jackie showed, there is nothing glamorous about addiction. It is a harrowing experience, and HBO's Euphoria, season one, fails to capture that.

Television

The Willful Child in HBO's 'My Brilliant Friend'

HBO's My Brilliant Friend feels almost radical for its raw and un-romanticized depiction of female friendship and resistance in all its emotional complexities.

Television

Never Ending Endings in 'The Avengers: Endgame' and 'Game of Thrones'

In both The Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones, the key conflicts are not between good and evil, as one might think, but between the beginnings and endings of their stories.

Reviews

'Room 104' Season 2 Throws It All Against the Wall - Let's See What Sticks

HBO's anthology horror series, Room 104, offers glimpses of promise and bizarre insight, but often feels constrained by its half-hour timeframe.

Television

Mirroring Humans through Westworld’s Othered Artificial Intelligence

In the fantasy world of AI-populated Westworld, unchecked humankind regresses into violence toward the "Other" -- just as we do in the chaotic real world. Is that the essence of human nature, to always reject its' self as seen in the visage of the Other?

Television

HBO's 'Camping' Doesn’t Know What It Wants to Be

Camping is halfway through its first season. Are Girls, Lena Dunham or Jennifer Garner superfans the only ones still watching?

Television

'Filhos do Carnaval' and Rio's Abandoned Sons

Brazilian miniseries Filhos do Carnaval (Sons of Carnaval) deserves more attention for its portrayal of the bitterness that marks the country's race relations and the beauty that exists alongside it.

Music

'David Bowie: The Last Five Years' Compellingly Reflects on the Final Projects of the Artist's Life

If you are unfamiliar with the final, fertile phase of Bowie's career — which followed his retirement from performing, after a 2004 onstage heart attack — this is a fine introduction.

Television

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' S9 Couldn't Find Its Rhythm

Curb Your Enthusiasm's well-established characters are reacting to their former selves, rather than inhabiting or reinventing themselves. Thus, it loses the rhythms and inflections that once made the show so consistently, diabolically funny.

Books

'Fanfiction and the Author' Gives Well-Blended Discourse for Maximum Fan Enjoyment

Scholar Judith May Fathallah's work blurs lines between author and ethnographer, fan experiences and genre TV storytelling.

Garret Castleberry
Television

"The Evolution of Sin" in 'Westworld'

The uncanny similarity of scenes in this show to the Hollywood harassment/abuse stories -- up to and including the proposition that suffering can advance one's career -- reveals Westworld to be too content to reenact the mechanisms of systemic abuse.

Television

Me, Myself, and I: 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and the Art of Being a Sociopath

Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, are not shows about nothing -- they're about everything. They’re shows about people who cannot have a thought without vocalizing it, regardless of the social or emotional consequences.

Reviews

'Game of Thrones' Live Recaps Six Seasons of Westerosian History at Madison Square Garden

Game of Thrones epic live concert experience featuring Ramin Djawadi's powerful score also serves as a two hour "previously on..." catch-up for the upcoming seventh season.

Music

Chavez: Cockfighters

Twenty years later, the New York foursome's new EP does little more than make long-time fans yearn for their older material.

Television

'The Leftovers' Fears and Regrets

The first season of The Leftovers struggles to balance between its mysterious circumstances, its brooding melodrama, and its devotion to complicated characters.

Television

True Detective: Episode 5 - "Other Lives"

Writer Nic Pizzolatto displays an affinity for placing clues in schools of red herrings.

Television

'True Detective': Maybe Tomorrow

True Detective, Season 2, Episode 3: Where does the kitsch end and the surreal begin?

Television

In Defense of a Second Season for 'Halt and Catch Fire'

Women are the alpha-characters in Halt and Catch Fire. There may be no better dynamic duo of smart leading females on TV today than Donna and Cameron.

Television

In Defense of HBO's 'Enlightened'

A couple years after its demise, it's time to look back at how brilliant and confusing Mike White and Laura Dern's series really was.

Television

'True Detective' and the Death of Television Criticism

Something has gone wrong if critics consider True Detective the best that contemporary television has to offer.

Television

In Defense of the Phrase 'Spoiler Alert'

Hey, did anybody else have the Good Wife plot twist spoiled for them last week? Thanks to Google, Time and the Associated Press, I did.

Reviews

Curb Your Enthusiasm for 'Clear History'

Larry David's latest venture in feature filmmaking is a half-baked wrinkle on the "Curb" formula, but wouldn't it be rude not to watch?

Culture

In Defense of the Influence of 'Difficult Men'

Brett Martin's latest book serves as a reminder of how enlightening dealing with darkness in television can be.

Internet

In Defense of Netflix Being the Future of Television

The Little Red Envelope That Could has established itself as a go-to place for quality original programming. The next step? World domination.

Music

Kermit Ruffins: We Partyin' Traditional Style! (take 2)

After two decades, the New Orleans trumpeter finally figures out how to bring his live energy into a studio setting. The result is one of the best jazz releases of the year to date.

Reviews

Rage, Rivalry and Rose Hip Tea:' Veep: The Complete First Season'

Thanks to Veep's sharp writing and excellent ensemble cast, Armando Iannucci's satirical look at the office of the Vice President lifts the lid on the powerlessness of those in power.

Technology

Cell Phones and the 'Entourage' Effect

Celebrities aren’t the only ones with an entourage, anymore. Anyone with a cellphone has his or her own entourage, too.

Games

Cable TV of Thrones -- Why 'Game of Thrones' Does Not Work as a Game

From a marketing standpoint, basing a game off Game of Thrones seems intuitive. The problem that nobody seems to have considered is that the kingdom of Westeros is a miserable place that nobody should want to be in.

Television

All the Pieces Matter: Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Four years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of lists across internet sites and print magazines alike. And with each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites. Here is but one humble fan's take on each season of one of the greatest feats in television's history.

Television

Why Isn't HBO's 'Girls' Called 'Rich Losers'?

Despite its intentions, Girls simply can't be a reflection of creator Lena Dunham's multicultural, multiracial, downwardly mobile generation -- the characters are too white, too wealthy, and most damningly, too insular and incurious about the world beyond them.

Inkoo Kang
Television

In Defense of David Simon and the Legacy of 'The Wire'

In light of David Simon's recent comments on its intent to 'stir actual shit', we revisit how important The Wire should be.

Television

'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.

Reviews

'Bored to Death: The Complete Second Season' Is Anything but Boring

Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis share incredible chemistry as they struggle with success, failure, and substance abuse.

Reviews

Drawn Together: Cornell's "Demon Knights" and the Ideal of Camelot

In Demon Knights Paul Cornell not only dramatizes the idea of Camelot, but exquisitely reenacts it at one of the oldest comicbook publishers.

Reviews
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