Tag Archives: TV

20 Minutes into the Future, Week 6 Vint 1117

Superheroes and TV IV: Possibilities and pitfalls of contemporary television

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THE TERM TVIII has been used in television studies to describe the state of television in the 21st century. This third state of television comes after TVI, the origins of the medium in a few broadcast networks whose programming was limited to certain times of day, and after TVII, the period of deregulation and expanded […]


20 Minutes into the Future, Week 5 Dracula-poster-

Steampunk Dracula

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SCIENCE FICTION television this season continues to work through the anxieties of our contemporary moment in coded ways, from Revolution’s staging of another civil war in the battle between the “patriots” and the United States (although, confusingly, these patriots are those opposed to the ethos enacted by the Patriot Act); to Arrow’s defense of the […]


Dear Television, The Good Wife, Week 6 PetersenDearTV.cached

There Will Be Peplum: On the Television Uniform

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Dear Television, WHEN I WAS YOUNG, my favorite show was Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are many reasons for this love, but chief among them was the uniforms. I loved how legible they were: how you saw a color, and a number of pips on the collar, and you immediately knew what that person did […]

Dear Television, The Good Wife, Week 6 GoodWife

The Fastest Show on TV: On The Good Wife

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A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, in this very column, I made an off-hand claim that The Good Wife is “the best show on television.” I’m certainly not alone in this belief, and the veritable Chumhum Army that came out of the twittersphere to co-sign it is proof. If I wanted to voice a controversial belief, I would […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Snake

You Won’t Read This Review of “Masters of Sex”: The Problem of Episodic Criticism

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I WANT TO TALK with you about Masters of Sex. I want to talk about Michael Sheen’s acting, Lizzy Caplan’s costuming, and the friction between its serial and series elements. I want to tell you that the weepy, one-dimensional wife got, at least temporarily, less weepy, and that the show, for its initial resistance to […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Loofbourow_DTV_Masters_MG_Orig

Sex and the Slightly Unreliable Narrator

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Dear TV, I’D HOPED Masters of Sex would resist following Mad Men down the sepia brick road to the land of overburdened flashbacks, and so far so good; five episodes in, it seems to have a comparatively sane relationship to its past. So far we’ve met Mr. Johnson and the original Mrs. Masters. Mather Zickel’s George Johnson […]


20 Minutes into the Future, Week 4 outcasts

One Season Wonders: “Outcasts” and “Terra Nova”

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by Jonathan Alexander ONE OF THE PLEASURES of TV these days is the Netflixable delight of watching entire seasons in a weekend. You might have to wait till the series is done to binge properly, but the bingeing is sometimes worth the wait. And the complexity of the long TV narrative is better appreciated, in […]


Dear Television, Horror, Week 4 Hitch

Ambivalent about Horror

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Dear Television, TO LOVE HORROR is to love genre. As Annie’s piece on abjection and Phil’s on “Hellmouth” (new meme, anymore?) have both pointed out, discussions of horror very often lead to categorization. Whether in defining the psychoanalytical underpinnings of horror’s affective range or in noting the types of tropes that converge in horror narratives, […]


Dear Television, Horror, Week 4 Maicak_Sleepy

Greetings from Hellmouth, U.S.A.

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Dear Television, THE THING ABOUT American Horror Story is not just its insanity or its abjection or its politics or its provocations — it’s how much of it there is!  As such, the list becomes a common feature of essays about the show, including our own. We don’t write about the monsters; we write about the […]

Dear Television, Horror, Week 4 AHS

The Exquisite Repulsion of “American Horror Story”: An Essay on Abjection

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Dear Television, An African-American albino. A 200 year old woman who looks 45. A vagina that destroys all that enters it. A MINOTAUR. This is the stuff of abjection, and American Horror Story: Coven is overflowing with it. You hear that word — abject — and think of something done horribly, wretchedly. In Coven’s premiere, the Supreme […]