Dispatches from the telly and pop culture wastelands


Kimberlé Crenshaw with Eve Ensler.
Kimberlé Crenshaw on intersectionality: “I wanted to come up with an everyday metaphor that anyone could use”
By Bim Adewunmi - 02 April 11:18

Intersectionality – the theory of how different types of discrimination interact - has brought law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw global attention. Here, she talks to Bim Adewunmi about how both feminist and anti-racist campaigns have left “women of colour invisible in plain sight”. 

How has it taken Saturday Night Live so long to realise black women can be funny?
By Bim Adewunmi - 08 January 9:45

Sasheer Zamata has joined the long-running US comedy show, becoming its first black female cast member since 2007. She's only the fifth black female cast member since 1975. Why?

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal.
Why is it still groundbreaking for a TV show like Scandal to have a black female star?
By Bim Adewunmi - 18 October 13:14

Kerry Washington, star of <em>Scandal</em>, is the first black woman to be starring in a US primetime network show since the 1970s.

New Statesman
The Midwives: reality TV, but painfully real
By Bim Adewunmi - 19 September 13:06

We watch The Midwives, I think, because it is the story of us.

Why are there so few penises on television?
By Bim Adewunmi - 30 August 13:49

There's an insidious double standard in operation on the small screen - naked breasts abound, but we never get to see a man's sexy parts.

The cast.
Orange Is the New Black gives us a different view of the debate over "privilege"
By Bim Adewunmi - 22 August 10:50

Netflix's newest production offers nuance and subtle insight into the uses and abuses of power.

Jazzie B.
Sounds Like London by Lloyd Bradley: An intensive, lovingly written account of 100 years of black music in the capital
By Bim Adewunmi - 22 August 9:10

A serious music journalist, Lloyd Bradley's history of black music in the nation's capital is captivating and well crafted, writes Bim Adewunmi.

The day when TV schedules match up across the globe is near at hand
By Bim Adewunmi - 25 July 7:15

Traditional television, with its schedules and seasons, will soon be a thing of the past.

The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This is what should be on a TV Studies degree curriculum
By Bim Adewunmi - 18 July 8:36

A swift jog through past the TV shows that laid the bedrock for the programmes we're enjoying today.

The Americans is not "the new Homeland" - but don't worry, it's still good
By Bim Adewunmi - 04 July 9:03

The way we consume pop culture is plagued by handy, yet vacuous, comparisons, which only lead us inevitably to disappointment.

It's finally acceptable to cast off the shackles of TV snobbery
By Bim Adewunmi - 27 June 12:11

Who knows, Bim Adewunmi might even give the next series Big Brother a go.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys II.
Cinema's two perfect sequels: Bad Boys II and Before Sunset
By Bim Adewunmi - 20 June 12:25

Viewers often admit to wanting to “know what happened when the cameras stopped rolling” and in their purest form sequels answer those questions.

The Nestlé ad.
Despite everything, television still has an extraordinary amount of power
By Bim Adewunmi - 14 June 10:12

The response to Nestlé featuring a mixed race family in an advert for Cheerios shows that the medium is still deeply conservative.

Thought gross-out comedies from the late 1990s had nothing to offer you? Wrong!
From Polonius to American Pie, there's an aphorism out there for everyone
By Bim Adewunmi - 30 May 12:59

Popular culture is bursting with handy tips.

Ross and Rachel in Friends.
Get the TV kisses right and everybody wins
By Bim Adewunmi - 23 May 12:49

From <em>Friends</em> to <em>Cheers</em> to <em>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</em>, not all television couples have to ruin the show.

New Statesman
Action movies, bilingual tunes and the exorcism of a family of six: channel hopping in Cameroon
By Bim Adewunmi - 09 May 17:08

After a cosy night watching Dutch reality TV, daily viewing in western Africa retains all the entertainment and human drama - but the stakes are very different indeed.

Oh, look how ridiculous good-looking and clean-cut they were.
Friends is gone for good. Could we BE any sadder?
By Bim Adewunmi - 18 April 16:28

The creator of <em>Friends</em>, that cultural juggernaut we all love to love, has confirmed there won't be a reunion any time soon. Will anything ever live up to it?

On a cold night in Rotterdam, the familiarity of Dutch "Take Me Out" is comforting
By Bim Adewunmi - 12 April 13:54

Television might be considered "low" culture by some, but the universality of certain formats - such as <em>Take Me Out</em>'s formalised dating rituals - is a wonderful thing.

The inconsistency of Femen’s imperialist "one size fits all" attitude
By Bim Adewunmi - 05 April 8:56

You cannot dismiss the aims of Femen altogether - they are a group of women looking to change society - but Bim Adewunmi fears the execution of their protests leaves much to be desired.

Zanele Muholi: "I cannot give up myself and my soul simply because I need some exposure."
By Bim Adewunmi - 30 March 11:23

The photographer and visual activist talks to Bim Adewunmi.

Do men only want to watch fellow men on screen?
By Bim Adewunmi - 23 March 11:33

Single, middle-aged women are now a disappearing alien race on television. Why?

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars.
Never mind Veronica Mars – let’s kickstart Dawson's Creek onto the silver screen
By Bim Adewunmi - 14 March 17:18

A plea to fans to fund a project turning cancelled TV show Veronica Mars into a movie raised $2.5m in 48 hours. While this could very well be the future of how we consume television, Bim Adewunmi isn’t sure why fans, rather than studios, should bear all t

What does “The Year of Making Love” teach us about relationships?
By Bim Adewunmi - 28 February 16:00

Answer: probably nothing. But there's a deeper point - is going on telly what it takes to find love these days?

Quvenzhané Wallis arriving at the Oscars, where she was nominated for Best Actre
Why is it ok to laugh at Quvenzhané Wallis's name?
By Bim Adewunmi - 25 February 13:19

So often, the names people "cannot" learn to pronounce belong to little black girls and little black boys.

VanCamp's revenge-fuelled portrayal of Emily Thorne is fantastic.
Not just a pretty face: Revenge is pure, unadulterated telly gold
By Bim Adewunmi - 21 February 16:32

There is nothing better than a show about a beautiful woman on a single-minded killing spree to warm up a cold Monday night.

Mark Kermode: The next generation of film critics will come from the internet
By Bim Adewunmi - 14 February 15:13

We sent Bim to Cuddle her Favourite Critic.

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards.
The rise of TV binge-watching, and the death of the spoiler alert
By Bim Adewunmi - 07 February 17:15

Netflix has put all of its new House of Cards series online in one go. It's like a boxset without a boxset - but will it ruin the social aspect of telly viewing?

Cuddle-A-Critic: How to find your perfect TV reviewer
By Bim Adewunmi - 31 January 14:22

But beware – one day they will be <em>wrong,</em> and it will break your heart.