Shonda Rhimes’ New Habit? Nuns

ABC has just bought a new series from Shonda Rhimes—whose Shondaland production company has created such hit shows as Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder—on nuns. Yes, nuns. Something in Variety‘s announcement of Ms. Rhimes’s latest venture makes me think the show isn’t going to be much like PBS’s endearing Call the … Continued

Entertainment, Movies, Television

Devaluing Life on ‘Scandal’

Patients expect to be treated for their ailments without question on Grey’s Anatomy. They don’t even realize how lucky they are, because on Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, which airs immediately afterward, those same patients would have to justify their lives before anyone saved them. If anyone decided to help at all. This raises questions for viewers: … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Television

Death Comes for McDreamy

We are all hopeless romantics. In spite of several waves of feminism and endless assurances that American women can live our best lives solo, it seems many of us still want the guy. At least, the millions of women who are Grey’s Anatomy fans still want an ideal catch like Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd, known affectionately … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Jane, the (Charming, Pregnant) Virgin

Imagine a show about the adventures of a young, comely virgin. Doubt it’d exist? Jane the Virgin, adapted from a Venezuelan telenovela, is a new CW abshow that’s original, affable, and surprisingly respectful of religious believers. The show offers a new twist on traditional mores—provocatively and comically—asking: What happens when the wrong woman is artificially … Continued

Entertainment, 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

Why We’ll Miss Dr. Cristina Yang

Tonight the doctors at Seattle Grace will wrap up their tenth season on the ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy.  One of the surgeons, Cristina Yang (played by Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh), will be exiting the show at the finale.   Oh’s character has been an integral part of the drama since its beginning, along with Drs. … Continued

Entertainment, Television

On TV, Is Nasty More Compelling Than Nice?

Is nastiness more dramatically compelling than niceness? I wondered about that recently as I considered my TV watching habits. A number of my regular TV dramas have been on an extended winter break, and their absence has not made my heart grow fonder. In fact, I’ve realized that I can live quite comfortably without them. … Continued

Entertainment, Television

TV Moms Can’t Have It All Either

We watch TV to escape. Yet sometimes, TV writers borrow from reality, and that can be surprisingly satisfying because it speaks directly to challenges in our own lives. In recent episodes of Parenthood and Grey’s Anatomy, both Julia Braverman-Graham and Meredith Grey have struggled with the realities of modern motherhood, and that pesky question about whether … Continued

Entertainment, Television

What’s the Point of Having a Real Wedding?

Forget about having a big wedding. We should all just elope. So argues Torie Bosch in Slate, explaining why she chose to tie the knot with her husband the quick and dirty way, rather than having a formal ceremony. She writes: The obvious reason to elope is the money. Over the summer, Brides magazine reported that, even … Continued

Culture, Television

Pics of the Week: TV’s Tortured Virgins

This is what virginity looks like on television: TV writer Willa Paskin has a good piece over at Salon about TV’s tortured virgins: “Shame-free virginity: not currently a fictional TV offering.”  True, but what’s interesting about the three virgins she covers is how they react to the “shame” of being a virgin. Two of TV’s … Continued

Culture, Television