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Stephen Colbert created an extraordinary character: a right-wing, bloviating pundit who was both outrageous and adorable. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The Stephen Colbert legacy

If you were following politics over the last few election cycles, you were most likely getting some of your information from satire. In fact, research has shown that in today’s political climate, satire…
The ABC’s focus on digital will not help it make a case for its uniqueness. Dan Peled/AAP

The ABC’s ‘me too’ strategy puts it on track for redundancy

Is the ABC trying to make itself redundant? Because that appears to be its strategy. Here’s why. The ABC is expensive. In 2013 it was allocated more than A$1 billion of taxpayer funds. The ABC claims…
The First Contact cast members' transformation over the series is an optical illusion of Australian race relations. SBS

SBS’s First Contact is the real ‘festering sore’ of the nation

The SBS/Blackfella Films production First Contact – that takes six non-Indigenous people and immerses them into Aboriginal Australia for the first time – captured the nation’s attention this week amassing…
Is Doomsday Preppers simply a freakish version of Grand Designs? National Geographic Channel

Architecture of doom: DIY planning for global catastrophe

Environmental catastrophe, economic collapse, global pandemic … does it feel like the world is ending? If you think Armageddon is near and are trying to get ready, you are not alone. National Geographic…
Australians are increasingly tuning in to traditional broadcast television stations. www.shutterstock.com

Television is not dead, it’s just changing channels

Netflix will launch in Australia and New Zealand in March next year. Expectations are this is just the start of an influx of new streaming options in Australia. The internet and television are increasingly…
Lynda Carter as Diana Prince in the New Original Wonder Woman. Her bullet-deflecting bracelets are made from an impervious metal: feminum. Retrogasm/Flickr

Where have all the wonder women gone?

In the epilogue to Jill Lepore’s new book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, we learn about Wonder Woman’s importance to the American feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Lepore briefly notes Wonder…
The clincher of the latest season of Doctor Who? The Doctor’s nemesis is a woman. ABC Publicity

The Doctor’s nemesis is a woman? It’s about Time, Lord

The latest series of Doctor Who wrapped up on the weekend with the completion of a startling two-episode finale: Dark Waters and Death in Heaven. This season we’ve seen what is perhaps the darkest, edgiest…
Sharon Stone, in Basic Instinct, dramatised the catastrophic actions of a clever yet unhinged woman. EPA/ Peter Foley

Assertive female sexuality is pathologised time and again

Mental illness and women’s sexuality are frequently aligned – on screen and off. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, pathologised women’s sexuality. Indeed his definition of a woman as someone…
Outlander might draw on the conventions of romance, but it’s a mistake to dismiss it as “just” romance. Fox

Outlandish desires: why Outlander is a feminist romance

Television series Outlander made its debut on the small screen in August this year, to the acclaim of both reviewers and fans. Critical tongues are wagging, tumblr gifs abound, and Etsy has been inundated…
Kjellberg argues his low-budget method is a ‘winning concept’. YouTube.com

YouTube games star PewDiePie is playing for global dominance

Does the name Felix Kjellberg sound familiar? How about PewDiePie? … Still nothing? Clearly you’re not one of the 31 million subscribers to YouTube’s most successful channel, PewDiePie, starring 24-year-old…
How will the new Twin Peaks stack up against its stylish and nightmarish cable brethren? ☠mc 1984☠ GENGHIS KHAN LAURA2

I’ll see you again in 25 years: the return to Twin Peaks

In the penultimate episode of Twin Peaks (1990-1991), “I’ll see you again in 25 years” were the words spoken backwards by Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) to FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), the…
Comedies such as Please Like Me help to break the stigma around mental health. ABC Publicity

ABC’s Mental As … it’s OK to laugh about mental health

So what’s funny about mental illness? Very little. It can be hard to smile, let alone laugh, when every day feels like a wet blanket. When someone makes a joke about mental illness, it often trivialises…
There’s more than one way to decode ABC’s The Code. ABC

The Code: darkness in the blaze of the Australian sun

ABC’s six-part political thriller The Code is shaping up as the most challenging political thriller on Australian television since the BBC’s House of Cards (1990). And, like the BBC series – and its recent…
Film and television workers cut their teeth at places such as Melbourne’s Channel 31. Sascha Grant

Moving community TV online is a turn-off in more ways than one

Last week, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that community television broadcasts will be pushed online at the end of 2015. Turnbull’s announcement came as a surprise to many of those…
If this man had half a brain, he wouldn’t have needed his partner to tell him how to find the best hotel deal without staying up all night. Youtube/Hotels Combined Commercial, Australia, 2013, Cole Rintoul

For Father’s Day, give us men who aren’t shown as fools and clowns

“Get your hand off it,” says the girl in the ad. Here is a cowgirl type telling men not to play with anything while driving. It’s the mobile that she means, ha ha. Why should we be concerned? Because yet…
The Fargo production team hold the Emmy for outstanding miniseries during the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. EPA/ Paul Buck

The Emmys show what it takes to make great TV drama go global

The American TV drama Fargo (2014-) was today awarded the gong for outstanding miniseries at the 2014 Emmy Awards and top-shelf TV productions are basking in the recognition, with a few shows – Fargo…
Let’s hope the series tackles the big projects in its satirical sweep. Utopia, photo: Hwa Goh, ABC

Working Dog’s Utopia is a welcome satirical treat

Crack open the champagne. The return of Australian satirical drama to ABC television is cause for celebration. Utopia, an eight-part series that launched last week, is the real deal. It offers a high-energy…

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