Was the Dexter Series Finale Bloody Enough?

All long-running serials experience creative ups and downs, but perhaps no series' merits have been more passionately debated — and called into question — than Showtime's Dexter. There's no denying the show's powerful early seasons...or is there? After last year's, uh, controversial series finale, the whole series was… » 6/30/14 12:00pm 6/30/14 12:00pm

Discuss Your Feels for Amy Schumer, Comedy Powerhouse

When Women Who Kill premiered on Showtime in 2013, Amy Schumer was not the massive comedic presence she is today. It was just weeks before Comedy Central premiered the first season of Inside Amy Schumer, but already the buzz surrounding the sketch series was absurd. Two seasons, 20 episodes and dozens of profoundly… » 6/27/14 12:00pm 6/27/14 12:00pm

Now That Louie Is Over, Discuss Louis C.K.'s Comedic Evolution

So you probably want to talk about Louie. To process, as it were. We'll get to that, but in the meantime a prescription for dealing with your loss of the show: Live at the Beacon Theater. Louis C.K. has been a comedy game-changer this season, but sometimes it's important to look back as we look forward. » 6/20/14 12:00pm 6/20/14 12:00pm

Is The Religious Extremism of Jesus Camp Alive and Well in 2014?

The seminal 2006 documentary Jesus Camp is a look into the religious education of children in the born-again Christian community during the mid 2000s, but it's also an important portrayal of a fearful and confusing time for the nation. Watching the documentary in 2014, it comes across almost like a dramatic… » 6/18/14 12:00pm 6/18/14 12:00pm

How Will the Design of Ordinary Objects Change As the World Evolves?

If creating products for mass consumption sounds simple or artless, think again. Gary Hustwit's 2009 feature documentary, Objectified, tackles the design of everyday objects, from furniture to iPhones to cars, and asks probing questions about everything from their fabrication to the validity of their very existence. » 6/13/14 12:00pm 6/13/14 12:00pm

No Need to Fly to Tokyo to Learn (Some) of Jiro's Sushi Secrets

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a foodist's wet dream. The documentary features more than an hour of breathtaking shots of raw fish, sliced and prepared so meticulously that it makes all the sushi you've ever consumed seem like worthless mush. It's truly glorious. It is also a document of one man's peerless skill and… » 6/06/14 12:00pm 6/06/14 12:00pm

Did a Single Episode of Sherlock Change the Whole Show's Trajectory?

It's no surprise BBC's Sherlock has taken off the way it has: the mysteries are delectable, the setting simultaneously sleek and cozy, and the bromance simmering. The show's viewers have gone from fans to having super-fans, to mega-fans, over the course of its run, that is, until the series two finale when things,… » 6/04/14 12:00pm 6/04/14 12:00pm

Cutie and the Boxer Is a Portrait Of Struggle From Tokyo To NYC

At the heart of the 2014 Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer is not just the story of a strained and complicated marriage between two artists, but a depiction of the difficulties faced by anyone trying to eke out a living from a career in art, and the exhausting pressures of trying to achieve success. » 6/04/14 12:00pm 6/04/14 12:00pm

Who is the Smartest of the Pretty Little Liars?

Pretty Little Liars is the best show your 14-year old cousin is watching that you should be, too. With its mix of Twin Peaks-style suspense and peak Gossip Girl-level drama, it's easily one of the most compelling, marathon-worthy shows making you stay up way past your bedtime (even though you don't have one, because… » 5/16/14 12:00pm 5/16/14 12:00pm

Could Aziz Ansari Be the Wisest 30-Year-Old Alive?

He's best known to mainstream audiences as the scene-stealing Tom Haverford on NBC's Parks and Recreation, but it was Aziz Ansari's stand-up comedy that got him to Pawnee, not to mention an impressive smattering of film roles and — what?! — that three-second cameo in a Kanye West and Jay-Z video. » 5/14/14 12:06pm 5/14/14 12:06pm

For All Mankind Gives You Even More Reasons to Love Mick Foley

Mick Foley — also known as Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love — was a prolific wrestler, commissioner of the WWE (from 2000-2001), and is now a formidable philanthropist (and die-hard Tori Amos fan). If you love Mick Foley, you know all this already. But do you know the most endearing aspects of the nicest man in… » 5/09/14 12:00pm 5/09/14 12:00pm

Are Bronies Doing Their Part To Redefine Masculinity?

Maybe you've heard of Bronies, a worldwide community of grown-up (and teenage) men who get super into the updated, vaguely insectoid incarnation of the '80s cartoon My Little Pony. The Bronies come together at conferences, where they're able to bro out over topics like "cutie marks," discuss "The Elements of Harmony"… » 5/02/14 12:00pm 5/02/14 12:00pm

​Did Twin Peaks Solve Its Central Mystery Too Soon?

Twenty-five years after captivating (and confounding) a nation, the influence and effect of David Lynch's Twin Peaks runs deep. TV shows centered around a single mystery? Thank Twin Peaks for that. Small towns populated by eccentrics? Twin Peaks again. Dramas that mix absurdist humor with nightmare imagery? Yeah, you… » 5/02/14 12:00pm 5/02/14 12:00pm

How Much Do You Miss The Rose-Tinted Idealism of The West Wing?

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The West Wing was very much of its time. It premiered at the tail end of the Clinton administration, and reached its cultural zenith at the end of a decade of peacetime for America. What happened in the interim — and even more-so in the early seasons of the show — was a much more rose-tinted version of American… » 4/28/14 12:00pm 4/28/14 12:00pm

Strongman Shows the Flawed Vision of 'The Strongest Man In The World'

"You can bend chains and you can bend bars, but you can't bend people." That's the thesis statement for Strongman, the moving and intimate cinema verité documentary about Stanley "Stanless Steel" Pleskun, the self-proclaimed "Strongest Man in the World at Bending Steel and Metal." » 4/25/14 1:30pm 4/25/14 1:30pm

Top of the Lake: Feminist Masterpiece or Revenge-Fantasy Reimagined?

When a certain detective drama became a water cooler hit earlier this year, it didn't take long before people noticed its glaring lack of three-dimensional women. The girl-in-a-bodybag trope has been around for as long as detective genre itself, but it's only recently that viewers have begun to object to the cliché. » 4/23/14 12:00pm 4/23/14 12:00pm

20 Feet from Stardom Brings Backup Singers into the Spotlight

In this year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary, we watch Darlene Love recount the first time she heard, "He's Sure the Boy I Love," a song that she recorded after signing with Phil Spector as a solo artist, on the radio. "I'm tootling down the street and I hear the DJ on the radio and he said, 'the new song by The… » 4/17/14 12:00pm 4/17/14 12:00pm

Girls to the Front! The Punk Singer and How Riot Grrrl Changes Lives

The first time I heard musician and Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna sing, "We want revolution…girl-style noooowwww," I was 16 years old, living deep in the suburbs listening to the Bikini Kill cassette a friend's younger sister had dubbed for me. The year was 1993, and the sound of that band cracked my world wide… » 4/16/14 12:00pm 4/16/14 12:00pm

The Great Don Debate: Discuss the Greatness of Mad Men's Anti-Hero

He wears a suit like Cary Grant, can make a room of grown men tear up over a slide projector, and he does not want your "Zou Bisou Bisou." He's Don Draper, the adman everyone loves to hate and hates to love. (Caution: there are a couple of spoilers in this post.) » 4/14/14 12:00pm 4/14/14 12:00pm