What I’ve Been Reading: November 17th, 2019

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This is a weird What I’ve Been Reading that contains articles I’ve been compiling over the past month, so I don’t exactly remember why I compiled them. Let’s find out together, shall we? More

What I’ve Been Reading: August 23, 2015

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Crashes, hacks, and a whole lot of disaster. Sounds like What I’ve Been Reading! More

How Arrow Lost Sight of One of Its Most Important Characters

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From the title, you’re probably guessing that this piece is about John Diggle or Felicity Smoak, or maybe even Roy Harper. Sorry to disappoint you. In actuality, this piece is about a character that has been in every episode of the series. It’s about Starling City. More

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

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

Episode Review: Parks and Recreation, S4E22, Win, Lose or Draw

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In the middle of this week’s season finale, Ron explains to Ben that he doesn’t like meeting new people or doing new things. He has had the same haircut for decades, and he’s been driving the same car since 1991. In short, Ron doesn’t like change. The same could be said of this season of Parks and Recreation, especially the second half. While the show has demonstrated its willingness to expose its characters to new experiences, mainly through the election campaign, the characters don’t really seem to be affected by these experiences (April and Chris aside). Parks has become consequence-free, and as “Win, Lose or Draw” demonstrated, anything that seems like change is merely like rearranging the magnets on a fridge door. More

Episode Review: Parks and Recreation, S4E21, Bus Tour

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In the penultimate episode of Parks and Recreation’s fourth season, the election campaign (sort of) heated up. And for a while there, things (sort of) got interesting. More details after the jump. More

Episode Review: Parks and Recreation, S4E20, The Debate

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In my reviews, I talk a lot about the notion of “setup,” which is admittedly somewhat of a vague, nebulous concept. However, it’s also a crucial one, so it’s important that we at least have an idea of what we’re talking about. In general terms, “setup” refers to creating a logical progression of story from one episode to another. That’s not to say that stories in serialized TV shows can’t arise from outside the main narrative; in fact, series that attempt to generate all plots endogenously can exhibit a weird kind of insularity, creating an artificial environment in which nothing seems to exist beyond the show’s narrow borders. (More on that later.) Rather, “setup” implies that whatever happens on the show should make sense given the context, i.e. the sum total of everything that happened previously.

If this all seems like a bunch of pretentious, semi-academic rambling, that’s because it is. It’s an attempt to rationalize my complex feelings about “The Debate,” an episode of Parks and Recreation that should have been a triumph. A season ago, I would have been slobbering all over an episode like this one. I mean, given that it was written and directed by series star Amy Poehler, giving it anything less than the highest praise almost feels, for lack of a better word, wrong. I wanted to love “The Debate,” but instead of unabashed adoration, I came away feeling tepid enjoyment. How come? After a bit of reflection, I think it has something to do with that all-important concept of “setup.” More

Episode Review: Parks and Recreation, S4E19, Live Ammo

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Parks and Recreation is back after a one-month hiatus, and it’s more or less the way we left it: very enjoyable in parts, immensely frustrating in others. A brief review of “Live Ammo” follows after the jump. More

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