The Good Guys

The Good Guys, the new cop comedy from Fox, is showing in my Seattle hotel room as I write this.  A month ago I argued that this show has no place in contemporary culture and therefore no hope of success.  (My assumption, unless you are have made contact with culture, your chances of making contact […]

Calling all CCOs: how good is your gut?

Next week, Fox will launch a cop show called The Good Guys.  (It previews May 19th. The series starts June 7.) Outwardly, things looks fine.  The producer is Matt Nix, who recently triumphed with Burn Notice. Its stars Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford, able actors to be sure. Plus Fox is good at making good […]

Being Human, US and UK versions

I am a big fan of Being Human, the US version, that recently appeared on SyFy.   It’s a wonderful “what if.” What if there was a vampire, werewolf, and a ghost living in a house together?  I have to say that my initial response was puzzlement.  As in, “um, er, I don’t know. What […]

Harry’s Law: flourish or fail?

One test of our knowledge of contemporary culture: can we predict whether an innovation will flourish or fail? For the record, then, I believe Harry’s Law, the show that debuted last night on NBC, will fail. The debut suggests I may be wrong.  Harry’s Law got at 7.5 rating / 12 share, putting it ahead […]

Ken Burns, an anthropological portrait of an artist and the edge

[This essay first appeared in Medium. It has been lightly edited for presentation here.] In the world of documentary filmmaking, it feels like there’s the era “Before Ken Burns” (BKB) and the one that follows his rise to prominence. In the first, documentaries can be laborious, hectoring and blowzily imprecise, both too broad and too […]