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TV Review: MTV's Awkward

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, TV

MTV is working off some of its karmic debt incurred by Jersey Shore with its new teen comedy,Awkward. Combining the best parts of Easy A and the much-missed Daria—can we get a “where are they now?” special for the graduates of Lawndale High?—Awkward. finds the calmly skeptical Jenna (Ashley Rickards) dealing with the effect of the entire school’s eyes on her after [&hellip
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TV Review: Suits

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, TV

I had almost written off USA shows after the premieres of Covert Affairs (Piper Perabo joins the CIA because she got dumped!) and Fairly Legal (she’s an arbitrator with a messy personal life who doesn’t go by the book but gets results!). The endless sunshine of Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains and White Collar—where New York City always looks like a gorgeous [&hellip
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TV Review: Wilfred

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, TV

There is nothing comforting about  FX’s new comedy Wilfred—and I mean that as a compliment. Never mind the weekly drudgery of a procedural, which follows the same routine week after week, but with new guest stars. Or the canned laughter of a sitcom that reminds you to laugh at the non-threatening jokes. Wilfred is not the type [&hellip
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Unruly Memories

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Theater

With its usual artful sleuthing, The Keen Company has unearthed a half-forgotten American treasure: a memory play that, in its current production at Theatre Row, makes a resounding case for its being mentioned in the same breath as The Glass Menagerie. The play is Lanford Wilson’s Lemon Sky, and the production is as close to [&hellip
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Book Review: The Language of Flowers

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Books, NY Press Exclusive

language-of-flowers The Language of Flowers is a bit like a perfectly manicured flowerbed: the symmetry and colors are breathtaking, but the work shows. In Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel, recently emancipated foster child Victoria strikes out on her own with almost no skills, interpersonal or otherwise, except for a deep connection to the Victorian language of flowers [&hellip
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Book Review: The Postmortal

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Books, NY Press Exclusive

413dsMbL6wL Our obsession with youth reaches its ultimate climax in Drew Magary’s new novel, The Postmortal. An accidental scientific discovery reveals a way to render people ageless: Once injected with a serum, patients cease to grow older than their age at that moment. Suddenly, people worldwide remain in their twenties and thirties forever, rendering death from [&hellip
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Book Review: Blueprints for Building Better Girls

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Books, NY Press Exclusive

blueprints-for-building-better-girls-by-elissa-schappell Imagine, if you will, a Mary Gaitskill story collection in which the author casts a fond eye on the foibles and bad behavior of her characters. That book is Elissa Schappell’s Blueprints for Building Better Girls, a collection of eight sharp, meticulously etched and tenuously linked tales of female archetypes
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TV Review: The Ringer

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, TV

Sarah Michelle Gellar is not messing around when it comes to her return to TV. Not only has she chosen Ringer, a campy nighttime drama, as her comeback vehicle, but she’s playing twins: stripper junkie Bridget and rich bitch Siobhan. On top of that, Ringer’s pilot throws in as much plot as it can manage in its [&hellip
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Book Review: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Books, NY Press Exclusive

There are few sub-genres of nonfiction more satisfying than the bizarre event recounted in the context of much larger themes. Timothy Egan, who has chronicled both the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the wildfires of 1910 that prompted a widespread conservation movement, is the master of transforming history lessons into gripping page-turners. New York [&hellip
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