“Blue Bloods”: Television’s Last American Aristocrats

By |2021-02-27T07:59:21-06:00February 25th, 2021|Categories: Television|

CBS’s Blue Bloods remains an unexplained anomaly. Now in its improbable eleventh season, a television show less suited to the ruling zeitgeist can hardly be imagined. As the double meaning of the title indicates, the Irish-Catholic Reagan family are law enforcement aristocracy in New York City, with police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) as paterfamilias. One of his [...]

Modern Plagues and the Prescience of Ray Bradbury

By |2020-05-14T19:42:56-05:00May 14th, 2020|Categories: Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Modernity, Ray Bradbury, Senior Contributors, Technology, Television|

Little did Ray Bradbury know of his prescience in 1951, as he criticized society’s obsession with screens and the far-ranging effects of technology. Could television supersede community? Could it control us to the point of isolation and loneliness? Bradbury’s writing gives us much to think about. I am haunted by a lonely man. At sundown [...]

HBO’s “Chernobyl” and Solzhenitsyn

By |2019-12-12T01:56:31-06:00December 10th, 2019|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Civilization, Communism, Culture, History, Ideology, Television|

The new HBO series “Chernobyl” serves to warn us about the danger of persistent lies in a society that refuses to acknowledge truth. It would be a grave error not to take stock of our own tendencies toward deceit, as if our lies are radically different from those that underpinned the Soviet Union. Over several [...]

“Battlestar Galactica,” 40 Years Later

By |2019-08-30T20:47:25-05:00August 30th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, Senior Contributors, Television|

The show I never missed growing up was “Battlestar Galactica.” Every Sunday night, no matter what I was doing, I stopped, and I watched “Battlestar Galactica.” The theme of the show was a simple but powerful one. If you stand for nothing, and if you’re not willing to protect what you have, you will lose it. [...]

Batman vs. Modern Art

By |2019-08-23T16:03:44-05:00August 23rd, 2019|Categories: Art, Culture, Joseph Pearce, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Television|

A satirical spoof on the pretentiousness of modern art, “Batman” episodes “Pop Goes the Joker” and “Flop Goes the Joker” are side-splittingly out-loud funny while being simultaneously the best exposé of the naked nonsense beneath the Emperor’s new clothes. The secret’s out. My dual identity has been discovered. By day, I spend my time in [...]

Freedom’s Flaw in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

By |2019-02-09T14:24:15-06:00February 8th, 2019|Categories: Character, Culture, Freedom, Morality, Responsibility, Television, Tragedy, Virtue|

Mrs. Maisel must decide, like all other men and women who follow a path that separates them from their family, home, gods, and city, whether the allure of a life in the spotlight and the total freedom it promises is preferable to, or reconcilable with, the many good things she risks turning away from… The [...]

Jane Austen Forever!

By |2020-07-17T18:06:00-05:00November 28th, 2018|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Books, Classics, Culture, Education, Fiction, Jane Austen, Literature, Television|

Pick up a Jane Austen novel, and you will discover that behind the long gowns and country dances, people in her era struggled with the same weaknesses we struggle with today. Well-written stories like Austen’s bring to life the human drama that is played out in every age, in every heart. I’ve been reading Jane [...]

“Seinfeld”: The Politically Incorrect Comedy

By |2020-05-11T09:38:25-05:00May 31st, 2018|Categories: Art, Conservatism, Culture, Television|

“Seinfeld” may be the first situation comedy truly to achieve the status of art. It’s a comic study of life after several decades of a counterculture that supposedly upended all the rules of life, definitely obscured the path to maturity, and persistently encouraged doing as one likes. The long-running sitcom Seinfeld has been in frequent syndication on [...]

“Black Mirror” and the Soul

By |2018-05-18T16:24:45-05:00May 18th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Science, Technology, Television|

Black Mirror succeeds at making viewers consider the ways humanity is being changed by technology. In its last season, the show considered the idea of uploading consciousness into a computer-generated world. But can the soul be reduced to a collection of data in this way?…… Apparently starved for new ideas, the popular science-fiction television series [...]

When “Civilization” Became a Bad Word

By |2019-03-26T16:44:56-05:00May 4th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Culture, Film, History, Television|

The very word “civilization” is now politically charged, implying as it does hierarchies of achievement and value judgments. That someone would say that our culture is better than any other, or that some other culture is deficient in some way, is the kind of thing that causes fainting spells among our intellectual class… Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation” [...]

The Mister Rogers-ification of Christianity

By |2018-04-17T23:26:45-05:00April 17th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Sexuality, Television|

I would not dream of condemning Mister Rogers for keeping overt religious references out of his broadcasts in order to reach the widest possible audience and provide a valuable public service with his message of love. What I do condemn is the idea that Christian faith does not deserve representation unless first watered down to [...]

A Morning with Big Brother

By |2019-02-25T13:23:35-06:00February 3rd, 2018|Categories: Culture, Economics, Europe, Featured, Foreign Affairs, Freedom, Joseph Pearce, Politics, Television|

TV screens are everywhere, seemingly omnipresent; difficult to avoid; gatecrashing our minds and demanding our attention, whether we want it or not; techno-rapists which force themselves upon us… I have long since broken the habit of watching television. We don’t have TV in the house and I relish all the good things that fill the [...]

Sherlock Homeless

By |2017-12-29T11:13:56-06:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Culture, England, Joseph Pearce, Television|

I watched Sherlock with a growing sense of sorrow for the homelessness of Holmes, and for the homelessness of those who wrote it, and for the homelessness of so many of those who watch it. I share their sense that we live in a vale of tears and that we see it through a veil [...]

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