TV and movies

The Hypocrisy of the Entertainment Industry

Item: Netflix has decided to “ban smoking from all original content rated TV-14 or PG-13 and below.” The media giant known for its risqué content will continue to present shows filled with violence, crime, sexual promiscuity, drug addiction, excessive consumption of alcohol, murder, theft, fraud, dishonesty, and occult practices. But it is good to see […]

Manufactured Authoritativeness and Contrived Objectivity

I have noticed a disturbing trend in modern news media, particularly television news. It is a tendency to engage in something I would call “manufactured authoritativeness” or “contrived objectivity.” What I mean is the increasing use of statements such as the following in news stories. Many news reports start with a statement such as “There […]

Hollywood Is Not Holywood

For years, Hollywood has been producing movies and TV shows focused on sex and violence. Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax Films and the other companies he was involved with were often at the head of the pack. Who could have guessed that what Hollywood’s leaders were putting on the screen they were also practicing behind the screen? […]

Replacement Policy

“What do you mean my coverage has been denied?” “I’m sorry, Mr. Grey. It’s company policy. This is the third total replacement claim you have made in—what?—a year.” “Well…” “Precisely. The company can’t keep covering these losses.” “But I need the replacement. It is vital for my work.” “That may be, but that is your […]

Accept No Substitutes

Last week was student week on Dragons’ Den. Dragons’ Den is a popular CBC television show on which young entrepreneurs try to convince a group of seasoned businesspeople to invest in their products, inventions, or businesses. The presenters last week were all students. First up was a university student who had invented a cellphone app […]

The American West

The American West was an eight-part documentary series that ran on the AMC network last summer. With Robert Redford as executive producer, it focused on a series of prominent personalities, “heroes,” forceful men who “took what they wanted.” These men were described in this documentary series as representing the American character of strength and enterprise. […]

Beyond Belief

“Every year, over 68 million Americans leave the safety of our borders.” For this reason, the FBI has an International Response Team that is called into action whenever danger strikes (that is, whenever an American is killed or kidnapped by a serial killer in another country). This is the premise of CBS’s new drama Criminal […]

Super TV

There is an intriguing (and somewhat disturbing) theme in the new TV season. Many of the new programs feature human beings with enhanced abilities. There is Supergirl, of course, the feminine version of Superman. This program continues the myth so common in TV crime dramas that the toughest people in a street fight are not […]

Making a Killing as a Writer

“There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people—psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better.” Those are the opening words of the introduction to each episode of the television series Castle used in season 2 and season 3. They are words with many layers of meaning […]

Saving Hope

Saving Hope is a fascinating Canadian TV drama set in a hospital (Hope Zion in Toronto), which recently wrapped up its third season. The unique premise is that Dr. Charlie Harris has recovered and returned to work after having been in a coma for several months following an automobile accident. A lingering effect of the […]