Why Tucker Carlson Should Investigate Bill O’Reilly and Fox News

The Bill O’Reilly problem at Fox News is getting worse. The network where O’Reilly’s show, The O’Reilly Factor, brings in hundreds of millions of dollars annually for Fox, has already paid out around thirteen million dollars to settle sexual harassment lawsuits. Now more than twenty advertisers have pulled out of the show, including Allstate, Mercedes-Benz … Continued

Culture, Television

Why is PBS Marketing the Brontë Sisters as Proto-Feminists?

At times it seems as if the only stories worth telling about women these days are those where women can be cast as warriors, trailblazers, radicals, or “hidden figures,” all of whom are fighting a singular common enemy: men. What these stories often achieve, unfortunately, is feminist biographies that lack the intricate complexities of the … Continued

Entertainment, Television

How Reality TV Turns Kids into Hyper-Consumers

The first time I went to look up a show on the website for Common Sense Media, I remember giggling to myself at the categories the website used to rate entertainment for kids. I was happy to see that the folks at Common Sense would tell me about the sexual content of the shows, not … Continued

Parenting, Television

Sex Education, Courtesy of ‘The Americans’

Strange to say, a cable drama about Soviet spies has gotten closer to the truth of American sex than the countless series that explicitly treat the topic have. In the season three finale of FX’s The Americans, which aired in 2015, viewers saw Philip and Elizabeth Jennings—outwardly a normal suburban couple, secretly ruthless spies—flash back … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why is ‘Sesame Street’s’ New Muppet with Autism a Girl?

Welcome Julia! Julia is Sesame Street’s new autistic character, and she will be making her debut in April, which is Autism Awareness Month, to seemingly universal approval from both parents and experts. Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, says that “they got it right.” Badesch, whose son has autism, was … Continued

Culture, Television

Love ‘The Americans’, But Resist Cold War Nostalgia

Not long after the Cold War ended, many Americans became nostalgic for it. In a November 1999 speech at Tufts University, for example, then–Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley declared: “Until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we were sure about one thing: We knew where we stood on foreign policy.” At the time, … Continued

Politics, Television

Mean Girl Scarlett Johansson Thinks Attacking Other Women is Funny. It’s Not.

When a young girl deliberately mocks and demeans another young girl, she’s seen as bullying and jealous—a mean girl. If an adult woman does the same, she’s considered unkind and insecure. But when actress Scarlett Johansson deliberately mocks and demeans Ivanka Trump, she’s called hilarious and ingenious, instantly praised as a “wickedly funny” feminist. It’s … Continued

Entertainment, Television

How “The Big Bang Theory” Solved the Wage Gap

In one of the greatest ironies of American cultural life, one of the only industries in which there exists an egregious and inexplicable wage gap is the uber-liberal entertainment industry. Thanks to whomever hacked Sony Pictures, it’s clear the problem affects both on-screen talent as well as staff members. There have been a great number … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why We Just Can’t Quit ‘The Bachelor’

The 21st season of The Bachelor premiered on January 2nd and will reach its conclusion next week after a saga of heartbreak, betrayal, vanity, and instantly-forged relationships. Doggedly pursuing a specific formula, the producers of the show have crafted a tight storyline and narrowed the contestants into simple characters who act predictably, making the show … Continued

Entertainment, Television