TV, Guide!

Like religion, TV shows must understand how to tell stories over time if they hope to endure. The Simpsons gets it. Downton Abbey doesn’t.

Helpless

The nebbish is the bumbling caricature of a Jewish male, embodied by figures like Woody Allen and George Costanza. Where did he come from?

Obscenity Charges

Sarah Silverman seemed poised to usher in a new generation of secure, sexual, and powerful female comics. Instead, she went for empty shocks and cheap laughs.

Well-Matched

Patti Stanger, host of the Bravo reality show Millionaire Matchmaker, is the iconic antidote to the bloated expectations and self-delusion of our times

Maddening

A show about intermarriage, Mad About You never once mentioned religion. It’s a monument to the comedic dangers of ethnic cleansing.

Greetings, ‘Jewish News One’

‘Jewish al Jazeera’ set to launch, broadcasting in English to the Middle East

Heartland

Rescue Me, ending a seven-year run on FX, was the best artistic engagement with Sept. 11, and with the wounds New York sustained that day

Mother Russia

The new Lifetime reality show Russian Dolls portrays the Russian-American Jews of Brighton Beach as celebrating neither America nor their Judaism but the freedom to be stereotypically Russian

Dynamic Duo

Phineas and Ferb, a smart and fantastically frenetic Disney animated show, features two kids who are curious, inventive, polite, community-minded—everything Jewish parents want their kids to be

Women in Love

Like this week’s parasha, TV’s fall lineup—with shows about Playboy bunnies, sultry stewardesses, and pretty P.I.s in tight pants—offers women nothing but humiliation

Time Regained

This week’s parasha, a discussion of the sabbatical year, should serve as a reminder that the most precious thing we have is free time. And it’s time we stopped wasting it in front of the television.

Turned Off

The period between Passover and Shavuot is traditionally a time for reflection; parents would do well to reflect on just how awful most live-action TV programming for kids is

War and Remembrance

The Promise, a British miniseries about Israel at its founding and today, has been criticized by some Jewish groups as biased propaganda. But it’s a fair and compelling dramatization that deserves to be widely seen, not demonized.

Santa Pause

What are Jewish parents to do when every show on television drips with Christmas cheer? Here are four strategies for managing your children’s expectations in this most un-Jewish time of year.

Real World

A hit Israeli reality-TV show makes something smart, layered, and truthful from a genre’s usual mush

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