Category Archive: Television

Apr 15 2014

Some Thoughts on Beauty and Ownership

jaguar xke in mad men

“At last, something beautiful you can truly own.” This is the fictional tagline that Sterling Cooper Draper Price comes up with for the Jaguar ad campaign in “Mad Men.” (It’s in the episode The Other Woman — warning, synopsis has spoilers. Yes, I’m re-watching old episodes, it’s getting me caught up on where we are …

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Nov 25 2013

“Is He Gay or Straight?” Bisexual Eradication in “Modern Family”

modern family poster

In the last few weeks, I’ve started intermittently watching the TV show “Modern Family.” There’s a certain amount that I like about it, as well as a certain amount that I don’t. (Often the case with fluffy mainstream-ish pop-culture entertainment. I want it to divert and distract me, but it often winds up annoying me …

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May 15 2013

“Mad Men,” and How Kink Gets Used as a Marker of Evil — or Damage

Mad Men Don

I want to talk about “Mad Men.” I want to talk about how kinky sex and sadomasochism get used in pop culture as narrative markers to show, either how evil a character is, or how damaged a character is. And I want to beseech the producers of pop culture to please, please, knock it the …

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Apr 30 2013

Blogathon for SSA Week: “Mad Men,” “Homicide,” and What We Want From TV

mad men

This post continues my leg of the Blogathon for SSA Week! From now until 9pm PDT, I will write one new blog post every hour. Plus, for every $100 raised during that time, I will post one new picture of our cats! And all donations will be matched by SSA Supporters Jeff Hawkins and Janet …

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Mar 25 2013

Runway Recap: “I’m Not Here to Make Friends”

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 9 Michelle 1

“I’m not here to make friends.” If you’ve ever watched any competition reality show, you’ve almost certainly heard this line. There’s even a YouTube video montage of dozens of reality show contestants saying the damn thing. More than one. This week, on Project Runway, it was Richard’s turn to utter these timeless words. And it …

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Mar 18 2013

Runway Recap: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 8 Daniel and Patricia

How do you make men look sexy? This week’s Project Runway challenge: Make performance wear for the Thunder From Down Under male stripper group. It was a difficult challenge for a lot of reasons: making men’s wear is always hard on designers who mostly make women’s wear, what with the different body shapes and all. …

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Mar 14 2013

Runway Recap: But What Do You Mean By “Prom Dress”?

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 7 Amanda and Michelle 1

There’s this basic problem with certain design challenges: on Project Runway, and in life. The problem is when people don’t give you clear specifications for what they want — and then judge you for not having accomplished it. This week’s PR challenge (okay, last week’s, I was on a speaking tour last week and only …

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Mar 04 2013

Runway Recap: Aging Out

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 6 Patricia

So since last week’s Runway Recap was all about one of my most loaded, most complicated, most compelling fashion topics — namely, fashion and size — I suppose it’s only fair that this week’s should hit one of my other gigantic hot buttons: Fashion and age. For this season’s “real woman” challenge (serious air-quotes, I …

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Feb 26 2013

Comedy Does Not Win a Free Pass: Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars


I am sick to death of the idea that “it’s just comedy” somehow gives you a free pass when you’re saying things that are racist and sexist. And I am sick to death of the idea that any transgression of social norms — no matter what those norms are, or why they exist — automatically …

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Feb 25 2013

Runway Recap: Sizing It Up

Project Runway Episode 11 Season 5 Benjamin

If you’re going to design clothes for a bigger woman, you need to use a bigger dress form. And you need to showcase them on bigger models. Period. I mostly liked this episode. I think the “teams” concept is working out well, way the hell better than I’d expected. I was worried that when the …

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