‘Zoo’ is the Zombie Apocalypse–But with Animals

I like to imagine that Zoo was a concept—zombie apocalypse, but with animals!—dreamed up by an intern. He fed this basic idea into whatever machine churns out “James Patterson” novels, and, voilà, a bestseller was born! If you haven’t heard of the book, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the television show: a so-bad-it’s-good … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Was America More Diverse in the 1950s?

In the last sixty years America has become a more tolerant country. But has it become more diverse? In terms of race, the answer is yes. There is greater visibility for minorities, and interracial marriage has produced younger generations that tend to see people and personalities and not color. This is a singular accomplishment, the … Continued


The Show That Doesn’t Quite “Master” Sex

Did you know that, in the 1950s, people were sexually repressed? That many married men were closeted homosexuals? That others frequented prostitutes? That many women did not achieve orgasm during sex? That there were . . . taboos? Making a respectable science out of these ideas was the groundbreaking work, beginning six decades ago, of … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Sense8’s Sensibility

Before we get started, I’d just like to take a moment to introduce myself and lay out how things will work here over the next few weeks. I’m the executive editor of, and film critic for, the Washington Free Beacon. Over the next five weeks or so, I’m going to be recapping a couple of … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Enough is Enough: ‘Mad Men’ and the Purpose of Consumption

Being a show about advertising, Mad Men was always a show about consumer capitalism. And being a thoughtful show about consumer capitalism, Mad Men was always a show preoccupied with the question “When is enough—money, sex, power, consumption—enough?” What is the purpose, the end, the terminus of consumption? Of course it is happiness. But what … Continued

Entertainment, Television

In Defense of Spoilers and Lackluster Finales

In our sophisticated age of eugenics and smart phones, in this progressive, modern era of hedonism and moral relativism, the one great sin left is to talk about a popular film or television series before someone within earshot of your comment or Tweet has seen the piece of art in question. If this is one … Continued

Entertainment, Movies, Television

‘Cheers’ Actor: Bring Back Shop Class to Teach Self-Reliance

There was a time, before college became accessible to all and the computer revolution transformed our economy, when all American schoolboys were required to take shop class (the girls took home ec.). But today, “shop class is dead,” declares Forbes, “and so are the potential tradespeople that would be born out of that early exposure … Continued


Where Are Television’s Good Dads?

Where are the men? In the Father Knows Best era, we could assume they were in (nearly) every home with a wife and child. As David Frum referenced in his recent, provocative Atlantic article, that’s no longer the case: As the wages of non-college-educated men have tumbled, marriage has looked like an increasingly pointless and … Continued

Entertainment, Parenting, Television

Is ‘Sharknado 2’ the Future of Television?

Last week was the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One, the much-anticipated sequel to last summer’s campy hit TV movie Sharknado about a freak tornado sucking sharks out of the ocean and dropping them like kamikazes into Los Angeles. For those who found the popularity of both Syfy channel schlockfests to be a sign … Continued

Entertainment, Movies, Television

When Did TV Get So Dark and Twisted?

Remember when popular television was light and fun? Shows like Friends, Sex and the City, and Seinfeld weren’t exactly clean, but they weren’t dark and twisted. They were funnier than they were sad; and they were mostly about friendships, communities, and relationships. E! Online made a list of the top 20 series of the last … Continued

Entertainment, Television