James Poniewozik

James Poniewozik writes TIME magazine's Tuned In column, about pop culture and society. Tuned In, the blog version, is about the stuff we used to call "TV," whether it's in your living room, on your computer or - once the networks figure out the technology and line up the advertisers - in your dreams themselves.

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Would Arrested Development Be As Funny Dirty?

With the word out that Arrested Development is as good as canceled — Fox cut back the Emmy-winning sitcom’s episode order from 22 to 13, the point at which most shows start ordering the liquor for the wake — fans are going through the traditional stages of TV death. From denial and anger, we’ve commenced bargaining, with TV critic Tim

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The West Wing Throws Its Base Some Red Meat

You could have predicted that Democratic Rep. Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) would win last night’s live West Wing debate over Sen. Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda). Not because of the candidates’ oratorical record or their stances in the campaign: Santos had to do better because it would make a better TV. Vinick led the campaign by 9 points going

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At CNN, the Post-9/11 Era Becomes the Post-Katrina Era

When CNN announced that Anderson Cooper would take over Aaron Brown’s 10 p.m. slot and that Brown would leave the network, it was tempting to call it youth over experience. Or male-model looks over, well, less-than-male-model looks. (No offense to Mr. Brown. The present author will not be doing any Details spreads anytime soon either.)

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The Boondocks: Funny to the 'N'th Power

In the premiere of the cartoon series The Boondocks (Cartoon Network, Sundays, 11 p.m. E.T.), a black servant at a garden party—jealous of new black neighbors who’ve ingratiated themselves to his white boss—takes the stage and does an impromptu song: "Don’t Trust Them New Niggers Over There." One young white woman looks at

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We Now Return to Irregularly-Scheduled Programming

Like a new fall show that you would have expected to be canceled by now but has managed to escape the axe, Tuned In is staying on the air, but with some scheduling changes. Now that the deluge of debuts is over, I won’t be blogging on the same daily (or near-daily) basis. But I’ll keep posting—when there’s a new show worth

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Hot Properties: Don't Buy It

Say whatever you want about Hot Properties (ABC, Fridays, 9:30 p.m. E.T.): it strikes a resounding blow for feminism. The brainchild of a female creator (Suzanne Martin), it proves that women can stereotype themselves as well as any man.

Following on the high, pointy heels of Related, this sitcom, set in a New York City real-estate

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Related: A Little More Sex, A Little More City

Sex and the City is the Velvet Underground of TV shows. Everyone who bought the VU’s first album, it is said, started a band. And sometimes it seems like everyone who saw Sex and the City created a TV show. Take Related, (The WB, Wednesdays, 9 p.m. E.T.), a comedy-drama about four loving, bickering young sisters. Let’s tick off the

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