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Why Whit Stillman's Work Endures After All These Similar Movies: On THE COSMOPOLITANS

There are plenty of reasons not to watch "The Cosmopolitans." However, in a climate in which concepts are important in films and TV shows, and original concepts sell (and why shouldn’t they?), making work in which problems are local, dialogue is clever, and no one moves terribly quickly takes courage.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 30, 2014 1:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Cool of Science, from Bill Nye to David Rees

I’ve realized recently, and television creators are realizing this as well, that the ego, the lack of humility, at the heart of science itself gives the subject a distinctly cool quality. Confident. Retro. Universal.
  • By Mike Spry
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  • August 28, 2014 5:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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