| Sep 22, 2011
Perhaps it's been brought to your attention that this is a big week for retrograde representations of women on television. Monday marked the premiere of NBC's "The Playboy Club," a noir-ish look at Hugh Hefner's flagship Chicago club in 1963, and Sunday...
| Aug 18, 2011
You may not have seen "Idiocracy," the 2006 sci-fi comedy set in an utterly dysfunctional nation 500 years in the future, but chances are you've heard it mentioned lately. References to the film seem to be everywhere, and not just in op-eds penned by...
| Oct 10, 2011
Who the heck would want to be like Betty or her ad man ex, Don?
That's what I asked myself recently when I passed a Banana Republic window display featuring the retailer's new "Mad Men"-inspired clothing collection.
"Are you a Betty?" read a poster with...
| Dec 17, 2011
Robert Reich has worked in a lot of big white buildings -- in the Senate, as an intern to Robert F. Kennedy; in the office of then-Solicitor General Robert Bork; in the Ford and Carter administrations; and as labor secretary to President Clinton. Now...
| Mar 20, 2013
Milt Larsen is a master of two kinds of magic. There's the abracadabra kind that his magician parents brought him up on, and the sort he began practicing with his late brother, Bill — the magic of preserving buildings, including the Variety Arts...
| Jul 5, 2011
It's a comedic catchphrase these days, popularized by an online clip from a 2005 TV show "Wonder Showzen" on MTV2. It's not as iconic as Gary Coleman's "What 'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" or Fonzie's "Ayyyyyy" or even Bart Simpson's "Don'...
| Aug 6, 2011
Buck Henry arguably made his showbiz debut at the age of 2, when his mother, the silent film star Ruth Taylor, took him to the Paramount lot to show him off. She denied then that she wanted him to go into movies. Sorry, Mom. Henry has become a polymath of...
| Jun 16, 2011
Anthony Weiner, the disgraced New York congressman whose sins certainly don't need to be spelled out again, has, we are told, checked himself into rehab. We can't be sure exactly what kind, since his spokeswoman said only that he was seeking "professional...
| Jun 11, 2011
My comic book tastes ran to Classics Illustrated. Seriously, what's scarier than the graphic images of "Crime and Punishment" and Raskolnikov -- the existential "superman," not the caped one -- whacking the pawnbroker with an ax? Can I, then, hold my...
| Feb 26, 2011
Jamie Oliver presses a "happy cow" veggie burger on me with the fervor of a believer handing out religious pamphlets. He asks me whether I love it, but his smile is pure certainty that I will -- and even love him for making it. He's stepped out from the...
| Dec 4, 2013
President Obama's speech Tuesday announced the relaunch of his healthcare program's website. But he was also aiming to relaunch his entire second term, which has careened from high ambition to near-catastrophe in less than 11 months.
Until his signature...