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Kevin McDonough

Entries by Kevin McDonough

Al Jazeera America: A Wrong Move at Precisely the Wrong Time

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 5:14 PM

Perhaps the Middle Eastern media barons behind Al Jazeera America should have read more Marshall Mcluhan before spending billions to launch the news channel, scheduled to be shuttered come April. The late media theorist Mcluhan once compared reading a morning newspaper to "slipping into a warm bath."

We may...

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Will Ferrell's Inside Baseball: How Many Celebrity Vanity Projects Must We Endure?

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 11:02 AM

Tomorrow night, Will Ferrell appears in the comedy stunt Ferrell Takes the Field (10:00 p.m. Saturday, HBO, TV-14). A charity fundraiser, Field showcases Ferrell on a single day of major league baseball spring training earlier this year, as he plays 10 different positions for 10 different teams in a five-game...

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Is Acorn's 'Detectorists' the Cult Comedy of the Year?

(9) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 12:53 PM

Arguably the best television comedy of the year, if not years, arrives on these shores today. But not on network, cable, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.

The Acorn TV streaming service premieres "Detectorists," starring Mackenzie Crook ("Game of Thrones," "The Office" and Pirates of the Caribbean) and Toby...

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Class Dismissed: The One Word CNN's 'Seventies' Television History Won't Mention

(9) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 11:58 AM

Nostalgia is not history. Like any effort to cram a decade's worth of noteworthy events into eight hour-long segments, CNN's "The Seventies," (9 p.m., Thursday) is as remarkable for what it neglects as what it remembers.

It's first hour, "Television Gets Real" is a good example. Employing...

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In Attacking NBC's 'Hillary' Reince Priebus Lacks Ronald Reagan's Confidence (and Wisdom)

(96) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Before GOP chairman Reince Priebus started criticizing NBC for announcing its Hillary miniseries project, maybe he should have asked himself, "What would Ronald Reagan Do?"

Had he done so, he might have avoided a great deal of noise and embarrassment. Reagan was faced with a very similar situation as...

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Dowd Provides Maximum Exposure for Unmade Mini

(21) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 3:55 PM

Dear Maureen Dowd: Stop writing about television. You've got better things to do. Leave TV criticism to lowly hack TV critics. Like me.

With all due respect. You can write about anything. Putin and Obama just relaunched the Cold War and you've devoted your column ("Reince Is Right")...

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Boehner Plays Woodstock, Where Everybody, It Seems, Is Tone Deaf

(17) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 7:26 PM

For those still interested, the 44th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival (August 15-19, 1969) is drawing near. It's rather surprising how many still care, and how much the event, and the mists of metaphor that have grown around it, still reverberate.

The aura of Woodstock has long been...

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Taking Uncivil Liberties With Modern Family

(49) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 3:32 PM

It seems the ACLU wants to get into the sitcom writing game.

My first reaction to the press release titled, "ACLU Action Launches Campaign to Get Cam and Mitch Hitched on 'Modern Family'" was: "Don't you have better things to do?"

Now I take the ACLU...

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Is TV Dead? Not so Fast!

(16) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 3:53 PM

Is TV really most sincerely dead?

Knee deep amidst the network upfront announcements of axes swung ("Smash" cancelled!) and shows born ("The Blacklist"!) and reborn ("24"!?) comes a dire New York Times business article ("As TV Ratings and Profits Fall, Networks Face a Cliffhanger" by Brian Stelter)....

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Just in Case You Missed It: The Media Revolution of 1999

(11) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 1:25 PM

As "Mad Men" revisits the chaos of 1968, we're reminded that some years are more memorable, traumatic and influential than others. If some revolutionary periods seems like earthquakes, others arrive with subtle tectonic shifts and are all the more profound for going by unnoticed.

A case can be made...

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What If They Blew Up a Small Town in the Heartland? (And Nobody Cared?)

(83) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 11:32 AM

Not all tragedies are covered equally. Of the two major explosions in the news last week, the unfolding Boston Marathon story certainly received more attention than the deadlier blast in West, Texas. In some ways this is understandable. In the news' narrative, Boston emerged as a triumph of police work...

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Television's Endless War Opens a Brand New Front

(8) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 6:57 PM

We are now at war with everyone. Everywhere. All the time. Battling without cease over every conceivable subject.

And that's just on television.

Over the past several years, "Wars" and rumors of war have erupted in the strangest places. A reality series about the banality of the DMV becomes...

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