Latest Articles

Being Elmo: Short Take

Review: Being Elmo

Just in time for the release of The Muppet Movie on November 25 comes Constance Marks's look at the man behind the pilly-fabric Sesame Street character.
A moving portrait of an unheralded artist
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 18, 2011

Prohibition drinking game!

Leave it to Ken Burns and PBS to crash our romantic Boardwalk Empire fantasies with a scholarly five-and-a-half-hour, sepia-tinted tome about the rip-roaring Twenties.
Play along with the upcoming Ken Burns documentary
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 30, 2011

Media activists aim to take over the future ... of news

Now imagine you're in charge of getting people excited about media reform — promoting things like local ownership of press outlets, a free and open Internet, and vibrant public journalism that operates outside of party politics. Besides the considerabl
'Get me rewrite'
By SEAN KERRIGAN  |  April 08, 2011

PBS looks at the darker side of changing the world

Sometimes you want to give PBS a big grateful kiss just for staying the course while most of TV, losing ground to the interweb age, hovers between cultural hemorrhage and commercial death.
Digging up dirt
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  January 14, 2011

The Best Boston Dance Stories of 2010

Some of the past year's most interesting dance events recaptured iconic moments in our history, either as usable texts for today's dancers or as a springboard into reinterpretation, parody, and nostalgia.
Tradition, innovation, and (loving) parody animated the year's dance
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  December 24, 2010

Review: God in America

For all our bragging about separating church and state, throughout our nation's history, religion has never been on the sidelines. If
PBS puts American religion in its proper place
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  October 08, 2010


Review: Stonewall Uprising

Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, the talented indie documentarians who made last year's Waiting for Armageddon , seem confined by the strictures of PBS's long-running American Experience series in their straitlaced ode to gay liberation.
Well-meaning but sedate look at the '60s gay-rights movement
By GERALD PEARY  |  June 18, 2010

Reality riffs

When Jerome Robbins's New York Export: Opus Jazz boogied onto the scene in 1958 then took Europe by storm. Created for Ballets: U.S.A., a company of ballet, modern, and jazz dancers that Robbins had put together for a government-sponsored cultural exch
Jerome Robbins's Opus Jazz on PBS
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  March 19, 2010

Spy ware

Hitchcock fans will feel right at home with the DVD box of the 2008 BBC production that's making its American debut this Sunday on Masterpiece Classics .
PBS does The 39 Steps
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 26, 2010

A painful case

Is it living in a wishy-washy culture of sheepish PBS humanism and numbing political correctness that makes the nasty, psychopathic amorality — no, immorality! — of Patricia Highsmith's novels so savory and appealing?
Patricia Highsmith's ultimate mystery
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 05, 2010

Miss perfect

I know what you're thinking: " Another Emma ? Didn't we just have a bushel of Jane Austen adaptations for TV?" Well, WGBH did give us four new Austens, but that was all the way back in 2008, a Jane-ite eternity.
The new BBC/WGBH Emma gets a 10
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 15, 2010

PODCAST: America's Test Kitchen's 2010 season preview [MP3]

America's Test Kitchen blooper reel Chris Kimball knows all. Or, at least, he knows way too much about the strange and deviant culinary flailings going...
By Shaula Clark  |  January 09, 2010

Interview: Ken Burns

After watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea , it would be easy to conclude that it all could have been said a lot faster. Ken Burns disagrees — but he's not just being defensive.
On his latest PBS documentary, The National Parks
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  September 25, 2009

Thursday media miscellany

--First, I've got a new Phoenix piece looking at the Times Co.'s plans for the Globe and why the Gui...
By Adam Reilly  |  May 07, 2009

Lost tribes found

Nobody likes a guilt trip. That's why filmmaker Ric Burns's 1995 Manifest Destiny documentary The Way West was such a drag.
'GBH puts a human face on history
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  April 10, 2009
MRTPQ, Death Is Not An Option, Cares and WTF?

MRTPQ, Death Is Not An Option, Cares and WTF?

This morning's MRTPQ was about booze, we debated which deceased PBS celebrity to sleep wit...
By Charlie  |  April 03, 2009


Review: MI-5

When in 2002 BBC1 launched Spooks , from independent producer Kudos Film and Television, it must have been something of a courageous act.
Breaking new ground with old tools
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  March 31, 2009

Hard times

When last year the BBC interrupted its broadcast of Little Dorrit — which hinges on the downfall of a Bernie Madoff–like figure — for a tawdry true-crime documentary, thousands of viewers complained: don't leave us hanging!
Life and debt in Dickens's Little Dorrit
By JUSTINE ELIAS  |  March 24, 2009

Not so great

Way back in 1977, PBS gave us a Nutcracker with a difference: Mikhail Baryshnikov as an electrifying Nutcracker/Cavalier and willowy Gelsey Kirkland as an older-than-usual Clara, as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
San Francisco's Nutcracker on PBS
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 02, 2008