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FARGO, TRUE DETECTIVE, JUSTIFIED, RECTIFY and the Construction of the American Small Town, Part II

In Part One of this essay, I was pretty tough on Fargo and True Detective, accusing them of an absence of imagination, and generosity, in their approach to small-town and rural life. Perhaps I should heed my own call for generosity, however.
  • By Spencer Short
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  • August 6, 2014 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

FARGO, TRUE DETECTIVE, JUSTIFIED, RECTIFY and the Construction of the American Small Town (Part I)

At some point in the second half of the twentieth century, the way in which we think about the American small town, its particular brand of community and stability, began to shift.
  • By Spencer Short
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  • July 17, 2014 6:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: White Knights and Bad People

It’s exhausting as a woman to constantly see the female body on the brink of violation. I’m tired of the voicelessness of those bodies, by the fact that we still need to spread awareness about how horrible sexual assault actually is.
  • By Arielle Bernstein and Serena Bramble
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  • June 18, 2014 4:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Louis C.K. On Rape: Why Are We Listening to Him, and No One Else?

Why are we paying so much attention to Louis C.K.’s attitudes towards women and rape while ignoring women who have expressed the same sentiments for years?
  • By Allison Blythe
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  • June 9, 2014 11:56 AM
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  • 22 Comments

Of Literary Television, and the Damage Done

You can’t absorb the “smart” part of a series—the cross-references, the character layers, etc.—and not somehow absorb the part of that series more commonly considered abhorrent. And if this is the case, what’s the cumulative affect of all of this absorption, of all of these hours spent binge-watching?
  • By Max Winter
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  • May 28, 2014 5:46 AM
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  • 7 Comments

On Louis C.K., “Fat,” “Not Fat,” and the Importance of Holding Hands

“You know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? That ‘you’re not fat.’”
  • By Kathleen Brennan
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  • May 19, 2014 12:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Fatal Riddles: HANNIBAL and the Figure of the Serial Killer in Contemporary Television

Why our fascination with "intelligent psychopaths" and serial killers? It's certainly true that there's an audience for gratuitous and/or sadistic violence. The killers are almost invariably white men directing violence (frequently sexual) against "helpless" victims, typically women. But there must be some further appeal.
  • By Spencer Short
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  • May 15, 2014 2:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Days Like Lost Dogs: In Support of Loose Ends in Procedurals from TWIN PEAKS to TOP OF THE LAKE

Television has evolved since the 1980s to accept that audiences can handle more than simple resolution, but why is it too much to ask that viewers push past the need for any resolution at all?
  • By Amy Woolard
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  • April 21, 2014 1:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Hannah Horvath from GIRLS Is the Last Thing the Iowa Writers' Workshop Needs

By sending Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) off to Iowa City for two years at the Writer's Workshop, HBO's "Girls" is giving not just the Workshop but the discipline of creative writing in general exactly what it doesn't need: a bad rap.
  • By Seth Abramson
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  • March 31, 2014 3:54 AM
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  • 20 Comments

13 Ways in Which RED RIDING Can Satisfy Your Jones for TRUE DETECTIVE

So how are you going to quench that thirst for a tall glass of hardboiled noir topped with a side order of pedophile rings, smothered in police corruption until Season 2 of "True Detective"—if there is one? Try "Red Riding," based on David Peace’s books, "The Red-Riding Quartet."
  • By Jennifer L. Knox
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  • March 10, 2014 1:17 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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