Television

Women's Prisons vs. "Orange Is the New Black"

Does "Orange Is the New Black" accurately portray life in women's prisons? Caroline and Cristen size up the show versus the reality of the criminal justice system in the United States.

Is the manic pixie dream girl dead?

Caroline and Cristen revisit the "manic pixie dream girl" trope in television and movies and explore whether the stock female character is disappearing from pop culture.

How Contraception Gave Birth to the "Bleep"

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but thankfully for sensitive ears, the Federal Communications Commission regulates obscenity over the airwaves. In a fascinating (though profanity-laced, FYI) article at The Verge, Maria Bustillos traces the history of the "bleep," that auditory blotting out of unsavory language that radio and TV broadcasters deem inappropriate for unassuming audiences, and how it simultaneously spotlights the word or topic in question:

Why did ABC launch its Afterschool Specials programming? What were the hot topics in Afterschool Specials (and how did Degrassi do it better)? Join Cristen and Caroline to learn more about how Afterschool Specials addressed race, sexuality and gender.

Where did manic pixie dream girls come from?

The manic pixie dream girl is certainly a memorable film trope, and numerous movies feature these characters. But where do they come from, and where are the manic pixie dream guys? Tune in as Caroline and Cristen explore manic pixies and film.

How have women's roles in spy film and TV changed over time? Join Cristen and Caroline as they take a look back at the history of the spy genre and famous fictional female spies.

Today Oprah Winfrey is one of the world's most famous people, but how did she get her start? In this episode, Cristen and Caroline look at Oprah's impact by the numbers, along with the controversy and criticism Oprah has encountered during her career.

Are women the new misogynists on fall TV? Has the portrayal of women on television improved? Join Cristen and Caroline as they explore the state of women in front of -- and behind -- the camera.

5 Soap Opera Secrets Your Mom Never Told You

Learning about the dishy history of soaps for the most recent Stuff Mom Never Told You episode made me realize that maybe I gave them the brushoff a little too quickly. Sure, their plot lines are ridiculous (again, "Passions") and the acting overdone and, yes, Oprah has declared them dead, but they've made an indelible mark on television today.

It's no secret that some people think soap operas are just junky TV for housewives. But is that true? Join Cristen and Molly as they trace the history and evolution of soap operas and see how these shows have influenced most of what we watch today.