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As much as we like to think that we vote on substance – not style – studies have shown that physical appearance matters to voters. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Welcome to Politics4K

While much of the 2014 midterm election analysis centered on the Republican takeover of the Senate, the pundits may have overlooked an important development: the end of a time when politicians looked a…
Cinema has always been about spectacle – it’s not yet walking dead. AAP/Marcus Walters, Gerrit Fokkema

TV’s golden age has freed cinema to do what it does best

At the opening night of the Victorian College of the Arts graduate film screening season this month, keynote speaker Clayton Jacobson (writer/director of Kenny, 2006) mentioned to the audience his belief…
Benefits Street is back and it’s ok if you don’t like it. Joe Giddens/PA Archive

Who is censoring who when artists dismiss their critics?

ITV has recently announced that it will not commission a second series of the controversial comedy series Dapper Laughs. The decision comes after a petition to have the programme removed from the air gathered…
Come play with us. For ever. And ever. And ever. Alex Eylar

Humilitainment – the sorry story of reality TV

Yesterday the Danish Toymaker Lego announced its plans for a reality TV show to be launched in 2015, rumoured to be based on the idea of Master Builders, the top “construction workers” in the insanely…
The suspense of reality TV hangs on viewers' votes for contestants. Can social media predict winners and losers? AAP Image/Nine Network/Paul Broben

Online fine line: using social media to predict the Big Brother eviction

Reality television, alongside shows such as Q&A – which may be Reality TV in all but name – frequently drives social media conversations about the Australian television industry. Big Brother, currently…
A fundamental aspect of drama is the need for rising tension. Maria

Tepid TV? Australia needs to sharpen its cutting edge

A special thing happened in August this year: Foxtel launched BBC First, a premium channel showcasing the best of contemporary British television drama. As a global channel that chose Australia as its…
Back in town. BBC/Mandabach/Tiger Aspect/Robert Viglasky

How Peaky Blinders made 1920s Brummies hard but hip

Your living room is in danger of being invaded by criminals with Brummie accents. Not a reason for fitting a new burglar alarm, I hasten to add, but an alert for the BBC’s new series of Peaky Blinders…
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…
Shell shock? BBC/Big Talk/Robert Viglasky

BBC explores the therapeutic origins of a 1930s zoo

The history of zoos is eccentric, erratic; spotted with the spectacular as well as the cruel. But one of the more interesting beginnings of a zoo has to be that of Chester Zoo. And this is the story that…
Casting has something to do with it. Chris Radburn/PA

The secret to Sherlock’s success at the Emmys

The BBC drama Sherlock won an impressive seven awards at the Emmys, more than any other show, which came as a surprise to many. The three awards most discussed are those for Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin…

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