Television Articles

There’s a Flag on That Sentence

Joseph Epstein, couch cop
Feb 08, 2016

My combined roles as television couch potato and language snob have not been easy on me. What I most watch on television is sports and news, with a fair amount of DVDs, these chiefly of English detective stories. Much of this television watching is done in the evening, when, as they say about major-league pitchers who have been hit hard, you can put a fork in me, I'm done. I turn on my television set, in the cant phrases of the day, to kick back, to chill, to knock off for the day.

Except I don't, or at least not quite. Too often someone paid to know better—a newscaster, a sports announcer, a politician, a civil servant—will use a word or phrase that arouses my ire.

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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

America's Ex-Favorite Show Returns

Television Review: The X-Files, on FOX.
9:02 AM, Jan 25, 2016
On Sunday night, The X-Files returned to television. How was it? Read more

Ad Reviews: Trump, Kasich, and Cruz PACs

Three new ads, three big whiffs.
3:30 PM, Jan 04, 2016
The Donald Trump and John Kasich campaigns are out with their debut television ads. Ted Cruz's affiliated Super PACs, meanwhile, are out with some big ad buys themselves, which attack Marco Rubio. Let's review the tapes. Read more

Two Second Acts

For these venerable series; everything old is new again.
Dec 28, 2015

In many ways, the current TV scene resembles a time warp. From The Muppets to Fargo, it's a good season for nostalgia. As the first ads for a miniseries revival of The X-Files begin to air, production is well underway on another '90s cult classic: Twin Peaks. Of course, the sudden spate of remakes, reboots, and revivals is partly an effort to capitalize on the security of an established title, but in the case of Twin Peaks and The X-Files, their longevity requires more explanation.

The two have much in common: memorable characters, dry humor, superior writing, and dark atmosphere centered on investigations into the paranormal.

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Antonin Scalia, Bogeyman of the Liberal Imagination

The justice stars in Hollywood revenge fantasies.
7:49 AM, Nov 25, 2015

Are you watching Scream Queens? Me neither. But I did catch a scene of the FOX slasher-comedy and was surprised to see that my father, Justice Antonin Scalia, made a cameo appearance. Sort of.

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Joseph Epstein, out of touch
Mar 09, 2015

This past week I decided to change living arrangements chez Epstein. I turned my office into a den and our spare bedroom into an office. Sounds simple enough. I soon realized that I would have to hire professional movers to lug a couch, a weighty television set, and several bookcases and a few file cabinets from one room to another in our apartment. I was prepared to do so, and to pay the expense, which came to $288 plus $60 in three $20 tips for the men who did the lugging.

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Art of the Possible

Surprising lessons to be learned in popular culture.
Dec 31, 2012

Instead of disparaging all popular culture as a “vast wasteland” of cultural and moral decay, conservative critics should tease out those elements that reinforce conservative values in the arts. Russell Kirk used to lament the falling-off in depictions of normative behavior; but whereas Kirk focused his derision on literary and other public figures

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Was Obama too Busy Watching Television to Respond to Bengahzi Attack?

10:40 AM, Nov 05, 2012

Today, Claudia Rosett goes over the timeline following the Benghazi attacks and points to one of the enduring mysteries: Where was the President while the attack was happening?:

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Unchanging Channels

A look at television’s insular universe.
Nov 07, 2011

There is a venerable tradition of conservative books on Hollywood’s pervasive liberalism. 

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Heeere’s [Fill in the Blank]

The ‘Tonight Show’ Crisis of 2010
Apr 04, 2011

The War for Late Night

When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy

by Bill Carter

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