Cop shows are extremely unrealistic. In real life — and in shows produced by David Simon — criminal investigations usually last for weeks or months. There are no cathartic gunfights. Heck, most detectives never even fire their guns. And I’m sure there are sexy lady detectives, but I’m betting they don’t all wear expensive leather jackets to bloody crime scenes. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy. The procedural genre gets a bad rap, but shows like Justified and Fringe follow the essential structure of the cop drama but make the format feel vibrant and distinctive. (The essential structure: “Cool, attractive, well-dressed law enforcement agent investigates colorful crime committed by eccentric guest-star criminal, and said crime somehow reflects thematically on the well-dressed law enforcement agent’s emotional journey.”) But there is one ridiculous trend in the modern cop drama that is unforgivable, partially because of its pure doofus impossibility, but mainly because it’s become an acceptable crutch for lazy writing. I am talking about the Cop Drama PowerPoint Presentation. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Pop Culture Pet Peeve (1-10 of 36)
I’m not sure when exactly my 2-year-old daughter fell in love with robots. Maybe it was one of the thousand times when her dad has said, “Hey little girl, check out this cool robot! Don’t you love them?”
Traditional gender roles tell us, of course, that little girls like princesses and little boys are the ones who like robots, but I don’t see why that has to be so. READ FULL STORY »
I came out of my TV cave yesterday and decided that three months was far too long to have gone without seeing a new movie. If you were on Twitter around 5 p.m., you might have even been one of the kind people who helped me pick which movie to go see. (Spoiler: Most people said Bridesmaids, so that won.) Only, my rare moviegoing experience took a turn for the unpleasant shortly after the flick began, when the person next to me decided it was a great opportunity to eat his cheeseburger. READ FULL STORY »
I don’t usually put much stock in the opinions of writers who use words like “hurly-burly” and “codswallop.” But some clueless declarations just beg to be disputed. Yesterday, an article about sports movies by Frank Keating in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper had the nerve not just to take several bone-headed swipes at Martin Scorsese’ 1980 boxing masterpiece Raging Bull, but the writer also went on to declare that Chariots of Fire is the greatest sports movie ever made. To borrow one of Keating’s stuffy phrases, Codswallop! Or to translate it to Americanese: Dude, you’re high!
First of all, Chariots of Fire is an absurd pick. READ FULL STORY »
How many times have you walked out of a dark theater, disappointed by the performance of a favorite actor who clearly phoned it in? Take, for instance, Anthony Hopkins. Sir Anthony Hopkins, actually. He is one of the greats. Most famous for playing Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, the Oscar winner was a protégé of Laurence Olivier, and his performance as the undemonstrative butler in The Remains of the Day is, for my money, one of the most brilliant studies in the art of acting. But in between the roles that take your breath away, there are films like The Rite, The Wolfman, Instinct, The Edge, and Bad Company. As a hopeless fan, you can find something redeeming in all these roles, but you also wish you could ask, What happened there? Well, in Hopkins’ case, he was phoning it in. He said so himself, literally, in last week’s New York Times profile of Thor director Kenneth Branagh: “I phone it in a lot as I’m getting older.” READ FULL STORY »
Days after spending a few hours behind bars after a judge ruled she stole a designer necklace and violated her probation, Lindsay Lohan was embraced by the audience of The Tonight Show with a standing ovation. Lohan taped an interview with Jay Leno after yesterday’s show, and the segment will air tonight. According to the Associated Press, the host reportedly asked Lohan about her legal troubles, her time in jail, and what she’s learned from it all, as well as her role in an upcoming John Gotti film.
But about that standing ovation. What does it represent exactly? Is she truly beloved despite all her mistakes? (Or because of them?) Or is a standing ovation just something you do when a celebrity graces you with his or her presence? Watch a short ovation-free clip below. READ FULL STORY »
I’ve decided to go on a diet — but instead of giving up carbs and hiring that scary woman from The Biggest Loser, I’m going to stop gorging on technology
Earlier this year, like a lot of people, I made a resolution to eat less. But with a twist: My resolution is to eat less entertainment. Here’s my new rule: one screen at a time.
Lately, the ways in which you can consume pop culture have been multiplying so rapidly that by the time the alarm clock buzzes, you’re already a 3.0 in a 4.0 world. Press coverage of every technological innovation can sound almost evangelical: We’re always just one handheld device, add-on, or app away from owning the dream gadget that will infinitely broaden our options while somehow streamlining our lives. READ FULL STORY »
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