The 2012-2013 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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It’s time to (belatedly) celebrate the end of the television season by giving out meaningless awards!

Sorry for being so late with this. I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t had much time to reflect on the TV season that just passed. But more importantly, I had a lot of frustrations with TV dramas this past season, which sapped my motivation to do these awards. But this has become somewhat of a tradition at the blog, so despite the drama categories being even thinner than last year (based on what I watched), I’m still going to pick my favourite performers and TV shows. The awards can be found after the jump. More

What I’ve Been Reading: May 5, 2013

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It’s a week of big news and not-so-big news. Luckily, I’m here to cover all of it. And by all of it, I mean a small portion of it. Cut me some slack; I’m a one-man operation! More

New Girl Versus the Will-They/Won’t-They Trope

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I don’t have time to post an extensive essay this week (Internet life, meet real life), but I wanted to share some thoughts on what one my favourite comedies, New Girl, has been doing this season. In particular, I wanted to talk about what the show has been doing with Nick and Jess, who are currently in the midst of one of the most interesting romantic sitcom subplots in recent memory. More

What I’ve Been Reading: March 3, 2013

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Oh Sunday, glorious Sunday! What have we here? Why, it’s another edition of What I’ve Been Reading! A critical look at touchscreens, a build-or-buy guide for gaming PCs, and more follow after the jump. More

My Ten Favourite TV Shows of 2012

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Just like every other blogger on the Internet, I can’t resist making year-end lists. This one is the first of many and is about my favourite television shows of 2012. Some of them were funny. Some were suspenseful. And others were just plain weird. But all of them were awesome, in one way or another. The list is after the jump. More

The 2011-2012 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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The 2011-2012 television season came to a close last week with the end of May sweeps, so now it’s time for me to honour the best of what I watched with my annual fake awards show. The only problem is that it’s proving to be a little more difficult than last year. More

New Girl and the Misuse of TV Tropes

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Fox’s new sitcom, New Girl, has been marketed with the kind of tagline that just invites mockery: “Simply adorkable.” It’s as if the network was telling potential viewers, “Hey, don’t take this show too seriously.” Perhaps that’s why so much of the pre-air and post-air conversation about the show, from both critics and regular viewers, has been dismissive, pigeonholing its central character, Jess (Zooey Deschanel), as a manic-pixie-dream-girl (MPDG) fantasy for male hipsters, without further analysis.

Full disclosure: I enjoyed New Girl. That is to say, I liked it, but I didn’t adore it. (Adork it?) But I’m not leaping to the show’s defense here. People are allowed to like what they like and dislike what they dislike. What concerns me is that aforementioned dismissive attitude towards the show. It’s disconcerting when it comes from viewers and even more so when it comes from critics. When the conversation about New Girl has been reduced to talking about whether or not it fits a TV trope, we’re not really discussing the show anymore. Instead, we’re discussing the validity of a trope, trying to lend false objectivity to what should really be a matter of opinion. It’s not even a clear conversation, because there doesn’t seem to be agreement about what a “manic pixie dream girl” is. If this “reductio ad tropium” – pardon my Dog Latin – becomes the new norm, then it has profoundly disturbing implications for the state of television criticism and online television discussion as a whole. More