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Netflix’s “Cheer”: Law and Grace in Action

It took just three days to plow through the six episodes of Netflix’s latest docuseries Cheer, but it was well worth it. I’m not a cheerleading expert, or even a casual fan, but my initial skepticism was quickly won over by the show’s tear-jerking storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, the flips are as amazing to […]

One Thing You Can’t Say About Pope Pius XIII

The following comes to us from Alan Jacobs. There are many things you could say about Pope Pius XIII, AKA Lenny Belardo. You could say that is he a saint. You could say that he is a con artist. You could say that he is a man of great humility, who wants to become “the […]

A Top Ten TV List for the Decade

The following is not a definitive list or an official “Mockingbird list” — it’s just my list. Responses are welcome below! Criteria: Must be a scripted TV series (no reality shows or documentaries, etc.) Series must have “begun” in 2010 or later (hence why you don’t see Breaking Bad) Shows with much love here at […]

10 Best TV Shows of 2019, I’m Assuming

The complete list, from Brian McMillen: Each year, as our society traverses deeper and deeper into the Golden Era of Television, it becomes increasingly important to acknowledge this form of entertainment’s substantial contributions to the zeitgeist. In the year 2019, we saw an abundance of brilliant shows created and conveniently distributed across the streaming platforms […]

What We’re Watching and Listening to, November Edition: The Crown Season 3 (and a Couple Other Things)

This contains spoilers from Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown. Carrie Willard Netflix released Season 3 of The Crown this past week, and there is simply too much to unpack all at once. I’ve been enthralled since Season 1, and again in Season 2. This third season is so very good, and so very rich in […]

You Don’t Know Me, Fred Rogers

As a Generation X child who grew up with a stay-at-home mom in the upper Midwest, it was almost mandatory that my younger brother and I watched Sesame Street during lunch, and then afterward, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I know exactly what my mom was thinking, putting two preschoolers in front of the television like that […]

The Breakdown Is Just the Beginning: Reese and Payton’s Rules for Life

Recently, I was bequeathed a second-hand copy of Reese Witherspoon’s book, Whiskey in a Teacup, by a friend who knows my fraught relationship with all things Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine/Draper James. When said friend handed over the tome on the school playground, my eyes rolled even as my breath caught: the hot-pink cover (because OF COURSE it’s […]

“Out of Nowhere…I Can Imagine Good Things Happening”: Justice and Unbelievable

Recently I barreled through the Netflix mini-series Unbelievable. It covers the true story of a woman who is charged with lying about being raped, and the two detectives who (unknowingly? accidentally? by design?) solve her case years later. The first episode is, yes, “hard to watch.” Marie’s suffering, as she is asked to tell and […]

Mining Netflix: “Father Brown”

What do you get when you cross Sherlock Holmes with Pope Francis and Arthur Weasley? You get a slightly bumpling but brilliant Catholic priest who moonlights as a murder detective. “Father Brown” is the literary creation of G.K. Chesterton, and the BBC show based on him is now airing on Netflix in its entirety. I […]

What We’re Watching and Listening To: October Edition

Kicking off a new monthly column, surveying various members of the Mockingbird community on what they’re watching and listening to. We start this month with recommendations from a couple of the ‘HQ’ staff: Ethan Richardson Chernobyl. In preparation for the Future Issue of our magazine, this one had been on my list for a while, […]

Ruh Ro… Fifty Years of Faith in Accidents

What brought you here was your insatiable appetite for a juicy mystery. – Emile Mondavarious Imagine a cool, moonlit night. Skeletal trees line a narrow gravel road, and headlights are glowing in the distance. A vehicle is coming: an old, sputtering pick-up steered by some middle-aged mustachioed man. A groovy, slightly haunting tune plays as, […]

Praise Be!!!…Indeed…

The Handmaid’s Tale, streaming on Hulu, is not for the faint of heart, y’all. I’d argue, though, that it’s worth the ride. “HMT” rejects the instincts in us that reduce religion to a power-play, useful only for control and exploitation. It also embraces the Gospel. If you’re privy to the main story, you know that […]