“Silicon Valley”: Comedy That Hits Too Close to Home … Or Just Close Enough?

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Three episodes of the new HBO comedy series Silicon Valley have passed, and I admit that I’m hooked, though not always for good reasons. The show, directed by Mike Judge (known for his hit sitcom Office Space), follows a group of young programmers living in a tech incubator in Silicon Valley and attempting to get a […]

Alice Walker Documentary on PBS This Friday

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Sometimes you have to write the stories you want to read—or, in this case, see. A few years ago, filmmaker Pratibha Parmar was staying with friends and happened across PBS’ American Masters series on DVD.  She couldn’t help but notice something was missing: They were all about American men who are icons, or who have […]

Girls Will Be “Girls” — A Feminist Lens on Season 3

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The third season of HBO’s Girls premiered Sunday night with two new episodes and a whole lot of millennial self-absorption. Hannah (Lena Dunham), now back with Adam (Adam Driver), is getting her life back on track, while her best friend Marnie (Allison Williams) is single again after being ceremonially dumped by Charlie (Christopher Abbott). Shoshanna […]

Moms and Mr. Moms: Funny and Smart

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Calling all Comedy Central junkies, SNL fans and lovers of The Colbert Report: If you care about the history of comedy, then you need to know about Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and unless you’ve done your humor homework, chances are pretty good that you don’t. Moms Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken) was one of the biggest comedy […]

20 Funny Black Women of Twitter

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When Saturday Night Live announced its newest cast members earlier this season, there was some not-so-surprising news: For the sixth year in a row, the legendary sketch comedy show would not feature any black female cast members. And this week it got a whole lot worse. Reports TV Guide: Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels […]

The King and Her Court

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I’m in the minority on this one. I’m not someone who remembers exactly where she was when women’s tennis star Billie Jean King beat aging motormouth (and former Wimbledon champ) Bobby Riggs in the so-called “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match on September 20, 1973. I watched it on TV, but it wasn’t a big […]

An Open Letter to CNN on Chelsea Manning

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To whom it may concern: My name is Heather McNamara. My fiancée, Lauren McNamara, was a confidante of Chelsea Manning’s and testified in her trial. As such, Lauren was recently interviewed on The Lead and on New Day Saturday. During Lauren’s interview on The Lead, interviewer Jake Tapper explained that CNN would be referring to […]

And The Emmy Goes To … Women Directors

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Women will make up half of all nominees for directing television at this year’s Emmys, making it the first time that women have reached parity with men for directing nods. Three women have been nominated for directing comedy shows and two for dramas, making up five of the 10 nominations for directing television shows (there […]

Katarina Witt: Diplomatic On And Off The Ice

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As part of their Nine for IX series, ESPN aired the new documentary The Diplomat last week, featuring figure-skating icon Katarina Witt. The film traces the career and legacy of the back-to-back Olympic Gold medal-winner from East Germany, placing her achievements on the ice in the context of Cold War politics. At a time when sports […]

“Orange Is The New Black”: Taking Privilege to Task

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Netflix’s brilliant new original series, Orange is the New Black, stars Taylor Schilling as TV’s most unlikely convicted felon. Piper Chapman is a white, upper-middle class, Smith-educated fish-out-of-water in the suffocating air of a low-security women’s prison. During an excruciating visit with her daughter, Piper’s mother tells her, Sweetheart, you’re nothing like any of these women. […]