ABC’s Fall 2015 Lineup: Muppets, Diversity, and Murder

Unlike the other three Big Four networks, ABC is satisfied just the way it is — and for good reason. Last season, the network found success (in both ratings and quality) with a smart combination of diverse family sitcoms, Shonda Rhimes dramas, and Marvel Universe thrillers. The network is so confident in its stability that three of its lineups will remain unchanged going into the next TV season: Monday (Dancing With the Stars/The Bachelor and Castle), Wednesday (family sitcoms galore), and Thursdays (Shonda’s night!). The network is also introducing new shows, of course, and we’ve got the rundown on all the trailers. … Read More

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Mysterious Paintings of Luchadores in Unexpected Situations

There has always been an element of the surreal about luchadores, the Mexican wrestlers known for their brightly colored masks. The French painter Yannick Fournié highlights this in his series Incognito, which places the masks on people engaged in everyday tasks, from phone calls to nighttime strolls. His portraits of masked couples kissing, in particular,… Read More

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“I Don’t See a Therapist, I Write Music”: Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes on ‘Aureate Gloom’ and Confessional Songwriting

Of all the bands to emerge from the now-defunct Elephant 6 collective, Of Montreal is the strangest. But then, Of Montreal is also probably the “strangest” “indie” band to have blown up in the ’00s.

Strange, too, for a band that began with the low-key, barely heard Cherry Peel to reach No. 72 on the Billboard 200 with the funky, gender/genre-bending Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, released in 2007 — exactly ten years later. … Read More

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Greek God Video Games and Celebrity Satire: Links You Need to See

In video games, you’re probably used to battling with inane, unimposing creatures named Jigglypuff, steroid-stuffed turtles named Bowser, more inane, unimposing creatures named Wigglytuff,  — okay, it’s clear I haven’t played many video games. But even major gamers are probably used to battling silly fictitious characters cooked up by video game companies more than they’re accustomed to battling, say, Greek Gods. However, a new video game called Apotheon gives users the chance to truly test their mettle by battling the likes of Poseidon, Zeus, Apollo, and some nice, assorted cyclopses — all the while stuck in the world of a seemingly never-ending Grecian Urn. Whether you’re into ancient Greek art or simply really into the idea of lashing out at your Classics education by beating up some Greek Gods, Apotheon is worth checking out. … Read More

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Dread Country: Colin Winnette’s ‘Coyote’

This week I reached into a pile of January galleys and removed a hideous green object called Coyote. It’s written by Colin Winnette, an author I’ve never heard of, for Les Figues Press, a publisher I’m not overly familiar with. It was selected for the 2013 NOS Book Contest, a prize I don’t know, by Aimee Bender, a writer who I’ve been meaning to read.

Poised somewhere between a long short story and a novella, Coyote selects a handful of clichés from the rural imaginary — missing children, trashy talk shows, crime procedural, domestic violence, etc. — and overcooks them in the deranged mind of its protagonist. This is a good thing. In order to write about rural America, writers must deal with its viciously circular self-image: the rural imagination is mediated by its own minstrelization on television and in cinema. It has absorbed a representation of itself that it never authored in the first place. … Read More

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‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “Oppo Research”

“I like clarity. I like rules that tell me what’s right and what’s wrong. (…) I just wanted to be inside something that made sense to me.” – Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife, “Oppo Research”

“People just think there are black hats and white hats, but there are black hats with white linings. And white hats with black linings. And there are hats that change back and forth between white and black. And there are striped hats. Evil rests in the soul of all men.” – Some Guy, Darkness at Noon (The Good Wife, “A Material World”)

… Read More

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‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “The Kindred”

One of the most remarkable things about Sleepy Hollow — aside from the fact that, you know, it exists and isn’t terrible — is how goddamn great Lieutenant Abbie Mills is as a character. With all of the recent talk about angry black women, and all of the subsequent, necessary talk about how that is just the most played out stereotypes in recent history, it’s surprising that one of television’s most intelligent, well-spoken, hard-ass women has yet to have a think piece written about her. (This is a good start, but it doesn’t do the character justice.) After tonight’s episode, that should change. … Read More

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Neil Young Is Dating Daryl Hannah: Links You Need To See

Every day, aging rockstars do great things that help them maintain their status as icons and prolong their eventual, inevitable fading away. Today, one of those people was Neil Young, who is hooking up with Daryl Hannah. Really! It’s sad, sure, that his marriage of 36 years ended and he’s already shacking up with somebody else. But it’s also sort of undeniably great that he’s canoodling with a mermaid. … Read More

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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Nicki Minaj, The Knocks, Merchandise

It is August 8th and there are three late-season contenders for Song of the Summer included here. I’d say “stop the madness,” but the tunes are too good. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 13 Recap: “No Sun on the Horizon”

Scandal is getting dark — and not just in the usual way. We’ve seen murders and rapes and stolen elections and terrorist plots, and surely we’ll see more of those things before the season is out. But, as the title “No Sun on the Horizon” suggests, last night’s episode moved Olivia Pope into darker, more desperate psychological and emotional territory than ever before. … Read More

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