Twin Peaks: The Return [episodes 1-4] (2017)

Twin Peaks: The Return [episodes 1-4] (2017)
“Return to Twin Peaks, or, Experimental Cinema Comes to American Television” As the first episode of Twin Peaks: The Return begins, good Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) sits trapped in the Black Lodge. His doppelganger, also played by MacLachlan, but now with horridly long, greasy black hair, so disturbing compared to the G-man’s trim hair ...

Twin Peaks (1990)

Twin Peaks (1990)
The Turn and Return of Twin Peaks: A Prolegomenon Showtime’s publicity for Twin Peaks: The Return, the sequel to Mark Frost and David Lynch’s 1990 murder mystery soap opera, emphasizes the notion that the original was the show that changed television. This is largely true: Twin Peaks inexplicably aired on network television, ABC, a network ...

“Clinton’s Daisy Chain”

“Clinton’s Daisy Chain” As Eric Barnouw taught us long ago, one astonishing thing about the 1964 Doyle Dane Bernbach ad campaign featuring “the daisy girl” is that it was produced at the moment Lyndon Johnson was planning the escalation of US fighting in Vietnam. In the one-minute spot, a young girl picks leaves off of ...

Fargo: Season Two (2015)

Fargo: Season Two (2015)
“Building an Empire State” The second season of Fargo (FX, 2015) is devoted to the fall of empire. In the season finale, “Palindrome” (12/14/2015), Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) catches one of the Gerhardt’s lackeys pilfering from the family homestead now that almost everyone in the clan is dead. The irreverent gangster gloats at his new ...

Curb Your Enthusiasm: “Halloween” (2001)

Curb Your Enthusiasm:
“Judaism, Where Are You?” The influence of Richard Wagner on the cinema is usually presented as a mere musical exchange. Critical theorist Theodor Adorno states quite simply, “The Wagnerian leitmotif leads directly to cinema music” (34). This is, of course, quite true. One cannot imagine Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s score for 1938’s The Adventures of Robin ...

Mad Men: “Maidenform” (2008)

Mad Men:
“Can There Be Two Don Drapers?” In the 19th century, the theatrical melodrama built its structure around moments of emotional tension which would end scenes, acts, and sometimes the play itself, allowing people to contemplate the high stakes of morality on display. Characters would freeze into a stage picture, and the curtain would go down ...

Mad Men: “Waterloo” (2014)

Mad Men:
Mad Men’s Season Seven, First Half: A Tale of Two Intertexts The first half of season seven of Mad Men ranks as one of the most sophisticated intertextual webs ever developed by an American television program. Don Draper frequently watches French art cinema in order to escape Madison Avenue commerce, allowing his creative mind free ...

The Big Bang Theory: “The Helium Insufficiency” (2015)

The Big Bang Theory:
“Not Just a Lot of Hot Air” While on sabbatical this semester, I have been drafting a book, tentatively entitled, Molecular Cinema. I am interested in pointing my field of media studies in a different direction, one as concerned with materiality as it is with ideology. My most basic question is, What are images made ...