Why We Need to Bring Back Archie Bunker

Comedy as social commentary is nothing new. You can go back to the days of Jonathan Swift, who wrote the outrageous, “A Modest Proposal,” as a means of bringing attention to the poor Irish. Comedians such as Lenny Bruce were doing it in the 1960’s with their standup comedy – touching on issues such as … Continued

Entertainment, Television


What “Black-ish” Gets Right About Trump Voters

Just a week before the inauguration, the country is still raw with post-election angst. While non-Trump-supporting Republicans have had since the summer to reach a point of acceptance, Hillary voters have had far less time. While losing a primary race is different than losing a general election, non-Trump-voting Republicans were forced to face the fact … Continued

Entertainment, Television


Five Life Lessons from ‘The Brady Bunch’

It only fits that Florence Henderson of The Brady Bunch passed away on Thanksgiving. Described almost universally as the “upbeat” mom of the hit series, her death came on a holiday long-revered by Americans for its emphasis on family—although, post-election, this Thanksgiving didn’t have the most Brady Bunch feel to it. As my family made … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why Portland is Getting Sick of “Portlandia”

Walk down Hawthorne Street in Portland, Oregon, and it’s as if you’ve stepped onto the set of the hit TV show Portlandia. You walk past punks smoking pot on the sidewalk, trendy bars and coffeehouses, and shops full of Central Asian prayer ornaments. The men have beards and the women have dyed hair. A Starbucks … Continued

Entertainment, Television

The Diversity Police and the ‘Black-ish’ Conundrum

The creator of the ABC comedy series Black-ish, Kenya Barris, is tired of us asking him questions about race and entertainment. Let that sink in for a minute. From Variety: ABC’s Black-ish has been praised for its portrayal of an African-American family. But series creator Kenya Barris worries that the focus on that family’s race has overshadowed … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Good Values, Great Entertainment: Garry Marshall, RIP

Garry Marshall passed away yesterday at the age of eighty-one. Over the course of fifty-six years in Hollywood, he was one of the most influential people in show business and—this is the real rarity—always a force for good. Marshall began his career in old Hollywood. He wrote jokes for Jack Paar and Joey Bishop while … Continued

Celebrities

The Unbreakable Moral Relativism of Modern Sitcoms

“Kimmy, we have a wonderful thing here in New York called moral relativism.” Those are the words of Lillian, an older woman (and landlord) who functions as a mentor to Kimmy Schmidt, the heroine of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, Kimmy is a young woman still struggling … Continued

Entertainment, Television