Trumbo, a movie for all seasons, entertains and enriches in a troubled time

It’s easy to pass judgment on other people instead of remaining focused on the power of ideas. Keep that thought in mind — we’ll revisit it later in this piece. For now, though, remember this: Dalton Trumbo followed the road less traveled, sticking to the substance of his cause and not taking resistance personally. That central […]

Rectify: Where The World Is So Wrong, But The Television Is So Right

Nothing about the achingly beautiful television series Rectify needs to be rectified. The product doesn’t need any improvement; only the viewership totals do. What follows is more than just a review of season three of Rectify, which concluded this past Thursday; it’s an appreciation of a show which deserves (and, one could legitimately argue, demands) a far […]

Big Shoulders, Bigger Legacy: Jon Stewart Did More Than Make Us Laugh

No one needs to know my politics or the politics of any other person who writes about sports and entertainment for a living. That said, I feel compelled to say that after once being a rabid political partisan, I stepped out of a dualistic “Democrat-or-Republican” mindset at the start of this century. I dropped out […]

The Meaning of ‘Mad Men’: Why This Show Will Endure

What follows is less a television critique than a personal expression of what Mad Men has meant to me and others. It’s partly an appreciation of this show, whose first-run existence is now over, but it’s more an attempt to explain why this show can continue to be such a meaningful vehicle for conveying important […]

‘Mad Men’ Delivers a Finale Worthy of the Series

We start with a prelude of sorts, in this review of a finale: Is it possible to think too much about Mad Men? I’ve never thought so. Yet, as I began to think about how to shape the review of the final episode of this series, it dawned on me that I might have become part […]

The Great ‘Americans’: Season 3 Catapulted FX’s Drama To A Higher Level

Any television viewer who wants to be captured by a great dramatic series remembers the moment. What is the moment? It’s the point in time when a show makes that leap from “merely” being tremendously entertaining and well-crafted to something much more. The moment refers to an episode or a sequence when you realize that […]

Mad Men: One Year Left, A Lifetime Of Lessons

The full story of Mad Men, whose Breaking Bad-inspired “midseason finale” aired Sunday night on AMC, won’t be written for another year. Seven more episodes will close the book on a remarkable television series… and give rise to many books by those who have chronicled the show from the start. Looking back at the first […]