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  • Jesse (Brendan Meyer), BBA (Phyllis Smith), Steve (Patrick Gibson), Buck (Ian Alexander), OA (Brit Marling), and French (Brandon Perea) sitting in a circle in a dark, unfinished house.

    The OA: Storytelling as an Act of Trust

    The OA is a show that makes me think a lot about the act of telling a story. Storytelling takes two people: a teller and an audience. In that way, like with most interpersonal connections, it’s an act of trust. The amount of trust varies, but by putting some part of the exchange on somebody […] More

  • Halston looking out the rolled-down window of his limousine

    Halston: A Familiar Story of Artistic Angst

    I’ll be honest with you from the jump: high fashion is far from my area of expertise. Stories about troubled and ambitious auteurs struggling viciously with the struggles of artistic success on the other hand, that’s a different thing. While Netflix’s new mini-series Halston, from Sharr White and Ryan Murphy, is about one of the most influential […] More

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    Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji and Misato, Uncommon Friends

    Neon Genesis Evangelion is a show about a lot of things. It’s about teenage kids piloting badass giant mechs to fight invading aliens. It’s about a vision of the origin of humankind that marries science-fiction tropes and Western religious iconography. It’s about a penguin who lives in a refrigerator. A lot of things. I would […] More

  • The makeshift body for the Machine in the Subway hideout, consisting of several hundred PS3 consoles

    The Machine: AI of Interest

    At first glance, the Machine in Person of Interest could hardly qualify as a character. When introduced in the pilot, it is nothing more than a plot device. Reclusive billionaire tech genius Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) tells his new partner in crime-fighting, ex-CIA operative John Reese (Jim Caviezel), that the source of his information is […] More

  • Adelle stands in a doorway.

    Adelle DeWitt: Ever the Shepherd

    “The world is a very simple place…at first. Then, as we grow up, it grows around us, a dense thicket of complication and disappointment. Unbearable for some. And even for the luckiest of us, still sometimes more than we can handle. Less than we’d hoped.” These words never made it into the episodes of Dollhouse […] More

  • Adelle holding a crying Topher in her arms

    Dollhouse, “Epitaph One”: The “Hidden” Episode

    When Dollhouse first aired over a decade ago, I was a relatively recent addition to the ranks of Joss Whedon fandom. I was terribly excited to be on the ground floor for his newest show, going in with no idea what moments, what lines, what characters would speak to me—and what parts of the show […] More

  • The series logo as displayed at the end of the opening credits

    Dollhouse: I Try to Be My Best

    There are few things as painful in art as wasted potential. That’s kind of a running theme with shows that are cancelled too soon, certainly, but I mean something more particular. Yes, it was a shame that Firefly was cancelled so soon, but Firefly sprang from the womb pretty close to perfect. There may be less of […] More

  • An uncharacteristic moment of Shinji Ikari feeling valued in Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    In Defense of Shinji Ikari

    This is the story of a boy—a sad, confused boy entering his teenage years with little in the way of social skills and even less in the way of self-esteem. He is terrified of confrontation, but also of any kind of emotional intimacy. He doesn’t know how to connect with the people around him, because […] More