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I strive towards a career that ends up leaving me somewhere between Howard Beck and Howard Beale.

The war for your attention has given us an era of unparalleled content choices

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When was the last time you heard somebody say they were bored?

The last recollection I have of someone telling me they were bored was via an MSN message. (MSN was like iMessage of the 2000s, for those born in the 2000s.) That might sound peculiar in the context of 2019, particularly because it’s difficult to imagine a time when you could have access to the internet while simultaneously being bored. Remember the days of dial-up internet? Oh, how things have changed.

Television still essentially works the same as it did 20 years ago, except there has been an explosion…

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel is about wealth, social class, and fantasy. It’s also a subtle depiction of loneliness.

Image: Dion MBD

The Great Gatsby is one of those great works of literature that people are always reading, so much so that people write essays about why people are always reading it. Fitzgerald’s novel is about many things, such as wealth, social class, and fantasy — “illusions and delusions”, as Wesley Morris describes it in the aforementioned essay. Those themes are close to the surface and oft-discussed, but reading The Great Gatsby in 2021 (for the first time), loneliness is the theme that stands out the most.

At the story’s end, protagonist and narrator Nick Carraway has met Jay Gatsby, the mythic…

Alongside Maya Hawke, Andrew Garfield does his best Joker impression in Gia Coppola’s Black Mirror-esque critique of social media.

Image: IFC Films

It’s a cliché nowadays to say that we’re all slaves to our phones and social media, but it’s an analogy worth keeping in mind when thinking about Mainstream. Even more so, the words of self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” Audre Lorde, who wrote that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” In the context of social media, this is to say that you cannot defeat the evils of social media using social media. That, however, doesn’t stop Link, one of the protagonists of Mainstream, from trying to do just that.

Link is an odd guy. When our…

Suki Waterhouse takes the lead in Simon Barrett’s surprising and subversive slasher-whodunit disguised as a supernatural horror movie.

“Seance” RLJE Films Horrr Movie, Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Ella-Rae Smith
Image: RLJE Films

The first sign that Seance has intentions of being more than a run-of-the-mill horror movie comes early, in the cold open, when a group of girls perform a séance in their dormitory bathroom and none of them scream when it seemingly succeeds and an entity rises out of a bathtub.

It’s quickly revealed that some of them are in on the joke — literally in this case, because it’s a prank. …

In the new dark-comedy thriller, Rosamund Pike plays a wolf that preys on seniors, and unintentionally adds to the #FreeBritney movement.

Netflix Amazon Prime Video I Care A Lot Rosamund Pike
Marla Grayson’s care-cup is very small. (Photo: Netflix / Amazon Studios)

Ben Affleck may have been the star of David Fincher’s 2014 film Gone Girl, but it was Rosamund Pike that stole the show. Her portrayal of the missing-wife-turned-mastermind-antiheroine instantly made Amy Dunne one of the best villains in film history (notice I didn’t say “female villains”), while also earning praise as being progressively feminist. (Much of that credit also goes to Gillian Flynn, who accomplished the rare feat of not only adapting her own novel into a screenplay, but making it equally as good.)

Pike steps into similar shoes again in the sarcastically-titled new film, I Care A Lot, written…

John Lee Hancock’s new serial killer thriller starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto sticks closely to “Se7en” with the big things, as well as the small.

HBO Max The Little Things, John Lee Hancock, Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto
Image: Warner Bros.

“It’s the little things that are important. It’s the little things that get you caught”, Deputy Sheriff Deke (Denzel Washington) tells Detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) in The Little Things. Deke is in L.A. from Kern County running an errand and ends up consulting on a case that Baxter has been working for several months. Someone has been kidnapping women, toying with them, then stabbing them to death, and Deke immediately notices parallels to a case he never closed, back when he had Baxter’s job. …

Made shortly after 2011’s “Contagion”, the period medical series “The Knick” features a disease subplot involving the discovery of asymptomatic carriers, contract tracing, and quarantine.

Cinemax “The Knick”, “Contagion”, Steven Soderbergh, COVID-19
Image: Cinemax

Last April, a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Steven Soderbergh was named the head of a Directors Guild committee that would consult with epidemiologists and generate a “comprehensive guide” to help the filmmaking industry return to work safely. Why Steven Soderbergh? It wasn’t explicitly said, but there’s little doubt that it was because he directed Contagion, the 2011 pandemic thriller praised for its scientific-accuracy that saw people flood to it in 2020 when COVID-19 hit.

A few years after he made Contagion, however, Soderbergh helmed the 2-season, 20-episode TV series The Knick. Set in 1900 and 1901, The Knick

As the media landscape continues to evolve, sports fandom continues to be redefined. Yet, archaic TV ratings are still how we measure a league’s success.

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

2020 was a hell of a rollercoaster for everyone, but perhaps those in the world of sports had the bumpiest ride. Sports — like practically every other industry in the world — was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, with athletes today commendably taking a greater interest in social issues, the leagues that employ them are increasingly expected to follow suit, and, for the most part in 2020, they did, while simultaneously dealing with the pandemic. …

Barack Obama recently criticized the “Defund The Police” slogan and was, in turn, criticized himself, drawing further attention to the semantics of the phrase.

Photo by Erick Zajac on Unsplash

Ever since May 25th, 2020, when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, calls to “Defund The Police” have penetrated the public consciousness. The murder of George Floyd sparked protests around the globe, many of which sought to draw attention to the unjust, brutal, and too-often fatal, treatment of black people at the hands of the police. “Black Lives Matter”, both the slogan and the organization, existed prior to the murder of Michael Brown, but reached new levels of awareness after August 9th, 2014. …

The 45th President of the United States has been a boon for journalism. If he loses the 2020 election, how will things change?

Photo by Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash

After the host of The Apprentice formally announced his presidential candidacy in 2015, Donald J. Trump became a golden goose for the news industry. Not only was he already a public figure of significant interest, but his brand of politics was so shocking and offbeat that you either covered him because he would get you eyeballs and clicks, or you covered him because he was creating such a storm that it would be borderline journalistic negligence to not report it. Oftentimes it was both, which made Donald Trump the perfect storm for journalists big and small.

Then he got elected…

Howard Chai

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