Zack Munson Articles

It's Groundhog Day!

Have we seen this movie before?
1:57 PM, Feb 02, 2016
It seems fitting to me that the day after this year's Iowa caucuses is Groundhog Day (and not just because of the animal's resemblance to the thing that sits on Trump's head). Read more


12:05 PM, Jan 26, 2016
“Finally, somebody whiter than us!" So must have cheered the brain trust at Saturday Night Live last week, after the uproar about the conspicuously monochromatic nature of this year's Oscar nominees. Read more

Dread the Inevitable 'El Chapo' Biopic

An idea so bad, you know Sean Penn wants to do it.
1:43 PM, Jan 15, 2016

Much has been made of Sean Penn’s recently released secret interview with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, mastermind of two daring prison escapes, and the author of immeasurable suffering the world over. That Penn would shake hands with El Chapo isn't too surprising, given his well-documented affection for other human misery factories like Hugo Chavez and Madonna. Also not surprising, the "interview" is as incoherent as it is fawning, yet another example of an actor overextending himself in the pursuit of some misbegotten intellectual ambition.

But let's set aside Penn's obvious stupidity. Let's set aside his near-inability to construct a cogent sentence.

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Making an Innocent Man

TV Review: Making a Murderer, available on Netflix.
1:31 PM, Jan 07, 2016
Steven Avery is an innocent man, railroaded by the Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Office and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. Right? Read more

The Younger, Hipper, More Successful Louis CK

TV review: Master of None, starring Aziz Ansari.
12:01 PM, Dec 17, 2015

Aziz Ansari, for those of you recently emerged from your post-Obama-reelection survival bunkers, is a very funny comedian, known mainly as Tom Haverford on NBC's now defunct Parks and Recreation, as well as approximately 17,000 stand up specials. His new series Master of None, a half hour "dramedy" (Can we replace this term? How about Dram-Com? No, actually, that's worse) premiered November 6 on Netflix to much acclaim. Taking a page from Louis CK's groundbreaking FX series Louie, Master of None is a sort-of-autobiographical series, about a guy named Dev (Ansari), a sort–of-working actor in New York who's sort-of having a hard time. Much like Louie, it abjures the traditional sitcom format.

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God Help Us

Marianne Williamson’s campaign to save America’s soul, starting with California’s 33rd Congressional District
Feb 17, 2014

Los Angeles

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Wisdom for would-be Special Snowflakes.
Nov 11, 2013

Let’s face it, we millennials need all the help we can get. We’ve spent our 20s either engaged in Apatow-ian bromances or trying to figure out if we’re Mirandas or Samanthas. We invented Facebook and insist on using it at all hours of the day, for no earthly reason whatsoever. Heck, we even believed that we were, indeed, the ones we had been waiting for. 

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‘Arrested’ Again

The second life of a much-beloved sitcom.
Jul 01, 2013


And now, the story of an Emmy-winning sitcom that was canceled in 2006 and the one writer who had no choice but to spend seven years figuring out how to get it back on the air. It’s .  .  . Arrested Development. Or, to be precise, it’s the long-awaited, much-hyped fourth season of Arrested Development, which made its debut on Netflix a few weeks ago.

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The Kids Are Alright

And maybe the target should be their parents.
Oct 22, 2012

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that blogging is not the greatest byproduct of the advent of the information age. (That would be Double Rainbow Guy. Easily.) But it’s not the worst, either (acronyms, Rick Astley, Facebook, take your pick).

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The True Facts

A revealing look at the editorial back-and-forth.
Apr 30, 2012

"It’s called art, dickhead.” So proclaims John D’Agata, a creative writing professor at the University of Iowa, in an email to Jim Fingal, an intern at the Believer magazine assigned to fact-check D’Agata’s article, “What Happens There,” ostensibly a work of nonfiction about a teenager who leaped to his death in Las Vegas in 2002. Their correspondence over the fact-checking of “What Happens There” has now been turned into a book that lays out, sentence by sentence and fact by fact, Fingal’s objections and D’Agata’s often obscene objections to those objections.

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Only in New York

The battle of the Park Slope Food Coop.
Apr 09, 2012


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Let's Get Small

4:52 PM, Feb 23, 2012

Courtesy of a terrifying report in the New York Times, we now have yet another side effect to worry about as a result of our current period of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change:

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Occupational Hazards

National Park Police tells Occupy DC they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here.
4:48 PM, Jan 30, 2012

I’m not sure you’ve heard, but freedom of the press is on the wane in the United States. Just last week the U.S. dropped 27 places in Reporters Without Borders’ annual Press Freedom Index, in large part due to the “many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.” Apparently we now rank 47th in the world, just behind such noted champions of liberty as Hungary, Botswana, and South Africa.

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High School Monumental

How much education does $124 million buy?
Dec 26, 2011

Washington, D.C.

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The Pewter Lady?

11:44 AM, Dec 14, 2011

With still about a month until its American release, controversy is beginning to swirl around the new Harvey Weinstein produced Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. That a Hollywood film about the life of one of the 20th Century’s great conservatives might play fast and loose with the facts should certainly come as no surprise.

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4:22 PM, Sep 01, 2011

Well, Obama has done it again. Having rescheduled his super-great-amazing jobs speech for September 8, the president has set himself up to overlap with coverage of the NFL’s opening game.

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Freedom of Press for Me, Not for Thee

4:56 PM, Aug 05, 2011

John Kerry announced today on Morning Joe that he believes the media should take some responsibility for keeping the Tea Party and its ideas out of our public discourse:

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To New Civility!

4:09 PM, Aug 04, 2011

Democrats and their partisans in the mainstream media have been fully occupied these past few days with demonizing conservatives for their successful stand against tax increases in the debt ceiling compromise. To Thomas Friedman, the Tea Party is the “Hezbollah faction” of the Republican party. Maureen Dowd wrote a “column” about the Tea Party holding people ransom in a horror movie where the president will “need a bigger boat.” Even our normally thoughtful and taciturn vice president joined in, agreeing with Rep. Mike Doyle's assertion that “We have negotiated with terrorists.

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Future Imperfect

Albert Brooks writes a novel. He should stick to film.
Aug 01, 2011

Albert Brooks is a comedian and filmmaker. He has now written a novel. The novel is called 2030, and it is about the future of America. This is how the novel is written. Like this. The way this review is written. In this manner of writing. 

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Enter Laughing

A funny, but not so revealing, showbiz memoir.
Jun 27, 2011

by Tina Fey
Reagan Arthur, 288 pp., $26.99

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Play Ball

That’s what they did, and that’s all that matters.
Apr 18, 2011

Hank Greenberg
The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One
by Mark Kurlansky

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