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Preoccupations: Painting Ponds or Hiding Sea Monsters?

Preoccupations: Painting Ponds or Hiding Sea Monsters?

In The Crown’s retelling of British history, we find Winston Churchill having his portrait painted by the royal family’s artist Graham Sutherland. Though the show’s writers have surely taken liberties to imagine how these more intimate moments would have gone, they present a scene that is a poignant depiction of how profoundly art can function […]

On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

When Jason and I dated, we bonded over a variety of shared interests, but our favorites were the holy trinity of tapas, Jesus, and camp horror. The two of us were among the dozen viewers who kept Harper’s Island on the air for an entire season. (He figured out who the killer was by the […]

<i>Maniac:</i> Saved by an Easy-to-Swallow Capsule

Maniac: Saved by an Easy-to-Swallow Capsule

This one comes to us from Ethan T. Perkins. My latest binge-watching series on Netflix was nothing I intended to watch. I had heard a few mentions via Twitter about Netflix’s latest psychological thriller/comedy, but it was not on my list of things I was waiting to start. I saw the trailer completely by mistake. […]

The Strange Absurdity of Scorekeeping in <i>The Good Place</i>

The Strange Absurdity of Scorekeeping in The Good Place

A bonzer contribution from one Sam Guthrie: With seasons 1 and 2 of NBC’s The Good Place streaming on Netflix, Kristen Bell and gang bring the laughs with the show’s expository mirror reflecting the religiosity of our modern world. The Good Place follows the adventure of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) as she navigates her existence […]

Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Waiting, of any kind, is generally just stupid. We can all agree on this. We are on the same page here: I don’t like waiting, you don’t like waiting, nobody likes to wait. We want what we want, and we want it yesterday. Veruca Salt got this (“give it to me noooow”), and so did […]

Lance Armstrong's Moving Finish Line

Lance Armstrong’s Moving Finish Line

Where were you in 2012 when Lance Armstrong confessed his steroid sins to St. Oprah? Did you immediately take off your 2004 (!) Livestrong wristband and trash it, or did you simply let it fall behind the bedroom dresser? Was it the talk of your town, or did it just confirm your lack of interest […]

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

A shining example from our Humor Issue, here’s an essay about rude puppets (and love, and death). You can order the magazine, or subscribe here. The most inappropriate show that has ever aired in the history of TV is Wonder Showzen. It’s amazing that the show survived MTV2 for two whole seasons, from 2005 to […]

Getting to Know Fred

Getting to Know Fred

My childhood memories involving Mr. Rogers were probably pretty average for kids my age; he was the nice storyteller that my parents trusted enough to give full control over our afternoon TV; his show always moving at a infuriatingly slow walking pace, with enriching guests like Yo-Yo Ma and other musicians showing up to uphold […]

J.C. Now Stands for Jesse Custer: Season 2 of AMC’s <i>Preacher</i>

J.C. Now Stands for Jesse Custer: Season 2 of AMC’s Preacher

This is going to be a hard sell,” was my first thought after rewatching season 2 of AMC’s Preacher in preparation for this. It’s a graphically violent show to begin with, but the scene where Jesus and a woman are engaged in a rather enthusiastic, acrobatic, even impressive act of coition, there’s just not much […]

Nine Rules From Chris Pratt, Generation Award Winner

File this under unexpected! Some inspired misdirection from the soon-to-be-appointed Youth Minister General of the United States, Burt Macklin Starlord himself, ht HE:

The Best of Us, "The Americans," Might Be Russian…

The Best of Us, “The Americans,” Might Be Russian…

What’s more important? Figuring out who we serve? Or figuring out whose we are? True confession: I’m not moved much to action or opinion regarding our current political landscape. (This is not a political post; for that to be so, it would presuppose that I much care.) Mid-term primaries in our troubled times don’t interest […]

Six Times <i>Seinfeld</i> Illustrated Theological Dynamics

Six Times Seinfeld Illustrated Theological Dynamics

Another peek at our recent Humor Issue (which we’re starting to run low on — grab yours before it sells out…!): We all have a list of our favorite Seinfeld episodes. Mine are mainly clustered around seasons five and six (The Puffy Shirt, The Lip Reader, The Marine Biologist), with a special affection for season nine’s […]