DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2011
Aug
22
 
 
A front-page story in The New York Times Saturday warned against the newest unexpected wrinkle in the Internet: opportunistic entrepreneurs are offering to online retailers, as either writers or suppliers, cheaply priced positive reviews of their respective wares. Or, as the paper put it, "an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance...Needless to say, I rate this cynical practice two thumbs down...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
21
 
 
The best thing about watching 1950s TV episodes is when they're still hysterically funny. The second best thing is seeing superstars before they were super, still working their way up to icon status. And the three DVD releases in our New This Week spotlight all qualify on one count or the other, as they salute Jack Benny, Betty White and Johnny Carson...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
18
 
 
[SUNDAY 8/21 UPDATE: As of Sunday morning, bids for some of the items written about here have increased substantially, with a week left to go in the auction. Samples: The Matt Bomer fedora currently stands at $710, the same price as the Piper Perabo shoes -- and that "cheep" Family Guy toy? It's now north of $150...]
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
16
 
 
TVWW contributor Ed Bark, in his latest Uncle Barky's Bytes column, has beaten me to the punch by raving already about BBC America's new The Hour series...But I'm adding my own praises anyway...this period drama about the birth of a meaningful British TV newsmagazine in the 1950s clearly speaks to us both. The costumes may hint of AMC's Mad Men -- but to me, the closer comparison is to the brilliant 2005 movie Good Night and Good Luck...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
15
 
 
Lots to cover today: an excellent new HBO biographical study of Gloria Steinem, a new Eric Gould essay analyzing and presenting some of his favorite TV opening title sequences, and a salute to some Breaking Bad cleverness that most AMC viewers don't even get to see...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
15
 
 
Intelligent, suspenseful and stylish through and through, The Hour has just one shortcoming. BBC America didn't send enough episodes. Four of the six were made available for review and devoured in one sitting. So the central mysteries of this mid-1950s period piece are still very much at large for everyone except those who watched "The Hour" during its earlier United Kingdom airing...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
14
 
 
Cleveland Plain DealerTV critic Mark Dawidziak is a veteran writer I fully intend to add to this site the day his newspaper is stupid enough to let him go. I don't see that happening soon, unfortunately (for me, not him) -- so in the meantime, I'll settle for providing links to stories in which he quotes me, as a TV historian and Rowan University professor...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
14
 
 
It's a song from MGM's blockbuster "talkie" musical The Hollywood Revue of 1929, designed to showcase all their silent-era stars as they made the scary transition to sound. The studio's chameleon "Man of a Thousand Faces" wasn't actually in that movie, though. Instead, a chorus sang about Lon Chaney surprising them in the form of a spider or a monster because, really, who knew what this master of makeup and body manipulation might look like next?...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
14
 
 
The Emmy nominations are out, and AMC's Rubicon, the one-season wonder (or blunder, depending on your point of view) got only one nomination -- for title design. It's a small, but important, nod for this cancelled little show that went way outside the lines of conventional TV storytelling. And maybe it's a fitting tribute to one of its best parts -- its tantalizing, cryptic art direction. It's also an excuse for us to look closely, and appreciatively, at one of TV's most creative elements of all: the opening credits of quality series...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Aug
11
 
 
Back from press tour, clearing out my notebooks as well as my suitcase -- and happy to share leftover quotes and anecdotes regarding some of the (few) bright spots in this year's fall TV season. Keep reading if you're intrigued by any of the above: TV history, funny comedy, scary horror, intense drama, and television's answer to Nostradamus...