Tag Archives: TV


And now for another installment of the popular Basement feature “Gee, Where Have I Heard That Before?” The trigger this time was Strangers With Candy—specifically, the episodes where Jerri Blank joins a cult. The members sing a song repeatedly—relentlessly, one might even say. (After her ride in the van to Safe Trap House, Jerri says, […]

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I voted for Hillary Clinton today in the DC Democratic primary. Why? Let me put it this way. The Homer Simpsons and Montgomery Burnses and Mayor Quimbys and Kent Brockmans have been in charge forever and have managed to make a pretty good mess of things. It’s long past time for Lisa Simpson to have […]

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Gore Vidal was on Tavis Smiley the other night. He was as sharp and funny as always, especially on matters political and historical. True to his stage in life, though, a good chunk of the conversation danced with the notion—no, not the notion, the fact—of mortality. At one point Vidal quoted the last two lines […]

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I was at work in Virginia, chatting with my kid, who’s in college in Massachusetts. That in itself is wondrous. (I think I averaged two phone calls per quarter to my parents while I was in school. She talks with her mother and me four or five times a week.) She mentioned in passing that she […]

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The local PBS station is begging for money again, and to get our attention they’re running old episodes of Julia Child‘s The French Chef. Last Saturday she made several dishes using potatoes. It was the first installment, apparently, from 1963— “in glorious black and white,” as they say. She didn’t manage to flip the first […]

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Two Soviet-era literary giants went head-to-head on Russian television and battled to a draw. The miniseries based on Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle drew about the same number of viewers as The Golden Calf, based on a work by the humorists Ilf and Petrov. However, both were beaten handily by Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita, […]

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman