Although it sometimes accompanies fine films such as "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo," the phrase "inspired by a true story" tacked onto the front of a movie too often warns you that you're about to see something "inspiring" in the most hackneyed, triumph-of-the-human-spirit sort of way.
Oh woe is the American pundit, that bombastic parasite of the political realm, all bloviation and alarm. They are an unpopular lot indeed: a mere 21 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the elite talking set, this according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll that says the findings "reflect the public's sour mood overall."
"The Office" will be closing next year. Producer Greg Daniels said Tuesday that the NBC comedy will end its run after the upcoming ninth season.
Casual observation of popular culture reveals that boys and men increasingly are being portrayed negatively, in contrast to women, who invariably are seen as more competent, efficient, successful and in charge. Television and Hollywood movies are producing a tsunami of negative stereotypes depicting guys as losers.
NBC said Tuesday that its 1960s period-piece drama, "The Playboy Club," is being canceled, less than 24 hours after the new series drew just 3.5 million people for its third episode. It's the first cancellation of the fall TV season.
Conventional wisdom becomes dangerous when it contradicts analysis and evidence. On the federal budget, for example, we're told that the rich are evading their fair share of the tax burden while the poor are seeing their spending slashed. Basic government data reveal this conventional wisdom to be flat wrong.
Raise a can of Duff beer! Fox network says "The Simpsons" will be back next fall for its 23rd season. Fox says that will bring the animated series to a total of 515 episodes. "The Simpsons" is the longest-running comedy in TV history. The network announced the renewal Thursday.
I wonder how many potential voters were turned off by the disgusting spectacle of candidates from both parties engaging in excessive mudslinging debates in person and in campaign ads.