‘Bob’s Burgers’ and Hollywood’s Problem with Thanksgiving

It happens every year; stores are covered in red and green Christmas decorations before Halloween celebrations even start. Commercialism overtakes commonsense. I don’t know if the early saturation of Christmas décor works for sales since it actually seems to make everyone mad, but it seems to happen earlier and earlier every year. And yet, I … Continued


Does Television Finally Understand Catholic Culture?

For most of entertainment history, Catholics seemed to only find their way on-screen if they were dressed in black. Perhaps because of that unpopular lifestyle called celibacy, religious men and women have always been a point of curiosity in the mainstream. From Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess to Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act to Netflix’s latest … Continued


In Defense of HGTV

A recent article in New York magazine by Caitlin Flanagan—”The Ugliness Behind HGTV’s Never-Ending Fantasy Loop“—argues that HGTV is ruining the country by foisting a whitewashed, unrealistic, chauvinistic, tacky version of American life on an unwitting public that is unwittingly marching toward another housing bubble. Norman Rockwell, meet Noam Chomsky: HGTV was the third-most-popular network … Continued


The Emmys are a Symptom of a Dying Common Culture

Donald Trump was the star of Sunday Night’s Emmy Awards. The Apprentice wasn’t nominated for anything this year and he wasn’t physically at the theater, but the people who were there couldn’t stop protesting him, poking fun at him, even singing about him. Alec Baldwin won an award for portraying him on Saturday Night Live—and … Continued


Why I’m Done with “The Walking Dead”

I’ve been a loyal and devoted fan of the hit AMC TV series The Walking Dead since the very first episode. I’ve even hosted viewing parties for my friends so we can share the thrills and adventure of the show. The Season Six finale (“Last Day On Earth”) was tough to watch, with its cliffhanger … Continued


‘Chef’s Table’ and the Virtues of Limits

“When he considers a turnip, it’s like he’s falling in love.” That passion for turnips sets Chef Alain Passard apart from his peers in the world of haute cuisine. Fine French cooking revolves around meat, and the produce-forward menu at Passard’s Arpège in Paris seems to be its own storming of the Bastille. The first … Continued


Why TV Networks Respond Badly to Real-Life Tragedies

For the folks who produce violent and ripped-from-the-headlines television shows, recent events have made life tougher than usual. USA Network, for example, announced that it was delaying the premiere of a new show starring Ryan Phillipe. “In light of recent tragic events and out of respect for the victims, their families and our viewers, we … Continued


The Lonely Parent

In a recent letter to syndicated advice columnist Carolyn Hax, a mother wrote, “Growing up, there were zero boundaries about what movies and TV I could watch—content or amount. This was really, really not good for me. I have created lots of boundaries around these things [for my kids], but I always feel like I’m … Continued

Parenting, The Lonely Parent