I’ve often heard it said we’re living in the era of Prestige Television (or Peak Television, if you prefer). Regardless of the terminology, there is the general sense among people who think, write, and talk about these things that the 21st century has seen the rise of a Golden Age – if not The Golden Age – of Television. The caliber of what’s being offered on TV is generally considered to have risen. There are more “high quality” shows generating more critical acclaim than ever before. The line between “TV star” and the once-more prestigious “movie star” is blurring. In fact, these TV shows with shorter seasons, renown casts, and complex storytelling, are often touted as six (or ten (or thirteen)) hour movies, broken up into smaller installments. You couple this with the rise of streaming services (and the accompanying “streaming wars” where each service tries to outperform the others to earn your subscription fee) alongside the culture of binge-watching and our experience of television’s been transformed. It is a remarkable time to be consuming such content and the excited query, “Have you seen [fill-in-the-blank-show] yet??” drives our pop culture conversations like never before.
The thing is, my answer is almost always “no.” Like 9/10 times it’s “no.” And here’s why.
Those of you paying close attention may’ve noticed I’ve had a lot of wonderful content on the blog over the last month but all I’ve written was my loving ode to the Doctor. That’s because I teamed up with a bunch of other marvelous bloggers to celebrate female characters through the month of March and I totally used that as the path to brilliant pieces I didn’t have to write. It was awesome. Those of you paying close attention may’ve also noticed the coronavirus has become a full-blown pandemic, a global crisis unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, leading to quarantines and self-isolating and social distancing the world over. That’s, admittedly, far less awesome. However, I thought it’d be nice to celebrate some things I’ve been thankful for while stuck in self-isolation. Continue reading
I’ve started writing a regular monthly feature over at Reads & Reels! I know, right?? I’m super excited about it too. In it, I’ll be talking about something – be it a book, comic, movie, TV show, album, whatever – that has captivated my attention over the last month and proven a welcome distraction from everything else (re: boring adult stuff) that fills up my life. For my first piece, I’ve written about the work of brilliant postmodern art that was NBC’s Community. I am SUPER EXCITED to be writing for Reads & Reels (and pleased with the piece too) so you should totally click here and check it out!
As the old year turns to the new, we become reflective. We think of our blessings, trials, challenges, and our hopes and dreams for the year to come. When we consider all this, it’s only natural we think of love. What, after all, is more important than love? Perhaps no modern cinematic tale more accurately (or more hauntingly) presents love’s all-important nature than 2003’s Love, Actually. I’ve always loved (hmm…that seems redundant) this film because it celebrates love in so many shapes and forms. It shows us romantic love, platonic love, familial love, sacrificial love, unrequited love, new love, old love, love won…and love lost. Of it all, Mark’s story teaches us the most important lesson. We should pay attention, careful to heed its warning. Continue reading
It’s no secret, I love me some Iron Man. Yes, Tony Stark can be a huge tool and our favorite “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” isn’t known for his humility or restraint. He’s great. He knows it. And he’ll happily let you know it too. However, I maintain Tony’s ego – and his struggle with both the trouble it brings and learning his own limitations – is part of what make him so important as a character. While I doubt many of us have an ego quite the size of Mr. Stark’s, we all wrestle with ego. Or at least I do. So I see parts of myself in Tony Stark as well as lessons I need to learn. I put a lot of value on that. However, regardless of the relatability we (or at least I) can find in this particular fault, there is one MASSIVE expression of Tony Stark’s ego that even I find ridiculous. Continue reading
Yesterday I was browsing Barnes & Noble. My barrage of midterm grading was finally behind me and I was enjoying an afternoon of meandering with nothing much to do (until chaperoning the Homecoming Dance last night). I glanced down at a table of new paperbacks and saw a cover, reminiscent of a pulp noir novel, featuring Barack Obama and Joe Biden riding in a car. Then I took in the title – Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? I can’t remember the last time I bought a book, drove home, and immediately started reading it. But no other plans could compete with this and if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned dance, I’d’ve finished it one sitting. This isn’t an analysis nor a review, not traditionally at least. To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, I got excited. I just wanted to…shout it from the top of a mountain. But I didn’t have a mountain. I had this blog. Look, I write about comics, that’s what I do. And today’s top story, in Michael Miller’s world read something like this – I love Andrew Schaffer’s Hope Never Dies and this needs to become a long-lived series! Continue reading
To be upfront at the start, this is going to be a First World Problem lamentation. But it’s been on my mind a lot lately and two factors – the sitcom Scrubs and a recent conversation with Jeff – have led me to finally write this post. So here it is folks, we live in an age where (for those of us with the means and possibility of access) we have thousands of shows and thousands of movies available to be streamed whenever our little hearts’ desire…and I’m kind of exhausted by it all. I am. More and more I find myself missing the “old days,” when a TV show was on once a week and you either saw it, caught it in reruns, or it was forever lost to you. Sure, I missed a lot. But what I caught I caught because I loved it. Continue reading
The unexpected emotional mix of finally sitting down to watch some of Nickelodeon’s 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series coupled with warm feelings of post-birthday nostalgia gave birth to this post. You see, there are a lot of characters I’ve loved through my whole life but few I’ve experienced in as many different iterations as I have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So I’m taking a walk down Memory Lane, looking at every incarnation of the Turtles I’ve met and exploring what they meant to me. To be clear, this is not an exhaustive list of every single version of the Turtles. There’s plenty of entries, sure, but the Turtles are prolific characters with parts of their mythology I’ve missed/yet to experience. Still, this is a fairly impressive list if I do say so myself :). With that being said, onward to an exploration of my life with the heroes in a half shell…TURTLE POWER. Continue reading
I spent the last week in New Orleans for a conference…where I saw none of the city as I was stuck in 12+ hours of meetings/seminars/lectures every day. BUT I did direct some of my mental energy towards contemplating one of life’s biggest, most pressing issues. You see, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne essentially have the same character framework. I’m not the first person to make this observation, but it’s true. Both are insanely wealthy. Both have brilliant minds. Both run huge companies. Both lost their parents when they were young (albeit in different circumstances). Both became superheroes. Both are founding/central members in one of their universe’s most important superhero teams – the Avengers and Justice League, respectively. Despite their similarities though, they are two VERY different characters with VERY different lives…which leads us to our BIG question – if you could choose, would you rather be Iron Man or Batman?? Continue reading
By Kalie Zamierowski
On my blog, Just Dread-Full, I’m adamantly open and enthusiastic about my love for all things (or most things) horror. Indeed, this passion is foregrounded so much that it often eclipses my other loves in life – a reason why I started another blog a few years ago, one I didn’t have time to follow through with and for which I ultimately stopped writing. One of those passions that I don’t frequently share on the horror-centered Just Dread-full is my love for music – and my interest in what I would consider a wide variety of music. Continue reading