In Defense of the Emmys’ Cory Monteith “In Memoriam” Montage

Nothing can be said to be certain when it comes to award shows except for one thing: the “In Memoriam” montage. It’s a somber note compared to the industry back-patting we enjoy hate-watching so much, and it’s usually paired with a performance of some sad song. And while the montages are never outwardly political, there is the common fact that some dead famous people get more applause than others. The quest for popularity doesn’t end in the afterlife. At last night’s mess of an Emmy Awards ceremony, we were treated to five bonus montages in addition to the usual one, each dedicated to a television luminary and each representing various levels of fame and experience. Unsurprisingly, it has caused some controversy that one was dedicated to the very young Cory Monteith. … Read More

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Why Teen Dramas Are the Most Radical Shows on TV

The CW, the network known for bringing us tales of wealthy white kids and high-school vampires, has made a bold programming decision: it’s developing a series about a transgender teenager. Titled ZE (a reference to the gender-neutral pronoun), the show has been described as “a raw, quirky family drama about a FTM (female-to-male) teen and his family” that casts the transgender boy as the most “well-adjusted” character of all. … Read More

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Television on the Spectrum: The Best (and Worst) Depictions of Asperger Syndrome on TV

Asperger syndrome is no longer in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the DSM kids are calling it an autism spectrum disorder these days — but it’s still all over our television screens. It seems like no TV show is complete anymore without a charming and/or abrasive weirdo who has issues with social cues, eye contact, and the occasional hallucination involving deer antlers.

As both a person with Asperger’s and an obsessive television watcher, these characters are pretty serious business for me, and it’s important to me that writers and actors portray them as accurately and honestly as possible. I also want to make sure they’re entertaining. So, using my mad meticulous and intensely focused spectral skills, I’ve assessed 15 of the small screen’s Aspergian, autistic, and “autistish” characters and ranked them from best to… Read More

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Remembering Cory Monteith, An Icon for Teenage Acceptance

For me, it was River Phoenix, particularly of the Stand By Me days. The other day I put that movie on while I was sorting laundry, and I admit, I am still a little proud of my tweenage self for that crush. Twenty years on, he’s still a really good actor, stormily romantic even before that sky broke open. I still remember the twist in my stomach when I heard he’d overdosed on a sidewalk, the first edition of a feeling I’d come to understand is just a part of paying attention to celebrities at all. … Read More

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10 TV Writers and Showrunners On Their Most Controversial Episodes

Girls, Boardwalk Empire, and Mad Men are just a few of the current series that push the boundaries of how we view television, but there have been numerous TV shows that stretched the limits of prime time. Controversy has followed trailblazing showrunners and writers who introduced graphic stories, radical characters, and uncomfortable subjects to an audience of millions watching at home. We’ve rounded up ten of the most controversial television episodes and found out what their creators had to say about them. … Read More

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10 Terrible Covers That Made Brilliant Songs Boring

There must be something in the air this week, because on the same morning that Glee‘s flaccid attempt at Radiohead’s “Creep” did the rounds on various music blogs, World of Wonder reposted Barbra Streisand’s bewildering cover of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” This double dose of ghastliness got us thinking about the singular hubris of so many covers that purport to “improve” a song by removing exactly what made it special in the first place. The history of music is littered with these boring renditions of great songs, so for a laugh on a Friday afternoon, here’s a roundup of the most egregious. Try not to throw your computer out the window before you get to the end. … Read More

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