I Don’t Care About ‘Game of Thrones’

This Sunday, the finale of the seventh season of Game of Thrones will air on HBO. Millions of fans, seemingly half of them employed as episode re-cappers for various media outlets, will tune in to see how it ends. Will Jon Snow reclaim the throne of Gondor? Will Westeros unite against the Witch-King? Will Daenerys … Continued


We Need ‘Confederate’ to Remind Us that Not Everything Bad is Slavery

“Because, for some, the Confederacy isn’t alt-history. It’s right now.” That’s how an activist who goes by the Twitter handle @ReignofApril explained her reason for organizing a protest against a new HBO series. The show, which is called Confederate, takes as its premise an alternative history in which the South seceded from the Union and … Continued


Instead of ‘Confederate’, HBO Should Make a Miniseries about Communism

HBO is planning a series, Confederate, whose premise is a dystopian America in which the South won the Civil War. Despite having not yet begun production, Confederate has been widely criticized, with critics such as Roxanne Gray calling the show “slavery fan fiction.” The problem isn’t the show’s premise, however, it’s the historical period the … Continued


Oprah, Henrietta Lacks and the Little Red Hen

Michael Finkel is a writer in Montana who read the news on his smartphone one morning and came across an intriguing story. Police in Maine had arrested the elusive Sasquatch of a man known as the “North Pond hermit,” a loner suspected in more than 1,000 burglaries over a quarter of a century. While thousands … Continued


Thank God ‘Girls’ is Finally Over

How can we go on without Girls? The HBO dramedy did more than chronicle the lives of four twenty-something women living in Brooklyn. It spoke to us. The travails of these remarkable Millennials showcased the fears and joys we all face today, no matter our demographic. Their pain was our pain. Or so breathless media … Continued


Should You Watch ‘The Young Pope’? Nope

The great Catholic writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton once said, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” I wonder what Old Chesterton would think of the latest effort from HBO, The Young Pope, a show that, judging by its first few episodes, is neither funny nor a test of … Continued

Entertainment, Television

HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Asks: Can Robots Be Moral?

In HBO’s new series Westworld, the robots challenge the humans to moral and physical combat—and you might be surprised by who wins. Based upon Michael Crichton’s 1973 film, Westworld tells the story of a futuristic theme park where visitors pay to play dress-up in a fabricated landscape made to look like a cattle town in the … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Politics and Pirouettes in ‘Bolshoi Babylon’

“There aren’t many brands that represent Russia. One is the Bolshoi. The other is the Kalashnikov.” So intones the narrator at the beginning of Bolshoi Babylon, a new documentary airing on HBO that attempts to tell the story of how the artistic director of one of Russia’s most renowned ballet institutions came to have sulfuric … Continued