Weighing the Heavy Costs of Extreme Weight-Loss Shows

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NBC’s The Biggest Loser has been one of the network’s, ahem, biggest reality TV success stories. It’s paired consistently strong ratings with feel-good storylines about overweight people working hard to get back to a healthy size and all of the good things that come with it. Everybody wins, right? After all, what could be wrong […]

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Son-Dance Films

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Between my sophomore and junior years of college, I hit the pause button on my education, rented a Vail condominium with a couple of other guys, bought a season pass and landed a night job at a fancy restaurant in the village near the original gondola. I love to ski, and I’ve always wanted to […]

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You May Never Run Out of Toner Again

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We’ve all been there. You need to wash clothes for work the next day, but you discover all too late that you’re all out of detergent. Or you need to print out an important document, and—wouldn’t you know it?—the toner’s gone! Drat! Admittedly, these are first-world problems, not honest-to-goodness existential crises. Still, these are the […]

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Art & Culture: Personalizing Politics

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Plugged In has often said that the entertainment we engage and indulge in has the power to mold how we see and think about the world—whether we realize it or not. And in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision making gay marriage legal in the United States, openly homosexual actor Harvey Fierstein is—perhaps […]

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Did ‘Internet Evil’ Influence a Young Mass Murderer?

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A young man has once again unleashed murderous rage upon unsuspecting victims, this time in the hallowed halls of Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. And once again, a nation is trying to make sense of the crime. Given the online manifesto left behind by accused 21-year-old shooter Dylann Roof, it’s clear that his […]

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American Idol, CSI & the Passing of the Monoculture

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It doesn’t seem that long ago, really, that two influential, iconic network juggernauts dominated the ratings, week after week, year after year: Fox’s American Idol and CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Both shows spawned imitators and shaped America’s TV culture. Both exhibited a Goliath-like ability to intimidate any would-be rivals. And both, like Goliath, were […]

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