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

Fakery on the Fourth of July

The annual Independence Day celebration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., draws large crowds, an eclectic group of performers, and international media coverage. For years, the Public Broadcasting Service has televised the festival as a special live show called “A Capitol Fourth,” the highlight of which is the massive fireworks display that begins as darkness … Continued

Culture




A Kinder, Gentler British Empire?

In this age of identity politics, multiculturalism, and Western self-flagellation, anyone making a British television series about the twilight years of imperial rule in India faces an obvious dilemma. If the show offers a nuanced, evenhanded depiction of the colonial experience, it risks being accused of whitewashing racism and exploitation. Yet if it paints the … Continued

Entertainment, Television



Ben Affleck’s Family Shame

Ben Affleck is ashamed of his family history. And so he used his clout to persuade PBS to cover it up. The PBS series Finding Your Roots is a show hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that seeks to “get into the DNA of the American culture.” Gates interviews celebrities and explores their … Continued

Culture