RUN, do not walk to see the new movie Pride.

This trailer is a bit “ZOMG, teh gays!” and does a poor job of showing what the movie is actually about.

And it certainly doesn’t give you a hint at the plethora of great performances in this movie – including Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Joe Gilgun, Imelda Staunton, Fay Marsay, Paddy Considine, Jessica Gunning among others, and a star-making turn from Ben Schnetzer.

Go. Now. You will not be sorry.



Celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday responsibly!


After 50-plus years of complacently doling out a tightly regimented school lunch tray of cop/doctor/lawyer/family/sitcom, the dawn of the Second Golden Age marks the point when television suddenly — and seemingly collectively — decided that trans-textual promiscuity was a far more satisfying endeavor than the pursuit of haiku-like perfection in the extant formats.

Gilding the Small Screen: or, “Is it just me or did TV get good all of a sudden?” | The Los Angeles Review of Books

Forget “transmedia”! Let’s start calling it “trans-textual promiscuity” instead!


Pound-for-pound and show-by-show, the monolithic thematic obsession of present-day narrative television can be summed up in two words: bad parenting.

In film school, I was assigned Robert B. Ray’s book A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema. Here’s the TL;DR: Every Hollywood film between 1930 and 1980 is essentially a Western focusing on either an outlaw hero or an official hero. To Ray, the film industry in those 50 years was nothing less than a vast cultural project to transpose on all genres the tropes of our national heroic narrative of manifest destiny, conquest, greatest-generation stoicism, and jingoistic machismo.

So what is the TL;DR of my first factor? Every show of the Second Golden Age of television is essentially Kramer vs. Kramer: a sustained exploration of the consequences of divorce — and absent and abandoning parenting — on the now-grown children of the first generation to experience it as a widespread social custom.



When Lost was called onstage to receive the Best Dramatic Series Emmy in 2005, I was the chubby guy in the Nehru jacket and thick-rimmed, yellow-lensed glasses standing catty-corner from series co-creator and thank-you-speech-deliverer Damon Lindelof. I suppose I always wanted to win a major award on primetime while dressed like a Bond villain or a waiter.”

My essay “Gilding the Small Screen, or “is it just me or did TV get good all of a sudden?” was just published by the Los Angeles Review of Books!


We take it for granted that the majority calls the shots. But in one NY school district, that idea — majority rules — has led to an all-out war. School board disputes are pretty common, but not like this one. This involves multimillion-dollar land deals, lawyers threatening to beat up parents, felony criminal charges, and the highest levels of state government. Meanwhile, the students are caught in the middle.

A Not-So-Simple Majority | This American Life

Listen to this revealing episode of This American Life. The school district it’s talking about is the one where I grew up.

Above and beyond the particulars of the dispute, what I found stunning was how much the nastiness, suspicion, and unpleasantness dropped me right back into what it was like growing up there.

A small suburb right outside if New York City – Rockland County was provincial, close-minded, racist, reactionary and had a deep vein of hatefulness running through it. As the show went on, I got more and more tense, as if having a flashback to what it was like living there.

It was stunning to be reminded of where I come from, and how much I never, ever want to go back there.

EDIT: And, y’know, if I’m being totally honest about it, I think one of the things I found so troubling about listening to the episode is how it made me reflect on my own instincts to immediately go on the offensive if I think someone is verbally attacking me. It’s something I’ve spent a long time trying to train myself out of, and not completely successfully. But to be grow up in such a stew of anger and resentment over…well, everything and nothing – I’m not quite sure I’ve ever seen the toxicity laid so bare.