Television Reviews

February 13, 2019

The Arts Fuse

Television Review: “The Sopranos” at 20- American Viciousness, Legitimized

As much as I love the show, it’s a little disturbing how its’ themes seem to have culminated in the current state of our politics.
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November  15, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Television Review: “Jane Fonda in Five Acts”

“The more we hear Jane Fonda’s homilies about needing to be ‘whole’ and ‘self-actualize’ the more her personal journey sounds more like a succession of carefully calculated branding exercises.”
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October 5, 2018

The Arts Fuse

“Barry” — The Trials and Tribulations of a Low-Rent Hitman

One of Barry’s strengths is its dark, surreal, and unexpectedly witty satire- but it will need to do more to live up to expectations.
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August 24, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Elvis Presley — The Searcher?

HBO’s new Elvis documentary offers lots of interesting footage, but what we don’t learn very much about is Elvis’ inner life, his motivations, and his deeper ambitions.
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August 21, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Gary Shandling — Your Favorite Comedian’s Favorite Comedian

Gary Shandling’s life and art are both given the redeeming appreciation they deserve.

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April 25, 2018

The Arts Fuse

Television Review: “Wild Wild Country” — Scruffily Corporatized Love-in

Wild Wild Country details the insane clusterfuck that results when faith, fundamentalism, and media hype intersect.

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November 17, 2017

The Arts Fuse

Television Review: “Too Funny to Fail” — Timeless Comedy

It always takes a while for the culture to catch up with the best and brightest; what’s on the cutting edge today becomes tomorrow’s gold standard.

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July 14, 2017

The Arts Fuse

TV Commentary: A Little Real Talk about “Real Time”

Bill Maher’s once robust contrarian streak has shriveled over time.

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March 5, 2017

The Arts Fuse

“3 Mics”—Neal Brennan’s Innovative Stand Up

Neal Brennan’s mix-and-match of styles manages to combine deadpan sensibility with shocking poignancy.

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July 21, 2016

The Arts Fuse

“Horace and Pete” — A Bracing Shot of Nihilism

Bleak as it is, part of the thrill of Horace and Pete lies in its rule-breaking originality and the high-wire insistence on following its own vision.

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July 18, 2016

The Arts Fuse

“O.J.: Made in America” — Postmodern “Othello”

The trajectory of O. J. Simpson’s life eventually touched on almost every aspect American society, revealing a toxic nexus of wealth, celebrity, race, privilege, and violence.

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May 23, 2016

The Arts Fuse

Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” — Deserves All the Buzz

It says something about where we are at as a country when the absurdist’s voice is the only one that is persuasively human.

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August 26, 2015

The Arts Fuse

Jon Stewart — He Told Us to Put the Bong Down

There’s no question Jon Stewart had the attention of millions but, all kidding aside, was he a part of the political game or just a color commentator?

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May 29, 2015

The Arts Fuse

A Fan’s Meditations on the Finale of “Mad Men”

People bonded with the product Mad Men was selling, but what were they falling for?

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April 6, 2015

The Arts Fuse

Netflix’s Flimsy “House of Cards”

For all the attention it receives and the level of cultural relevance it assumes House of Cards ought to be a much better series than its aggressive promotion makes it out to be.

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Oct 1, 2014

The Arts Fuse

Political Satirist John Oliver — Viewers Are Responding, not Just Watching

Each John Oliver monologue takes a different weighty and urgent political issue and deconstructs it with wit, clarity and moral purpose.

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August 27, 2014

The Arts Fuse

“Orange is the New Black” — The Future of High Quality TV Drama?

The men are portrayed as comically irrelevant — most are either sleazy idiots or amusingly oafish and dithering — and this is refreshing given the phallocentric alpha-male angst that has been TV fodder so often before.

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May 27, 2014

The Arts Fuse

Mad Men” Mid-Season Finale — Enjoyable, But Part of an Annoying Waiting Game

It’s sort of like someone snatching the epic novel you’re a few chapters from the end of out of your hands and subsequently run off cackling into the sunset, only to allow you to finish it in a year.

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May 5, 2014

Love Money Clothes

The House That Frank Built: A Review of House of Cards Season 2

The show’s campy side is stronger than its attempts at gravitas.

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April 23, 2014

The Arts Fuse

Whither Steven Colbert?

Now that the dust has settled after the announcement that Stephen Colbert will be replacing David Letterman on “The Late Show” next year, let’s consider what this might mean.

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January 23, 2007

Flak Magazine

The Truth About Truthiness

Maybe “truthiness” isn’t a word so much as a state of mind: ours.