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Showing posts from February, 2013

The Daily Beast: "ABC Family’s Switched at Birth ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest"

Almost 25 years to the day after the student protest at Gallaudet University began in 1988, ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ features a storyline about a deaf student uprising in an episode, airing March 4, that’s told almost entirely in American Sign Language. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Do Not Adjust Your TV: ABC Family’s Switched at Birth ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest," in which I offer praise of ABC Family's extraordinary Switched at Birth , which presents a nearly all-ASL episode on Monday, a landmark installment that connects both to Deaf culture/history and to the seminal 1988 Gallaudet student protests (DPN). Not to be missed. A generation has passed since the weeklong act of protest known as Deaf President Now, and its influence on deaf culture is likely a distant memory for the hearing community. That may change, however, thanks to a pivotal and landmark episode of ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, which will present a tel

The Daily Beast: "Southland: Television’s Most Underrated Drama"

TNT’s gripping police drama Southland is back for a fifth season, but hardly anyone’s tuning in. My take on television’s most criminally overlooked show. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Southland : Television’s Most Underrated Drama," in which I take a look at a superlative yet underrated drama: Southland , which returned last week for a fifth season. Why aren’t more of you watching Southland ? Created by Ann Biderman ( NYPD Blue ) and executive-produced by John Wells ( ER ), TNT’s uncompromising cop drama returned for a fifth season last week to only 1.16 million viewers, down 34 percent from last year. In a television season that has given us dreck like Zero Hour, Mob Doctor , and Do No Harm, Southland should be a hit. That it’s not is a shame, as Southland remains one of the most morally complex and insightful dramas on television today. It deftly juggles multiple crimes and incidents, as well as the private lives of these LAPD office

The Daily Beast: "Downton Abbey Crashes" (Or My Thoughts on the Controversial Season Finale)

My take on the frustrating finale of Downton Abbey , which ended its spectacular third season with heartbreak. WARNING: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Downton Abbey : Why Last Night’s Season Finale Has Fans Seeing Red," in which I offer my thoughts about the controversial Season 3 finale, which aired last night on PBS's Masterpiece Classic . He had to die. There was no other way for Dan Steven’s Matthew Crawley to leave Downton Abbey other than in a body bag. As the heir to the grand estate and the title, it would have been impossible for sensible, responsible Matthew to shirk his responsibilities and head to America to start a career on the New York stage, or—to borrow from Monarch of the Glen, a Scottish Highlands-set drama that featured Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as part of its cast—to go climb a mountain somewhere. No, Matthew Crawley was not only wedded to Lady Mary (Miche

The Daily Beast: "Zero Hour: Is This the Dumbest Show Ever to Air on TV?"

ABC tries to get back in the Lost game with the ridiculous Zero Hour . My take on the show, launching Thursday, that just might be the dumbest ever on television. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my review of the first episode of ABC's overhyped adventure drama "Zero Hour" (entitled " " Zero Hour : Is This the Dumbest Show Ever to Air on TV?" ), in which I call the Anthony Edwards-led drama "nothing more than stale schlock, an hour full of zeroes. Ever since Lost went off the air—and, actually, before—the broadcast networks have desperately searched for a show that could tempt viewers eager to get, well, lost in the complexity, mythology, and mystery of the Damon Lindelof/Carlton Cuse drama. Zero Hour is not that show. The ABC drama, which begins Thursday night at 10 p.m., recalls fiascos like FlashForward more than Lost . Created by former Prison Break writer Paul Scheuring, Zero Hour is no valentine to television, offering up a l

The Daily Beast: "Community: Season 4 of the NBC Comedy Ponders the End"

(Jordin Althaus/NBC/Sony Pictures) The absurdist comedy returns to NBC on Thursday after a lengthy delay and many behind-the-scenes changes, including the exit of creator Dan Harmon. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Community : Season 4 of the NBC Comedy Ponders the End," in which I review the fourth season of NBC's Community , which returns Thursday evening and after many behind-the-scenes changes. Does the show look and feel as it once did? Or does it feel as though not every came back from summer break? “What’s the deal, Jessica Biel?” Community, after an absence of what feels like five years and numerous timeslot and launch date changes, finally unveils its fourth season on Thursday. For the faithful, waiting this long to return to Greendale has been an arduous trial, particularly as curiosity is running high amid the many behind-the-scenes changes made since the show wrapped up its third season way back in May 2012. For one, seri

The Daily Beast: "House of Cards: Should You Binge-Watch Netflix’s Political Drama?"

Netflix just released all 13 episodes of its first original show. Having binge-watched all 13 episodes this weekend, I ponder whether the strategy behind House of Cards represents a new narrative format for television—and if it could backfire. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " House of Cards : Should You Binge-Watch Netflix’s Political Drama?" in which I discuss binge-viewing and Netflix's strategy regarding House of Cards . Is this television's new narrative form? Bet you can’t eat just one. A lot has been written lately about consumer patterns and television, specifically the rise of what has been coined “binge-watching” or “binge-viewing,” the practice of marathoning an entire season or multiple episodes of a television show in a highly concentrated period of time. It might occur during a single evening or over the course of a weekend, but the notion of consumption is apt. Netflix, the streaming video service that started out as a d