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Ken Burns Presents Hemingway as Bull

PBS offered a three part series last week that my husband recorded so that we could sit in bed each night hoping to learn more about Hemingway’s freshwater fishing exploits in Michigan, now that we are living only minutes away from those very same Holy Waters.

After we put the four kiddos to bed, he poured us a glass of Oban Little Bay Scotch (less peat and therefore more to my liking). We got comfy in a mess of bedding and pillows with our two German hunting dogs piled on top like a sundae. We simply don’t have much time to watch TV together and are almost never interested in the same programs. But, “Hemingway,” a new PBS documentary by Ken Burns, was something we had both been anticipating for months.

Why Bridgerton Is the Most Subversive Show on Television

This review contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1

I wasn’t looking forward to watching Bridgerton, a new Netflix series which debuted on Christmas Day last year. I hadn’t read the novels – the show is based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous series – and was not familiar with Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes, who signed a $100 million contract with Netflix in 2017, even though everybody on the planet knows her work.

However, even if I had I been exposed to either of those things, I still wouldn’t have cared. There is no shortage of stories about priviledged British royals and their straphangers, and after a while the characters and plot lines all tend to blend together in my head. For me to want to be invested, I have to know I’m going to see something unique.

Downton Abbey accomplished this by focusing on the straphangers as much as the royals. That was interesting, and the entire series held my attention.

Bridgerton held my attention in perhaps the most subversive way possible in this day and age.

You Should Binge Watch Schitt’s Creek Now

The first 5 seasons are on Netflix

I very much agree with my former PJM colleague Stephen Kruiser. The Canadian comedy show Schitt’s Creek is something special.

Taking Ramy Youssef to Task for His Depressing Hulu Sitcom

Most of my writing these days focuses on Islamist groups in Southern California and the country at large, however sometimes it intersects with popular culture, as it does with my newest piece, published yesterday at PJ Media, Golden Globe-Winner Ramy Youssef’s Muslim Family Sitcom More Tragedy than Comedy

Opportunities Taken and Opportunities Missed in The Morning Show

A lawyer’s perspective

I watched the episodes of The Morning Show with interest and a great deal of admiration for the performances of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston. I read Tom Weiss’ review of the show  here with interest and pleasure.

Because I don’t disagree with the Weiss review in broad outline, I’m not lodging a dissenting opinion. But I do want to talk about opportunities missed as well as opportunities taken in the production, because there were some.

I can’t help but bring to the show my experience over thirty-plus years with sexual harassment claims. I have defended them, “prosecuted” them, mediated them, investigated them, and served as arbitrator in cases where sexual harassment was part of the mix of claims. I’ve conducted training in how to prevent such claims.

Review: Apple+’s The Morning Show

In the first episode of The Morning Show, Apple’s stunning initial foray into scripted television, a conservative small-town Virginia reporter named Bradley Jackson – played to near perfection by Reese Witherspoon – tells her producer, “The truth is the truth whether you’re writing for The Bumf%*$ Gazette or the New York Times.

The Hidden Horror Stories of Battlestar Galactica

The original “Battlestar Galactica” show shared several traits with original “Star Trek”. Every few episodes, there’s a new planet and a new people who are suspiciously human. In “Battlestar Galactica”, these constantly discovered human worlds were described as stragglers from the original group that went to Earth.

This raises a number of questions. One would be why these colonists were left behind instead of the ship bound for Earth staying there. We could argue that the Western world wasn’t considered good enough for a full colony and founded by exiles. Yet “Terra” became an advanced technological civilization complete with massive cities. Who colonized that world?

TV Review: The Rookie – Does Burying Yourself in a Stressful Job Assuage the Pain of Alienation?

Fans of Nathan Fillion, late of Castle fame, should be pleased with his latest venture – a police procedural “dramedy” called The Rookie.  The action is herky-jerky like a good amusement park ride (and therefore riveting) and the humor is sprinkled in judiciously so as not to detract from the drama.  Fillion stars as John Nolan, as a forty-something new recruit to the L.A.P.D.

TV Review: The Meaning of the NCIS Franchise’s Recurring “Off The Books” Plots

Return to a “State of Nature?”

“…the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.  For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, Chap.VI, Sec. 57

For years now, whenever our daughter comes home from her adventures (which included West Point, Afghanistan, Iraq, law school, law clerk and now Supreme Court Fellow, thus explaining her interest)  we binge watch the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) franchises: NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans.  These shows have been highly rated for decades, though you don’t read or hear much about them.  I suspect that is because there is entirely too much patriotism, classical heroism, and American exceptionalism for the cynics in the media to swallow.