Television Show Review: The Americans: Season 5

The Americans Season 5

The Americans: Season 5 created by Joseph Weisberg (FX, Amblin Television, DreamWorks Television) Starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Keidrich Sellati, Holly Taylor, Noah Emmerich, Costa Ronin, Brandon J. Dirden, Frank Langella, Kelly AuCoin, and Margo Martindale. The Whole World Is Talking ‘Bout Russia Quick. Open a tab in your browser and navigate to your preferred news source. For those in the present—can’t say how long this site will last—the headlines of your online periodical will meet one of two criteria. The mainstream and liberal sources likely have an article about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. The conservative sites? They are likely talking about the deep state and conspiracies spun around Russia to discredit Trump. The common denominator? Russia. Given this… Read More →

Television Show Review: TURN: Season 1

TURN

TURN: Season 1 created by Craig Silverstein (AMC Studios, Sesfonstein Productions, and Josephson Entertainment) Starring Jamie Bell, Heather Lind, Burn Gorman, Samuel Roukin, Seth Numrich, Daniel Henshall, Meegan Warner, Kevin McNally, Angus Macfadyen, and JJ Field. Sticking with It One parental principle I hope to instill in my son is the concept of sticking with it. If you sign up for something, you remain committed to it through the duration, whether it’s a sporting season, or a certain agreed level of expertise on an instrument. Not wanting to be a hypocrite, when I signed up to watch the first season of TURN, I did so acknowledging I’d watch the whole thing no matter how good or bad the show might… Read More →

Book Review: The Lowland

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahirir

The Lowland: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.  352 pp) Born in London to Bengali immigrants, Jhumpa Lahiri moved to the United States at the young age of 3. Her first published work, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. In 2007, Hollywood adapted The Namesake into a feature film.  A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Reality Suspension Why do you read? One of the big reasons for me is the ability to transport into different settings, cultures, and points of view. When an author succeeds in suspending reality and… Read More →

Book Review: Elders

Elders by Ryan McIlvain

Elders: A Novel by Ryan McIlvain (London: Hogarth, 2013.  304 pp) Ryan McIlvain was born in Utah and raised in Massachusetts. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many journals, including the Paris Review. A graduate of the Rutgers MFA program and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, he currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. Shotgun Gospel Even though I’ve grown up in the Christian faith and continue to hold to the basic tenets of its tradition, I’ve always felt a little uneasy about the Evangelical push toward proselytizing. There’s a sense in which your work holds value only as much as you are able to convert others to the faith. The gospel mandate to share… Read More →

Television Show Review: Homeland: Season 3

Homeland Season 3

Homeland: Season 3 developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa (Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet Broadcasting) Starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, Morgan Saylor, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend, F. Murray Abraham, and Tracy Letts. *Spoiler alert for previous seasons in effect* Utilitarianism Noted in the ethics world, utilitarianism is a system devoted to the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. It means if 99 people earn 5 “utils”—the metric for happiness created by the system’s founder, Jeremy Bentham—and 3 people receive -3 utils, then the action is valid and worth pursuing. The system is pretty popular. It seeps into everyday language—like when someone rationalizes an action because it limits harm, or the consequences… Read More →

Book Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid Where Pen Meets Paper

The Reluctant Fundamentalist: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid (Orlando: Harcourt, Inc., 2007. 191 pp) Mohsin Hamid is the author of the novels Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, given several awards, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. His essays and short stories have appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Yorker, Granta, and the New York Review of Books. He was born in 1971 in Lahore, where he has spent about half his life, and he attended Princeton and Harvard. Among the other places he has lived are London,… Read More →