Articles on Television

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American comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black. Foxtel

Speaking with: The New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum

Speaking with: Emily Nussbaum. CC BY-ND26.3 MB (download)
Over the past decade we have witnessed the rise and rise of long form television – from The Sopranos to The Wire, Game of Thrones to Orange Is the New Black – and no one has been watching this transformation…
The Indonesian media often portrays the lives of transgender people as “sinful” and wrong. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

On Indonesian TV, transgender people are made to repent

A transgender woman with heavy makeup, a red wig and dressed in pink is chased by her pimp’s henchmen. A young woman hides her in her house. So begins the TV drama, a story of repentance of a transgender…
US actor Robin Williams has been found dead aged 63 in his home in Marin County, California. AAP/ Tracey Nearmy

Robin Williams gave us a lifelong masterclass in comedy

American actor and stand-up comedian Robin Williams has died today, aged 63. Barack Obama posted a statement about his death and noted, in a rather odd turn of phrase, that “he arrived in our lives as…
In Life at 9, the producers took the opportunity to examine the children’s creativity. ABC

Good habits foster creativity – whether you’re nine or 99

The modern creativity era was born in the early days of the US-Soviet space race. When the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, its plaintive beeps, accessible to anyone with…
The Dreamhouse launches tonight on ABC1. Artemis Films

Living with intellectual disability in The Dreamhouse

“I’m not a mummy’s boy any more!” proclaims Justin. “You never were!”, counters his mother Margaret. Justin, aged 32, is leaving home for the first time. He has Down syndrome and he and two others who…
The cast and crew of transgender comedy The Switch want to see more inclusive representation of transgender people on TV. We Love The Switch

Changing the way we look at trans women on TV

The Canadian production company Trembling Void has just successfully crowdfunded a new television series called The Switch. The project is a comedy tracing the lives of an ensemble of trans characters…
Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club – but films about the contemporary experience of life with HIV/AIDS are in short supply. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

HIV/AIDS on screen: by focusing on history, we ignore the present

Consider the last three major films gracing our screens that explicitly deal with HIV/AIDS – the Academy Award-winning, highly acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club in 2013, followed by Ryan Murphy’s much-hyped…
Television audiences may be fragmenting, but sport happens in the moment and demands instant – and lucrative – congregation. EPA/Fernando Bizerra Jr

World Cup: round ball, square eyes and hungering to excess

Just before a critical World Cup game against Spain in Rio de Janeiro, scores of ticketless Chile fans broke into the expensively rebuilt Maracana Stadium at its least secure point – the media centre…
RuPaul’s Drag Race: season six queens. Logo TV/Mathu Andersen

Speaking drag: the deep insights of a show about catty queens

A siren sounds in the workroom and the contestants, still in their street clothes, stop their conversation. “Oooh, girl! You’ve got She-Mail,” says a shrill voice. For those of you just tuning in, you’re…
For James, the reasons for putting pen to paper haven’t changed. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Clive James on death, dragons and writing in the home stretch

Death is a funny thing. It creeps up on us all, or surprises us if we are unlucky (or lucky, depending on the circumstances). For a writer, especially a self-confessed solipsist such as Clive James, the…
STV counts down to Scotland’s first new local channel. Andrew Milligan

If local TV fails in Glasgow, it’s unlikely to succeed anywhere

At 6.30pm tonight, Scotland will lay down a milestone in one of the key debates in television: will local television become a successful and profitable part of the UK’s media scene or remain one politician’s…
‘Tranny’ finds a place among many other slurs that have historically hateful roots. Foxtel

RuPaul’s ‘tranny’ debate: the limits and power of language

If you’re a fan of the American reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, currently airing on Foxtel’s Lifestyle You channel in Australia, you’re likely aware of the ongoing storm that has surged around how…

The rise of the Celtic noir

Y Gwyll, the Welsh title of the recent BBC drama Hinterland, translates as “The Dusk”: perhaps programmers were worried that viewers would mistake it for Twilight? Vampires and zombies certainly feature…
The IT Crowd, the latest example of the British interest in failure and embarrassment. Channel 4

British TV excels, but it hasn’t changed since the 60s

Although awards shows are all about the excitement of the moment – that’s why they’re live – this year’s Bafta television crop is more about continuity than revolution. There was mild controversy because…

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