TV and Movies

Writings about moving pictures, on both the small and big screens.

See also: Cultureguru blog category Television, Movie review archive, and Cultureguru blog category Movie reviews.

Report from the 32nd Popular Culture Conference: TV and Movies

Pop! Culture

Conference held in April 2002

The perspective then on topics such as beer ads, transgender representations, gay characters on TV, and Buffy. Lots of Buffy.


I used to spend a lot of time analyzing the TV series I watched…

Buffy the Complete Series

The Lenair Buffy list

Series aired from 1997 to 2003.

Lists of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes: The best, the sexiest, the funniest, and so on.

Very conscious of what the popular opinion was of these things.

Queer as Folk

Queer as Folk list

Series aired from 2000 to 2005.

Along with the Buffy spin-off Angel, Queer as Folk is the only long-running television series that I’ve watched from the very first episode, not missing a single episode along the way. While not up to the quality of Joss Whedon programs, or of something like My So-Called Life, I’ve never considered not watching it. So as the series reaches the end of its five-year run, I herewith put forth my list of lists of all things QAF.

Desire and the Twin Peaks Spectator-Subject

Series aired 1990–91. Essay written in 1992.

Transvestites, log ladies, father fixations, cherry pie fetishes… Twin Peaks couldn’t more Freudian if it tried. (Even though this analysis is more Lacanian….)

TV shows as I watched them

Alias logo and cast

Comments about certain TV shows I watched, back in the day…

TV shows on DVD

My So-Called Life DVD cover

So the advantage is, you don’t have to run around trying to find which streaming service carries the series you want to watch—some of these shows aren’t available there still. And you get extras.

Everything I Know, I Learned from Buffy

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy

Originally written September 19. 2000, for an STC newsletter.

Who says Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn’t qualify as professional development?


Mostly reviews of movies I own, but one essay thrown in for fun.

Johnny Depp movies

Johnny Depp in Chocolat

Remember when Johnny Depp seemed cool, hot, and talented instead of sad, problematic, and disappointing? Well, I was into him them and purchased a number of DVDs (remember them?) he starred. Still good movies, a lot of them…

Pretty Woman poster

Pretty Woman: A Fantasy Theme analysis

Film released in 1990. Essay written in 1991.

Originally written as an oral presentation for one of my University of Waterloo Masters English courses. Looks at the film Pretty Woman through the rhetorical lens of fantasy theme analysis.


Singin' in the Rain movie poster

I’m not one of those who loves all musicals. Like anyone, I can find the “stop and sing a song” structure annoying. But when a musical works well—when it really carries the story along, and heightens the emotion in the way that only music can—it’s brilliant. Here are a few I have on DVD.

Musically inspired movies

Poster for A Knight's Tale, starring Heath Ledger

These aren’t musicals (characters don’t burst into song), these aren’t recordings or documentaries about musicians — they’re just movies in which music plays a pivotal role. Often it’s in the form of dancing; sometimes the characters sing (but in a “naturalistic” way).

Relationship movies

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy, but only one of these qualifies as that. All three are about a romantic pair, however…