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And how The Sopranos took advantage of those changes

Promotional Image from HBO’s ‘The Sopranos,’ 2001

The first episode of The Sopranos’ fourth season features a scene where Bobby Baccalieri and Tony Soprano are at a diner, talking about the state of the world in the wake of 9/11. “Y’know,” Bobby says, “Quasimodo predicted all this.”

What follows is a funny, sitcom-y conversation where an annoyed…

The first Game of Thrones’ spin-off performance will show us just how much damage a disappointing finale can wreak

Promotional Photo for House of the Dragon, HBO

On May 5th, HBO has released the official character photos for their upcoming spin-off show, House of the Dragon. The series will cover a major conflict within the House of Targaryan a full three-hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series was ordered by HBO in October…

How ‘Dinner Party’ is a master class of rising tension

“The Dinner Party,” The Office, NBC, 4/10/08

When horror, suspense and thriller writers talk about their inspirations, they often refer to the great, renowned authors and directors like Stephen King or Guillermo del Toro. …

The greed and self-delusion that led to the world of Blade Runner, and our own

Sean Young in Blade Runner, 1982. Warner Bros.

One of the most important things to remember, when arguing with people who deny the existence of man-induced climate change, is that their beliefs are not motivated by any kind of legitimate skepticism with the science of the issue. …

Why I still have hope anyway

Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

A month ago I watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez post a live video on Instagram explaining exactly what it felt like for her during the Capital riots on January 6th. It was a deeply brave and moving video, but I couldn’t fully appreciate it at the time. …

The case for working with Democrats, not against them

(The Jimmy Dore Show, 12/17/20)

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House from 2007–2011 and then again from 2019 on, is a liberal and Democratic icon. For the left, not so much. Late last year, prominent leftist voices — such as Briahna Joy Gray, Jimmy Dore, and Kyle Kulinski — called on House progressives to hold…

It’s time to question the flawed conventional wisdom driving the minimum wage debate

Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald’s corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

I was 16 when I got my first job at a McDonald’s in upstate New York. It was the fall of 2014; I was paid $8 an hour. It was around this time that I started thinking of my purchases in terms of time. A gallon of milk was around…

Lessons from the Trump Era

My slow realization that it’s all theater

Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live (NBC), 2/4/17

The 2016 election was the first Presidential election I was old enough to vote in, and throughout that period I found myself caring a lot about what late night comedians had to say about politics. …

Rationalizing away your complicity

Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Adriana (Drea de Matteo), The Sopranos, “Denial, Anger, Acceptance.” 1/24/99

The kids on The Sopranos can be hard to like. They’re often described as spoiled, whiny, self-centered, and hypocritical, and a lot of the time they are. On a show filled with murderers and thieves, somehow these two characters managed to provoke the most contempt from viewers.

While I admittedly…

How the whiteness of the true-crime genre fuels white supremacist narratives

Facebook profile picture of Haley Anderson, used in the NY Post

By March of 2018, Haley Anderson was a 22-year-old nursing student at Binghamton University. She had a part-time job at an on-campus coffee shop, a full-time job lined up at a Long Island emergency room in her home town, and was set to graduate in May.

Anderson was, by all…

Mike B.

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