S.T. Karnick

Articles by S.T. Karnick

'The Wire' Creator Calls for More Socialism

TV producer David Simon has just produced a very long and passionate essay for The Guardian in which he argues that economic inequality in the United States has increased to the point that there are two Americas today, in socioeconomic terms, and that Karl

'The Wire' Creator Calls for More Socialism

Elmore Leonard, Barbara Mertz and the Passing of American Values

Two prominent authors of crime fiction left us this month, but only one’s passing received much public attention. Both, however, deserve consideration, and their deaths mark another milestone in the passing of American values we find ourselves increasingly disposed to

Elmore Leonard, Barbara Mertz and the Passing of American Values

USA's Thursday Night Lineup Rivals Cable's Best Dramas

It’s Thursday, and that means USA Network’s two best currently running series have new episodes: “Burn Notice” and “Suits.” Here are some thoughts on the shows, which you can watch beginning at 9 p.m. EST tonight. Halfway through its sixth season, “Burn

USA's Thursday Night Lineup Rivals Cable's Best Dramas

ABC's 'Castle' Recovers From Shaky Season 4 Premiere

**Spoilers ahead** Monday night’s episode of the ABC crime series “Castle,” the second of its fourth season, signified a return to the show’s winning, quirky formula after the near-stumble of its season premiere. I’ve praised “Castle” in the past, and

Saying Goodbye to the Liberal Fascism of 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent'

I suppose that I am somewhat unusual in never having liked the lead characters of the crime drama Law and Order: Criminal Intent, nor thought the performances of lead performers Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe particularly appealing or praiseworthy. D’Onofrio,

ABC's Smart Sci-Fi Series 'V' Returns Tonight

After a long hiatus, ABC’s sci-fi drama series V returns to the network’s regular lineup tonight at 8 EST. It’s a show well worth watching. Based rather loosely on a 1980s limited-run series from NBC, the new show tells the

'Chase' Review: Smart New Bruckheimer Series Deserves a Chance

Both NBC and Jerry Bruckheimer Productions have hit some hard times in recent years. Bruckheimer’s signature programs–notably the CSI franchise–are past their prime, and recent series such as The Forgotten and The Whole Truth have failed to generate the hoped-for

'Undercovers' Review: Familiar Formula, Very Well Executed

As the fourth-rated broadcast TV network, NBC has made plenty of mistakes during the past few years, under now-ousted CEO Jeff Zucker. These failures actually arose from NBC’s longtime corporate culture and mission, which have been in place since the

'Better With You' Review: Likable Characters, Good Concept

As ABC attempts to solidify its popular block of Wednesday sitcoms, the new show Better with You premiered last night, nestled comfortably between returning ratings successes The Middle and Modern Family. Thematically, Better with You makes sense as a transition

'Hawaii Five-O' Review: Nothing Retro About Reboot

Although CBS’-TVs new cop show Hawaii Five-0 is a reboot of a highly popular 1970s CBS series that entered the poplar lexicon (with police departments across the nation being popularly referred to as Five-O), there’s nothing old-fashioned about the current

TNT Crime Dramas Push Political Points

I have long argued that contemporary U.S. entertainment offers a much greater variety of ideas and points of view than conservatives usually seem to realize, pointing out that many TV shows, movies, and music releases convey very sound values and

More Anti-Christian Propaganda From 'Law & Order'

Law and Order: Criminal Intent, the long-running spinoff of the recently canceled TV crime drama mainstay Law and Order, has on fairly regular occasions manifested the overt progressivist and anti-Christian bias of its forebear This week’s episode is one of

REVIEW: 'Justified' Rejuvenates Old-Fashioned Hero Type

Fox’s FX channel has a history of pushing the boundaries of “free cable” programming, with shows such as Nip/Tuck, The Shield, Rescue Me, Dirt, Damages, Sons of Anarchy, The League, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But although “edgy” material

Slow Start for 'Kick-Ass' Shows Perils of Pandering

Producers of popular culture tend to evince the belief that the public strongly desires titillation, vulgarity, obscenity, violence, sexual references, and depictions, and other such lurid matter. It is true, of course, that a little spice makes for a tastier

REVIEW: 'Human Target' Hits Action-Adventure Mark

As the recent passing of Mission: Impossible star Peter Graves reminds us, the mid-’60s were surely the heyday of adventure fiction on television. In addition to MI, there were numerous other TV series devoted to action and adventure in the

NBC's 'Community' an Exemplary Sitcom

In addition to its well-publicized, disastrous experiment with moving Jay Leno to primetime, NBC has done some good things this year. Perhaps the best of these is the new sitcom Community. The concept is simple but rich in characters and

New '24' Season Exemplifies Show's Strengths

The Fox Network’s venerable action-drama series 24, now in its eighth year, has always had to perform a very difficult balancing act: trying to surprise viewers who expect to be surprised, while somehow staying sufficiently connected with reality to sustain

NBC May Pull Plug on Disastrous Leno/O'Brien Experiment

Press reports and even jokes on last night’s Jay Leno Show point to the likelihood that NBC’s experiment with moving Leno from late night to prime time is over, and that the instigator of the changes, Conan O’Brien, will have

USA's 'White Collar': Solid Entertainment, Solid Values

In the classic manner of series television, the USA Network’s latest new dramedy, White Collar (Fridays at 10 EST), smartly combines elements common to numerous other contemporary TV crime dramas, especially other USA Network shows, in a way calculated to

Tonight: A Fitting Finale for 'Monk'

Monk has been one of the best fiction series on U.S. television during the current decade, and tonight’s concluding episode (9 p.m. EST, USA Network) promises to tie up the few remaining vagrant plot strands. The show’s producers have done

'Equalizer' Star Woodward Played Exemplary Heroes

Edward Woodward, star of the iconic 1980s U.S. TV series The Equalizer and acclaimed films such as The Wicker Man and Breaker Morant, has died at the age of 79 after a long illness. Woodward was best known for portraying

New PBS Doc Embraces Big Gov't, Criticizes Individual Freedom

Government broadcaster PBS is running a new, five-part series on a subject naturally interesting in our time: American Experience: The 1930s. Episodes are available for online viewing here. The program is just what one would expect from PBS: earnest, well-researched,

ABC's 'Forgotten': Solid Crime Drama with Values

After several years of mostly miserably failed attempts to ride the wave of crime dramas most of the other TV networks were successfully navigating, ABC has turned to the TV and cinematic crime drama maestro Jerry Bruckheimer for help. The

Grammer's 'Hank' Tries Different Comedic Approach

The new ABC sitcom Hank is rather short on big laughs, but it’s well-stocked with good ideas and sound values. The big question is, will ABC give it a chance? Hank is the first of two family-oriented comedies ABC is

Patricia Heaton and Co. Offer Smart Sitcom in 'The Middle'

The smart new sitcom The Middle presents a positive but realistic view of Middle America’s pursuit of the American Dream. Set in the fictional small town of Orson, Indiana, The Middle (8:30 EDT) follows Hank in ABC’s new Wednesday night