HBO

‘The Sopranos’ Turns 25 and Remains One of the Greatest Shows Ever Made

Ulises Duenas

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano presented a complex character who showed the full range of triumph and tragedy. Edie Falco as his wife Carmela and Lorraine Bracco as therapist Jennifer Melfi are other standouts who go through their own arcs. 

James Gunn Hits Another Homerun With ‘Peacemaker’ Series

Ulises Duenas

The comedy still comes first, and James Gunn seems to have hit a golden ratio when it comes to balancing the laughs and the drama.While this is part of the wider DC universe that has been building up for years now, the writers have done a good job of making this show feel more self-contained. Watching The Suicide Squad is necessary to understand the show’s characters, but beyond that, the viewer doesn’t have to do any background research to fully enjoy this show.

How I Started Comedy Central - The Hit Channel That Almost Didn’t Launch

Art Bell

We realized that by pooling our programming resources,  the new 24-hour channel had twice as much programming as we’d had before the merger. We brought Mystery Science Theater 3000 and HA! brought all the old episodes of Saturday Night Live, episodes they’d gotten from NBC a few months earlier. We started developing our own shows, including Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect. We did live special coverage of political events, including the Democratic and Republican conventions, hosted by comedians.

From ‘The Wire ‘to ‘The Deuce’: Discussing HBO's Newest Series

Stephen A. Crockett and Yesha Callahan

The Deuce is an eight-episode look at the sex industry and the corruption of the NYPD, before it became a billion-dollar business, and much like The Wire before it, all of the players involved from Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and his bushy mutton chops side burns, to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s gentle touch as prostitute Eileen “Candy” Merrell are genuinely taking us into the once real and now imagined gritty piss-stench of New York Time’s Square.

Gauging the Real Effects of Media

Marty Kaplan

There wouldn’t be an advertising industry if people weren’t susceptible to messages.  POM Wonderful wouldn’t rent billboards promising (falsely) to prevent prostate cancer, the fossil fuel industry wouldn’t spend millions on spots claiming (falsely) to produce clean energy, candidates wouldn’t fork over billions of dollars to local TV stations for (pants-on-fire) political ads if all their money could buy were some wispy correlation.

 

How Popular Media is Helping to End the Stigma of Mental Illness

Gabrielle Acierno

Whether your understanding of mental illness is limited to what you’ve seen on the silver screen, or as intimate as a firsthand struggle, the topic has occupied a continual space in our national discussion, eliciting controversy and fascination. Today, there are nearly 60 million Americans who suffer from a mental illness, and it continues to present a quality of life, household and community issue. 

‘Vice’ on HBO Takes Daredevil Journalism to Another Level

Yolian Cerquera

Vice possesses a mixed bag of stories loaded with thousands of news pitches that it receives daily from its 35 offices spread out across 18 countries, and which is reflected in the absurd, frightening and mind-bending situations the correspondents find themselves in. So, for those who are expecting ongoing war zone coverage reminiscent of the Dan Rather golden days of journalism, which could become tiresome and fade interest, the burly and bearded Smith promised good storytelling, which although violent, is not sensationalistic, but true to the story. 

'Amazing Spider-Man,’ ‘Arthur Christmas’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

It’s only been five years since director Sam Raimi wrapped his take on the Spider-Man comic book character. Still, Sony decided that was long enough to merit a complete franchise reboot. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” directed by Marc Webb, returns to the origins of the character, explaining how an average kid named Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) acquired remarkable, spider-like powers. The film also gives Peter a new love interest, the beautiful Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), daughter of New York City police captain George Stacy (Denis Leary). 

Why HBO’s Controversial ‘Girls’ Strikes a Nerve

Loren DiBlasi

For something to be great-- truly great-- does it have to actually be good? Not always, it seems. Before it even premiered on April 15, HBO’s “Girls” was making headlines across the country. Created by 26-year-old Lena Dunham and produced by Judd Apatow, “Girls” is a comedy that was supposed to change the way that women in their early 20s are portrayed on television, from their love lives to their bank accounts. The only problem was, not everyone thought that the change was for the better.

“Contraband,” “Cinema Verite” Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

In 2008, Baltasar Kormakur played the lead role in “Reyjavik-Rotterdam,” an Icelandic thriller about a former smuggler tempted back to a life of crime. Four years later, Kormakur has returned to the material, but this time as director. “Contraband” is an English-language remake of the Icelandic movie, and it stars Mark Wahlberg as Chris Farraday, an expert smuggler who went straight after a stint in jail. 

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