The Televangelist: GCB Is the Incredibly Bad and Inexcusable Show We Deserve

Each Friday in The Televangelist, Richard Clark examines the met and missed potential of television.Here's the key: GCB, ABC's new drama, isn't about us. It's not about Christians who actually believe the tenets of their faith or who value the church as anything besides a venue for competition and subversion. The vulgar and misguided title, when spelled out fully, clarifies the subject matter expediently enough: Good Christian Bitches. That title, extrapolated, conveys everything you need to … [Read more...]

The Televangelist: In Honor of My Dad, the Original Televangelist

Each Friday in The Televangelist, Richard Clark examines the met and missed potential of television.When I found out Monday night that my dad had died after a long battle with cancer, I figured I probably wouldn't get around to writing a Televangelist column this week. Then, I remembered that if there was one thing you could say was a hobby of my dad's in his later years, it was watching TV. When I would go home to visit, you could always expect to see my dad parked on the couch, remote in … [Read more...]

The Televangelist: How Smash Shatters the Reality of Relationships

Each Friday in The Televangelist, Richard Clark examines the met and missed potential of television.Smash, NBC's financially high-risk attempt at bringing back the prime time drama, is packed with generic flourish, founded on spectacle, and rife with low-key relational drama. An adult-centered answer to Glee, it's half musical, half high-budget soap opera centered around the production of a Broadway musical. Conversations don't crackle as much as they creak, forcing groans from the audience … [Read more...]

Modern Family’s Cussing Controversy

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This week, Modern Family broadcast a controversial episode in which two-year-old character Lily drops the “f-bomb” (http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/01/18/modern-family-f-word/). The ABC sitcom airs Wednesdays at 9pm (at least in EST), but the episode raised the ire of protest groups before show-time even rolled around. Both the Parents Television Council and a stud … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Newsweek and "Mad Men" Unite

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Mad Men fans rejoice: March is almost here. That’s when the Season 5 premiere airs. And it’s also when Newsweek magazine will revert to its 1960s design in honor of the show. Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek, explains: “Newsweek was very much on the cultural forefront at the time of the show,” Ms. Brown said. “It covered the events that are so much of the background for the show's dram … [Read more...]

Our Favorite Television Shows of 2011

The Christ and Pop Culture writers rank their top-10 TV shows of 2011. Has TV ever been this good?10. White Collar "White Collar" is the sort of guilty pleasure that I feel no guilt whatsoever for enjoying. "White Collar" follows the exploits of skilled con-man Neal Caffrey, who enters into an unlikely partnership with straight-laced FBI agent Peter Burke and uses his talents to bring down white collar criminals. It's fluff in many ways, but it's incredibly enjoyable and well-made fluff, with p … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Christmas Rage Available at Kohl's (Rebecca) Black Friday

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Holiday advertising has been increasing over the past few weeks as stores gear up for our country’s infamous mega-shopping day, Black Friday. One store's advertising, however, may have just destroyed its Black Friday rush.Kohl's Department Stores released a TV spot promoting its Black Friday midnight opening by tweaking a song that got plenty of press this past year. Just when you … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: 20 Kids and Counting

Last week, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced that they are expecting their 20th child. This reality-TV couple bases its family-planning philosophy on a conservative Christian movement called “Quiverfull.” Taken from part of Psalm 127 that compares a man with many children to a warrior with a sheath full of arrows, the “Quiverfull” movement resists any form of birth control and encourages couples to be fruitful and multiply.Both this news and the movement that promotes the Duggars’ child-bea … [Read more...]

The Televangelist: Glee's Enabling Song

One could never accuse Glee of holding its cards too close to its chest: From the very beginning, Glee was clear about its various controversial stances. Its most prominently displayed principle is tolerance, something Glee presents primarily as a sort of stand-in for "love" and a be-all end-all for life philosophy and direction. They've spent a lot of time encouraging empathy for and acceptance of a number of relative minorities and underprivileged. I have previously, without blanket e … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Kim Kardashian's Showbiz Marriage

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.You don’t have to pay much attention to the (pseudo) news to know that Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries is over. And, if you’re like me, you’re probably not remotely surprised by this. It’s not that I’m cynical about romance in general. OK, maybe a little, at least the way the media spins it. It just never occurred to me to classify Kardashian’s weddin … [Read more...]


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