Work: In Words
I've been writing all my life, but I've been writing professionally since 2001, when I got my first job writing recaps of The Amazing Race for Television Without Pity. As of right now, while TWoP is retired, you can still read the first recap I ever wrote. I worked there until 2008, when I left and started Monkey See, NPR's first and only pop-culture blog, of which I remain the first and only editor.
Some of my very favorite things I've written:
- Reflections on the first black Bachelorette, and what her choice of suitors says.
- An essay on similarities between live theater and prestige television.
- Thoughts on the nature of fame, provoked by the podcast Missing Richard Simmons.
- My piece on what I call The Age Of Enthusiasm, about the way culture is shifting from an economy driven by habit to one driven by passion, and what that means economically and artistically.
- My deep (deep, deep) dive into the endlessly evolving cultural idea that is Cinderella.
- A look at the way cultural panic -- like the one exploited all the way back in The Music Man -- never really leaves us.
- Every Song In The Last Five Years Ranked By Uncontrollable Sobbing. A piece I love because the chance to live as a true obsessive is one every writer occasionally exploits.
On the blog, I write about TV and movies and books, but I also write about the weather and the internet and why solitude is important and why Minnesota gets such a bad rap in popular ideas about regional food.
Some of my writing about television:
- 20 Things You Desperately Need To Know About Mariah Carey's Hallmark Movie
- A Good Fit: Why The Best Thing About Catastrophe Is People Laughing
- Decency And Discipline And The Good People Of Fargo
- Is There Really Too Much Television? (the kickoff essay for a multipart series about the future of TV)
- Mad Men Ends, Singing A Familiar Song
- The Hapless Veep Staff Trips Itself Up As Selina Ascends
- The Empire Touch: A Cookie By Any Other Name
- In I Hate Christian Laettner, ESPN Explores The Belly Of The Beast
- Parks And Recreation Shows The Beating Heart Of Its Great Love Story
Some of my writing about movies:
- Captain America, Aaron Burr, And The Politics Of Killing Your Friends
- The Best-Case Scenario: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Misery, Misery and Misery: From Page To Screen To Stage
- I Really Like You: Amy Schumer Makes A Fine Trainwreck
- Why The Key Character In Inside Out Is The One Who Isn't There
- Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories
- The 20 Greatest Things About This Amazing 'The Boy Next Door' Trailer